can you write what is better, more comfortable for you, FAST or Airframe?
(I remember that you also have an airframe, correct me if I am wrong
So, I’ve had a chance to do a little running and gunning (dry fire) cqb style and tested out three helmets; the MSA TC 2002 “Gunfighter”, Crye Airframe, and Ops-core FAST High Cut. I’ll compare them below.
Caveat: This test was done on MY head. Other differently sized and shaped heads will have different results.
First, stats on each helmet.
MSA TC 2002 Gunfighter
Pads: Oregon Aero size 6 in the back and ZAP ¾” in the front.
Harness: Ops-core H-nape S/M
NVG Mount: USGI
Size: Large (medium was too tight on my head)
Pads: Standard with 1” ACH pads at each temple
Harness: Ops-core H-nape S/M
NVG Mount: Norotos 1-Hole
Pads & Harness: Occ-dial Liner Kit that is very broken in.
NVG Mount: VAS
Conditions: I wear a size 7 1/8 patrol cap. I used PVS-14s with dual-dovetail and Norotos AKA2. Nothing else on the helmets including no comms.
First, I tried each helmet on without the NODs and each felt just about equal in weight and all were comfortable. I then decided to get down into the prone. I was also wearing an LBT-6094 with plates.
Prone test: The TC 2002 was by far the most comfortable in the prone. The Airframe was second, and the FAST was borderline uncomfortable. I believe the TC 2002 was most comfortable because the back is the highest of the three, but the Airframe and FAST cover the neck more as a result. The dial in the FAST dug into my neck making it the least comfortable, particularly when lifting my head above the rifle sights. I would guess if the FAST had a regular H-nape, it would probably be on par with the Airframe.
Room clearing without NODs: Each helmet performed about equally here, though the dial was definitely noticeable on my neck.
Room clearing with NODs in the up position: With this test, the Airframe performed poorest, but really only slightly. Even with it very tight on my head, the Airframe had the most side to side wobble. I believe this is due more to my head being a hair too small for a large Airframe. Back and forward motion was perfectly fine though. The TC 2002 and FAST felt about the same. THEN I realized I had not tightened the dial! So I did and the FAST performed MUCH better.
Room clearing in the dark with NODs on: The Airframe again had the most side to side wobble. Not horrible by any means, just to most of the three. The TC 2002 performed only slightly better than the Airframe, but I felt more downward pull than on the Airframe. The Airframe felt more balanced than the TC 2002. The FAST felt very secure as I did my quick maneuvers. I even over-exaggerated some and the FAST stayed very tight to my head.
Conclusion: In this very small sample test, on MY head, the FAST outperformed both the Airframe and TC 2002 with the NODs, as long as I tightened the dial, which for some I understand can be uncomfortable and lead to headaches. It felt fine on my head while standing with no noticeable pressure points for the short time I wore it. Without NODs, I’d say probably the TC 2002 was the most comfortable, followed by the Airframe (due to sizing) and then the FAST, last place due to the dial pressing on my neck. There is really no need to tighten the dial without NODs. I believe the Airframe would have performed better if it fit me better. Also, the fact that the FAST’s liner and pads were very broken in most likely made it feel more comfortable than a new FAST would have been.
Honorable Mention: The Airframe felt overall cooler on my head.
Overall, none of the helmets performed so badly in any way to make me not want to use them, as should be expected. And probably nothing I mentioned should be of any surprise.