SA2020 Helmets

Is this sticker under the liner inside your helmet?

SNELL introduces new helmet ratings every five years.  When the SA2020 standard helmets are allowed to be sold according to the SNELL foundation guidelines (October 1, 2020), most sanctioning bodies will start phasing out the use of SA10 helmets.  For those that will be interested in getting one of the new SA2020 rated helmets, availability from manufacturers will most likely begin in October 1, 2020 and be phased in throughout 2021.   We highly recommend getting your new SA2020 helmet on order sooner rather than later to avoid possible delays.  New SA2020 helmet models should be introduced sometime in 2020 so stay tuned for new model updates.

What happens if I am scheduled for a DE or race and my helmet is expired and I have a new helmet on backorder but will not have it in time?  During the last three rounds of helmet ratings (SA2005, 2010, 2015), many manufacturers were behind in product availability and most organizations (PCA, SCCA, NASA, etc) allowed the use of expired helmets into the new rating year for a certain period.  We do recommend contacting the registrar for the event you plan to attend and confirm if they will accept an expired helmet (they usually will as they do not want to lose registration customers …but they do have to follow their organization’s rules too).

Typically manufacturers recommend a helmet life of five years and many customers actually wear out their helmets before they expire.

Not sure of sizing?  Click here to view size charts.


So it’s 2020…. where are the 2020 helmets?

The Snell Memorial Foundation sets a strict calendar for the testing, manufacture, and rollout of helmets certified to each 5-year SA standard. Snell SA-rated helmets are NEVER available before the year of the SA standard. To ensure a level playing field, Snell typically does not allow sales of the new helmets until the fall of the year of the SA standard. SA2020 is no exception.

When will SA2020 helmets be available?

The final Snell SA2020 standard has been published, and manufacturers began submitting their 2020 helmets for testing in the summer of 2019. But Snell will not even release the SA2020 decals to manufacturers until April 2020.  Snell will not allow manufacturers to advertise or sell their SA2020 approved helmets until October 1, 2020. If you need a new SA-rated helmet for the 2020 racing season, you will need to buy an SA2015 helmet.  We WILL take a pre-order for an SA2020 helmet and confirm availability and cost to you once determined by the manufacturer.  Pre-ordering gets you in line for a helmet.  As helmet inventory starts to trickle in with the manufacturers, they ship backorders in the order received so best to get in line sooner rather than later.

How long will an SA2015 helmet be valid?

The SA2015 standard will still be current for most racing organizations. Snell recommends that SA15-approved helmets in good condition should still be accepted (at least until the end of their recommended 5-year lifespan).

Unfortunately, most racing organizations have not announced their changeover plans yet, so it is impossible to give a solid answer. Right now, we can only point to history and precedent.

In previous years, PCA, NASA, BMW Club, SCCA have accepted the current SA standard plus the previous standard (for 2019, that means SA15 and SA10). In the past, the rule has usually been updated to take effect after helmets with the newest standard have been available for one full year. For example, for the SA15 changeover, SA05 helmets were accepted until the beginning of 2017 (SA15 helmets went on sale in October 2015). If the SA20 and SA25 changeovers follow the same schedule, SA10 helmets would be accepted through 2021 and SA15 helmets should be accepted until the end of 2026.

Even the best materials degrade over time, and the high-performance, lightweight materials in your helmet are no exception. Sunlight, ozone, perspiration, and even everyday bumps and knocks all take their toll on the shell and the inner liner. Snell recommends helmet replacement after 5 years of use, or immediately after any incident. Remember, the consequences of auto racing incidents can be violent and permanent. Only use safety equipment that is in top condition. When in doubt, replace it.

Note that every racing organization is different.  Please check your rulebook.

NOTE: SCCA has decided that SA2010 helmets will be accepted through the 2021 racing season. This further strengthens our belief that SA15 helmets may be accepted until the end of 2026.

How is the Snell SA2020 standard different from the SA2015 standard?

SA2020 is very much an incremental change from SA2015. The primary aim was to bring the impact testing even more in line with FIA 8859-2015 requirements. All criteria will now be the same as or more stringent than FIA requirements. Note that Snell SA2020 certification does not automatically grant FIA homologation! A helmet which passes Snell SA2020 tests will theoretically pass FIA tests, but the helmet manufacturer must submit the helmet to the FIA in order to receive FIA homologation.

If you have any questions on helmets (life of use, fit, availability, etc), feel free to contact us.

SA2020 Availability Dates

Below is a list of manufacturers and when they estimate SA2020 helmets will be available (no sooner than October 1, 2020 per SNELL rules):

BELL End of 2020
Gforce October 2020
ROUX October 2020
Stilo October 2020
Zamp TBD