The Team Wendy EXFIL CARBON Review
The Team Wendy EXFIL CARBON represents the first true developmental breakthrough in tactical bump helmets and features a carbon fiber shell with state of the art helmet liner technology. The Magpul MOE rails and a custom Wilcox Mount are the icing on the cake! Those who have worn bump helmets in the line of duty will instantly fall in love with the EXFIL CARBON.
Upon first glance, the Team Wendy EXFIL CARBON appears like an ordinary PT helmet. It isn’t until you pick it up that you realize that you are holding the helmet by which all others will be judged.
The helmet’s outer shell is constructed of high strength carbon fiber that provides the strength and engineered rigidity to protect the operator’s head.
The outer shell’s shape and cut allow for the co-deployment of all the popular tactical communication headsets and features air vents to assist in internal airflow.
Attached to the outer shell are a handful of critical components which have become standard in the military and law enforcement fields.
First are the Magpul MOE rails on each side of the helmet. I can personally vouch for the usefulness of rails on bump helmets, as I have used one exclusively for the mounting of a Streamlight White/IR light solution. Having a White/IR light on a helmet rail can be a lifesaver when hiking alone in the desert.
Moving on….in addition to the Magpul MOE rails on either side, the outer shell also features a T-Slot rail system above each rail. Team Wendy has a slick Peltor Communications adapter that uses the T-Slot rails.
Wrapping up the outer shell are the bungee cords used for stabilization of your NVD. This is a feature that many lower end bump helmets don’t have and is badly needed. For those who don’t know, typically, when deploying PVS-14 mono NVDs, the user will experience a certain amount of annoying “play” with the device. This “play” is basically caused by the imperfect fit of the J-arm and Norotos mount and is seriously annoying when you are already dealing with sweat, lens fogging and a sub-par strap system.
We recommend adding a small loop or key ring to you NVD where possible as Team Wendy’s hooks are rather small. All in all, the bungee cord system will require a little ingenuity on the part of the user due to the number of different NVDs in circulation.
If I were to recommend anything it would be to make the bungee cords slightly longer and utilize larger hooks (Team Wendy is currently addressing this) .
For this review, Team Wendy loaned us a tan EXFIL with their new Multicam Helmet Cover. The cover proved to be exceptionally easy to install; however, you are required to attach the Velcro hook stickers on the inside of the helmet in order to attach the cover (pretty easy).
The cover helps break up the outline of the helmet and seriously reduces the inevitable, reflective shine that even flat paint can’t overcome. The helmet cover also features stabilizing Velcro hook that attaches to the generous quantity of pile tape (loop panels) on the exterior of the helmet.
Some of the finer details found on the Team Wendy Helmet Cover are quality stitching, and a communications cable access point conveniently placed near the back of the helmet where a battery box/counter weight is typically attached.
The cable access point features a Velcro hook & loop closure and also allows for your goggle retention strap to be placed outside the cover. I don’t carry goggles so it took me a bit to figure it out (I read the instructions after the review….).
Moving on to the interior:
According to Team Wendy, the liner’s blunt impact performance :
“exceeds current military requirements (10 ft/sec, 150G max) and offers improved protection against impacts up to 17 ft/sec”.
The liner is very durable and more importantly, is not degraded by sweat and salt like foam.
The front half of the liner is easily removed as it attaches to the helmet via Velcro hook and loop circles.
The rear portion on the other hand, is attached via screws in order to provide a rock solid mounting platform for the Boa Closure System.
The Boa Closure System:
I have considerable experience with using NVDs on an entry level bump helmet with a poor strap system. I can only imagine how much easier life would have been if I had had purchased something like the BOA system or at least an upgraded strap system. So, to sum it up, its basically, the best thing since sliced bread!
The Boa Closure System is effectively a “nape” that applies pressure and support to the back of your head thus preventing the helmet from shifting forward and down towards your face. The Boa mechanism operates very simply and should be familiar to snowboarders who have used it on their boots for some time. I was actually surprised to discover that it is offered separately along with the straps and mounting hardware and we are going to switch out the existing straps on Postman’s Mitch/Ops Core helmets with it. Check it out on Team Wendy’s website and standby for a detailed review.
Once the helmet has been donned, the user adjusts the strap system and then twists the Boa dial clockwise until the proper fit is acquired. The system works flawlessly and practically makes you forget you are wearing a helmet.
The Boa system’s cables run along the side of the helmet towards the front and provide a padded support to counter sideways play as well.
The EXFIL strap system is another highlight worth mentioning. As stated before, I use a budget PT Helmet that I purchased from Tactical Night Vision Company years ago (read the review here). My biggest complaint aside from the undersized nape, was the flimsy strap system that refused to stay tight. It seemed like the more I sweat, the harder it was to get the straps to maintain the level of tightness necessary to stabilize my PVS-14 NVDs. In fact, the problem was so apparent that I gave up using PVS-7 goggles altogether (no tears). The Team Wendy strap system is like night and day and the cam-lock sliders provide rock solid, one handed adjustment on the move.
Aside from using the helmet myself, I also let Carebear and Postman check it out. Postman played with it for about two weeks and was super pleased with the helmet’s features.
The ability to perform high risk tasks in the dark, sometimes alone, without having to deal with mediocre gear is essential. That’s why we do what we do here, because when you are facing a threat you need to focus on those decisions that you are going to have to live with the rest of your life! On that note, I recommend you check out the Team Wendy EXFIL CARBON or, if the premium price is holding you back, wait until this Fall, when the new EXFIL LTP becomes available*. Team Wendy just announced the LTP and it should feature a more affordable price, similar to compatible products. *(Team Wendy announced the LTP at SOFIC 2013)
There are really only two negative aspects to the Team Wendy EXFIL CARBON. First, while the EXFIL CARBON cost less than its carbon fiber competition, the price point is still high for a bump helmet! Not that you don’t get your money’s worth but it is high nonetheless. In fact, if you buy this helmet, make sure you overnight it because, you better be wearing it at the moment your wife discovers how much you spent! Secondly, the bungee straps used to secure the NVDs are not perfect but, Team Wendy is on it and we should see some improvement soon. I would not base my purchasing decision on the bungees as most modern mounts from Wilcox address the issue. I’m just using dated equipment.
The Team Wendy EXFIL CARBON is available in three colors: black, coyote tan and Muilticam. They also come in two sizes, small and large. During your purchase you are offered the opportunity to add the W Shroud at additional cost. The T-Slot and MOE rails are included which is convenient.
Where to buy:
About Team Wendy:
I thought it would be interesting to share a little bit about Team Wendy’s background. So many times we get caught up in the moment and forget that most great American companies have powerful stories behind them. Here is a short blurb according to team Wendy’s website:
“Who is Wendy? It’s a question we get all of the time. Wendy, the daughter of Cleveland-based entrepreneur Dan T. Moore, passed away from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) following a snow-skiing accident in 1997. Mr. Moore founded Team Wendy as a memorial to his daughter – a passionate, energetic woman who loved life and all it had to offer. His goal, and Team Wendy’s primary mission, is to provide the best protection available on the market today and to research the causes and prevention of TBI. A story of triumph out of tragedy, Wendy’s name lives on today in the protective products and gear used by thousands worldwide, including the men and women of the United States Military.”
Next up we are going to send the Team Wendy EXFIL CARBON up to Washington State, where some of our Special Ops contributors will get a chance to play with the helmet. Stay tuned and we will post up any comments and pictures here or on our Facebook page depending on what we get.
Other Team Wendy Resources:
Team Wendy Promotional Video: