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CCM Tacks 710 helmet

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Length of use - 5 months

Fit - I wear a medium and the fit is very good for my head, which is rounder than it is long (think circle > oval). No pressure points whatsoever, and I even wear glasses under the helmet because I'm blinder than Francois St. Laurent. The lateral adjustability that's found on the Resistance line doesn't appear to be any different, though I haven't had experience with the Resistance helmets. One thing I did notice is that initially I was using a Bauer Re-Akt cage with the helmet and the medium cage didn't come down far enough so my chin was well within the chin cup before the top of the cage hit the J-clips with them at the lowest setting. I chalked this up to the helmet not coming down my forehead as much as the Bauer does, since my Re-Akt 100 is a medium with a medium Re-Akt cage. This doesn't mean that the helmet is too small, just that there's not as much overhang compared to the Bauer; the Tacks 710 definitely feels more streamlined in that regard. I used a large Re-Akt cage and it fit perfectly. I've since ditched the cage for a half shield but I'm sure the moment I feel a stick or puck breeze past my face I'll go back to the cage. 

I guess I should mention that the helmet sometimes doesn't sit exactly centered on my head (maybe rotated a few millimeters to one side) when I put it on at first so I have to either find a mirror to adjust it or try to align it with my fingers. This might be due to the more circular nature of the helmet itself in that you can't really get a good feel for when your helmet is facing forward because there's perfect symmetry. For that I'll dock half a point because it's not a big deal; just fix it before you hit the ice. Once you're skating the helmet doesn't rotate at all. 9.5/10

Protection - I don't play in a checking league and I don't find myself getting whacked in the head by errant sticks so I can't really comment on this aspect. I'm sure the D30 foam does what it's advertised. N/A

Weight - I don't have a postal scale but I also use a Bauer Re-Akt 100 and this feels slightly heavier than that, but nothing really noticeable. The helmet is still relatively light and when you turn your head it doesn't feel like you have to pull a large mass along. 9.5/10

Durability - Nothing that I've noticed has been unexpected. There's some embellishment on the graphics of the foam lining (to show off the colors and name of the foam and whatever) that has been peeling off but that's just cosmetic. 10/10

Intangibles - The biggest factor for me when I went to try on this helmet was that I could wear glasses under them. They've passed that test, and my glasses only slip out slightly but that's not a big deal because 1) I'm sweating and getting all oily and 2) helmets aren't designed to accommodate facegear. I haven't paid too much attention to ventilation, but I get the impression that I sweat less with the Tacks 710 (even with the cage) than when I was wearing the Re-Akt 100. It wouldn't surprise me, since this helmet seems to have more vents in it than the Bauer does. 9.5/10

Conclusion - CCM really hit a home run with the Tacks 310 and 710 helmets. They're one of the best fitting helmets on the market and have pretty high-end foam tech in them, yet they only cost just a little over half as much as the top of the line offerings (Resistance, Re-Akt). For the $130-160 price point (sans shield combo), I don't think these helmets can be beat. In fact, I find myself wearing the 710 more than the Re-Akt 100 despite the Bauer costing more than the CCM.

Total score: 39/10

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