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Ballistic Helmets

Does NIJ have a rating for Ballistic Helmets?

Are there NIJ Ratings for Tactical Ballistic Helmets? 

We are excited to branch out and find a quality manufactured ballistic helmet; we know there are a ton of options out there. We recently had someone tell us that Ballistic Helmets are not NIJ Rated, so we would like to clear this confusion up because being honest and transparent is extremely important to us. We are not dealing with toys, we are dealing with Life-Saving Ballistic Solutions. 

From Hard Head Veterans Blog states: 

NIJ guidance has become the industry standard for most commercially available body armor, largely adopted by manufacturers because it reflects best practices. It also makes it easier to compare equipment against a common set of benchmarks. But while NIJ maintains a tested Compliant Armor List, tactical helmets are governed by constantly evolving standards that defy one set of performance specifications. 

Today, ballistic helmets are commonly promoted as NIJ III-A, which basically means they protect against specific handgun threats. As we’ll get into shortly, however, what those exact threats are isn’t always clear, meaning an “NIJ III-A” label could mean slightly different things.

Before we explain that, we’ll need to go over three essential NIJ standards:

1. NIJ Standard 0106.01, Standard for Ballistic Helmets

An official NIJ helmet standard exists, but the document—Standard 0106.01—was published in 1981 and is considered woefully outdated. Further, 0106.01 “only consists of three levels, levels I, IIA and II, and so there is no level IIIa associated with an NIJ standard for helmets.” Clearly, today’s manufacturers aren’t testing to this old document.

2. NIJ Standard 0101.06, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor

For now, body armor is tested to NIJ Standard 0101.06, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor, which was published in 2008. This standard’s test protocol identifies five ballistic protection levels determined by the caliber and velocity that enable a bullet to puncture ballistic material and/or cause blunt trauma to the wearer:

3. NIJ Standard 0108.01, Ballistic Resistant Protective Materials

The protection levels outlined by NIJ's Ballistic Resistant Protective Materials Standard (0108.01) can apply to a range of items. These levels define the ballistic resistance of any piece of equipment, including helmets:

ballistic helmets nij rated

More on this article: Tactical Helmets: Testing & Ballistic Protection Levels | HHV (

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