I don't own a leather, but i've been very interested in them and
would like to know everyones thoughts on them.

Pros and cons about leather helmets.

And do they really have to get sent out and tested after every fire?

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One is bigger, the N6A will be taller due to the head impact break away internal impact liner, it's not just a ratchet system. The other huge difference is the actual weight. Not to mention the big N5 or N6 A decals under the brim.
I agree. My leather is 6 years old and has taken a beating but it still is in great shape. My friend bent the back of it down while we were inside a fire but otherwise they are not easy to bend and should never be modified beyond the manufacturers recomendations.
Stay safe.
MSA/Cairns helmets have plastic tabs that will break and separate the inner impact protection portion from the outer shell. Negates the need for a break away chin strap.
Kali,

There you go interjecting logic and common sense into the discussion again.
I have a leather, and the chin strap has a fastex buckle on one side and postman's slide on the other. The velcro is for size adjustment, not for a breakaway chin strap. Velcro melts if heated enough.

Why anyone would a) intentionally want to void the warranty by an unapproved modification, and b) do the modification with something that can melt and cause unintentional loss of the helmet in a high-heat situation is completely beyond me.

I like my leather, but I also like to keep it on my head.
Jeff, your statement about leather helmets being ruined when exposed to chemical, is incorrect. W.L. Gore actually did a study of rubber vs. leather fire boots, and the study actually showed that leather deconed better than the rubber. Also, all of the new Cairns leather helmets, are ethier painted and sealed, or for the naturals they are sealed... As for the helmets bending very easily is incorrect also. I have a helmet that does have a natural bend on it, but its because I was trapped in a room that had flashed for over 20 seconds. The only bend on it was the rear brim, and I used a hair dyer to bend it back into orginal position, got some fresh paint, and it was back in service. You can google pictures of non-leather helmets melting, and you will come up with over 1,000 hits. Personally, I would rather have a helmet that may bend a bit, vs. something that can melt.
In my personal opinion, the greatest thing about leather helmets is the pride and tradition of the Fire Service and to watch one being made is good old fashion "American Craftsmanship."
FETC,
Can you tell me something i have a delimia. How old are the "fitted" fire helmets?
Very well put. I wear a leather and I love it. honestly, yes it is heavier than the plastic helmets but that also affords you a sense of protection. I have been in a few fires and my leather has held up very well. As far as the bends from the heat, I don't mind that. it gives the lid a little character and personalization.

So, the cons are price and weight while the pros are protection, tradition, pride, history, honor, patriotism, etc....

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