If you hate wearing a helmet then Hovding may be just the thing for you. Hovding is advertised as an ‘invisible helmet’ but is actually more of airbag that you wear around your neck like a scarf. If you should happen to get into an accident, the Hovding expands and protects your head, just like a helmet would. Best of all, you get to ride in style without looking like a moron, having to choose a hairstyle that fits under a helmet, or suffering from helmet hair.
The Hovding was developed in Sweden for Europeans where biking is a much more common method of transportation. As many people, including high level career men and women bike to work each day, having helmet hair can actually be a problem. In fact, many people actually prefer not to wear a helmet because it covers the face, impairs vision, and is often not very appealing.
Hovding was designed to wrap around the neck similarly to a scarf, some of the patterns include basic black and some include girly floral prints that might go over better with the ladies. No matter what the print, Hovdign is equipped with sensors that monitor the velocity and angle of the cyclist in order to detect an accident. When an accident is detected, the Hovding expands to form an air cushion to protect the wearers head. Because the cushion is completely soft, it actually provides better protection than a traditional helmet which was actually tested by a Swedish insurance company. The company, Folksam, compared 13 common helmets and concluded that Hovding offered three times the protection of the next leading safety helmet. Inflation only takes one tenth of a second, meaning that it can go from a visually appealing neck wrap to highly protective headgear before you hit the ground.
How it Works
The Hovding helmet is made of an extra strong nylon exterior that was specifically designed to hold up to damage and abrasions. The liner is also waterproof to protect the helmet during use in wet and rainy conditions. Microsensors built into the helmet constantly monitor the trajectory and angle of motion so that it can detect impact and sudden change in velocity and inflate. The helmet itself then inflates with air similarly to a life raft or actual airbag, and then surrounds most of the head to protect against impact. The airbag stays solid for several seconds to protect from multiple impacts during an accident, and then slowly begins to deflate to allow the wearer to take it off.
The Hovding comes with an off and on switch so you won’t have to worry about it accidentally inflating while not in use, and includes a battery with a power monitor so that you can easily check the power and then recharge it via USB after about 18 hours of use. The zipper on the collar does have to be completely closed at all times during use, or the helmet doesn’t work properly.
You can even purchase additional shells to change the color of your Hovding depending on your mood.
So what’s the catch? Why aren’t cyclists everywhere using this amazing new helmet? Well for starters, the initial price is 399 euro, or between $500 and $550 USD depending on where the exchange rate is at.
If you’re still interested, you can buy yours from the Hovding Shop on their website.