There has always been an age long debate on helmets, their rating, and their safety.
SNELL, DOT, ECE, ISI – What are these?
SNELL, DOT, ECE, ISI are all safety standards and ratings for helmets. But what’s the difference?
Standards differ in many ways from country to country and for different applications. There are also notable differences in the enforcement of safety standards. In some countries, standards compliance is overseen and controlled by government agencies. In others, compliance is left up to the manufacturer, or distributor of the products.
“Left up to the manufacturers”!?
Yes, many manufacturers have their own safety standards that are below the common standards. DOT did it from the very beginning. But someone realized that chin bars and helmets matter and rectified it in between the late 80’s and the late 90’s. DOT, ECE, SNELL are globally accepted but what about ISI? ISI has very poor standards and is actually very poor in terms of safety. In fact, they chose the places on the helmet that must be tested. Meaning the helmets were strong in one place and weak everywhere else.
DOT AND ECE
Just in case if you were thinking what DOT and ECE mean, DOT stands for Department Of Transportation and ECE stands for Economic Commission of Europe. The helmets with these safety standards are expensive but worth every penny.
The build quality on each helmet is pretty good except for the ISI, it literally is horrible and below the normal safety standards. ISI helmets are “Flimsy”, they cannot withstand high impacts and ISI helmets are covered with Styrofoam or thermacol as one would call it, while the others are lined with EPS.
Any helmet may feel sturdy but a small accident will point out the weakest link in your helmet which can lead to grave disasters.
It would be wise to invest in a really good helmet, think of it as a one-time investment, after all, it’s your life on the line.