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CERTIFICATIONS

If you have ever wondered what the certifications that are mentioned in the product pages stands for, this article is for you. 

For instance; "Meet and exceeds CE EN 1078, CPSC 1203"? Continue to read to learn more about the certifications and rigorous testing our protection products need to go through prior to be launched into the market and put to use by you. 

In general, all helmets and protective gear must surpass tests to be certified through different bodies depending on both the intended use and the country the helmet is sold in. Our helmets are tested for safety through three main bodies:

  • The American Society of Testing Materials, International (ASTM)
  • The European Committee for Standardization (CE EN)
  • The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission)

Depending on the product type different tests are run. Here are some examples of the tests a Sweet Protection product goes through before you can use it: 

Impact Tests

During impact tests, a series of controlled impacts are performed positioning a helmet on a metal head form and then dropping it in a guided fall onto various steel test anvils (flat, hemisphere, curbstone, edge…) which simulate different impact surfaces. The head forms are instrumented with an accelerometer to measure peak G-force acceleration which is measured in Gravitional Units (g). The impact energy (drop height and mass) or how hard the helmets are impacted is unique to each standard. In a valid test, if peak acceleration imparted to the head form exceeds certain threshold value (between 250 and 300 g’s, depending on standard and test type), the helmet is rejected. 

Roll-Off Test - Positional Stability

In a roll-off test, a head form is mounted on a stand. The helmet is then placed on the head form and the straps and buckles adjusted. A wire rope is hooked to the rear edge of the helmet and it is brought forward so that its free end runs across the helmet and downward towards the floor. The free end of the rope has a mechanical stop with a 4 kg weight resting on the stop. The weight is raised to a prescribed height and dropped onto the stop. The resulting shock places a rotational load on the helmet. The helmet position may be shifted, but must not roll off the head form. Next, the head form is rotated 180 degrees, the helmet adjusted, and tested with the wire rope hooked to the front edge of the helmet and the test is repeated. As in the first case, the helmet may be shifted but must not roll off the head form.

Shell penetration test

The shell penetration test applies to our skiing helmets. The helmet is affixed to a rigid base. A 3 kg sharply pointed striker is dropped in a guided fall onto the helmet from a prescribed height. The test striker must not penetrate the helmet or even achieve momentary contact with the head form.



The Certification used in Sweet Protection products

There are different certifications for every category a protection product belongs to. We will in the following go through the certifications our products use. 

  • CE EN 1077A/B - Ski and Snowboard Helmets
  • ASTM F2040 - Standard Specification
  • FIS RH 2013
  • EN 12492 - Mountaineering helmets 
  • CE EN 1078 - Bicycle helmets 
  • CPSC 1203 - Bicycle helmets 
  • CE EN 1385 Class I/IV - WW and Canoeing
  • CE EN 1621 - Armor for bodyparts, back and spine protectors

CE EN 1077A/B - Ski and Snowboard Helmets

There are six major requirements a ski and snowboard helmet need to surpass to be certified:

    1. Field of vision

    Making sure the helmet design does not interfere with the user’s field of vision

    2. Extent of coverage

    Making sure the helmet covers all necessary parts of the head

    3. Shock absorbing capacity.

    The most important is the shock absorbing capacity of the helmet. This is tested in a specialized instrument where the helmet is dropped at a speed of 5,42 m/s onto a solid metal anvil with a 4 kg metal head inside. Inside the metal head there’s an accelerometer that measures the forces within the impact. The helmets are tested in three conditions: Room temperature, -25ºC, and after artificial aging. Each helmet is tested on several areas (crown, side, rear & front). The peak acceleration must not exceed 250G for any of the impacts.

    4. Resistance to penetration.

    While skiing or snowboarding there’s a risk of poles, skis or branches penetrating the helmet. The resistance to penetration is tested by dropping a hammer with the mass of 3 kg from 75cm onto a sharp cone shaped metal punch placed against the helmet. The point of the metal punch must not reach the head inside the helmet.

    5. Retention system performance

    This test covers the strength of the retention system (webbing), as well as its effectiveness, i.e. the webbings ability to keep the helmet securely positioned on the head.

    6. Durability

    After all these tests the helmet should not show any damage that would cause any additional damage to the wearer.

Examples of Sweet Protection helmets that have the CE EN 1077 standard:

ASTM F2040 - Standard Specification for Helmets Used for Recreational Snow Sports

The ASTM (American Society of Testing Materials) F2040 safety standard for nonmotorized recreational snow sports is more stringent than the ECC (European Economic Community) CE 1077 safety standard for alpine skiing and snowboarding. Both organizations describe retention system strength and roll-off tests, but their impact test differences are notable:

    As explained in the section regarding the procedures for the EN1077 testing the ECC testing includes dropping the ski/snowboard helmet at a speed of 5,42 m/s onto a flat anvil, and the peak acceleration of the impact cannot exceed 250 g.

    ASTM testing drops the ski/snowboard helmet at a speed of 6,2 m/s onto a flat anvil, and at a lower speed onto a hemispherical and edge shaped anvil. Peak acceleration of the impacts can not exceed 300 g.

 Major requirements a ski and snowboard helmet needs to surpass the ASTM F2040 certification: Retention system, Roll-off system and impact test.

FIS RH 2013

TFIS Approved Ski Race Helmets Must Meet ASTM F2040 and CE 1077 certification testing. For the 2013/2014 ski race season, FIS introduced new ski helmet rules for all Downhill, Super G and Giant Slalom events on World Cup and Continental Cup levels to improve brain protection for these ski racers.

Going forward, Downhill, Super G and Giant Slalom World and Continental Cup competitors will have their helmets inspected for the newly mandated sticker citing the ski race helmet conforms to FIS specifications of 2013. No sticker, no racing. This rule has now been extended to be applied all the way down to U14 racers.

Helmet Requirement for Giant Slalom (GS), Super Giant Slalom (SG), Down Hill (DH):

  • Helmets must pass both ASTM F 2040 safety testing and EN 1077 (class A) safety testing (See above for differences between these standards)
  • Helmet must pass testing (through CEN laboratories) to absorb impact at a speed of 6.8 m/s (significantly higher than ASTM 2040 and CE 1077 testing requires)
  • A label of at least 1 sq cm, visible and non-removable, must be affixed to the back of the helmet including the text: "Racing helmet conforms to FIS specifications 2013" 

Source: FIS

Examples of Sweet Protection helmets that have the FIS RH 2013 certification:

EN 12492 - Mountaineering Helmets

There are five major requirements a mountaineering helmet need to surpass to be certified:

    1. Field of vision

    Making sure the helmet design does not interfere with the user’s field of vision

    2. Extent of coverage

    Making sure the helmet covers all necessary parts of the head

    3. Shock absorbing capacity.

    Helmets are subjected to an impact from a falling mass onto a fixed headform. However, to reflect the nature of the use, additional impacts are required at the front, side and rear of the helmet. These impacts are carried out by tilting the headform on the rigid base at an angle of 60° (so that impacts are carried out at 30° from the horizontal plane of the headform).

    Impacts are carried out using two strikers, one flat and one hemispherical, each weighing 5kg. Helmets are impacted using the hemispherical striker dropped from a height of 2 metres, and at the front, rear and sides using the flat striker dropped from a height of 500mm. In all cases, the transmitted force through the headform cannot exceed 10kN..

    4. Resistance to penetration.

    This is where the mountaineering certification differs the most from the EN1077 certification for ski and snowsports. These helmets are intended to provide protection against sharp / pointed objects from above, and so are tested for penetration by sharp objects. The test in EN 12492 is a 3kg conical striker dropped onto the helmet from a height of 1 metre. The point of the metal punch must not reach the head inside the helmet

    5. Retention system performance

    This test covers the strength of the retention system (webbing), as well as its effectiveness, i.e. the webbings ability to keep the helmet securely positioned on the head.

Sweet Protecion Igniter Alpiniste II is dual certified for both mountaineering (CLASS B / EN 12492) and ski/snowboard (CE EN 1077).

CE EN 1078 - Bicycle Helmets

Like the CE EN 1077 does for ski and snowboard, the CE EN 1078 applies for bike helmets. In general tests are the same and the three major requirements a helmet needs to surpass to get the certification are: Design requirements, shock absorption, and retention.

1. Design requirements

Making sure the helmet design does not interfere with the user’s field of vision and the area of coverage.

2. Shock absorbing capacity.

The most important is the shock absorbing capacity of the helmet. This is tested in a specialized instrument where the helmet is dropped at a speed of 5,42 m/s onto a solid metal anvil with a metal head inside.

Inside the metal head there’s an accelerometer that measures the forces within the impact. The helmets are tested in three conditions: High temperature, low temperature, and after UV aging. Each helmet is tested on several areas (crown, side, rear & front). The peak acceleration must not exceed 250G for any of the impacts.

3. Retention system performance

This test covers the strength of the retention system (webbing), as well as its effectiveness, i.e. the webbings ability to keep the helmet securely positioned on the head.


Examples of Sweet Protection helmets that have the CE EN 1078 certification:

CPSC 1203 – Bicycle Helmets

CPSC is the US equivalent to CE EN. The CPSC 1203 rules are a little bit more stringent in terms of the impact test, meaning that helmets can meet the CE EN 1078 standard with thinner foam and lighter weight than the US CPSC 1203. There are four major requirements a bike helmet needs to surpass the certification: Peripheral Vision Test, Positional Stability Test, Retention Strength Test and Impact Attenuation Test.

Examples of Sweet Protection helmets that have the CPSC certification:

CE EN 1385 CLASS I/IV – Helmets for canoeing and white-water sports

There are six major requirements a helmet, for this use, needs to surpass to be certified:

1. Field of vision.

Making sure the helmet design does not interfere with the user’s field of vision

2. Extent of coverage

Making sure the helmet covers all necessary parts of the head

3. Shock absorbing capacity

The most important is the shock absorbing capacity of the helmet. This is tested in a specialized instrument where the helmet is dropped with the speed of 2,5m/s onto a solid metal anvil with a 4 kg metal head inside. Inside the metal head there’s an accelerometer that measures the forces within the impact. The helmets are tested in four conditions:

  • High temperatures (+35ºC)
  • Low temperature (0ºC)
  • After artificial aging,
  • After the helmet has been submerged for 4 hours.
  • Each helmet is tested on several areas (crown, side, rear & front). The peak acceleration must not exceed 250G for any of the impacts.

4. Retention system performance

This test covers the strength of the retention system (webbing), as well as its effectiveness, i.e. the webbings ability to keep the helmet securely positioned on the head.

5. Buoyancy

After being submerged for at least 4 hours, the helmet must float to the surface.

6. Durability

After all these tests the helmet should not show any damage that would cause any additional damage to the wearer.

CE EN 1621 – 1 Armor for all body parts and 2 Back and Spine protectors

It is one major requirement an impact protector needs to surpass: Impact test.

EN1621-1 assesses armor designed to protect the shoulder, elbow and forearm, hip, tail-bone, knee and lower leg regions. The test apparatus consists of a mass of 5 kg with a 40 mm x 30 mm striking face, dropped onto the sample mounted on top of a 50 mm radius hemispherical dome. The anvil is further mounted onto a load cell, allowing a measurement to be made of the force transmitted through the protector. The kinetic energy of the falling mass at impact must not exceed 50 J.

A protector subjected to this test method is deemed to conform to this standard if the average transmitted force of nine tests is less than 35 kN, with no single test result exceeding 50 kN.

Examples of Sweet Protection products that have the CE EN 1621-1 certification:

It is one major requirement an impact protector needs to surpass: Impact test.

EN1621-2 assesses armor designed to protect the back/spine. It is a more stringent standard allowing no more than 18 kN of force to be transmitted to attain Level 1 protection (EN-1621-2 CE Level 1). Armor that allows less than 9 kN of force to be transmitted can attain a Level 2 protection (EN-1621-2 CE Level 2). See section below for more information.

Examples of Sweet Protection products that have the CE EN 1621-2 certification: