Helmet accessories | Primary & Secondary

Helmet accessories

Discussion in 'Armor' started by Pat Tarrant, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Pat Tarrant

    Pat Tarrant Custom testicles Network Supporter

    So, going past the shell choice, suspension, pads, rails, earpro, the basics, what are the reommended other accessories that, if not must haves, are at least good to go with?

    I'm thinking a good set of integrated earpro as a near must. What about:
    IR patches
    ID markers
    Counterweights (are pouches good to have even without NVGs?)
    Integrated eyepro

    I know a lot of this gets into mission specific gear, but assuming a general purpose setup, leaving NVGs as a separate discussion , what do we as a group think about for helmet kit?
  2. PlasticMag

    PlasticMag Amateur

    Run as little as possible. Unless you need something, don't have it on your helmet. Your neck will thank you a decade down the line. Counterweights are not a good choice now that we have suspension systems that actually stabilize the helmet (were they ever a good idea? probably not).

    If you run a light, my recommendation is to run a fixed one. The S&S Precision M-AX rotating mount for Scout heads/caps is a good idea but my experience with it is that it always develops slop.

    If you don't need to integrate earpro, you can cut off the rails and save weight. I'm not a fan of integrated eye/ear pro, since you'll inevitably need it when you're not wearing a helmet.
    krax and Pat Tarrant like this.
  3. Pat Tarrant

    Pat Tarrant Custom testicles Network Supporter

    Interesting, I think you're the first person I've seen advocate not running integrated ears.

    Very good points on keeping things slick as possible.
  4. krax

    krax Member

    I agree with most of what PlasticMag said (I think counterweights can be useful).

    You'll know what you need on your helmet through training and real-world use. Excess headborne weight is enough of a long-term issue that there's no room for decorative junk on a ballistic helmet. Bill Blowers made a video showing his work helmet and it's worth watching. He's got a fair amount of stuff on it, but it all serves a purpose and he wears it for relatively short periods of time.

    Integrated ears has pros and cons. If your ear pro is also your comms than you need to have a solution for how you'll monitor a radio when you're not wearing a helmet.

    I dislike goggles in general and I think the rest of the gun toting world is realizing that goggles are more of a special-purpose item. There's no need to have them attached to a helmet unless you're using them.

    I have a P-tec Charge light on my helmet and I think it's a good, versatile light for it's size. Some will say it's too big and choose a small MPLS and others will say it's under-powered and use a Scout. If you're using NVGs, you may find that you need an IR illuminator. If you check out that video, you'll see that Bill even has a light that points up to illuminate a whole room.

    There's no need for IR anything unless it fits your job.

    Covers help to keep the ballistic shell from getting scratched up and are a good idea for anyone incorporating any kind of camouflage or signature reduction into their work clothing and equipment.

    Counterweights? No need without NVGs (or a GoPro if you're that guy). I generally use an external battery pack for NVGs, so that provides a counterweight. If I'm not using the battery pack, and I feel I need a counterweight, I try to use something functional and not just lead weights. I've used a stash of batteries, or even an MBITR battery with velcro on it in the past. Try to eek out the most stability and and comfort out of your suspension first and then only add the necessary weight.

    Anyway, it's hard to answer the original question without knowing your mission.
  5. Pat Tarrant

    Pat Tarrant Custom testicles Network Supporter

    Krax, Bill's video is definitely a great resource. I think that while you hit the mission drives gear elephant, my original question should have been better written as, "What's a good baseline setup for a helmet, with accessories that you should have / avoid prior to integrating mission specific gear?" This assumes, of course, that you have some leeway in kitting out a helmet.
  6. PlasticMag

    PlasticMag Amateur

    From my perspective (GPF who spent a lot of time under NODs and talking with helicopters), I prioritized night vision, illumination/strobe, and comms. That being said, the helmet was stripped down to a base shell with just a helmet cover and a mount, with velcro on the rear for the night vision battery pack. I had velcro on the cover above that for an IR strobe (MS2000, VIP strobe, Manta, or HelStar), and then I added a helmet light on the left side. Comms were not integrated, I wore them under my ACH.

    Then I picked up a FAST and integrated comms - great until I realized that when I took off my helmet I had to improvise, hence my comment about not integrating comms. If it's earpro, go for it since (IMO) you should have double layer protection (ear plugs and ear muffs).

    Really I think the question should be "What is YOUR mission?" instead of "what is the baseline that I recommend?" - that will really dictate how you tailor your helmet.
    Pat Tarrant likes this.
  7. Pat Tarrant

    Pat Tarrant Custom testicles Network Supporter

    My mission is very limited, which was why I was leaning more toward a baseline that would be better applicable to a wider range of people.

    I'm no longer mil, and very unlikely to need a helmet for any purpose other than at a range that would require it (such as going up to Alliance for FoP and hopefully some more training there in the future). While I don't have any NV systems now, having a mount or at least a shroud would be a nice thing to add, in my opinion, for quick and easy addition of NV or camera systems (camera just for critique purposes, not youtube stardom).
  8. PlasticMag

    PlasticMag Amateur

    In that case, I'd stick with just a night vision mount, maybe a cover if you want to have camouflage on it, and MAYBE a helmet light. No need for strobes or fancy stuff.
    Pat Tarrant likes this.
  9. krax

    krax Member

    I think the EAG classes had some night runs so I'd imagine Chappy & Co. would keep that going. With that in mind, having at least a small task light on your helmet is a handy thing.

    Team Wendy and Opscore helmets include the NVG shroud, so it'll be there until you need it.

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