Night Vision Goggles Can Be a Pain In The Neck, Right?
If you’re running Night Vision Goggles or NVGs, you’re most likely clipping them onto a bump or ballistic helmet. This results in an imbalance in weight since the NVGs setup will add weight in front of the helmet — which causes some terrible neck fatigue, aches, and pains. Most people that have experience with NVGs either in the military and law enforcement know this already.
I, however, never had to use NVGs in my profession or have had the funds to buy a set for myself. A few years ago my friend let me borrow his PVS-14 with a Rhino mount by Norotos. I clipped it onto my ACH helmet and walked my dog around the neighborhood late at night just to learn and get experience with it. Of course, my wife thought I was crazy. But the only way to get used to NVGs is by using them because it’s a bit challenging having just one eye looking through the tube. Your depth perception is jacked up so there definitely is a learning curve to overcome.
The next day, the pain in my neck was killing me and it continued for the rest of the week. All the extra weight on from the PVS-14 forces you to constantly tilt your head up in order to stay level. That’s something you don’t notice while wearing it but you do later.
The Agilite Tactical Bridge Helps
Counterweights Make the Difference
The solution is to use counterweights to the rear of the helmet that balance the weight of the NVG. For this, you’ll need a secure mount for them. The guys at Agilite Tactical sent me home with their Bridge-Tactical Helmet Accessory Platform when I visited their SHOT Show booth earlier this year. It is a simple, minimalistic and cost-effective way to store a set of counterweights among the other helmet accessories that go into a complete setup, without having to have a full-blown cover.
The wing section goes through an opening in the front of the centerpiece and attaches two large velcro panels to the existing velcro sections that are commonly on the sides of helmets. It comes with a set of short and long wings to fit the different helmet sizes.
The centerpiece attaches to the rear velcro sections of the helmet and has two velcro straps that go in between the inner pads for a very secure attachment point. It has adjustable bungees throughout the middle strap and an expandable pouch for the counterweights — or whatever else you’d like to store in there. Thin bungee cords run throughout the Bridge for extra retention that can be tightened.
I attached the Bridge to my Hard Head Veterans ATE Gen 2 helmet, which is many times more comfortable than my old ACH, and lighter too. For the counterweight, I went with the EOG low profile setup and secured it in the rear pouch on the Bridge. I placed the CORE Survival Helstar 6 marker on the Bridge and secured it with the bungees.
I borrowed the PVS-14s again and spent some time with it on and I never got that horrible neck pain or headaches with this setup. The counterweights did their job and the Bridge kept it all together on the helmet.
I recently got the new bump helmet from Hard Head Veterans. The first thing I did was move the Bridge from the Ballistic helmet over to the bump. By doing so, I got to experience how strong the velcro backing on the Bridge is. It didn’t want to let go and took some effort to remove it. The bump helmet is thinner in materials than the Ballistic. Therefore the wing didn’t quite fit it right, so I took it off. The velcro on the Bridge is plenty strong and secure.
If you are planning on running night observation devices (NOD), the Bridge is a simple piece of kit that’ll hold counterweights or battery packs for your NODs. Save yourself the headaches and neck pain that will take the fun from using the technology. I also might add, if you don’t need ballistic protection, go with a bump helmet as it is much lighter, breathes, and will save you a bunch of money. If you’re not going to use it for that purpose, the Bridge pouch can store whatever piece of kit that will fit.
The Agilite Tactical Bridge system is a well-made and versatile piece of kit for your helmet. It will enhance the capabilities for the end-user without having to resort to a full cover.
For more information:
Bridge-Tactical Helmet Accessory Platform
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