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MIPS Helmets

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  • MIPS Helmets

    So I've been doing a little research on helmets and it turns out that there is a new technology called MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) which basically means this helmet has a 2nd layer inside that moves if you hit the ground.
    It's in response to the fact that when people fall off bikes/horses/etc they tend to fall at angles and the head gets clobbered despite today's riding helmet (which is basically just hard foam) So there's no give to it.

    The usual helmets (the Troxels and all the rest) that do not have MIPS allow the brain to slam against the skull and the person's neck can get fractured and the brain can get a concussion easily, therefore MIPS was invented to solve this issue.

    Bottom line, this technology allows the head to move upon impact, and sort of "roll" or "shift" inside the helmet so that the blow to the head is dissipated and concussions can actually be prevented or at least minimalized. MIPS is a safer helmet.

    So-- what's the point to my post? It's this:

    I've looked and looked and couldn't find what is the difference between an equestrian MIPS helmet and a MIPS bike/ski/snowboard helmet?

    I have a theory that if MIPS is the key to the helmet being a savior of noggins... then why can't we ride with a MIPS bike/ski/snowboard helmet instead of it being an official equestrian helmet?

    I fully intend to buy an equestrian MIPS helmet, but I can't help but wonder, if this new technology is leveling the playing field, then why can't one helmet be used for more than just one sport?

    I know that there are certifications that are different because of the heights etc, but let's be real, a downhill mountain biker slamming into a tree is only about 2-3 feet lower than a horseback rider (unless said horseback rider is riding a draft).

    I want to know what people think. And please don't respond with just the generic reply of "never ride with a bike helmet" without backing it up with real concrete evidence of why not. Because I have a theory that MIPS may make that response obsolete. Or I'm just nuts. lol. I dunno. That's why I'm asking...


  • #2
    Well, you ask a good question. However, the testing standards for the respective helmets are seeking to reflect the type and cause of injury.

    Come off a motorbike, there is a very good chance that the (forward) velocity will make one slide and so bike riders wear leathers, or other protective clothing, which horse riders don't bother with. Come off a horse, the deceleration is very abrupt and the fall is frequently head first. Different forces, different consequences, different design. Bikes tend to just go forwards, horses are very good at upwards and sideways as well. As I understand it, one of the main tests on riding helmets is for penetration, not deemed necessary on bikes because cyclists don't jump fences.

    MIPs helmets are potentially better at protecting ones head but no technology is perfect so I'm going for the helmet designed specifically for my sport.
    "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

    Comment


    • #3
      Bike helmet has an aerodynamic design. Not needed on a horse.
      Motorcycle helmet has face/ear protection.Definitely not needed on horse.
      And so on.
      Besides a helmet is designed for the impact that it is most likely to experience.

      Ever hear the expression "Horses for courses" ? that's the case here.
      ... _. ._ .._. .._

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
        one of the main tests on riding helmets is for penetration, not deemed necessary on bikes because cyclists don't jump fences..
        Ah ha! that's the kind of answer I was looking for. Thanks! Makes sense as to why the design has to be more like a combat helmet than an open airy style such as bikes.

        Although, mountain bike riders could very well suffer the same impacts as a horseback rider, since they ride in the same environment.

        But you're right, there's still the fact that they tend to fly forward (why traditional helmets are only tested to strike straight and flat on the head, which isn't realistic, and why so many people get concussions anyway even if they wear a helmet) ... And horseback riders tend to tumble/fly in any direction.

        That said... isn't that why MIPS was invented? Yes. To actually take care of the person's brain no matter which way they fall.

        See? That's my conundrum. That's why I (sorry still do) question why other helmets can't be used for riding horses as well.. because MIPS helmets in general are for "any side" falls. That's what leaves me scratching my head.

        I'm also kind of a cynic, in that, I know that this is a business and making money is king and if suddenly MIPS helmets said they can be like a "cross-trainer" helmet, that is, they can be used for anything, well possibly the equine helmet industry would take a hit and they certainly don't want that.

        I guess what I'm saying is,... with MIPS in the game, do we stick with equestrian helmets out of tradition and because we're told not to question... or is it really possible to buck the system and use "any" MIPS helmet?

        I just want to read concrete evidence somewhere that says: "equestrian helmets are tested for XYZ and they are made for XYZ and no other helmet is tested or made for that specific thing. But I can't find that info anywhere.

        See, I did read that MIPS helmet makers refuse to say their helmets are indeed safer, even if after the tests prove it. Due to lawyers telling them they want to avoid lawsuits. So people still think that the regular helmets are the safest, when they're not.

        There's even yet another style of helmet coming out called the WaveCel which is supposed to be even better than the MIPS! But they only make bike helmets so far. It's "honeycomb" style technology made of lightweight plastics like a cushion that absorbs the highest amount of impact available to date.

        This stuff is really interesting!




        Comment


        • #5
          Equestrian helmets are certainly a different shape than bike helmets. I am not familiar with helmets for all the other sports, don't know if there's anything really similar. Maybe if you think there is an identical helmet out there you could post a link?

          Comment


          • #6
            Different helmets are designed for different purposes.

            In my youth my flight helmet was designed to protect my head from relatively low impact but potentially dangerous injury due to violent maneuvering of the aircraft, getting shot out of the aircraft in an ejection seat, being hit in the head by the metal fittings on parachute risers during 'chute deployment, and/or a hard landing while in a 'chute. Some dim bulbs decided that surplus helmets made good motorcycle helmets and tried to get past the helmet rules for on base use of their bikes. The Safety Center did a nice, short film on why this was a Bad Idea, showing just how unsuited this helmet was to ground impact even at relatively low speeds. But sometimes dim bulbs are difficult to change and more forceful methods were required, like stopping them, seizing the bike, and taking away their on-base driving privileges. That last item is a Big Deal on Air Stations as they tend to be very large establishments, area-wise speaking!

            I see a real hazard in a aerodynamic helmet shape for the equestrian. Our impacts will often include low altitude drops at relatively low speeds (a bucking horse can, and will, move forward but not as fast as a TB breezing a track). The fastest speed I could find for a horse in North America was a TB clocked at just over 43 mph. That's pretty fast and if you come off at that speed it will hurt. But that was a finely conditioned TB on a prepared track with a professional jockey. Most of us are looking at much lower speeds. So it seems to me that a rounded helmet without sharp angles would be a better idea as it won't tend to "stick" in the ground on impact as a sharp point might.

            The idea of the multi-purpose liner that would reduce the incidence of counter-coup injuries does sound like a Good Idea. It would be interesting to see an explanation of how that works.

            The "horses for courses" analogy, here, is a very good one. We should use the equipment, including tack and safety equipment, that our task requires. As a practical matter most of the time the proper makes the desired task easier. And "easier" is usually better than "harder."

            G.
            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

            Comment


            • #7
              It doesn't take a brain surgeon to research this stuff; https://www.smf.org/stds
              ... _. ._ .._. .._

              Comment


              • #8
                I am ready for the equestrian products industry to offer a MIPS helmet at a price point less than $100 US dollars. Last year I bought a (stylish) MIPS bike helmet for around $50; the cheapest equestrian MIPS helmet is in the $200 range.

                Comment


                • #9
                  In the US, helmets are tested to ASTM/SEI standards. There are different requirements for horseback riding helmets than bike or other helmets.

                  Here’s the summary of the horseback requirements:

                  https://www.astm.org/Standards/F1163.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Groom&Taxi View Post
                    I am ready for the equestrian products industry to offer a MIPS helmet at a price point less than $100 US dollars. Last year I bought a (stylish) MIPS bike helmet for around $50; the cheapest equestrian MIPS helmet is in the $200 range.
                    Since the bike helmets have a larger market, they are distributing the licensing, startup, and testing costs across more units.

                    The equestrian helmets do have some different standards to meet and I think choosing an equestrian helmet is more important than choosing a MIPS helmet when making safety judgements. If pricepoint is critical to you, there are many excellent $50 riding helmets, and I think choosing a certified helmet that you're willing to replace is more important than any specific feature type.
                    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you are purchasing a helmet for a specific activity, choose one designed for that activity - it will give you the best overall protection and minimize injury the best.

                      The difference between a bike or ski helmet and an equestrian helmet may be small-to-negligible or may be large depending on the fall taken. If I were riding a bike and only had my riding helmet available, I would use my riding helmet rather than go without.

                      Keep in mind, people are often encouraged to wear a helmet even when working with horses from the ground - using the standard riding helmet. Some protection is better than none, but no one is going to say that and become liable for injuries caused when someone uses the wrong helmet.

                      btw - I got the TraumaVoid Lynx helmet earlier this year - I love it! Comfy, not hot, looks great.
                      "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Remember that the MIPS functionality in a riding helmet is in addition to meeting the ASTM standard. So you're getting 2 effects:
                        1) the decelerating effect of the slip layer (MIPS)
                        2) the energy absorption of the crush layer (traditional helmet protection)

                        Since riders are liable to land on their heads from almost any angle (YAY horses!) we need a round or nearly round shape for equal opportunity impact protection. That's the same reason that the Brits dislike having a rigid visor built into the helmet. They're of the opinion that its a safety risk on impact. That's a good part of why other helmets aren't appropriate. They're designed for impact from more specific directions than the randomness of the riding world

                        I have a Back on Track MIPS helmet and I love it.
                        The stories of the T-Rex Eventer

                        Big Head, Little Arms, Still Not Thinking It Through

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I too have the trauma void MIPS helmet in brown suede and love it. I use it every ride!
                          Libby

                          There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". - Dave Barry

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by poltroon View Post

                            Since the bike helmets have a larger market, they are distributing the licensing, startup, and testing costs across more units.

                            The equestrian helmets do have some different standards to meet and I think choosing an equestrian helmet is more important than choosing a MIPS helmet when making safety judgements. If pricepoint is critical to you, there are many excellent $50 riding helmets, and I think choosing a certified helmet that you're willing to replace is more important than any specific feature type.
                            I would never buy a bike (or other sport) helmet and use it for riding just because it has MIPS. However, I do think the equestrian products industry is distinctly lagging in getting more affordable MIPS helmets on the US market.

                            ETA: I just went to the REI web site and looked at the 27 cycling helmets they put into the recreational category. Of those, 5 have MIPS, and the most expensive of the five with MIPS is $130.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Glad I asked this question! Am getting a lot of great info here. Thanks to all.

                              @ Guilherme in particular, thanks for the examples from your youth. That did put things more into perspective. To be clear, the bike helmets I was referring to were the rounded ones, not the oblong ones you see a lot of. Like the Bell Annex MIPS on Amazon. There are helmets that are good for bikes/skateboards. There are also ski/snowboarding helmets that are round and more solid. Those are as round as the horseback riding helmets. That said...

                              After reading the info from the links provided by several posters and searching more links on my own, I feel I've finally got the details I was looking for to once and for all know that yes an equestrian helmet is made completely different. Yeah, I know some of you will say, "duh!" But I'm the kind of person that wants to know WHY.

                              For me, it's not enough to say, well they make equestrian helmets and they make bike helmets and they tell you that they're different so you just gotta accept that. Nope! I want to know WHY they are different. I want details! lol

                              This is what I found as concrete evidence:

                              1) equestrian helmets include tests that CRUSH the helmet simulating a horse rolling on the human's head I guess, or the human getting stomped by a horse.

                              Interestingly enough, there is no official protection for kicks. That is, they refuse to say that the equestrian helmet will protect against a direct kick since horses can kick really hard... But the helmet is made for impacts so it very well might protect against a direct kick... Just for liability reasons, helmet makers don't want to add that to the "for sure" list.

                              2) equestrian helmets are more solid without all the holes so you don't get jabbed in the head by sticks/poles/tree branches/rocks. The fiberglass shell disperses impact too. Then the second layer, the foam sort of helps some.

                              3) The bike helmets base on liner material at the top of the head and comfort foam that gives minimal protection.

                              4) a mass-produced bike hat is equipped with less exact sizing than a horse riding one.

                              5) And a bike helmet tends to expose to flat surfaces when falling on the ground or colliding with something.

                              6) the equestrian helmet provides extra protection to the back of the head as well as the sweatband area.

                              Bottom line: I'm sold on the MIPS equestrian helmet despite the price tag. The fact that it goes above and beyond so that it can prevent or at least lessen concussions is a huge technological breakthrough I think.

                              Thanks again for all the info! And to those who mentioned they had bought and love their MIPS helmets: Awesome! Because the Trauma Void is the one I bought.




                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My opinion is that some of those multi purpose mips helmets are just as effective as a riding helmet. The problem is no one wanted to spend the $$$ to test them for equestrian use. Therefore they are not approved.

                                What is the cheapest mips helmet available for equestrian use?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  As far as I know, the ONLY MIPS equestrian helmet available in the US is the Trauma Void which is $199-200.

                                  Here is an interesting blog post from Charles Owen talking about their MIPS plans:
                                  https://www.charlesowen.com/news-from-roys-lab-mips/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The Charles Owen is available in the US now. They have three models - a regular helmet, a wide-brimmed helmet and a skullcap.

                                    https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/ch...SABEgJJkPD_BwE

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I also have the Trauma Void MIPS helmet. I love it! Very comfortable and also very well ventilated and cool.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Avilene View Post
                                        Glad I asked this question! Am getting a lot of great info here. Thanks to all.

                                        @ Guilherme in particular, thanks for the examples from your youth. That did put things more into perspective. To be clear, the bike helmets I was referring to were the rounded ones, not the oblong ones you see a lot of. Like the Bell Annex MIPS on Amazon. There are helmets that are good for bikes/skateboards. There are also ski/snowboarding helmets that are round and more solid. Those are as round as the horseback riding helmets. That said...

                                        You are quite welcome!

                                        After reading the info from the links provided by several posters and searching more links on my own, I feel I've finally got the details I was looking for to once and for all know that yes an equestrian helmet is made completely different. Yeah, I know some of you will say, "duh!" But I'm the kind of person that wants to know WHY.

                                        For me, it's not enough to say, well they make equestrian helmets and they make bike helmets and they tell you that they're different so you just gotta accept that. Nope! I want to know WHY they are different. I want details! lol

                                        Knowing is usually better than non-knowing. It prevents a lot of "consumer fraud."

                                        This is what I found as concrete evidence:

                                        1) equestrian helmets include tests that CRUSH the helmet simulating a horse rolling on the human's head I guess, or the human getting stomped by a horse.

                                        Interestingly enough, there is no official protection for kicks. That is, they refuse to say that the equestrian helmet will protect against a direct kick since horses can kick really hard... But the helmet is made for impacts so it very well might protect against a direct kick... Just for liability reasons, helmet makers don't want to add that to the "for sure" list.

                                        There are some things you can't defeat with safety gear. The Army "Kevlar" service helmet protects against a LOT of stuff but won't stop a high-powered rifle round. No technology on Earth can do that within the design limits of the soldier's helmet. I'd suspect that this true for maximum impact horse kick, especially if the hoof were shod.

                                        2) equestrian helmets are more solid without all the holes so you don't get jabbed in the head by sticks/poles/tree branches/rocks. The fiberglass shell disperses impact too. Then the second layer, the foam sort of helps some.

                                        Any piece of safety gear is compromise. Cooling holes to reduce temperature are likely seen as a necessary thing to help preserve rider's health. The odds of a "direct hit" by a stick are relatively small.

                                        3) The bike helmets base on liner material at the top of the head and comfort foam that gives minimal protection.

                                        4) a mass-produced bike hat is equipped with less exact sizing than a horse riding one.

                                        5) And a bike helmet tends to expose to flat surfaces when falling on the ground or colliding with something.

                                        6) the equestrian helmet provides extra protection to the back of the head as well as the sweatband area.

                                        I suspect your observations, here, are correct.

                                        Bottom line: I'm sold on the MIPS equestrian helmet despite the price tag. The fact that it goes above and beyond so that it can prevent or at least lessen concussions is a huge technological breakthrough I think.

                                        Thanks again for all the info! And to those who mentioned they had bought and love their MIPS helmets: Awesome! Because the Trauma Void is the one I bought.



                                        Your conclusions appear to be sound.

                                        To those who complain about price, what is the deductible on your health insurance for an ER visit? I suspect it's MUCH higher than the price of even a premium MIPS helmet. If you choose to use a non-approved product then you are an "experimental animal" if something bad happens. The consequences of that are on YOU, not the equestrian helmet industry. Personally, I think that is a Very Bad Idea. But, it's your head (or your child's head), not mine.

                                        G.

                                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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