If you have been in the military recently you might have been issued Team Wendy’s ZAP pads.
“Team Wendy's Zorbium® Action Pad (ZAP™) System is the only pad system approved for use in ground combat helmets (ACH, LWH, MICH, ECH) worn by members of the United States Army, The United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy.”
(Top to Bottom- Epic Air, ZAP, OPS-CORE Foam)
While comfortable enough, they had a number of downsides. Such as hot spots, poor forehead comfort, and didn’t play nice with Peltor com-tacs.
Enter Team Wendy’s Epic Air™ pads, and a new level of comfort. I first used these on a standard MICH, long before we were issued high cut helmets in the teams. What a difference these made under the extra weight of PVS 15’s and a counter weight. They also allowed for room for the peltors. After 8 plus hours of wear, a couple thousand rounds of ammunition, and a ten mile hump because training department was pissed as usual, I can say I was very happy with the new pads at least. We quickly put in a micro-purchase to outfit everyone.
Fast-forward about a dozen deployments and to my place here at Hard Head Veterans. We still highly recommend these pads as one of the most comfortable helmet pad mod options available (not counting our own Comfort Plus Pads of course). When installing them into our HHV ATE® ballistic helmets you will find it a quick and painless operation. The Epic Air™ Pads come with three main pads that are designed for blunt impact protection. There are additionally a number of thinner comfort pads to achieve the most comfortable fit. Finally integrated into the pads are patent-pending air channels in an attempt to keep your head cooler. While I personally have not noticed this makes a difference in temperatures inside the helmet, it does make sense to me.
So what happened to that original set of Epic Air™ pads I was issued to test out? I’ve worn out a number of the comfort pads, but they are cheap and easy to replace.
UPDATE: We are still fans of Team Wendy's Epic Air Pad system after all these years! While multi-layer pad systems take more time to set up vs a single layer system, they provide a much more custom fit. It's the main reason that our ATE ballistic helmets now utilize a multi-layer system as well, best shown by this video.
A note of caution as listed on Team Wendy’s website though,
“*Although Team Wendy's EPIC Air™ Combat Helmet Liner System exceeds blunt impact protection requirements of the Advanced Combat Helmet (AR/PD 10-02), the system is not currently authorized through first article testing for use in U.S. Military Advanced Combat Helmets or U.S. Marine Lightweight Helmets.”
If you want to learn more about the various tactical helmet pad options that are out there, have a look at our Best Tactical Helmet Pads Guide.