10 Best Hard Hats: Get the Best Protection Onsite in 2021 [Updated]

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In a Hurry? Check Our Top 3 Picks!

  1. Bullard 62DGR Hard Hat
  2. Pyramex Ridgeline Hard Hat
  3. MSA 10079479 V-Gard Hard Hat

Working in a construction site? What about in a fire-hazard environment? It ain’t easy right? Certainly, life is always thrown at a narrow line. Accidents. All bloody painful one of them can cost you your life. Fortunately, the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is one with the government requiring hard hats in the work field. As a result, the industry has been yielding the best hard hats ever known. 

Working on a construction site? What about in a fire-hazard environment? It ain’t easy right? Certainly, life is always thrown at a narrow line. Accidents. All bloody painful one of them can cost you your life. As a result, the industry has been yielding the best hard hats ever known. 

Recently there have been many cases of non-eligible hard hats entering the market and it has become very difficult to identify them apart. Hard Hats aren’t something we buy on a daily need basis and therefore it is quite tricky to find the best and safest hard hats.

Though there’s nothing to worry about as we have made a list of the best hard hats in the market to make your job easy.

How to Know Which Hard Hat is the Best?

As we discussed earlier, we don’t go and buy hard hats as we buy groceries. We need to keep a few things in mind so that we get the ideal hard hat for our safety.

1. Certification 

Always look for hard hats that are approved by ANSI or ISEA. Hard hats are segregated in various classes according to their designated use, you should make sure you get the right certified hat according to your needs.

2. Material

Go for materials that have good protection standards and still are lightweight and comfortable to wear for a long time. Polycarbonate and Aluminum are recommended.

Quick Summary

Here’s a quick review of our list of 10 Best Hard Hats. This list contains a brief overview of the contents of our list. We have mentioned a few top picks based on their attributes. We have not mentioned every best hard hat in this overview, so don’t forget to go through our complete list of Best Hard Hats to find the best hat for yourself.

  • The Bullard 62DGR has kept things simple with its hard hat. They have not added any fancy accessories on the hat that would make it difficult for users. Bullard focuses completely on its protective outer shell and the suspension inside.
  • Hard hats from MSA have made a mark in the market with their versatile designs. MSA hats feature five times on our list among which the MSA 10079479 V-Gard stands tall due to its superior protective features.
  • Pyramex is another brand that features twice on our list due to its advanced design and modifications which comes at a very affordable price. The Pyramex Ridgeline is a hard hat to look out for if you want to try something unique.
  • If you are looking for a hard hat that provides great comfort but does not compromise with the protection standards, then Lift Safety HDF is a genuine option for you.

Here is the List of Best Hard Hats in the Market

ProductMaterialWeightButton
Bullard 62DGR Hard HatPolyethylene13.62 OuncesCheck Price on Amazon
Pyramex Ridgeline Hard HatPolymer 13.2 OuncesCheck Price on Amazon
MSA 10079479 V-Gard Hard HatPolyethylene12.8 OuncesCheck Price on Amazon
Fiberglass Hard HatPlastic18.72 OuncesCheck Price on Amazon
Pyramex Hard HatPolyethylene 13.9 OuncesCheck Price on Amazon
Lift Safety HDF Hard HatFiber16 OuncesCheck Price on Amazon
MSA Tan Skullgard Hard HatPhenolic Resin4 OuncesCheck Price on Amazon
Fibre-Metal Hard HatFiber Metal3.2 OuncesCheck Price on Amazon
MSA 458702 Hard HatPhenolic Resin12.8 OuncesCheck Price on Amazon
MSA 475407 Hard HatPhenolic Resin12.6 OuncesCheck Price on Amazon

Top 10 Best Hard Hat Reviewed

1. Bullard 62DGR Hard Hat

A leader of hard hats in 2021, this “Top Pick” item by Bullard is everything one can ask from any protective hat. 

“The technology of the hard hat really hasn’t changed so dramatically in 100 years,” said Wells Bullard, CEO of Bullard. “There’s a suspension and there’s a shell.”

I’ve seen and felt it all, from its straps to its frame; it doesn’t truly disappoint. Many lives have been saved by this hard hat by Bullard. As far as actual reports are concerned, it actually accounts for more than 200 reports in 2020 alone. Certainly, before the year ends, it’ll highlight with one more chapter, a chapter of decreased mortality rates in the construction area. 

Despite the package’s failure to include instruction manuals on how to wear its straps, wearers are nevertheless satisfied by it. Most of their satisfactions have to do with ease and speedy strap-on mechanisms. This advantage alone makes the product a worthy item to buy and include in anyone’s construction kit.

For me, it’s not a typical hardhat. One can surely see and feel that it’s made from expensive materials. As a takeaway, in this case, it’s highly adjustable. You can further thank its horizontal and vertical height adjustments for that. Ultimately, one of the truest testaments to its superiority is its 4-point suspension mechanism. 

What are the 4-point suspended mechanisms? What does it do? Well, the 4-point suspension is a basic mechanism. However, not all hard hat manufacturers include this in their products, because it’s a complex mechanism to integrate. Thankfully, it appears to be fully functional in this product. So, it’s got to be exciting!

In conclusion, I consider ranking this hard hat item from Bullard as a top pick, not because it’s perfect, but because it’s continuously improving. Made from high-end materials and processed by sophisticated technology, this hard hat is a general life-saver.; it is by the essence, an actual hard hat. 

Pros

  • Highly durable material that serves your safety for a long time.
  • ¾ Inch wide nylon crown straps that hold the head still and avoid unexpected jerks.
  • 4-Point suspension that gives a 360 shock absorption.
  • Front & rear vertical heights adjustment that makes it easy to fit for everyone.

Cons

  • The lack of an instruction manual makes it difficult to understand the functioning of the hat for beginners.

Why choose it?

  • This “top pick” and most comfortable hard hat item has truly saved many lives in the workforce; it is also overwhelmingly comfortable to wear!

2. Pyramex Ridgeline Hard Hat

Bagging our “Best Value” nomination, this light, simple, and versatile hard hat from Pyramex Safety protects the head with a perfect fit-in range. It ranks high on our best hard hats list! 

Adjustable and modifiable, its fit is regarded by many to be versatile. Meaning, fitting it to varied head shapes and sizes proves easiest. Ensuring the uninterrupted fit, its predominantly crafted ridgeline allows for quick adjustments. 

Adjusting the hat mid-air is a risky thing to do. However, this hard hat’s updated ridgeline, full-brim allowance, 4-point suspension mechanism, and replaceable brow pad (in case of damage) guarantees the opposite. Consequently, Pyramex Safety has had fully established a brand reputation for decades now. 

One of the glorious updates in the brand’s product is the material. Tagged with an ABS origin, its material also fulfills an eco-friendly standard. As a result, many buyers endorse it as a top-notch safety tool. Ultimately, the buyers were also quick to note its ultra-solid fiber layer.

The fibered interiors and thick shells of 0.07- 0.16 inches respectively saved lives through the years. Many users have testified over its ultra-soft padding. It is rightly soft in a way that it does not constrict the head upon impact. 

The product is loved by users because of the multiple color options available. Many people also shared pictures of their customized Ridgeline hard hat on various social media platforms.

Simple. Low-profile. Solid and tough. Customized fit. This “best value” hard hat is a crafty and beautiful item to behold, from its design to its straps. Bearing just the right head shape fit, it just feels right on the head. Pyramex is also known to upgrade their technology with every new product, therefore you can expect a long relationship with the brand.

Pros

  • Light, simple & versatile which feels extremely comfortable on your head.
  • Fits perfectly on various helmet shapes and sizes with ease.
  • 4-Point suspension technology provides a cushion to your head from all sides.
  • Replaceable brow pad in case of any wear and tear.

Cons

  • Weak resistance to heat makes it a bad choice under the sun.

Why choose it?

  • Pyramex Safety’s low-profile but cool hard hat is a trustworthy safety aid with a perfect-fitting design!

3. MSA 10079479 V-Gard Hard Hat

Spontaneously creative, expressive, and versatile, this top hard hat from the MSA brand challenges the concepts of how the best hard hats are worn. 

A large number of reviewers recommend and consider this hard hat as the most trusted protective gear. They are right to lay their trust in this one because it actually holds world-renowned safety standards. Both its brim and hat design are made subtly for adjustments in the middle of work. Perhaps, its most notable feature is the quick-wear capacity. 

Made and assembled in the US, this product underwent several testing agencies. Among these stands the ANSI/ISEA standard. The most prominent testing agency in the country, the ANSI/ISEA makes sure that the hard hat is actually hard on the outside, but soft on the inside. 

The hard hat comes in a special American Bald Eagle design that has won the hearts of many customers. This design surely gives the hat a unique edge over its competitors.

Complete and successfully installed off the 4-point suspensions, its inner holding doesn’t move and slide around despite loss of grip. Instead, its grasping force is exerted only on the side, just under the ratchet ridges. Given its ratchet suspension degree, it can actually stay on the head despite tilting. 

Mixing polyethylene with fiber, its manufacturer eyed its shell to absorb and release impact upon engagement. While experts refer to this specific feature as impact-absorption, the product still manages to elevate such a feature more uniquely. As a result, the shell not only absorbs and releases impact force, it also drags the momentum of the force with its layered ridges. 

According to several product ranking records in 2020 alone, this top hard hat from MSA stands out with its unsurpassed comfort and fit. Users also note its customizable strap placement, color selection (see package options), and unmistakable V-Gard design pattern. All in all, the product is a neat, comfortable, and perfect fit for all forehead shapes and lengths. 

Pros

  • ANSI and ISEA approval makes it a very trusted brand in the market.
  • Effective 4- point suspension that gives complete protection to your head and suspends the chances of jerks.
  • Impact-absorbing layered ridges act as good shock absorbers,
  • Highly comfortable fitting that does not feel too tight or loose.

Cons

  • Loosely-sized harness tabs need to be adjusted now and then.

Why choose it?

  • Beautifully and subtly designed, this best construction hard hat by MSA proves best to wear on extra-challenging constructions and other actions.

4. Fiberglass Hard Hat

Nothing spells comfort better than this hard hat from the best hard hats list. From a quick-adjusting design down to impressive breathability, it still manages to stay true to its form and shielding function. 

Outside its famed fiberglass material action, this top hard hat by its brand alone already earns accolades from advocates and regular buyers. Thanks to its well-established brand called True, it has become many people’s personal favorite. But, what’s really in it that turns buyers in? The way in to find out. 

Slim. Yet solid, durable, and impact-absorbent. This hard hat bears outstanding design. Made for both comfortable and safe fit, the shape and ridge-lining consummate idealized breathability. Fortunately, it fares well in its attempt, figuring up to a 100% efficiency rate!

Designed and angled to a spectacular degree, it does not simply suspend without direct control. How spectacular? To an air-flow level, that’s how. Unlike regular hard hats, it doesn’t get heavy in the head; it also bears the least chance of falling and slipping. Further supported by an added 4-point suspenders placement, it keeps the head from drooping. 

Other reviewers also cannot get enough from its beautiful design. Intricate. Well-colored. Glossy finish. Compact. It is in fact so beautifully and discreetly designed, that construction workers even wear it outside casually, at least on the streets. 

Its other great feature, as is proven genuine by reviewers, showcases an efficient rain-resisting full brim design. Armed with balanced ridges, the full brim also enables quick adjustments. 

Pros

  • Well-established & trusted brand reputation with ANSI certification.
  • A comfortable & safe fit makes it easier to wear this hat for a long time without any irritation.
  • Highly breathable material that wicks moisture easily and keeps your head dry and comfortable.
  • The hat provides resistance to rain and splashes of water.
  • Beautiful design, which looks simple yet very sleek and elegant.

Cons

  • There were possible internal cracks reported in some products.

Why choose it?

  • Certainly one of the best hard hats on the market, the True brand proves most useful in highly active working conditions. Also an eye-candy, the hard is comfortable and breathable to wear!

5. Pyramex Hard Hat

Another full-brim yet light industrial hard hat from the best hard hats list, this Pyramex Safety product is many things similar to its previous model– also a perfect fit, comfortable, easy-adjusting, etc.– except that it’s ratchet, rather than ridgeline-suspended. 

Not to say that it’s better than its predecessor, the hard hat’s ratchet suspension mechanism saves more strapping energy than usual. It is important to note that both mechanisms serve their own purpose and advantage. In this case, given that an easy-adjustment mid-action is eyed, the ratchet suspension earns the upper hand. 

Reviewers praise it for its high-density polyethylene material, a requisite among top-quality hard hats. Coming from the SL industry series, the hard hats polyethylene material is responsible for making it worthy of protection wear. It is incredibly lightweight, yet strong enough to resist impact. 

Combined with necessarily engineered cotton padding, head grip, and brim turnabout, it impresses with a lightweight design. Experts were also quick to notice that among the SL-processed hard hats, this item from the same brand owns up to the highest number of feature updates per entry. 

Although its optional ridge suspension may not be as impressive as its ratchet counterpart, it still manages to cross standard points for comfort and protection. 

In addition to its 4-point suspenders is a more complex, yet effective snap-lock suspension. While it is supposed to be easy as a picture, it turns out to be complex. Users recommend replacing the locks with an added item shipping. By all means, it would only take a day or two for the additional order to follow through. 

Pros

  • Easy adjustment; ratchet suspension saves a lot of time and effort.
  • High-density polyethylene material that is lightweight as well as provides good safety standards.
  • The snap-lock mechanism ensures that the hard hat stays on your head without much shuffling.

Cons

  • The snap-lock mechanism can be a bit tricky for some users.
  • The hard hat has an awkward tilt towards the back which might feel uncomfortable.

Why choose it?

  • A tool for protection, this lightweight hard hat from Pyramex Safety guarantees high material standard, durability, easy adjustment, and perfect fit.

6. Lift Safety HDF Hard Hat

As basic as it may be, this highly-regarded “neo-classic” hard hat from Lift Safety boasts of a natural resin shell quality, making it stand out from the best hard hats list.

Naturally boosted and positioned to fit all head shapes and sizes, this top hard hat by Lift Safety comes out as a luxury item for most wearers. Apart from its various features, there is one major factor that catapults it to fame. A resin-coated texture. 

What is with such texture then? Well, it does not easily slip and slide from the fingers’ grips. It is most effective when you’re picking it using gloved hands. Consequently, putting on gloves is a protocol in construction sites. Fabric/cotton gloves are the usual type of gloves worn on site. 

Refined with a superior impact-protecting brim grip, it stays in the head in spite of tilting. Some reviewers even recommend it for heavy-motion mechanisms at work. Some of these working conditions involve climbing, transport, channeling, etc. 

Experts also note its comfort dome. Perhaps the closest feature that maximizes the brim grip’s capacity, the comfort dome ensures the least friction and pain on the head. Its sidings are lined up with extra-thick cotton padding. In addition to the comfort, the padding also adds grip to the head base. 

Unlike regular hard hats, this one’s got a perfect cinch fit. Meaning, it does not lose out or snap off in the middle of work– an advantage most favored in construction work. 

Along these features lie the brow pad. While it may not be as comfortable as the dome padding, it still manages to keep a painless grip. Ultimately, it absorbs side impact much as a helmet does. 

Pros

  • Resin-coated finish; fiber-reinforced makes it a lightweight and effective hard hat.
  • Impact-protecting brim grip keeps your head safe from unexpected jerks.
  • The comfort dome in the interior helps in keeping the hat on for a long time.

Cons

  • The helmet is slightly on the heavier side than many other hard hats.
  • It has lower resistance to heat and can be uncomfortable to wear on a hot sunny day.

Why choose it?

  • Bearing a basic and neat design, this dubbed slide-resistant “neoclassical” hard hat provides a crown and sided comfort on the head. Certainly, it ranks highly among the ANSI-approved hard hats.

7. MSA Tan Skullgard Hard Hat

The most expensive hard hat on our list, this “Premium Value” item from MSA promises 100% protection, comfort, and neatness. 

Gearing its focus to heat and pressure-sensitive working environments, construction areas, and most specifically fire-fighting industries, this ultra-protective hard hat bears a Skullgard mark certified original and genuine by experts.

Users are especially fond of the fact that it is ultra-solid, durable, and tough. In addition to that, it’s got a glossy finish that secures the strongest grip possible. By all means, it just feels right on the head. And, thanks to its ANSI-approved material control, it can resist impact with the fullest turnabout. Many users who are local workers still avoid this hat due to the heavy price tag.

Sizing up to a 6 1⁄2″ to 8″ fit, it does not feel awkward on the head. It may slightly wobble at the first adjustment, but it sure won’t slip entirely. Reviewers credit its semi-custom fit for such an advancement. However, it’s got to be more than that. I personally think the pin-lock mechanism proves most responsible for it all. 

Reviewers also praise its swing ratchet feature. While it may not seem that useful, a swing ratchet fulfills more advantages than you think. Besides allowing you to swing the brim front sideways or backward, it provides an automatic allowance for motion. Ultimately, this proves most useful during firefighting events. 

MSA’s claims about its products prove debatable by one: this specific item is topnotch. There’s no denying that. Highly malleable. Powerful heat-resistant. All this is ensured by its Fas-Trac III tag. 

Products that bear this tag exhibit smooth rotation in the brim, anti-snap straps, smooth turning transitions, and perfect fits. So, even if this top hard hat slightly suffers from suspension issues, it still manages to rank up thanks to the tag. 

Pros

  • Ultra-protective skull guard mark which makes it one of the safest hard hats on the list.
  • The fire-resistant qualities of this hat make it an ideal choice for fire-fighters.
  • Glossy and very premium finish of the highest quality.

Cons

  • Users experienced some suspension issues with the helmet after some time in use.
  • It has an outdated harness technology that needs an upgrade.

Why choose it?

  • The best helmet for firefighters, this “Premium Value” hard hat by MSA promises ultimate protection without losing grip on the head. It is one of the favorites from the best hard hats list.

8. Fibre-Metal Hard Hat

Of all the hard hats featured on this list, nothing beats this Honeywell product when it comes to sheer practicality. 

Considered by users and experts as the helmet for all, this full-brim, ultra-light helmet fulfills fit, adjustment, and handling. It may not be the best when it comes to fitting, but it surely comes in handy especially during on-the-go situations. 

A guaranteed heavy-duty fiber-metal injection-molded hard hat, it does not easily crack and dent out. While others complain about its weak breathability, most consider this reasonable. 

The reality of fiberglass is more felt than seen. Fiberglass materials are naturally uncomfortable. There is no better compensation to this than the exclusion of expanded brim, hence its simple and no-nonsense configurations. 

One reviewer even compares it to an existing Skullgard standard and concludes that it appears to be better. It is better in the sense that it is practical. Construction and fire-fighting industries even see the need for the least additions on helmets. 

After all, a helmet is only expected to be fairly low and provide comfort and protection. Above all, the need for protection stands as the ultimate priority. The thing about the Skullgard hat standard is that it tends to produce products with excessive features. 

Now, if you’re looking for an easy and practical fit that still does not fail in protecting the head, then you’ll be pleased by this Honeywell magic. It is short and sweet, by certain standards. It is in fact, too short sometimes, that some believe it is too plain.

Pros

  • Ultralight material makes it a very comfortable option.
  • Heavy-duty material made from best quality fiber metal.
  • Includes terry fabric sweatband which does the job of absorbing excess sweat from your forehead.

Cons

  • One downside of this helmet is that it has limited size options.
  • Many users complained about the poor strap quality on the hat.

Why choose it? 

  • This helmet for all products by Honeywell exhibits the efficiency of fiberglass material in terms of protecting and providing comfort to the head. It stands among the most unforgettable hard hats for small heads.

9. MSA 458702 Hard Hat

Not only is this hard hat impact-absorbent, but it’s also electric shock-absorbent; manufactured with a full Skullgard standard setting, it does not bend out on pressure. 

With high approvals from expert product testers, this product achieves close calls with the previous model featured herein. Being in the industry for decades and more, Skullgard titles always gain the upper advantage. 

Also a powerful heat-resistant, this top hard hat from the best hard hats list is considered by both users and experts as an immediate life-saver! Much like its previous model, it’s best for high-pressure and extremely hot situations. You can have its features: staz-on pin-lock, swing ratchet, and fas-trac iii to thank for that!

But before you can even come into thinking that it’s a major duplicate of the existing helmet series, you’ll be surprised at how it manages to distinguish itself from the rest of the hard hats in the series. The 458702 model impresses with an even stronger shell quality. 

While some users disagree on its class G quality, most are already admitted that it does reserve the right for any class G model. And, as a durable protective gear, it nevertheless provides immediate airflow along with its brim lining. 

Its other unique feature has to do with a shock absorption capacity. By its claim that it can absorb and repel 2,200 volts of electric shock alone, it brings about an entirely professional tag. Personally, I think it’s not 100% true to its claim. Still, it manages to be useful due to its dielectric protection. 

Whatever the case, this rugged Skullgard is a filthy strong, and powerful hard hat. A helmet for high-pressure and hot situations does keep you safe all day long. 

Pros

  • Powerful heat resistance makes it a good option for outdoor construction workers and fire-fighters.
  • Staz-on, pin-lock & fas-trac III features do a great job of holding the hard hat in one place on your head.
  • Stronger shell quality that is classified into class G and therefore they can take strong impacts as well as resist electric shocks.

Cons

  • Excessive extensions on this hard hat make it difficult for users to understand.
  • The hard hat can face color fade on its surface due to heat.

Why choose it?

  • This top product bears the usual Skullgard mark. A Skullgrad mark always boasts of extra-strong helmets for 100% protection in highly-risky working areas! For that, it is found in the cheap hard hats list.

10. MSA 475407 Hard Hat

Another Skulgard masterpiece from the best hard hats list, this top hard hat impresses with a natural tan, hard shell, and impeccable diverting efforts against heat. 

Its ANSI-approved material, premium materials, or super-hard shell may have lent a hand to its eventual success! However, all these features stand pale in comparison to its sophisticated heat-diverting technology. 

Experts even believe that the product’s success is beyond its brand. Many popular hard hat helmets marked with Skullgard don’t exhibit the said intricacy. Emerging somehow as a grand exception, this latest hard hat with the usual Fas-Trac III standard stands as a lone model. 

Its special heat-diverting technology makes use of phenolic fabric that instantaneously absorbs and releases heat. Aiding the mechanism further, the malleable fibered plate retracts overall heat from the surrounding. 

Although the product has much to improve upon, its manufacturers deserve several recognitions for its design. The brimmed quality alone earns it an efficiency no other hard hats can. 

Reviewers note that, unlike its counterparts, it rules with a tighter ratchet swing action. The full-brim quality, reviewers cite, plays a major role in securing such efficiency. 

Intact with poly, fiber, and cotton interiors, it fully protects the head from sudden impacts. Yeah, I know it sounds typical. But when you hear what I have to say next, you’ll be more impressed. It does not only shield one but two impact directions: vertical and horizontal. 

Despite the usual presence of the staz-on pin lock feature, its snap turnabout still manages to fall short by several expectations. Well, let’s just say that the staz-on pin lock isn’t really its strong mark. 

Pros

  • Heat-diverting technology does not let excessive heat build up on the hard hat.
  • Super-hard shell quality that can withstand strong impacts.
  • The hat is approved by ANSI and delivers the highest standard of safety.

Cons

  • The hat has some glued attachments that can come off easily.
  • Low-quality suspensions increase the chances of unanticipated jerks on the head.

Why choose it?

  • Like many Skullgard products, it proves the best helmet for firefighters. Certainly, it’s designed with a unique ability to divert even the hottest of hot exposures.

How to Choose the Best Hard Hat

The hard hat, like many other protective devices, make up PPE (personal protective equipment) in every working area. The protective intent of the hard hat alone deserves it all the attention and scrutiny. You obviously cannot entrust your life to any low-grade helmet, can you?

The thing about choosing the best helmets is that it tends to be easier and more straightforward. It is mostly a basic procedure too. However, because the hard hat’s properties tend to be told-tale, people fail to look further. 

Shopping or selecting an item is different from buying it. A wise buyer knows the difference between the two. Ultimately, a buyer cannot simply choose products for purchase. Meaning, he/she has had to choose the product properly before actually buying it. 

Undoubtedly, hard hats are a tricky tool. You seem to instantly get to know and feel it just by looking at it. However, that is not the real deal here! A more intuitive approach of scrutinizing the hard hat’s basic properties has been idealized by industry/factory experts. 

Now, regardless of you being an experienced buyer or user of the hard hat, do not fail to look into our top qualities that make the best hard hats!

Material Quality

Check out its source materials thoroughly. Inquire if necessary. The best materials you can look for pronounce: polycarbonate plastic, fiber-glass, HDPE (high-density polyethylene), polycarbonate resin, and aluminum. 

These materials guarantee an ultra-light feel on the head; yet, they also ensure solid, compact, and stabilizing feel in contact with impact, heat, and other pressure forces. 

It is also very important for the hard hat not to conduct electricity, but instead absorb the shock. Fortunately, the named material sources enable the hard hat to exhibit the characteristics mentioned above. 

You may also like: Best Rain Suits For Work

Manufacturing Date

It is highly important to scrutinize the hard hat’s manufacturing date because of the issue on working lifespan. An average hard hat survives in a span between 4 to 5 years. Failure in doing so results to unthinkable damage and injury in the future. 

Suspension Mechanism

The suspension, regardless if its a 4, 6 or 8-pointed, has had to be deeply considered before buying the hard hat. 

Besides keeping the hard hat positioned at the right angles, the suspensions nevertheless provide allowance between the crown of the head and the dome of the helmet. Consequently, such allowance ensures that the head does not entirely absorb the impact of fall or force. 

The suspension, usually made of durable materials like nylon or polyester,  also keeps the ratchet from swinging around aimlessly. Believe, you would not want to imagine a hard hat without proper suspensions. 

Fit & Size

Check out and fit in the hard hat. Ask someone to assist you if necessary. Fitting it right before buying it is a basic and practical move. 

Does it feel neutral? By all means, it should not be too tight to cause pains and sores in your head; it should also not be too loosen up that it falls off whenever you tilt your body down and up. 

Some buyers even set the size fit to MSA Tan Skullgard Hard Hat’s standard 6 1⁄2″ to 8″. Albeit that, in itself, proving helpful, you are still supposed to fit the helmet right in. Upon fitting it, determine if its easily-adjustable as manufacturers claim it to be. 

Color

Even before choosing the color, it is important for you to determine the full expectations of your job. Which color-coded system do you belong in your company’s construction site. 

You cannot just choose a color because it’s your favorite. If you do, you’d simply mix things up and cause confusion in your workplace. 

Know the codes. The white hard hat, for example, is assigned to engineers, VIP workers, foremen, architects, etc; black to orange hats are for firefighters; bright yellow hats are for carpenters, operators, masons, etc. 

Certification Standard (Including Types & Classes)

Check out the certification standards. And, by standard we mean types and classes. Type I hard hats are concentrated on giving premium protection on the head, while type II hats are more inclined to provide the head a comfortable fit.

The hard hat classes include class C, E and G. The class C hats are electrical conductor hats that are usually made of aluminum. Hats under this category function to absorb and divert direct impact, force and heat pressure. 

The hats under class E, also known as electric shields, ultimately function to absorb electricity shock from a maximum of 20,000 volts. 

The hats under class G, owing from its initial, are used for their general multifunctionality– impact absorption, heat and electrical shock-absorption. 

However, since these helmets have stretched or distributed properties, they tend to be 20% less effective than the specified ones. 

Another certification guarantee of any hard hat is through an ANSI/ISEA approval stamp.

Hard Hat & How Does it Work
iStockphoto

What is a Hard Hat & How Does it Work?

The first thing you’ll have to consider from the hard hat is that it is similar to a helmet. However, it has more specific functions that differ from that of the helmet. 

The hard hat is intended in working environments with high mortality factors. Specifically, these working environments resemble closely construction sites, mining sites and fire-hazardous environments. 

The hard hat serves to protect the head from blunt forces. These include impacts from falling and recieving a blow in the head. More so, the hard hat also relieves the head from absorbing heat, electrical shock and other pressure forces. 

For a more emphasized understanding of the hard hat, check out our top situations that require hard hat usage:

  • When responding to a burning site
  • When proceeding into any area that deems falling debris, equipment, falling shar/blunt tools, etc. 
  • When proceeding or working in an area with dense electrical wiring
  • When being elevated to any height that results to unprecedented falls
Credit: Roger Wong by flickr

Beyond the Shell: Knowing Your Hard Hat through its Types

The hard hat (or the best hard hats in that matter) would not have existed if it is not as mortally important as it currently is. Considered one of the basic safety products on-site, it easily graces the market in millions. 

Nevertheless, the hard hat does not shy away from variations. For years now, manufacturers saw to it that the hard hat protects the head, the most crucial part of the body, with optimum capacity. And so, the types and/or variants came in order. 

Here are the types of hard hats  recognized in the industry today:

Type I

Type I hard hats are concentrated on giving premium protection on the head. However, despite its inclusive tone, it only focuses on single-direction impacts like falls, strikes, etc. 

Type II

Type II hard hats are more inclined to provide the head a comfortable fit. However, it tends to be more than that because it can actually receive impacts and blows from various directions– vertical, horizontal, lateral, etc. 

More so, hard hats under this category tend to be easily-adjustable because of the large presence of suspension points and slots. 

Type-Classes:

Class C

Hard hats under the class C category are also known as conductor. They have high shielding capacity against impact, but very low on electricity. 

Class E 

The hats under class E (electrical) ultimately function to absorb electricity shock from a maximum of 20,000 volts. These hats are usually made with a fuller shell, fuller brim and a more absorbent fiberglass. 

Class G

Hats under this category are also known as general hard hats. These hats are best known as the best from both worlds (E and C). However, it isn’t as powerful as hats under E because it can only withstand 2, 000 volts of electric power.

Related read: Best Polarized Safety Glasses

Bump Caps & Hard Hats: Drawing the Line in Between

Bump caps and hard hats, despite their similarities, are overtly considered by users and experts as very different protection tools

For one thing, both are determined by the force and/or impact they withstand. Looking into the concept of head injury, two types of forces are immediately thought through: object-generated impact and worker-generated impact. 

Knowing the two types of forces by heart makes you wiser in choosing the right helmet for you. Bump caps, or hard hats?

Object-generated impacts are any blunt forces struck by any external object. It could either be a falling or flying object. 

Worker-generated impacts, on the other hand, usually occur in tight spaces. Opposite to the latter that naturally happens in open spaces like construction sites, this type of impact is caused by the wearer him/herself. 

Meaning, the wearer almost always ends up causing much more expensive property than the other way around. Regardless, this type of type-spaced impact still deems the need for a specialized type of hard hat. 

Therefore, use hard hats in working situations that likely see the occurrence of object-generated impacts; use bump caps in tight/close spaces/situations that confront worker-generated impacts.

FAQ’s:

What is the OSHA standard for hard hats?

The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires hard hats to  meet ANSI Z89.1 standards. Other requirements benchmark Type I and II, and classes G, E, C for hard hats.

How can I adjust my hard hat to be more comfortable?

The best adjustment tip for making the hard hat more comfortable is by (1) folding its bandana from corner to corner, (2) inserting the folded bandana inside the shell, (3) pulling the bandana’s tip and letting it go through the flat chock and into the suspenders toward the back of the hard hat, and (4) tying the two tips of the bandana just below the adjustment clamp.

Why should I never paint my hard hat with another color?

Painting the hard hat only shortens its working lifespan. Paint has chemicals that don’t sit well with fiber, plastic, resin, etc. 

Next, hard hats are assigned based on color codes. Consequently, color codes are determined by the nature of the wearer’s job. Now, changing your hard hat’s color without consulting your administrator/manager will only cause future confusion, mishaps and even physical risks.

Do roofers also need hard hats?

Yes. Roofers need hard hats. As per OSHA standards, workers exposed in a field frequented by object-generated impacts are heavily required to wear one.

Can hard hat damage my hair?

Hard hats that lack ventilation eventually cause hair loss among its wearers.

Conclusion

As far as our comprehensive review of the best hard hats, we were able to rank Bullard 62DGR Hard Hat as our ‘Top Pick”, Pyramex Ridgeline Full Brim Hard Hat as our “Best Value”, and the MSA Tan Skullgard Hard Hat as our “Premium Value”. 

The article also detailed the realities surrounding hard hats– how they’re similar to bump caps, how they are categorized, and why they’re required in the working site in the first place.

Our list of the best hard hats not only reveals the genuine products in the market today but also tells us several points about hard hat usage, maintenance, and selection.

OUR #1 RECOMMENDATIONS

Twiga Fiberglass Hard Hat

Twiga Fiberglass Hard Hat

Apart from our top picks, we have a recommendation that would be very useful for beginners who haven’t ever used a hard hat before. 

The Fiberglass Hard Hat is an excellent choice for new users as it is one of the most comfortable hard hats in the market. It has excellent ventilation which does not let you sweat too much and cools the heat faster in hot temperatures.

It is ANSI approved and therefore there is no doubt about its safety standards. It also has very trendy designs that would be loved by first-time users.

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