509 Tactical Helmet Review
They say “only protect the brain you want to keep”, so I better wrap mine up real good, ’cause I only got one out of the deal.
Sledding has become a high fashion sport as of late and we are all guilty of buying that new Skinz bumper or a wrap; but no one should skip out on a new safety-board-approved helmet. There are a few different safety standards that are recognized by federal and provincial law and comply with the ORV act. As of the November 1st the newly legislated ORV act in BC requires everyone to wear a helmet to operate an off road vehicle on crown land. Unless you are on private land, practice the Sikh religion, have unshorn hair and habitually wear a turban composed of 5 or more square meters of cloth or if you enjoy brain damage and/or head injuries (that’s your problem), but I recommend wearing a helmet. Currently in BC there are 4 helmet safety standards that are recognized by law: SNELL 2010, DOT, ECE 22, and FMVSS 218; you can usually find the applicable standard stamped on the outside of the helmet.
Weighing in at $224.99, 509’s Tactical helmet is their price-point DOT approved offering that doesn’t skimp on quality.
I’m not one for flashy decals or weird color schemes but the 509 emblems and graphics are simple and tasteful. The foam felt like it was crushing my skull for the first half of the day, but after lunch it was already starting to relax and fit normally. Of course the 509 helmets work best with 509 goggles, but I put a pair on later in the day from a different brand and they fit just fine without any cold air getting through to freeze my forehead or other areas of sensitive skin. Because the Tactical is the price-point helmet it didn’t receive the new whiz bang strap like the Carbon Fiber or the Altitude, but fiddly as it is, the strap connection works and is a tried, tested and true method of securing the helmet to your precious dome. The included helmet bag is a nice touch and will help keep the decals from rubbing off as the helmet rolls around on the floor in the back seat of your truck with all the broken sled parts and empty Copenhagen tins.
Unless you are used to a carbon fibre helmet, you won’t notice that the Tactical helmet is a tad on the heavy side, but I have no complaints of neck or back pain, nor do I look like a bobble head, so it can’t be that bad. When not wearing a neck brace, the shape of the helmet offered full range of motion for technical tree riding or to look up to catch glimpse of Brandon Wiesener launch his sled into the stratosphere off a booter. The visor didn’t block anything important from the view except the glare of the sun, if you prefer the blinding glare of the sun and the race car driver look, the visor is easily removable.