Helmet Covers

What happened to them? For the life of me I can't seem to figure out when helmet covers began to suck and painted helmets became the norm...

I'm in a unit where painted helmets are approved, but will always use a cover (especially MC or another working pattern). Covers tend to soften edges and reduce any glare, while painted helmets (while looking cool) seem to do neither. And yet every outfit I meet who can get away with it, for some reason, always seems to go with the lesser choice. I know CDI factor is important, but I almost refuse to believe that such a shallow reason is so rampant. Almost.

I had a Batt Boy tell me at a school last summer that his unit was having great luck at night in Afghan with the dark grey paint scheme he was using. From 15 feet away, it looked like a solid black dot, and frankly had not one ounce of camouflage capability. But damn did it look badass., very "Punisher-esque". I also wanted to ask him if Afghan night was so different than Iraqi night, or even Georgia night, that it warranted it's own paint scheme, but I bit my tongue.

So school me. Am I missing something here?

An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please; 
An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!       -Kipling

Original Post
I think the pendulum is swinging back towards helmet covers.

Funny you should mention the Batt Boy as Ranger Battalion has switched back to helmet covers, they are using multicam ones made by Crye I believe. Without going into too much detail, I was told the switch was made primarily because of the helmets appearance under NVGs.

Ops-Core and Crye, who probably make the best helmets today, both carry helmet covers albeit ones that have been redesigned. Something to think about.
The why: helmet covers suck. Plain and simple. They fit like crap, slide around, make your head look twice as big. And you can't hang all that cool velcro with a cover. BUT, they do all those things that were originally mentioned. Soften the edges is a very true statement. Soften the sound too against vehicles, structures etc. I've yet to see one on a Ops-core though. I too have heard they exist. Some cohorts of mine would be interested in their covers.
Maybe go with a split-the-difference approach?

I've always had the helmet cover as nothing else was allowed, but if you've already got velcro stuck all over a helmet, something along the lines of a cross between a ghillie headnet and the Israeli "chef hat" approach, velcro 2-3 places on the helmet and slap on a cover that breaks up the helmet shape and color, but is easily removable in a hurry and allows use of other accessories (NODs, lights, etc) in their own locations without requiring all the pain-in-the-ass stuff adding and removing it all and cover would imply?

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

I too have recently had this thought. Bvt's reply is the best I have seen in response. I have seen the Crye Covers, but dont know how popular they are in country though. I've not seen any in the AOs I've been in personally.

The tan thing, your exactly right. Guys dont have a reason for it, just that some SF guy was wearing it (nevermind thats what they are issued). I think MC would be ideal in 9/10 circumstances and MARPATs certainly got fewer disadvantages than ACU pattern does. The only reason I went Tan on my gear is because its commonly accepted in my unit and MC is not issued out or accepted in most circles.

Shoot, Move, and Communicate!

I've played with the Crye covers (they rock), and although I wasn't aware of Ops-Core making any, I am unsurprised. I'm damn glad to hear the Regiment is going in the right direction.

The cover on my ACH is tight as a drum, so much so that the loop side Velcro I have Shoo-Goo'd to it holds perfectly well, as do the IR strobes and IR patches that reside on it. When I used to wear MARPAT on a regular basis, my helmet cover, while not bedecked in such a fashion, could easily have worked just as well.

So whats the lesson here? Should a guy reading this thread take a second look at his high speed paint job and reconsider? Or do we now fight in such a manner that this kind of topic is almost moot?

An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please; 
An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!       -Kipling

Damn, I just replied on the AirFrame thread about this...my bad Mods.

I know from my experience that painted helmets arent about the CDI factor, its about utility. I use my helmet as another place to store shit i.e. strobe, SWD goggles, NVDs and batteries. Throw a helmet cover on there and the utility factor is gone. Well i guess you could still use it but it would cost $50 at the alterations shop to get all the velcro sewn on. With a $5 ACU velcro repair kit and some shoe goo your helmet can hold all the crap that you need to stick to it.

Being an AF dude supporting the Army I have to paint my helmet ACU pattern to not get sniped. Dont worry about all the antennas, thats besides the point. I have an Ops-Core and they dont make covers for those until later this year. So I am stuck painting the damn thing before every deployment. But as soon as the cover for the FAST comes on the market it is mine. Mainly because being different means being targeted and everyone is right, no matter what color you paint it, the helmet will still shine.

With that being said if you have a regular MICH, best cover I have seen is the S.O.D helmet cover. It already comes sewn with a back pocket for counter-weight/battery pack, velcro on top for strobes and velcro on the side for SWD goggles. Plus they have tie downs for NVDs, if it fit on the FAST i would be all over it. A little pricey at 50 euro but you wont look different.S.O.D helmet cover

Anyone with a Crye AirFrame tried to fit that cover on the FAST? I know they are different helmets but the Crye cover is one peice. I dont want to spend $45 on an experiment...im cheap.

Fanny

"Death on Call"

That SOD cover looks decent, but probably won't work with the ARC. The Crye mesh helmet cover is an interesting concept, one that should be explored more. Instead of installing the helmet cover and installing all the accessories over the top of it (I can never get the cover to look just right with the NODs mount, its always scrunched), why not install all accessories on the helmet, cut the cover to fit around the accessories, and then fasten it with velcro? I might try this with the ACU cover.

And why do I buy coyote gear instead of ACU or MC? The Army can't make its mind up about patterns, and I'm not buying 2 of the same rig just so I can make sure it matches. Isn't color-coordination an airsoft trait?

All the way

RIP 1SG Blue Rowe

quote:
The why: helmet covers suck. Plain and simple. They fit like crap, slide around, make your head look twice as big. And you can't hang all that cool velcro with a cover.


I can't see any reason the velcro can't be sewn onto the helmet cover in the same way it was glued onto the helmet. And the accessories that attach using screws could be used just by punching/cutting a hole in the cover or by cutting away that portion of the cover.

quote:
I can never get the cover to look just right with the NODs mount, its always scrunched

Perfect. Why do you want your camo cover to look "right" or "good". It should look like shit so that it can work as camo in the field.

I do think that we could stand to issue a solid color cover so guys don't have to change out all their shit when they change uniforms. That's my one argument against the helmet cover.

I've been playing with adhesive cloth tape placed between the velcro patches and it seems to be doing the trick for taking the shine off.

 

Know what you know; Know what you don't know. -Paul Petzoldt

I don't think you would want a helmet cover in only one color.

The head and shoulders are the most easily recognized feature on a human. This "picture" is deeply ingrained in our minds for various reasons. The profile of the head needs to be broken up by using a disruptive pattern.

Old Justice
This is a good topic. Our detachment just painted and velcroed our helmets but a couple of us had velcro sewn onto our covers. Last deployment we painted our helmets and never wore a cover. I didn't find anything wrong with it nor was I targeted (that I know of) for standing out or being shiny.

I see the covers being used for snipers, recon, etc...but a patrol of 8-15 dudes in the mtns of a-stan...or even in a village or whatever, helmet covers? really?

----

 

Ditch Medic

Joined: October 2009

Location: Washington State

quote:
I don't think you would want a helmet cover in only one color.

The head and shoulders are the most easily recognized feature on a human. This "picture" is deeply ingrained in our minds for various reasons. The profile of the head needs to be broken up by using a disruptive pattern.

Ideally, yes, and the guys in Afghanistan that get to wear a real camouflage pattern should wear a matching cover. I guess I meant that more for guys that couldn't count on their uniform being the same all the time and that aren't currently using helmet covers.

quote:
Last deployment we painted our helmets and never wore a cover. I didn't find anything wrong with it nor was I targeted (that I know of) for standing out or being shiny.

I see the covers being used for snipers, recon, etc...but a patrol of 8-15 dudes in the mtns of a-stan...or even in a village or whatever, helmet covers? really?

Yeah. Really.

There's a lot you can get away with in terms of camouflage when you're not trying to hide from anyone. The trend of ditching the helmet cover in favor of velcro and krylon stems from guys who's helmet would have been the last thing to give them away.

We've gotten away from the basics.

If I'm serious about not being seen, I'm probably not wearing a helmet--or the godawful ACU pattern. But there's no reason to knowingly violate principles of camouflage on a dismounted patrol, especially when there's an easy fix. Shine on any object will be seen before its color.

 

Know what you know; Know what you don't know. -Paul Petzoldt

I have helmet covers with about a 4x4 (maybe smaller,i dont know for sure) swatch of loop velcro sewn on.

The cover holds tight, velcro on the helmet I had on there kinda holds the cover in place a bit I guess, and have had no prob velcroing shit on when I need it,or to look cool Razz
I tried the painted helmet thing for a while. It never clicked with me. This winter I ordered a Multicam MICH cover from Tactical Tailor. When it came I just dismounted all the accessories, installed the cover and used my knife tip to poke hole where the various bolts needed to penetrate. I then mounted the accessories back up and went to work. No real drama, the cover fits snugly everywhere it should, and the whole package is now more functional.

I am a believer in the utility of covers.
For those of you in the Corps who wear a MICH/ACH, the standard reversible MARPAT cover in Sm/Md fits fine on a large helmet. Look at the Down Range Gear Goggle Retainers. They work in to the slots in the cover to hold all the things you strap to it. Take Shoe-Goo and glue Velcro on to the cover where you need it. The only thing I have on there is a V-lite strobe. I'm not high speed so I don't need anything else.

Common sense: so goddam rare, it should be a super power.

Does anyone know if Crye makes a mesh helmet cover that would fit an ACH/MICH?

quote:
Originally posted by driftevolution:
That SOD cover looks decent, but probably won't work with the ARC. The Crye mesh helmet cover is an interesting concept, one that should be explored more. Instead of installing the helmet cover and installing all the accessories over the top of it (I can never get the cover to look just right with the NODs mount, its always scrunched), why not install all accessories on the helmet, cut the cover to fit around the accessories, and then fasten it with velcro? I might try this with the ACU cover.

And why do I buy coyote gear instead of ACU or MC? The Army can't make its mind up about patterns, and I'm not buying 2 of the same rig just so I can make sure it matches. Isn't color-coordination an airsoft trait?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ON THE WWAAAYYY!!! followed by OH SHIT!!! means you won't be getting that promotion.

quote:
Originally posted by Ian0369:
For those of you in the Corps who wear a MICH/ACH, the standard reversible MARPAT cover in Sm/Md fits fine on a large helmet. Look at the Down Range Gear Goggle Retainers. They work in to the slots in the cover to hold all the things you strap to it. Take Shoe-Goo and glue Velcro on to the cover where you need it. I'm not high speed so I don't need anything else.


I have an M/L cover on my Large MICH.
I modded it myself with the interior Velcro attachments and sewed some Velcro on as well.
I'm not really attaching anything heavy to the helmet cover though.
A Firefly strobe is probably the biggest.

Tactical Tailor or any shop that does gear modification can easily do it.

IIRC VolBlind makes, or used to, a reversible marpat MICH cover for both 1-hole and 3-hole helmets.
quote:
Originally posted by Ian0369:
For those of you in the Corps who wear a MICH/ACH, the standard reversible MARPAT cover in Sm/Md fits fine on a large helmet. Look at the Down Range Gear Goggle Retainers. They work in to the slots in the cover to hold all the things you strap to it. Take Shoe-Goo and glue Velcro on to the cover where you need it. The only thing I have on there is a V-lite strobe. I'm not high speed so I don't need anything else.


Are the personal purchases or unit issue? Just wondering cause I have seen a couple of guys wearing them (our battalion gunner included).
Searched, but hadn't found.

Does any company make something similar to this:


This one is made for airosfters, but I like the idea (copy of crye helmet cover?).

 "Anatomy and Physiology is EVERYTHING. It is the difference between being a trained monkey and a medic"

-RESQDOC-

I always liked the way some units from the U.S. Army (pretty sure from the 101st) and Marine Corps covered their helmets with camo netting. Never done it myself, but in a place like Afghanistan, I'd think it'd be at least somewhat effective.

"Filling the air with bullets wont win a fight. You have to fill the enemy with holes."- Borebrush

They make them for all cuts of MICH helmets (00,01,02), but I won't trust them...

I don't want to post links to airsoft sites, but search for "Ebairsoft"...

I actually have helmet cover with pieces of camo netting, but will prefer something similar to this

 "Anatomy and Physiology is EVERYTHING. It is the difference between being a trained monkey and a medic"

-RESQDOC-

I am TDY so my reference books are unavailable, but.

The Marine Corps first issued helmet covers (frog pattern) in 1943.
That pattern remained in use throught the late 50's when the so called Mitchell Pattern entered the system, and then in the 70's with Woodland.
The Marine Corps issued Dig woodland reversable to Dig Desert for the MICH to Det 1 in 2003

The Army did not issue helmet covers in WW2 but did use two types of netting (wide mesh and small mesh).
During the Korean conflict some Army units used burlap (think the old sandbags) over the helmet, but they went to the Mitchell Pattern in the late 50's as well.

I received my first Crye made MultiCam MICH cover circa 2004.

Re the AirFrame camo cover. Cry makes these. As RgrGordo stated in a previous AirFrame thread, it will not fit the Ops-Core helmet.
Crye- and not OpsCore- will make the helmet cover for OpsCore.

The helmet cover cuts down on shine, something some Euros figured out in WW1. The Germans and Japanese had cloth covers as well, though not universally.

Helmet covers will once more be standard soon, and across the board.
quote:
Originally posted by em_twofourzero:
I always liked the way some units from the U.S. Army (pretty sure from the 101st) and Marine Corps covered their helmets with camo netting. Never done it myself, but in a place like Afghanistan, I'd think it'd be at least somewhat effective.


Slight sidetrack to the discussion.....

I'm pretty sure you're thinking of 10th Mountain. My old battalion, 1-32, started doing doing that in 2006 and now the entire 3rd Brigade wears that netting cause our old battalion Sergeant Major is now the Brigade Sergeant Major. The 173rd guys that replaced us started wearing it too, at least on that rotation. I'm sure there are other units that do it too on a case by case basis but I don't recall seeing any that it is SOP Brigade wide for other than 3rd BCT, 10th Mountain.
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Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning.

Joined: 8/26/03    Location: US
The Marine Corps used to use scrim to break up the helmet and during OIF I many Marines used small peices of camo net zip tied on to their helmets to replicate this. It has since "gone out of style". I only did that to my helmet a few times but unless its done carefuly I could see it interfearing with NVG mounts (you would just have to keep it short in the front) and potentaly being a fire or drip hazard (depending on what you used). I think its a great idea depending on what type of operation you are doing. Idealy it would be a quickly detachable system, where you could put it on your helmet in the ambush or defense position and take it off when moving so it wouldn't get caught on things?

YATYAS

I found that camo net draped over the helmet tended to be snagged by branches. The post above mentioning a melt/drip hazard makes a good point. I found it was most effective to shred the camo scrim and thread it through the slits in the cover to allow the ends to hang out. It still changed the sillouhette, but eliminated the snag hazard.

I've been issued covered, painted, and (used)painted with velcro helmets. I admit, when I got the paint/velcro, I thought I'd look like an idiot airsofter, but soon came to appreciate the utility.

That said, I think the idea of a cover with some velcro sewn in the right places is probably the best way to go.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Stay safe?"  If you stay safe, you're doing it wrong.  When you can't be safe, be sharp.

On a med float in the mid 90's (i think), the BN SOP or at least the CO SOP was to have a piece of old cammie netting on the helmet.

When we started doing the work ups the word came down from the ACE that the cammie netting was a no go because it tended to get blown off the helmet during helo ops and was a FOD hazard. I dont know if there was an incident or if they were being proactive but I dont remember seeing camie netting on helmets after that.
quote:
Originally posted by sparky-kb:
quote:
Originally posted by em_twofourzero:
I always liked the way some units from the U.S. Army (pretty sure from the 101st) and Marine Corps covered their helmets with camo netting. Never done it myself, but in a place like Afghanistan, I'd think it'd be at least somewhat effective.


Slight sidetrack to the discussion.....

I'm pretty sure you're thinking of 10th Mountain. My old battalion, 1-32, started doing doing that in 2006 and now the entire 3rd Brigade wears that netting cause our old battalion Sergeant Major is now the Brigade Sergeant Major. The 173rd guys that replaced us started wearing it too, at least on that rotation. I'm sure there are other units that do it too on a case by case basis but I don't recall seeing any that it is SOP Brigade wide for other than 3rd BCT, 10th Mountain.


The "Lightfighters" of the 7th ID (L) were doing that in the 1980s.

A well-trained Special Forces' SADM ODA is like an artillery shell... once launched, it can not be recalled. No brass, no soldiers Sir!

Well i'm not trying to look like an airsofter, thats for sure. The problem with waiting on the Crye cover for the Ops-Core is that it is taking too long. Obviously the Crye cover for the AirFrame and the Ops-Core is super sexy, functional and made well, the problem is that they arent on sale yet and who knows when they will be. So if I can get the one listed above and modify it then that will be a working solution until someone starts selling an Ops-Core cover. Thanks for the info, if I get it to work will post pictures

Fanny
I wasn't saying we were the first to wear camo netting on our helmets. Shit, we wore burlap strips in our helmet covers in basic training. In recent history though, as in the last few years, we were the only ones I know of that it was the SOP both on deployment and in garrison. I'm just saying that if you see a picture of Soldiers in Afghanistan wearing camo netting on their helmet then it is a very good chance they are 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division.
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Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning.

Joined: 8/26/03    Location: US
A heads up, ACH covers can be modded to fit an OPS core helmet (in my case a base jump) (my cover fit a Med ACH and fits my M/L Ops Core)

I bought my ACH off an airsofter and it came with a fake crye printed cover that I replaced with a legit ACU cover- With 20 minutes of spare time I managed to get it cut down to fit another 20 mins to hand sew the velcro patches on the inside of the cover (the machine's needle didn't like getting gummed up with the adhesive on the back of my velcro)

The helmet itself only required two new patches of loop velcro on either side of the NODs mount because of the pre-existing velcro on it-

_____________________________

In whatever you choose to do,

Do it because it's hard,
Not because it's easy. -NdGT

 

Joined: 11/16/08                             Location: GA

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