PT ALPHA Bump Helmet Review
By The Godfather
The PT ALPHA Bump Helmet reviewed here was purchased several years back from the folks at Tactical Night Vision Company. The Helmet has served me well for years in a para-military role and, while it has its shortcomings, I think it offers a substantial value to law enforcement professionals who require a light-weight, affordable, platform to deploy their night vision capabilities. For those more serious customers or those with a larger budget, check out the Team Wendy and Ops Core offerings, all sold on the same page at Tactical Night Vision Company (Note, that TNVC no longer sells the ALPHA, however they do offer a new and improved BRAVO model).
The Streamlight Sidewinder flashlight serves as a great counterweight (For mono NVGs) as well as an IR strobe for use with air assets.
I’m not going to get overly technical regarding the helmet shell; however, it is made from a hard, durable polymer (Not Carbon Fiber). Also attached to the rear portion of the outer shell was* a rubber, Y shaped retention strap that was useful for securing goggle straps or the tie-down string of your night vision device (NVD). * The snap buttons sheered off after a few months.
I will say that this helmet has had the crap beaten out of it, and the outer shell has never cracked etc. Anyone considering purchasing one of these helmets should know that the paint will chip with hard use and the plastic shell’s natural white color will appear. In fact, it finally became so bad that I eventually spray painted the helmet tan.
The PT ALPHA’s outer shell also sports velcro pile tape and is capable of mounting two mil-spec side rails which are perfect for mounting IR/White lights (The Streamlight TLR1 hitched a ride on mine for a long time)
The straps are an improvement from the basic skate helmet, but in the end they leave a lot to be desired.
The only real disappointment that I have with the PT ALPHA Helmet is the strap system. Now, I understand that it is a huge improvement over the straps on a standard skate helmet; however, the straps constantly loosen and fail to provide a rock solid platform for your NVDs. This became especially apparent when using the PVS-7 binos! The problem can be quickly remedied by securing the straps with tape so that they no longer adjust.
The PT ALPHA strap system includes a nape to support the weight of NVDs.
Note: While I have used PVS-7 binos, I found that the PVS-14 mono works the best and doesn’t require a counterweight. The PVS-7s are considerably heavier and are miserable without a counterweight.
The foam liner has held up well but the black comfort liner fell off of the parts that came in contact with excessive sweat.
The foam padding inside the PT ALPHA Bump Helmet has lasted a long time! The same cannot be said for the black liner attached to it. It appears that sweat breaks down the adhesive used to connect the two materials and the liner lasted about two nights before it ended up falling off. The foam itself is very durable, however, it logs sweat which is a little annoying. Tactical Night Vision Company claims that the upgraded BRAVO model has a closed cell foam that doesn’t log water.
The PT ALPHA Bump Helmet comes pre drilled for an Ops-Core VAS shroud and also has a single hole for standard military mount.
When working in mountain environments I usually strap the helmet to the back of my assault pack (Until the sun goes down). It gets lots of dings and I eventually painted it with flat tan spray paint.
I chose to spend the extra money to have the guys at Tactical Night Vision Company install an Ops-Core VAS Shroud. I figured it was worth the money to get a light-weight non adjustable mount and I was right!
Tactical Night Vision Company was really cool at Shot Show 2013 and took care of us when it came to SWAG. Thanks guys!
The Down and Dirty:
So, if you are on a budget, then take a second look at the PT ALPHA Bump Helmet! Sure, you will have to deal with a second rate strap system, foam liner that soaks up sweat and paint that eventually chips (with wear) but your NVDs won’t be hanging around your neck, or taking up space in your gun hand. Better yet, when that branch snaps, you will be able to instantly identify whether or not it is friend, foe or a pack of javelinas.
Have you used the new BRAVO version? How does it compare? Let us know!
We plan on reviewing Team Wendy’s bump helmet in the future, so stay tuned (Currently in hand and being reviewed).
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