Hövding 3: The Invisible Airbag “Helmet” for Cyclists
As an innovative alternative to the traditional model, Swedish company Hövding created their world’s first “inflatable helmet” with an airbag in November 2011 after years of researching.
But just what is a Hövding “helmet”? How does it work? And what makes their third and most recent airbag helmet for cyclists, the Hövding 3, better than its predecessors?
What Is Hövding 3?
Hövding 3 is an airbag that is worn round your neck as you cycle. In the event of an accident, just like a car airbag, it will do its utmost to protect you.
You can also connect it to your smartphone via Bluetooth for extra features, including automatically notifying contacts should you be involved in an accident, analysis of personal and collective bicycle data, and battery status with a charging reminder.
Its cover is made of a black, waterproof, dirt-repellent fabric, and it’s easy to activate just by using the front tab.
How Does the Airbag Helmet Work?
Should you crash, the Hövding 3 inflates in 0.1 seconds and forms around the head and neck to limit or prevent injury.
According to studies, protecting yourself with an airbag helmet is, in fact, eight times safer than traditional bicycle helmets, so don’t be fooled by the unorthodox nature of the design.
Is the Hövding 3 Reusable?
You’re probably wondering, ‘this is an airbag, so can you re-use Hövding models?’ Well, if you ride safely without any need for it, then yes, of course. But, obviously, once you’ve been involved in your first accident with the Hövding 3, then no, it can’t be reused.
The consolation of this, though, is that Hövding will recycle your now-obsolete helmet and offer you a discount on your next buy should you decide to send them the old one.
There’s also a black box in the crash collar that records some of your movements right before a crash. Because of this, and its on/off switch, the airbag helmet also has a small battery weighing 1.5 pounds that is USB-rechargeable. In some cases, the accident data recorded in the black box can be useful to us Hövding in developing their product.
Can the Hövding 3 Go Off Accidentally?
Another key point about the Hövding airbag – will it pop? It’s unlikely, but not impossible. Some reviewers on the company’s Facebook page have admitted that their airbag has been set unexpectedly; from incidents like picking up a dropped hat while cycling, and exploding for no reason while riding slowly through a park.
The best way to prevent this is to activate your Hövding 3 once you are on your bike ready to start cycling and deactivate it right before you later get off. The airbag can’t go off accidentally or otherwise if not switched on.
Is the Hövding 3 Comfortable?
It certainly is. Although it is only available in one size (head size of 52-59 cm and neck size up to 45 cm), the Hövding 3 can be adjusted thanks to its Boa dial to provide as comfortable a fit as possible for you.
Its weight of about 800g shouldn’t drag you down, either, and its cover is made of a black, waterproof and dirt-repellent fabric.
What’s more, its front zipper makes the Hövding 3 airbag bike helmet especially easy to take on and off, so it will take barely any time or effort for you to use, either.
What Makes the Hövding 3 Different To Previous Models?
There are plenty of new features about the Hövding 3 inflatable cycling helmet compared to former designs; the original Hövding and the Hövding 2.0.
These include its Bluetooth function for smartphone connection, its size adjustment for a better fit, a new activation for clearer communication with the user, louder signals for better alerts in traffic, a new airbag system, and thinner, more ergonomically pleasing model which is shaped to add extra comfort.
Where to Try Hövding
You can try out the Hövding invisible bike helmet in as many as 17 different countries; all of which are in Europe besides Japan. To see where your nearest retailer is, click here.
Where to Buy Hövding in the UK
The above link will show you a list of the many bike shops where you can buy your own Hövding, but you can also check out their official shop, filled not only with their helmets but accessories, too, over here.
The shop, where the Hövding 3 is priced at £249, also offers free shipping, fast delivery and a secure payment service.