Products to Compare (max of 3)
Compare These Parts
Talk to the Experts. Call 800.979.0122, 7am-10pm, everyday.
Since 1952
Talk to the Experts. Call 800.979.0122
Shop By
Street Race Truck More... The Toolbox

Snell Helmet Certifications SA2015 vs SA2020

Add Article To List

This guide explains what a Snell certification is, identifies the difference between a Snell SA2015 and SA2020 helmet, and provides tips for determining what helmet certification you require.

The newly released Speedway Motors SA2020 helmets are here. They are available in white, flat black, or Carbon Fiber and in sizes ranging from Small to XXL.

What is Snell?

The Snell Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that develops helmet safety standards and performs testing of helmets in their ISO/IEC certified testing lab. Each helmet manufacturer must submit their helmet to Snell for testing prior to receiving certification to their standards. Helmet manufacturers are also required to submit helmets to Snell for random sample testing in order to maintain certification.

Snell SA Standard

The most common Snell standard for motorsports is the Special Applications Standard, abbreviated as SA, which is updated every five years. This standard has strict requirements for impacts, puncture resistance, and face shield integrity but what sets the SA certification apart from motorcycle certifications (and others) is the flame resistance requirements as well as head & neck restraint provisions which are mandatory for all SA2015 and SA2020 certified helmets. The Snell SA certification is the most widely recognized 4 wheeled motorsports helmet certification in the US and is used in motorsports worldwide. Sanctioning bodies such as IMCA, Wissota, NASCAR, SCCA, NHRA, etc. require competitors to use a helmet with a Snell SA certification.

Differences between SA2015 and SA2020

In October of 2020 Snell began allowing the sale of helmets which conform to the new SA2020 standard. The new standard has a more stringent requirement for impact testing of the helmet shell as compared to the SA2015 standard. This further increases the safety of SA2020 certified helmets. Also, all helmets conforming to SA2020 must have M6 threaded anchors installed for a head & neck restraint which was carried over from the SA2015 standard and is shown below on our Speedway Motors SA2020 helmet. Impact testing requirements for the shield also remain the same as SA2015.

The changes that were made are relatively small, however any step toward a safer helmet than before is a change in the right direction. Many times, the updates to SA standards are seemingly small changes but over time create an evolution of the standard which pushes helmet technology and safety to new levels.

This video clip shows how Snell performs impact testing on a helmet.

Can a SA2015 helmet still be used?

To determine if you can still utilize a helmet which is certified to the older SA standard you will need to consult your rule book. This may be something that your particular track sets the requirements for, or it could be within the rules of your sanctioning body. For example the sanctioning body IMCA will typically write their rules to allow helmets meeting the two most recent Snell SA standards to be used, meaning SA2015 and SA2020 can be used. During a transition year such as 2021 it is common for IMCA to also allow a third SA certification (SA2010) to provide racers time to upgrade their equipment. Be sure to check your specific rules concerning safety equipment since this can vary greatly between sanctioning bodies, series, and tracks.

What happens to the new SA2015 helmets now?

Often times the remaining inventory of older certification helmets, such as SA2015, will be discount priced once the new version of that particular helmet becomes available. This creates an opportunity to acquire a bargain priced helmet while still buying a brand new product. Here at Speedway Motors our older inventory of helmets will be found in the Garage Sale section so that a cost conscious buyer can easily browse our inventory of reduced priced helmets.

Where do I find a new SA2020 helmet?

Many models of Snell SA2020 certified helmets are available for purchase now. Helmet manufacturers are also working feverishly to expand their offering even further. You can shop for SA2020 helmets by clicking the link below. You will also be able to sort results by brand, color, size, and other features that you prefer.

Shop SA2020 Helmets

Related Articles

Racing Helmet Guide
by McKenna Haase - Posted in Tech
Learn about choosing a race helmet and head safety considerations from sprint car driver McKenna Haase. Safety tips include correct helmet sizing and care.
Racing Helmet Sizing Charts And Measurement Guide
by Eric McMillan - Posted in Tech
This guide contains charts for multiple racing helmet brands to get the right fit. Learn how to properly measure your head to get the perfect helmet size.
Guide to Selecting a HANS Device
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
The HANS Device has proven to save the lives of racers time and again. We'll show you how to select the right HANS Device for your specific needs here.
Head and Neck Restraint Systems
by Marcus Kennedy - Posted in Tech
To prevent injury, your racing safety gear must meet the SFI 38.1 specification and fit properly. Learn how to choose a head and neck restraint system for competitive motorsports in our buyer's guide.
Routine Weekly Maintenance Checklist for Sprint Cars
by Tyler Perry - Posted in Tech
A routine weekly maintenance checklist to perform between each race in order to keep a clean and efficient race car at the track.
15 Minutes Can Save Your Life Part 2
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Racing technology is more advanced than ever before. The cars, safety equipment, and testing are superior, so why are drivers and co-drivers injured every week? Simpson's ongoing effort to make racers safer includes this brief and informative articl
15 Minutes Can Save Your Life Part 1
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Racing technology is more advanced than ever before. The cars, safety equipment, and testing are superior, so why are drivers and co-drivers injured every week? Simpson's ongoing effort to make racers safer includes this brief and informative article.
Racing Suit Cleaning and Care
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
It's important to use the right method when you're cleaning fire resistant material. We can show you the recommended procedure to ensure the durability and integrity of your suit through its entire lifecycle.
Selecting The Best Performance Spark Plug Wires
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
Learn about some of the differences between factory plug wires and the improvements you'll receive with a quality set of aftermarket performance wires in our spark plug wire buyer's guide
Chevy Small Block - Short vs Long Water Pump
by Jason Lubken - Posted in Tech
Small block and big block Chevy engines were designed with two styles of water pumps, short and long. Before you purchase a new pump, it's important to determine which oneyou have.