Helmets! Helmets everywhere! Which is best for NODs?

TheHorta

Matthew 5:44
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  • Jan 17, 2014
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    Welp... like many of you, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect (ballistic) helmet setup for use with NODs. I have a small stable of virtually every make, model, and type of ballistic helmet ever made. I’ve progressed through the Jurassic period with PASGT and MICH2000, tried the Chinesium options that will certainly kill you with toxins leeching into your melon, all the way through the latest Ops Core, 3M, Gentex, Mtek, Revision, and Crye. I have yet to try anything from HHV. My recent acquisition of a sweet Mtek Flux ballistic has me feeling like they are at the apex of brain bucket development. The problem is, all of the truly world-class, quality protective and fully featured gear will set you back a bare minimum of $1500 just for the bucket alone. Add in a quality padding and retention system, comms/earpro, mount, etc and it’s not difficult to have a solid $5K invested by the time you have everything just perfect.

    The conundrum is, can you get a great base unit at a real cost savings that doesn’t sacrifice ballistic protection, quality fit/finish/feel, features, etc?

    In my experience, the answer has been a resounding — NO! You simply have to give up something. There is no free lunch.

    Until now...

    I proudly present to you, dear fellow NODiots, fresh from the quirky country of Demark, from the aptly named company Protection Group Denmark, their spectacular new ARCH IIIa super high-cut ballistic helmet!

    Have a good look/read/watch here. It’s pretty impressive and should put any questions of quality or capability to bed:

    This damn thing took four (4) damn months to get here, but supposedly that was because I ordered right when PGD was redesigning their helmet line — and it was a worthwhile delay, if my unit is any indication.

    For the grand total of $373.50 (delivered) I received a helmet every bit the equal of my TW Ballistic and 90% as good any of my Crye, Ops Core, Revision and 85% as good as the Mtek Flux, and that’s high praise.

    First, a few faux toes:

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    First, it arrived straight from the factory in Denmark. Well packaged with an accessory kit that should be the standard for every helmet manufacturer... period. Not only did it come with a matching set of pre-installed Multicam ARC rails and shroud, but they include a full spare set of Desert Earth colored ones as well (pictured)! The BOA system is VERY well executed, and has the most comfortable retention system of any helmet I own. Then, the creme de la creme, is their included padding system. Basically, it’s a full Deluxe 4D Pad System. The PGD helmet is THE ABSOLUTE MOST COMFORTABLE helmet out-of-the-box of any manufacturer on the face of the planet. It is every bit as comfortable as my TW with 4D aftermarket pads, but its Boa retention system is even more comfortable. The helmet sits high and accommodates ear pro better than my TW or Ops Core and is about equal with the Mtek and Revision.

    So, ballistic protection that seems equal to any of the $2K model, more comfortable out-of-the-box than any helmet ever made, fits like it was custom molded to my head, and all for $373.50!

    What gives? Where does it let down or fall short of the Big Boy Pedigree models?

    Well, first it’s a good 8-10 ounces heavier than the newest OC/MTek models. That’s a non-trivial weight difference, but it’s also not a deal-killer, especially considering how comfortable the system is. Seriously, it’s so comfy you almost forget you’re wearing it. I can run it for many hours without ever “feeling” it.

    Second, the shroud is polymer, not metal. That said, both the Wilcox G24 and Norotos INVG lock-up absolutely solid with ZERO play, flex or give. MUCH better than the poor fitting shrouds Ops Core is shipping with their brand new $1800 SF unit.

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    I have a fair bit more to say about it, but I’m posting this from my damn iPhone, and I suck at texting, so I’ll revisit this in a day or two with additional info. It’s sealed against weather and humidity/moisture intrusion, drop-proof, comfortable as can be, well designed and constructed, top-tier ballistic protection, legit licensed Multicam, and less than $400 delivered. Frankly, it’s a minor manufacturing miracle for that little coin.

    And, in the event there are skeptics out there, no one asked me to say anything about this and I don’t get a plum nickel for raving about this helmet. This is the first I’ve said anything to anyone about this thing.

    It’s plum awesome.
     
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    jwramp

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    Know much about the provenance of the shell? I see they list "Designed in Denmark" rather than "Made in" and then "composed of Twaron aramid fiber by Teijin" which looks like a Japanese company.
     

    TheHorta

    Matthew 5:44
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  • Jan 17, 2014
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    Know much about the provenance of the shell? I see they list "Designed in Denmark" rather than "Made in" and then "composed of Twaron aramid fiber by Teijin" which looks like a Japanese company.
    I don’t, but there are some third party tests out there that backup their impressive ballistic performance claims. Also, a number of FED.GOV agencies have annointed it and put it on the roster, not to mention a littany of EU SF/SWAT organizations, so I’m reasonably confident believing their claims.
     
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    Keel Haul

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    Oct 25, 2017
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    Thanks for the review. Great timing since I was considering running the MICH I have until I found something better. I’m planning on ordering my 14 in mid January so I’m getting the rest of the stuff sorted out like mounts and what helmet to go with after I got tired of the MICH.

    Definitely looking forward to the additional info you’re doing later because I really was looking for a ballistic option that was better than the MICH but wouldn’t cost half of what a 14 does.
     

    TheHorta

    Matthew 5:44
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  • Jan 17, 2014
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    That weight though, jesus. i might buy a few for my conscript army
    Yeah, that's the biggie -- and the question each user needs to answer for themselves: Is it worth the extra $1,200 to shave 12-ounces off the weight?

    To me, yeah -- I love the MTek Flux above all else. But it is surprising how, for a low speed guy like me, the MICH2000-esque weight on the PGD helmet doesn't feel heavy. The fit and padding are just that damn good.
     

    coraxdefence

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    Nov 19, 2020
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    Thanks for the heads-up Horta! As this is only my second post I am obliged to state, that you sir are an officer and a gentleman.

    I just sold my Airframe ATX with the intention of buying a TW, for which I can get a small discount. Now this PGD looks way better than TW. But the weight numbers being thrown around are a bit confusing?

    According to the website the complete large size lid is 1.45kg (3.19lb), making it 0.44lb heavier than the 2.75lb ATX. Except the ATX doesn't include rails or shroud so the difference would be even smaller, and to me the ATX felt pretty darn light. But I am big dude 6.5" and well muscled, with no other reference point for helmets.

    The Mtek at 2.2lbs would therefore be a full pound less than the PGD? Cheers in advance to anyone who can help!
     
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    pmclaine

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  • Nov 6, 2011
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    Been looking for a ballistic rated back of the car hat.......

    Everything peeps sell on here in the PX is for fat heads.

    Let's hear more.
     

    TheHorta

    Matthew 5:44
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  • Jan 17, 2014
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    Most helmets, especially their BOA/Retention Systems, give me headaches. I seem to have a very sensitive noggin. Most ear pro will quickly give me a headache. Anything that sits, cinches, or clamps down snugly — even baseball caps — will give me a headache. The MTek was the first helmet that I could go 2-3 hours before I had to take it off.

    I just had the PGD helmet on for over 6 straight hours with full ensemble — G24 + 31A’s with battery pack, ComTac V’s (not over ears), counterweight, Hel-Star Strobe — to get a feel for how long I could endure. The system was snugly affixed with chinstrap locked on and BOA cinched with very light pressure. Of course, I was bumping around inside and outside of my house, and my FedEx dude really wants to get to know me better, but I have decided that I really, really like this helmet. It’s perfect for sensitive heads like mine.
     

    WALLYBOB

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    Price seems to have increased. My quote is 363.5 euros or $430.99. Still cheaper than HHV and has the coveted Horta field tested seal of approval! 😎
     
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    TheHorta

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    I went through the US company "BulletProofZone.com." I don't think I would have found them otherwise. The helmet shipped directly from Denmark and I had it in 3-4 days from shipment notice.
     

    TheHorta

    Matthew 5:44
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    These seem very similar to the militech helmets (Chinese) that HHV sources from.
    I was wondering that myself. But I was told that Teijin does not sell their Twaron to Chinese manufacturers because of some law that prohibits it (I can’t cite the law, only some hubbub about “for military purposes” blah, blah, blah), so it makes me think these are not manufactured in Coronaville.

    I gots no evidence though. Teijin is headquartered in Amsterdam, and The Netherlands makes a TON of .MIL stuff for EU and US export — not to mention it’s the home of Act in Black.
     

    Downtown

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    I wonder how one could confirm these aren't Chinese. Didn't used to be a big deal, but I just can't get past that now.
     
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    Twistid

    I'm pilot, I can fly
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    May 17, 2020
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    I sent them an email and this was their response

    It is made fully in Europe. Only imported item is the 10-pad system which we manufacture in China.

    But helmet, retention, rails, mount and velcro is made in Europe.
    Man if only this thing was a bit lighter I would be all over it, but my ACH is 3lb 8oz with everything.

    That's pretty impressive you said it's as comfortable as the TW!
     
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    Downtown

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    You're right, that is his forearm! The helmet is a lot larger than I first thought.
     

    Old Man with Gun

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    I just ordered one, as I am headed toward a FLIR breech setup. I don't want to weigh it down, but think a light would be nice. Any recommendations on a light or anything else?
     

    TheHorta

    Matthew 5:44
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    I sent them an email and this was their response



    Man if only this thing was a bit lighter I would be all over it, but my ACH is 3lb 8oz with everything.

    That's pretty impressive you said it's as comfortable as the TW!
    First, that’s AWESOME news! It’s amazing what you can learn just by asking! :p

    Second, it’s a smidge lighter than your ACH fully-pimped with the pads, shroud, ARC rails, and BOA retention system.

    I just weighed a bunch of helmets that were within arm’s length. A few others, including ACH and MICH are packed away at the moment or out on loan.

    Here are the preliminary results. Keep in mind each of these has the STANDARD “as-shipped” pad/retention system installed, to keep it “even.” Out of every one of these helmets, including the TW and MTek Flux, the PGD helmet is LIGHT YEARS more comfortable. It’s not even close.

    Each helmet is full configured with padding/retention system, rails, and shroud installed, just waiting to be accessorized and ready for NODs

    First-up: The Contender from PGD!

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    Next is the greatest achievement in ballistic helmet development to date — the MTek Flux:

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    Next, we have the Ops Core FAST Maritime. Perhaps the most UNCOMFORTABLE helmet — out of the box — known to man:

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    Next, the favorite helmet of Communist Regimes and Freedom Haters — the Team Wendy Ballistic. The PGD is “only” ~7 ounces more than the TW and is vastly more comfortable, which is saying a lot when the Challenger beats the reigning “Comfort Queen” by TW.

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    Last is the OC FAST Maritime clone that was sold by Kota Outfitters. I was told that it’s the same shell HHV uses. I haven’t installed the retention system, so figure another ~1-2 ounces more once installed.

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    Twistid

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    May 17, 2020
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    Here are the preliminary results. Keep in mind each of these has the STANDARD “as-shipped” pad/retention system installed, to keep it “even.” Out of every one of these helmets, including the TW and MTek Flux, the PGD helmet is LIGHT YEARS more comfortable. It’s not even close.
    I'm surprised, earlier you said you thought the opscore/flux/caiman were more comfortable, but after more time you think the PGD is even more so?

    When you say it's more comfortable, is it a combination of the TW style cable system and "4D style" pads or would you say the curvature of the helmet or something else is playing a part as well?

    I thought I had narrowed my NV helmet down to a TW Ballistic or Caiman Ballistic (both significant weight savings and I assume more comfortable/stable than an ACH) however this throws a wrench in things.

    Can you give an opinion on the stability of the PDG with bino NV?
     

    TheHorta

    Matthew 5:44
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  • Jan 17, 2014
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    If I said that, I misstated. The PGD helmet is the absolute most comfortable helmet “out-of-the-box” of any helmet on the planet — including OC/Mtek/Revision/TW.

    That said, adding 4D pads to any of those brings them close to even. I like the shape of the PGD helmet. It is very snug and stable without using the retention system. The BOA system on the PGD is the most comfortable one I’ve used.

    If you can stand the extra POUND above the Mtek, it’s great. It’s “only” 8 ounces heavier than the TW, and in actual use I can’t feel the difference between them.

    The value proposition on the PGD is astounding. I’d rather have the metal Wilcox Shroud that comes standard on the TW, but those are cheap and easily replaced since the hole pattern is uniform on the PGD.
     

    Default.mp3

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    FWIW, I have been told that there is a significant difference in comfort between the old FAST MT and the new FAST SF. I personally have not found my FAST SF to be any more uncomfortable than my TW Exfil LTP, though I do not have a huge amount of time with either.
     
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    WALLYBOB

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    Horta.... as per your post #28, I ordered through Bulletproof Zone and got the same $373 50. Thank you for the 'heads up'. Saved my wife a Christmas shopping trip and I gained some more Cabelas points! Win win.
     

    coraxdefence

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    Horta.... as per your post #28, I ordered through Bulletproof Zone and got the same $373 50. Thank you for the 'heads up'. Saved my wife a Christmas shopping trip and I gained some more Cabelas points! Win win.
    Same here. A pound heavier than Mtek but that is the absolute state of the art; then saving almost $1500, with arc rails instead of mlok, too good to pass! Cheers H!

    Except I paid $413 shipped?

    Wait a sec...

    Because I ordered from mobile? Shit lol.
     
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    Drew890

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    Thanks for the tip on bulletproof zone. I placed my order for $373.50 total. I’ve been looking for a ballistic lid and this seems to be a great option.
     
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    Puncho

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    I like the lightweight characteristics of carbon bump helmets. Best of both worlds may be the helmets coming out that allow you to go from a carbon bump to a ballistic helmet with the addition of appilques. I handled the Revision Caiman and it was a neat concept.
     
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    Femadog

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    Why does this site always cost me more money? Thanks for the heads (pun intended) up. I have a converted tanker helmet from years ago that is a pain to wear, literally. Got the $373.50 price with the Black Friday code BFCM10. hope it works out.
     
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