Tactical Tailor

3M – Ultra Light Weight Ballistic & Bump Helmet Now Available for Purchase

This is pretty big news. 3M has been teasing us with these helmets for quite awhile now. 3M owns both Ceradyne as well as Peltor and as you can see, integrated comms is already available.


3M’s new Ultra Light Weight (ULW) Ballistic & Bump Helmet is now available for purchase.

To meet the mission and protection needs today’s law enforcement face, ULW brings three levels of head protection that address the hazards our tactical response teams face – in regard to ballistic threats, ballistic fragmentation, and blunt force trauma. The helmet shell is manufactured in the United States using Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) composites with 3M’s proprietary Seamless Ballistic molding technology. At a 1.26 lb finished shell weight (size large), the ULW is one of the lightest helmets available in the market today (for its protection level).

ULW is tested in accordance to NIJ Standard 0106.00 for Ballistic Helmets to the following NIJ 0108.00 IIIA Ballistic Resistance
• 9mm FMJ – 124gr – 1400-1450 f/s – (Vo)
• .44 Magnum – 240gr – 1400-1450 f/s – (Vo)

ULW is tested for Ballistic Fragmentation resistance in accordance to STANAG 2920 and MIL-STD-662
• .22 Caliber – 17 gr f/s V-50 >670 m/s

ULW is supplied with the D3O® TRUST 10ft/sec Helmet Pad System. ULW, in combination with the D3O TRUST pads/configuration, has been tested and evaluated for blunt impact protection in accordance with DOT&E protocol for Enhanced Combat Helmet: GL-PD-09-04: >150 Gs force are transmitted to the head at the specified locations and under the specified environmental conditions. This result meets the performance criteria set forth in the standard.

Available in tactical “High-Cut” style and 3 color options (Black, Coyote Brown, Camo Green), the helmet comes standard with Night Vision Goggle (NVG) Shroud, Boltless Accessory Rail with removable Picatinny Adapter, and a Boltless X-Back retention system with cam-lock buckles. 3M, who is also the OEM of PELTOR Tactical Communication Headsets, has designed the helmet to be operate with the PELTOR COMTAC 3 – including the “ARC” Rail Attachment configuration.

READY NOW. The ULW is available for purchase. Product Demonstrations and Test/Evaluations can be accommodated per request. The helmet will be on display at the Texas Tactical Police Officers Association (TTPOA) SWAT Conference in San Marcos, Tx April 7 & 8, 2016.


31 Responses to “3M – Ultra Light Weight Ballistic & Bump Helmet Now Available for Purchase”

  1. Dellis says:

    Just great….this always happens and it really ticks me off, I just bought a Wendy helmet but would of held off knowing this was coming out

    • Greg says:

      There’s always something newer, better, shinier just over the horizon. Sometimes you just have to jump in and go with what is available, or you’ll forever be waiting for that next better thing.

  2. Phil says:

    Is there a link where these can be bought? The only thing I found is this:

  3. majrod says:

    Great looking helmet. I need to sell a bunch of my old stuff and use the funds to buy one of these.

    Off topic somewhat, anyone know a helmet maker that makes a helmet that is ballistic AND motorcycle compliant? I would think a military issue helmet would offer enough protection but it’s the legalese I’m concerned about when an overly aggressive LEO wants to see that DOT certification.

    • Weaver says:

      Ballistic protection and impact protection from motor vehicle collisions are two very different things – a helmet which provides good ballistic protection often does very poorly for MVCs due to lack of crushable “padding”, extended impact time and surface area, and other factors.

      There are very good reasons to separate the two types of helmets, and to not try to use ballistic protection for motorcycle use.

      • majrod says:

        Thanks. Having experienced running into a car that blew off a stop sign I get the impact vs ballistic protection differences.

        I was hoping there was someone out there that had attempted to address both needs. I would be happy with a gallet cut style DOT only type helmet but haven’t found one without a “bill” that just catches air while riding.

        • Riceball says:

          I’m sure that you could design a helmet whose outer shell offers (some) ballistic protection with a crushable inner shell like on a motorcycle helmet but it probably wouldn’t work well for either use. It would probably be too light to really stop anything more than a .22 shot at long range and too hard and non-deformable to protect you much in a collision, not to mention that it would probably make for a rather heavy motorcycle helmet. I think that the closest you could come to something like this is a CVC helmet but even then I’m not sure they’re properly designed to protect you from much more than bumping your head inside/on your vehicle.

  4. Bryan says:

    Is this helmet compatible with Ops-Core’s retention system? 3M’s website says it works with the Team Wendy retention system (it’s worded such that the Team Wendy system is what comes with the helmet) but makes no mention of whether it’s compatible with Ops-Core’s system or not. The ‘boltless design’ of this helmet is what puzzles me.

    Also, for any jumpmasters out there, do the rail systems and this style NODs mount need to be taped up to pass JMPI?

    • Jon, OPT says:

      Most JMs will say yes, unless the rail or shroud are being utilized to jump a camera during the airborne operation, or the shroud is holding NVGs on a MFF operation. Removing tape takes a matter of seconds on a DZ, if you have time to mount an item, you have time to pull off a couple pieces of tape.

      Bear in mind I’m no longer active duty so I no longer jump or JM.

    • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

      No, it is not compatible with OPS-CORE’s retention system as it is hardware-less. Therefore, it isn’t jump approved… Yet

      • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

        It is compatible with all three point NVG Mounts.

      • Diddler says:

        Are you saying this isn’t approved yet or the Ops Core?

        • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

          This helmet isn’t approved for jump yet. The OPS-CORE HS been approved for quite some time now.

          • BrettW says:

            Disclaimer – I work for Ops-Core / Gentex

            The list of jump approved helmets is small and getting smaller. Not only that, they are limiting the pads, retention, and suspension that are allowed to be jumped. I can not confirm yet whether our retention systems will fit (I will as soon as I know) these helmets.

            • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

              It’s much more than the incorporation of the helmet pads and IMRS IRT jump qualification. While the system does have a leg up on the process due to the OPS-CORE Rail and incorporation of fielded NVG shrouds, it will still (for Special Operations) need to be reviewed by the ASOTD.

              On that note, I think it’s a great helmet that has come a long way and will be a added value to a select customer base.

              plus, I had a hand in naming it lol

              • BrettW says:

                Cool Arrow Kicker,

                Got it. I’ve been working the jump approvals with Big Army and SOF for some time; all I am saying is that the Airborne authorized to jump list is (currently) changing and getting smaller (non-SOF related). There are too many troops buys unauthorized (or tested) pads, chinstraps NVG mounts etc – too many for the JM’s to keep track of, and for that reason they are taking the list down to a few select items, and for good reason.

                The key here is “tested” FAT & LAT gov approvals (and those are tested with the rails, suspension, retention and shrouds). A very few Mil end user customers would authorized to wear these if any, unless a risk waiver is approved (which are not the easiest to get). If an end user gets killed (I’m not saying this helmet would allow for it, but more in a general sense) and it was due to wearing of unauthorized helmet; no SGLI for his / her family.

                I don’t doubt the capability of the helmet; competitiveness drives the market!

                PS – This is not an Ops-Core rail.

                • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

                  The pictured Rail isn’t OPS-CORE. The one on the production helmet is. I’ve touched it.

                  • BrettW says:

                    Well, you can’t have a bolt-less helmet and use our rails, unless they are using magic to attach them lol. I don’t doubt that you have touched it, I’m just going off their press release (which is normally what they are releasing to market). If they want to buy them, it shouldn’t be too hard to find me…

                    • Brandon says:

                      Called 3M… they said their legacy line of Law Enforcement Helmets use Opscore Rails.

                      This new helmet uses a new 3M designed/made Rail, Boltless design.

                      I would bet they helmet you saw was a prototype or early engineering design that they were using during development stages. The picture represents the final, released product.

                      Wish I could have named it, though

                • ThatBlueFalcon says:

                  BrettW, not trying to nitpick but you said one thing that I always try to correct – wearing a CotS helmet or armor will NOT preclude SGLI:

                  “True or False: SGLI won’t pay if I die while wearing privately purchased body armor or a privately purchased helmet.

                  False: SGLI claims are paid regardless of body armor or helmet type. Wearing body armor or a helmet is not a requirement for a SGLI claim to be paid.”

                  Source: VA SGLI FAQ:

                • Mr. Anderson says:


                  do you think this new helmet will replace ops cores within SoF units?

    • Brandon says:

      A Boltless Team Wendy BOA is available through 3M, but it is not the standard. Probably a cost to “upgrade”

  5. Lisa N says:

    Airframe is my favorite. Expensive but worth the venting of heat IMO. It is worth the personal expense.

  6. Kango says:

    Price point?