Everybody knows a bike helmet could save your life, but that doesn't stop people ditching them because they look dorky or are too bulky to stash in a bag. The Park & Diamond is a new helmet designed to solve both of those problems, resembling a baseball cap when it's on your head and collapsing down to the size of a water bottle when it's not.
The Park & Diamond is (perhaps a tad morbidly) named after the intersection where the sister of one of the co-founders was involved in a devastating hit-and-run, leaving her in a coma for several months. This event inspired co-founders David Hall and Jordan Klein to develop the new helmet.
With its soft outer skin and prominent peak, the Park & Diamond doesn't look much like a standard helmet – and that probably means it's doing its job. That fabric layer is removable, washable and swappable, if you feel like changing up your style between the black, gray and navy color schemes on offer.
But of course it's what's under there that really matters. To protect the wearer's head, the helmet is made up of layers of EVA foam, a polycarbonate shell and proprietary composite materials. According to P&D it's that last point that makes the helmet special, as those materials are designed to better absorb and dissipate the energy from an impact.
The team says the helmet has been put through rigorous testing and "will comply with"safety standard in the US, Canada and Europe – which suggests certification hasn't been officially granted just yet.
Once you jump off the bike (or scooter or skateboard or whatever), the helmet can roll up into a carry case about the size of a water bottle, which can then be thrown into a backpack or handbag. The whole thing is light too, weighing just 300 g (10 oz).
The P&D isn't the first helmet we've seen that tries to solve the space problem. Other designs in recent years curl up like armadillos, scrunch up like accordions, telescope inwards, fold flat or otherwise compact down into smaller packages. That said, the P&D looks like a more elegant solution, and doesn't look anywhere near as ugly as some of those other designs while you're wearing it.
The P&D is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, where it's almost tripled its original target of US$50,000 in the first day of the campaign. Early Bird pledges start at $84 for one helmet or $155 for two, which is about half of the expected retail price. If all goes to plan, P&D is shooting to start shipping March next year.
Check out the campaign video below.
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