Kask Primero Air and Zenith X Air Combo Hard Hats

I was on the job site in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, with a crane crew from Mayer Tree Service Inc., to catch their first impressions of two Kask (trademarked KASK) hard hats. Mayer Tree Service is a 32-year TCIA member company based in Essex, Mass.

Alvero Lopez under the Kask Zenith Air X Combo.
Alvero Lopez under the Kask Zenith X Air Combo. All TCIA staff photos.

The Kask Zenith X Air Combo was packaged fully assembled with mesh face screen and hearing protection. No one saw me pocket the Kask sticker that was hiding in the packaging. Though there was no sticker in the Kask Primero Air packaging, it did include a sturdy drawstring bag to store the helmet in during transport. Nice touch!

First tracks

The first field tester to open everything up and try it on was Alvaro Lopez, the crew’s crane operator. His reactions to the Primero Air were very genuine – you’ll have to check out the video linked at the end of this article to get his full reactions, but he was most impressed with the noticeable light weight of the two helmets.

The next person to test drive the Primero Air helmet was crew member Filippo Mortillaro, whose comments here are paraphrased slightly.

The chin strap fastens with a two-pronged approach.
The chin strap fastens with a two-pronged approach.

“At first look, I noticed the moisture-wicking material on the inside and the head cushion to wick away the sweat in the summertime,” says Mortillaro. “That will come in handy.

“The Primero is definitely lighter than most helmets I’ve used. And the headband cinch-adjustment mechanism is nice and sturdy,” Mortillaro continues. “You know how on other hard hats you try to adjust with one click at a time? One click is too much, the next click down is too little? This one fits perfectly.

“The Styrofoam framework on the inside is comfortable. That will definitely help with the support,” he adds.

“The outer shell is a good design,” says Mortillaro. “It looks like it could hold a variety of attachments like a head lamp, maybe a communication system. The literature says the attachments clip in rather than screw in, so that’ll be nice. No more lost pieces. I really like it. It’s probably the most comfortable helmet I’ve worn.”

Alvero Lopez with the Kask Primero Air.
Alvero Lopez with the Kask Primero Air.

Kask Zenith X Air Combo

Mortillaro evaluated the Zenith X Air Combo next. It had the mesh-screen face shield and muff-style hearing protection already installed.

“I like this face screen. I wear glasses normally on an everyday basis, and prescription safety glasses are a lot of money,” explains Mortillaro. “So a face shield like this would be helpful to protect my safety glasses from getting scratched. Even with the face shield, it’s lighter than most helmets.

“With the earmuffs up or down, the helmet feels like it is pretty well balanced. It doesn’t feel like it wants to fall back or fall forward. These earmuffs are really nice. I can’t hear anything. (see callout)

“Like in the Primero, there’s a lot of Styrofoam in the right places inside, which provides stability.

“Another nice feature is the reflectors on the outer shell,” Mortillaro continues. “So if you’re working in a low-light condition, this would be helpful for working at night. All these attachment points would let you put a headlamp on it, which would be useful, especially during emergency work.”


Zenith Air X Combo face shield
Filippo Mortillaro shows the clearance of the Zenith Air X Combo face shield.

Overall, the crane crew was pleasantly surprised with the light weight and features of the Kask Primero and Zenith X Air Combo hard hats. Check out the video to see for yourself.

Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP, is staff arborist for the Tree Care Industry Association.

To view a video of this product in use, click here.

This review/debut reflects the thoughts and opinions of the reviewer as a user and does not constitute or imply an endorsement of the product referenced, nor is it an endorsement of any specific company, product or service. Every entity or individual should review and test all products for applicability, safety and efficacy in their particular operation.

Editor’s Note: The hearing-protection muffs are Kask SC2 – Yellow SNR 28-29 dB (decibel) Earmuffs. Here is the OSHA requirement (which ANSI Z133 mimics): Protection against the effects of noise exposure shall be provided when the sound levels exceed those shown in Table G-16 (i.e. 90dB on a weighted average over an eight-hour day) and the protection used must reduce (attenuate) the exposure to below this threshold.

A randomly selected Stihl saw produces 111 dB. Wearing this hearing protection properly will attenuate the noise exposure to 83 dB (111 – 28 = 83 dB).

Nobody runs a saw eight hours a day. But you could, using these muffs.

TCI Magazine product reviews are available to TCIA Corporate Members as a benefit with their membership. Certain limitations apply. Contact kcunningham@tcia.org for more information.

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