Hövding airbag collar aces safety tests


June 26, 2012

Recent tests by Swedish insurance company Folksam suggest that, when it comes to direct impact tests, the Hövding airbag collar beats the competition hands down

Recent tests by Swedish insurance company Folksam suggest that, when it comes to direct impact tests, the Hövding airbag collar beats the competition hands down

Regular Gizmag readers may recall the Hövding airbag collar we covered back in October 2010. Recent tests by Swedish insurance company Folksam suggest that, when it comes to direct impact tests, the Hövding beats the competition hands down.

Not content with CE standards which test direct impacts at a speed of 20 km/h (12 mph), Folksam instead conducted more onerous tests using impacts at 25 km/h (16 mph).

According to Treehugger, Folksam tested 12 CE-approved helmets and found that the Hövding recorded impacts of 65 Gs at this speed, whereas none of the competition achieved under 200 Gs of force, suggesting that when it comes to direct impact forces, the collar performs almost three times better than conventional helmets.

However, Folksam was unable to apply its method of testing oblique impacts to the Hövding, and suggests that an alternative method will need to be devised. For this reason it appears that Hövding does not appear in Folksam's top-performing helmets which takes findings from both tests.

Inflation of the Hövding airbag takes only one tenth of a second and is triggered by built in accelerometers and gyros.

Sources: Treehugger, Folksam

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

Perfect for those catwalk ooops moments.

Luke Robins

In 2005 I crashed while riding in a pack at 26 MPH. I flipped down the road forever, was hit by three other cyclists, and folded my forearm in half (compound fracture of my radius and ulna). After surgery, 12 screws, and 2 Titanium plates later, my arm is back to normal. During that horrible crash, my $100 helmet stayed intact, protected my head, and ensured I was fine from the neck up. That crash proved that a helmet works fine. Why would anyone spend FIVE TIMES the cost of a upper-end helmet and only be able to use it once? Imagine how upset you'd be if it misfired and wasted its $500 life. Plus, I wonder if this would stay inflated when bouncing down a paved highway.

Fred Lackey

Sorry, Luke, I DETEST wearing anything on my head, especially a helmet, which causes me to sweat profusely. I have tried several types, and they always cause sweat to drip into my eyes. Besides, I like the feeling of the wind in my hair. No doubt you can get accidental deployment coverage from your insurance dealer.


I'm in the same situation as michael_dowling. I don't even like wearing baseball caps, but I do wear helmets right now because head injury is just too much to risk, and I also like the feeling of wind through my hair. Plus this flexible collar should be easier to carry while off the bike than a bulky, rigid polystyrene shell. The only unpleasant aspect might be a very warm neck. Get the price on this down to $150 and I'm in.

In fact, they would be much better off if they integrate it into the shoulder straps of a backpack or some kind of hydration pack, which would allow it to serve double duty while reducing the profile at the same time. No need for that front section in front of the throat if the straps keep it in place.


Well as someone who has been cycling on our roads for 25 years i would welcome any improvement in safety, as developments progress cost will come down, and when you take into consideration serious morbidity with head and neck injuries this will be a 'no brainer' and in 10 years time we probably wont consider going onto our roads without one!


Inflates in 1/10 of a second. I would think this has the power to break your neck, if not actually decapitate you or rip your scalp off. Airbags are "no foolin around" explosive devices, and they are only good for extremely bad situations i.e. crashing your car without a seatbelt on. In every other case they are not good. There are plenty of youtube videos of people hurting themselves jacking around with airbags, it makes me wonder how many deaths are attributable. Thanks anyways -- but I'll keep my seatbelts and my crash helmets.


I had to "use" my helmet once...full face-mask and all, so I'm a proponent of helmets. The only thing I wonder about this is, is it supposed to be an alternative to a helmet or used in conjunction with one? Looks like it's an alternative, but an airbag's not an alternative to a seatbelt. Airbags have their pros but also an awful lot of cons. And this "helmet" might hold up in a 25mph crash but what about at 40 or 60? I, too, will keep my seatbelts and crash helmets.


Unless I'm expecting weather I don't use a helmet. My choice and my life. The thing is as a paramedic I've carried a gentleman to his doctors. He hit a pole at 50mph. He credits the helmet with saving his life. The reason that I was carrying him is that he was paralyzed from the neck down. I would rather be dead than paralyzed like that. My wife will get the insurance instead of poverty caring for me. I'll have enjoyed my life of riding for thirty plus years. These helmets are rated for 12-16 mph? Really? How many of these accidents are at that slow of a speed? Most accidents that I've responded to are at 60-70 plus whatever the truck was that they hit. Survivability? Generally not good. Use a helmet if you wish and leave me alone if I don't.

Ken Lowder

This helmet is for in the ones you pedal with your legs! Read their website, or even the original article that Gizmag posted about this thing. It's not made for motorcycles or cars. Who goes 40 while riding their bike to work?

Eric Wencel
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