Ovation Z-6 Elite Helmet
8.4Overall Score
Quality8
Comfort9
Performance8.6
Value9
Design7.5

I like to wait a while to review some things, and this helmet was no exception.  I have used it for almost a full year of regular schooling and trail riding (worn 3 to 5 days a week for a minimum of one hour to about 7 hours at a time).  This is my review of the Ovation Z-6 Elite Helmet.

I bought this helmet to replace my much unloved Troxel.  I wanted something a little bit more sleek and something I would not be embarrassed wearing to a local show.  I did quite a bit of research on helmet fit.  I went to several area tack shops and tried on lots of brands that didn’t fit well: Troxel, Tipperary, Charles Owen, and IRH.  I was not able to find any Ovation helmets locally, but I had read that they fit my head shape ideally.  I decided to just go for it and order one and risk it not fitting.  I ended up choosing this particular model because it was attractive and the price was right for something to use every day.

Upon first pulling this helmet out of the box I was very pleased.  It is attractive, well made and I loved the carrying bag that came with it.  The liner is very cushy and comfortable.   I love the look of the leather brim, harness cover and chin pad.  The metallic detail is great and the shape and vent design is attractive.  It fit like a dream and adjusted perfectly.

I have worn this thing half to death, and it still looks great.  I do store it in the bag…but don’t clean it nearly as often as I should.  It’s easy to clean and tidy up for a show, but it holds up well to every day wear and tear (for example, the photos above are of the helmet after a few months of zero cleaning.  Looks pretty good!).  The leather, harness, metal and rubberized finish are all in great shape.  So is the liner.  The liner has lost a bit of it’s cushy comfort, but that’s bound to be expected as much as I wear this (I have ordered new liners).  I have never once gotten a headache wearing this helmet.  The vents work OK.  It’s not like air conditioning, but my head doesn’t get stuffy and hot while wearing it. In fact…a lot of the time I forget I am wearing it and don’t remember to take it off for hours after I am done riding.  I think that says a lot about the comfort of this helmet.

The Ovation Z-6 Elite Helmet comes in two sizes S/M and M/L (and it’s very adjustable with it’s fit dial).   I was a bit worried about the fit with only two sizes, but the M/L worked well for my large-for-a-lady head.  The liner is removable and washable and replaceable if need be.  The helmet is ASTM/SEI Certified.

I am very happy with this helmet and really recommend it (and any similar models from the Ovation line) if you have a hard to fit oval shaped head and are looking for something for everyday schooling/low level showing.  You can purchase the helmet online in several location and at some local tack shops.

Update Feb 2017:  This helmet had an unplanned dismount (or really I did…lol).  I didn’t initially think there was any damage to the helmet, but after wearing it a few more weeks I realized that the dial on the back had broken.  It lasted almost three years and I loved it until the end.  Great helmet.