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Sweden’s Hövding Bike Helmet: Would you wear an Airbag on your Head?

A Swedish Souvenir– Be the first in your neighborhood to sport this bicycle helmet– the Hövding

The Swedes, known for innovative design, have come up with a new concept designed to replace the traditional bicycle helmet– an airbag for your head called the Hövding.

Modelled after car airbags, this virtual helmet looks like a scarf (or neck brace depending on your point of view) and detonates on impact, blowing up into a wrap-around helmet resembling a hooded pillow.

hoding helmet in cocktai dress

Here’s what you would look like with the Hövding on if you cycled in your cocktail dress.

I was intrigued by the design when I first saw the helmet, but wondered how it actually worked.  According to the company, the trigger mechanism is controlled by sensors which pick up the abnormal movements the cyclist makes in an accident.

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The Hövding at rest.

In creating this inflatable helmet, the designers were hoping to address a huge safety issue with bike helmets– the fact that most people don’t wear them because they don’t want to mess up their hair.  Since the helmet only inflates on impact, cyclists who don’t crash are able to maintain their hairstyles.

DSC03227I came across the Hövding while shopping in Stockholm.  I was dying to put it on and test it out by shaking my head around to simulate falling, but unfortunately it was locked down with a security tag.

DSC03230The Hövding isn’t currently available in the US, so I was excited to bring it home and use it for my cycling trips around Liberty State Park– until I saw the price tag.  It retails for 3995 krona– the equivalent of about $600 US.  At that price, I think I’ll stick with messy hair for now.

Would you spend $600 on the Hövding bike helmet?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Want to read more tips on souvenir shopping in Sweden?  Check out these posts:
Dala Horse: Adorable Souvenir or Devil’s Plaything?
The Swedish Candy Shop that Refused Marilyn Manson a Pig
Walk through a Swedish Fairytale at the Christmas Market

Stockholm, Sweden Souvenir Shopping Details:
Hovding bicycle helmet
Available at various retailers, I found one at DesignTorget
Sergelgången 29 11157 Stockholm

Photos by Souvenir Finder Copyright 2014 all rights reserved except #1 and #2 provided by Hövding.

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4 Responses to Sweden’s Hövding Bike Helmet: Would you wear an Airbag on your Head?

  1. sueslaght 02/13/2014 at 11:31 am #

    $600 for a bike helmet so your hair isn’t messy?! Good grief. I am thinking if my noggin is hitting the pavement I am going for a hard shell with terrible hair. 🙂 Messy hair beats messy brain any day in my books.

    • Kristin Francis 02/14/2014 at 6:33 am #

      Sue I totally agree! I’m not sure I would feel comfortable that it would actually detonate when needed. Same reason I’m terrified of skydiving. And I think I’d rather use the $600 towards a new bike!

  2. Rolling Harbour 02/14/2014 at 10:58 am #

    Mmmm. Put the money into a second-hand bike, buy a hard hat that fits and a comb / hairbrush with the change (or is that just a typically simplistic male attitude?) [NB automatic fishing life jackets that inflate on contact with water are brilliant. Unless they don’t work. But you don’t find out until….].

  3. atravelbroad 03/15/2014 at 10:01 pm #

    Bike safety never looked so fashionable!

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