Before I get into my review, first I’d like to go over the history of the technology. Ballistic Helmets have come a very long way ever since the late 1980’s when the ubiquitous K-Pots were introduced and fielded by the U.S. Military.
The K-Pot was a nickname by soldiers for the PASGT Helmet (Personal Armor System for Ground Troops). It was a technological marvel in personal armor, especially in the helmet field. It was the first actual Ballistic Helmet that was effective at countering a ballistic threat from pistol caliber projectiles and shrapnel. It utilized layers of Kevlar, hence the nickname. It was considered light weight at the time because there was simply nothing else out there like it. Weighing in at about 4 pounds was and is, still today, worth the protection that it gave: Level IIIA.
They were seen in the first Desert Storm under the chocolate chip desert camouflage covers, all the way through to the Global War on Terror. Most have been donated to other nation’s armed forces and to American Law Enforcement Officers through the Federal Program, which is under attack by those who are ignorant and unwilling to take the risk our officers take against dangerous criminals. I’ll save that for another time.
With the Global War on Terror, came the newer, improved helmet based off the PASGT: the ACH (Advanced Combat Helmet). The ACH offers the same Level IIIA protection with half a pound weight reduction by using more advanced Kevlar materials and cuts around the helmet to increase mobility for the user and better acoustics and compatibility with communication systems.
The ACH is currently still the issued helmet for line troops while Special Operations Units have moved onto the lighter weight high cut Ballistic Helmets that come in around 3 lbs or less that combines the protective features of a ballistic helmet with the light weight and maneuverability of a bump helmet.
I myself own a PASGT and two ACH helmets (one for work and one for home). All of my helmets were surplus that I’ve made to fit my needs. I would like to have the newer high-cut helmets but they’re out of my budget with most ending up around $1,000 with all of the bells and whistles.
The helmet Safariland sent me was the Delta5HC (High-Cut) Ballistic Helmet in Large. When I got the box, it felt like it was empty! That’s how light it is, how light exactly? On the scale it comes in at 2.46 pounds.
That is lighter than most of the comparable helmets, especially in a Large Shell. The Delta5HC I received came in Coyote Tan, you know me, it’s another shade of FDE. This particular helmet was fully decked out with a Wilcox NVG shroud that has the 3 hole WarCom pattern. It looks like it’s made of a polymer frame with a metal reinforced insert where the mounting bracket is.
The 3 holes are the only holes in the helmet, it is otherwise a boltless design. The accessory rails are boltless.
Made by Armor Source with bungees. Inside the helmet there is a Team Wendy pad system along with their cam-fit BOA ratcheting system. Yes, I’m aware of Team Wendy’s current media and PR firestorm. I’m going to leave the politics out of this review. The Team Wendy padding and BOA system is very comfortable and secure. The actual chin straps aren’t my favorite to work with when adjusting while wearing the helmet but they work and lock in place.
I’m considered a Small/Medium size for helmets but if you’re like me and use electronic headsets, you’d want to get the largest size available to accommodate your earpro. The best solution is to have your electronic ears attached via your accessory rails, but if you can’t, you’ve got no other option than to wear it underneath.
If you’re used to wearing a K-pot or ACH, then the Delta5HC will feel like wearing nothing at all. My favorite set of electronic headsets are my MSA Sordins. They do however have a thicker headband making it not the most comfortable combination underneath the helmet. In my ACH, I’ve removed a lot of the padding where the headband is and that makes it a little better. I tried my Howard Leight Impact Sport Headsets, which has a much more flat headband and it fits like a charm under the Delta5HC. No pinching of the sides of my head with it on.
I was able to do a shooting and moving drill with it on along with the Impact Sport, shooting both my rifle and pistol. Through the entire time shooting, it never felt that I had a helmet on, let alone a ballistic helmet! It didn’t get in the way of my cheek weld of my rifle and stayed steady on my head without any movement. You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/HEfhzKU_RTk
I’m impressed with the advancement of armor technology by the industry and with Safariland’s Protech Tactical Delta5HC helmet. What’s even better is that they also have a lighter Ballistic Helmet available, the DeltaX. I will try to get my hands on one to do some T&E in the future.
Pricing: the Delta5HC starts at $640 and goes up to $810 depending on optionsDeltaX ranges from $1,250-$1,460
*pricing is subject to change and depends on your dealer.
Both the Delta5HC & DeltaX are available through your Safariland Dealer. To find your dealer, click here: https://www.safariland.com/dealers-find