Airbag, Helmet – Cycling Fashion? Ja!

A bit late for CicLAvia, but never too late for fun. From one of my favorite blogs, and straight out of Sweden (of course) — Hövding: the hidden, inflatable airbag helmet.

Hövding inflatable helmet - closed

Hövding inflatable helmet - closed

Hövding inflatable helmet - open

Hövding inflatable helmet - open

Industrial designers, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin began working on Hövding together as their joint master thesis:

The law that had just been introduced in Sweden making bicycle helmets compulsory for children up to the age of 15 had triggered a heated debate on whether it should be extended to include adult cyclists too. To people like us, who wouldn’t be seen dead in a polystyrene helmet, the thought that we might be forced to wear one by law was cause for concern. Producing a bicycle helmet that people would be happy to put on looked like a much better way to go than legislation forcing people to wear one or else. We realised that our industrial design master thesis was the perfect place to find out whether the traditional bicycle helmet could be improved on.

The helmet is currently sold in Sweden. What do you think? Could you see fashion-obsessed Los Angelenos sporting this ‘invisible helmet’?

Here’s video of the helmet in action in a testing environment:


Categories: Bicycle

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2 replies

  1. They cost a fortune, they’re not legal in any jurisdiction that has helmet laws, and they look ridiculous.

    You cannot take these on an airplane due to their having both compressed air and slight amounts of explosives to set off the air bag.

  2. The video test shows riders falling sideways and breaking the fall with the side of their shoulders. Would the inflatable material stand up to an over-the-handlebars, head-first fall?

    Also, I’ve been told by a serious rider that rigid foam helmets are no good once the rigid plastic shell has been broken, as it absorbs some of the shock. The inflatable helmet doesn’t have that two-part construction.

    It seems like more conceptual than useful.