Friday, March 1, 2013

Helmet Upgrades

Helmet Upgrades, both the necessary and the low cost.

Helmet suspension/straps.

If your career involves wearing a helmet, you owe it to yourself to upgrade the suspension system to a Ops-Core H or X Nape suspension system.

Kyle Defoor put me onto this back in 2010 with his post about them,

I didn’t get a helmet until much later, but when I did, the first thing I did was replace the factory ACH suspension system with a Ops-Core H-Nape. This has created a helmet that not only is comfortable to wear, but will adjust when worn so you can wear Ear Pro with your helmet, a problem that the standard suspension systems will either not do all together, or not allow the helmet to be adjusted once worn.

Replacement of the suspension straps is doable with the various types of  suspensions on the market. From the standard 4 point system mounted by 4 screws with use of Velcro mounted pads to a hybrid 4 point suspension system and net padding all held by 4 screws. It may take some work on the installers part to figure out the hybrid suspension and how to make just the net padding work with the Ops Core pads, but it’s completely doable.  

NOD retention straps.                               

A PVS-14 can run anywhere from $2600 to $3500 a piece. If you paid for this out of pocket or are issued it, its not something you want to loose or damage. There are many options available on the market for retention of your $3000 tool, with varying prices and features. These run from Bungee cords to retractable lanyards. The prices run from $11 to $75 and up.

Needless to say, all of us are on budgets, some smaller than others. Money spent to save your $3000 investment is well spent, no matter the amount. In my research, 2 options stood out due to features and availability. The Wilcox retractable lanyard and the Down Range Gear lanyard. I would have looked at the Ops Core Bungees, but they were not in stock anywhere at the time.
·      DRG on Soldier Systems:

After this research, I decided that I’d give the Down Range Gear NRL-2 a shot. It runs $11-12 a set, meaning I would have minimal money invested if it failed to work for me.

The NRL-2 kit includes the MICH shroud mount, PVS-14 attachment and two MOLLE attachment points for dummy cording to kit. The setup was very easy, and resulted in the following that pictures can demonstrate better than words at this point. 

Helmet with PVS-14 in use position, lanyard in use.
Helmet with NOD bracket deployed showing female end of Retention strap.
Showing PVS-14 with retention strap installed. 
PVS-14 in folded position with retention strap applied.

Retention strap in use to dummy cord to kit for carry in pouch. 
Showing one of the included MOLLE adapters for dummy cording. 

Hope this helps your use if you have to wear a helmet for work or play. 

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