While bike helmets have become lighter and more comfortable to wear in the last couple of decades, their shape has remained largely unchanged. Not surprising when you consider the shape of people's heads hasn't really changed that much recently. As a result helmets are as awkward to carry around and take up just as much space in a bag as they ever did. Unfortunately, this leads many to risk their safety by just leaving the things at home rather than deal with the hassle. Not content with this state of affairs, designer Patrick Jouffret and engineer Philippe Arrouart came up with a bike helmet design that folds down to a much more convenient size when not on your noggin.

The "overade" is a unisex helmet that Jouffret and Arrouart claim provides as much protection as a standard bicycle helmet, but folds down to a size that is compact enough to fit into a purse or a backpack. Like the creators of the Hövding airbag collar, Jouffret and Arrouart hope the helmet's much more convenient carrying size once will help increase the number of urban cyclists who currently fail to wear protective gear.

The obvious question that first comes to mind when looking at the overade design is, "will it fold up and squash my skull in an accident?" However, with rider safety the designers prime concern and bicycle helmets required to comply with rigorous standards in most parts of the world, presumably they've taken such concerns into account. If not, we're not likely to see the overade on store shelves anytime soon.

Jouffret, from French design studio Agency 360, and Arrouart first constructed a prototype of the foldable helmet in 2010, and it is due to enter production sometime this year.

Source: Design Boom

View gallery - 5 images