While learning about hard hats, I poked around in a heavy equipment user subReddit where participants traded tips about finding comfortable hard hats. This would be a goldmine of info for an industrial designer trying to improve the UX of hard hats.
A number of the posters recommended an aftermarket product called the ChukBand, by ChukStar Leather Goods:
These pieces of elk leather render even the cheap plastic suspension systems of a variety of helmets more comfortable. They're padded and you wrap them around both the front and rear suspension elements.
You choose a model based on your make of hard hat. Some ChukBands feature cutouts that correspond with existing hard hat tabs; others snap shut with YKK fasteners. Still others leave access to the ratcheting knob that tightens/loosens the suspension's fit.
Why elk leather? "Elk leather won't stiffen or get crusty like other hides," ChukStar says.
They come in a variety of colors.
One downside for the chemically sensitive is that ChukBands are chromium-tanned.
These run $40 to $50 for a set of two (you need one for both front and rear).
I love products like these; this was definitely invented by a hard hat wearer.
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