Team Wendy might make one of the most comfortable bump helmets on the market today but what about improving your current ballistic/bump helmet? Luckily Team Wendy decided to offer a handful of products that allow you to upgrade your current helmet’s retention/liner system!
Here are the Upgrade Products:
– CAM-FIT Retention System – A comfortable strap system featuring lockable adjustment buckles and the BOA closure system.
– REVOLVE Helmet Liner System – A system featuring polymer structures and moisture wicking pads and comes closest to replicating the system found in the EXFIL CARBON (Not reviewed here).
– Epic Combat Helmet Pad System – A one piece Zorbium foam impact liner system with customizable pads.
– Epic Air Helmet Liner System – A three piece Zorbium foam impact liners featuring enhanced air flow while maximizing comfort via the included customizable pads.
We managed to gather a handful of todays popular helmet systems including:
– OPS-CORE FAST Carbon Bump Helmet
– Ballistic Tanker Style Helmet
– Ballistic ACH Style Helmet
– PT ALPHA Bump Helmet
Installation of all three products is fairly straight forward and I only ran into trouble with the PT ALPHA which requires a specific retention strap kit and hardware. Team Wendy has made instructional video which has been embedded at the bottom of this post!
Tools you will need:
– Standard Screw Driver
– Phillips/Allen Wrench (For removal of old system)
– Vice grips/Pliers (To secure the screws inside helmet if needed)
– Thread lock
The first helmet that I decided to upgrade was a OPS-CORE FAST Carbon bump helmet. The FAST is the EXFIL CARBON’s main competitor in the carbon fiber bump helmet category.
The OPS-CORE FAST features a simple battle tested liner system that features a built in, adjustable nape pad that works in a similar manner to the BOA system. Furthermore, Replacing the strap system requires the removal of both the liner and the retention system as they are a one piece system.
When you place the FAST and EXFIL side by side you see the different approaches with the Team Wendy system being slightly more complex and the OPS-CORE opting for a simpler approach and in my opinion slightly less comfortable.
The first product that I tried on the FAST was the EPIC AIR Combat Helmet Liner System. The EPIC AIR features a three piece impact foam system that attaches to the FAST’s factory installed velcro hook. The EPIC AIR also includes two full sets, (thick/thin), black foam pads. The pad sets allow the wearer to customize the padding to fit all head shapes.
The first step in changing out your FAST liner/strap system is to remove the four screws that secure the factory system. These screws are accessed on the outside of the helmet and are removed using a standard screw driver. Take special care to apply pressure to the nut on the inside of the helmet as it is easy to strip out the plastic sleeve that secures the nut. After removing all four screws, remove the outside rails and the liner system.
For this review, I installed the liner first. To save time first install the CAM-FIT Retention System and then follow these instructions for the installation for the EPIC AIR.
Once you install the three main EPIC AIR components, then add the desired number of black pads. The pads come in both thick and thin sizes. You can also install optional air channels and side pads if needed. (See the video below for proper placement of the crown pad).
Installation of the CAM-FIT Retention System is straight forward and should be done before installing the EPIC or EPIC AIR liners.
Secure the back screws taking special care to make sure the nylon straps are not twisted. Don’t forget to add a little thread lock.
When attaching the front make sure the BOA Closure system tab is under the chin strap tab. Also make sure the BOA cable is not twisted.
Once all four straps are properly secured, then you will be ready to insert the EPIC/EPIC AIR liner.
I personally found that the factory crown pads provided better support than the crown pad included with the Team Wendy EPIC AIR kit. My main complaint with the EPIC AIR was the crown pad as it allowed my head to go too deep in the helmet causing the BOA system to be placed incorrectly. Once the two factory crown pads were re-installed the problem went away ( I probably just didn’t install something correctly).
The factory crown pads alongside the EPIC AIR crown pad. Note that the EPIC AIR crown pad is about half the hight of the factory pads.
Installation the EPIC Combat Helmet Liner System is slightly easier due to the fact that it is a once piece system. It will be warmer though as it features a snugger fit that restricts airflow.
As with the EPIC AIR, the EPIC comes with a full set of both thick and thin pads.
Ballistic Tanker Helmet:
Fitment of all three products was super easy and the only negative that I found was that the EPIC system was slightly tight with the black pads installed.
Ballistic ACH Style Helmet:
I decided not to retrofit the ACH helmet as the screws were fairly tight and I was losing daylight. According to Team Wendy, all three systems should work perfectly with it and I see no reason to doubt that. (Team Wendy uses an ACH helmet in the video below).
PT ALPHA Bump Helmet:
Unfortunately, I failed to do my research on this one and didn’t realize that Team Wendy had a specific retention chin strap kit for entry level PT helmets. The main problem arrises from the fact that the factory hardware is smaller than the hardware supplied with the Team Wendy retention systems. So, if you wish to upgrade your retention system be sure to contact Team Wendy and get the right kit before you ruin your helmet like I did. Also, the EPIC AIR proved to be too small for my particular helmet. On a positive note, the EPIC liner worked great and as you see in the following pictures, they are a big improvement over the crummy factory liners. All said and done, if you are still using one of these helmets maybe its time to upgrade to an EXFIL CARBON or the soon to be available EXFIL LTP.
As I stated in a previous review of the PT-ALPHA, the strap system and liner leaves a lot to be desired.
The factory hardware is much smaller than that of the supplied Team Wendy H-Back Chinstrap ( No fault on the part of Team Wendy) I ended up drilling out the holes (big mistake) only to find out that the larger hardware still didn’t fit. I decided to still post up photos so our readers can learn from my mistake. To be honest though, after you try a Team Wendy EXFIL, you really wont have much use for one of these anymore.
I found the EPIC AIR to be too small even with he supplied large pads.
The supplied hardware was intended for ballistic and OPS Core FAST helmets and would require spacers or washers to work.
The Team Wendy EPIC Liner worked great and provided a snug fit. The H-Back Chin strap would also be a great improvement as long as you sourced the correct version.
All in all, the above systems are fairly easy to install and can provide a considerable improvement in comfort if installed correctly. The REVOLVE Helmet Liner System was not featured here but should provide the same type of comfort offered by the EXFIL series. Be sure to check if your current helmet has the necessary velcro and if not contact Team Wendy to source it.