Boston-based helmet manufacturer, Bridger, has released details of the Highline multi-sport helmet with an interchangeable dual-piece shell that allows it to adapt between mountain biking and snow sports. The aim was to develop a helmet that could be used all year round by mountain bikers who also enjoy a spot of skiing or snowboarding in the off-season, and vice-versa. The obvious versatility of the Highline is sure to pique the interest of the winter fat biking contingent too. Here’s how it works.
Bridger Highline Modular Helmet
Five hundred and fifty prototypes down the line, brothers Ryan and Pete Eiler have initiated a Kickstarter Campaign to bring to market the Bridger Highline Helmet, what they claim is the most capable bike and snow sports helmet to date. It is both ASTM and CPSC certified. At the heart of the design is Bridger’s proprietary CORS technology, or the Configurable Retention System.
Riders and Sliders can switch between the full coverage Thermic cold weather shell and the Zephyr summer shell which maximizes ventilation. Completing the helmet’s transformation is a breakaway visor, ergonomic ear pads, and the option to run the insulated liner or the breathable liner.
The Thermic shell actually offers a tuneable level of ventilation thanks to a slider at the top; pulling it back opens up 8 vents that run from front to back. The team says it has plans to offer a variety of other highly-integrated features by the end of the year, including attachments for lights and audio compatibility.
Low-profile anchors on either side of the helmet lock the outer shell down “using a clever bit of engineering to maintain safety”. At a glance, the mechanism itself looks a lot like the Fidlock magnetic chinbar release seen on the MET Parachute MCR enduro helmet. The Bridger mechanism is not tool-free, however; on the inside of the helmet there is a bolt head that needs to be turned through 90 degrees with a flat head screwdriver to release the shell or secure it in place.
There is no rotational impact protection technology (like MIPS) to be found on the Bridger Highline, though it does boast the use of G-Form foam, said to offer better attenuation of concussion-level impacts. Yes, that’s the same G-Form you’ll find in their elbow and knee pads for mountain biking. Much like the more ubiquitous D30 material, G-Form foam is soft to the touch but hardens significantly upon impact working to dissipate energy away from the head.
Inside the Bridger Highline Helmet, the G-Form foam is sandwiched between the comfort liner on the interior side, and an assembly of EPS foam, a polycarbonate intermediate shell and an ABS shell at the exterior. The removable portion is the ABS outer shell. Bridger tells us an additional benefit of being able to remove the outer shell is that it allows the wearer to inspect the integrity of the shell underneath.
“There are plenty of people who aren’t aware that they’re riding around right now with cracked or structurally-compromised helmets. When we were breaking down old helmets and doing our research, I found out that the foam hidden by the shell of my old ski helmet was shriveled after being dried out near a heater. Had I hit my head on that part of the helmet, it would have been nearly useless, and there was no way for me to discover that deficiency without breaking the helmet apart” – Ryan Eiler.
Bridger also has its sights set on sustainability, with plans to offer a recycling program for the removable outer plastic shells. “Fewer helmets purchased means less plastic and foam usage, along with the ability for spent plastic to be reused elsewhere,” Ryan says.
Pricing & Availability
To secure yourself a Bridger Highline multisport helmet with an estimated shipping date of February 2023, you’ll need to back their KickStarter Campaign to the tune of $229 USD. That gets you the complete setup; one helmet with the upper and lower Zephyr (summer) shells, the upper and lower Thermic (winter) shells, bike and snow comfort liners and ear pads.
If you’re more into the trail mode or the snow mode, you can pledge a little less ($209 USD) to secure yourself the Zephyr or Thermic helmet setups.