HELMET RATINGS...WHAT DO THEY MEAN?
Auto racing helmets are rated by the Snell Foundation as either SA, M, or K rated...
Snell SA Rated Helmets:
Snell "SA" (Sports Application) rated professional helmets are designed for auto racing and provide extreme impact resistance and higher fire protection.
Snell M Rated Helmets:
Snell "M" (Motorcycle) rated helmets are designed for motorcycling and other motorsports. They offer slightly less protection than SA rated helmets.
Snell K Rated Helmets:
Snell "K" (Karting) rated helmets are designed for Karting applications. They are subjected to the same test standards as SA helmets except the do not require a fire retardant interior.
What are the key differences between SA and M Rated Helmets:
- SA standard requires flammability test while the M standard does not.
- SA standard has rollbar impact test while M standard does not.
- SA standard allows narrower visual field than M standard (Some SA helmets aren't street legal).
How do I know if my helmet meets the necessary Snell requirements for the organizations that I race with?
Always check your club rule book to determine what helmet specifications they require. Most clubs seem to allow you to use the current Snell specification, as well as the previous Snell specification. So, in that case, for the 2016 season, you could use Snell M2010/SA2010 or Snell M2015/SA2015 rated helmets. Snell M2005/SA2005 helmets would not meet requirements after October 1, 2015. The bottom line is... read your rulebook carefully.
Also, if you are considering the purchase of a Snell "M" rated helmet, be sure that your club will allow them. SCCA Solo does allow Snell "M" rated helmets, although some organizations that run high speed events will require Snell "SA" rated helmets. We recommend Snell "SA" rated helmets because they will be legal for any type automotive activity you participate in.
What is the current Snell rating?
New ratings typically come out every 5 years. As of October 2015, the current Snell rating is 2015. We currently carry Snell SA2010 helmets which are on Clearance awaiting the new SA2015 helmets. Snell M2005 and Snell SA2005 rated helmets are no longer available.
When will Snell SA2015 Rated Helmets be available?
Snell SA2015 Certified helmets will be available for sale on or after October 1, 2015, when the new standard takes effect. You can read the official Snell statement here. That being said, if you are in need of a new helmet now, there is no need to wait for the new helmets. The current Snell standard of SA2010 will NOT be obsolete when the new SA2015 helmets are released, so you will be able to continue using a Snell SA2010 rated helmet throughout the SA2015 life cycle of 5 years.
Where can I get more info on Snell helmet ratings?
Check out the Snell Memorial Foundation website for some very good helmet information.
Where can I purchase a Snell SA rated helmet?
SoloRacer.com carries a full line of Snell SA2010 Rated Helmets.