Photo courtesy of Team Wendy
A good helmet is an essential piece of kit for any tactical operator. Let's face it; protecting the body's computer is a high priority. The helmets of today are lighter, stronger, provide better protection, are customizable, and most importantly, they're comfortable. Team Wendy's Exfil LTP Tactical Bump Helmet fits all of these criteria.
Team Wendy entered the helmet business in 1997 after founder Dan Moore's daughter died following a skiing accident. His mission was to honor her memory by creating products that protect against serious impact-related injuries. The company's Exfil LTP, or Light Tactical Polymer, line of complete helmets utilizes the best of its impact protection technology.
What the Exfil LTP Tactical Bump Helmet doesn't offer is ballistic protection...yet. That option is due to be released this summer. What it does offer is a light, super strong, very comfortable, and versatile way to protect your head and mount a variety of gear. Ballistic protection is always a bonus, but it adds weight and generally only protects against fragmentation. Most do not stop direct bullet impacts and if they do the blunt force trauma is more than the brain can take.
The Exfil LTP weighs ounces, not pounds, due to its lightweight Lexan polymer construction. In the front is an integrated Wilcox insert, machined from solid 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum that provides a rock solid platform for mounting NVGs or camera systems. On either side is Team Wendy's Rail 2.0 system that incorporates t-slots and Picatinny rails.
Inside the robust polymer shell is Team Wendy's Next Generation Zorbium Pad System, designed to absorb repeated, concussive-level impacts and greatly reduce blunt force trauma to the wearer. The three-piece pad system is removable for ease of cleaning and can be customized for proper fit by adding additional comfort pads. To keep everything snug and secure to your head the Exfil LTP features a cam-lock slider system on the harness and a ratcheting Boa Closure System for one-handed tightening. It doesn't get any easier.
My Exfil LTP arrived with a coyote tan cover and a set of accessory Picatinny rails and I wasted no time putting it to work. Right out of the box it took me about 30 seconds to get it to fit perfectly. And when I say perfectly, I mean it felt awesome. My current ballistic helmet has been with me for a decade and fits like a heavy mixing bowl so this was a welcome change.
Once I got it snugged down I added the accessory rails and began a series of mounting options, from hearing protection to light systems. Everything snapped on easily, and even with unequal weight distribution the helmet remained snug and balanced. I put on my Peltor electronic hearing protection and, after a quick adjustment to the harness system, the Exfil fit over them with ease.
My time with the Exfil then turned down a less than scientific path. It is a "bump" helmet after all, so I had to find out if it held up to its name. Lacking the kind of calibrated testing equipment found in a lab, I had to resort to the only instrument I had: my head. So, throwing caution to the wind in the name of journalistic research, I strapped down the Exfil and did some bumping. I tried to limit the scope to the kinds of hazards a tactical operator would experience like doorways or punches and head strikes. Needless to say my co-workers were happy to help with the latter. The Exfil worked like a charm and kept my bell from ringing.
I have to say I was truly impressed by the Exfil LTP and it'll be part of my kit for a long time to come. I'm also eagerly awaiting the release of its ballistic sibling this summer. If it performs like the LTP, Team Wendy will have a sure winner.
A.J. George is a sergeant with the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Police Department currently assigned to the advanced training unit as a firearms and tactics instructor.
Team Wendy Exfil LTP Tactical Bump Helmet Specs:
- Polymer Shell: Lexan polycarbonate copolymer, integrated Wilcox aluminum NVG shroud built to SOCOM SPEAR specs, high-cut design with clearance for comms
- Pad System: Zorbium pad system, three-piece impact liner with removable center pad for use with overhead comms
- Retention System: Cam-lock sliders for one-handed adjustment, Boa closure system
- Rail 2.0 System: Glass-filled polymer construction, standard 3-hole stainless 4-40 fasteners, Magpul MOE Picatinny section mounted to captive nuts, included shock cord kit, added "sideburn" section with captive 4-40 nuts for additional mounting
- Colors: Black, flat dark earth
- Price: $299.95 for helmet, $60 for Multicam helmet cover