Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
Best protective helmets, esp. full-face

 


JeffCa  (B License)

Apr 30, 2013, 9:58 PM
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I'm shopping for my first helmet and have some questions. I hope you can provide some input. I've read several other threads about helmets on this site, but many of them are 7-10 years old.

I am looking for head protection, and am aware that the open-faced Benny and Pro-tec are generally agreed to have the best protection. The issue for me is that I'm very protective of my dental work, so I consider a foot to the face far less acceptable than many other jumpers might. So then I began looking at full-face helmets, but realise that they really don't seem to offer much head protection (ie. less than Benny and Pro-tec). Is there a good compromise out there? Or do I have to choose between my head and my teeth/nose? Is there a full-face helmet out there that has reasonable protection for the head?

I've also read about cases of feet going right through visors and injuring eyes with the visor shards. I saw the PIA 2013 video of DSE beating the crap out of that Z1 visor with a hammer. He seemed pretty impressed, so is that the current best effort of the skydiving helmet industry regarding visor strength?

I also see that SkySystems is using Poron XRD for their open and full-face helmets that they're suggesting offers better protection than other kinds. Has anybody used this stuff? They can put it in the Factory Diver, but I really don't like that you can't flip up the visor on that helmet.

Thanks once again for your advice.


Juzzie  (D License)

May 1, 2013, 12:16 AM
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thought about a cookie G3?


JeffCa  (B License)

May 1, 2013, 2:19 AM
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In reply to:
thought about a cookie G3?

Sure, except I'm wondering about the protection it offers when compared to other models and brands. What's the padding and visor strength like? I forgot to point out that I am in the unenviable position of having to buy without being able to try it on first. I think my closest gear store is at least a 5-hour plane ride away. We do have some jumpers with G3's at our DZ, so I'll be able to check those out if I ask nicely.


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

May 1, 2013, 4:30 AM
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I was impressed with the padding in the Freezr. Also, Oregon Aero makes helmet pad upgrade kits that can be used on nearly any helmet.

Wendy P.


Pandarism  (C 6270)

May 1, 2013, 4:36 AM
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Hey Mate,
I'm currently using a Cookie G3, and I'm happy with the comfort and level of protection. G3's have a 2mm poly-carbonate visor as well so its thick and the locking mechanism on it won't be coming unstuck in freefall anytime soon. The liner inside is more then adequate and I'm yet to bump heads or cop a foot in freefall but I feel that it won't be a problem. If you can get your hands on a G3 down at the DZ try it out and see if you can take it for a jump. Smile

Panda..


hillson  (D 33134)

May 1, 2013, 5:22 AM
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I've been kicked in the face many times in the tunnel and in the sky with the G3 on and it keeps on ticking. That being said, the G3 like all skydiving helmets isn't really designed for serious impact protection (like a motorcycle helmet). They do a decent job for bumps on the float bar and various feet/knees/elbows etc.

To me fitment is much more important that what "mm thickness" the lens is. I have a nice bit of room between the end of my nose and the visor in the G3. With the Z1 etc my face was right up against the visor. Bumps to the face would have a less desirable outcome...

Get one with a visor that flips up.


chuckakers  (D 10855)

May 1, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Re: [hillson] Best protective helmets, esp. full-face [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
To me fitment is much more important that what "mm thickness" the lens is. I have a nice bit of room between the end of my nose and the visor in the G3. With the Z1 etc my face was right up against the visor. Bumps to the face would have a less desirable outcome...

Get one with a visor that flips up.

Agree on the flip up visor. Disagree on fit. If you get hit hard enough to be injured by the face shield or chin area of the helmet, having an inch between it and your face isn't gonna make much difference in the outcome.

BTW, I've been jumping a Z1 for 15 years and love the snug fit. I also especially like the one-handed face shield operation.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

May 1, 2013, 1:27 PM
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I'd rather the OP takes a trip and tries on various brands. It's not really about which is 'best' Crazy. It's about which brand fits the shape of his head.

Not everyone has the same shaped head, so why expect one brand to be best for everyone.


JeffCa  (B License)

May 1, 2013, 2:28 PM
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In reply to:
I'd rather the OP takes a trip and tries on various brands. It's not really about which is 'best' Crazy. It's about which brand fits the shape of his head.

Rehmwa, it would be much more economical for me to have a bunch of helmets shipped to me out here with the understanding that I'll choose one and send the others back. One major US gear store already told me that's pretty common and they're fine with it.

Thanks everyone for the input so far. I'll see what I can find at the DZ to try on, and I'll check out that after-market helmet padding company. Please keep the comments coming if you've got them in you.


TheBachelor  (D 22560)

May 1, 2013, 2:40 PM
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I've had my Phantom X for quite a while now, and I couldn't imagine anything breaking the lens. I've been kicked in the face, and done a fair amount of tunnel time with it.

There may be some difference in impact protection between the major vendors, but I question if it matters. What type of impact are you expecting?


JeffCa  (B License)

May 1, 2013, 2:48 PM
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In reply to:
There may be some difference in impact protection between the major vendors, but I question if it matters. What type of impact are you expecting?

What kind? Kick to the face/head, hitting the door frame on the way out, out-of-control docking resulting in head strike from above, etc.

I'd like to see somebody modify a Benny to add some jaw and nose protection.


JackC1

May 2, 2013, 1:13 AM
Post #12 of 24 (3970 views)
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In reply to:
I'd like to see somebody modify a Benny to add some jaw and nose protection.

People often say that helmets like Protec or the Benny are the best protection, but that isn't necessarily true. Helmets like the Benny use EVA foam liners which as far as I can tell won't meet any official impact protection standards (but then I've not seen a skydiving helmet that has passed any standard).

I'd say a half decent full face would offer as much impact protection as a Protec with the added bonus of face protection. I had a Parasport Z1, which only had EVA liners but my current Cookie G3 uses D3O foam which has at least been designed specifically for impact protection. The G3 isn't perfect by a long shot, but it's about as good a skydiving helmet as I've come across.


(This post was edited by JackC1 on May 2, 2013, 1:22 AM)


Pandarism  (C 6270)

May 2, 2013, 3:39 AM
Post #13 of 24 (3942 views)
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Re: [JackC1] Best protective helmets, esp. full-face [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I'd like to see somebody modify a Benny to add some jaw and nose protection.

People often say that helmets like Protec or the Benny are the best protection, but that isn't necessarily true. Helmets like the Benny use EVA foam liners which as far as I can tell won't meet any official impact protection standards (but then I've not seen a skydiving helmet that has passed any standard).

I'd say a half decent full face would offer as much impact protection as a Protec with the added bonus of face protection. I had a Parasport Z1, which only had EVA liners but my current Cookie G3 uses D3O foam which has at least been designed specifically for impact protection. The G3 isn't perfect by a long shot, but it's about as good a skydiving helmet as I've come across.

^ What he said, I use protecs for work jumps every now and then, and its a good helmet but its still just really a skateboard/wake board helmet. Traveling at speeds in excess of 200km/h and the possibility of a foot, knee, elbow or fist hitting your face isn't very comforting. Having face and jaw protection is always a plus IMO.Smile


Pandarism  (C 6270)

May 2, 2013, 3:52 AM
Post #14 of 24 (3936 views)
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Also to expand on what JackC1 said about EVA foam, the D3O liner in G3's has been proven around the world to reduce the impact and associated trauma. Just an extract from Wiki in regards to D3O: "Energy is distributed throughout the synthetic elastomeric polymer and the enhanced chemistry continues to distribute energy on throughout the matrix, reducing the effect of impact" I find this comforting to know that on impact my liner is going to absorb the energy from the initial impact and distribute it throughout the liner by solidifying within 1000th of a sec and then returning to its putty/soft form ready to absorb another impact.

Just my .02c Smile

Panda..


excaza  (C License)

May 2, 2013, 4:22 AM
Post #15 of 24 (3928 views)
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To be fair, a block of concrete also distributes impact energy throughout the matrix. Wink


Pandarism  (C 6270)

May 2, 2013, 5:10 AM
Post #16 of 24 (3896 views)
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In reply to:
To be fair, a block of concrete also distributes impact energy throughout the matrix. Wink

Touche Sir Laugh The G3 is slightly more comfy though Smile


JeffCa  (B License)

May 3, 2013, 3:54 AM
Post #17 of 24 (3787 views)
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Thanks for your advice once again, everyone. I went to the DZ today and started noticing the helmets. We had lots of G3's around for me to try. Turns out I'm a Large. My head is measured at 23.5 inches over the eyebrows, and Cookie's measuring guide online had me right in the middle of XXL (made me self-conscious that I had a giant head), so I'm glad I got that opportunity to try it on before ordering. And as it turns out, we do indeed have a small gear store, off-site. They carry 2 models of helmet, the G3 and the Phantom. I'm going to keep it local and I'm more impressed with the padding in the G3, so I'll probably be going with that.


chedlin  (A 65914)

May 3, 2013, 3:55 PM
Post #18 of 24 (3734 views)
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I have the phantom and my only complaint is that I can't comfortably have a conversation with it on and the visor up. The cookie with the two types of mouthpieces would solve this. This would help when I'm getting coaching at the tunnel.


JeffCa  (B License)

May 7, 2013, 5:38 AM
Post #19 of 24 (3586 views)
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So I got my brand new G3, and what happens? On my first jump with it, some bozo set the pattern downwind. I know I should have PLF'd, but I REALLY, REALLY thought I had it under control. I flared too early, and dropped myself on my front, with a couple of rebounds. Good thing I was advised to keep the visor down, even during the canopy flight. I couldn't stop laughing. :-) I think I'll be PLF'ing next time I'm on a downwinder.










MarcoP

May 9, 2013, 11:16 AM
Post #24 of 24 (3261 views)
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If you genuinely are concerned with protection, then don't get a skydiving helmet at all. Even a junky bike helmet from walmart has to meet certain standards by law. Skydiving helmets do not.
Look at bmx helmets, snow sport helmets(skiing and snowboarding), paragliding helmets, and maybe a few motocross, though they tend to be too heavy.

You can find full-face helmets in all these categories and the face bar is actually tested as part of the standard.
Base jumpers are more interested in real helmets; check out their forum.



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