One of the hottest items in the sports memorabilia business right now is NFL helmets. We’ve been shipping these almost immediately once we get them in stock. At Ultimate Autographs, we offer a few choices for helmet connoisseurs. A common question we’ve received over the years is “What’s the difference between an authentic and a replica helmet?”
Anyone who has held both an authentic, or proline as they’ll sometimes be called, will immediately be able to tell the difference between the two. The authentic helmets weigh significantly more due to the heavier material they’re constructed with. Authentic helmets have real leather interior padding and earpieces that you can snap in & out. They also have a four-point chin strap whereas some replicas will have a two-point chin strap.
Replica helmets will be considerably lighter. This is due to the lighter material they’re made. There are noticeable differences inside the helmet as well. Replica helmets have foam inserts for interior padding and earpieces that you cannot snap in & out. Replica helmets will also be slightly smaller but it will not be a noticeable difference.
There are even some differences with the different manufacturers as well. For example, a replica Schutt helmet will have only 1 bar going across the top of the facemask while authentic Schutt helmets will feature 2 bars and a small loop in the center of the helmet.
At the end of the day, both options present their own pros and cons. Replica helmets are easier on the bank account but authentic helmets present a higher level of detail. Both will look great in a display case and are a great value for any collector.
*We should also point out that you should not ignore the warning labels on the helmets as these are NOT meant to be worn.