There is no such thing as the best ballistic helmet that will work in every situation. The best you can hope for is to choose ballistic helmets that fit your body, gear, and mission. And, while this isn’t exactly rocket surgery, there are a few tricks that should be known in advance.
To ensure that you are always picking a helmet that will pass muster, you should remember three things:
- Helmets protect from shrapnel, not rifle rounds.
- Barely acceptable comfort is torture at the end of the day.
- You will need to balance your gear.
Those in the market to buy the best ballistic helmets possible will need to examine what type of missions they will have, as well as the gear they will be using. Only then it will be easy to figure out which type of helmet you need.
Ideally, you want to have something that will keep your noggin safe and sound with as little weight and discomfort as possible. But, if the risk is too great, you will be tempted to sacrifice a bit of utility for additional safety.
High for Utility, Low for Protection
Modern army helmets come in three distinct categories; low-cut, mid-cut, and high-cut. All of these have their specialized roles and excel in different types of missions. But, the rule stands that high-cut helmets will be for utility, and low-cut will be used for maximum protection.
High-cut helmets like the BHBH™ Boltless High-Cut Ballistic Helmet from UARM will be light and easy to wear. And, aside from having ample space for headphones and other communication gear, they will also allow for gear to be attached to the shroud and pick rails.
High-cut helmets won’t cover as much of your head as a low-cut model, but they will be lighter and that will allow you to wear gear. But, if there is a lot of shrapnel flying around you will do better with your head being safe than with any protruding gear you would carry with you.
Aim for Structural Integrity
All ballistic helmets, provided that they are made by a manufacturer worth their salt, will have the same shape of the shell. This rounded geometry is not only for the looks but rather because they will need to deflect any impact that they might encounter and push it away from the operator.
But, that doesn’t mean that there are no differences. Primarily, high-cut helmets are traditionally made with bolts on the side made to attach gear. Those bolts can pose a threat with projectiles hitting the helmet pushing them in.
The best thing to do is to try and have as much of a uniform shape as possible. This includes no firmly attached protrusions as well as bolts or screws that would be placed inside.
Don’t Forget Comfort
Especially if you are planning prolonged missions, comfort will be essential. What is a minor inconvenience after 15 minutes will be unbearable after 15 days.
The best ballistic helmets will always have a lot of padding and ideally, you want those pads to be movable and adjustable. Ensure that your head feels comfortable and that nothing is pressing on your skull; that will help your protection, as well as your sanity.