Micro-collapsible bike helmet that inflates in 30 seconds

Ventete aH-1 Inflatable Bicycle Helmet
The Ventete aH-1 helmet, fully inflated and ready for use. Images courtesy Ventete

The world of bicycle safety gear is continually evolving, with new designs and technologies aimed at improving both protection and convenience for riders. The Ventete aH-1, a micro-collapsible bike helmet, is the latest innovation in this arena. Utilizing a series of inflatable ribs, the Ventete aH-1 can fold flat when deflated, making it as easy to carry as a laptop. When needed, it inflates back into a fully functional helmet via an electric pocket pump within 30 seconds, offering a practical solution for everyday cyclists.

The concept of inflatable helmets is not entirely new. Over a decade ago, Swedish company Hövding introduced an airbag helmet designed primarily for casual commuting. While it provided superior safety compared to traditional hard helmets, its bulky, auto-inflating collar was not ideal for more intense riding conditions, particularly in hot weather.

The latest generation of inflatable helmets, including the Ventete aH-1, aims to address these shortcomings. These helmets are designed to be worn comfortably when fully inflated, rather than inflating only upon impact. This new approach allows the helmets to pack down compactly for easy transport and storage, offering a significant advantage over traditional hard-shell helmets.

The Ventete aH-1 features a unique ribbed design that enables it to fold accordion-style, becoming quite flat when deflated. This design makes it comparable in thickness to a laptop, allowing it to fit easily into a backpack or messenger bag. This convenience is particularly beneficial for urban commuters who want to avoid carrying a bulky, sweaty helmet.

Ventete aH-1 Inflatable Bicycle Helmet Folded
When deflated, the Ventete packs down to about the same thickness as a laptop.

The Ventete aH-1 inflates using a small, portable electric pump, which can bring the helmet to its protective form in about 30 seconds. This quick inflation time adds to its practicality, making it suitable for those who need a reliable helmet on the go.

Ventete, based in London, has been refining its inflatable helmet design for over a decade. Despite this extensive development period, the company has not yet finalized the production specifications or provided detailed information on availability and pricing. The Ventete aH-1 has garnered attention and accolades, including awards at the recent Outdoor by ISPO show, indicating its potential impact on the market.

While Ventete has not released specific details, another player in the inflatable helmet market, German startup Inflabi, introduced its own version of an inflatable helmet last year. Inflabi’s helmet, which promises four times the protection of conventional foam helmets while weighing under 5 ounces (142 grams), is available for preorder at €149 (approximately $160 USD). This price point provides a benchmark for what consumers might expect to pay for such innovative safety gear.

Ventete aH-1 Inflatable Bicycle Helmet Cyclist
The Ventete functions as a full helmet yet folds compactly to fit into a bag or desk drawer.

Inflatable helmets like the Ventete aH-1 and Inflabi’s offering present an intriguing solution for urban cyclists, combining solid protection with ease of transport. The ribbed design of the Ventete aH-1 also suggests good ventilation, although this design might be less suitable for off-road biking where debris could enter the spaces between the ribs. However, for city commuters, these helmets offer a compelling blend of safety and convenience.

In summary, the Ventete aH-1 represents a significant advancement in the design of bicycle helmets, offering a practical and portable solution for urban cyclists. While final specifications and pricing are yet to be disclosed, the interest and awards garnered by Ventete’s innovative design indicate a strong potential for success in the market. As the development progresses, more details will likely emerge, providing a clearer picture of this promising new product.

Source: Ventete