Tactical Helmets – A Brief Summary
If you’ve landed here, you’re likely looking for the best military helmets you can possibly buy. You’re probably also looking for modern ones.
Helmets – they’re almost as old as warfare itself. Helmets have been found that date back to well over 2600 years in the past. Ceremonial, boar-tusk ivory helmets have been found dating as far back as the 17th century BC.
It makes sense – the brain is the most important organ by far. Even minor brain injuries can leave you debilitated for a lifetime.
Over the years, as conventional warfare moved away from antiquity and evolved, so too did the design of the helmet. Warping from being primarily constructed with leather and brass to iron and eventually steel. Nowadays, the best military helmets are made from advanced materials.
Military use of helmets seen a sharp decline in the late 1600s/early 1700s when firearms rendered them practically useless. There was no real demand or need for military helmets, right up until world war 1. When WW1 happened, the prominent use of artillery meant that helmets would be vital to protect soldiers. Not from bullets, though. They were mainly to protect from the huge chunks of debris blow around by mortar fire. Even then, bullets could still punch a hole in a helmet with ease. Provided, of course, they didn’t strike at an angle.
We didn’t even begin to see helmets with a reasonable chance of stopping a bullet till much later. It wasn’t until the 1970s, with the introduction of more modern ballistic materials such as Kevlar. Since then, the range of designs and styles of tactical helmets have exploded.
It’s absolutely critical that these helmets provide protection from trauma. Many of them also look to accomplish other things too. Modern tactical helmets often have rails in which a camera, night vision goggles or other equipment can be mounted. Not all of them are designed to stop projectiles such as bullets though. So you should pay close attention when reading up on what you might be buying.
Keep In Mind:
If you’re a civilian and you don’t print money for a living, helmets can be hard to source. Especially ones that are relatively cheap. The ballistic resistant helmets normally go for hundreds of dollars.
Luckily, you can still get all of the functionality of a military helmet without spending money on ballistic fibre. Especially bump protection.
If you’re looking for a helmet that will protect you from small arms fire, you should look into ballistic helmets. But if you need a military helmet purely for utility or aesthetic reasons, you should look below.
The Best Military Helmets 2020
Team Wendy EXFIL LTP Helmet [Premium Product]
The Team Wendy EXFIL LTP Helmet is manufactured to a truly impeccable quality. It was specifically manufactured for use as a lightweight, tactical bump helmet.
It meets all of the necessary personal protective equipment regulations for the EU. (EN 1385:2012). This product is actually independtly verified to ensure that is meets these criteria.
(Certain clubs may require that their equipment adhere to these regulations for insurance purposes. So it’s profitable to ensure this helmet is perfect for the job)
It’s padded with a thick foam liner designed to withstand some seriously nifty impacts. Side rails with picatinny rail/magpul compatibility are also present.
The night vision compatibility shroud is integrated perfectly into the device. It makes use of a specific type of aluminium shroud that’s actually optimized for night vision compatibility.
The unique BOA fitting system is present. This allows tension to be evenly distributed around the head to keep the helmet secure whilst still remaining comfortable.
Velcro segments on the helmet are present to allow you to affix ID badges, name tags or reflective patches.
The rails aren’t cross compatible with other helmets, luckily adapters for team wendy rails aren’t hard to find.
Overall if you’re looking for a helmet that guarantees you solid impact protection, this is your best bet.
It also has a great amount of modularity. With the diversity of equipment you can attach to the helm remaining fairly high.
This is legitimately one of the best military helmets you can buy. Especially if you’re only looking for a helmet designed for bumps.
DLP Tactical ImpaX Extreme
The DLP Tactical Impax is based on the MICH (Modular Integrated Communications Helmet) / ACH (Advanced Combat Helmet) design. It’s extremely lightweight and very versatile.
This is ideal for operators with a fast & efficient philosophy, or those participating in training/simulation work who do not need ballistics protection. Can also be used for search and rescue.
It’s made out of nylon fibre and exceeds bump/impact protection ANSI standards.
Aesthetically it ticks just about every box. The sleek, black modern design has minimal visual noise. Despite providing you with a great deal of options for mounting your equipment.
The siderails provide compatibility with all modern communication headsets. The mount for night vision goggles can be removed/replaced and is manufactured at a military quality.
Impact padding lines the inside, not only protecting you from impact but also increasing the comfort of the helmet.
The large ventilation holes provide great breath-ability and are actually compatible with the bungee gear retention system (sold seperately)
The suspension system and EPP pads are both adjustable to ensure that this helmet fits regardless of size. They do a great job seeing as the helmet fits 95% of all users.
Lancer Tactical ABS Helmet
This is another helmet with bump protection and solid railings for mounting lights/NVG. In fact, all manner of tactical devices can be mounted with relative ease. Ranging from lasers to various types of optics. You may have noticed a slot in the center of the forehead on this helmet. This slot is molded in to the plastic of the helmet. It is designed to allow a user to attach a camera to their helmet with ease. This slot is also compatible with brackets for mounting night vision and a whole manner of other tactical accessories.
The exceptionally hard molded plastics can protect against concussive force very well.
Side pads can easily be removed to make space for hands free communication headsets.
Whilst it does not feature ballistic protection, it does have considerable functionality as a bump proof helmet. It won’t be stopping any bullets, but it’s great to provide a level of personal protection. Whether this is in the field, at a sporting event or simply training at home.
It can be secured to the head quickly and easily with the adjustable head-lock styled chinstrap. There’s also a dial located at the rear of the helmet. This can be used to quickly and efficiently adjust the positioning of your helmet too. There’s also Velcro stretching along the base of the helmet – you can use these to secure patches.
LOOGU Fast Military Helmet
The LOOGU fast military helmet is constructed outed of hard-polymer materials.
The top of this helmet has an integrated slot which can be used for various different types of equipment.
There’s a knob tucked away at the side which actually allows you to adjust the tightness of the helmet too.
The guide rail is perfect for flashlights, goggles or any other equipment you could possibly desire. Quick detachment functionality means you can easily swap out equipment on the fly.
It comes with two sets of liner pads, both 1/2″ and 3/4″ respectively.
This helmet is ideal if you’re looking for something to get you wearing night vision quickly and effectively. It doesn’t have any ballistic resistance though, so be wary that it’s just a bump helmet.
This helmet is often offered in a wider variety of colors. Various different camouflage options mean that you’ll struggle to wind a variant of the helmet that doesn’t compliment your uniform.
LOOGU Fast 12-in-1 Base Jump
The LOOGU Fast 12-in-1 Base Jump provides you with a handy bump helmet that’s easy to adjust. It comes in a huge variety of camouflage patterns with a balaclava to match each.
All the traditional features you’d expect from a LOOGU bump helmet are present here also. It has a guide rail on the side for attaching equipment freely. A Velcro patch on the sides is also present to allow you to attach name tags or reflective patches.
Aesthetically it’s ideal. The huge variety of camouflage options available on purchase make it really worth considering. Even the bandana can be customized accordingly.
Tightness of the helmet can be adjusted with a nob located at the rear of the helmet. There’s also the standard, rhombus shaped mold fitted into the forehead section of the plastic. This will allow you to mount cameras/night vision/torches with relative ease.
The liners, rails and pads that are all provided with this bump helmet are largely universal. You can swap them around other helmets with relative ease. This means that if you already own a few there’s a chance you’ll have an abundance of spare parts too.
If you’re looking for night vision but are willing to forego ballistic protection, this helmet is your best bet. This is ideal for those who hunt game at night.
Just remember to check your local laws concerning night vision and hunting at night. Some states prohibit this.
This bump helmet is also ideally suited for training purposes. If you’re working your way up to wearing full-on ballistic helmets, this is a great intermediary helmet. It’ll allow you to get used to things.
DLP Tac-X Tactical Impact Helmet
The DLP Tactical Impax Bump Helmet is another helmet offering you a diverse seleciton of MICH/ACH patterns to choose from. It’s designed as a bump helmet to prevent you sustaining any kind of head injuries from concussive force. It’s absolutely ideal for training purposes. Moving up to a full on ballistic helmet after getting used to wearing this isn’t remotely challenging.
Looking for a lightweight bump helmet without ballistic protection? This ticks that box. It’s ideal not just for training but also for those conducting operations where full ballistic protection may slow you down. This can include but isn’t limited to paintball and airsoft.
It has Velcro on the side, allowing you to secure a patch to identify yourself or your company. It also has a mold in the front facing plastic. This mold will allow you to insert a camera or night vision goggles.
There’s a side rail too for your to fix other devices such as communication devices. Ideal for lower light conditions or conditions where communication is vital or footage should be recorded.
The helmet doesn’t just meet ANSI standards for bump/impact protection. It exceeds them. The outer casing of the helmet is made of nylon fiber for a sturdy and safe fit.
Speaking of fit, you’ll likely find that medium or large fit you with relative ease. If you’re still having some difficulties, though, there’s a dial for adjusting the helmet. The pads can also be configured too, to ensure you get a solid, comfortable fitting helmet regardless.
Best Full Face Helmets
Full face helmets are helmets that cover the entire face. Whether this is with a mesh-net, fancy carbon fiber techno-wizardry or any other combination of strategies. Full face helmets generally net you the benefit of enhanced protection. Both from the elements, debris, occasionally ballistics and in some cases even noxious gasses.
This particular article is geared more towards casual enthusiasts and less towards those in service. So we’ve opted to cover the more casual full face helmets. We’ll get round to covering the full face ballistic helmets soon – but for now we’d like to cover the basics.
OAREA WoSporT Tactical Obsidian [Best Paintball Product]
I’m a huge fan of this full face mask for a handful of reasons. Namely the ridiculous level of customization available to the consumer. Visor and mask color can be swapped and changed accordingly on the purchase page. White/Orange? Black/Green? Finding a specific color you like is of no issue.
You can even swap the lenses after the fact – if you choose to stock up on a few of them.
This mask is also incredibly lightweight – it doesn’t even weigh a full kilogram. All of the adjustment buttons for adjusting the mask size are tucked away neatly so they don’t ruin the aesthetic. Despite this they’re still easy to access and interact with.
The mask is well ventilated too, which can be an absolute lifesaver in a full face mask. Full face masks with poor ventilation often steam up and reduce your visibility. Constantly re-inhaling carbon dioxide isn’t too great for you either.
The overall quality of the product is pretty solid, with a mount on top for cameras/flashlights/nightvision like most other helmets. This product is more so for designed for non-ballistic projectile protection.
I would not attempt to rely on it as a bump helmet. Namely because the materials it’s manufactured from lend themselves more to being lightweight and breathable.
One Tigris Full Face Helmet
The OneTigris Full Face helmet is an ideal selection for anyone looking for full-face protection. The goggles are treated to prevent themselves from fogging up with your breath. The soft padding on the inside of the helmet can be chopped and changed to ensure maximum user comfort.
The helmet itself comes with most of the features you’d expect from a bump helmet. Velcro to secure patches for identification being the most obvious one. These can also be used to fit name tags or reflective plates.
An integrated hole on the forehead region is attached too. This will allow you to easily mount/demount cameras, nightvision, flashlights or anything else.
The guard rail will also let you mount things of a similar nature. Communication devices are an option. But integrating with the mesh netting can be a little bit trickier than with standard helmets.
There’s a dial located at the tail-end of the helmet for quickly adjusting tightness around the forehead. This will let you ensure your helmet stays comfortably on your head when exposed to any kind of stress.
You probably guessed from the mesh net, but this helmet does not have ballistic protection. It is however ideal for training, airsoft, paintball and any other manner of activities. Basically anything that doesn’t involve live ammunition.
Perhaps with the exception of hunting (although you’d likely get some funny looks).
The full facial protection system integrated into this helmet is ideal. It means that airsoft and paintball rounds are no longer a considerable danger. The helmet is manufactured out of ABS. But the mask is actually made out of a lower carbon steel and PC is used for the lense.
JadedDragon PJ Tactical Fast Helmet
I’m a big fan of the JadedDragon tactical face mask too. It comes with a foldable mask, a set of tactical goggles, the helmet itself and a bundle of other accesories.
The bump helmet present is a standard one. It’s made from a hard ABS plastic material to provide a tough exterior layer. The interior features some anti-seismic foam EPS plastic to help with shock absorption.
It comes with the standard night vision/camera mount located on the forehead of the helmet. It also has side rails which can be used to mount any equipment your heart so desires.
The helmet is adjustable and built with a “one size fits all” type of philosophy. Anyone with a head larger than 23in may have difficulty. There’s actually an adjustment knob concealed at the back of the helmet. This will allow you to easily adjust the tension of the helmet.
The goggles are manufactured from thermoplastic polyurethanes, this is fairly standard as far as tactical goggles go. This will provide you with a level of security and comfort you previously would’ve missed out on.
Looking to fit patches, IFF, reflective badges or anything else? The Velcro on the side of the helmet perfectly facilitates this.
The mesh net located around the mouth region of the face is ideal for a few reasons. If you’re playing paintball or airsoft, it’ll help protect your mouth from trauma. It’ll also keep your face slightly warmer in colder conditions. It has the added benefit of being completely removable too, so you’re not obligated to use it 24/7 either.
It comes with a handful of different camoflage options too. If you’re not feeling up to the ACU, there’s a beautiful black python inspired camo pattern. This helmet is also available in both Tan and MA.
Tactical Helmets – A Buyers Guide
What To Know
You should be aware of a couple of key elements before setting out to purchase a tactical helmet. The first, most important factor is definitely this:
Is it engineered for ballistic resistance?
Purchasing a helmet with the sole intention of it being able to resist ballistic damage? You need to be absolutely, 100% sure that it is. The helmet’s rating is pretty critical here. Many manufacturers of ballistics helmets offer lightweight variations of their helmets for training purposes. These helmets are the best military helmets if you’re looking to stay lightweight. Mobility is key for a lot of purposes.
These are often referred to as “bump helmets”. They will absorb impact from regular blunt force trauma, but they can’t handle bullets. The upside is of course that they are lighter and allow for enhanced mobility.
Many of the helmets listed here are not designed to withstand ballistic trauma. This article is primarily orientated towards those looking to purchase training gear, bump helmets or helmets for airsoft. We’ll be releasing an article focusing purely on ballistic helmets in the near future.
as always, you should remain wary of helmets that were manufactured abroad. But be conscious of the fact that “made in america” is a term that’s pretty easy to manipulate.
It’s not difficult to buy a bunch of cheap components in from China. After that you can simply assemble a product (badly) in America. Want to brand your product as having been “made in the USA”? That’s literally how easy it is.
Try to consult with customer reviews if they exist already. It’s much better to get a solid feel for what other peoples experiences are with a product. You should only really default to trusting a manufacturer if you’ve had several positive experiences with them before.
I always try to priorities brands with a track record of solid customer experience. That way, if something goes wrong, I know I’m getting taken care of.
Your overall preference should definitely be a factor. The overall combination of aesthetics, comfort, price and utility should be something you really weigh up in your mind. Especially before making a purchasing decision.
The best military helmets are the ones you know you didn’t waste your money on.
Have a reasonable amount of knowledge surrounding what you’re buying? you can feel fairly confident that you won’t make the wrong decision.