Ballistic Helmet Guide - How to Choose and the Different Types

Tactical Pow Apr 05, 2022

Military troops, law enforcement personnel, public security forces, private security services, and search and rescue teams are individuals who willingly risk their safety for the benefit of others. At First Source Wireless, we understand the importance of your day-to-day responsibilities and your unique emergencies. With so many counting on you, you require reliable, durable, and high-performing equipment.

One of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll undoubtedly want to purchase is a helmet. While some tactical helmets (such as ballistic helmets), are specifically designed to protect against gunfire, other tactical helmets (such as bump helmets), protect against other impacts and falling debris. The former might be more appropriate for law enforcement personnel and certain public security forces, for example, while the latter might work best for search and rescue teams who aren’t at risk of gunfire. Regardless of your responsibilities, a tactical helmet will undoubtedly help you complete your task, and we want to help you find the best ballistic helmet or the best non-ballistic helmet for you.


Why Invest in a Helmet?

Used to prevent head injuries from crashes, collisions, and other impacts, and aid in head and neck stability in uncontrolled environments, there are numerous types of helmets used in different activities: athletic (such as bicycle, hockey, and football), flight (for astronauts and pilots), and military (such as tactical bump helmets and ballistic helmets.)

According to the Department of Defense, from 2000-2019, 413,858 United States military personnel experienced a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).

No matter the type, all helmets serve to protect from brain and skull trauma by absorbing and dissipating the force of impact away from the head, thus protecting the wearer, and are an important piece of gear for people participating in tactical operations.


Choosing Your Helmet

Now that you’ve decided to purchase a military tactical helmet, how do you choose one that best suits your needs? Though ballistic and bump helmets are most often associated with the armed forces, they are also a great choice for law enforcement in hazardous situations (riots, etc.) Tactical Pow has a variety of tactical helmet options as well as tactical helmet accessories for both military and law enforcement personnel to choose from.


Types of Ballistic Helmets

There are five main categories of military helmets for sale that you might consider: PASGT, MICH, ACH, ECH, and FAST.

  • PASGT: Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops
    • Sometimes called a “K-Pot” or “Kevlar Helmet,” Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) Helmets are made of layers of Kevlar fibers and are the oldest of the five types of tactical helmets mentioned here. As of the early-mid 2010s, it is still occasionally used as a US military helmet in certain circumstances.


  • MICH: Modular Integrated Communications Helmet
    • Following PASGT Helmets, the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH) was designed to be lighter and more comfortable yet still just as protective. It was redesigned to be more compatible with accessories and uses an advanced type of Kevlar in its construction.


  • ACH: Advanced Combat Helmet
    • As its name might suggest, the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) is an advanced version of the MICH. It is currently used by the US Army, though it is being phased out for the ACH II, or ECH.


  • ECH: Enhanced Combat Helmet
    • The Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH) is a second-generation ACH and is also known as an ACH II. Using ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene instead of ballistic fibers, the ECH is designed to be lighter than its predecessors while providing increased protection against fragmentation and rifle projectiles.


  • FAST: Future Assault Shell Technology
    • First unveiled by Ops-Core, Future Assault Shell Technology (FAST) Helmets are immediately recognizable due to their characteristic high-cut design, exposing the ears unlike the PASGT Helmets, MICH, ACH, and ECH. Specifically designed to prevent water intrusion and retention in the ear cups, the side rails of Ops-Core FAST Ballistic Helmets allow for additional accessories, such as communication systems and night vision equipment. Other brands now offer ATE (above-the-ear) and high-cut helmets as well. (Note: First Source Wireless has the pictured helmet –FAST SF Super High Cut Ballistic Helmet for sale!)