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VIRTUS Helmet Harness ~ From The Kit Shop

The Helmet Harness securing my Baltskin Cobra helmet to my Source daysack [© Bob Morrison]

Those who have been issued the Revision (VIRTUS) Batlskin Cobra Plus ballistic helmet will be aware it is both light in weight and very adjustable for fit, writes Bob Morrison.

On issue to frontline UK ground troops, as part of the VIRTUS load carriage and personal protection package introduced in 2015, and procured by the Danish Army slightly later, the new helmet is a leap forward from the once state-of-the art Mk.6/6A headgear introduced in the mid-1980s as it is ergonomically better as well as placing much less strain on the neck. As a result of having a tensioner dial at the rear, the modular adjustable suspension system allows the soldier to tighten not just the chinstrap – the old way of doing things – but to also draw in the cushioning pads to give a tight yet comfortable fit preventing helmet slippage or tilting.

The Kit Shop’s Helmet Harness is simple and easy to fit yet effective [© BM]

The only downside to this comfort and functionality is that if one breaks the tensioning adjuster the helmet usually cannot be easily repaired at unit level and has to be passed back up the supply chain to be properly fixed. We understand one of the primary cause of breakages is dangling the helmet by its chinstrap from a carabiner on one’s combat vest or daysack/bergen when wearing a beret or bush hat, which is why this fashionable (aka allie or gucci) practice of helmet carriage is frowned upon by many quartermasters.

The WAS 28L Helmet Cargo Pack is a more pricey solution for carrying one’s VIRTUS helmet [© BM]

The proper way to carry one’s VIRTUS helmet when it is not being worn is either under the lid of the bergen rucksack or strapped to the outside of the daysack/rucksack with a helmet carrier or ‘spider’, but the latter can be a bit bulky to stow away when not in use. Alternatively, of course, buying a daysack with built-in external helmet pocket (for example the Warrior Assault Systems 28L Helmet Cargo Pack) can solve the problem if you are willing to go down the private purchase route.

The Helmet Harness will fit to just about any pack with PALS tapes or D-rings – this is it on my Marauder 20-litre Patrol Pack [© BM]

For those who are looking for a simple, economic and easy to stow alternative the Helmet Harness designed by Steve from The Kit Shop in Exeter, a former Royal Marines Commando who not only served for many years with most Regular RM units before going into retail, is well worth a look. Made from military specification webbing and good quality quick-release clips, this universal harness is fully adjustable for any current UK Forces issue helmet and will even attach cycling, caving or climbing helmets to civvy backpacks yet it scrunches down to next to no size if you need to stow it in a pocket or utility pouch.

Like most things that work well, there are no frills whatsoever to the Helmet Harness design (which, incidentally, has been IP Registered) and although it is a very simple concept it will work with any item of load carriage kit that has MOLLE/PALS tapes or D-rings; the harness can also be simply hung off the belt if preferred. As the weight of the helmet is totally supported by the fully adjustable cradle and straps no strain is imposed on the chinstrap.

The Kit Shop in Exeter is just a quick train or bus ride away for those based at CTCRM in Lympstone but if you are not a regular visitor and want buy this specific item online click this link. For all other online purchases use kitshoponline.co.uk.

{images © Bob Morrison}

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