Curt, a bunch of us bought our helmets a couple of years ago and had the same problem you did with the white primer. The main guy who did the ordering called cairns and told them that we were all pissed and wanted our helmets fixed. They told us that we would have to send our helmets back and they would replace them. After a heated conversation cairns sent us 6 new helmets and then let us keep our chipped ones. not a bad deal if you ask me. SO, if you know anyone wanting a slightly used N6A i have one.
I might have missed some of the replies, but I haven't seen anyone that's actually worn the heritage. I apologize now if I did miss it. I've worn one since they've come out and I like it alot. I have to say that I've never worn any others so it's hard to compare. I have worn the Ben II before this one and I didn't like it. The original concept was that this helmet was for the training officer that spent a lot of time in a burn tower or in live burns. This is why they went with the leather over fiberglass. I've put my two helmets through a lot of fire and have never had any problems with warpping or paint issues. The leather is dye'd throughout so scratches and chips so up the same color. Although heavier then the Ben II, the interior cap sits a lot better on your head so it really is more comfortable. I'll have to get the Cairns next to try it out. It seems to be a hit but I also have to have the expensive NFPA sticker also. Great post and thanks to everyone involved. Be safe......
I used a Conway for a while. The helmet sets up high and is a little heavy. But, it was good lid and took the abuse I put it through. The rear brim did bump the SCBA bottom during a crawl. To keep the wieght down go with the flip-down visors, often called Krups.
How much do you want for the N6A? I used to wear leather at my old volly depertment, but when I got hired, the new departmentt said wear our Cairns 1010, not leather. We're working on the chief and I think he's going to let us change to leather at our own expense
Back to the subject of paint i recently repainted my Cairns N6A with the One Shot leather helmet paint that is now available through the fire store it is fairly inexpensive only about 15 bucks and did a really good job my helmet looked brand new i dont know anybody else that has used it but it worked well for me might want to look into it
I recently purchased the N6A and love the way the helmets rides (I removed the cushion inside). However I have also had issues with the paint and white primer. If you repaint be sure to get all of the old paint off. I recently repainted my 3 month old helmet with the 1 shot paint from the fire store, I must have done a crappy job at removing the old paint and sure enough after a recent hot fire it was chipping in the places where there is old paint underneath.
Other than the paint issue the helmet is great! Love the look and the weight difference is not really an issue.
I must have the only noggin that likes the feel for the Conway helmet. I have had mine for 8 years now. I do get the neck fatigue after about two hours of straight wear time. I have had mine in a phase 1 flashover and had no problems from the heat. You just have to find what best applies to you. I would find a local distributor and try out all the various brands and models before spending money on any brand.
My first helmet after being a Probie, in 1983, was a Cairns "New Yorker" I still have that helmet (obviously retired) and it looks like it could still be in service (it has been out of service for 18 years though). I was fortunate to try three traditional "leather" helmets before we chose ours. The department opted for a cairns polycarbonate traditional. We could purchase the Cairns N6A if we chose...I chose to and love it. I have never had a better fitting helmet (it is adjustable unlike the older style)
I think the cairns helmet is the best overall of the three and worth the money. PS!!! I you are one of the brothers or sisters with a bad paint job on a new helmet (i.e. the paint de-laminates after the first few fires)...TELL CAIRNS YOU WANT A REPLACEMENT! They stood by mine after one day of hot burns.
Thank you all for your advice, info and feedback. I'm much more educated on the different styles. I chose the N5A. I'm now the proud papa of a wonderful, classic, traditional, and superior piece of equipment. Stay safe everyone! Thanks, again.
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