Choosing a Helmet: Which Is Right for You?

Nearly everything we do at SCCA requires a helmet. Depending on your needs, that can either mean a minor or major investment.

Autocrossing? You only need an M-Rated helmet. Hitting the track for Club Racing? You need an SA-Rated helmet.

What’s the difference between M and SA? SA helmets have the highest level of impact and fire protection. On the other hand, the field of vision requirement for M helmets is larger than SA and they can be significantly cheaper.

Winding Road Racing just released their list of Best Road Racing helmets. This list gives the best SA rated helmets in categories from “Best Entry Level” at $399.95 to “Best Overall” at $4,995.00 with comfort and customization categories in between. That list can be found here.

On All Cyliders also recently released their “Racing Helmets 101” guide with more detailed elements of helmet design to look for. They describe the Snell ratings in detail and give suggestions based on applications. That guide can be found here.

Remember that each SCCA competition area has varying requirements for helmet ratings. The Guide for Solo competition can be downloaded here. From the Club Racing General Competition Rules: “Crash helmets approved by the Snell Foundation with Snell sticker 2005 or later Special Application SA2005.” From the RallyCross Rules: “All helmets meeting the latest or two immediately preceding Snell Foundation standards, SFI standards 31.1, 41.1, 31.1A, 31.2A, 41.1A, 41.2A or British spec BS6658-85 type A/FR are acceptable.”

Have more questions about helmet guidelines? Ask away in the comments below.


Photo by Rupert Berrington

Marlon B.

You are absolutely right that we should choose a helmet which is right for us. You have provide a very good post for us.Thanks and keep it up.  high quality grass mats

Big R

If a helmet meets the DOT FMVSS 218 standard, but not any Snell, is that the M class helmet we can wear for Autocross?

Ted Nanas

Does a helmet have to be a certain age?