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Skwrl

Flat Top Pro or Vapor Wes Pro

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A question for you all:

I'm looking to get a top mount helmet, and I'm trying to choose between Bonehead Composites' Flat Top Pro and Skysystems' Vapor Wes Pro.

I will be using it principally for wingsuit video and stills, with an occasional tandem filming now and then.

I currently jump a Tonfly CC1, with my still top mounted and a side mounted video camera.

I am already familiar with the "turn your old helmet in and get a discount" deal that Bonehead is offering; I'm really just curious to hear about differences in quality, design, use, etc. (So, for the purpose of this question, disregard any differences in price.)

I did a search but nothing particularly useful to me came up.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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I went with the Vapor because it's an inch wider and I wanted my cameras side by side. It does not come "ready to jump" or close to it. Obviously it's meant to be customized by each user, but it took a lot of work for me to get the top plate cut and sanded smooth. Installing the cutaway seemed more difficult than it needed to be, and I managed to break my first helmet in the process (wasn't manufactured quite right). Customer service was good... they sent out a replacement helmet.

But since it's been all together, I haven't needed to do anything else to it. I find that the foam padding expands at altitude... at first I almost needed help shoving it onto my head. If I put it on early and had a long jump run, I'd really be in some pain by the time I climbed out. But after almost a year, I think the foam has compressed a little and it's not a problem anymore.

If you make it down to CPI this winter, I'll let you take a close look at it. I've never used an FTP, so I can't really compare them.

Dave

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I owned a Bonehead FTP for 7 years and thought it to be a wonderful helmet, did everything I asked of it, with quite a bit of real estate on top.

I've owned a Vapor for 3 years now, and it's just better for me in every way. Far more comfortable, more space up top, slightly lower shooting angle, easier to remove the top plate with cameras in place, did I mention way more comfortable?
----------------------------------------------
You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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One major benefit of the Vapor is that is allows you to put everything up top much easier (it is wider than the BH). This is more than just a convenience. Cameras that aren't centered over your noggin (i.e., front mounted) act as a lever and amplify bad openings. (Plus, the are less likely to obstruct your vision.)

I switched from front-mounted stills, top-mounted vid, to everything up top when I got my new SkySystems' Vapor two years ago, and my neck has been MUCH healthier ever since. Not changes in cameras, canopies or packers, just putting it all up top. This has been discussed on this forum before.

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As much as I love my FTP, it's simply not wide enough for the camera bodies, lenses, flash that I want to use.
I've put the wider plate on it, for wingsuiting it's not reasonable, it's a rudder.
The Wes Vapor isn't a lot better in that regard, but it is better. I've got 7 jumps with the WVP, and I really like it. It does suck for general wingsuiting, however. But it is better than the current crop of "bigger top" helmets, IMO.
I've wasted so damn much money on the FTP to try to make it be what I want...It's well made, I feel it's better made than the WVP in terms of construction and design but it also weighs more.
BTW, I'm flying the Tonfly X3 for non-still jumps. It weighs less than the CX100 and a lens adapter, and is every bit as solid as my FTP.

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There is nothing wrong with the CC1 helmets as top/side mount designs go, but I am trying to top mount both my still camera and video camera. In fact, if you were looking for a general use, all around helmet for wingsuiting (and other stuff), I would recommend the Tonfly CC1 in a heartbeat. It is lightweight, very comfortable, and well built. It has a very good/reliable cutaway system that I tend to trust. Overall, Tonfly makes a great product. (And it just so happens I'll be selling mine.). I'm just looking for a top of the line helmet for dedicated photography and videography.

Currently I have my still camera top mounted and my video side mounted. I have noticed a little shake on my video when I shoot video for tandems. It occurs because the camera box is in the windstream The problem doesn't happen when I wingsuit, but I want to have one solution for both.
Skwrl Productions - Wingsuit Photography

Northeast Bird School - Chief Logistics Guy and Video Dork

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I had my new Vapor helmet 6 months before I put it together, working on a perfect design.

Everything fell into place once I saw the Schumacher Stealth Box for the CX150 on Chutingstar.com

Also I crammed/forced a factory diver visor onto it, so nice for the winter jumping. Im all happy in my little fish bowl.

Really happy with it. total weight is 5.5lbs, same as my rawa setup with QR. But my neck is alot healthier with everything centered on the top.

Kai
Kaiseye

(HAHA - I was wondering why I was having trouble putting the helmet on, on Jumprun)

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A question for you all:

I'm looking to get a top mount helmet, and I'm trying to choose between Bonehead Composites' Flat Top Pro and Skysystems' Vapor Wes Pro.

I will be using it principally for wingsuit video and stills, with an occasional tandem filming now and then.




Since your principal use is wingsuiting I would recommend something different. Have you considered the Bonehead Mantle? Having used both of your current choices in a wingsuit, I find both tend to have a more noticeable rudder effect than the Mantle. The platform is large enough to allow for a 5D and a video camera to be mounted side by side easily without the added bulk of the other helmets.
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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Also I crammed/forced a factory diver visor onto it, so nice for the winter jumping. Im all happy in my little fish bowl.

very nice, I love the idea :)congrats you have a beautiful helmet
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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I built my first camera helmet based on the Mantle design and eventually ordered a new Mantle when BH was offering 40% off. I love the platform as it is a huge amount of real estate for my older tape camera and still with room left over.

Trouble I have is the cutaway system doesn't. In checking with others using the BH Cutaway system most have never tried it on the ground. General consensus is that they will "most likely" try to get out the way they got in and use the cutaway as a last resort.
Blue Skies, Soft Docks and Happy Landings!
CWR #23
(It's called CRW, add an e if you like, but I ain't calling it CFS. FU FAI!)

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Really nice job. What'd it take to mount the visor? I really want to do that to mine. Looks like you did a nice job of cutting the top plate too... looks professional. I don't have any pics of mine handy... I'll have to remember to take some.

Dave



Does anybody know if similar thing (visor) can be mounted on FTP?
dudeist skydiver #42

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Really nice job. What'd it take to mount the visor? I really want to do that to mine. Looks like you did a nice job of cutting the top plate too... looks professional. I don't have any pics of mine handy... I'll have to remember to take some.

Dave



Yeah...

It's another reason im considering picking one of these up. Spring/fall are fuckin cold here sometimes. It makes me not want to shoot video and I'd be less annoyed with it if I could wear a fullface.
~D
Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That's where you'll find me.
Swooping is taking one last poke at the bear before escaping it's cave - davelepka

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The platform is large enough to allow for a 5D and a video camera to be mounted side by side easily



Talking from experience, In flying a side by side setup, do consider that you will have a much worse rudder effect when you leave one of the cameras of (still or video) and you now have an asymmetrical setup on top of your head.

The Flattop narrow allows for a setup with two cameras (stills on the front bracket, video on top) and doesnt have the big problems with asymmetry when you're not using on or the other.
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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The platform is large enough to allow for a 5D and a video camera to be mounted side by side easily



Talking from experience, In flying a side by side setup, do consider that you will have a much worse rudder effect when you leave one of the cameras of (still or video) and you now have an asymmetrical setup on top of your head.

The Flattop narrow allows for a setup with two cameras (stills on the front bracket, video on top) and doesnt have the big problems with asymmetry when you're not using on or the other.




I found that not to be the case at all. Given my set up using the RRS brackets, I can center 1 camera, still or video, so that there is no asymmetrical issues by positioning it more towards the center of the helmet. Depending on which mounting brackets one uses, this might not be possible to do in some cases. See attached pictures for reference.

one camera centered

Double side by side

Double vertical

Top view of RRS brackets
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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I've also found this to be the case, which is why I spent the (significant) money to use the Shumacher FTP system like Ewan's.
I did buy a Mantle, thinking it was going to be like the Batrack, but it's not. I love Callantine's Batrack setup;
And...the difference between the FTP, Batrack, and Mantle are reasonably insigificant. I wish I had more jumps on the Vapor to make a better comparison, but the few I had, I really like the Vapor.
FWIW, I'm not sponsored, so my opinions are based on actual $$ expended.

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I have searched all over for this Shumacher FTP system that you speak of. I have seen other posts talking about a Shumacher plate. Is that the same thing? Terry's website is down and nobody that I can find carries these systems. Please post a picture and maybe some cost information too.

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