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Choosing the Best Bulletproof Helmets
Best Bulletproof Helmets
Bulletproof helmets are some of the most sought-after types of body armor. Your head is the most vulnerable part of your body while you are facing ballistic threats. A shot to the head is more often than not fatal, so bulletproof helmets are a must-have for security personnel involved in combat. These helmets can protect against fragments and shrapnel as well.
Tactical helmets are often worn by law enforcement and military members for protection during tactical missions or if there is a chance of ballistic threat. Even citizens looking for bullet protection when working with firearms may benefit from a bulletproof helmet. Learn more about what kind of bulletproof helmet to buy and what style may be best for your needs.
Bulletproof Helmet Styles
Three of the best ballistic helmets currently available include the future assault shell technology (FAST) helmet, personnel armor system for ground troops (PASGT), and modular integrated communications (MICH) helmet.
Learn more about these popular bulletproof helmet styles:
FAST helmets, also known as high-cut helmets, are used by numerous special operation forces. One of the most noticeable and unique characteristics of a FAST helmet is its high-cut sides designed to leave the ears exposed. FAST helmets also curve down, protecting the back of the head and occipital bone.
The high-cut design also prevents water pooling and allows the wearer to wear additional combat equipment, such as night vision goggle shrouds and earphones.
The PASGT serves as the original gold standard for ballistic protection. The military used this helmet from the 1980s to the mid-2000s as an important aspect of full-body protective gear. Today, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Reserve still often use the PASGT helmet.
These helmets include an outer shell of multi-layer kevlar, a lip over the brow, and a lower cut around the ears. The average PASGT helmet weighs between 3.1 to 4.2 pounds.
MICH Combat Helmets
The MICH helmet is the newer generation of the PASGT helmet, released in the early 2000s. MICH helmets are designed to be more comfortable and lighter while still offering the same reliable protection as a PASGT. You might know the MICH helmet as an advanced combat helmet (ACH).
The average MICH helmet weighs between 3 and 3.6 pounds and is comprised of Kevlar®. One benefit of the MICH helmet is that it allows accessories to be mounted without shifting the helmet forward and inhibiting vision.
Bulletproof Helmet Protection Levels
Bulletproof helmets have protection levels ranging from level II to level IV. The higher the level, the more protection it can offer. For example, a level IV bulletproof helmet can protect against armor-piercing rounds.
Each helmet is tested before being labeled with a particular protection level. The helmets are tested using the same rounds as those used to test bulletproof vests and other types of body armor. For example, a level II bulletproof helmet is tested using a 7.62 mm full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet with a speed of 2780 feet-per-second (fps).
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) levels of protection apply to bulletproof helmets, just like they apply to other body armor. The NIJ rating standard is the only nationally accepted standard for body armor depended on by law enforcement. Any NIJ level requires that a bullet does not perforate the armor and that the armor can provide adequate protection from blunt force trauma.
Bulletproof Helmet Applications
Bulletproof helmets use bulletproof material and are reliable for numerous applications and situations. While you may initially think of gunfire, a bulletproof helmet protects the wearer from numerous projectiles and potential dangers. Some of the most common bulletproof helmet applications include:
- Ballistic threats: As many know, a bulletproof helmet is an ideal piece of body armor that provides ballistic protection to the head, ears, neck, and temples.
- Shrapnel: A bulletproof helmet can protect the wearer from impact and may prevent serious injury if shrapnel or metal fragments are launched in the air.
- Explosions: A bulletproof helmet provides adequate protection against explosions and can prevent head and neck injury.
Once you have determined the applications of the expected needs of a bulletproof helmet, you can begin researching which specific helmet model is right for you.
Top 3 Bulletproof Helmets
We have a wide selection of top-of-the-range bulletproof helmets on Atomic Defense. Some of our highest-rated bulletproof helmets include:
MILITECH DE Deluxe NIJ IIIA FAST Bulletproof Helmet
The Militech FAST HC DE DLX is a military-grade bulletproof helmet with NIJ protection Level IIIA. It comes with a visor set that protects your face while ensuring you have clear vision. The helmet is available in medium, large, and extra-large and weighs between 3.2 and 3.3 pounds depending on the size.
MILITECH M/LG NIJ level IIIA Air Frame Bulletproof Helmet Ballistic
The Militech AF OD M/L is yet another very protective bulletproof helmet. The helmet comes in medium and large sizes and weighs approximately 3.3 pounds. The head rim of the helmet ranges between 55 cm and 60 cm.
MICH 2000 NIJ IIIA Bulletproof Helmet
The MICH 2000 is quite impressive as well. It is a highly protective and comfortable bulletproof helmet. The helmet is available in medium, large, and extra-large sizes. The head sizes range from 54 cm and 57 cm for the medium sizes, 57 cm and 59 cm for the large ones, and 59 cm and 63 cm for the extra-large ones. It weighs between 3.4 and 3.8 pounds depending on the size.
How to Get the Right Size Ballistic Helmet
A helmet that does not fit will offer minimal or no protection at all. Note that the chin strap knob adjustment system on a bulletproof helmet does not imply you can purchase a larger size than you need. Most modern bulletproof helmets have this system, but its sole function is comfort, not fit.
You should also check the comfort level of the helmet. The weight, shape, and interior design of a bulletproof helmet determine how comfortable it feels. A lightweight helmet will enhance comfort, especially for long wear. The shape of the helmet also has to augur well with that of your head to ensure it feels comfortable.
General sizing recommendations include:
- Small: 20 inches and under (50 centimeters and under)
- Medium: 20 to 22 inches (50 to 56 centimeters)
- Large: 21 to 24 inches (54 to 60 centimeters)
- Extra-large: 24 inches and over (60 centimeters and over)
While this sizing guide is helpful, you should always check with the manufacturer about the specific style of helmet you may be interested in. When considering a helmet, stability, comfort, and reliability are important factors to pay attention to.
Bulletproof Helmet Accessories to Consider
Even the most effective ballistic helmets can only provide a certain level of protection. You can choose from numerous accessories that complement your bulletproof helmet for full-body protection. Some of the most important helmet accessories and additional body armor equipment to consider include:
- Bulletproof visors
- Bulletproof masks
- Bulletproof vests
- Plate carriers
- Bulletproof backpacks
- Active threat equipment
Atomic Defense Body Armor and Helmets
Atomic Defense is the leading provider of NIJ-tested body armor, helmets, and accessories regularly used by the military and law enforcement. Your safety is our most important priority, and we ensure our body armor meets rigorous testing above and beyond what other manufacturers perform.