Last Updated on October 30, 2021 by Stephen Paul Robertson
One of the most mind-blowing safety inventions ever invented has to be the invention of a hard hat. At any and every place, your safety should be your top priority and this factor becomes more important when you work in high-risk environments such as construction sites, factories, buildings, etc.
So, why do you need to wear a hard hat? Hard hats provide superior protection for one of the most sensitive parts of your body-your head by reducing the impact of blows and by creating a barrier between your head and other falling stray debris.
However, due to long working hours, weather, and especially the heft of a hard hat, more and more people choose to completely omit wearing one. And this is exactly why this article is so important. Have a read to find out for yourself the best lightweight hard hats that you could find, you are guaranteed a comfortable time at work!
Summary of Top 7 Lite And Comfort Hard Hat
This is a reliable hard hat from a brand you can blindly trust. With its Fast Trac III suspension, this is a super flexible and adjustable hard hat that can fit any of your preferences. This is our list for the most comfortable hard hat.
This is an exceptional full brim hard hat that will give you 360 degrees protection. With vibrant colors and designs, this hard hat also comes with 6 suspension points for easy adjustment. Hands down, this is a great lightweight hard hat.
You will never be out of fashion with this matte black, chic hard hat. It has an easy-to-grip knob for adjustment and also has comfortable paddings and a sweatband for the ultimate comfort. Despite its simple, old-school design, this is still one of the best hard hat.
This is yet another super lightweight hard hat that is also a full brim hard hat. Itis a vented hard hat so you are guaranteed sufficient air circulation in your head. With 3D adjustments features, this is a hard hat you wouldn’t want to miss!
This is a unique hard hat that comes with a built-in rechargeable light that will allow you to work efficiently even in dark. Its super impressive vent feature can be opened and closed as and when needed for the best working experience. This surely is a great, comfortable hard hat.
This is another hard hat we have in store for you that will make you look fashionable even at your workplace because of its classic, matte black color. Made of ABS, this is an impressively lightweight hard hat that also provides superior protection at the same time!
If you always have accessories in hand, make sure to pick this hard hat up, it has built-in accessory slots so that your accessories are never lost! Moreover, it is vented and has 6 suspension points, comfortability is guaranteed!
This was only a sneak peek of what this article has in store for you! Read further to know about all the important details and specifications!
Consideration To Choose A The Best Hard Hat
Before you go ahead and pick up a hard hat, there are some important aspects that you must keep in mind. Comfortability, colors, accessories, along with many other aspects, are a few crucial points that we will be discussing below.
Hard Hat Materials
Materials play a crucial role when it comes to how light or heavy your hard hat is. Some materials, despite being extremely durable and sturdy, unfortunately, weigh a ton; we recommend that you stay away from those. But with so many different materials available, which do you choose? Below we have a list of the very best and most frequently used materials and their property, have a look to clear your confusion.
This material is ideal for those who work in high temperatures, such as welders or manufacturing employees, because of its exceptional heat endurance. Furthermore, this is one of the most durable hard hat materials so it will yield you superior protection.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
This is a standard hard hat material that may be found in the majority of full brim hard helmets. The reason for this is that this material is both inexpensive and robust, and it can endure a lot of damage. HDPE is used in a variety of low-cost hard helmets. HDPE is also a relatively light polymer, making it ideal for everyday use.
Is commonly used in Class G hard hats because it provides better electrical insulation than plastic. The ever-popular MSA 475395 Skullgard Hard Hat is an excellent example of this material that is known to be wonderfully lightweight.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Plastic
This is another well-known material for hard helmets, owing to their exceptionally low weight and affordable pricing. It provides maximum protection and stability despite its small weight. Because ABS is one of the thinnest rigid materials, it is a very comfortable choice and we highly recommend this, especially the PYRAMEX Ridgeline Hard Hat that we mentioned earlier, this is an excellent choice.
In recent times, aluminum hats have made a huge comeback. They are now ANSI-approved and are competent with Z89.1-2003 standards. Aluminum hard hats are so popular because they can show early signs of damage. However, not only are they more costly when compared to other hard hat materials, but they are also heavy on the head. Users often complain about the lack of air circulation these hats provide.
In our opinion, nothing amplifies the quality and the feel of a hard hat more than the correct material so it is pivotal that you pick and choose the perfect kind for your needs.
All hard hats are divided into different classes according to their features for an easier understanding of their uses. While some provide electrical protection, others don’t. If you are someone working with electricity or you are an electrical engineer yourself, you must choose a class with electrical resistance. Let us have a look at the different classes.
- CLASS E (ELECTRICAL): Electrical voltages of up to 20,000 volts can be withstood by this helmet.
- CLASS G (GENERAL): Electrical voltages of up to 2200 volts can be withstood by this headgear.
- CLASS C ( CONDUCTIVE): This hat offers no protection against electrical risks.
Reviews of The Most Comfortable And Lightest Hard Hats
1. MSA 475395 Skullgard Hard Hat
- Weight: 1.12 Pounds
- Material: Phenolic Resin
- Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 12 inches
Weighing only 1.12 pounds, this fiberglass hard hat is an exceptionally lightweight hard hat that you can wear even for long days at work. The hard hat also comes with Fast Trac ratchet suspensions that will allow for fast and easy adjustment.
These hard hats have also been tested against high temperatures so you can wear them when you are welding or working under the sun. If you are someone who works under low ceilings or in codified environments, this is the perfect hard hat for you since this particular style will sit low on your head. This hard hat is also larger than regular-sized hard hats so this is the perfect hard hat for people with large heads.
2. LIFT Safety – HDF50C-19WC Full Brim Hard Hat
- Weight: 1.65 pounds
- Material: Carbon Fiber
- Dimensions: 12 x 11 x 7.5 inches
With bold, interesting designs, these hats have 6 suspension points as well as an oversized ratchet fitment dial that allows for easy, fast adjustment. Moreover, for amplified comfort, the hat’s dome is made up of synthetic leather.
This hard hat has been tested against high temperatures so your hat can easily withstand high temperatures of up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Most importantly, this hard hat will come to you pre-assembled, you can wear it immediately without any hassle.
Also Read: Best Carbon Fiber Hard Hat
3. PYRAMEX Ridgeline Hard Hat
- Weight: 10.6 ounces
- Material: ABS
- Dimensions: 12.2 x 10.6 x 6 inches
This definitely should be your top pick if you are looking for the best lightweight hard hat. Because of the hat’s ABS material, not only is it incredibly lightweight, it also provides unimaginable protection against stray debris. Moreover, the hat is designed simply without the addition of any complicated features, thus, it provides greater ease of use and provides better balance because of its low center of gravity.
For long days at work, this hat is excellent because of its many comfort features such as its vented pressure pad, washable sweatband as well as its padded rear suspension. With a combination of all of these, you are guaranteed ultimate comfort!
4. Evolution Deluxe 6161 280-EV6161-10V Full Brim Hard Hat
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Material: Polyester
- Dimensions: 0.1 x 0.1 x 0.1 inches
This vented hard hat is full brim which gives it extra points since this hard hat will provide you with 360 degrees of protection from rain, spills, the sun, and splashes. Moreover, its HDPE shell ensures that the hat is light and durable all at the same time.
Interestingly, the hat is shaped in such a way that none of the hat’s surface will store water or liquid, it immediately channels all water away leaving you with a comfortable hat surface. Lastly, its 3D adjustable feature allows for easy and fast adjustment.
5. Klein Tools 60407RL Hard Hat
- Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions: 12 x 10.5 x 7 inches
- Style: Hard Hat w/Rechargeable Light
Right off the bat, we’d like to talk about how innovative this hat is, it comes with a rechargeable headlight! You can simply and securely attach the headlight in the frontal accessory slots. This is extremely useful if you want to work in dark, shabby environments.
Secondly, it has adjustable vents that you can open and close whenever you please to let air in. Its breathable, sweat-wicking sweatband also plays a part in providing you with a comfortable fit. Adjusting the hat is also made easy with its oversized knob that you can adjust even while wearing a glove!
6. PYRAMEX Ridgeline Full Brim Hard Hat
- Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Material: Polymer
- Dimensions: 13 x 11 x 7 inches
If you want to look impressive even while at work, close your eyes and pick this hat up. Its matte black body will make you look good effortlessly. Moreover, its ABS material also allows for a lightweight fit while still giving top-notch protection.
The hat also has headbands, suspensions, and a comfortable brow pad that is replaceable. Moreover, its 4 point adjustments can easily be converted to 6 points for extra flexibility.
7. Bullhead Safety HH-C3-B Style Hard Hat
- Weight: 14.39 Ounces
- Material: HPPE
- Dimensions: 9 x 10 x 7 inches
This is an excellent hard hat made with HDPE material which allows the hard hat to be lightweight, chemical resistant, weather-resistant, and non-conductive, all at the same time. Moreover, you can store all your nit-bits in the hat’s built-in accessory slots that also enable the usage of earmuffs.
Lastly, this hard hat has been designed to fit both two-point and four-point chin straps. For easy actions of putting the hat on and off, the hat further comes with proprietary grip dots.
Hard Hat Colors Means
From afar, the respective colors of the hard hats may not look like a big deal, but in actuality, each color helps identify your work position hence this is very important to know.
|White hard hat
|Supervisors, engineers, and project managers frequently wear white hard hats.
|Yellow hard hat
|The majority of laborers and workers wear these kinds of headwear.
|Blue hard hat
|Techs, electricians, and anyone else who works with electricity wear these caps.
|Green hard hat
|A green hat is mandatory for new workers or starters. Green hats are sometimes worn by safety inspectors.
|Orange hard hat
|Crane and lifting equipment operators must wear orange hard helmets.
|Red hard hat
|A red hard helmet must be worn by firemen and fire marshals.
Look Out for The Symbols
Sometimes what you are looking for in a hard hat might simply be embossed or printed in small inside the hard hat using initials or symbols. So, you must understand what each symbol signifies.
As mentioned before, a “reverse donning arrow” symbolizes that your hard hat can be worn both backward and forward, even if it is not fully brimmed. This has been established after multiple tests, so rest assured that these are protective hats.
The “LT” sign means low temperature. And these hard hats are hats that have been tested at temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit; even during extremely cold conditions, these hard hats can be worn without any issues.
“HT” on the other hand, means high temperature. These hard hats have been tested in temperatures going as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a symbol welders and workers working in high heat should look out for.
Lastly, high visibility hard hats are marked with “HV”. These hard hats have been tested for highly visible colors and luminescence; workers needing high visibility gears should look out for this symbol.
ANSI And OSHA
More or less, all of us know that our hard hats have to meet ANSI and OSHA requirements and standards. But have we ever wondered what these standards are?
The ANSI standards are simple to comprehend. We’ve already done the homework for you by ensuring that all of the hard helmets on this list are ANSI-certified. To be approved, your hard helmet must fall into one of the three classifications indicated above, namely Class E, Class G, or Class C. It must also fall into one of two types: Type 1 or Type 2. Let us familiarize ourselves with the prerequisites for these two types.
Only anything falling from above will be protected by these tough helmets. Type I helmets reduce the impact of above-the-head impacts and hits. This will come in handy if you want to work on a construction site where stray objects may cause injury to your head. In the United States, this is the most prevalent type of hard hat.
Type 2 hard helmets, on the other hand, are identical to Type 1 hard hats but differ in a few aspects. The front, back, sides, and top of your body are all protected. The impact of force from all sides is reduced by this robust helmet type. This is necessary when dealing with moving machines or materials where a side blow could be fatal. Type II hard helmets are also evaluated for off-center puncture resistance and chin strap retention. Throughout Europe, Type II is commonly utilized.
OSHA standards, on the other hand, are requirements that employers must keep in mind for the safety and benefit of their respective workers. They are not as straightforward as ANSI requirements because these regulations are longer and more detailed. These standards are necessary to maintain proper workplace safety regulations. Through safety signs, drills, and safety training, these standards can be practiced and implemented. For a further and elaborate look into what these standards are, we highly suggest that you look into OSHA’s website.
Hard Hat Safety
You cannot simply put on a hard hat and expect it to magically keep you safe and sound. Unless and until you follow all the safety rules mentioned below, you will still be endangering your life to some extent.
Thorough Inspection: Before putting on your hat, inspect it for signs of wear and tear. Dents, cracks, discoloration, chipping, and even a weird powdered, chalky texture are all symptoms. In addition to the shell, look for any damage to the suspension.
No Decoration: You might think that adorning your hat with bright paints, stickers, or accessories is a wonderful idea, but mind you, it isn’t. Stickers and chemicals can not only cause chemical disruptions, but they can also hide potentially severe harm.
Suspension Is Not For Storage: Smoking, lighters, keys, and pencils should not be kept in your suspension. This is particularly dangerous since it can negate the concept of safety by putting a great deal of strain on your neck or head if you are struck by something, resulting in catastrophic injuries or even death. Wearing other accessories or gear, such as caps, sweatshirts, or standard hats, with your hard hat will quickly reduce its effectiveness.
Accessories: Hard helmets should be selected that are compatible with other safety equipment, such as ear muffs and eye protection. Always remember that a hard hat will only protect your head from injury, no matter how cool it seems. In addition to your hard helmet, we recommend wearing PPE.
The Correct Method of Wearing
Once again wearing a hard hat may seem simple, which it is, but if you do not wear it correctly, or if your hat has a bad fitting, it could prove to be morbid and fatal. But how do you wear a hard hat correctly?
Many workers prefer wearing their hard hats backward (we have failed to understand exactly why), however, we strongly disapprove of that. The extended brims of a regular styled hat are mainly there to protect your eyes and face from chemical spills and splashes, from rain, and the sun. However, recently, after completing many tests and experiments, some hard hats can be worn both ways; for those hats lookout for the “reverse donning arrow” symbol. This is another reason why we prefer a full brim hard hat over the regular kind. With its 360 degrees protection, you will be guaranteed all-around protection regardless of which side your hat faces.
For the perfect fitting, before making a purchase, measure the circumference of your head and decide what accessories you need. Also, this is where the question comes in: are chin straps really necessary? They are paramount. Chin straps will strongly secure your hat in position and ensure that your hard hat doesn’t come off when you are hit or suffer from an impactful blow. Even if you fall from a height, the chin strap will still keep your hard hat secured to your head. Moreover, it is required by OSHA that employees are provided with chin straps, so NEVER miss that!
- Clean your hat with only mild soap regularly. If you use fancy or harsh detergents, you risk causing harm that isn’t visible to the naked eye.
- Keep in a cool, dry place. Extreme cold, harsh weather, and direct sunlight should all be avoided. Hats should be stored in a secure location away from potential danger.
- For hygiene reasons, sweatbands, linings, and paddings should be replaced regularly.
- Your hard hat should not be tossed, dropped, or subjected to extreme force.
- Why are hard hats so pivotal?
Every year, thousands of Americans succumb to deathly head injuries. Hard hats protect your head and your neck from falling objects and impactful blows. They also protect the side of your face and your eyes from unwanted and dangerous chemical spills or splashes.
- Do hard hats expire?
All hard hats are suggested to be replaced every 5 years by the ANSI while the suspensions are to be replaced every year. However, replace your hard hat immediately upon noticing any early signs of damage. Look out for the manufacturing date stamped on the brim of most hard hats.
- Can you put stickers on hard hats?
Do not decorate with stickers as they may hide signs of damage.
This will be the end of our hard hat tour, we hope you have picked up a thing or two and we hope our article helped to clear any of your confusion. Thank you for your time and patience, we expect you to maintain proper safety now. Stay tuned, till next time!
Paul, a graduate from the University of California, has been a Safety Advisor for over 5 years in USA. Along with his other 2 partners, who are professional bikers, he has been the chief of the headsafetyguard.com to create mass awareness on an often neglected issue: HEAD SAFETY