Military troops, law enforcement personnel, public security forces, private security services, and search and rescue teams are individuals who willingly risk their safety for the benefit of others. At First Source Wireless, we understand the importance of your day-to-day responsibilities and your unique emergencies. With so many counting on you, you require reliable, durable, and high-performing equipment.
One of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll undoubtedly want to purchase is a helmet. While some tactical helmets (such as ballistic helmets), are specifically designed to protect against gunfire, other tactical helmets (such as bump helmets), protect against other impacts and falling debris. The former might be more appropriate for law enforcement personnel and certain public security forces, for example, while the latter might work best for search and rescue teams who aren’t at risk of gunfire. Regardless of your responsibilities, a tactical helmet will undoubtedly help you complete your task, and we want to help you find the best ballistic helmet or best non-ballistic helmet for you.
Why Invest in a Helmet?
Used to prevent head injuries from crashes, collisions, and other impacts, and aid in head and neck stability in uncontrolled environments, there are numerous types of helmets used in different activities: athletic (such as bicycle, hockey, and football), flight (for astronauts and pilots), and military (such as tactical bump helmets and ballistic helmets.) No matter the type, all helmets serve to protect from brain and skull trauma by absorbing and dissipating the force of impact away from the head, thus protecting the wearer, and is an important piece of gear for people participating in tactical operations.
Choosing Your Helmet
Now that you’ve decided to purchase a military tactical helmet, how do you choose one that best suits your needs? Though ballistic and bump helmets are most-often associated with the armed forces, they are also a great choice for law enforcement in hazardous situations (riots, etc.) First Source Wireless has a variety of tactical helmet options as well as tactical helmet accessories for both military and law enforcement personnel to choose from.
Types of Ballistic Helmets
There are five main categories of military helmets for sale that you might consider: PASGT, MICH, ACH, ECH, and FAST.
- PASGT: Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops
- Sometimes called a “K-Pot” or “Kevlar Helmet,” Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) Helmets are made of layers of Kevlar fibers and is the oldest of the five types of tactical helmets mentioned here. As of the early-mid 2010s, it is still occasionally used as a US military helmet in certain circumstances.
- MICH: Modular Integrated Communications Helmet
- Following PASGT Helmets, the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH) was designed to be lighter and more comfortable yet still just as protective. It was redesigned to be more compatible with accessories and uses an advanced type of Kevlar in its construction.
- ACH: Advanced Combat Helmet
- As its name might suggest, the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) is an advanced version of the MICH. It is currently used by the US Army, though it is being phased out for the ACH II, or ECH.
- ECH: Enhanced Combat Helmet
- The Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH) is a second-generation ACH, and is also known as an ACH II. Using ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene instead of ballistics fibers, the ECH is designed to be lighter than its predecessors while providing increased protection against fragmentation and rifle projectiles.
- FAST: Future Assault Shell Technology
- First unveiled by Ops-Core, Future Assault Shell Technology (FAST) Helmets are immediately recognizable due to their characteristic high-cut design, exposing the ears unlike the PASGT Helmets, MICH, ACH, and ECH. Specifically designed to prevent water intrusion and retention in the ear cups, the side rails of Ops-Core FAST Ballistic Helmets allow for additional accessories, such as communication systems and night vision equipment. Other brands now offer ATE (above-the-ear) and high-cut helmets as well. (Note: First Source Wireless has the pictured helmet –the Ops-Core FAST SF Super High Cut Ballistic Helmet for sale!)
There are a variety of brands that sell ballistic helmets, ballistic helmet accessories, bump helmets, and bump helmet accessories. We’ve listed some of the best-known names below:
- Based out of California, Atomic Defense offers bulletproof products to civilians and governments worldwide.
- American-made Crye Precision products are dedicated to high performance, usability, and longevity. They pride themselves on their customer support and work to integrate user feedback into their offerings.
Hard Head Veterans
- Veteran-owned and veteran-operated, each member of Hard Head Veterans’ team is linked to either the military or law enforcement, providing them firsthand knowledge on the equipment that works the best. Determined to make protective gear accessible and affordable to those who want it, Hard Head Veterans are dedicated to the safety and quality of their products.
- An internationally recognized company with offices in three countries, Galvion designs, develops, and delivers protective armor and head systems along with power supply and management solutions for soldiers and their vehicles.
- Part of Gentex Corporation’s portfolio of helmet systems for modern defense, emergency response, and security forces, Ops-Core modular integrated helmet systems seamlessly integrate with hearing protection, eyewear, communication system, and respiratory protection products. (Check outFirst Source Wireless’ entire Ops-Core inventory of helmets and accessories – like this Ops. Tactical Respirator!)
- Established in 2003, Shellback Tactical’s mission is to design and manufacture premium, innovative tactical gear that is focused on mission-specific requirements, functionality, and durability.
- An Avon Protection company established in 1997, Team Wendy is focused on developing leading-edge products that serve to protect against serious and potentially life-threatening impact-related injuries. Their commitment to thoughtful design allows their users to focus on their mission while feeling secure in their helmet.
- One of the leading manufacturers of personal ballistic and fragmentation protection equipment, United Shield International is a supplier to major government departments, law enforcement and security services, and export their products to 80+ countries around the world.
Best Helmet for You
Now that you know what kinds of helmets are in the market, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites for you! (Note: All prices in USD and as of January 8, 2022)
Shellback Tactical Level IIIA Ballistic PASGT Helmet: $300
- Coming in three sizes, this black PASGT Helmet weighs anywhere from 2.9-3.3lbs, depending on size ordered. Kevlar ballistic fiber construction offers protection against handgun ammunition.
HHV ATE GEN2 Ballistic Helmet: $534
- Coming in four sizes and five colorways, this highly-rated, above-the-ear helmet is Hard Head Veterans’ most popular item. Weighing 3lbs, it uses the MAGPUL M-LOK SYSTEM, reducing its overall profile and bulkiness. Popular accessories include lights, headset adapters, and cameras, all available on the Hard Hat Veterans website.
Galvion Batlskin Caiman Bump Helmet: $732
- Coming in five sizes and two colorways (with additional colors available upon request), this bump helmet is specifically designed for maritime and mobile maneuvers. Intended to be lightweight with the expectation that additional equipment will be added, its weight ranges from just 1.65-1.99lbs. Featured accessories include visors (both fixed and rotating), and a mandible.
Ops-Core FAST SF Super High Cut Carbon Composite Helmet: $943
- Coming in four sizes and six colorways, this bump helmet is designed for less extreme environments and is ideal for training, reconnaissance, airborne, and water operations. Compatible with all FAST helmet accessories, its weight ranges from 1.5-1.7lbs.
Crye Precision AirFrame Ballistic Helmet: $1,093
- Coming in three sizes and three colorways, this modular helmet features an unique design allowing for ventilation and passive cooling. Weighing between 2.3-2.75lbs, modular ear and face protection is available, as well as a modular ARC Rail system.
Team Wendy EXFIL Ballistic Helmet: $1,176
- Coming in two sizes and four colorways, this above-ear helmet is an investment for those serious about their tactical equipment. At 2.6-2.75lbs, it is made from a hybrid composite material and features CAM FIT retention, allowing for quick and easy adjustment to individual head shapes. Customizable fit is further ensured by a set of movable comfort pads. Depending on the rails you select, Team Wendy offers a variety of accessories, including a visor, ear covers, face shield, and mandible.
DevTac Ronin Ballistic Helmet Facemask: $2,910
- This full-face ballistic helmet offers the greatest amount of protection of all the products we have listed. Weighing between 4.9-6lbs, it has detachable plates that not only allow for customizable levels of ballistic protection, helmet design, and helmet function, but the separate plates also lessen the kinetic energy from bullet impacts, lowering the potential for injury. If desired, the Facemask can also be ordered in a non-ballistic version, which decreases the price to $1,100.
An investment in a helmet is an investment in your health and safety; ultimately, it’s an investment in yourself. Depending on your unique needs, you might opt for a helmet designed to protect against gunfire, such as a Rifle Rated Ballistic Helmet, Ops-Core Ballistic Helmet, or Team Wendy Ballistic Helmet. Alternatively, you might select a simpler option, a FAST/ATE High-Cut Bump Helmet. No matter what you choose, we hope our overview has been helpful! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to First Source Wireless: we’re committed to our customers and are always happy to help you find what you need to complete your next mission!