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Charles Owen AYR8 Helmet

Charles Owen, Inc.
- Item #16857
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We're bringing you this product at the lowest price allowed by the manufacturer. That means this item isn't eligible for additional discounts or promotions.

As riders and online shoppers, we know it can be tough to buy a new bridle or pair of boots without trying them on. That's why we moved the fitting room to your living room (or barn)! From breeches to blankets, if you or your horse can try it on, you can return it, free! Just use the pre-paid return label included in your order within 60 days from the purchase date. And of course, please make sure the item is in like-new condition with original packaging (we said 'fitting room', not 'war room'!).

Why We Love This

The Charles Owen AYR8 Helmet is a low profile helmet that combines fashionable microfiber suede side panels, with a mesh centre to maximize air flow through the 12 ventilation apertures, achieving the perfect combination of cool equestrian chic.

Developed for the equestrian athlete the slimline helmet uses advanced modern materials and incorporates the latest in thermoregulation for helmets to keep your head cool. The soft suede harness incorporates the revolutionary Grpx™ technology. The harness is coordinated to the specific colors within the range to give that complete finished look.

The brim is gently rounded to flatter the face and a press stamped metallic logo is positioned centrally above the peak. Another embroidered logo features on the back of the helmet to replace the traditional ribbon. The super soft headband is embedded with high tech silver ions, providing built-in antimicrobial protection, helping to keep the helmet hygienic and free from smells. 

Favorite Features

  • Microfiber suede side panels
  • Mesh centre for maximum air flow
  • Grpx™ technology to create snug and secure fit using scientifically designed grippers
  • Antimicrobial headband to keep helmet hygienic and free of smells
  • Certified by SEI to ASTM F1163
  • Kitemarked to PAS015 and BSEN1384

Sizing It Up


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    SmartPak customers are some of the most conscientious animal owners around. We encourage you to share your experience with the products we sell to help fellow customers to make informed choices for their animals. We do not edit these reviews in any way - they are direct customer-to-customer communication. We do monitor reviews for positive and negative feedback, and use this feedback to improve our selection as well as sharing feedback with product manufacturers to help them improve their products. Please note that we recommend consulting your vet with serious health issues.

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    Charles Owen AYR8 Helmet is rated 4.7717 out of 5 by 127.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Helmet! I have always had IRH helmets, but their style changed. I called the Customer Service, as always they were so helpful and suggested the AYR8. I LOVE IT! It fits like a glove, looks nice, and is definitely worth the price. I have had it for about 3 weeks, so can't rate durability yet. Thanks again, SmartPak!
    Date published: 2013-03-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Second is a good as the first Love the helmet and just purchased a second to show in. Wears well and keeps nicely using Charles Owen Cleaner and freshener.
    Date published: 2013-03-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just as great the second time around This is the second AYR8 helmet that I've purchased and I love it just as much as the first time. The fit is great, cleans and wears well.
    Date published: 2013-02-22
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this Helmet I absolutely love this helmet. It fits really, really well and is so comfortable. My favorite thing about this helmet is the harness. It has some padding in the back and has a string that you can tie either a little looser or tighter so the helmet gives a custom fit. I use this helmet not only as my schooling helmet but also as my show helmet. When I show, I put my hair up under the helmet and it still feels like it fits perfectly. The ONLY thing I don't like is if I touch my helmet with even slightly dirty/dusty fingers I get dirty finger marks on it. But, it has always cleaned up easily and looks great again within 30 seconds. Would I recommend it to a friend? Absolutely. Would I buy another one if something happened to this helmet? Absolutely.
    Date published: 2012-11-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favorite helmet I use one for everyday schooling and another for show.
    Date published: 2012-10-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Helmet I don't like wearing helmets. But with that said, this helmet lets you forget you are wearing one. The fit is true and the helmet is indeed light and has great ventilation. The appearance is also more flattering. I would definately recommend the AYR8!
    Date published: 2012-10-02
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from good for me I am new to riding and all the paraphernalia that goes along with it. I bought this helmet because of the other reviews and kept it because of the soft yet firm headband – I think it sits a bit low and pushes my ears a little. It is better than any school helmet I have used; But I expected that for the price.I can't speak to durability just yet.
    Date published: 2012-09-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Helmet Ever I really love this helmet. If you know your head size then this helmet fits perfectly. I made sure that i knew it before I purchased. if unsure then go and try one on. I love how easy it cleans up with the charles owen cleaner and how well it dries after riding in hot humid weather. I wish I owned more. Wouldn't trade my AYR8 for anything. very happy to own one.
    Date published: 2012-09-11
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice vented helmet I love this helmet. It is great for showing here in Georgia where it is hot and humid. The vents really help to keep my head cooler. It has the same classic Charles Owens design and quality. I would recommend this to others.
    Date published: 2012-09-05
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Won't Fit Everythings Great but the helmet is very narrow on the side whereas, my head is rounder so the charles owen didn't fit.
    Date published: 2012-08-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing helmet! I absolutely love my Charles Owen AYR8 helmet. It fits me perfectly and doesn't "suffocate" my head like some others have in the past. I can fit all of thick long hair into it without it being too tight, and it is so comfortable. I have only had it for a couple of weeks so I cannot attest to its durability quite yet but I have heard from other riders that it is very durable! I would recommend this helmet to everyone who is searching for one. It is amazing!
    Date published: 2012-08-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Helmet! This helmet is great! I love the easy to snap harness and it is much better ventilated than the GR8 helmet. It is comfy and looks very nice in the ring.
    Date published: 2012-08-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this helmet! It fits perfectly and looks great. What more could you ask? After a long hiatus from riding, I had to replace my old velvet covered helmet, which had attained that lovely ancient-looking purple sheen and probably did not meet any kind of safety standards. I measured my noggin and used the size chart to determine my helmet size, ordered it, and have been a happy camper (or rider) ever since. The price is on the high side, but I consider premium comfort and safety to be worth it.
    Date published: 2012-08-14
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quality Helmet As expected, very nice quality. The rounded shape/narrow visor combination of the helmet makes it look larger on my head than some others. I am returning it because it is not shaped inside to fit my long oval head as well as other helmets (it's a bit loose on the sides, and too tight in front on my forehead).
    Date published: 2012-08-04
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best fit ever I have always owned IRH helmets and have never felt the "perfect fit" until this one!!! I love it! The fit and style is comfortable, cool, and looks great.
    Date published: 2012-07-28
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow!! What an incredible helmet. AMAZINGLY comfortable, impeccable quality, and just a joy to have on my head. After buying it, my barn friends started teasing me because I started wearing it everywhere! I would literally forget it was on my head it was that comfy. I've tried nearly every brand of helmet and Charles Owen always trumps them all. I also have the JR8 for schooling, which is also really nice for the price, but my AYR8 is, so far, the very best investment I've ever made.
    Date published: 2012-07-28
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love it :) I love this helmet! It was a perfect fit and keeps good air flow. I used to take my helmet off to sweaty hair, now my hair is dry as can be.
    Date published: 2012-07-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Soooo comfy! I upgraded to the AYR8 from an IRH due to fit issues; my old helmet put so much pressure on my forehead that my skin would start peeling! Many of the online reviews I read said that the Charles Owens are good for a long oval head so I decided to go for it. I could tell an immediate difference in the fit as soon as I put it on my head; I wore it around the house the first day for a few hours and it was so comfortable...and no forehead dents!!! My only complaint is that I wish Charles Owen would make a painted surface helmet like the GPA's - the fabric tends to collect dust and is easily scuffed and difficult to keep clean. Overall, though, proper fit and comfort is way more important to me. My trainer did compliment me on how it looks on my head, too! :-)
    Date published: 2012-07-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Purchase Ever!! LOVE the AYR8 Design and Features!! Had the GR8 for years and decided to upgrade. Well worth the money! Love how much cooler I stay because of the vents compared to my GR8!
    Date published: 2012-07-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Helmet I love the look and fit on this helmet! Great, very safe helmet, that looks fantastic in the ring at home, or in the A-Circuit show ring! The vents in the top keep your head very cool on the hot summer days too!
    Date published: 2012-07-03
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Comfortable and fits oval heads best Bought this because my old helmet really was too big. I love how it really hugs my head and feels very secure. My trainer even noticed I got a new helmet and she really liked the look. I got it in black and silver. The brim is small and the helmet is light you don't really notice it once it's on, which is really nice. The interior dries quickly even after an hour lesson in 95 degree heat. I can't comment on durability as I have only had it a month but it seems like it will hold up well. The padded neck cradle with the lacing makes it easy to adjust the helmet even when you cut your hair shorter. I didn't have any fit issues after cutting my very long ponytail shorter for the summer and I ALWAYS wear my ponytail tucked up in my helmet.
    Date published: 2012-07-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Favorite Helmet I have worn numerous helmets from different Charles Owens to GPAs in the last 10 years. This helmet fits me the best and looks great in the show ring. The cut is the most flattering of all the Charles Owens. The fit is the best of all the helmets I've bought in recent years.
    Date published: 2012-07-01
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not as nice as it used to be I was disappointed when I received my new Charles Owen AYR8. It did not come with all of the covers and backpack that the last one came with, and the snap under the chin is not as nice. Looks like they are cutting costs.
    Date published: 2012-07-01
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cool, comfortable, and a perfect fit I'm so glad SmartPak had a video of the president of Charles Owen demonstrating how to measure for and check the fit of a helmet! And I'm also loving SmartPak's Zappos-like shipping policy. I measured, found I was between 2 sizes, and went ahead and ordered both and returned (with their free shipping label) the one that didn't fit. In all my years of riding, I think this is the best-fitting helmet I've ever owned.
    Date published: 2012-06-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love the color When I had to replace my helmet, I switched from a GPA helmet to the Charles Owen helmet because I really liked the navy color. I wanted my helmet to stand out from the others at the barn. It fits as well as the GPA and is lighter in weight, making it very comfortable. I hope I don't find out about durability!
    Date published: 2012-06-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome helmet Great fit, very comfortable. Also own a GR8 so this will be the hot weather showing helmet. I have had several Charles Owens helmets over the years, and they fit the best.
    Date published: 2012-06-19
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE this helmet Just got this helmet during the 20% off sale, and I LOVE the way it fits! I have a more oval shaped head, and this helmet fits nicely from front to back as well as side to side. It's a LOT less bulky than my IRH ATH and looksvery nice too. I tried on the GR8 as well, and this seemed to come down a little lower all the way around my head than the GR8. This helmet is lightweight too, at least compared to my ATH. The downside is that it's so expensive.
    Date published: 2012-06-18
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love my AYR8 This is such a comfy and sharp looking helmet... I just love it. Mine broke in an accident a couple of weeks ago and I was thrilled with the Charles Owen replacement policy. There initially were some issues with return and replacement that SmartPak said was on the Charles Owen end due to some changes in policy, but the turnaround once I got my helmet in the mail was amazing. My only wish for this helmet would be a removable or replaceable liner.
    Date published: 2012-06-10
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Must work for some.. but not for me! Squeezed the heck of our my head (forehead and back of head). Must not be oval enough for us oval-headed-gals! Went with IRH Elite Xtreme instead which is fabulous.
    Date published: 2012-05-23
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I ended my helmet search with the Charles Owen AYR8. This helmet has the classic hunter look I want, but is still super breathable and flattering. I never had a problem with my GPA, but this helmet is noticeably better fitting and more comfortable and secure feeling. I have received tons of compliments on how it looks. Very happy with this helmet!
    Date published: 2012-05-18
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