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Differences between EN 1077:2007 Class A and Class B helmets

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
***WARNING - This may well be a bit dull and only for the those concerned with details***

I've been looking round for a decent helmet that doesn't make me look like tool but after doing some digging and realising that most Ski helmets are not created equal, despite what the manufacturers would have you think, I got swayed down a different path of how well the helmet is going to protect my head rather than looks......I'll like a tool whatever.


All Ski helmets sold in Europe (possibly also US and elsewhere) are tested using the the European Standard EN 1077:2007 (and also ASTM and some to SNELL standards). You'll see this noted somewhere on the helmet on a label/sticker (see below). Within this testing procedure the helmet is also given a 'Class A' or 'Class B' rating and this should also be stated along side the EN 1077:2007. The manufacturers often don't put this info on the helmet though, which as far as I can tell, is actually illegal. It's almost always not shown in adverts or online either. Manufacturers and sellers generally just note a helmet as "EN 1077:2007 approved" leaving off the Class rating, and usually meaning it's more than likely a Class B. I've found that websites clearly make more of a play and shout about it when a helmet is Class A rated, and it's always mentioned somewhere.



I'm a biker and Class B helmets have for years been the butt of jokes and no biker that I know with any sense of self preservation would ever consider wearing one. I wanted to know if this Class rating system in bike helmets was the same for Ski helmets. After making a few phone calls and endless Googling I couldn't find a clear unedited explanation of the difference between the two classes. I even considered buying the pdf of the standard (in the UK it's BS EN1077:2007) but it was £100 to download. Eventually I found a couple of websites that actually allowed you to view them online.

I dug into the standard (hey, I'm a details man) and it became apparent that there are two distinct differences between Class A and Class B Ski helmets. I've attached the relevant parts of the standard below if anyone is interested but in essence the differences are:

Coverage (see diagram below)
Class B - has to protect the top and rear of the head but doesn't have to cover the ears (the odd Class B helmet does though)
Class A - has to protect the top and rear of the head and also the ears/side of the head

Impact Protection (see text below)
Class B - must be able to withstand an impact from a drop height equivalent to 375mm (37.5cm)
Class A - must be able to withstand an impact from a drop height equivalent to 750mm (75cm)

So in a nutshell (ahem) a Class A Ski helmet gives you much better coverage in terms of protected area of the head (incl. the sides and ears) and can also withstand a fall from twice the height of that of a Class B helmet without failing.

This is summed up in this extract taken from EN1077:2007:
Class A and Class B helmets are for alpine skiers, snowboarders and similar groups. Class A helmets offer comparatively more protection. Class B helmets may offer greater ventilation and better hearing, but [b]protect a smaller area of the head and give a lesser degree of protection for penetration.

This may well be of no use to anyone but I just wanted to put it out there for those who are interested and considering buying a helmet..........Toofy Grin









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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
So, to summerize;

Class A = Bellend

Class B = Cool.

Class B it is then


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Fri 11-01-13 16:08; edited 1 time in total
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
SiPieFace,

I bet you are a wow in a kitchen at parties wink
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Just don't get him started on the 'merrican and snell standards, that really is a party pooper..
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I'm for anything that gives "a lesser degree of protection against penetration" Shocked Toofy Grin
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any idea what protection my beanie offers?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Basically without solid ear protection (DH race style helmets) you're looking at Class B. I'm cool with that, very few no full-face bike helmets offer that protection.
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ansta1, I've D3o underkeks . . . so I'm protect... am I doing this all wrong?
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OMG, someone put me out of my misery NOW!!!
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SiPieFace, In Ski Helmets manufacturers could make 2 helmets out of exactly the same material and construction, but one covers the ears the other doesn't, which makes one Class A the other Class B. I use a POC Helmet which is made to the same standard as their Class A, but has open ears, so Class B. doesn't mean it's no good.
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ansta1 wrote:
any idea what protection my beanie offers?


Depends on if you've had a haircut recently or not. Laughing
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Noddy can't wear a Class A helmet coz he's got big ears, BOOM BOOM
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Spyderman wrote:
SiPieFace, In Ski Helmets manufacturers could make 2 helmets out of exactly the same material and construction, but one covers the ears the other doesn't, which makes one Class A the other Class B. I use a POC Helmet which is made to the same standard as their Class A, but has open ears, so Class B. doesn't mean it's no good.


Wrong, did you not read any of it? That's the point. Class A gives you better coverage AND can withstand a harder impact BECAUSE it's made of better materials. That's the whole idea of having a Class or Class B. Have another read of it.........
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hells Bells wrote:
OMG, someone put me out of my misery NOW!!!

Did warn you.....and you didn't need to read it. You know you love it though...... Very Happy
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I really don't want to get into a helmet thread, but I am sort of sure that if the helmet is tested to ASTM F2040 as well as the EN standard then this is the one to look at the US standards are stricter than the EU ones.

OK out of here now wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Obblox, i am off to hang myself NOW
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
SiPieFace wrote:
Spyderman wrote:
SiPieFace, In Ski Helmets manufacturers could make 2 helmets out of exactly the same material and construction, but one covers the ears the other doesn't, which makes one Class A the other Class B. I use a POC Helmet which is made to the same standard as their Class A, but has open ears, so Class B. doesn't mean it's no good.


Wrong, did you not read any of it? That's the point. Class A gives you better coverage AND can withstand a harder impact BECAUSE it's made of better materials. That's the whole idea of having a Class or Class B. Have another read of it.........


Wrong. Most of the Class A ski helmets we found on the other thread had Class B bretheren which were the same except for the ear covering. So, some Class B will pass the Class A drop test.

(Can you tell I'm bored wink )
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http://www.telemarktips.com/Helmets.html
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Mosha Marc wrote:
SiPieFace wrote:
Spyderman wrote:
SiPieFace, In Ski Helmets manufacturers could make 2 helmets out of exactly the same material and construction, but one covers the ears the other doesn't, which makes one Class A the other Class B. I use a POC Helmet which is made to the same standard as their Class A, but has open ears, so Class B. doesn't mean it's no good.


Wrong, did you not read any of it? That's the point. Class A gives you better coverage AND can withstand a harder impact BECAUSE it's made of better materials. That's the whole idea of having a Class or Class B. Have another read of it.........


Wrong. Most of the Class A ski helmets we found on the other thread had Class B bretheren which were the same except for the ear covering. So, some Class B will pass the Class A drop test.

(Can you tell I'm bored wink )


And this is one of the points we made there, just because helmet X is rated to A doesn't mean helmet Y won't meet or exceed some of the standards of required for standard A.

So it's most likely that a Class A helmet is the same basic construction and materials as a Class B helmet, with the only real difference being the size of the final moulding (ie it goes further down the rear of the head and covers the ears).
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Mosha Marc wrote:
Wrong. Most of the Class A ski helmets we found on the other thread had Class B bretheren which were the same except for the ear covering. So, some Class B will pass the Class A drop test.


ansta1 wrote:
And this is one of the points we made there, just because helmet X is rated to A doesn't mean helmet Y won't meet or exceed some of the standards of required for standard A.

So it's most likely that a Class A helmet is the same basic construction and materials as a Class B helmet, with the only real difference being the size of the final moulding (ie it goes further down the rear of the head and covers the ears).


Good points, but how do you know they're the exact same construction except for the ear covering? My point is to get rated as a Class A a ski helmet has to pass BOTH tests, not just one or the other. The only guarantee (unfortunately) that any helmet is made from strong enough material to withstand the tougher impact test means that it also has to have ear protection and make you look like a downhill racer.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love it if you could get a Class A without that. In fact if you look at the Dainese I put in the other thread that's the only one I've found that's Class A and doesn't give you the 'all the gear and no idea' look. I've tried one on though and the fit was just weird.

But hey listen, don't shoot the messenger, I don't make up these rules.
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SiPieFace, we don't know unless the data can be obtained from the appropriate tests conducted by the manufacturer, like you say if you want to guarantee a certain level of protection then you have to purchase an approved product.
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SiPieFace, so in the light of what's been written since, how is what I posted wrong?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
not being wrong doesnt make you correct.
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I wonder if it's possible for a manufacturer to make a helmet that looks like a class A in terms of it's shape and coverage, but only test it to meet class B standard.
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SiPieFace,
...but if you read ansta1's post on your previous thread you'd not be getting all obsessed about class a and class b at all, since the us _ski helmet_ standards appear to exceed both (in terms of impact and penetration protection(oo-er!) ).
The POC helmet of mine that you previously maligned as just comfy happens to be class b, but also meets the US standards, and has MIPS (which as far as I know only POC and Sweet have). It should also have an extra safety rating because it is so expensive I can't afford to bang it on anything! wink

Two ears, one mouth and all that...
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stuarth wrote:
SiPieFace,
...but if you read ansta1's post on your previous thread you'd not be getting all obsessed about class a and class b at all, since the us _ski helmet_ standards appear to exceed both (in terms of impact and penetration protection(oo-er!) ).

Yeah I hear yah. Not obsessed, just like to drill down (it's a character flaw) and was starting from ground zero. Totally get that Snell and ASTM (I checked their sites) are tougher than EN 1077 but when I checked the Snell list of approved could only find a handful of lids listed as passed that standard and none I knew so I moved on. Nothing over here is listed as Snell approved and the ASTM testing appeared only negligibly tougher than EN.

stuarth wrote:
The POC helmet of mine that you previously maligned as just comfy happens to be class b, but also meets the US standards, and has MIPS (which as far as I know only POC and Sweet have). It should also have an extra safety rating because it is so expensive I can't afford to bang it on anything! wink

I just don't like the skater type lids, no offence meant, but they're just not for me.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Trying to move this off the Schumi thread, but his accident looked like something that could happen to any of us, and had little to do with whether one should or should have been on/off piste. The hill under the Burgin lift, though having marked pistes, is a very popular playground for skiing between pistes by intermediates such as myself.

I use a helmet, but I don't have any particular vendetta against those who don't! However I bought my helmet five or six years ago and the technology seems to be improving, so I am thinking of upgrading, but looking at the major mail order retailers no one seems to state what standard diferent models are manufactured to.

Have any Snowheads done the research to establish which are the better helmets? To EN 1077 Class A or ASTM standards?

Looking at the websites the ANON helmets look pretty cool and the technical arguement looks convincing, has anyone tried and tested them?
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Quote:

than looks......I'll like a tool whatever

OOOeer matron! I've just looked at my helmet (oh not again!) and the detail has rubbed off the label. But thanks for highlighting I was unaware of the 2 standards.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
So on any given day I have the choice of A. my (old) race helmet with optional chin guard or B. my new ear friendly helmet.

Helmet A. was used only when mandated and necessary for racing. And thusly mostly protected my head not a jot.

Helmet B. is used whener I ski. And has protected my head against many muppets spinning around with skis on shoulders, for example.

I go with helmet B.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
For further protection go for EN 12492: 2012

Mountaineering grade protection

Such Mammut Alpine Rider or Camp Speed




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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
snow_muncher wrote:
For further protection go for EN 12492: 2012

Mountaineering grade protection



You are comparing apples with pears here. The mountaineering standard emphasises penetration resistance, basically because the assumed most likely accident scenario for mountaineering is being hit by a falling rock. Whereas for skiing is it assumed that the skier has large velocity and impacts against something solid. In this scenario, shock absorption is more important since the total amount of enegery to be dissipated is larger (but less concentrated).

Basically the two tests are done in different ways and results are not directly comparable. Is there any evidence that a mountaineering helmet would perform better in the skiing test? Another problem with the tests is that you only get a yes/no (either a helmet passes or it doesn't) so that makes relative comparisons difficult to begin with.

M
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Not, I'm not Wink

Both helmets listed both meet EN 1077:2007 in addition to EN 12492: 2012

more angles covers for climbers and skiers

The ear guards are removeable for better hearing during climbing

Also usefel for crowded pistes when you want to hear a screaming child approach out-of-control from behind Wink
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