Outdoor equipment maker Mammut has launched a new climbing helmet that incorporates the multi-directional impact protection system, which is designed to reduce rotational forces during impact.
While there are a number of MIPS helmets on the market today, including bike and ski helmets that climbers have adapted to their sport, Swiss-based Mammut said its Wall Rider MIPS is the world’s first MIPS-integrated helmet targeted specifically at climbing.
“As one of the oldest and most respected outdoors brands in the world, Mammut has not forgotten its history as inventor of the climbing rope, revolutionizing the way that outdoors-people perform and achieve goals and successes through the centuries, and today,” the company said in a statement.
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MIPS is a patented technology located inside helmets that is designed to reduce rotational forces caused by certain impacts, in this case such as tumbling rocks or falls. Rotational acceleration has been found to be the predominant injury mechanism in concussion. The MIPS system consists of an internal layer flexibly attached to the external part of the helmet. When the Wall Rider MIPS is subjected to an angled impact, the external part of the helmet can then slide slightly relative to the head. A portion of the rotational forces and energies are therefore redirected and absorbed rather than being transferred to the brain.
Andres Lietha, head of hardware at Mammut Sports, said many of the company’s developers and product managers are climbers and mountain bikers.
“So we started to ask us the obvious question, how can we add the safety MIPS offers to climbers also?” he said in the press release. “We did in-depth research and found data showcasing that a significant part of head injuries in climbing also result from a rotational impact.”
The new Wall Rider, which clocks in at just 225 grams (0.5 pounds), will be available at Backcountry.com and Mammut.com starting on Oct. 4 for $179, followed by a launch at retailers nationwide on Feb. 1.
MIPS is making its way through helmets involved in a host of sports and recreational activities (including bicycle helmets and ski helmets) amid the increased attention on traumatic brain injuries caused by inadequate head protection. A number of companies are investing heavily in helmet technology and developing proprietary materials and absorption technologies to try to mitigate the problem. Beyond MIPS, the National Football League has been leading the charge among the professional sports leagues by conducting studies on football-related head trauma and hosting startup challenges to crowdsource solutions. The MIPS tech addresses a specific kind of rotational impact that caters to falls off walls, bikes, or snow equipment.