Best Hard Hats 2020 – Reviews & Top Pick
If you’re tired of using a hard hat that hurts, gets hot, or just isn’t that comfortable, there’s never been a better time to upgrade to a hard hat that will better suit your needs. However, we know that shopping online isn’t always straightforward.
There’s a lot of marketing fluff, and that can make it hard to compare hats, especially if they come in at different price points. We want to ensure that you get a hard hat you love, so we’ve done the hard work for you.
Our reviews cover each hard hat in detail so you can find the one that best suits your needs. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide packed to the brim with useful information about hard hats, so you can get the right one, even if this is your first time buying one.
|Best Overall||MSA Tan Skullgard||
|Best Value||Pyramex Ridgeline||
|Lift Safety HDF-15NG DAX||
|Noa Store HDPE Lime Full Brim||
The 8 Best Hard Hats
1. MSA Tan Skullgard Hard Hat – Best Overall
The MSA Tan Skullgard Hard Hat is easily the most comfortable hard hat on our list. It has multiple suspension options, allowing you to choose the degree of safety and comfort needed for the job. The Fas-Trac III is comfortable and safe, and allows extra airflow and prevents accidental hair pulling. The Staz-On Pinlock allows a semi-customized fit without sacrificing safety, and the Swing Ratchet allows you to turn the brim around without taking the helmet off, which is very convenient. It also has the option to choose between a full brim and a standard cap, and a choice of three different colors.
This helmet weighs around one pound, so it’s one of the lighter ones out there, but it still provides plenty of comfort and safety. It’s been temperature-tested to radiant heat temperatures up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and passed with flying colors. The one thing we don’t like is that the colors on each hat vary, though that’s more of a cosmetic concern. Overall, if you’re looking for a comfortable and safe hard hat with a variety of customization options, you won’t be disappointed in this one.
2. Pyramex Ridgeline Hard Hat – Best Value
Husqvarna makes some of the best yard equipment in the world. It’s admittedly most known for its motorized equipment (lawnmowers, weed whackers, etc.) but it honors its own reputation with this impressive and affordable hatchet.
The Pyramex Ridgeline Vented Cap Style 4 Pt Ratchet Suspension Hard Hat comes with a low profile. That makes it a great choice for situations where you have limited clearance in your job. It has a washable sweatband, so you can stay cool and comfortable throughout the day, and just toss it in the wash at the end. It also comes with a four-way adjustable harness. The more adjustments you have, the more comfortable your hard hat gets, so this one has one of the better systems out there. It offers comfort without compromising safety.
However, what we like most about this hat is that it’s available for a great price. If you need a hard hat that performs up to your expectations at a price that won’t break the bank, this one will make you very happy. The one thing that could be improved is the venting, which is adequate but not as good as the venting on other hard hats. If you’re looking for a safe, comfortable hard hat for a great price, it’s hard to go wrong with this one.
3. KaiWorldShop Fiberglass Hard Hat
The KaiWorldShop Fiberglass Hard Hat is one of the lightest hard hats out there. Since it weighs just 1.2 pounds, it won’t weigh you down throughout the day, yet still provides plenty of protection. It has a full brim. This is great for industries where you keep working when it rains, as the full brim will keep rain off your neck. The fast-track suspension system is extremely easy to adjust, and it results in a very comfortable fit. A lot of workers suffer with hats that don’t fit well and aren’t comfortable, and we’re glad to report that this one provides plenty of safety without sacrificing comfort.
We also love this hat’s cool air flow system. It’s well-vented, and that makes a huge difference when it’s hot. While it might be a slight downside when it’s cold, it’s nice to have a helmet that doesn’t build up excess heat in the summer. One complaint is that it sits high relative to other hard hats, so it might look a little funny. However, if you’re looking for a comfortable and cool hard hat, this could easily be the one you need.
4. Lift Safety HDF-15NG DAX Hard-Hat
The Lift Safety HDF-15NG DAX Hard Hat gives you a ton of choices, and that’s generally a good thing. You can get this hat in five different colors, and you can choose between full brim and cap style hard hats in each color. It includes a six-point suspension system, which leads to a very comfortable fit, as well as extra safety. This model also has a molded EVA foam insert that increases its ability to absorb shocks, which is always a nice plus.
This hat runs a little large, so if you constantly find that hard hats are too small for you, there’s a good chance you’ll end up liking this one. One thing to note is that many users find that this model sits low on their heads. That’s something you can change by changing out the suspension, but that adds to the overall price, and this isn’t the cheapest hard hat. That’s a problem that drops this otherwise great hat out of the top three. Still, if you need a hard hat that gives you choices in color and brim type and runs a bit large, this will be an excellent fit.
5. Noa Store HDPE Lime Full Brim Hard Hat
The Noa Store HDPE Lime Full Brim Hard Hat also provides a lot of color options. In this case, you have the choice of seven different colors, so you can choose between style, visibility, or a color that complements your uniform. This model is also vented, so it stays cooler than some other hard hats in the hot months of the year. It comes with a fast-trac suspension system, allowing for quick adjustments. Also included is a chin strap. This isn’t something that all hard hats come with, but it is a feature that helps protect your head if you fall. If there’s a chance of that, the chin strap is a good idea.
Unfortunately, this hard hat has some problems that won’t be immediately apparent. The paint the manufacturer uses isn’t very high-quality, so peeling stickers off sometimes takes the paint off. It also gets scratched easily, which leads to a bad look after a few months. Plus, the helmet material warms up quickly in the sun, making it hot to the touch. This is a relatively inexpensive hard hat, but it won’t make everyone happy.
6. AMSTON Safety Hard-Hat
In many ways, it’s easy to see that the AMSTON Safety Hard Hat was designed by people who have used hard hats extensively, or talked extensively with those who do, since it does a ton of things right. It’s well-vented, so it won’t get too hot in the warm summer months. It also has a very low profile, which is something that many workers appreciate, as it lessens accidental bumps when working in tight corners.
This hat includes a removable chin strap, which is a nice touch, but also something of a pitfall. It attaches to the helmet in an inconvenient way that will likely require you to take it off and mess with it. It also tends to loosen on its own, which makes it a poor safety device. It has a reputation for being difficult to adjust, which, given all the alternatives that are easy to adjust, makes this a poor value buy. There are certainly some things it does correctly, but the poor suspension means you’ll have to spend more money to make it a useful hard hat.
7. Safety Works 818066 Hard Hats
Some people choose the Safety Works 818066 Hard Hat because of its very low price. While it’s true that this hat is inexpensive, like all inexpensive tools, you may want to consider the value you’re getting before you buy. To its credit, this hard hat comes with fast adjustment. While the harness isn’t as comfortable as those found on many others on our list, it does make for a speedy adjustment. Plus, this hard hat weighs less than 12 ounces, which makes it significantly lighter than other choices on our list.
However, it tends to run small. Not only is this uncomfortable for people with large heads, and for many people with average-sized heads as well, it produces a potential safety risk. It also sits high, which, in combination with it running small, can make it look very goofy. Like the sizing issue, this potentially causes safety problems. While you might be tempted to get this model because of its low price, the truth is that the value isn’t that great, and you’re unlikely to like it after you use it a few times.
8. Fibre-Metal Fiberglass Cap Style Hard Hat
The Fibre-Metal Roughneck Gray Fiberglass Cap Style Hard Hat has an eight-point suspension. That gives you more adjustment options than you get on many hard hats, so if you’re looking for protective gear in which you can get a semi-customized fit, this is one you should check out. It also weighs around 14 ounces, which makes it one of the lighter hard hats on our list. However, it has several noticeable shortcomings. For one, it lacks vents, so it can get very hot in the warmer months.
It also sometimes ships as white instead of gray. While white is cooler in warm weather, it’s harder to keep looking clean, as any dust or dirt that gets on it will discolor it immediately. That’s a pain to deal with. It’s also not the most durable hard hat out there. While it will probably protect you just fine, you’re not going to get years of use out of this hat. Overall, this isn’t that great a hard hat, but the good news is that you have other options that will leave you happier for around the same price.
Factors to Consider When Choosing:
To ensure that you get a hard hat that meets your needs, there are four primary areas you should be considering.
The first of these is the suspension. This is the part of the hard hat that is typically made from cloth-like material, and which sits on top of your head, keeping the top of the helmet away from your scalp. A hard hat’s comfort is closely related to how the suspension feels.
Generally speaking, the more points of adjustment a suspension has, the more you can customize it to your head, and the more comfortable it will feel.
Fit is another area that matters a lot. Some hard hats are known for running large or small. While this might lead to discomfort or the helmet looking strange when worn, it can also create situations where your safety is compromised.
If your helmet is too large or too small, it may have too much or too little slack. The result is that your head takes far more of the force from a falling object than it would if it were in a properly fitted helmet.
This can present challenges when shopping online, especially if you don’t know if you have a large, small, or average head. However, you can get a feel for what size your head is by trying on coworkers’ helmets, and then researching to see if those brands and models run large, small, or average in size.
If you’re getting a hard hat for a certain kind of job, or work for a company that has requirements related to your hard hat, be sure you understand hard hat certifications.
Three classes of hard hats are currently approved for industrial use in the United States.
The lowest level is Class C, also called a conductive helmet. It provides some protection against impact and has the highest level of comfort. However, it may be made from materials that conduct electricity, which means it leaves you vulnerable to electrical accidents.
The next level up in terms of protection is the Class G or general helmet. It resists electricity up to 2,200 volts, which is enough for many different kinds of work where exposure to electricity would be incidental. It also provides better protection against impact and penetration from flying objects than Class C helmets.
The final type is the Class E, which is the electrical helmet. It’s roughly as good as the Class G when it comes to impact and penetration resistance. However, it can resist electrical currents up to 20,000 volts, which is generally enough protection for those who work with electrical systems in their day-to-day jobs.
Our other articles on construction-gear:
- Which safety glasses do we recommend?
- Reviews of construction work pants
- 25 Tools every construction worker should own
The MSA Tan Skullgard Hard Hat is our favorite hard hat due to its multiple suspension and brim options, lightweight, and excellent temperature resistance. The Pyramex Ridgeline Vented Cap Style 4 Pt Ratchet Suspension Hard Hat comes in second with its low profile, washable sweatband, and four-way adjustable harness. The low price makes it the best overall value for the money. Third place is taken by the KaiWorldShop Fiberglass Hard Hat, which is lightweight, vented, and has fast-trac suspension.
The Lift Safety HDF-15NG DAX Hard Hat earns fourth place with its choice of colors and brims, six-point suspension system, and foam insert for extra shock protection. However, it sits low on many people’s heads, which drops it out of the top three. Next is the Noa Store HDPE Lime Full Brim Hard Hat, which has many color options, is vented, and includes a chin strap. Its poor paint durability hurts its value. In sixth, the AMSTON Safety Hard Hat is vented and has a low profile, but its chin strap comes loose, and it can be tricky to adjust.
The seventh-place belongs to the Safety Works 818066 Hard Hat. It’s fast to adjust, lightweight, and inexpensive, though it often looks funny because it runs small and sits high on most people’s heads. The last place goes to the Fibre-Metal Roughneck Gray Fiberglass Cap Style Hard Hat, which has an impressive eight-point suspension but suffers from a lack of venting and poor durability.
Keeping your head safe is an important task, and we hope our reviews have provided you with the information you need to get the right hard hat for the job.
- The 8 Best Hard Hats
- Factors to Consider When Choosing: