Owning a helmet for airsoft can be very beneficial. Obviously, it protects your head from any bumps or shots and allows for extra gear to be mounted on–including night vision.
There are many replicas available on the market, from the cheap plain helmets with limited comfort and customisation to more expensive ones and those that are built better.
I don’t think anybody needs an introduction to what an Ops-Core FAST helmet is. Everybody knows them and they are very common to see on the airsoft battlefield–at least the replica ones.
The model we were testing was the in olive drab colour. Unlike most of other units from FMA or Emerson, that normally come in ranger green, this one looked much nicer. You can tell by the rails sections on the sides that it’s painted. Most other manufacturers only provide a Multicam version that’s painted–the rest of the them come with the plastic in a particular colour. This actually is a good thing as it creates a much better looking layer.
The helmet comes with the standard set of accessories: side rails, Head-Loc attachment points for glasses, 2 rail segments, night vision shroud which is a plastic replica of the Ops-Core VAS shroud and the padding.
The padding is the most interesting bit simply because it’s the best padding system I’ve seen in the replica helmets. It’s much thicker and therefore much more comfortable. Just for this thing alone, the Viper helmet is worth getting instead of any other replica.
The bungee retention system looks to be more solid too. I’ve broken pretty much every single bungee from any other brand. The Viper ones are still there!
The helmet shell is also much thicker. It replicates the weight a bit better and feels more sturdy and also helps when attaching any other shrouds or night vision mounting systems as they usually expect the shell to be thick anyway. I’ve tried attaching a Norotos 3-point shroud and it works great.
The whole liner kit looks at feels sturdy as well. The quality of the straps is good with double stitching in the important places, the chin strap has a nice piece of softer fake leather to improve the comfort. The buckle is not great and sometimes can be hard to disconnect–a minor annoyance.
The only issue I had, was with the adjustment dial at the back. It just does not hold its position well, and any faster movement of your head and it would slightly undo itself. This was especially evident when having night vision on the front of the helmet and a battery pack on the back. Basically, any added weight to the helmet would result in slow undoing of the tension.
What was a really nice addition, was the fact that the included instructions were also very helpful. Two colour leaflets had great information on how to adjust the helmet to your shape and size of your head but also, how to properly install a headset system, such as Peltor Comtacs–a very nice touch!
All in all I really like the Viper FAST helmet. I was impressed with the quality of finish. The padding system is simply great and unseen in other replicas. I like the thickness of the shell and the liner set. Again, the only issue I had, was with the retention dial, and could be an issue with my particular model only.