Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default 1st leather helmet

    I am looking to purchase my first leather helmet, i was wondering if anyone had one they would like to sell or if anyone that knows someone that does have one to sell. I really dont want to spend any more than $300. I prefer Cairns helmets.


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mass
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dudeman0991 View Post
    I am looking to purchase my first leather helmet, i was wondering if anyone had one they would like to sell or if anyone that knows someone that does have one to sell. I really dont want to spend any more than $300. I prefer Cairns helmets.
    Pretty low budget for finding a decent helmet. Especially on Ebay. Couple of questions.

    What color do you need? And are you willing and able to re-paint it yourself or willing to spend the money to have it done? A good strip and repaint can run $100 and new Bourkes (If you want them) go for at least $40.00

    Does your department require the helmet meet NFPA standards? If so, you will have very few options. The only way a Leather will get an NFPA tag is if it is purchased new with NFPA approved eye protection, which is Goggles or a full shield. You cannot add either one later and get the approval. So if you are buying used, ask to see the tag inside showing it is NFPA approved. Don't just assume it is because it has goggles or a shield.

    If the helmet has no impact liner, like the very early Cairns helmets, then it will not even meet OSHA specs. So beware of that.

    If NFPA approval is not required, then start looking at N5A and N6A helmets. You are not likley to find one in decent shape for $300.00 or less typically. I have seen used ones in "good" condition sell for well over $300.00. In your price range, you will likley find one in pretty rough shape and/or in a less popular color. Remember they come in two sizes, Medium or Large and later models have a ratchet adjust suspension, older models use foam fitting pads. Places like thefirestore.com sell virtually every part those helmets need like chinstraps, ratchet assemblies, front holders, Bourkes, hanging D rings, Tets, paint, etc. So if a used one you are looking at needs some parts, it's not a big deal. Just beware of the three items that are not easily repaired.

    1. Complete Impact liner's. They are press fit into the leather shell at the factory. Cairns will NOT replace these if they are worn or damaged. They are very difficult to do replace yourself as well. So if the impact liner is damaged beyond repair or someone has cut the suspension liner out so it sits lower (a stupid idea), you will have major issues fixing this.

    2. Ratchet adjustment systems. Simple to replace if the one on the helmet is broken but if the helmet you are looking at never had one and you want to add one, it requires drilling through the shell. Not really a deal breaker, but beware it's not that simple to add.

    3. Neck Flaps. Later helmets they velcro in and and out. Older models had the neck flap crimped into the brass liner band. It is very difficult to replace them (Cairns will NOT do this repair) and i have seen many helmets where these neck flaps were simply cut out of the helmet. I dont personally know of any department that will let you wear a helmet of any kind with no neck flap. So if it has been cut out of the helmet, you will have problems.

    I know a guy who deals in used leathers, great prices too. But for a decent N5A or N6A, you are looking closer to $400.00. But that price includes new paint. If you want his info, let me know.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    36

    Default

    If NFPA approval is not required, then start looking at N5A and N6A helmets.

    N6A are NFPA aren't they? Or is that only if its bought brand new?

  4. #4
    Forum Member BKDRAFT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Bay Area, California
    Posts
    1,146

    Default

    I have a small Cairns 5A for sale on ebay now without chinstrap and bourkes. Starting bid is $200.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mass
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eng25Fireman View Post
    N6A are NFPA aren't they? Or is that only if its bought brand new?
    An N6A will ONLY be NFPA tagged if it was shipped from the manufacturer with either goggles or the flip down shield. Any N6A that left the factory without either the googles or the shield will only have an OSHA tag. It can have Bourkes also, but Bourkes alone will not get it NFPA certification.

    And the above applies for new or used. The issue you need to beware of is people selling used N6A's with goggles and/or the shield claiming it's NFPA approved because it has one or the other when in fact, the helmet was bought without either and someone added them after the fact.

    Always ask to see the NFPA tag/sticker. Even if a seller is saying the helmet is brand new in the box with goggles or the sheild. Because i have seen it first hand. They buy an N6A without NFPA approved eye protection, then slap a pair of goggles on it and turn around and say it's NFPA approved.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thank you all for your help. After looking around I have realized that you are right when you said it would be about $400.00 for a good helmet. I think the best thing for me to do is to save up a little more money. When it comes to protecting my head I donít want some raggedy piece of junk, I need a good helmet.

    Thanks to all.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    36

    Default

    I would suggest just saving for a longer time and buying it brand new. Its like buying a new car. You will NEVER know how the previous owner REALLY treated it. You can dress it up on the outside but there can always be underlying problems.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    An N6A will ONLY be NFPA tagged if it was shipped from the manufacturer with either goggles or the flip down shield. Any N6A that left the factory without either the googles or the shield will only have an OSHA tag. It can have Bourkes also, but Bourkes alone will not get it NFPA certification.

    And the above applies for new or used. The issue you need to beware of is people selling used N6A's with goggles and/or the shield claiming it's NFPA approved because it has one or the other when in fact, the helmet was bought without either and someone added them after the fact.

    Always ask to see the NFPA tag/sticker. Even if a seller is saying the helmet is brand new in the box with goggles or the sheild. Because i have seen it first hand. They buy an N6A without NFPA approved eye protection, then slap a pair of goggles on it and turn around and say it's NFPA approved.
    I have been told before that as long as you have approved eye protection available you are compliant even if you don't have the sticker. Example: Having a N6A with flip-downs and having approved goggles with your turn-out. How true is this, if at all?
    Last edited by Eng25Fireman; 08-16-2011 at 08:44 AM. Reason: Left out a question

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mass
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eng25Fireman View Post
    I have been told before that as long as you have approved eye protection available you are compliant even if you don't have the sticker. Example: Having a N6A with flip-downs and having approved goggles with your turn-out. How true is this, if at all?
    It really will depend on your department.

    While you and i certainly understand that concept, the reality is, it will not make a sticker magically appear on a helmet. And if your department has the requirement that the sticker be there, then adding NFPA approved eye protection to an OSHA labeled helmet will not help. If your department follows the idea that so long as your helmet is arranged to meet NFPA specs, then you will be fine.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mass
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eng25Fireman View Post
    I would suggest just saving for a longer time and buying it brand new. Its like buying a new car. You will NEVER know how the previous owner REALLY treated it. You can dress it up on the outside but there can always be underlying problems.
    With a leather helmet shell, it's very easy to tell how a previous owner treated it. Their will not be any real mystery. And since they are so easy to clean and repaint making them look new, their is really nothing to lose by buying a used one. So long as no major cracks or missing chunks exist in the shell, even a horrible looking helmet can made to look brand new. Small cracks, often caused by heat or dropping can be filled with Epoxy and sanded smooth making the helmet like new. And any helmet with an Impact Liner, such as the N5A/N6A will not be structurally unsound because of a crack in the leather anyhow. The impact liner is what is doing all the impact protection. The leather is simply for looks and shedding water/heat. The liner will easily show any defects. Just make sure none of the straps inside are broken and the headband is not ripped. So long as those two things are OK, everything else is fine. Chinstraps are simple to replace, so are front holders and crown pieces.

    The biggest reason people buy used Cairns leathers is because the older ones as far as most people are concerned are better. And you can no longer buy them without the ratchet headband, which many people do not like at all. Myself included. That is why i sought out a used one. The stiching is nicer, the leather fitting at joints is nicer and even the scrollwork is nicer. And with my giant head, i much prefer the lower sitting non ratchet headband setup. After i repainted mine and replaced the hardware, it looks as good as new.

  11. #11
    Forum Member BKDRAFT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Bay Area, California
    Posts
    1,146

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    It really will depend on your department.

    While you and i certainly understand that concept, the reality is, it will not make a sticker magically appear on a helmet. And if your department has the requirement that the sticker be there, then adding NFPA approved eye protection to an OSHA labeled helmet will not help. If your department follows the idea that so long as your helmet is arranged to meet NFPA specs, then you will be fine.
    All of those stickers can be ordered from Cairns at any time.

    You guys are looking far too much into this.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mass
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BKDRAFT View Post
    All of those stickers can be ordered from Cairns at any time..
    Cairns will not sell any helmet certification stickers. And for good reason. What company would be dumb enough to sell stickers claiming something meets a certain spec to just anybody. Do you know how many idiots on Ebay would be slapping them on refinished helmets to make a quick buck?. I contacted Cairns about this awhile back. They do not offer the stickers.

    Quote Originally Posted by BKDRAFT View Post
    You guys are looking far too much into this.
    No, that is not the case. While your department may not give a rats behind about helmet certs, many departments do. If you happen to work on one of those departments, buying your own helmet can be costly if they will not allow you to wear it because it does not meet the specs they require. I have heard of many cases where this happens. Many departments will not allow you to buy any PPE unless it meets their requirements.

  13. #13
    Forum Member NY911Bowhunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Dutchess County, NY
    Posts
    126
    FTM - BTB - KTF

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. World Of Fire Report: 01-29-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-30-2005, 01:32 PM
  2. World Of Fire Report: 01-29-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-29-2005, 09:49 PM
  3. World Of Fire Report: 01-22-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-23-2005, 02:46 PM
  4. World Of Fire Report: 08-05-04
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-07-2004, 12:53 AM
  5. World Of Fire Report: 07-16-03
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-28-2003, 08:49 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts