SmartPak Monday Morning Feed: How MIPS Helmets Are Tested

Horse Nation is always working hard to remind you to mind your melon, but never is that so prevalent than during Brain Injury Awareness Month. Today, we want to take a deeper dive into helmet technology. As always SmartPak is here to help.

When you’re helmet shopping, first and foremost, make sure any helmet you buy is ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) certified. This means that helmets are tested at the SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) and meet their standards. However, you also may be interested in helmets that offer MIPS technology.

MIPS, short for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, is a helmet-integrated technology designed to protect the brain from rotational force and strain when an impact occurs during a fall. MIPS has evolved through study and testing in Sweden since 1996 by some of the world’s leading researchers in biomechanics and neuroscience at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

This team worked together to develop a helmet test rig to perform angled impact tests and a computerized model that confirms that helmets with MIPS inside deliver higher safety properties and redirects and reduces damaging rotational motion to the brain than the same helmet without MIPS.

Check out this video, which shows how the folks at Trauma Void test the helmets (we won’t lie — it’s pretty cool):

Thanks to its thinness, lightness, and integration into the helmet’s existing ventilation, MIPS is rarely noticed by the wearer, even over extended periods of use.

Go riding and remember to mind your melon!