Learn more about Mips helmet safety. These are some frequently asked questions about the Mips® safety system.
FAQ — Mips® Safety System
Mips stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System.
The Mips system is designed to provide added safety for helmets in many accidents. For certain impacts, the Mips system can reduce harmful rotational forces that might otherwise be transferred to the user’s head.
The Mips system is used in many helmet types and by 100+ brands.
Should you have an accident and hit your head, the Mips system in your helmet is designed to help reduce the rotational motion of certain impacts that may otherwise be transferred to your head.
Rotational motion is a common cause for concussions and more severe brain injury in oblique hits to the head. The Mips system consists of a low friction layer that is mounted inside the helmet. In a crash, the low friction layer is designed to move slightly inside the helmet in order to help redirect forces away from the head. This is intended to help reduce the risk of brain injury.
The Mips system operates as a component to be added to helmets to provide an additional layer of safety.
If your helmet does not have the Mips system already, you cannot add it yourself. The technology is integrated during the helmet manufacturing process, as it is very important that the Mips system is properly installed in the helmet.
The Mips system is for everyone that uses a helmet. Whether you are riding on two wheels, on the slopes or working in construction, the Mips system can provide added safety to your helmet.
Mips’ ambition is to exist in every sport, profession or activity where Mips can make a difference. The Mips system is available in nine of the ten major bike and snow helmet brands, and is also in motorcycle, equestrian, ice hockey, climbing, children’s helmets, as well as LEAF and construction helmets.
Mips’ mission is to lead the world to safer helmets, in every sport, profession or other activity that requires head protection, and that can include military applications.
There are helmets equipped with Mips systems across several price points. The price of the helmet is set by the helmet company. You can today buy a helmet equipped with a Mips system from most of the largest helmet brands.
The price depends on what helmet and brand you are buying. On average, helmets with the Mips system cost 10-50 € more than their non-Mips counterparts.
Yes. However, it is important to us that the brands that want to integrate the Mips system in their products have a serious approach to safety. On top of that, Mips always makes sure that the Mips system can make a difference in that particular helmet category before starting a collaboration.
Look for the yellow dot on the back of the helmet. On many helmets, you can see an extra layer inside of it. On other helmets, the layer is integrated in the comfort padding and therefore may not be as visible. The product packaging for the helmet should confirm the inclusion of a Mips system.
In most instances when you fall while moving and hit your head, you don’t fall in a straight line. Rather, you fall at an angle, similar to how a tennis ball makes contact with the ground after being hit with a racket. When your head hits something at an angle, it exposes your head to rotational motion, which studies have shown can be more dangerous than linear impacts.
The Mips system in your helmet works as an extra layer that moves slightly when impacted and is designed to help reduce the amount of force from the rotational motion away from the head.
Some helmet testing methods today more accurately reflect real life accidents and account for rotational motion, but most helmet testing methods have remained relatively unchanged for decades. However, thanks to recent scientific advancements and brain injury advocacy, more and more helmet testing methods are including testing for rotational motion. Mips believes that testing standards will change and that all tests will include rotational motion testing within 3-4 years.
Mips test protocols are aligned with common practices for testing standards to measure rotational accelerations and velocity generated by rotational motion. Independent testing institutes such as Virginia Tech, FIM, Folksam, and the ECE use many of these methods. In addition to Mips’ internal tests (more than 50,000 tests have been performed at the global test center in Stockholm), there are third-party testing institutes that have tested the Mips technology and the results have been positive. For example, in early 2021, the independent testing institute at Virginia Tech tested over 100 helmets and found that 42 of about 50 helmets that had received a five star rating (Virginia Tech’s highest safety rating) were helmets with the Mips system.
In addition to Mips own extensive internal testing, Mips has reviewed and evaluated the testing done by independent test labs and organizations, such as Virginia Tech, Folksam and Länsförsäkringar. In addition, there are multiple doctoral theses about the Mips system. Mips has done more than 50,000 tests in their test lab that show that the Mips technology works.
That depends on the individual helmet and the circumstances of the accident. Every crash is unique and includes many different variables. So, while Mips cannot make any guarantees as to how one helmet will perform in an accident compared to another, based on our research and the testing conducted by Mips and others, the Mips system has been shown to provide additional safety in many types of accidents compared to a helmet without a Mips system. However, it must be stressed that all accidents are different and, therefore, no guarantees can be made about how any specific helmet will perform in a given accident.
Every Mips solution is intended to give omnidirectional coverage of the surface between the head and helmet and enable a relative movement of 10-15mm. This movement helps redirect the energy away from the head in an oblique impact.
All helmets equipped with a Mips system are certified for the region that they are sold in.
Mips believes that the European testing standards will change to include rotational motion within 3-4 years. It is already included in official testing standards for motorbikes in Europe.
About the company
Peter Halldin, a researcher at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, and Hans von Holst, a Neurosurgeon and professor emeritus, together developed ground-breaking technology to improve the way helmets protect the head. Their goal was to achieve better protection against rotational motion transferred to the head, an area of research that received little attention at the time. Several years of research, testing, and development led to innovation, and the Mips system was born.
Mips will continue its mission to lead the world to safer helmets and be at the forefront of understanding the cause of injuries to the head, and through that further develop our products. Mips wants to educate consumers about safety and explain why rotational motion is important.
Recently, Mips unveiled Mips Virtual Test Lab, together with its innovative Finite Element Analysis (FEA) tool. With this tool, Mips uses advanced computer science to replicate and predict the head response in helmet testing. Thanks to this FEA method, brands are now able to expedite both the development and testing processes of helmet manufacturing. In the near future, Mips will be able to test all different types of helmets according to the leading standards, all in the name of consumer safety.
As of late 2021, over 32 million Mips systems have been sold since inception to more than 140 different helmet brands across a wide range of segments.
The Mips® low-friction layer is designed to add minimal volume and weight. Each model of helmet gets a layer that’s custom-designed and engineered to fit the ventilation, shape, and other features of the helmet style.
Those helmets that are retrofitted with the Mips® safety system might see a reduction in helmet size by one size. New models will not be affected in this way.
The Mips® low friction layer weights from 25 to 45 grams, depending on the helmet model.
The force between the head and the helmet is very high at the event of an impact. To get a relative motion between the helmet and the head, a low coefficient of friction is needed. The scalp may help to reduce the rotational motion to the brain in a small way, but not to a substantive degree.
Clean the helmet using a soft cloth or sponge, warm water, and mild soap (such as mild dish soap). Allow it to air dry in an open area, and store in a cool, dry place when it’s not in use. Do not tamper with or remove the Mips® low friction layer by any means. If you have more questions about caring for your helmet, please contact the manufacturer of the helmet or/and your local dealer.
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