A good start, needs improvements
May 16, 2016
I purchased this hood a couple months ago along with the Coolband- rebate came out a week later. Figures, just my luck. Hood has 20 Arc hours on it, so it's been used a fair amount and I thought I'd share my findings.
Well, first off this isn't my 1st Miller hood, I owned a digital elite as well, it saw limited use a backup to my trusty Optrel e680 helmet. The optrel has worked for 6 trouble free years, my digital elite not so much. Several issues, then warranty went out and it would no longer shade, or it would lock black and wouldn't un-shade, so in the trash it went.
Now I needed another backup hood, I considered another Optrel, as well as a Speedglas 9100XX, but decided to give Miller a second chance with their new design. Enter the Digital Infinity. Saw it at my LWS, loved the huge viewing area, and a few nifty features like arc hours, clock, and plenty of adjustments. Bought it here because of the great price though!
The helmet works great when it comes to welding, that viewing area and extra features I mentioned are all nice. What I don't like however is the headgear and weight of the helmet. It's a few ounces too heavy, and the weight is all in the filter leveraged as far away from the headgear center of gravity as possible making it feel even heavier then it actually is. The headgear simply cant handle its weight! Poor design on Millers part. No matter how tight I lock down the knobs on the sides the hood still doesn't like to stay up, until you push it all the way into the lock detent built into the headgear pivots, however when you do that it then locks in hard enough that you cant just nod it back down to weld and you physically have to un-click it from the lock position. Frustrating when welding for 10-15 minutes, moving the work and getting the next into position every time for 8-10 hrs in a day.
Next annoyance with the headgear is the silicone on the back 'pad' by the tightening knob. It pulls your hair and sucks your hair in. And I keep my hair short too, I can only imagine the annoyance if you have longer hair.
Further, with the weight of the hood, if you are out of position (and how often does one actually bench weld in easy to get to positions) the head gear cannot control the weight and the helmet begins to slowly spin sideways on my head forcing me to take it off and readjust every few minutes. And I'm not talking about having the headgear loose either, even tightened to the point it gives me a pressure headache and I have to loosen it, it will STILL spin on my head. Frustrating.
The coolband I've used a few days now that it's getting hotter, it works decent. Not like having AC next to you, but the breeze it provides in the hood is certainly welcome in the heat of spring and summer coming up. I have found that the coolband uses an older style head gear compared to the new style in the Infinity hood, so it's kind of a down grade in comfort from swapping it over onto the hood. One thing I found about the coolband is the weight of the fan/battery system of the cool band at the rear of the headgear does tend help balance the weight issues of the large filter on the front, and fixes some of my previous complaints about it spinning on your head and feeling heavy....though to an extent.
Overall they're both decent items, but do need some more work back in the design phase.
ProsHuge viewing area
nice tech features
sensitive arc sensors, only been flashed a couple times in out of position welding
poor headgear design
wish it shaded a bit bluer or more gold/orange, rather than the greenish hue it does