PASGT (abbreviation for Personnel Armour System for Ground Troops) may not be the first system, intended for protection of soldiers in the battlefield, but it is certainly most recognizable. Project was started after the Vietnam war in the early 1980’s. PASGT is basically a system of anti fragment vest and the helmet. Another “buzz word” closely linked to this project is DuPont’s Kevlar, at the time new material, was used in construction of both vest and helmet. Namely, Kevlar offers much better ballistic protection and lower overall weight.
German “Stahlhelm” (steel helmet; first model was introduced during first half of WW1) was and still is one of the best shapes for the infantry helmet and its general shape undoubtedly influenced general shape of the PASGT helmet. Unsurprisingly, unofficial name “Fritz helmet” swiftly followed. Another proof that you can count on any army to come up with funny and sometimes derogatory names for its equipment and weaponry. Over the years PASGT helmet became a de facto standard to which every new model is compared. US government wasn’t shy to offer PASGT helmets to the friendly governments all over the world; those less friendly developed their own production.
Copies of PASGT helmets in airsoft are plentiful and even originals are quite common these days. Level of details and quality of the replica helmet very much varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Despite that, they do look convincingly enough. We reviewed a replica PASGT helmet with additional feature- a visor. Again, as this is replica it doesn’t offer any ballistic protection and is intended for airsoft gaming only. Outer shell is moulded out of black ABS plastic. Replica is nice mat colour, if a bit shiny. Cover is a must, and it helps that they are dime a dozen and in every pattern imaginable.
Suspension is a direct copy of real helmet’s suspension. Real is described as “functional but not comfortable.” This is excellent description which describes replica suspension as well. It is adjustable, but crude. Headband can be adjusted to the girth of your head, and crown is adjusted to set the depth of the helmet. Headband is made out of fake leather, other parts of suspension are nylon. Helmet is secured with simple two point strap; chin strap is a bit stiff as it is made out of quite thick (green) nylon. It is secured via metal button, which is a bit disappointing. Plastic buckle would be much better solution. When properly adjusted, it sits on your head quite well, but nearly not comparable with newer, ACH/MICH systems.
And now to the main attraction- plastic visor. Such visors do exist and can be either retrofitted (PASGT helmets with pre installed non removable visors are also available). While it looks good it has several inherent drawbacks, which are listed from potentially dangerous to merely annoying:
– there is considerable gap between face and visor on the bottom, which could pose a risk to the user (ricochets, etc.)
– Visor fogs quite badly. I’m one of the fortunate few who never experiences fogged glasses and this is quite a testament that fogging is a problem.
– It is impossible to properly shoulder replica with fixed stock. User is limited to replica pistols and or stockless replicas of PDW weapons.
– visor is very susceptible to fingerprints and looking trough smudges is very tedious.
This review may sound overly negative but ultimately, this is not bad product. It is cheap and still decent, but it has strong competition in MICH replicas. However, we found purpose for this product: it is part of airsoft EOD’s (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) equipment. If you are looking this product as a part of specialised equipment, intended for role play- you found its niche.
Tested item provided by Stormtec.