Hard Head Veterans ATE Helmet (Lite)

March 21, 2023  
Categories: Gear Curious

Hard Head Veterans, a vet-owned and operated helmet manufacturing company, recently announced the launch of its newest product, the ATE Lite Hard Head Veterans helmet. 

Proudly made at their facility in Sweetwater, Texas, by the very men and women who have worn “brain buckets” into combat, the helmet is designed for military, law enforcement, and patriots of this great nation.

The ATE Lite (ATE/L) is an excellent example of the Hard Head Veteran mission to protect our protectors. It’s a reliable tactical helmet providing excellent protection without undue weight.

HHV’s high cut tactical helmet is made from a hybrid blend of UHMWPE and Aramid and has a shell weight of 1.6 pounds, with a total system weight of 2.3 pounds in the medium size. This construction allows it to deliver surprisingly comfy protection, making it ideal for extended use.

Hard Head Veterans is dedicated to producing tactical helmets and helmet accessories (for both ballistic lids and bump helmets) that perform in real-world situations.

That’s why HHV put the lightweight lid to the test at the National Technical Systems Testing Lab, the leading independent testing lab for personal protective gear.


Level 3a Ballistic Helmet (ATE)

The HHV lightweight tactical ballistic helmet consistently hit single-digit ballistic transient deformation numbers in the single-digit range with an average of 8.27mm at 1400 fps ( 9mm Testing Data ).

Furthermore, the ATE Lite has been thoroughly tested against .40 and .45ACP, with deformation numbers still far below the 24mm required for 9mm (.40 and .45 ACP Testing Data).

FBI casualty data tells us that these three calibers account for the majority of handgun threats in the US.


While many manufacturers are moving away from BFD (backface deformation) testing, even new standards such as ASTM WK70812 make this testing optional.


Buy a Hard Head Veterans Helmet

Find an in-stock ballistic helmet for sale.

on Amazon

at Optics Planet

at HHV


FAST Helmets and ATE Helmets

A FAST helmet is a Future Assault Shell Technology helmet. FAST helmets were originally designed and manufactured by the company Ops-Core. A FAST rig has a distinctive shape, with what is called “ear cut geometry” (meaning ballistic protection ends above the ears) and coverage in the back down to the rear occipital bone. This cut lightens weight, enables better hearing, and allows for the wear of communication devices. Initially popular with US and allied SOF personnel, this style of ballistic helmet has become virtually ubiquitous. So much so in fact that FAST helmet is often used colloquially to mean any ATE helmet (like Kleenex and Xerox in their respective markets – the fancy phrase is antonomasic genericizatizationor something like that.)

Lids like these (and the non ballistic version bump helmet) are designed to work better with eye protection, ear protection/comms gear, load bearing gear, body armor, NVG mount, rail-mounted accessory options, and other modern warfighters (or armed citizen) accouterments.


What is Backface Deformation?

Backface deformation is the term used to describe the indentation on the backside of a plate or helmet caused by a bullet being stopped and prevented from penetrating the body. Although a bullet or piece of shrapnel might not penetrate the armor on your noggin, the blunt impact may still cause injury or death because the backface of the helmet is deformed – often shoved “forward” into the skull. The degree of deformation is a crucial factor to consider since greater deformation results in more severe trauma.

UHMWPE, one of the materials HHV uses for its ballistic helmets, works by using high-modulus fibers with unusually strong tensile strength. When compared to other technologies, these fibers prevent or cause less backface deformation. This means that the bullet’s energy is diffused and spread out much more effectively.

Hard Head Veterans helmets have always been designed with limiting BFD at the forefront.

The Lite ATE ballistic helmet has also been tested to the NIJ level IIIA standards and is rated to stop .44 magnum in resistance to penetration tests.


MicroLattice Ballistic Helmet Liner

HHV’s Micro Lattice Pads are more than just comfort pads. They not only play an essential role with BFD and blunt impact mitigation and protection, but also provide unparalleled comfort and support; the micro lattice helmet pad conforms the helmet naturally to an individual’s skull shape while maximizing airflow. 

The ATE/L also features Hard Head Veterans’ signature A3S Lite shroud, one of the lightest helmet shrouds on the market, weighing only 32 grams. This night vision retention shroud features rubber inserts and machined aerospace aluminum inserts that prevent movement on most common mounts.



In addition to this, the ATE/L comes standard with our patented SnapBack Retention system, a set-it-and-forget-it alternative to dial-type retention systems with failure-prone mechanical parts.

With a price tag of $978.99, the ATE Lite ballistic helmet is an excellent value for those looking for a premium, American-made ballistic helmet.

Hard Head Veterans is proud to offer a growing list of protective armor products and to employ a growing number of American veterans to make them.



Focusing on customer feedback, they have also decided to make the shell itself available for purchase as a stand-alone product for $764.00.

This will allow end-users to plug and play with various helmet accessories from other manufacturers to get the very best helmet setup for their personal needs and mission set.


ATE Bump Tactical Helmet


HHV also offers a non-ballistic version of their ATE Helmet, describing it as the “… ideal bump helmet for Tactical Helmet applications, Search and Rescue (SAR), and Recreational Sports. This lightweight helmet weighs in at 1.4 lbs! Manufactured from a Polycarbonate blend the helmet offers blunt impact protection that far exceeds impact requirements not only for EN 1385: 2012 but also for AR/PD 10-02.”

hardheadveterans tactical bump helmet

The Hardhead tactical bump helmet is designed to protect the paramedic, law enforcement officer, or similar rescue personnel from blunt force trauma. They are available for civilian purchase.


See also:

Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH)

Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH)

Modular Impact Protection (MICH)


⚠️ Some hyperlinks in this article may contain affiliate links. If you use them to make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. It’s just one way to Back the Bang. #backthebang 


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Reported on today by the News Desk. Our goal is to inform, educate, edify, and enlighten. Warrior-scholar or everyman, we believe everyone should think and be dangerous.


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