Cairns 880 vs 1044: Which is the best pick for you?

Cairns 880 and 1044 are two of the most popular firefighting helmets in the market. These helmets are aimed at providing firefighters with optimal protection and comfort while on duty.

But Cairns 880 vs 1044 which is the best pick for you?

Between Cairn 880 vs 1044, the latter might be the better choice for you. With a more modern eye-catching design, 1044 comes with more compatibility with  various accessories. But the 880 model is much lighter with more ventilation systems. Although both of them have a six-point suspension system the 1044 helmet features a ratcheting headband suspension system.

Want to know more about the differences between the two? Then continue reading the article-

Cairns 880 vs 1044: A Short Comparison

Along with helmet shield colors being different Cairns 880 vs 1044 does have quite a few differences between them. Let’s take a look at their differences at a glance-

Comparison Factor Cairns 880 Cairns 1044
Design Traditional round Modern angular
Weight 53 ounces 59 ounces
Shell Dimensions 15.25” in length, 10.5” in width, and height 5.25” 15.5” in length, 11.88” in width, and a crown depth of 6.5”
Color Options Red, yellow, black, white, and others Red, black, and white
Suspension System Six-point suspension system Six-point suspension system
Compatibility with accessories Compatible (but specific accessories might vary ) More Compatible 
Durability Less than 1044 More resistant to impact and damage
Certification NFPA, OSHA Certified NFPA, OSHA Certified
Price Check Latest Price Check Latest Price

Now from the table, you have an idea about the possible differences between these two firefighting helmets. To find out which option might be the ideal choice for you, let’s move on to additional details. 

Cairns 880 vs 1044: Comparison in Details

Safety should be your top priority while choosing a firefighting helmet. A firefighting helmet should provide maximum protection for the head, face, and neck from falling debris, impact, heat, and other hazards. Which also is the main factor while comparing Cairns n5a vs n6a.

Keeping that in mind let’s see what kind of protection you can expect from Cairns 880 and 1044 in the details below-


Cairns 880 design
Source: Amazon

Cairns 880 design is a traditional round shape whereas Cairns 1044 comes with a bit of modern design with their angular design.

Cairns 880’s traditional design has a low-profile brim that extends over the forehead and ears, providing basic protection against falling debris. The ear covers on the Cairns 880 are fixed and non-adjustable.

Moreover, the neck curtain is permanently attached to the helmet and the reflective trim is on the back only.

In contrast, the Cairns 1044 helmet has a more streamlined design with a larger brim that extends further down the back of the head. This provides additional protection against impact and heat. Ear covers of 1044 are adjustable and you can move them up or down for greater comfort.

Cairns 1044
Source: Amazon

It also has a detachable neck curtain for easier cleaning and maintenance. Reflective trim is used on the back and sides to increase visibility in the dark.

Shell Dimensions:

The shell size of the Cairns 880 and Cairns 1044 helmets are almost similar.

Both helmets have a similar shell size of approximately 6.5 inches in height. However, the Cairns 1044 has a thicker shell compared to the Cairns 880. 

This provides increased impact resistance and durability. The thicker shell also contributes to the slightly heavier weight of the Cairns 1044 compared to the Cairns 880. 

The Cairns 880 comes with 15.25” in length, 10.5” in width, and height 5.25” whereas 1044 comes with 15.5” in length, 11.88” in width, and a crown depth of 6.5”.

Material & Weight:

Although both are made from thermoplastic shells Cairns 880 is on the lighter side in weight comparison.

Thermoplastic materials are well-known for their excellent strength and durability. This makes helmets made from this material a popular choice among firefighters.

However, because of the slight changes in dimensions, Cairns 1044 is a little heavier than Cairns 880. Both of these weights are above 50 ounces, whereas 880 weighs around 53 ounces and 1044 weighs around 59 ounces.

Color Options:

Cairns 880 is available in more colors than Cairns 1044.

The Cairns 880 helmet is available in several standard colors, including black, white, yellow, red, and orange. These colors are often readily available from manufacturers and distributors of the Cairns 880 helmet.

However, custom colors and designs may also be available upon request. Although they may be more expensive and require more lead time for manufacturing and transportation.

Cairns 1044 on the other hand is available in red, black, and white. You can also customize these helmets as well.

Suspension System & Ventilation:

Cairns 880 and 1044 both have a six-point suspension system with Cairns 880 having a better ventilation system.

Although both of these helmets have a six-point suspension system, the 1044 helmet features a ratcheting headband suspension system. Unlike the Cairns 880, which has a simple adjustable headband mechanism, this provides a more tailored fit.

Cairns 880 ventilation system is also much better than the 1044. It has a ventilation system with multiple ports to increase airflow and keep firefighters cool.

Cairns 1044 on the other hand, has fewer ventilation ports, but the design is better for heat dissipation.

Compatibility with  Accessories:

Both the Cairns 880 and the Cairns 1044 are compatible with a variety of firefighting accessories, but the 1044 is more equipped.

Both helmets can be used with various communication systems, but the Cairns 1044 stands out with its dedicated slot for installing a communication ear/neck protector. The chin strap on the Cairns 1044 has a quick-release buckle for simple wearing and removal, whereas the Cairns 880 has a traditional buckle.

In terms of eye protection, the Cairns 1044 offers a wider range of options with various visor configurations available such as goggles, face shields, and flip-down visors. On the other hand, the Cairns 880 has limited eye protection options and requires the use of external eye protection equipment.


Cairns 1044 is more resistant to impact and damage than 880.

Both the Cairns 880 and Cairns 1044 helmets are designed to be highly durable and offer reliable protection for firefighters in a variety of hazardous environments. 

But the Cairns 1044 is generally considered to be slightly more durable than the Cairns 880. This is due in part to its thicker, more robust shell construction.

Additionally, the Cairns 1044 is often preferred for high-heat environments, as it features a higher temperature rating than the Cairns 880. However, both helmets are designed to meet rigorous safety standards.


Both of these models of helmets have NFPA, OSHA, and CSA certifications.

Cairns 880 and 1044 firefighting helmets are certified by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1971 Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting.

They also have the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1910.156 requirements for fire department certification as well. These certificates guarantee that the helmet has undergone extensive testing and satisfies the strictest safety requirements for fire fighting.

The helmets have also been certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z94.1-15 Industrial Protective Headwear standard. This indicates that it meets the safety standards for helmets needed for industrial applications.


Cairns 880 is more expensive than Cairns 1044.

The amount you spend on a helmet is dependent entirely on you and your needs. You will find Cairns 1044 around 390-400 Dollars, whereas the Cairns 880 is available from 410 up to 430 Dollars. 

Final Verdict

Your particular preferences and needs will ultimately determine whether you choose the Cairns 880 or 1044 firefighting helmet.

The Cairns 880 helmet is lighter in weight and more comfortable to wear for extended periods, so it’s perfect for firefighters who require mobility and flexibility. Moreover in comparison to the Cairns 1044, it is also more affordable. 

On the other hand, the Cairns 1044 helmet offers greater customization options for eye protection, with different visor configurations available.

So it is best for firefighters who require a high level of protection and customization options for their specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What does a firefighter’s blue helmet signify?

The color of a firefighter’s helmet symbolizes rank and whether they’re on probation. A Blue Helmet refers to a group of firefighters who are authorized to perform all tasks other than entering a structure or area that is on fire. Especially the operations that necessitate the use of a self-contained breathing device.

What makes Cairns helmet models 1010 and 1044 different?

Except for the shell, 1044 has identical components to 1010.The 1044 shell is built of through-colored Duraglas, as opposed to the painted-on 1010 shell. For visor options, the Cairns 1044 offers transparent, gold-coated, and heat-resistant polycarbonate in contrast to the Cairns 1010, which only provides a clear polycarbonate choice. 

What head size is Cairns 1010?

Adjustable in 1/8″ leaps, Cairns 1010 firefighting helmet is available in three sizes. The small size is designed to fit head sizes ranging from 6.5 to 7.25 inches (16.5 to 18.4 cm), the medium size fits head sizes from 7.125 to 7.875 inches (18.1 to 20.0 cm), and the large size fits head sizes from 7.5 to 8.25 inches (19.1 to 21.0 cm).

End Words

That’s the end of our discussion on cairns 880 vs 1044. Now you know more about the differences between these two helmets.

Ultimately it depends on personal preference, demands, and budget. But both of these Cairns helmets are top-notch products and will last you a long time.

Until next time!