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For many years, divers have relied on diving helmets to overcome the challenges of breathing and maintaining vision underwater. They are also crucial in protecting the head from injury and the immense water pressure experienced in the deep sea. Without diving helmets, deep diving would be impossible.
Depending on the design, one can use a diving helmet for scuba diving or surface-supplied diving. Regardless of the source of air, diving helmets enable divers to inhale and exhale safely. They also allow users to see clearly and communicate from great depths. Diving helmets cost thousands of dollars, and there are many models from different manufacturers. It’s important to match the features of the equipment with the application area for the investment to be worthwhile. This article is a review of top-three diving helmets that we did to help you make a wise shopping decision. Let’s begin with an overview.
Diving Helmet FAQ
Are you well-versed with diving helmets or do you need clarification on some areas? We have answered some questions that most people interested in buying diving helmets usually ask.
What Is a Diving Helmet?
A diving helmet is a head enclosure made of sturdy materials, and it has a breathing gas supply for use underwater. They enable divers to stay for extended periods while submerged without getting suffocated.
What Does a Diving Helmet Do?
A diving helmet keeps the diver’s head watertight, provides air for breathing, and enhances the vision underwater. It also shields the head from injury and provides voice communication with a surface station or other divers.
How Does a Diving Helmet Work?
Diving helmets either deliver gas continually or have a demand valve that supplies the air when the user is inhaling. Most helmet designs are compatible with neoprene neck dams that create a seal at the neck. The diver can use his/her swimsuit of choice.The front cover is transparent to allow the diver to see through the water. Modern helmets come with advanced infrastructure to enable real-time communication with terminals at vessels and other divers.
Where Can You Buy Diving Helmets?
Once you decide the diving helmet to buy, it is advisable to contact the manufacturer. If they don’t sell to end-users, they can recommend their authorized suppliers. This channel reduces the risk of buying a counterfeit that could make you a victim of the dangers of deep diving.
Who can use a Diving Helmet?
Diving helmets are recommended for deep-sea divers who have undergone professional training. Most users are marine scientists, the military, and occupational scuba divers.
How We Reviewed
Before settling for the three diving helmets discussed in this article, we explored many other models popular with divers. We also searched the internet and included some of the products that appeared frequently.
We were keen to distinguish between the helmets that were worth their salt and those that had unnecessary hype. For this reason, we included professional divers in our team and had them test the helmets. We also sought the opinions of marine veterans. The review process used the same parameters for each item. We checked the features, pro, cons, price, where to buy, and warranty. Our findings, helped us to pinpoint three diving helmets that had the most superior features.
Overall Price Range of Diving Helmets
Most diving helmets today cost between $5,000 and $10,000. You need to realize that price is not the only factor to look at when choosing a diving helmet. You must make several considerations and strike a balance to get the best value from the product. For instance, some have an air demand valve while others supply the gas in free-flow mode. The first design is economical gas than the second type, but it may a bit more expensive.
The material of the enclosure may also influence the cost of the hat. Fiberglass is cheaper than stainless steel, and this may reflect in the overall price of diving helmets. Another factor that determines the value of a diving helmet is the integrated accessories. Higher-priced models usually come with superior communication technology than cheaper ones. Compatibility and application area also influence pricing. Diving helmets designed for surface-supplied diving only may not cost the same as those transferrable to scuba diving.
What We Reviewed
After our research, we selected the following diving helmets for various users and application areas.
- Desco 29134 Commercial Diving Helmet
- Kirby Morgan 37
- Gorski G3000SS
We shall discuss them in that order.
Desco 29134 Commercial Diving Helmet
The Desco 29434 diving helmet is a superior marine apparatus engineered for deep sea diving. It is forged from high-quality materials that resonate with the other Desco products. With accurate design, the helmet offers comfort and allows the user to explore the sea with high precision. The architecture of the Desco 29134 commercial diving helmet matches the design of the US Navy Mark V. Both the helmets have a rugged finish although the Desco 29134 is quite simplistic.
Its standard external finish is tin plated. If you want an upgrade, you can request for an exclusive polished version for some extra amount.The Desco 29434 model is one of the most basic bonnets and breastplate diving helmets. It has an average shipping weight of 54 pounds. It has an elaborate air supply and exhaust system. It includes an automatic exhaust valve integrated with an external star wheel. It also has a banana tube that exhausts air to the back of the helmet.
The air supply mechanism has a non-return valve whose threads match the submarine standards. It also comes with double springs with adjustable tension and a spring lock. The helmet is a free flow type designed for surface-supplied diving. For the mask to stay watertight, the helmet has a high-quality faceplate and breastplate gaskets. The breastplate has eyelets for lifeline and hose attachments. The front window of the enclosure is circular, and it uses a screw-in faceplate. The oval side-windows are usually mounted horizontally. You can request for vertical mounting from the manufacturer.
The DESCO 29134 lacks a spit cock and communication facilities like a transceiver, telephone cup, and gooseneck. Nevertheless, it is compatible with these features. You can ask your supplier to include them.
- Military grade design
- Durable enclosure
- Low price
- It lacks communication facilities
- Bulky construction
- Free-flow air supply
The Desco 29134 Commercial Diving Helmet costs about $$$ on the manufacturer’s website.
Desco provides a one-year warranty period for the Desco 29134 diving helmet. The manufacturer tests, repairs, or replaces returned units free of charge.
Kirby Morgan 37
The Kirby Morgan 37 is an exclusive diving helmet that uses the Quad-Valve exhaust system to accomplish minimum breathing resistance. It also maintains 100% dryness inside the head enclosure. Its SuperFlow 350 regulator enhances smooth airflow and the diver’s inhalation at various depths. It is an adjustable commercial-rated demand regulator with low-pressure compressors for easy breathing and durability.
Due to the high-quality design and excellent performance, the Kirby Morgan 37 is one of the most used models in different marine activities. The helmet is popular in the US Navy as well as the commercial diving industry. The Kirby Morgan 37 helmet conforms to the requirements stipulated in Annex II of Directive 89/686/EEC and EN 15333-1 (class B). It preserves the traditional design with a rugged finish. The air train of the helmet diffuses the incoming breathing gas onto the face lens to ventilate and prevent fogging. There is also a steady-flow valve that supplies air to achieve the same effect. In the event the diver cannot receive enough air, the emergency (EGS) valve provides the backup breathing gas.
The Kirby Morgan 37 has a tough outer shell made of fiberglass. It has carbon fiber reinforcements at specified areas for extra durability.Apart from being light and impact resistant, it provides effective thermal and electrical insulation. The face lens is made of scratch-resistant polycarbonate. The helmet has a nose block device that allows the user to equalize the ears by blocking the nose. If the umbilical gets damaged, the gas supply non-return valve prevents the loss of air pressure. Repairing and or replacing the communication components is quick and stress-free, thanks to the rapid change modular communications systems. It comes as a bare wire post connection or a male waterproof connector.
The Kirby Morgan 37 has side and top weights located at strategic points to provide balance to the helmet. They also serve as mounting areas for accessories. The side block contains bonus ports for controlling the airflow when needed. The helmet has an oral mask made of durable and hypoallergenic silicone. Since bubbles can hinder vision and cause some noise, the helmet has whisker wings for keeping them at bay. The Kirby Morgan 37 weighs about 32.6 pounds. Its manual comes in a writable USB drive so that you update it if you modify your helmet or you buy a new one.
- Demand air supply
- Detailed manual
- Support for communication devices
- Reduced weight
- Built with military standards
- High price
- Strict conditions for warranty
The Kirby Morgan 37 goes for around $8,000. The price may vary depending on your retailer.
Kirby Morgan 37 has a limited warranty of 365 days. It covers metal and plastic parts. It excludes communications components, rubber parts, head and chin cushions, and the chrome plating. You must buy the helmet from an authorized dealer to be eligible for the warranty. You must also register it within ten days of purchase.
The Gorski Hat G3000SS is an outstanding diving helmet famed for its durability and impressive performance. It is an improvement of the G2000SS model. The multipurpose hat matches many application areas including military, commercial, and professional diving. It comes with a state-of-the-art Apeks regulator and a balanced design consisting of two exhausts. The helmet features sturdy construction with high-strength composite materials. It withstands all depths and various work rates under the sea.
The diver enjoys comfortable breathing that compares to the experience on dry land. The shell safeguards the breathing loop while the side mounts act as a shield against frontal impact. The diver can change from free low to demand mode and vice versa. The Gorski G3000SS diving helmet has a vast front window that offers the user a broad field of view.Most of the helmet consists of stainless steel parts. The material is robust and durable, and it doesn’t rust. It enhances the lifespan of the whole apparatus by resisting corrosion and the electrolysis effect of seawater.
The helmet comes with a faceplate retention system. It is comfortable to wear, and it stays balanced. The Gorski G3000SS has few loose parts, a design that reduces maintenance and inventory challenges. The OTS communications system embedded on the diving helmet is waterproof and rust-resistant. It comes in a simplified layout that eases the switching between two and four-wire configuration.
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Supports demand and free flow gas supply modes
- Wide field of view
- Scanty warranty information
- High price
The Gorski G3000SS sells for about $9,000. The manufacturer sells the product through specific distributors.
The manufacturer of this product offers a warranty, but the terms are not specified. You may have to consult your dealer for more information.
After comparing the three diving helmets, we noticed that all of them comply with the US Navy standards. However, they have some striking differences.
The Kirby Morgan 37 had the most perks. Although its the rivals also have a sturdy design, we liked the reduced weight of the Kirby Morgan 37 helmet. It weighs about 22 pounds less than the Desco 29134.
The Kirby Morgan 37 supports communication equipment and has ample space for mounting. Gorski G3000SS supports the same, but it costs about $1000 more. You should consider the Desco 29134 diving helmet if you want the most affordable option. All factors considered, the Kirby Morgan 37 is the best.