We’ve all been there: you’re half an hour into a ride on a beautiful sunny day when you realise your cheeks are just a little bit too warm, and it dawns on you that no amount of sunscreen is going to stop them burning before you make it back to the stables.
*insert Matrix scene here*
What if I told you there was another way?
What if I told you there was a product out there that could mean you never ride home sunburnt again?
Enter the helmet visor! Far superior to the narrow brims that many helmets come with, helmet visors are the be-all and end-all when it comes to protecting your complexion. And let’s face it: sunburn isn’t just an inconvenience; it’s a health risk. If you’re riding in a country or season that sees a lot of sun – or riding at high altitudes – we highly recommend investing in one of these nifty, detachable visors. They also double as makeshift sunglasses, reducing glare without the hassle of putting your sunnies on.
Here are three options that promise to protect your skin, fit over any helmet, and stay in place no matter how wild your ride.
Our favourite is the Equivisor Helmet Brim, modelled above by globetrotter Verna Lin with help from her trusty steed, Dylan, on the Glenorchy Back Country Ride. This is a cotton visor that can also be worn without the helmet when you’re out of the saddle. It has a patented gripper system to keep it securely in place, won’t obstruct your peripheral vision and can be washed if needed. Bonus: it’s pretty stylish! You can buy it in Australia here and internationally here.
For even more protection, we recommend Da Brim Equestrian Endurance Brim, which has a circular brim that wraps all the way around. It’s made of water resistant materials, so it also offers rain protection; it has a reinforced brim edge for extra stability; it can be hand washed; and it comes in two sizes to ensure you get the right fit. In Australia it’s stocked by a specialist endurance tack shop, so you know it’s the pick of the bunch. And here’s an international stockist.
And for the super stylish globetrotter, there’s the Soless H-Visor, which combines fashion and practicality in a translucent brim. This ensures that your vision isn’t compromised, while underneath the brim you’re still getting 92% UV protection – better than most cotton visors! Made from polycarbonate film, it’s waterproof, lightweight and secure. Australian globetrotters can get it here, and international globetrotters can shop here.
Oh – and if you’re a keen DIY-er, we’ve also found an amazing guide to making your own ‘Hellhat‘! Is it a helmet? Is it a hat? Turns out it’s both! Check it out on Facebook, or here if you’re not a social media fan. Sheryl Germany rocked one of these on her Glenorchy Back Country Ride, which you can read all about in her blog post.