Shred Ready Standard Full Cut and Standard Full Face Helmet
Size: One size – with padding to adjust for S, M, and L
Standard Full Cut: Black Gold Carbon & Kevlar shell
Standard Full Face: ABS injection-molded shell
Multi-Impact Molded EPP Liner
HOG2.0 Lock Retention System – fits behind nape of neck for secure, custom fit
ABS injection molded ear covers
Interchangeable compression molded closed-cell foam fitting pads with super plush material that hooks to liner
Soft nylon webbing
Stainless steel rivets and burrs to stop corrosion
Duraflex fasteners, adjusters, and stops
Four-point retention system
MSRP: Standard Full Cut Carbon – $199.00. Non-Carbon Full Cut – $69.95
MSRP: Standard Full Face – $115.00
Number of Days Tested: 30+ each
I would argue that paddlers are at a higher risk of hitting our heads than most other outdoor recreators.
We all flip flopped all over the place when learning to paddle, and almost certainly bumped our noggin in the process. And even as we get better, we are bound to flip a few more times, bringing our heads closer to—and perhaps in contact with—the typically rocky river bottoms that create the rapids we love.
Furthermore, unlike the ski slopes and rock faces of this world where helmets are often but not always seen, I don’t recall ever seeing a kayaker without a helmet. They’re indispensable in our world.
The Shred Ready Standard is a reliable, comfortable, helmet at a very reasonable price. It also allows for a very customizable fit, making it a candidate for a variety of head shapes and sizes.
In short, these are an excellent value, as comparable full-protection helmets are a lot more expensive.
Shred Ready Standard Full Cut and Shred Ready Standard Full Face
I am going to discuss two different versions of the Shred Ready Standard: the Standard Full Cut and the Standard Full Face. Each of these has the same basic helmet upper, one with over-the-ear coverage, the other with full-face coverage.
The “ABS injection-molded shell” refers to the outer shell of the helmet that is made from Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene plastic, which has been injected in liquid form into a mold that’s the shape of the helmet’s exterior. When cooled and hardened, the ABS plastic (used in my Full Face model) is meant to be strong and flexible.
The Carbon and Kevlar shell (used in my Full Cut model) is designed to be very strong and lightweight. The combination of the two materials (kevlar is very strong and rigid, while carbon is very strong and flexible) makes for a very sturdy shell. Both versions have the option of carbon/kevlar or plastic shell.
Fitting snugly within these shells, the Multi-Impact molded EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) liner is designed to absorb the impact of a hit, sparing your head from taking it.
The closed-cell foam is designed to be able to take multiple impacts and maintain its structural integrity and flexibility, and it has done so for me after several hits. That said, I have fortunately yet to suffer a serious head impact. If I ever do, I will definitely retire the impacted helmet, and so should you.
I point out the snug fit of the foam within the shell because I have also used the Shred Ready Super Scrappy, and the thinner, concave piece of foam that fits inside the helmet totally separated from the shell, sending the helmet into retirement after about three years / ~30-50 days per season of use.
In the Super Scrappy, the foam liner was slightly more concave than the shell, so there was not a flush interface between the liner and the shell, which led to the separation. The Standard’s interface between the foam and shell is smoother; there is no play, so the liner isn’t being pushed and pulled every time I put the helmet on and take it off, and the foam seems less likely to separate.
The EPP liner also floats, so should you happen to find your helmet in the river rather than on your head, don’t fret. I have, in fact, rescued one of these helmets that had fallen out of a raft—they float high fortunately.
The foam has a soft synthetic liner, with gaps that allow water to escape through the four small drain openings – there is one 1-inch slit above the forehead, and another slit and two holes in back.
Both the Full Face and the Full Cut have just enough of a brim to keep some sun out of your eyes without catching any water when you’re upside down, which was an issue I had with an older Sweet Protection Strutter.
Both the Standard Full Face and Full Cut helmets fit me very well, and can be adjusted in a multitude of ways to accommodate various head sizes and shapes. (By comparison, I could never get the Shred Ready Super Scrappy to fit me very comfortably, or get it to stay in place.)
While not as sleek and low profile as the Super Scrappy, I prefer the Standard’s fit, since it comes farther down my forehead and the back of my head. The Super Scrappy seemed to sit on top of my head rather than wrap around it, and as a result, neither the Standard Full Face nor the Full Cut move around as much as the Super Scrappy did. (A friend of mine who has a smaller head than me has also used both the Standard and the Super Scrappy, and she agrees.)
The Standard comes in just one shell size, but it also comes with six different pads that you can slip into a mesh pocket that runs around the circumference of the helmet to customize your size.
(This is similar to the WRSI Current helmet (79.99) that has its own system of interchangeable pads, which I find a bit more complicated than the Standard system, as the WRSI uses a number of different shapes of pads.)
Each of the Standard’s pads varies in thickness, from small to large, with a pad in each size for the front and the back. Shred Ready provides velcro stickies to secure the padding in the mesh pocket, but I have found that they lose their stickiness over time. In my Standard Full Cut, the mesh pockets still held the pads in place just fine, but I did opt to glue the pads into the Standard Full Face to keep them secure.
I have found that the Standard’s mesh pocket will sometimes rub against my forehead (it’s more of an issue for me in the Full Face than the Full Cut) and after a full day on the water, it is pretty uncomfortable. However, the issue is easily solved by wearing a thin skull cap or hat.
After customizing the fit of the Full Face and the Full Cut with the pads, both helmets fit snuggly on my head, even when unbuckled and I give them a good shake. In my opinion, that signifies a proper fit.