You love hunting or shooting or probably wouldn’t be reading this article. Chances are, you also like doing other things outside, too. Maybe you’re like me and you love doing almost anything outdoors. Team Wendy makes many of those experiences better, more comfortable and safer with the Exfil LTP (Light Tactical Polymer) bump helmet.
From protecting the faces of Major League Baseball Umpires to providing helmets to our nation’s most elite warriors Team Wendy sets their sights on raising the standards in the battle to protect heads and increase functionality. You and I can take advantage of this high end gear, too, without breaking the bank.
Last week Jonathan published an article on how he was wrong about something. As his youngest brother, that always brings a smile to my face. But now it’s my turn. I’m not one of those overprotective parents who make their kids wear a helmet every time they step out the door. I even let them ride their bikes without a helmet. But I’m not completely naive either. When on a bicycle, I always wear a helmet and soon the day is coming when my kids will too. It’s true that any impact of a head on cement isn’t going to produce anything good. It’s also true that we all naturally tend to protect our heads when we fall. But falling at 3 ½ miles per hour is very different from hitting the pavement at 20 miles per hour or more.
When you are hunting you are generally walking or sitting still. You probably won’t hit 4 mph on your own two feet. Helmets are just a place to mount night vision, a camera and such. You’re perfectly safe and the idea that you need a helmet for protection is just silly.
Or is it?
Ever used an all terrain vehicle while hunting? Or maybe you have you run across a field or up a ridge chasing a sounder of pigs? And perhaps you have done this or would like to do this using night vision (NV) gear. If so, you already know that just walking while looking through NV takes some getting used to. Depending the unit, depth perception can be a challenge and peripheral vision is virtually non-existent. Take a fall you may not even know what caused it until you pull yourself back up and look around. Chances of having an accident go up in this environment. The Team Wendy Exfil isn’t officially certified as a motorcycle or ATV helmet; so don’t expect it to act like one. Is it better than nothing if you fall off your four-wheeler in the dark? I would think so.
One question that many people ask is, “Who is the Wendy of Team Wendy?” Wendy is the daughter of Team Wendy founder Dan T. Moore. She died from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurred in skiing accident. Following that incident, Mr Moore started Team Wendy as a tribute to his daughter with the goal of providing the best head protection possible and researching causes and prevention of TBIs. Wear a Team Wendy helmet and you get the benefit of science and passion aimed at keeping you safe.
I’m not suggesting that donning night vision gear will suddenly make you accident-prone. However, if you are going to wear a helmet that holds your NV gear, you might as well wear one that will do you some good should you have the opportunity to absorb an impact with your head.
The Team Wendy Exfil LTP is not just a good brain bucket. It is also a winner in looks, comfort and usability. With their “Next Generation Team Wendy Retention System” and “Next Generation Team Wendy Pad System”, you can quickly and easily create a custom fit for your head that is comfortable and secure. If you want to hunt all night, this is a helmet that is great for wearing for hours on end. To get the fit just right, start by arranging the internal pads to match your head. If needed, remove the top center pad to accommodate over the head ear-pro/comms. Adjustments to the retention system/straps are made using the Cam-lock sliders around the face area and the Boa Closure System (a knob under the back of the helmet) can be done single-handed and on the fly to fine-tune the fit.
Mounting you NV gear to the helmet is simple and secure. You may have already read our review of Wilcox NV mounts. On the imitation helmet I bought from an online airsoft company I had to use a Dremel on the plastic shroud to get the Wilcox mount to fit. That left me with big questions about the quality of the helmet overall and whether or not my expensive NV unit would be secure. Team Wendy had has integrated a Wilcox aluminum insert into the built in shroud. When using a Wilcox mount with the Exfil, the connection is solid and has no play. It’s an excellent combination.
The rail system for mounting accessories is in its second generation. The options are almost limitless. You can mount everything from IR illuminators and flashlights to cameras to goggles and more. If you need more space, there are additional mini rails that can be added. Again, the quality is here. Team Wendy utilizes glass filled polymer secured to the helmet shell using stainless steel hardware and chose Magpul MOE picitinny rail sections for the Exfil.
If you want to save some weight with additional impact mitigation, Team Wendy also offers the Exfil with a carbon shell. If you are like Kyle Lamb who, when I asked what his favorite thing to hunt is replied, “terrorists”, you may want to go with the new ballistic version.
All this comes at a price. At $299.95 MSPR, it’s not cheap. On the other hand, I saw a YouTube video showing a flimsy $80 Chinese made replica (imitation) helmet with $200 in upgrades to make it functional for NV and accessory usage with some comfort. So for about the same price, you can get a top tier product made of an “Extremely durable, high strength Lexan polycarbonate copolymer” that also provides some solid protection. That’s called using your head.
So I was wrong. To the hunter, a helmet is more than just something to hang stuff on. Having hit my head on the pavement both with and without the benefit of a helmet, I’ll take a real helmet every time. The Exfil LTP also looks awesome and has some of the best accessory mounting options money can buy. The biggest limiting factor is how much weight your neck is up to supporting. Throw in the genuine Wilcox shroud built to SOCOM SPEAR specifications and you have package that is hard to beat at any price.