In general, hats that you can earn (or “earn” if you are one of those
lazy sc rather busy people that uses Steam Achievement Manager) without needing to trade for, get in a drop, or even being premium in TF2 tends to get a bad rep. It ties in with the prejudice some people have towards the F2P players, since they are the ones that normally wear them as that is all they get. However, that doesn’t diminish my liking towards the Spiral Sallet.
The Spiral Sallet was added in a small patch in June 14 2011, a day before the release of Spiral Knights, a game which I admit I only download to get the hat but I rather enjoy it until the grindy parts start to appear. Originally a Soldier exclusive, it was made all-class in a small patch on September 6 of the same year. It is a rather stylised medieval helmet, with the bevor removed for Demoman and Heavy.
First thing about the Spiral Sallet is that it actually isn’t a sallet. A sallet is a type of helmet that has a very large flange at the back to protect the wearer’s neck. As seen in the picture below, the Spiral Sallet actually most closely resembles a pigface bascinet with the faceplate up. Since none of the helmets in game never seem to protect any of them from headshots, might as well just leave the thing up so that the mercs get to stare death in the face. Impressively, even with the faceplate up the Soldier still manages to have his eyes covered by it.
One thing I like about the Spiral Sallet is how well it goes with the Dr. Grordbort weapons for the Soldier and the Engineer. The Cow Mangler 5000 and the Pomson 6000 both have extremely similar colour schemes to the Sallet. The Phlogistinator has some bronze-coloured details that is only on the RED version, being replaced with silver on BLU, but the colour scheme is still quite close to the Sallet’s. As for the others, the Righteous Bison and the Manmelter both lack the large amount of team-coloured patches the CM5K and P6K has, being largely silvery-grey. The Eureka Effect’s team-coloured parts are far darker than the team-coloured patches on the Sallet, but since that part is the handle, it is usually covered by the Engineer’s hand. They could all still fit in with the Sallet’s colour scheme, although not as well as the previous three mentioned. The Third Degree, well… not so much. Considering how stylized the helmets are, they really don’t look that out of place alongside the futuristic guns.
I suppose the Sallet on its own look pretty good. Compared to the other all-class medieval helmets like the Warsworn Helmet, the Dark Falkirk Helm and the Nasty Norsemann, it is rather garish, but in TF2 the bright colours do fit right in. Also, having large team-coloured patches does make it fit in more with the classes’ looks. If you want a medieval-looking loadout for cheap this is a rather solid option. It didn’t take me too long to get the Sallet (granted, I have a friend that played a lot of Spiral Knights to help me out), and that is still the honeymoon part of the MMO where the grind hasn’t set in yet.
As per usual, cosmetic suggestions. Just grab something medieval. For classes like Heavy, Medic, or really just any class that isn’t Demoman, this will be pretty hard. I find that getting something to replace or remove the grenades on Soldier, Demoman and Pyro helps quite a bit, so I recommend the Bonedolier if you happen to need something to do that. As for the Heavy’s ammo belt, the Borscht Belt can be used to hide it. Personally, I use it on Scout along with the Squire’s Sabatons and the Courtly Cuirass, instead of the Herald’s Helm which was released alongside the other two and was made as a set with them by the creators. I just feel that the overall colour scheme is more unified that way.
And of course, I do have a cosmetic set with the Sallet that is used alongside a Grordbort weapon.