Four Generations of Making Helmets For a Safer World
World famous for raising the bar in safety, Charles Owen is a leading British manufacturer of riding helmets with a history dating back over 100 years.
When Charles Owen himself founded the company in 1911, his mission was to make products ‘for a safer world’.
The company has remained within the same family for four generations, today under the direction of founder Charles Owen’s great-grandson.
The early days revolved around manufacturing military helmets for the British Army. The company transitioned into the equestrian market 17 years later with racing helmets for jockeys and quickly established itself as the gold standard for safety.
Charles Owen was involved in creating the very first equestrian helmet safety standard, and in 1983 the company created the first dual-standard riding helmet in answer to Pony Club’s demand for safer riding gear.
One year later, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded Charles Owen the Royal Warrant as protective headgear supplier to the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace.
From the first patent granted in 1924 to improve ventilation and fit through the Microfit system found in all Charles Owen helmets today, the company has always prioritised correct and comfortable fit.
Today the company name is deeply ingrained within the global equestrian industry as a trusted brand known for safety, quality and prestige fashion.
The Factory and Workforce
Each Charles Owen product is handmade by highly skilled technicians using the highest quality materials at our award winning, state-of-the-art factory in Great Britain.
The 80,000 square foot premises is situated on Croesfoel Industrial Park in Wrexham, North Wales. The local Civic Trust identified the factory as a major contributor to the local community, which is a rare event, as it was the only commercial building to be chosen in over a decade.
Inside the huge space, the workforce is organised into small teams that create the products from start to finish. Quality is paramount when it comes to safety. Getting it right the first time, every time is the mantra of the production team.
All riding helmet manufacturers have to produce helmets to meet one of three international safety standards or marks – the PAS015:2011, the VG1 01.040 2014-12 and ASTM F1163-15. Some may even produce helmets to meet all of them as we do at Charles Owen.
We feel strongly that a helmet that meets multiple standards has been proven to provide the most comprehensive protection and cover a wider range of the potential accident scenarios a rider might experience.
Achieving the perfect fit
Charles Owen has dedicated thousands of hours to understanding heads and their many varied shapes and has developed a diverse collection of helmets that allows each person to find the helmet that best fits their head.
Charles Owen helmets contain a unique adjusting system that allows each helmet to mould itself to conform to the rider’s exact head shape. This Microfit system avoids the need for oversized helmets and, in the hands of an expert helmet fitter, can allow
a helmet to be individually customised for the safest and most comfortable fit.
Every Charles Owen helmet is sold with a complimentary professional helmet fitting, and the company offers refits of its helmets for the duration of each helmet’s functional life.