It is dark and vision is limited. The enemy is out there. The gauntlet is set. How does one get through without being scathed? Night vision is the answer. Seeing in the dark is possible with the technology that has been developed over the last several decades.
Night vision equipment can be used standalone but generally it is easier and better to go hands-free by using a helmet that is equipped with the night vision products. This is especially true in a scenario like the one above, though people hope not to be caught in such a situation, because defending one’s self is necessarily a factor and that requires at least one free hand.
While it tends to be true that one gets what they pay for, it is possible to find a relatively cheap night vision helmet. Naturally, there are higher priced – and higher quality – helmets available, as well.
There are two types of night vision helmets: ballistic and bump (non-ballistic). Ballistic helmets are meant to protect the head from shrapnel and other airborne bits and pieces; they are not expected to stop a bullet’s direct hit. Helmets in modern times are built to be more effective against pistol caliber gunfire than previous helmets. Bump helmets are lightweight helmets meant to attach equipment to, but not meant to offer any significant protection, though they can protect from smaller things falling onto them.
Ballistic helmet night vision gear is often purchased by those in the military and law enforcement, though it is available to civilians. Helmet mounted night vision equipment can be added to any helmet; however, helmets that are prepared to have equipment added already are likely to be easier for installation.
Bump helmets tend to be comfortable, lightweight, and less expensive. Ballistic helmets have come a long way toward being more comfortable and lightweight but are still going to be heavier than non-ballistic helmets and cost more. Bump helmets can be purchased in many places; ballistic helmets must be purchased from their manufacturers or an approved seller. Here are some of the best helmets on the market:
Hard Head Veterans is a company run by veterans who provide ballistic tactical helmets to the general public. Their helmets are fully tested while still being affordable. Their most popular product is the Ballistic Helmet ATE, which comes in four sizes and five colors. It leaves the ears open for easy hearing or headphone wear as well as lessening the overall weight of the helmet.
Veterans MFG is another veteran owned and operated business that offers tactical gear. They aim for lightweight products that protect, using up-to-date ballistic technology. Along with helmets, they also offer body armor, shields, and other gear. One of their most popular helmets is the VH-2 Tactical Helmet, which is made of composites and has a high cut to leave the ears free for hearing protection or audio equipment. It includes a liner and padding as well as a dial to ensure a secure fit. It comes in three colors and two sizes.
Crye Precision is known for quality and innovation and provide gear based on the needs of the users. All gear is made in America from American materials. Their Airframe ATX Helmet is designed for law enforcement and meets IIIA ballistic requirements. It has a vented design that offers cooling; add-ons can cover ears and face. It can be customized to hold night-vision equipment. It comes in three sizes and three colors.
Own the Night is another veteran owned business that sells American Made equipment that includes night vision equipment. The Ops Core FAST LE High Cut Ballistic Helmet is made for the modern warrior and has a Monolithic Aramid ballistic shell. It is compatible with most night vision gear and also has accessory rails on the sides. It contains padding for fit and comfort and is adjustable for stability.
US Night Vision, founded in 2001, provides products to law enforcement agencies that are local, state, and federal entities, and also to the military of the United States. Their MICH Ballistic Tactical Combat Helmet has a suspension system that is fully adjustable and removable pads for comfort and fit. Compatible with communications gear and night vision equipment, the shell is made from TPC and meets ballistic requirements meeting or exceeding Level IIIA.
This medium to large helmet includes soft padding for comfort and a tough impact resistant outer shell to protect against airsoft and paintball. Durable and lightweight, this helmet has rails for accessories and a mount for night vision equipment on it.
A bump helmet labeled for outdoor sports such as hunting, airsoft, and paintball, this lightweight ABS helmet has built in side rails and night vision mount to make it easy to add equipment to it. It is a durable hard-shell design with adjustable internal padding.
A removable visor sits far enough from the face that goggles can be worn beneath, if desired. Adjustable straps allow the helmet to be fitted comfortably. Made of high-quality ABS plastics, this bump helmet is suitable for use with night vision gear or while participating in outdoor sports such as airsoft.
The ABS plastic helmet and rails are accompanied by a foldable mask made of metal mesh and nylon. The frame of the goggles is made from TPU rubber and the lenses are PC. These materials are both shock and oxidation resistant for long use. The helmet is easily adjusted with the dial on the back and can fit from 21.2 to 24.4 inches around the head. Several hook-and-loop panels allow easy attachment of patches while side rails, strap clip, and shroud allow easy inclusion of utilities, googles, and night vision equipment.
Made of plastic, this replica has a chin strap with a buckle to close it and is designed for both comfort and durability. A cover will be needed for attaching equipment to this bump helmet.