FIRST SPEAR HELMET COVER-
I can hear what you're screaming right now.
60$ for a helmet cover!?!?!, why not paint?!?!?
(Which I have done many times with prior projects)
Recently I had need for a green, tan, and black helmet for different projects and was trying to get to an integrated coms/media/eye and ear pro setup at the same time.
Knowing this would be expensive, (even with repro gear filling in some of the roles where applicable) I opted to look at it this way-
a good coat of paint may be 6-9$ depending on the colors and take a day or so depending on the time to dry/paints used, but that gets you only one helmet. If the requirements of your projects jump to multiple helmets you are painting the helmet frequently or forced to buy more than one helmet, which adds cost even as it adds personality to each lid. I've painted for years so its not an issue of ability but of utility. furthermore, not everyone can paint well, and not every paint choice or color combination cuts shine or dulls the silhouette of the helmet.
enter a solution the military has been using for years but airsofters seem to avoid like the plague- Helmet covers. You just dropped 80-120 on a repro helmet or 250-500 on the real deal. why drop more money on it? Because we're talking about an american made, well designed, high quality, extremely useful cover option that gives your helmet has as many colors as you want/need/afford for less than the cost of even a new repro helmet each time. First Spear makes them in Black, Ranger Green, Coyote Brown, Multicam, and White. Bonus, they take a dusting of color pretty well -and I've seen some people dye theirs at home- in case you want to add more personality or get a closer fit to your team's uniform if its not strictly the same as the colors offered.
(the ones shown are the hybrid covers- part mesh, part stretchy material. The full covers are the same stretchy material with no mesh and are the same price as the hybrid ones. I bought the hybrid covers thinking it would ventilate more, but the helmet's vent holes are in fact under the spandex. The mesh breaks up the contour/surface a little more than the solid spandex models.)
1) the covers cut glare and shine as well as a good paintjob (though there is nothing wrong with painting done well)
2) the cover interfaces with the existing velcro on the helmet- just stretch it over the helmet and it attaches to the existing velcro, then fold the velcro tabs into the helmet behind the adjustable nape and behind the forehead sweat band, attaching them to the velcro dots you installed with the cover.
3) You don't lose any of the helmet's functionality, in fact you gain a little (you can see I added some velcro to my helmet to better hold the Strobe/Ballast pouch I use; the cover has this added velcro built in)
4) stow your coms/nods/media wires under the cover to prevent snagging and kinks
5) while not as cool/ventilated as no-cover, the cover does ventilate even without the mesh. The entire center is a wicking material like spandex and resists tears and scrapes. I've worn it for a weekend in 95+ degrees and 95%+ humidity and had no additional helmet oriented heat problems.
Shown here are the front views of a Coyote Emerson with Coyote First Spear cover (somewhat redundant, but still less glare, still stows cables) the First Spear Ranger Green cover, and a naked Emerson Fast Bump in black. The ranger cover is inside out and you can see how the hook velcro mirrors the loop on the helmet.
Back views of the same. Note the extra ballast velcro on the first spear cover versus the simple nametape strip on the Emerson helmet itself. Even if you don't get a cover, this is a recommended practice for ballasts, strobes, or so you can have so much patch real estate you look like an airsofter-nascar driver hybrid, etc.
all the necessary velcro locations are there- top or back mounted strobe, with the top having an extra dollop for the S+S precision manta strobe, the flag and unit/ID patches on the sides with extra in between the top and sides for Vlites or smaller morale patches, and across the back you have the strip for name tapes, E+E ballasts, and or the Smith Optics Elite bungee goggle retention anchors.
Stowing the cables. note the added ballast velcro on the helmet itself, as well as its stock shiny tan color versus the duller more natural coyote.
Same helmet with the RG cover. Note that the RG cover, while still the same size as the Coyote one, is a tad smaller. There is variation in the covers from unit to unit, it still fits properly and does everything thats needed.
Here is a useful, high quality option for those who wear different uniforms for different seasons/teams/gametypes/ etc to save money and look slick at the same time. Cheaper than a new repro helmet, at least as effective as a good paintjob in cutting glare, stows cables, attaches all the stuff you'll need to attach to a helmet via velcro (IFF/team patches, IR/Hit strobes, ballasts for NODs, name tapes, jump strap goggle anchors, etc) and makes the helmet look more personalized than a fresh out of the box helmet.