M.I.P.S. – A New Design Standard for Safer Helmets. Why They’re Different and What Makes Them Better.

MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. MIPS helmet technology is specifically designed to better protect your brain in case of an angled impact. Angled impacts make up a significant part of cycle accident statistics.

How Does MIPS Work?

MIPS helmet technology is described as a “slip-plane” technology. It works inside the helmet and is designed to reduce rotational forces which result from angled impacts. MIPS technology mimics the brain’s protective structure.

Between our brain and our skull there is a layer of cerebral fluid. This layer of fluid allows our brain to move a little, independently of our skull. MIPS helmet technology is designed to mimic this and significantly reduces rotational forces caused by angled impacts.

The helmet’s shell and liner are separated by a low friction layer. This allows the two layers of a MIPS helmet to move independently. The amount of movement may seem minor, but it is sufficient to provide a far higher degree of protection. Trauma to the brain is noticeably reduced in the case of angled impacts.

Safety standards helmet testing only tests for radial, or blunt force, impacts. Test helmets are dropped vertically onto stationary objects. Heads usually hit the ground at an angle which causes a rotational shock to be transferred to the brain. These oblique impacts are more frequent in action sports.

All the tests done with MIPS helmets and non-MIPS helmets show they perform the same under vertical impacts. In some cases, the MIPS helmets may show slightly better results due to having more material between the skull and the impact surface.

MIPS helmets have been tested by insurance companies and independent consumer organizations. MIPS technology has passed every safety test it has been put through.

Where Does MIPS Technology Come From?

The technology was created in 2001 by members of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. MIPS is a world leader in head and neck protection. This is a result of over two decades of experience from its creators in the field of medical technology and research.

In 2014, MIPS entered into a partnership with BRG Sports, extending MIPS’ to a wider audience through brands Bell and Giro. MIPS also partners with Fox, POC, Rossignol, Scott, Smith, and Triple 8, among others. 

How Do I Know If A Helmet Has MIPS Technology?

A MIPS-equipped helmet looks like any other helmet from the outside. Some brands add a MIPS logo on the outside of the helmet. When you look inside a MIPS helmet you will see a thin yellow liner beneath the pads.

While it can vary slightly from company to company, the EPS foam inside helmets is pretty standard. Helmets that include MIPS technology have added a thin, second layer inside the helmet.

This layer is made of polycarbonate plastic and coated with Teflon and sits directly beneath your standard helmet liner.

While you’ll be able to move it slightly inside the helmet, it won’t really work until an impact occurs. This is because a pin holds the MIPS layer in place. When an impact occurs, this will slip approximately 15mm.

The result is that a significant amount more of the force is absorbed than is by a standard non-MIPS-equipped helmet. The MIPS’ low friction layer weights from 25 to 45 grams, depending on the helmet model.

Which Helmet Brands Use MIPS Technology?

MIPS can be fitted into almost any helmet on the market. MIPS engineers work closely with helmet manufacturers so they can produce helmets with a low friction layer.

This layer has minimal impact on the basic functionality of the helmets such as ventilation, comfort, and fit. Once fitted into the helmet, MIPS performs thorough testing to ensure that the helmet passes MIPS approval tests.

MIPS is not exclusive to any brand but not all helmets feature MIPS technology. At HelmetGeeks.com all helmets with MIPS technology are clearly labeled.

Is A MIPS Helmet Worth It?

Accident statistics tell us that the most common injuries occur where an angled impact causes rotation of the head and brain.

Although you cannot ever guarantee the outcome of a crash, you can take steps to reduce the potential damage.

This is precisely why MIPS is worth investing in. In so many crashes rotational forces cause damage to the brain due to twisting. MIPS could be the difference between serious injury and walking away from a crash with minimal possible damage.

You can never guarantee no injury, but you can ensure you reduce as much energy transfer to your brain as possible.

MIPS helmets typically cost a little more, due to manufacturers having to license the MIPS technology. At HelmetGeeks.com [URL] we consider it is a worthwhile investment to purchase a helmet fitted with MIPS technology.

Any action sport which requires wearing a helmet can be dangerous. If you engage in any of these sports for long, chances are you’re going to have an accident. While doing as much as you can to stay safe, there are times when you can’t avoid an accident.

When this time comes, you’ll want to protect yourself as much as possible. And you can’t put a price on preventing a significant brain injury—no matter which way you look at it.

Is MIPs for Everyone?

Yes, of course. MIPS is relevant for all ages and abilities. There are MIPS helmets for kids, men, women, and across road, urban, and mountain biking.

Much common opinion says that helmets with MIPS technology are more comfortable than regular helmets.

MIPS is Not Just for Cyclists.

Many new ski helmets include MIPS as well. MIPS is a proven technology that decreases trauma to your brain in many different impact scenarios.

It can be found across several action sports helmets. MIPS has implemented low friction layers with proven results in bike, snow, equestrian, motorcycle, motocross, auto, ice hockey, football, and military helmets.

All of the various types of helmets fitted demonstrated improvements to head protection.

Here are a few short videos which give an inside look at the MIPS technology, how it works, and how it is tested.

How Do I Know If My Child’s Bike Helmet Is Fitted Correctly?

It’s important to know how to fit a bike helmet for a child. If your child’s helmet is not comfortable, they are less likely to wear it. A properly adjusted helmet will fit your child’s head well and be much more comfortable.

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