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What is MIPS Helmet Technology? How Does it Work?

What does MIPS mean? MIPS is an acronym for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. The technology was created in 2001 by members of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. If you're wondering, " What is MIPS?" - it's a world leader in head and neck protection as a result of over 30 years of experience from its creators in the field of medical technology and research.

So, what is a MIPS helmet and what is MIPS technology? MIPS technology mimics the brain’s protective structure by reducing rotational forces caused by angled impacts to the head. In a MIPS hemet  the shell and liner are separated by a low friction layer which allows the helmet to slide, noticeably reducing trauma to the brain in the case of oblique impacts. These angled impacts are considerably more common in action sports compared to the blunt force impacts for which traditional helmets are typically tested.

At its inception, the MIPS layer was located between the shell and liner. Although effective, this prevented the use of MIPS technology in In-Mold construction helmets, the most common action-sports helmet construction method. Today, the MIPS layer is located between the liner and the user’s head, giving helmet manufacturers an incredibly easy and effective way of increasing their helmets' angled impact protection

How MIPS Tests Helmets


Is MIPS Worth It? 

Absolutely. When it comes to protecting your most important asset, anything proven to reduce injury is always a good idea. In 2014, MIPS expanded its influence through a partnership with BRG Sports, bringing MIPS into the mainstream through popular brands like Bell and Giro. Additional collaborations with Fox, POC, Smith, Lazer, and others have further solidified MIPS as a go-to choice for advanced helmet protection in the diverse world of action sports.

While the inclusion of MIPS technology will increase the price of a helmet, it isn't by very much, and the safety benefits greatly outweigh a small price increase and possibly repeated trauma to the brain. You can find many MIPS-equipped helmets for ~$120 or less. 

MIPS is a proven technology that decreases trauma to your brain in many different impact scenarios. It can be found across several action sports helmet categories, from moto and mountain biking to skiing and snowboarding. As sport-specific impact research continues and we learn more about optimizing our gear for safety, the MIPS technology will continue to evolve and set new standards for all future manufacturing. 

Factors to Consider When Buying a MIPS Equipped Ski or Snowboard Helmet

Choosing the right ski or snowboard helmet tailored to your style of skiing is crucial for safety and comfort on the slopes. By trying on multiple different styles of helmets, you can hone in on a helmet that offers a snug and secure fit for you personally, ensuring it stays in place during dynamic movements. Ventilation is crucial for those who naturally run hot or are keen on tackling more grueling or uphill terrain. You also have the option to go for helmets with adjustable vents to regulate temperature and have the best of both worlds. Additionally,  there is a selection of helmets with audio compatibility for music or communication while on the mountain, but remember to proceed with caution when you're getting your groove on! Ultimately, choosing a helmet that suits your style means considering factors like impact protection, fit, ventilation, durability, and added features that complement your skiing preferences.
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Factors to Consider When Buying a MIPS Bike Helmet 

When delving into purchasing a MIPS bike helmet, various factors cater to distinct styles of biking, ensuring both safety and performance align with individual preferences. For road cyclists aiming for speed and aerodynamics, consider helmets with sleek, lightweight designs, excellent ventilation, and aerodynamic shaping to minimize wind resistance. Those exploring mountain trails might opt for mountain biking helmets with extended coverage, robust construction for impact protection, and adjustable visors to shield against debris. Commuters navigating city streets could benefit from versatile helmets with integrated lights, reflective elements, and urban-friendly designs for both safety and style. Fit remains paramount across all styles—ensuring a snug, comfortable fit that stays securely in place on rides. Regardless of biking style, the incorporation of MIPS technology stands as a critical aspect across all helmet options, offering added rotational impact protection. Ultimately, choosing the right MIPS helmet involves considering style-specific features alongside MIPS technology to align with the demands and safety requirements of different biking styles.
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