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Tried and Tested: The Champion Ventair

Screen shot 2014-08-22 at 09.37.42Before I tried the Ventair, I wasn’t a true believer in vented hats, having ridden in non-vented for decades. However, I am now a total convert, and can’t imagine riding in anything else. Keeping a cool head is, literally not just figuratively, a HUGE deal when riding. I love that I can keep my cool: I ride for a full hour in this and only have a very slightly sweaty head, and avoid the dreaded ‘hat hair’, whereas before I sometimes did my own voluntary Ice Bucket Challenge after riding.

I am very fussy about my riding headwear, and top of my priorities is that a hat absolutely must be PAS as well as BS EN approved, so, the highest testing levels possible – this one ticks both boxes.

Screen shot 2014-08-26 at 12.13.16It also has to be lightweight, not bulky, available in Navy (all my jackets are Navy, so this is non-negotiable!) aesthetically pleasing, and feel really secure. I can’t stand the feel of hats that don’t come low enough at the back, and feel perched on my head, as some designs do.

Also, it mustn’t be too tight, but also it must not ever move once it is on. Hats that tip forward when you land over a fence – and I have seen this happen to all levels of riders, when competing – are distracting and could be dangerous. The last thing anyone needs to worry about, on the way to the next fence, is the fact that their hat just hit the bridge of their nose, and that they need to shove it back up and try to cram it down more firmly, if possible!

Again, the Ventair meets all my requirements. It was professionally fitted, and felt quite snug initially, but now it is very comfortable. The harness is soft and doesn’t loosen itself (unlike some makes, a hugely irritating problem.)

I would really recommend this particular hat to anyone. It is a real find, and in fact I am so smitten with it that I am moving away from HS1 crash skulls (which my last 4 have been) and going for the Ventair Deluxe helmet instead, for XC riding. I am a Champion convert!

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