Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

A Fold-Up Helmet Designed For Easy Storage Doesn't Store Easily

Engineer Philippe Arrouart and designer Patrick Jouffret, of the French agency 360, say that the main reason people don’t wear bike helmets is because they’re annoying to carry around. Really? We thought it was because they flatten your hair and make you look like Phillip the Hyper-Hypo.

But let’s say they’re right. Then Overade, a design on which they collaborated, should be the awesomest solution ever. It’s a helmet that folds into a ball about the size of your palm and, in their telling, can be "easily store[d] in a small bag."

It’s a decent idea. It’d be a much better idea if the thing were actually measurably smaller and manageable when folded up. Instead, it’s a just a weird, misshapen lump that looks like it’s too big to squeeze into a purse and too awkward to hold comfortably in the palm of your hand. It’s a lot simpler to just slip your helmet’s straps around your wrist, leaving your hands free to do something else. Sure, Overade would sit comfortably in a backpack, but so would a regular helmet. And, in a way, a regular helmet fits better: The crater-like interior can be used to stash keys, gloves, and other small effects. Overade has no such perks.

That’s not to suggest that helmets can’t be made cinchier to store. They certainly can. But we’ve seen better examples—this inflatable collar, for instance—that offer more than just incremental improvements.

[Images courtesy of 360]

Add New Comment


  • Steve

    Did the author actually handle this product or test it as part of a day to day scenario vs the alternative solid helmet?

  • Steve Ro Jacobs

    What? Why such a negative attitude toward this? Have you ever had to carry a helmet with you? Have you ever tried to actually put a helmet in a backpack? It's not as you imagine, I promise. This design looks like it solves some real problems. I could fit the folded helmet in the left over space in my bottom office drawer.