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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author favourite hard hat....
derrickman

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Joined: 18/02/2009

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 12/05/2009 17:17:04
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so.. here's a very personal topic!

what's your favourite hard hat?

in no particular order....

1) MSA V-Gard. I've worn these all over the world, in various versions, for 35 years. Full brim, cap, lightweight, vented, with and without lamp brackets, ear defenders, zero hoods and goggles.. a true classic. Always comfy and always snug, don't fall in your eyes or blow off.

2) Texolex full-brim hat, the Cornish miners' favourite. The old string-and-leather liners were most comfortable, but I still wear an MSA SkulGard with its narrow full brim and clip-in liner when I can get away with it

3) MacDonald 'T' aluminium hat, the 'drillers hat'. Most UK ones were the 'cap' style with the plastic liner, but I have a 6-cord, string-and-leather full-brim one hanging on the wall which i got working on land rigs in the US in about 1981

4) Centurion miners' hat. Not a personal favourite but always popular.

5) Itex 'bumpgard', the one with the cross on the top. Universal for tunnel work in the 70s and 80s. Not much use for caving ( I tried ) because the weight of the lamp used to collapse the fragile, multi-piece liner

6) MSA Comfo-Cap, US market low-crown hat with the usual MSA comfort and fit. rare in UK but worth getting if you could find one.



and a couple of bogies.....

7) the North 'Star', universal cheapo builder's site hat, much favoured for its low cost. Useful for storing nails, small items of every kind; handy for putting some paint in; less useful for wearing, due to its mis-shapen hard plastic liner and no sweatband.

8 ) Centurion 'pulpware' miners' helmets. Widely available for next to nothing when I was first caving, and just about worth it. Dumped in huge numbers by the NCB in the 60s when plastic hard hats became the norm, every club had a sack of them....


anyone?

IP: 149.254.51.78 Edited: 12/05/2009 17:31:39 by derrickman
SimonRL

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Joined: 27/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 12/05/2009 17:27:15
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For purely recreational use you understand... the Guardian Caving Helmet (which was once sold by HB Climbing as the Olympus). Hard to find now as I believe the manufacturer that took it on after HB closed has ceased to trade.

It's comfortable and perfect for the Sten - standard lamp bracket at the front and elasticated straps at the back for the battery. Just right for attaching all of 250g of lamp and battery Laugh
IP: 83.148.135.213
jagman

Joined: 11/03/2007

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 12/05/2009 17:37:49
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MSA V-Gard
simply the most comfortable and best fitting helmet ever!
Fits properly and never falls off
IP: 90.207.44.2
PeteHall

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Joined: 31/08/2008
Location: Bristol

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 12/05/2009 17:45:13
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simonrl wrote:

For purely recreational use you understand... the Guardian Caving Helmet (which was once sold by HB Climbing as the Olympus).


Totaly agree, used to have one but gave it to my sister when she took up caving, regretted it ever since Crying


Though I do really like my Joe Brown Helmet



Thumbs Up

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Dean Allison

Joined: 13/01/2008
Location: Northumberland

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 12/05/2009 17:48:26
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I started with a centurion pit hat but didnt like having a peak (kept hitting my camera when I took a shot)
Now, I have the same as Simon was on about and its great and very cheap too.

I also have an ancient leather coal miner's hat which stays at home as an ornament Smile
IP: 90.203.50.243 Edited: 12/05/2009 17:49:42 by Dean Allison
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 12/05/2009 17:52:57
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Um Blush

Builder's hat with the peak chopped off. Previously used but now unused holes bodged up with chewing gum. Second-hand lamp bracket and hacked-up bike-mount fitting to hold a Fenix as back-up.

Seen here pre-Stenlight and before I bashed the little back-up light against a wall and watched it plunge 30' and vanish down a collapse...



(click image to open full size image in new window)



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Filling space until a new signature comes along...
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derrickman

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Joined: 18/02/2009

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 12/05/2009 18:57:04
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Centurion and MSA both do peakless versions of their respective hats.

The new Centurion one is very comfy and snug but not up to MSA standards

that cut-down North is a rather personal thing I think Blink
IP: 82.32.67.44
Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 12/05/2009 20:17:18
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Of all the different helmets I have worn, by far the most comfortable in many ways is my old Petzl Ecrin. The original style that is, not the more recent pisspots that look like cullenders.

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IP: 92.5.93.74
hcd563

Joined: 29/10/2007
Location: Gwynedd, Wales

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 12/05/2009 20:28:20
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Joe Brown "el cap carbon", cos it was on eBay and its bright yellow !

Martin
IP: 80.0.108.80
kate tyler

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Joined: 26/02/2008
Location: Cumbria

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 12/05/2009 20:38:11
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Edelrid Ultralight..had it since 1986, still going strong..

--

Boomer
IP: 90.221.208.198
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 12/05/2009 20:58:33
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What about the Caving Supplies 'Protex' helmet.
You will see as many of these about as you will any other.

Unfortunately, no longer obtainable just like their SRT kit as Phil Brown did not feel inclined to pay some a..hole about £2K to put a rubber stamp of approval on it.

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'There's a lot of activity for a disused mine!' - Bond in 'A view to a kill'
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james cartwright

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Joined: 08/07/2007

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 14/05/2009 09:34:24
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i have been useing a Centurion concept with a short peak.i have got lots of diferent hard hats but this one is the most comfortable and hard whereing. IP: 144.124.16.28
derrickman

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Joined: 18/02/2009

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 14/05/2009 09:45:00
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I hear various things about those.... the aerodynamic shape and low nape is reckoned to be good in windy conditions and they are certainly very light, but the 6-strap liner means they don't accept the MSA type weather hood and once you have one of the button-in ones, the fit goes out the window rather.

plus, there isn't a lamp-bracket version, as far as I am aware.
IP: 149.254.58.78
Jasonbirder

Joined: 16/01/2008

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 14/05/2009 12:40:05
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Another vote for the CS Protex! IP: 82.30.46.175
RJV

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Joined: 16/03/2008
Location: Cleveland

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 14/05/2009 12:51:47
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I use a Guardian helmet from Bernies. It's cheap, lightweight, durable and comes with a bracket ready attached. Can't really see what the more expensive helmets have to offer in comparison. IP: 80.254.146.20
Wormster

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Joined: 15/08/2006
Location: Top of the Mendip Hills

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 18/05/2009 11:45:50
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Used to use a pretzl spelios (the one with the large lump of polystyrerne in the void between head and shell + the duo factory fitted) - now number 1 son uses that as I've invested in a pretzl vertex and modded it to accept a stenlight (lamp bracket bolted on the front and GBFO sten battery at the back) - light, comfy and MINE!!

However my first hard hat was my dad's old MSA V guard, as Jagman says the best!! (How I wish I'd nicked it off him when I had the chance!)

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IP: 84.69.87.74
Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 18/05/2009 11:57:25
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What I like about my Petzl Ecrin over other helmets I have used is the comfort. One aspect I didn't like of other helmets was the greater impact, noise and jarring, when cracking one's head on the roof. As I visit sites with limited headroom a lot, I inevitably clout the roof from time to time, especially when tired, when the last thing you want to do is jarring your neck and bonking a hard helmet on the roof! The Petzl I have gives no more than a soft thud - I think this is a combination of the thick and softer plastic used, and the very good fitting cradle it has.


--

Hey, who turned out the lights!
IP: 81.144.191.248 Edited: 21/05/2009 12:03:23 by Peter Burgess
Monty Stubble

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Joined: 03/04/2008
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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 21/05/2009 11:47:13
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It's juggling safety against comfort with a dose of curmudgeon.

Most cavers are happy to embrace new helmets because of their obvious safety features. Mine explorers seem to delight in sticking anything on their heads which is vaguely hard!

This is a mistake.

I went to a casualty in a mine in the late 1980's who had fallen and clouted his head. He had a caving helmet which undoubtably saved his head from being crushed like an egg-shell but because of the mods he had done to it caused a fractured skull. Knot of bungee in the back to hold his helmet lamp cable on - instant hole in back of head!

How valuable is your head?

Modern caving helmets have all those stickers (put on by ***holes) because they undergo rigourous testing. If you drill holes in them or cover them with your own stickers you are weakening them.

What's the excuse for using an old rubbish lid? My heads not worth much?

I also ride a motorbike - I change my helmet every 3-4 years because I know continual use weakens it. I'm also scared of cavers in cars who had their senses knocked out by continually bumping their heads on the ceiling in ill-fitting lids.

Ask yourself - why don't miners used compressed cardboard helmets anymore?

IP: 89.21.2.196
derrickman

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Joined: 18/02/2009

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 21/05/2009 13:08:51
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because you can't buy them any more... Smile

tunnel miners clung tenaciously to their bump caps for years after they were officially superseded by safety helmets. Drillers clung to their MacDonald T type aluminium hats, you still see them occasionally even now, along with the MSA Skulgard - a reincarnation of the old 'Texolex' for the US market

IP: 149.254.58.90
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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favourite hard hat....
Posted: 21/05/2009 14:10:50
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For caving you can't beat the old CS protex.

For work I use an aluminium, full brim MacDonald T - this is purely for pose value! At Morwellham I have issued the lads on the mine full brim hardhards of Australian origin, I believe they are also standard issue at Crofty.
IP: 82.153.138.141
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