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As you can see in some of these images, the VariArc mount — an innovative helmet mount light from Thyrm — is proving itself in the wild in a wide range of jobs.

The VariArc is a helmet light mount with the capability for 360 rotation. The VariArc mount, first seen back in late 2019, has become increasingly ubiquitous in several career fields, and has increasingly shown up in candid social media posts.

We’re told it has seen use in, survived, and proven itself during field use by a range of different first responder professions over the last year or so, including use during multiple law enforcement responses to 2020’s civil unrest.


A VariArc out during a mostly peaceful protest in the PNW.
A VariArc seen during a “mostly peaceful” protest in the Pacific Northwest. You can’t see it, but it’s there.

Military personnel have taken a liking to it, too.

VariArc mount

The VariArc is intended to provide a variety of task light options. Most obviously it can be indexed forward for direct illumination, but its mechanism and teeth also allow it to be unlocked and rotated through eight additional index positions for admin use.

Turn it downward for a bounce light effect, tilt it upward for canopy lighting, splash light off the ceiling…wherever you need it, though not directly behind you. For that, you’ll need to turn around.


VariArc Mount

VariArc Mount

VariArc Mount

Thyrm, which is a part of the HMW Tactical Alliance, says of the VariArc mount,

Conceived by Josh Jackson (SWAT-LEO) at LMS Defense, with input from other SWAT-team leaders and active-duty special operations soldiers, the VariArc helmet mount provides a full-featured mounting solution.  The locking teeth are biased to the forward position, keeping your light aligned for the most critical uses, but with a firm twist, the VariArc mount unlocks and rotates through 8 additional lower-force index points for administrative tasks and diffused lighting options. Its small footprint and low-profile keep things tidy and the Picatinny Rail allows for maximum compatibility with visible and IR lights. The VariArc is built to remain fully functional through extreme temperatures, dirt, dust, sand, water, drops on concrete, and rough handling.

Specs and Details

Light Compatibility

The Thyrm VariArc is compatible with standard 1913 Picatinny Rail lights such as:



Additional details

  • Now available for Ops-Core and Team Wendy helmets
  • Positively locks in the forward index position
  • Picatinny accessory rail with 3 slots and 4 ridges
  • Retention holes on both ends for dummy wiring critical gear
  • Durable, reinforced polymer construction with steel hardware
  • Compatible with dovetail-style helmet rails
  • Available in black and flat dark earth (FDE) colors
  • Fits both tactical helmet and bump helmet “lids”

The VariArc is available via the Thyrm website and at a number of online retailers (including Goon Gear and SKD Tactical).

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  1. How timely.

    I’m actually required to put together a helmet setup for running a competition in the fall and this actually might work well since I’ll probably need the helmet is low light/no light and I’m sure as heck not carrying the added weight to run NODS on this one.

    Plus with the article being put out now I actually have time to consider all the parts carefully and not end up with extra stuff I’m not using or paying through the nose at the last minute.

    • Weight is a big issue. Should I go bump or ballistic? NODS plus counterweight, or just flashlight? How much weight can I shave going pistol AR vs rifle or going PCC vs an intermediate caliber? Is it worth the extra cost and thickness for some lighter ceramic plates over steel?

      LARPing around the house for 15 minuets is one thing. Trying to run a training course is a whole other ballgame. Ounces become pounds and pounds become unbearable.

      • 45-60 miles carrying all your gear (except what you put in a resupply bag back at the start) in 48 hours plus you do 100% of the landnav to the checkpoints (which are about the size of a mini stapler, which you have to find), physical and mental challenges along the as well as shooting… and you can get extra challenges, like getting kidnapped, bagged and dropped off at some rando location on the map.

        Hikers look to cut ounces. I look to cut grams.

        One of those races where you spend most of the time wondering WTAF possessed you to do this but after you’re done you start planning the next run.

    • Dude never got the surefire helmet light that rotates all over? I had like 5 from the big green weenie that i still use. All these guys did is copy the rotating mount and put a pic rail on it.

      • For this particular application the amount of gear that I use over a few years old is essentially zero.

        It can’t fail and, without many exceptions, I want it to be the lightest option available that will get the job done.

        Do it right and you’re suddenly, quite literally, 10+lbs lighter. Which is nice, because it’s a foot race over 45-60 miles and you gotta carry all this shit the entire way. Being checked and found without every single thing you’re supposed to have is a DQ.

    • [Humans]

      “Definitely an inferior species.”

      Uhm, who is it, exactly, who have written cookbooks on ways to prepare Possums for humans to eat?

      “A Possum Crisp and Brown: The Opossum and American Foodways”

      “One interesting fact that emerges from the literature on hunting and eating possum is that, while possum could be eaten at any time, there was a particularly good season for the dish.”

      Check out the monument dedicated to Possums! :

      Crisp and brown, yummy!

      *Burp*… 😉

      (Am I being too mean to the Marsupial One?)

      • . I can play a harmonica too .
        “Humans Crisp and brown”
        Easy prey at night, they stubble all around
        And when they fall from the tree
        Most break when hit the ground
        You always here them coming cause
        Can’t walk without a sound
        Eaten raw or rotten, or cooked crisp and golden brown,
        Tiny bites or great big chunks,all taste good going down
        There are so many humans it really makes you glad
        No teeth , no claws, and its hearing very bad
        Even though their good to eat
        This thing that’s called a human, is really very sad

    • Humans are diurnal. Like turkeys. They’re also very tropical, having sweat glands over their entire bodies, walking upright (to expose less of themselves to sunlight) and primarily only furred in those areas exposed to midday sunlight. They are most active during the hottest part of the day. The fact that there is such a thing as an eskimo is an amazing testament to how readily adaptive they are. Amazing species, IMHO.

        • Does a dog think humans ruined the planet? Do the bugs seem to care?
          The planet is millions of years old.
          The problem with claiming that we are ruining it or destroying it is because that’s how WE see it. But in fact we are just moving material around. To the earth, a landfill full of garbage is no different that a mountain full of dirt.
          It’s all perspective, if we stopped existing right now and 6000 years passes, you may be hard pressed to find any real “destruction” or pollution left by man.
          What some call destroying the plant is actually more of an inconvenience.

          But go ahead, keep buying into the “green new deal”.
          Use catch phrases like “cutting emissions by 50%”, a popular term used by people who suck at math.

        • I’d argue they’re saving life on earth by restoring the atmospheric carbon dioxide. Plants require CO2 and the earth had been steadily losing it ever since complex multi-cellular life appeared (about 700 million years ago). During the last glacial period CO2 was down to 110ppm. 50ppm would result in a mass extinction of plants and subsequently animals, even possums (and opossums). Earth was only a few million years from being a dead planet when those pesky humans discovered coal and invented the steam engine.

        • Well I talked to a Bee today and she danced, “Humans are kinda like the devil, they made it easy on us first, but their poisoning us just the same. Before them my ancestors were all wild. They didn’t have colonies wiped out by mites as often because they weren’t all packed together, like a city. And now they’ve sprayed so much sht on weeds and flowers and ( a truck drove by and I missed some parts of the dance) our honeys poison too. No I think we were better off without them.”
          Anyways that’s coming from an insect, and I may have gotten it wrong, them ass wiggles in the dance was making me hungry and I had food on my mind.

  2. I still have a surefire mount and light combo from a 2006 deployment lol. It’s been a good little rarely used light. HL1-A-TN.

  3. I’ve a couple of the Thyrm spare battery carriers that are really well made. They’re a good company to do business with IME. Very proactive Customer Service, which is becoming rare these days.
    The area CERT team I’m with has been using the Streamlight Sidewinder Compact II on our helmets since before I joined 9 years ago. It doesn’t have all of the Thyrm’s rotational features, but it’s still a good light.


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