Swedish helmet technology developer/manufacturer MIPS has updated its product range, with distinctions drawn between the ways third-party manufacturers incorporate MIPS into their helmets.
MIPS has grown in popularity in recent years because of its focus on reducing rotational trauma to the brain. While traditional helmet liners protect from direct impact, MIPS protects the brain from being twisted from rotational forces. Basically, MIPS products are a liner-within-a-liner, allowing the rider’s head to remain more stable in a crash.
Remember, for now, MIPS doesn’t make its own helmets—it licences its tech to other manufacturers. Currently, Bell and Fox both make motorcycle helmets based around MIPS technology. It’s focused on business-to-business relationships, not business-to-consumer.
That’s going to change. MIPS is apparently planning to include hang tags with its helmet liners that explain the safety features of the those liners to the buyers. Now, MIPS has five different designs, starting with the Essential liner, a basic MIPS system that has a low-friction layer built-in, to reduce rotational forces.
The Evolve system is supposedly more comfortable, with better ventilation and fit, and also allows users to fit a neck retention system. The Integra system has the MIPS low-friction liner integrated directly into the helmet, instead of being added as a secondary liner. MIPS says this allows helmet makers to design better ventilation and comfort.
Then there’s the Air system, which is MIPS’ system with most ventilation, and the Elevate system, which is designed for hard hats.
With all these updates to the MIPS lineup, it’s curious to speculate: Is the Swedish company planning its own move into the helmet manufacturing business, even as its customers develop their own MIPS-like systems to avoid paying royalties?