The original version of this article appeared on Airsoft Megastore’s blog.

Helmets can be headaches — only if you don’t understand their true potential in airsoft. Many airsoft players use helmets, although just as many prefer caps and other forms of headgear to complete their loadouts. But since airsoft is a safe sport that attracts many players of mixed ages, it’s not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on one.

I’ve always used a simple Pro-Tec style helmet with a camouflage cover, but I’m looking at upgrading to a FAST-type bump helmet in the near future. – Lawrence

Airsoft players primarily rely on helmets mainly for the look, but having one for protection isn’t such a bad idea. A well-covered head presents less of a target to get hit by a BB. However, the power of the helmet comes from the type you carry. The main thing that separates most decent airsoft helmets from ones used by active duty soldiers is the material it’s made of.  Airsoft helmets are usually constructed out of a polymer based material and only offer protection against bumps and BBs. Beyond that, there are different types that provide various degrees of comfort and tactical capabilities.

Helmets that mirror the Personal Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) are typically basic in its design. These inexpensive alternatives typically come with a two-point chin strap and are widely available. These helmets are great for all players who want a protective headgear but don’t want to spend over $50.

Airsoft versions of the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH), which is what troops in the U.S. Army use, is one of the most widely used forms of headgear. These helmets come with military style straps and four points of adjustment. Attachment points for night vision goggles (NVG) also allow users to move in low-light and dark environments.

The Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH), the predecessor of the ACH, is also a popular choice and comes in a few different styles that offer differing degrees of ear coverage.

The FAST-type “bump” helmet is a step up from the MICH/ACH type and has become increasingly popular among players. The airsoft replicas of these helmets offer non-ballistic protection, but, more importantly, give players a platform to run communications equipment like headsets and microphones. These advanced airsoft helmets can cost up to up to $80 and offer the most options for customization.

Some also come with a side adapter rail that allows for the mounting of a variety of accessories, including side covers, headsets, lights and even small HD cameras. For greater compatibility, Picatinny and Weaver rail adapters can be attached to these helmets to mount any 20-millimeter accessory.

Helmets can be helpful when used to its full potential and add an extended degree of protection in airsoft applications. Some are simple in design, while others offer high quality padding and mounting points for accessories. No matter what type you decide to purchase, there are many to choose from to fit your needs.

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