After many months of waiting for my Ops Core FAST Base Jump Helmet to arrive, it finally did last week. I eagerly opened the box and found the following:
FAST Bump Helmet with the Ops Core Black Helmet Cover/Protector. It is made from a neoprene -type material and offers some cosmetic protection for your new helmet. When you flip it over, you will see a red mesh “door” that covers the bottom of the helmet. This is a zippered pouch that you can put small items into. I put the extra helmet pads and instruction booklet in it, but you can put anything you want in there.
Helmet Fitting Placard – this is attached to the bottom of the helmet and gives you the steps necessary to fit the helmet to your head
Helmet Operators Manual – Your User Guide and Parts Guide. This booklet alone is worth its weight in gold. You have information on how to fit the helmet, how to properly use and place ARC Adaptersto the ARC Rails, and the part numbers when you need to order or replace a part. As you read through the manual, you will learn how to properly adjust your Chin Strap, and about basic maintenance and care. Definitely do not lose this.
2 x Side Pads – These go along the Velcro on the Left/Right sides of the helmet. The pads are very firm, but have an almost memory foam feel to them.
2 x 1/2 Inch Top Pad
2 x 1/2 Inch Rear Pad
2 x 3/4 Inch Top Pad
2 x 3/4 Inch Rear Pad
1 x Picatinny Adapter – This slides into the ARC Rail and allows you to mount any Picatinny item you have. Great for a small flashlight or side mounted camera (i.e. Contour HD)
1 x Wing-Loc Adapter – Another option for mounting items to the ARC Rail
Once the helmet was fitted properly to my head, I tried it on and gave the Occ-Dial Adjustment Knob about 2 turns and the Fitband slowly cinched down around my head and the helmet was really locked into place. Moving my head up/down , and left/right did not disloadge it. I was very excited to not have any movement as my GoPro Hero is going to be mounted to it by the NVG Mount that they sell. This is going to give me a very secure platform for shooting video, and if I use NVGs in the future.
The weight of the helmet without any accessories is very light. This helmet weights in at 1.39 lbs for the M/L (1.46 lbs for L/XL). It made my Pro Tec Alpha Helmet feel very heavy in comparison. And that is a lightweight helmet in its own right.
Now that I had the helmet fit squared away, it was time to outfit it with several different accessories! It seems that more and more manufacturers are making items specifically for the ARC Rail and Ops Core style of helmet. Here are a few of the items that we have put on the helmet:
First Spear Hybrid Helmet Cover in Multicam – A great cover to give you the extra Velcro real estate and change the overall look of the helmet
War Sports Industries War Bungees – The War Bungees are a great, cost-effective way to secure items to your helmet. To add foliage, and to ensure nothing falls off, even if Velcroed to the Helmet.
Princeton Tec MPLS Charge – The Charge is the latest edition to the MPLS Family and we are huge fans of these helmet lights at TGL. A great light, in a small package.
Princeton Tech MPLS Switch – We reviewed this a while back. A great 2 LED Light that can be mounted onto the ARC rail.We also reviewed the ReMix Pro and that light has an available NVG mount. Now, can you have a light mounted in the molded NVG mount of the FAST Helmet, or mount it to the ARC Rail.
S and S Precision V-Lite – The V-Lite is a great marking/dead light. They fit and look great on the rear of the FAST Helmet.
S and S Precision Manta Strobe – It is offered in IR and Non-IR Versions.
Smith Optics Boogie Regulator Goggles – A low-profile goggle that can be used with the helmet’s ARC Rails by using their Shock Cord Kit.
Adventure Lights’s VIP Light – An excellent alternative to the Manta Strobe. The civilian version is non-IR. The IR version is for Military and Law Enforcement only.
Now, the downside to this helmet is the price. With shipping, this helmet cost me $250.00. That is the same price as a mid-level AEG, HSGI Wasatch and a few accessories, or a really nice communication setup. If you are looking for an Ops Core helmet, take a look at their FAST Base Jump
If you are looking for the real thing, and want something that will be different, look at the FAST Base Jump Military version from Ops Core. It is a great helmet for the value.