Paramotor Helmets Reviewed
by Jeff Goin, Updated 01-24-2007 | Ratings: 1 is bad, 10 is good
protect both the pilot's computer and ears. They should be
comfortable and provide good sound attenuation while allowing radio
communications. The latter grieves the designers more than anything, it
seems, since there are so many radios with equally varied connectors. Rarely
do standards exist. Aviation radios are all pretty standardized but few
paramotor pilots use them. That's understandable since they're expensive and
there's really only one frequency for air-to-air communications: 122.75 Mhz.
|2007 Fresh Breeze Icaro
Works with: FRS and Aviation radios and comes with
multiple plugs that work with a variety of FRS radios.
|My comments come from radio
expert and PPG Instructor Robin Rumbolt who has done work for me on helmet
electronics. He checked out the helmet and says that it works as advertised
but I have not yet tried it out in flight or with any radios.
The significant development is that it works with multiple
types of FRS radios AND with the Icom A6 aviation radio. To my knowledge, it
is the only helmet that can do that.
I've never flown with an Icarus helmet so cannot comment
on how comfortable they are or how effective the noise attenuation is.
See review on the Icom
aviation radio that this helmet is said to work with.
2007-09-24 Robin Rumbolt says
this helmet WILL NOT work with the Icom IC-A5/A23 due to an incompatible
microphone impedance (the plugs don't fit anyway).
|2002, 2004 Comtronics
Works with: FRS or Aviation radios but must be ordered
from the factory according to what radio type you use. Most PPG
dealers who carry this helmet have them made to work with FRS radios.
|I've owned one of these since I
got into powered paragliding and have over 300 hours flying with them.
This is the best radio helmet
I've used although it's heavier than some others. In spite of its weight,
comfort is very good. The microphone is on an articulating arm that is
annoying because lines get caught in its supports. Transmission and
reception quality is very good as is noise attenuation.
It did not come with a PTT button but rather relied on a
coiled remote. You velcroed a small transmit switch to your hand and the
coiled cord went to a plug. That was very handy until it went through my
prop one day. I now wired a PTT on an earcup.
||A friend bought a used one of
these from about 2000 and I've flown with it only about 5 times. This is the lightest weight
helmet I've worn and comfort was good.
The chin straps go through the ear cups which lets noise
in. That also reduced the quality of radio reception. Microphone clarity
was average according to other pilots.
||I've owned two of these and have
at least 100 hours with them.
Very comfortable, lightweight
with good noise attenuation and radio sound quality. Microphone clarity has
been reported as average. Some pilots have reported very good
microphone clarity from their NAC helmets so it depends on your radio and
noise environment. A loud paramotor will reduce clarity.
It comes with a "pigtail" that can adapt the
electronics to support different radio styles and purportedly allows
plugging music into. The music input, however, is an RCA jack. I've NEVER
had a portable stereo system with an RCA jack. So you must buy an adapter.
Even after I bought the adapter, I couldn't get the music to play. It may
have been something I was doing wrong but, if you intend to use that
feature, make sure it works with your setup first.
No longer being produced
|I own one of these
and have flown about 30 hours with it as of Feb 2007.
Various configurations were made but the one I have
comes with two plugs. A standard 1/8" plug that connects to your music
player and the other is the thin plug found on most FRS radios except Motorola.
That's a pain because motorola FRS radios are quite common. If you have
one beware that the hole is just barely deeper than on most other
single-plug FRS radios. You can solve the problem by carving out the plug
hole about 1/16". I used a drill bit to shave away enough plastic and
now even my motorola FRS's work with the Nick helmet.
The mic is a solid aluminum gooseneck. Once it's
positioned, it doesn't move around which you'll love. And it's very stout
but takes a fair amount of force to reposition. They came with built-in
nick-o-voxes which mute the music when a radio transmission comes in.
|Suunto Vector, Wrist
||I've been flying with one of
these since early on, with over 500 hours. I'm on my second one since the
band on the first broke off and I lost it.
||I absolutely love it. The
altimeter is remarkably accurate for its size. I've taken it up in a
certified airplane with its certified altimeter and the Suunto has always
been within 40 feet of right-on. It has a variometer function but it's not
useful due to a slow update rate. The altimeter, however, updates almost
instantaneously so climb rate can be determined by timing an altitude
gain/loss. While that's obviously not useful for soaring, it is useful for
measuring wing performance.