So I haven't had any luck searching the forums. The last time I saw this discussed was 2011. 

For those that use helmets and NODs, what (if any) kind of counter weights are you using? 

Does a ballistic vs. Bump helmet make a big difference here? 

I see explosive ops gear mentioned a lot, but I have my concerns. If rather stick something of useful weight back there (strobe, batteries) than just lead weights.

OSOE makes something close to what I want. However, I'd rather not. 

Will be going on an Ops-Core ballistic. The NVG (when used) will be a single tube PVS-14.

Thanks ahead of time.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Original Post

I run single PVS 14 on a Gentex High cut helmet. 

I have not felt the need for a counter weight. If I ever do, I will follow the Book of Pat, chapter 5.56, verse 14.

Pat used to carry a handful of 5.56 rounds in a BFG boo boo pouch on the back of his helmet, IIRC. I don't remember if it was shoe goo'd on or if he cut Molle slots with a hot knife or if he had Velcro sewed to the back of the pouch.

Seems like the thinking points were:

-Why add weight to  the helmet?

-If you have dual tubes, counter weight is helpful.

-If you want weight, it might as well be useful weight. I.e. ammo or batteries.

 

First, this was discussed just a few weeks ago: 

https://www.lightfighter.net/to...35#45361960844059135

To this topic, the TL;DR is: Don't add more weight to your helmet if you want to keep doing this for a long time, or your spine will get back at you every morning before you go to the job selling used cars. 

 

I have used PVS-5, PVS-7, and several monoculars. No: not as a professional, but all damned night in the woods for days or a week at a time, driving, etc. I have never run a counterweight, but tried some briefly. Hated the extra weight and I thought it made it too easy to balance and it is still wobbly.

Me, I am still on OA pads on an ACH, but with an X-Nape. After many systems (PVS-5 straps, skullcrushers, the extra evil strap on the PASGT...) the many modern ones work wonders. I tend to say: if it is uncomfortable, you are doing it wrong. I have helped others set up their NOD rigs, and many things can be made to work well, such as PT bump helmets. 

Anti-wobbling is critical. Make sure all the bits that make the NOD mount to the helmet are secure, well adjusted and do not move about even a bit unless you tell them to. Wobble adds several kinds of fatigue.  

For another option, I also find the Crye Nightcap A-Maz-Ing. Only used it with monoculars, but it's a hell of a comfortable system, and now I think partly due to the total weight on-head being reduced. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

I use a counterweight on both my issue ACH and my MTEK. It is a old BDU shirt cut up and sewn into a pouch with velcro on the back, I keep batteries for my NODs and laser in it. It holds just enough weight to keep things mostly balanced, the chin strap and liner do the rest.

I've found on the ACH (why are we still using this antique? We should have upgraded force wide, or at least in the combat MOS's, over a decade ago) that even with the TW pad and Ops-Core H-nape, I needed a little weight on the back to keep this thing in place and fight off the fatigue. For my MTEK it's a combination of balance and keeping spare batteries on me. It cups the head surprisingly well and stays in place, especially with comm headset mounted but anything bigger then a 14 and you'll need some kinda counterweight, the MTEK does not have a headband system like the Ops-core or TW.

On my Ops-Core bump helmet, I've found the need for a counterweight with 14s simply because there is no weight to it. Oddly enough the ballistic helmets may add weight but seem to help stabilize it on my head better. I get more neck fatigue then I do with ballistic rigs as far as the helmet pulling my head forward. I've ran 15s on it for a couple hours rappelling off buildings without one fine due to how the dial liner works, the helmet is stable and stays in place I can just feel it pulling forward more. The OCC liner does a good job of holding that thing in place. I'd love a Maritime, I've heard it's headband system or a TW BOA on it is awesome, but was a looooong wait and I got a good deal on the MTEK on the pre-order.

 

 

CW makes a difference with PVS15s (dual tube) but it's not really necessary with 14s.  I went down this road and tried 14+CW but took it off.  I linked what I use below.  I can mail you a 12oz if you want to test it out - I know that $15 price tag is pretty steep...

As always, it's your body/gear and YMMV.

 

http://thehangar.com/aviation-...counter-weights.html

V/R

Blessed are the Peacemakers; for they shall be called the Children of God. Mt 5:9

Just to get it out of the way - I'm a civilian and I use these devices 'recreationally'. I use them for work, but my work isn't 'work' if that makes sense. I don't run with it, I don't fight with it, and the longest I've had the whole package on my head is no more than 4-6 hours.

My neck doesn't mind weight (unless something goes wrong, but that is pretty normal). What it minds is unbalanced weight, especially wobbly unbalanced weight.

Using a ballistic helmet as a base gave me a fairly stable platform out of the gate. I had to fuck with the padding for quite a while due to the nature of the AirFrame, but in the end I got something that was fairly stable even without suspension - which was the goal.

I won't knock bump helmets - I've just never found one I liked. The outer skins seem on the thin side, they almost universally have vent holes in them, etc. The Crye Night Cap, to my knowledge, doesn't even pretend to fit. I've never tried one, but the measurements don't look remotely promising by a couple inches.

A Wilcox L4 G24 took out a ton of wobble, and a Norotos Dual Dovetail added the additional adjustment room I needed while completely eliminating any wobble that was present with the Wilcox J Arm I tried first.

At this point, everything is solid, but it was unbalanced enough to cause me some issues. I believe I only tried two counter weight systems - the EOG Gen 2, and the Low Profile Short. The EOG Gen 2, which is essentially a bag of lead shot inside a carrier, had a tendency to keep going once my head stopped. It sucked for my neck - inertia is a bitch.

I turn my head suddenly, the weight bag wants to stay put. When my head stops, the weight bag wants to keep going. Switching to the EOG Low Profile Short stopped this (well enough, I mean the effect still exists but the whole helmet now feels like one piece).

I get the concept of not having useless weight, however I do not personally believe it is applicable to my specific usage. Anything that I could use for counterweight (batteries, etc) needs to be accounted for elsewhere. I'm not suggesting that I have THE way, I'm simply explaining the lefts and rights of my situation and how that impacts my decision making.

Although, the less wobble you have (to include counter weights) the better off you are IMO.

______________

"A pistol is what you carry when you do not expect a problem. If you expect a problem you can't avoid, and you are not taking a long gun, you are not very smart." - DM

 

Joined: 04Nov2007         Location: Indiana

If you think putting a counterweight on a helmet is a good idea because you'd just be carrying that weight elsewhere, your thinking is flawed. Would you tape extra ammo or batteries to your boot just because it makes it easier to kick someone harder? As a whole, the military has gotten much smarter about lightening boots because we recognize that big clunky boots suck to walk in and cause all kinds pf problems. When's the last time you saw an entire formation of people wearing those old Danners that weighed a couple of pounds each? Now we encourage the very styles of boots we used to outlaw. 

 

The same analogies can be made for excess weight on the helmet. It's in vogue to put a bunch of random shit on our heads because it makes us look all operator'y but it would be much smarter to slim the loads as much as possible. If you need more batteries put them in one of the million pockets we have that make sense. Get every spare ounce off your helmet you can! 

 

Of course, you can disregard what I said and collect a fat disability check like I do every month now.  I've got thousands of hours of NVG use and used to run extra shit on my helmet before I figured out I was fucking myself up because my thought process was 180 degrees out. 

Yes. If you read some of the many other threads on here about counterweights you'll see more of the arguments I've typed up against them. I'm probably one of the biggest anti-counterweight dudes still around here but there were a bunch of us in the past. 

 

Any dead weight slinging around on your body is bad over time. I'm an advocate of removing every ounce of load you can from all areas but the loads on extremities are the first priority. If you can get lighter boots, gloves, helmets, etc do that first. Extremities are the biggest bang for the buck as far as weight reduction. Dumping all of the extra pouches and crap we tend to throw in them is next. Empty your pockets and take a hard look at what you carry every day.  Do you really need to carry 3 knives on a single mission? How many times did you use (name the widget in your vest) during the last month? Ditch everything you can reasonably get rid of. 

I've spent a LOT of time using NOD's over the years.  I've used them on skullcrushers, the PASGT K-pot, MICH TC-2000, MICHTC-2002, Ops-Core Fast, and PT Alpha helmet. Almost forgot but, I've even used an airsoft "Ops-Core bump" knockoff that I put a First Spear fast cover on so it would pass visual inspection and look like I was wearing an issued fast helmet

Never needed, wanted, or wished for any form of counter weight with PVS-7's, PVS-14's, PVS-15's, etc.. on any armored or non-armored helmet.  If the  night vision device I'm using doesn't require a remote battery pack, then nothing extra gets added to increase the weight of my helmet.  I'm of the opinion that there are better ways to fix or minimize stability issues between the mount, helmet, and night vision device. 

YMMV, but for me counter-weights on a helmet are full retard

Fast SS.  I have no need for a helmet of any sort let alone a ballistic one.  Besides, the one I did have made me look like a tard.

The Crye Nightcap is the answer.  My head is a massive orb with its own gravitational pull.  If a Nightcap doesn't fit you, you need to find a circus to join or a parade to be a float in.

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

IT'S A COLT.  THEY'RE LIKE THE HK OF GUNS.

HRH (Ret.) The Most Reverend Consig

Stupidity is not a skillset.

 

 

 

 

 Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

The Nightcap seems to be independent of an actual helmet. Correct? Seems nice but if I'm in a situation outside of training where I am wearing NODs I'll likely have to wear a helmet. 

With that being said the Nightcap could be a great option for training time. 

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

geronimo posted:

   I'm probably one of the biggest anti-counterweight dudes still around here but there were a bunch of us in the past. 

So just to be clear, there are no exceptions to this? Such as a bino setup? 

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Nightcap is great if you want something small to stuff in your pocket and/or when you don't want to screw with the weight and bulkof a helmet.  I stuff mine in my PVS14 bag and take it camping.  It is independent of helmets - think of it as a mesh baseball cap with a chinstrap and no bill.

I think you're getting too far into the weeds on whether you should use a CW or not.  If you need it, use it.  If you don't, don't.

V/R

Blessed are the Peacemakers; for they shall be called the Children of God. Mt 5:9

Gara posted:

I think you're getting too far into the weeds on whether you should use a CW or not.  If you need it, use it.  If you don't, don't.

Ehh. If someone with more experience than me, gives me a legitamite counterpoint I'm usually wiling to listen. 

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

A counterweight, like anything else, has it's place and is useful on occasion.  I have found them to be particularly helpful on short duration, direct action operations where you won't be wearing it for hours, or days on end.  It can help balance out the weight of the NVG and aid in keeping it right where you want it without wrenching your head in a vice with your suspension system.  With a PVS-14 set-up, it is likely not entirely necessary, as a good pad and suspension set-up can make a huge difference.  If youre running a heavy dual-tube NVG set-up it may be more helpful, but as noted above, the added weight on your head and neck will wear on you. 

You are SFS correct?  In what capacity will you be using this set-up, and what is your current mission?  DAGRE?  CRG?  Flight guy that occasionally gets a good mission? 

 

LOCATION: El Paso

I will likely wear it most in training and on a plane then I will for actual work. The easiest way to say it, is I do security for guys that build tents, while helping out myself.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

I will be the contrarian - I cannot wear dual tubes without a weight bag.  Fight and flight tactical makes cheap, durable and functional bags, and they come in varying weights.  I've found the 14oz work best for anvis goggles with no battery pack.  They are velcro backed so you can slap them on a helmet when needed and remove them when not running nods.  

 

https://www.fightandflight.com...aviation.html?cat=23

Brock01 posted:
geronimo posted:

   I'm probably one of the biggest anti-counterweight dudes still around here but there were a bunch of us in the past. 

So just to be clear, there are no exceptions to this? Such as a bino setup? 

I have only run a monocular setup a handful of times over the course of my military or civilian use. I used to carry a PVS-14 or a MUM-14, to use handheld for E&E purposes, years ago but that's about it. All of my real goggle time is on dual tubes both military, civilian and personal. No counterweights after the mid-90's when I got schooled.  

I recently had a chat with another forum member here who is also semi-famous on P&S. He runs a counter weight for SWAT stuff but his goggle use on a typical swat hit is a couple hours, at most, and he's not running goggles every day. I respect his desire for a stable platform but don't think the risk is worth the reward long term. Maybe he'll chime in here if he sees this. 

 

The Crye Nightcap is a great tool if you are just wearing goggles for fun or you are doing recce stuff or something that would preclude a helmet. If you are wearing a helmet I tend to stick to a real ballistic helmet and don't endorse the use of a bump helmet for tactical use. If you are playing with guns around people with guns ballistic is the way to go. If you are only doing FoF in a ship or riding a bike I could get behind a bump helmet, but IMO there's pretty much no other reason to run one.  (another wildly unpopular opinion...)

The Nightcap is totally independent of a helmet.  It is pretty ingenious in its design.  The mesh has a Kevlar mounting plate pre-drilled for three or four screw mounts.  I have a Wilcox set up holding my PVS14.

Mine of course is just for fun.  I did have it slightly customized to use an OSOE ballast that holds batteries and a strobe (not that I have anyone looking for me in the dark. Lol) because I felt the NVG was dipping slightly.  But a quick adjustment fixed that.

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

IT'S A COLT.  THEY'RE LIKE THE HK OF GUNS.

HRH (Ret.) The Most Reverend Consig

Stupidity is not a skillset.

 

 

 

 

 Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

I don't have a bump helmet, skipped the whole thing (sold my old CVC conversion) and go straight from Nightcap to ballistic shell. I have met maybe three people in my life who have a legit need for a bump helmet; everyone else would be better off with ballistic protection, or just needs a platform for mounting a NOD. 

I can even fit a boonie on top of the Nightcap, so can keep my head dry and spider-web free, so it's better than a vented bump helmet as far as the most likely things to be protected from in the woods, fields and suburbs.  

There's a fair bit spare velcro on the top and back if you find a need to attach a strobe, battery pack, etc. I have a chunk of cateye so the next guy in line can follow me. If there's anything that most folks need to add to their kit for teamwork at night, it's cateyes. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

If you're a FAST guy, you're not typically on the ground for very long.  Considering what the standard for a halftime is... if you're wearing NVGs, it's for short duration and then back to the bunk/hammock/red seat for you. Ditch the CW. I second the many opinions that say they are dumb/pointless. Keep extra trinkets off your helmet.

 

There are enough snag hazards on an aircraft anyways... so stay slick.  I'm sure the ground guys would love to find another strobe, pouch, or knife.. 

 

This is all asuming youre a FAST guy.. since you haven't really specified, other than "I'm a dude watching a dude, set up a tent, with another dude."

RedX posted:

This is all asuming youre a FAST guy.. since you haven't really specified, other than "I'm a dude watching a dude, set up a tent, with another dude."

Stanger danger! lol

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

I maybe have some other secondhand knowledge about battery box setup in the interest of making sure they are as well configured as possible, but dammit if I can find the firsthand version instead. I asked among the couple people I know who I thought wore these for a living, but they mostly had other setups and limited time with rear battery boxes, so my recollection is now just that and as much as it seems logical, may have been tainted by age:

  • Don't over-weight the back. There are a couple of battery box sizes, and once you have a battery box, don't also store your strobe etc. on the back of your helmet. The goal is to reduce the front drag, but like weight on the muzzle of a rifle, some weight up front stabilizes your view; so do not perfectly balance, or rear-load, but leave some weight up front. 
  • De-snag everything. Get the proper length wires, double check all connections, and run them under the helmet cover. Use tape and wire ties if need be, but do not have things get snagged and try to rip your head off when running around the a/c or through the woods. Make sure it's as un-snaggy as possible when NODs are up and down.
  • Think about your environment, and try it out. Will a lump on the back of your helmet bang into things when you turn corners in hallways? Will overloading your ruck break your neck as it bears on this? Or shear it off if you are just velcroing it on? Can you get through the top hatch? Will it be comfortable, and not snaggy, in whatever seat you are likely assigned to? Will it be comfortable in that seat for 2 hours? 12 hours? 
  • It is a battery. What happens if it goes bad, or simply runs out? Can you change it, or even just flip the switch to go to internal/other bank, without taking off the hat and having good light? Can you do that with your weapon at the ready? When prone? When wearing a fully loaded ruck? When falling through the sky? 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

I've been rocking the OSOE IR Strobe / Battery set up for a few years and love it. I fucked up my neck on active duty and when I went Nasty Girl I found wearing an ACH w/ NODs extremely painful at times. When I was looking at counterweights I decided I wanted something useful (batteries) and I already had a strobe back there. Since I've been using it my neck pain has been substantially better, and I usually don't even notice anymore. When I prep my NODs I throw on my 14's and the battery insert in back and I'm GTG.

It even paid off the first time I used it- I was on point leading my platoon out and about half an hour into the movement my PVS-14's shit the bed. I kept moving and discretely grabbed an AA out of the counterweight and threw it in... no one even noticed. Whew...

My only issue is that it's made by OSOE, and had I known what a turbo dick that dude is I'd have never given them a dime. Luckily someone's making what appears to be solid knock off.  I'd never endorse a copy, let alone foreign made one at that, but I just picked one up as a spare and it looks pretty well made.

 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Crye-P...2:g:hb0AAOSw-29ZUb9v

PRAISE THE FALLEN

SSG Kevin Roberts KIA 7-May-08         SPC Peter Courcy KIA 10-Feb-09

1Lt Nick Dewhirst KIA 20-July-08          PFC Jason Watson KIA 10-Feb-09

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Joined: 2/21/04          Location: Seattle,  WA

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