There are a few helmet manufacturers out there that claim that their helmets "Meet", "Have met" or "Exceed" the Snell Memorial Foundation's Standards. It is important to know the facts about some of these claims.

Only Snell can determine if a helmet meets the Snell Standards. This is because the Snell Standards are more than just a testing requirement. The manufacturer must comply with requirements for supplying specific product and production information which relates directly to the Snell serialized decal that each certified helmet MUST contain. The standard also requires that the manufacturer submit to random testing for each certified model.

Helmets that claim to "have met" the Snell Standards, even if they truly were certified at one time, may not meet the standards any longer. If they no longer participate in the Snell certification program, these helmets DO NOT have the confidence of the Foundation. The same is true for helmets claiming to "exceed" the Snell Standards. As mentioned before, only Snell by nature of the certification program can determine compliance to the Snell Standards.

A helmet is considered Snell certified, only if the following conditions are met:

  • The helmet model must have been tested and granted certification by the Snell Memorial Foundation to one of the Foundation's standards for Protective Headgear.
  • The manufacturer of the helmet must have a valid licensing agreement with the Foundation allowing them to claim Snell certification, and the helmet model must be on our certification lists.
  • Each certified helmet must contain a Snell serialized decal that denotes the proper standard for the type of application.
  • The helmet model must be available in the marketplace for testing in our Random Sample Testing program, and remain in good standing with respect to its certification. (It has to keep on meeting the requirements of the standard.)

Previous Standards:

Snell examines, revises, updates and republishes many of its standards about every five years. Once a new standard is published the previous one becomes inactive. That is, The Foundation no longer performs certifications or distributes serialized decals for that standard. For example; the M-95 standard became inactive upon the release of M2000. Snell does however continue to obtain these helmets from the marketplace to test to make sure the helmets people are buying continue to meet the standard. We also still support claims of certification to previous standards if:

  • The helmet had previously been tested and certified to that standard.
  • The helmet contains a valid, serialized certification decal issued by Snell.
  • The helmet was manufactured prior to the date the standard was declared inactive.
  • The helmet and the helmet manufacturer remain in good standing with respect to its performance to the Snell standard.

The Snell Standards are not just the toughest testing and performance requirements in the world. They are complete certification programs designed not only to check if a certified helmet model can pass once, but if it can pass again and again. Don't be fooled by false claims. To be certain that your helmet is certified by Snell, make sure it meets all of the above requirements. If it doesn't or your not sure, contact us.