My initial impression of the Hard Head Veterans ATE Helmet

This helmet is the ATE, made by Hard Head Veterans of Colorado.  The ATE provides level IIIA ballistic protection and is NIJ certified by National Technical Systems.

Hard Head Veterans ATE Helmet
photo by Rex Nanorum

My experience with ballistic brain buckets started in 2000 with the venerable PASGT.  If you’ve worn one, you will probably agree they were terrible.  We were issued MICH helmets in 2001, not long before deploying to Afghanistan.  I spent the next 3 years nearly day and night in the MICH, so I can attest to what an improvement they were over the old K-pot.  When I left the service in 2004, the MICH was still the standard issue.  That changed quickly, and there’s been a parade of new manufacturers and designs since.

Unboxing the ATE, I noticed the weight.  It hits the sweet spot between “light enough to wear all day” and “solid enough not to feel like a chintzy fiberglass replica.”  It is what I would call a good heft.  The pads are comfortable and the adjustment strap helps the ATE stay snug on my head.  I’ve worn if for 2 hours straight and around 5 hours overall.  So far, this is comfortable.