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[Review] Hard Head Veterans ATE Gen II Helmet + Micro Lattice Pads

We try out the Hard Head Veterans ATE Gen II helmet alongside Hard Head Veterans' Micro Lattice Helmet Pads. Come see why we liked this setup!

Helmets, like other protective gear, are much like an insurance policy with immediate benefits should they be needed.

The age-old dilemma is having as much as you need without overpaying.

Part of this nutritious breakfast!

The ATE Hard Head Veterans offers a lot of protection without breaking the bank, but does it have enough features to keep things interesting?

I’ve had the ATE for over a year now and I’m here to lend my opinion to this debate.

at Hard Head Veterans

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

So, I’ll run you through the specs, pros/cons, and let you know what I think after putting this helmet (and a cool new addition) to the test.

Keep reading!

Table of Contents



First off, I didn’t shoot this helmet.

There are plenty of videos out there and also NIJ testing performed in a laboratory to establish the capabilities of the ATE.

Modern amenities with no fluff.

Made of advanced para-aramid fibers, the ATE holds an NIJ IIIA rating.

The ATE brings a “high cut.” This means a higher line above the ear shaves weight, enabling the helmet to come in at 3 pounds.

The high cut feature also allows users to wear over the ear pro with the helmet.


Magpul M-LOK accessory rails adorn the sides, permitting an array of accessories to be mounted.

Users can plug in a face shield, lights, cameras, even ear pro (with adapters) using these rails.

The M-LOK accessory rail enables many possibilities.

At the front of the helmet, an aircraft-grade aluminum AS3 mount is fixed and ready to receive most night vision goggles. The ATE is also equipped with bungee to minimize gear wobble.

The ATE comes in five different colors and sizes ranging from small to extra-large.

HHV also offers a wide array of accessories available to customize and outfit your helmet for your mission.


Even with only 3 pounds on your head, fit and comfort become crucial. Padding, straps, and buckles make a huge difference in your experience.

I was able to quickly adjust the chin straps to get a good fit. The buckles were intuitive and locked my adjustments into place when I determined the best fit.

These are the Comfort Plus pads I started with.

The main buckle was a sturdy plastic that snapped into place with magnets on the left side of my jaw.

This is by design from HHV and prevents a buckle from interfering with the cheek weld on the shooter’s dominant side.

The initial setup I tested was a dual-pad system consisting of a base set which attached to the helmet interior with hook and loop, then another (Comfort Plus) which attached to that.

Overall comfort of the fit was top-notch.

Micro Lattice is good!

Keep in mind padding serves two purposes — one is the day-long effort of keeping a 3-pound can off your head.

The other is helping protect your noggin from impact should a bullet strike the helmet or some other calamity occur.

at Hard Head Veterans

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

In 2021, HHV came out with a new product called Micro Lattice Helmet Pads. I installed these and took the helmet out for another range day.

Glowing, but not dripping.

You might not think this was an optimal time to test a product designed to keep you cool, but it was 84 degrees!

As I worked drills, I heated up and began to sweat.

The lattice kept my head really comfortable, the extra airflow aiding in the process of evaporative cooling. I sweated, but never got to the point of it running into my eyes.

The pads were completely comfortable too, a worthy upgrade that keeps you much cooler.

Of course, the tradeoff was a fun pattern in my scalp which faded after a couple of hours.


Over the years I’ve worn a lot of different helmets and experienced various levels of comfort while holding fast to the idea that a piece of equipment would protect (arguably) my greatest asset.

The Hard Head Veterans ATE Gen 2 is a good value as it’s packed with features, comfortable, offers IIIA protection, and comes in under $500.

Add the optional Micro Lattice Pads to really boost your hot weather comfort.

at Hard Head Veterans

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

We want to hear from you, add any helmet-wearing tips or tricks from your experience in the comments below! For more on ballistic helmets, check out our list of the Best Tactical Helmets.

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3 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar

    What kinds of ear pro can be paired with this. Can you add this to the review article discussing hearing pro?

    July 10, 2022 3:09 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Thanks Sean. Good article. Brief and humorous.

    January 4, 2022 5:55 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      Thanks for the read Hawk!

      January 5, 2022 8:40 am
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