VA Tech Helmet Lab Researchers Conclude 5-Star Football Helmets Are Safer with SAFR Protech Helmet Covers

CHESTER SPRINGS, Pa., Jan. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — At Virginia Tech’s ‘Helmet Lab’ in Blacksburg VA, research technicians tested the concussion risk of three of the most popular 5-STAR football helmets on the market, both with and without the SAFR ProTech helmet cover.  More than 320 tests were conducted over three days, and test results concluded the following:

  • Combining a SAFR ProTech with the 5-STAR helmets significantly lowered the risk of concussion by as much as 77% when compared to the helmet scores without a ProTech.
  • While helmet manufacturers have made strides in safety, VA Tech data proves that wearing a SAFR ProTech adds more protection, particularly to both the back and side of the head – two of the most common locations for head injury
  • The value of wearing a SAFR ProTech becomes even more important for the harder hits – VA Tech results are consistent with data from an independent three-year on-field study at a major Pennsylvania university, where concussive impacts were reduced by up to 72%

“At SAFR, we always knew our ProTech made the head safer, and the Virginia Tech study validates our belief – we are pleased that even the best helmets available can be made safer for a fraction of the cost of the helmet itself,” said SAFR Sports President & CEO John Zeglinski.

Since 2011, VA Tech lab technicians have been researching head impacts in football at all levels and evaluate which helmets are best at reducing concussion risk.  Their ‘STAR Rating System’ provides unbiased ratings that allow consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing helmets, and their research methods have been published as peer-reviewed articles in medical journals.   

VA Tech’s rating system measures risk exposure (the number of times an impact will be seen each season) with the risk of concussion through both linear and rotational analysis.  Calculations from impacts at multiple velocities at different locations of the head create a STAR risk score – the lower the score, the higher the helmet rating:  5-STAR helmets have a risk score of under 10.

For example, the 5-STAR helmets tested had an average risk score of 4.34 – however, by combining a ProTech, their average STAR score was lowered to 1.64.  Additionally, results were even more impressive when measuring impacts to the back of the helmet –combining a ProTech reduced the risk of concussion by as much as 80%.

“Our current teams will be happy to know that their investment in player safety is validated by Virginia Tech’s research, and parents with kids who are wearing a ProTech have more peace of mind when watching them play football,” added Zeglinski.

About SAFR

SAFR Sports is staffed by former football players and professionals, all who share the singular mission of making football and all contact sports safer through science. SAFR’s ProTech helmet cover, worn by nearly 300 college teams, high schools, and youth football leagues, has been proven to reduce impact accelerations that reduce the adverse effects of repeated sub-concussive blows.  Other important advantages of the ProTech include being permitted for game-play by the National Federation of High Schools.  In addition, the ProTech is custom-manufactured to model and size, and will match the color and finish of existing helmets. For the VA Tech test results and a complete description of the ProTech and SAFR Sports, please visit

John McClung, Marketing Director
SAFR Sports