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(Boston, MA) – Boston-based “Bridger” introduces an innovative design in head protection that will reinvigorate the industry that has stagnated for more than a decade. Bridger created a highly customizable helmet, allowing it to be used year-round for both biking and snow sports.
Bridger engineers started from scratch, spending three years building a helmet more versatile than anything available today. Its patent-pending removable outer shell allows the user to easily change the helmet’s appearance, ventilation, and functionality. Co-founders Ryan and Peter Eiler started Bridger out of frustration with the unnecessary limitations of current helmets. Bridger set out to create a helmet that can handle any adventure.
“There’s no good reason that folks should be stuck wearing the same, tired helmet for years on end,” Ryan Eiler said. “Our clothing changes based on the weather and our activities, but we end up wearing the same one or two helmets all the time.”
At the heart of their design is ‘CORS’ technology (“Configurable Retention System”), which gives users the ability to quickly pop the outer shell on and off. If you’re biking in tar-melting heat, you can snap on the highly ventilated summer shell. If you’re riding the chairlift on a sub- zero day, attach the cold weather shell and ear pads for warmth. Or, if you’re commuting to work, there are a variety of high-visibility, more functional choices to keep you safe.
Peter Eiler, head designer and co-founder, says “when we were solving the problem of how to make a more versatile helmet, numerous benefits aside from aesthetics became apparent. We discovered that we could offer improvements to safety, while meeting the performance demands of even the most active outdoor enthusiasts.”
Most modern helmets use one chunk of hard foam for impact protection, which ends up being cheap but not optimal for concussion reduction. Bridger has taken things a step further and introduced a high-tech foam on the helmet’s interior, which is both more comfortable and better at handling the most common types of concussion-level impacts.
Additionally, with the ability to remove the shell, the integrity of the helmet’s underlying foam can be inspected at any time. On their research and design process, Ryan notes: “There are plenty of people who aren’t aware that they’re riding around right now with 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 deformed from 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 deconstructing the helmet.”
As of January, the team has created more than 550 versions of the helmet and spent 6,000+ hours 3D printing prototypes.
Low-profile anchors on either side of the helmet lock the shell down, using a clever bit of engineering to maintain safety, minimize weight, and remain hidden out of sight. Other distinctive features include a large, adjustable vent shutter, a magnetic Fidlock buckle, and removable ear pads which are ergonomically shaped to minimize pressure on the ear. 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.
Bridger also has their 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. It also turns out that a more dynamic helmet will end up saving most people money over time.
The expected retail price for a complete helmet is $195, with additional shells available in the $30-40 range. This price point offers consumers dozens of different helmet configurations, changeable at any time, for far less than the average price of two traditional helmets.
Bridger plans on debuting on Kickstarter in the coming months, with significant discounts available for early backers of the project.
Visit bridgerhelmets.com for more information and the latest updates on product availability, as well as contact information for interviews.