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.