Choosing a Head and Neck Restraint (HNR)


I bought my HNR in 2007 and the world of HNRs was pretty simple back then. But these days there’s all sorts of SFI38.1 certified HNRs so choosing one is more complicated.

This post isn’t an attempt to be an exhaustive list of things to think about, I just want to mention two. Would be cool tho if others posted their thoughts on choosing an HNR.

You need to be able to rotate your head. There’s going to be times when you need to be able to look hard right or left and your HNR strap needs to be able to support that kind of movement. Mostly that means that the head strap needs to be able to slide, to and fro, inside whatever his holding it in place behind your neck.

Sure, you can adjust the length of the retention straps in most non-sliding designs, but adjusting them to be longer so you can turn your head may come back to haunt you. The longer those straps are, the less “retention” they’re gonna provide.

Here’s an example of an HNR where the strap slides. The pic doesn’t show the back of the thing, but it’s a single strap that goes thru a couple keepers–the strap is free to slide thru the keepers. Hans III 30° Device SFI & FIA Certified - $549 + Free Shipping

Here’s a couple examples of a strap that does not slide.

Functionality with an OEM 3pt seatbelt. From 2007-2011 I was instructing in one or two events each month, therefore functionality with an OEM 3pt was a big deal. Here’s an example of an HNR that will do you some good even if you aren’t strapped in with a “real” harness.

Don’t spend additional money for a lightweight HNR. Your shoulder straps are shoving it down. You won’t notice the weight of your HNR.