Which helmet is the best – Premium or Budget….
When we want to buy a helmet, the difficult choice is whether to buy an expensive branded premium helmet or the local budget helmet. Loads of advises pour from all over but to make it simple let’s see the pros and cons of each.
Premium Helmets: Bell, Caberg, AGV, Shark, X-lite, Lazer, Nolan, Grex, MT, Shoei, Scorpion Exo, Duchinni, Nitro, Roof, Arai, Schuberth, HJC etc… to name a few.
- The helmets are made with high quality material such as Carbon Fiber, fiberglass and other composite materials, Kevlar, Aramid Fiber, Multi-layered Composite Materials. The inner liner of premium helmets is made of multi-density EPS foam.
- They are ECE, DOT certified that ensures maximum safety on roads due to their quality control excellence.
- Minimum to Nil impact on the rider in the event of an accident.
- The shell of every size has its own EPS liner for supreme fit and comfort
- Perfectly spaced ventilation that makes them highly breathable hence suited for any weather.
- Light weight and hence comfortable to wear for long hours.
- The visor screws or the neck restraints, are all made out of premium materials such as aircraft aluminium or stainless steel making them highly reliable.
- Heavy on the pocket for most of us.
- Available only in a few stores in India or online internationally.
- Expensive motorcycle helmets have pretty much the same lifespan as the ISI certified budget helmets.
- Works economical for frequent usage or long rides. Short and once in a while- city commuters do not find it value for money.
- In the event of wear and tear finding spare parts or fixings may be tough.
Budget Helmets: Vega, Studds, Steelbird, SMK, THH, LS2, Aaron, Sage, Royal Enfield, SOL, Axor, Aerostar etc.. to name a few.
- The certified helmets start with a range of INR 500 making them highly affordable.
- They are made of cost effective materials such as -ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) or polycarbonate making them a decent choice for basic and slow commuting. The inner liner of most helmets is made of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS).
- Helmets that come with ISI certification make them fairly close to the premium helmets in terms of safety.
- They are easily available in any store or even online.
- The low range helmets may be a challenging in terms of repair but the upper range helmets can be easily repaired in any store.
- Few of the helmets come with a detachable inner liner making them an easy maintenance in terms of cleaning and hygiene.
- Reputed Indian companies have come up with some good low cost helmets that offer safety, comfort and look.
- The graphics and design choices may be limited.
- The low range helmets may not be able withstand an impact in case of an accident and hence may not provide the protection in the event of an accident..
- They may not very comfortable to wear for extended periods due to its inner lining and weight and may not have as many adjustable features, leading to a less-than-ideal fit.
- The ventilation features and chin lock systems make them not so breathable due to the material used in manufacturing.
- While most of them come in one free size, only a few brands have sizes.
To sum up, Premium or Budget – it is very important to wear the helmet, try it on to ensure it gives you a proper fit and comfort. Do consider factors like your usage, budget, ventilation, locking system and most important is the certification. It is always advisable to buy from reputable retailers or company brand outlets to ensure the authenticity and quality of the helmet.