Combat Helmet Pads

Related:  Burn Testing  

LW kitOA-Pads This is the seven-pad BLU6 kit (Oregon Aero) that we currently send. It fits the Marine Lightweight Helmet (LWH) (shown here), the Army-style Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH), and the new Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH). Simply remove the old pads, replace the Velcro strips if necessary … clean the interior Kevlar shell with alcohol sponge first, let dry … put in the new pads and you’re ready to go.

All foam pads will harden when exposed to extreme cold for prolonged periods. They will warm and soften to near-body-temperature a few minutes after being donned. The time to soften can be shortened by putting the helmet hear a heat source such as the heater vent in vehicle, stove, or other heat sources,  being careful not to scorch the pads/helmet. Heated pads tend to retain their warmth as well, so finding a good heat source can be important.

Team Wendy – two part foam pad covered with a thick non-porous plastic covering with external cloth covering.  One part of the foam is fairly pliable and the other is rather stiff.  The cloth covering is two colors: black and green or grey and green.  There may be markings on the pads such as ZAP or an NSN number. These pads are fairly stiff to the touch.

Oregon Aero – two part foam pad covered with a thin semi-permeable coating with a cloth cover. The cloth covering is two colors: black and green.  There is an Oregon Aero size tag on each pad.  These pads are very flexible to the touch.

MSA – one part foam pad with mesh layer covered with cloth cover.  The cloth covering is two colors: black and green or black and gray.  There may be markings on the pads such as an NSN number.  These pads are somewhat
flexible to the touch.

Skydex – two part pad covered with fabric.  The cloth covering is two colors: black and green.  There may be markings on the pads such as Skydex or an NSN number.  These pads are fairly stiff to the touch.

Interesting Test:  Take the trapezoidal or top round pad out of the helmet.  Lay it on a hard surface (parking lot, bar, floor, etc).  Punch with your fist (or your buddy’s fist).  Start with a gentle punch.  If you can’t hit as hard as you can, then you probably have a pad system that we didn’t (or wouldn’t) send you.  This test works best when you have pads from several different manufacturers to compare.

All-pads

The pads below came out combat helmets with between six months and two years of use.

helmet4_trap_IMG_8582-sm helmet5_oval2_IMG_8584-sm
helmet-pads-failing-apart_IMG_8586-sm helmet3_oval_IMG_8581-sm
helmet5_oval1_IMG_8584-sm helmet2-trapIMG_8580-sm
skydex-old-v-new-IMG_8589-sm helmet1-oval_8579-sm


The bottom pad was used for two 120-day tours.  The smell and color don’t come thru clearly in a photo – but take our word: nasty.

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