Always buy hats from good tack shops with experienced fitters. If you like a particular range (ie Champion which are good for kids) you could always check with them for approved vendors.
The type of hat really depends on what your DS's plan to do.
Our DD wears Charles Owen velvet hats because she's into showing. However they are expensive and unnecessary for most types of riding.
DD also has a Champion Skull cap because she needs that for Pony Club. She has a dark blue velvet cap cover for it although children like fun silks for every day.
Troxel and the various vented hats are now popular - particularly for Summer riding and often with show jumpers. However they are usually more expensive that skull caps and, because they come with fixed peaks, are usually not allowed for Pony Club.
You really need them fitted by a BETA accredited fitter - even the adjustable ones can be a bad fit. In the last 'buying ds a hat' saga, the adjustables didn't come far enough down the back of his head to be satisfactory, even though they fitted well round.
One of our local tack shops has a riding simulator, so once they have decided on a hat they stick you on there for 20 mins to check it stays OK after a good trot/canter.
You need to go to a shop with a number of different brands, so that they don't just have a choice of two fitting styles
I would always go for a skull cap, plus the children can have fun choosing different coloured covers. And please get the hats fitted by a trained sales person. A badly fitting hat is worse than useless. Where abouts are you? One of us might be near you and able to recommend somewhere.
Hats are a very importance piece of safety equipment and they must be correctly fitted.
This is a helpful guide to hat standards from BETA: http://www.bhs.org.uk/~/media/BHS/Files/PDF%20Documents/Safety%20leaflets/BETA%20Guide%20to%20Riding%20Hats.ashx
Don't buy on line, hats must be properly fitted. Tack shops selling hats should have a sales person trained in fitting them, if they don't walk away, there are plenty of other tack shops around. The hat should fit snuggly all the way round the head. Ask your DC to shake her head as much as she can to make sure the hat does not move and try and leave her with the hat on for as long as possible to make sure it's not too tight (sometimes a hat that feels good when first put on, becomes painfully tight after 10 minutes of wear).
Skullcap, velvet, adjustable, blingey, plain, air vents, etc. are generally aesthetic choices and you can go with what you like as long as it meets at least the minimum safety standard.
Don't know where to advise you to go. But, try them on, they should be snug but not hurt, and not move much if your kids shake or nod their heads.
Saying that, having ridden for 35 years, the only hats I've ever really found comfortable are adjustable ones - I've had 2 Troxels and they're great. Bought mine online (i.e. didn't try them on!) People have different shaped heads and different brands suit different people, but also I find my right temple really hurts after an hour in most riding hats - I must have a potato-shaped head! Adjustable helmets really help with this.
Troxel or other ventilated hats are also a vast improvement on the usual sweaty jobs.
Hi Have you got any advice on buying a new riding hat please? Both my ds's are learning to ride and I really should buy them both a new riding hat as the ones at the riding school are not very nice. Plus is takes ages to find something to fit each lesson.
Anyway, I have no idea how to find a good tack shop or not in terms of knowledgeable fitting. There are quite few tack shops near me and I have asked various horsey people where to go and they all say different places and advise against the ones that other people have recommended!!
Any advice? I dont have tons of money to spend but then again I dont want to skimp on my childrens safety.