The Swedes have officially made wearing a bike helmet cool. Design duo Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin’s set out in 2005 to create a helmet that cyclists would actually want to wear. They polled the public to find out what they most wanted to change about current helmet designs, and found the need for an “invisible” helmet to be very real. “Cycling is something we do every day,” said the engineers. “Although people are well aware of the risks on the roads, the vast majority are choosing to cycle without a helmet. When it comes down to it, people do really want to protect their heads in road accidents, but there are limits. It isn’t the cyclists who need to change, it’s the product.”
What began as a joint master’s thesis after studying at LDH, the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University in Sweden, is now a very real product available for purchase. The Hövding helmet resembles an infinity scarf you might already wear and comes in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing cyclists to match their helmet to their personal style. Upon impact, the hood-like airbag made of an ultra-strong nylon is released and covers much more of the head than a traditional cycle helmet. The airbag provides soft and gentle shock absorption, while maintaining its strength against multiple head impacts during the same accident. The Hövding is available for €399 online at Shop.Hövding.com.