Best Ballistic Helmet 2021 [Reviews + Buyer’s Guide]

Searching for the best ballistic helmet?

Ballistic Helmets are an essential piece of armor for anyone in combat or looking for gunfire protection.

Protecting your head whilst in life-threatening situations is extremely vital.

One blow or shot to the head could result in instant fatality, so it is paramount to seek out a top quality ballistic helmet.

On your search for the best ballistic helmet, you will NOT want to compromise on quality. Above all, a compromise could be the difference between life or death if your helmet does not do its job.

Contents

Ranking the 10 Best Ballistic Helmets (Bulletproof) 2021

Our Top 8 Ballistic Helmets of 2021

Here we have reviewed the best ballistic helmets you can purchase. Ballistic helmets are priced in the range of $250-$1000, and our guide includes helmets of all prices. 


When you are protecting your vital organs, you won't want to compromise on quality. By choosing any of the helmets on our list, you are guaranteed quality and maximum protection.


The Team Wendy EXIL Ballistic Helmet is a top of the range ballistic helmet made from a hybrid composite shell. It features a CAM Fit retention system that easily adjusts to fit any head size comfortably and securely. 

It is NIJ Level IIIA ballistic certified.

The helmet has Zorbium foam lining that offers protection from impact and also permits you to attach an overhead communications headband.

Simply remove the center pad to allow overhead comms. 

The 16 comfort pads also allow you to get the perfect customizable fit through moving them around.

Other features include the lanyard compatible 3 hole Wilcox shroud that secures any standard NVG (night vision goggles) mount to your helmet. 

It also comes with the EXFIL Rail 2.0 accessory mounting system that is compatible with EXFIL accessories and has T-slots for mounting. 

The EXFIL Rail 3.0 accessory mounting systems is great for any EXFIL accessories for mounting anything from an EXFIL Ballistic Vidor to the EXFIL face shield. 

Get this great Team Wendy Ballistic Helmet with fast and free 2 day shipping now!

Pros:

  • Level IIIA NIJ Cerfieid
  • Comfortable with extensive foam lining and comfort pads
  • Can attach and mount any accessories such as NVG, overhead comms, Ballistic visors
  • CAM Fit retention system allows to be fitted to any size 

Cons:

  • Pricey

Another Team Wendy Ballstic Helmet makes our list and this time it is the EXFIL Ballistic SL Helmet. 

Again the helmet is Level IIIA NIJ rated, but this helmet’s shell is 15% lighter than the original helmet and the Ballistic/SL Rail 3.0 system is 25% lighter than the original EXFIL rail.

The helmet is made from a lightweight composite shell that is ideal for wear over long periods of time without compromising protection.

It’s EXFIL geometry optimizes the fit and balance of the helmet whilst giving it unparalleled strength.

The helmet features Zorbium foam liners with the 16 pads in two different thicknesses for customization to give you the best individualized and comfortable fit. 

Again you can remove the center padding to accommodate your overhead communication devices.

The Cam Lock sliders make adjustment fast and simple, and you can adjust with one hand with ease. The Rail 3.0 system is compatible with any and all EXFIL accessories. Continue reading to find out our favorite EXFIL accessories you can integrate to your ballistic helmet. 

Other features include: the Wilcox SL shroud for mounting NVG, lanyard compatibility, two Magpul M-LOK Picatinny style rails and mounting hardware.

Once again, this Team Wendy Helmet is a worthwhile purchase for those looking for a top quality, lightweight Ballistic Helmet.

Pros:

  • Lightweight yet protective helmet
  • Level IIIA ballistic certified
  • Zorbium foam liners for comfort
  • Cam Lock sliders for one handed adjustment
  • Ability to attach NVG and any EXFIL accessories

Cons:

  • Pricey

The Shellback Tactical Ballistic Helmet is a NIJ certified Level IIIA Standard Cut ACH helmet with ballistic and fragmentation helmet, all at an affordable price point.

This helmet is a new and improved PASGT helmet that has been used for decades by military personnel, so you can be assured that this is an exceptional quality helmet. The ACH helmet design allows for greater line of sight. 

You have the ability to add any communication devices you desire and the seven piece padding system makes this helmet comfortable for long periods of wear.

The helmet shell itself is made from Kevlar fibers and thermoset resin for a durable, long lasting and protective construction.

It’s adjustable 4 point retention system is great for fitting to all sizes.

The Shellback Ballistic Helmet comes with a 5 year ballistic warranty and is an extremely affordable ballistic helmet! Don’t wait to get your hands on this ballistic helmet now.

Pros:

  • Level IIIA ballistic protection
  • Fragmentation protection
  • Affordable price
  • Add communication devices
  • Comfortable and customizable fit

Cons:

  • Not as many mounts 

NcSTAR is a reliable brand that has produced one of the most affordable ballistic helmets around. The NcSTAR ballistic helmet is a level IIIA certified helmet that is high quality, yet a minimal style helmet at a price of only $200. 

NcSTAR is known for producing high quality tactical headwear and this helmet is no exception. 

If you are looking for a ballistic helmet that is simple and don’t require any mounts for attaching any accessories, then this is your helmet. 

It even comes with a carry case for storage!

Pros:

  • Level IIIA NIJ Certified
  • Minimal Ballistic Helmet
  • Very affordable
  • Comes with a carry case

Cons:

  • No mounts for attachments

The Avon Protection High Cut MICH ballistic helmet provides level IIIA and greater NIJ certified ballistic protection giving you the full confidence you are protected against any threats. 

The MICH higher cut ensures that you have unobstructed vision when wearing and gives you boosted hearing capabilities. It is complete with a 7 pad system made with 7 shock reducing polymer pads for the high levels of cranium protection. The padding is complete with a moisture and thermal sealed liner.

It’s standard retention system ensures that the helmet fits snugly, but still allows you to easily take on and off the helmet with quick release capabilities.

The helmet is complete with NVG mounts, D30 suspension, BOA retention system and rails.

The rails allow you to integrate any components and accessories to your helmet including visors, cameras, lights or anything else.

This ballistic helmet is a great quality ballistic helmet that is versatile allowing you to attach anything to the rails, whilst being uncompromised in ballistic protection.

It comes in at a mid price range, and is still affordable for a top of the range ballistic helmet.

Pros:

  • Level IIIA protection
  • Higher cut for unobstructed vision and hearing
  • Comfortable padding
  • Rails for attaching components and accessories

Cons:

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Avon Protection Ultra Light Helmet with X-Back Retention

Avon Protection Ultra Light Helmet

Avon Protection is one of the most trusted, reputable makers of ballistic helmets on the market.

The Avon Protection Ultra Light helmet is a level IIIA NIJ ballistic rated helmet for your guaranteed safety. It also has Blunt Impact Protection that meets LW-ACH/ECH Requirements.

This helmet is ultralight weight with the highest performance to weight ratio anywhere on the market!

It is complete with a flexible rail system and is compatible with the vast majority of military used accessories. Whatever you may need like communication devices or night vision devices can all be attached to this tactical ballistic helmet. 

As mentioned above it is fully compatible with most US and Allied Special Forces oeprational accessories.

The lightweight nature of this helmet makes it ideal for use where you want to be able to move freely and comfortably without the hindrance of a heavy helmet. 

Lastly, the helmet is complete with two boltless X-back retention systems for a perfect and secure fit.

Pick up your Avon Protection Lightweight Helmet today for full protection, yet comfort on your next mission.

Pros:

  • Level IIIA protection and Blunt Impact Protection
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible rail system for attaching any accessories
  • X back retention system

Cons:

  • On the more pricey side

The Avon Protection Combat High Cut Ballistic Helmet has been made with similar dimensions to the US Military ACH helmet, whilst being lighter in weight.

This helmet offers high levels of ballistic protection with level IIIA certification. The higher cut of the helmet allows for unobstructed vision and optimal hearing capabilities in contract to the PASGT helmets.

It’s neck trim line ensures unrestricted movement with maximum protection levels. 

For comfort, the helmet has a 7 pad system with shock absorbing foam pads for impact protection. The pads have a moisture proof liner and are thermally sealed.

The Dial adjustable CamFit retention system ensures the helmet is securely fitted to your head, whilst having quick release for easily taking on and off.

This helmet is available in a whole array of sizes and comes at a competitive price.

Pros:

  • Level IIIA 
  • Lighter than US Military helmet
  • Competitive price 
  • High cut for optimal vision and hearing
  • Comfortable with extensive foam padding

Cons:

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The United Shield Spec Ops helmet are made from advanced composites and give the user high protection in a lightweight, durable and robust helmet.

The Level IIIA helmet provides ballistic and fragmentation protection including other low energy threats. It is fitted with a 4 point fully adjustable harness system and the top of the range Team Wendy impact absorption system.

The split suede chip strap and X style neck pads are all features of the harness system that give comfort and a secure fit. They can easily be removed for replacement or cleaning too.

The United Shields Spec Ops Helmet comes with a universal NVG mount as well as Picatinny rails that provide a platform for mounting any gear or accessories such as flashlights or cameras.

This helmet is available in small, medium and large sizes in the Multicam color.

Pros:

  • Level IIIA protection
  • Fragmentation protection
  • Universal NVG mount and Picatinny Rails
  • Great quality helmet that is robust
  • Lightweight 

Cons:

  • More pricey side

This helmet is a United Shield’s latest addition to their Special Operator Helmet selection. Composed of Aramid Composites, it has an extremely robust build and is lightweight whilst offering protection from ballistic threats and fragmentation projectiles. In addition, it is NIJ IIIA protection rated.

In addition, the helmet comes equipped with a 2- way dial adjustment retention harness. The harness has a suede neck pad and a chin strap. The chin cup can be detached and replaced with a gas mask extended when you see fit.

In addition it has a high comfort padding system that has been made with advanced technology to allow you to keep warm in the winter, and cool in the summer.

Additional features of the helmet include the NVG mount made from carbon fiber, with bungees and picatinny rails. This gives a platform for any gear you may have such as flashlights.

In addition, the helmet also comes with a hook and loop kit.

The pads and harness can easily be detached for replacement and cleaning.

This helmet is available for purchase in 4 different colors: black, OD green, multi cam and tan and is available in a range of sizes and both the standard and mid cut.


United Shield International MICH MIL Ballistic Helmet

United Shield International MICH Ballistic Helmet

The United Shield International MICH helmet is made with state of the art ballistic composite materials to give its wearer the highest levels of protection and comfort. T

These newly used composite materials subsequently increase the durability and strength of the helmet. The ballistic materials inside the shell of the helmet increase the ballistic protection whilst not increasing the overall weight of the helmet.

This gives the ballistic abilities IIIA NIJ rated protection from 9mm and .44 mag, and advanced fragmentation performance. 

It is compatible with all types of gas masks that are usually worn under a helmet. In addition it also comes with 1, 2 and 3 hole and VAS universal NVG mount options.

In addition this helmet comes in 3 colors: black, OD green and tan and is available in sizes Small to X-large.


The Protector Helmet

The Protector Helmet

The protector helmet by AR500 Armor is a level IIIA rated ballistic helmet that is made from composite materials covered with a matte paint.

It comes equipped with a removable and adjustable 4 point harness. The chin strap is also adjustable and the side release buckle allows it to be easily removable as well as increased comfort during wear. 

In addition, this helmet has a ACH design and is made for easy integration of NVG brackets and any side accessory rails. The shell itself has a thickness of 0.3 inches whilst the overall helmet weighs approximately 3.1 lbs. 

In addition the Protector helmet is available for purchase in two sizes: small/medium and large/XL and comes with a nylon carry bag.


The Militia Helmet

The Militia Helmet

In our opinion, the Militia Helmet is the best all round ballistic helmet we have tried and if not on the market! Here is a top of the range ballistic helmet that will offer everything you need and like other helmets that do, will not break the bank!

The Militia steel helmet offers the same level of protections that composite helmets offer, even at a similar size and weight.

It also offers the high levels of protection right up to the rim of the helmet! Something that polyethylene and aramid helmets can’t provide. The helmet weights 3.0 lbs.

It protects against .357 magnum calibers and has a thin frame with rim to rim protection for peace of mind. In addition, it has excellent impact and blunt trauma protection. The Militia helmet is ACH Gen II ballistic and European VPAM-3 compliant.

Upcoming features of the helmet is the modular system which allows attachment of NVG mount, dial lock system, side rails and a rifle-up armor kit. 

The Militia helmet is the whole package with offering protection at an ideal weight, comfort level and a sleek profile. Buying this helmet is a no-brainer!


Armor Express AEX35 Ballistic Helmet

Armor Express AEX35

The Armor Express AEX35 helmet was designed with a patrol or law enforcement officer in mind. It provides IIIA level NIJ tested protection and has a ACH full cut style. 

It is made from aramid material and has a bolt-less shell design for added protection.

The helmet weighs 3.25 lbs and is a one-size-fits (S to XL) pretty much all people design, so is fully adjustable to give you a secure fit.


United Shield PASGT Helmet

United Shield PASGT

The United Shield PASGT Helmet is a helmet designed for multi purposes as well as being suitable for police tactical and military uses. It is constructed with aramid material that makes it protective against ballistic and fragmentation projectiles, as well as lightweight fit.

It has a four point harness design that is attached to the helmet’s shell with ballistic resistant bolts for a secure and stable fit. Therefore the design of the harness also allows for individual adjustment and fit.

Subsequently, the harness is easily able to be removed for cleaning or replacement. 

The United Shield PASGT Helmet offers NIJ level II and IIIA rated protection.

In addition the helmet is able to fit small to XL sizes of a head circumference of 50-66 cm.


Armor Express Busch AMP-1TP High Cut Helmet

Armor Express Busch AMP-1TP

The Armor Express Busch AMP-1 TP is the first and lightest composite made helmet that is VPAM certified. VPAM is the highest standard for ballistic protection and having this certification means that it offers the first rate protection. 

What makes this certification process different from NIJ certification is that it uses a more accurate ballistic testing method.

The method is more specific to threats that anti-terror teams or law enforcement may encounter during combat or operations. The method of testing is close quarter threat related.

Today, most helmets are crafted specifically for military operations and so many law enforcement officers are wearing these. However, law enforcement officers are more likely to be shot in the head. Therefore a VPAM certified helmet will give assurance that it is certified against these close range hits that may occur.

In addition, the AMP1 TP helmet has an updated harness system that allows adjustment with a single hand using the crab buckle. It also has an advanced padding with a dial that allows you to get the ultimate fit and rails with a speed-system connection point.


Protection Group Denmark Arch 

Protection Group Denmark Arch 

The Protection Group Denmark Arch Ballistic Helmet is made with a high cut that allows the wearer room for headsets or any hearing protection.

It is made from aramid and is fully tested and level IIIA NIJ approved to offer protection against a .357 sig and a .44 magnum. It is also certified for V50 by the STANAG2920 NATO standard which certifies that the helmet is protected against fragments and shrapnel at 720m/s.

Subsequently the EN397 certification offers protection against bullet damage to both head and neck and proves that it has great shock absorption capabilities.

In addition, the helmet is covered with a Polyurea paint, to ensure that the helmet is water and moisture resistant. The covering also protects against impacts and works to strengthen the ballistic abilities of the helmet.

The helmet is available in L and XL sizes and fits a head circumference of 54-60cm with the large, and 60cm and above with the XL.

Subsequently, the helmet is fully adjustable using the dial, and we found it really easy to adjust comfortably to a number of our team members who are all different sizes.

The inside of the helmet consists of 10 memory foam pads, which has technology that whilst offering comfort also reduces blunt trauma impact. The memory foam pads are attached by velcro and can be easily shifted for your personal preference or replaced with any other suspension or padding system you may have.

In addition, the helmet comes with a 5 year warranty so don’t miss out on getting this great ballistic helmet.


Best Ballistic and Bump Helmets Buying Guide

Our guide aims to cover all the important details and considerations of purchasing a ballistic/bulletproof helmet. 

We will answer the following important questions in your search for the best helmet:

  • The different types of ballistic helmets available
  • considerations like weight, cut, mounting options for accessories
  • The common price range for the best helmets

What is a Ballistic Helmet?

A ballistic helmet or bulletproof helmet as it is frequently known as, is a helmet worn by a range of people including the military, army or any number of people in combat. In addition it is used by SWAT teams and law enforcement and now more than ever - regular civilians. 

The ‘ballistic’ element means that it is rated to protect you against gunfire.

However, most helmets on the market will only protect you from pistol and handgun calibers.

Styles of Ballistic Helmets

ACH/MICH

ACH/MICH: stands for Advanced Combat Helmet and is what is used by the military. It weighs in the range of 2.8 to 3.8 lbs, varying on the size of the helmet.

Therefore it allows for added mobility and a greater range of movement for the wearer through a higher side brim.

In addition, other features of this style helmet include communications integration and NVG brackets.

PASGT

PASGT: stands for Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops, is the standard military style helmet which is brimmed for head and ear coverage.

It is made from a layered kevlar design which protects against handgun calibers. The helmet weighs anywhere in the range of 3.1 to 4.2 pounds. 

FAST/HIGH CUT

FAST/HIGH CUT: stands for Future Assault Shell Technology is a helmet with high cut sides that allow for communication and hearing protection.

These helmets through recent technology advancements have used polyethylene to add greater protection of the helmets at a lighter weight. 

Therefore the weight that you can expect is around 2.5 to less than 3 pounds.

SPECIAL OPS

SPECIAL OPS: this is a very customized helmet that possesses features of the high cut and ACH helmets.

This is the helmet worn by SWAT teams and law enforcement as it allows for ballistic protection and blunt trauma protection necessary for dangerous operations as well as complies with US Army standards. It weighs around 3 lbs, is pretty lightweight and has the high-cut sides. They can also be fitted with a front full face protection.


How Protection is Measured in a Ballistic Helmet

In addition to ballistic and bulletproof gear, ballistic helmets are given protection rankings through the NIJ. 

Therefore ensuring your bulletproof helmet has NIJ certifications is vital. This means you can rely on them being meticulously tested and that they will protect you against certain types of gunfire.

The minimum level of protection that ballistic helmets must have is level IIIA. III-A rating means protection from up to .44 magnum and a 9mm, .357.

IIIA protection will also give its wearer added protection against projectile impacts, which can be common in modern times. 

How Do They Determine the Protection of a Ballistic Helmet?

The protection of a ballistic helmet is given based on two factors: the back face deformation of the helmet and the penetration depth.

Back face deformation is a measure of protection that is conducted on a clay made head. The ballistic helmet is secured onto this clay head, which then moulds to take the shape of the helmet.

A laser scan of the clay head takes place with the helmet removed. Subsequently, the helmet is placed back on the head and is shot at. The helmet is removed and another scan is taken. In addition the scan will show whether a hole has formed in the head, and the depth of this hole. This gives an accurate indication of how protective this helmet will be at withstanding gunfire.

The next method is the penetration depth. The measure of penetrative depth of a ballistic helmet is particularly looked at to measure blunt trauma of a gunshot. As it suggests, penetration depth is the depth to which a bullet can penetrate below the helmet’s surface.

However, the measurement only measures the depth the bullet can get through the helmet, so you may think that why is it necessary if the bullet can’t get fully through the helmet. This is where our point about blunt trauma comes in.

Not only can serious injuries or fatalities be caused by a bullet directly striking you in the head, but it can also be caused by blunt trauma.

Therefore it is important that your helmet provides the protection against the bullet striking you, but also the blunt trauma effects.


Features of a Ballistic Helmet

Weight: You want the weight of your ballistic helmet to be appropriate for your needs.

If you are active and wearing your helmet for extended amounts of time, you should seek a lighter helmet. Any experienced ballistic helmet wearer can agree that wearing a heavy helmet can get uncomfortable over time.

Often lighter helmets do come with less protection, so there is inevitably a trade-off. Weight often does not impact the penetration ability of a helmet but heavier helmets will have better back face deformation and blunt impact protection.

Fit and Retention System

Every ballistic helmet often has a different retention system.

The two main types are a dial at the rear of the helmet and the other is without. We personally prefer the dial adjustment as it allows for an extra snug fit (important) and an additional way of adjusting it.

However, a downside of the dial is that it takes up added room in the helmet. The other means of adjustment is the chin straps, which come on everyone's helmet whether they have the dial adjustment or not.

We found that some helmets that just have chin straps can work well, but others don’t.

Helmet Padding

Padding is a really important feature for the comfort of the wearer. If you are wearing the helmet for longer than a few minutes, you will immediately notice the effect of wearing a padded helmet. 

Therefore you will want to purchase a ballistic helmet with good amounts of padding. Cheaper helmets  with less padding will cause headaches and discomfort. 

Helmets that are fitted with velcro discs are particularly good because they allow you to customize the position of the pads for best fit.

Not only this but, wearing one that is too hard or thin, can be dangerous if shot at and may increase your risk of brain injuries.

Our favorite padding is the padding in Team Wendy helmets.

Compatibility with Accessories

More often than not, you will want to attach gadgets or accessories to your ballistic helmet. Whether that be communication devices, flashlights, NVG, oxygen masks or visors - it is important that your ballistic helmet will allow you to attach these. 

Most ballistic helmets will have a rail system that allows you to mount accessories. Look out for this when purchasing so you can easily install your accessories.


How Much Should I be Prepared to Spend on a Good Ballistic Helmet?

A good ballistic helmet can be anywhere in the ranges of around $250 to over $1000.

This is quite a large range, and models are subsequently priced anywhere in this range depending on features they have.

The average price of a helmet is around $500 for those that pass all the safety and ballistic regulations. 


Tips for Your Ballistic Helmet

1. Our first tip is to make sure there are no hard parts of your helmet that is exposed. This is very important because if you helmet is to experience blunt or ballistic trauma, you want your head to come in contact with the padding and not a hard part of the helmet. 

On most helmets you can freely adjust the padding to ensure this.

2. Your helmet is designed for comfort adjustment. If the helmet doesn't fit comfortably, remove the velcro-attached pads and simply reattach where it is comfortable.

3. Pay attention to the care of your helmet. Store it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Also routinely check it for damage. Any damage may affect its ballistic integrity. Most helmets are covered by a warranty, so seek to return it if it is damaged.



Conclusion

In conclusion, owning a ballistic helmet is an important piece of equipment to own for personal protection. Protecting your head is vital, and ballistic helmets are becoming more and more popular for regular civilians to own in this age of civil unrest.

It is no secret that you shouldn't skimp on sparing the extra cost when you are protecting your life. Owning an effective ballistic helmet versus a cheap one can ultimately be the difference between life or death. 

We have tried and tested many helmets and our personal favorites are Team Wendy helmets for optimal protection and comfort. However choosing any of the helmets on our list will guarantee you level IIIA ballistic protection. 

Best of Luck.