Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

We are looking at buying new helmets under a PPE grant. What are some of the positives and negatives regarding the major traditional style helmet manufacturers? Cairns, Ben Franklin, Paul Conway, Bullard, Phenix? Who makes the best helmet?

Views: 10137

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

To whomever, I had a pacific f7 traditional and a cairns traditional modern helmet and used them constantly. I hated all of them because of the tendency while wearing the scba to bash my nose a few times while conducting interior and overhaul ops. the helmet would wrench forward if the back rim contacted anything from behind while stooping or lowering. If I bent over to pick something up it slid forward and I had to mess with it. Then I discovered that an assist. chief in weltonville n.y had a gallet fire knight who was hounded about its rediculous looks by his own dept. members. $150 later and I now have the right helmet. Cons: IT rides an inch or two higher on the head, I look like darth vader, hard to mount anything to it. Pros: two point chin strap, ratchet pinch type head strap, two visors (cairns defender drop down inner) and an outside visor all integrated in the inside of the helmet. I do not need saftey glasses (as opposed to goggles) that scratch or fog up for mva's, its as light or lighter than any other helmets I have used and it has a great neck protector that fits over myjacket neck collar by 3 inches. I can see people wanting the old style helmets because of tradition or fit or whatever, but I will never go back. My next one is the rosenbauer xtreme. I tried one on at the chiefs show in Harrisburg PA. what a beauty!
We are looking for new department issue helmets after not being happy with the wear of the Paul Conway traditional helmets. We can buy leathers out of our uniform allowance which I have done and am very happy with the fit and wear. The Paul Conway have had consistent problems after only two years of wear with the bands around the perimeter of the helmet falling off. The ratchet sizing adjustment wheel in the back has also broken on several helmets. Members complain of the weight of these helmets although in fairness they weigh the same as my leather.

--Joe
http://www.customlidpaint.webs.com/

They do great work.

Dave Block said:
I have a Cairns N6A that is in major need of a new paint job. I have been going back and forth with deciding if I should repaint it myself. I think I should have a Professional Do it. I was recently passed a website that Repaints Leather Helmets and found that it is no longer in operation. Can anyone recommend a website? Thanks!
Rick,
I completed a very in depth study on that very subjuct a few years ago, and we ended up going with the Morning Pride after teasting all of the major manufacturers helmets.

If you need more info let me know.

Russ
i have had the opportunity to wear a cairns composite and a bullard composite, and i currently have a cairns N6A leather. in my opinion not that it may matter i would say that the cairns composite sits to high on the head and the webbing is stiff and hard to adjust. I believe the bullard composite sits lower on the wears head and is easier to adjust the webbing to fit the wears head. A L.T. at my dept has a paul conway and i've checked it out and it seems way heavier then my cairns N6A, but what would i know I'm not a sells rep and i have only worn and seen a few helmets. If i had it my way everyone in my department would be wearing a cairns leather helmet.
We just got new helmets under a PPE grant and went with the Cairne Traditional 1010. Now the only reason they went with those is tradition. The supensionsystem is alot more comfortable then our old Cairnes modern. But then those had basically just the leather strap around the head. I am not really caring for the Traditional style helmets, they are a pound or two heavier. Which if your wearing it a while can put a kink in your neck. But that is not the main issue I have with them. The eagle on top is my biggest gripe, I am a taller guy and have caught that eagle on to many door jambs.
I personnaly would rather have a modern helmet and I could take the suspension out of the new and put it into my old I would. Don't get me wrong there is a place for traditional helmets, but I like the modern style.
I currently have a 880 traditional bought it in 2005, the only problem i have had with it is that it seemed a little heavy at first but then got used to it and the trim around the brim is starting to come off, thinking bout getting a ben 2 plus with ez flips.
-One of the perks I have enjoyed over the years is sitting on an evaluation committee and in this capacity I have had the opportunity to try several of the helmets mentioned. As it is better to remain positive lets just talk about the helmets that work best.
-Cairns is the oldest of your list and very possibly the inventor of the traditional style helmet as we know it. And yes, they do it the best. Period.
-Cairns has many models and options to choose from but I believe like all things in the fire service, simple is better. Personally I wear the Cairns New Yorker... I love the leather helmets. They are a little more expensive but the leather helmet seems to last and perform much better than all the rest.
-Cairns also has a new eye shield that is on several models of traditional helmet that seems to be doing well... the shield pivot up and into the helmet like on an aviator helmet; Cairns calls this the Defender Visor which retract into the helmet itself. Several members of my FD have this model and they love 'em.
-The Ben II are ok. They have some design features Im not crazy about, but all in all a great performing helmet. Easy to use and repair and lighter than Cairns. My suggestion though is if you select Ben's find another company to make your leather front shield. The Morning Pride shield is very poor quality and shrinks excessively. The best shields on the market are from Paul Conway; hands down.
-Paul Conway.... he makes great shields not helmets. The helmets tend to fit with a very small dome and are uncomfortable. Enough said.
-Bullard and Phenix... tried 'em... not even worth a look.
-MHO-
-Matt, the traditional style is slightly heavier than the modern style helmet but that is the trade off to get better impact protection. I spent a six months evaluating in a quantitative manner the traditional style verses the modern and can say very confidently that the modern style helmet in no way compares to or comes as close in providing the protection that a traditional helmet can.

Matt Halfmann said:
We just got new helmets under Matta PPE grant and went with the Cairne Traditional 1010. Now the only reason they went with those is tradition. The supensionsystem is alot more comfortable then our old Cairnes modern. But then those had basically just the leather strap around the head. I am not really caring for the Traditional style helmets, they are a pound or two heavier. Which if your wearing it a while can put a kink in your neck. But that is not the main issue I have with them. The eagle on top is my biggest gripe, I am a taller guy and have caught that eagle on to many door jambs.
I personnaly would rather have a modern helmet and I could take the suspension out of the new and put it into my old I would. Don't get me wrong there is a place for traditional helmets, but I like the modern style.
Rick, we are getting new lids as well with our AFG. We currently wear Ben 2's, by morning Pride. Godd helmet, but a bit top heavy. I'm leaning towards the Bullard, sits lower, very comfortable, with many adjustment levels to fit any head. The Cairns 1044 is a close second. More research to be done next wee at Indy!

Stay Safe Bro! Hope to see you next week.
Jeff
Hahahha, I think that the guys that bump their heads are going to do so no matter what helmet they wear. LOL. God created vertebra so as to be able to move one's head and avoid unwanted contact with stationary objects.

Michael Bricault said:
-Matt, the traditional style is slightly heavier than the modern style helmet but that is the trade off to get better impact protection. I spent a six months evaluating in a quantitative manner the traditional style verses the modern and can say very confidently that the modern style helmet in no way compares to or comes as close in providing the protection that a traditional helmet can.

Matt Halfmann said:
We just got new helmets under Matta PPE grant and went with the Cairne Traditional 1010. Now the only reason they went with those is tradition. The supensionsystem is alot more comfortable then our old Cairnes modern. But then those had basically just the leather strap around the head. I am not really caring for the Traditional style helmets, they are a pound or two heavier. Which if your wearing it a while can put a kink in your neck. But that is not the main issue I have with them. The eagle on top is my biggest gripe, I am a taller guy and have caught that eagle on to many door jambs.
I personnaly would rather have a modern helmet and I could take the suspension out of the new and put it into my old I would. Don't get me wrong there is a place for traditional helmets, but I like the modern style.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Policy Page

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE

Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to www.fireengineering.com/archive/.

Fire Engineering Editor in Chief Bobby Halton
We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our policy page. -- Bobby Halton

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail peter.prochilo@clarionevents.com.

FE Podcasts


Check out the most recent episode and schedule of
UPCOMING PODCASTS

© 2020   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service