Setting up a tactical helmet is similar to any other tactical gear in the sense that it will always be use and user-specific. In this guide, we will be going over common set-ups for police from the patrol officer to SWAT.
Choosing the right helmet
Starting off with the correct helmet for your application, and a quality one is key. The two most common types will be the ATE (Above the Ear) featuring a high cut, up above the ears. The other primary option is the BTE (below the ear) which extends typically mid to below the ear.
For in-depth info on the various types of helmets, check out this page https://www.hardheadveterans.com/blogs/reviews/ballistic-military-helmets-and-which-one-is-right-for-you.
Other important considerations are the protection levels offered, comfort, and of course quality.
As most customers have come to prefer an ATE type tactical helmet, we will be focusing on that for this guide. If you are looking for a quick comparison between various high cut helmets on the market, check out this best ballistic helmet page. https://www.hardheadveterans.com/pages/best-ballistic-helmet
Initial Ballistic Helmet Setup
Now before you start loading a tactical helmet up with accessories, you need to ensure the basic set-up is taken care of. The main items here to consider are the suspension system/chin-strap adjustments and pad adjustments.
Here is a quick video on how the pad system on our ATE GEN2 Ballistic Helmet works.
Patrol Officer & SWAT/SRT Helmet Setup
With the basic tactical helmet setup out of the way, we can now focus on the various accessories that you should consider, be it for the patrol officer, SWAT or both. In this situation, the helmet is most likely only going to be used in high threat scenarios such as an active shooter or serving active warrants. Things to consider if you are the patrol officer is how fast you can get the helmet on, and to ensure you have the initial setup already completed. For the SWAT officer, other important considerations might be specific light needs and commo gear.
While the shroud is most commonly used for night vision devices on tactical helmets, it can serve as an attachment point for a number of other accessories.
The majority of high-cut or ATE tactical helmets come with some type of rail system to mount just about any accessory needed. For the patrol officer, we suggest keeping the accessories as minimal as possible for your specific needs.
Most tactical helmets come with various velcro panels already adhered to the shell. Though you can always add more if needed. This makes it easy to mount other items you may or may not need.
Like we mentioned earlier, the tactical helmet setup should always be specific to yourself and your team. You may not need any of the above-mentioned accessories and that's just fine. Just because there is an attachment point for something doesn't mean something has to go there. Everything you add means extra weight, extra weight can mean extra fatigue. We have put together a quick helmet weight calculator with accessories if you are curious what some basic helmet load-outs might weigh!
We will continue to update this guide and always appreciate your comments and feedback below!