Many sports require head protection, but not that many allow you to use interchangeable helmets. Every sport seems to have its own helmet designs and safety standards, so multi-sport enthusiasts end up spending hundreds of dollars on a closet full of helmets. Why can't a single helmet bridge the gap between sports? French manufacturer Cébé shows that it can, revealing a three-sport helmet that protects your head during mountaineering, skiing and biking.
The whole reason you wear a helmet is to protect your head. Different sports entail different risks, so the tests and safety standards for helmets vary from sport to sport. Cébé has built the in-mold Trilogy helmet to meet European standards for mountain biking (CEN 1078), skiing (CEN 1077) and mountaineering (CEN 12492).
Safety standards aren't the only thing that separates helmets of different sports. Sport-specific design features allow helmets to excel in the conditions of the sport. For instance, the average bike helmet is covered with vents to keep the head cool, whereas a snow sport helmet is stuffed with insulation to keep the head warm.
Cébé works around this obstacle with a modular design that uses a few pieces to adjust from one sport to the other. The most basic set-up is the dome-shaped mountaineering configuration that includes integrated venting. Users can add a visor for mountain biking or ear pads and vent plugs for skiing and snowboarding. Within a few seconds – certainly faster than it'd take you to change from bike shorts to long johns and ski pants – the Trilogy switches from one sport to the next.
Our guess is that, like other multifunctional equipment, the Trilogy will be good at several things but great at none. The venting appears to be quite limited, which may result in excessive heating and sweating during hot bike rides. We're also wondering how secure the removable winter pads are, and if they might fall out during a rough fall or tree branch snag.
The Trilogy won a 2013 ISPO Gold Award and will cost €150.
Cébé is not the only manufacturer that offers a multi-sport outdoor helmet. The POC Receptor Plus helmet meets a number of certifications for water, snow, bike and skateboard use, including CPSC and ASTM certifications, which are considered stricter than CEN standards.