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Verdict: 
Comfortable space-saving helmet, but it doesn't fold that much
Weight: 
329g
Contact: 
www.velovixen.co.uk | www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk
Carrera Foldable Helmet
6 10

 

A folding helmet? The Carrera Foldable Helmet is more squashable than foldable, losing 5cm of its width when packed away. The odd design does mean that if you (or your headshape) are slightly odd then its worth a try.

The holy grail of the foldable helmet has not quite been reached yet, but this offering from Carrera knocks around 25% off the width of the helmet when folded away, and it's none too bulky dimensions mean that it fits into a space 15cm x 15cm x 26cm.

The flexible frame also helps the helmet to fit into a bag or drawer as it is made of strips of plastic coated EPS joined by nylon bands. I found the squishability (technical term) useful when packing for the weekend, or when stashing it in a pannier for a cake break. This flexibility also means that if you find getting a helmet to fit you is quite difficult, the Carrera's ability to mound to different shapes might give you a perfect fit at last.

The safety credentials of the helmet come via the standard EN 1078 safety testing and Carerra's reputation gives a little more reassurance than buying into a Kickstarter idea with no product history to bring to bear.

Due to its innate flexibility, the helmet needed to be strapped on very tightly under my chin before it felt steady, and after the initial odd feeling I was able to enjoy the ventilation benefits that the structure provided, along with the extremely comfy liner padding which extended over every surface that touched my head.

The great ventilation does necessitate the use of a liner when it's wet out as the channels put up no defence against heavy rain. The lack of a chin strap pad combined with the tightness needed in the straps meant that it wasn't as comfortable as it could have been under my chin.

The elasticated fitting system at the back of the head was adjusted with velcro, and the 'give' in the elastic, while more comfortable than the usual plastic ratchet or dial, did feel less secure than my other lids.

The Carrera comes with a lockable belt to keep it folded shut, and I also used this to strap my trousers tight to my ankle while out and about.

My test helmet was a S/M in a smashing shiny magenta colour, but it is also available in other colours, white and black versions, and in M/L catering for heads up to 61cm in diameter. It is marketed to both women and men.

At £60 it is not the cheapest lid, but I feel the price reflects the amount of development that has gone into this helmet. If you want a helmet that takes up a little less room, and is more easily stowed than a traditional helmet, then this is one of the few certified options on the market.

Conclusion

Looks are a very personal thing - I think the Carrera looks quite odd, but in some circles this would be deemed deeply cool. Each to his/her own. It does fold, but not that much. If you are keen on wearing a helmet but don't want to carry one all the time, then this could be more easily stored at work than anything else currently around.

Verdict

Comfortable space-saving helmet, but it doesn't fold that much.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Carrera Foldable Helmet

Size tested: Small-Medium Purple

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Inspired by the old pistards helmet made in leather, the new foldable helmet by Carrera is the revolution in the city bike protection. Its neverseen flexible frame gives you the best comfort ever tried, with no compromise on safety, and you will find the perfect fitting thanks to the elastic fitting system.

It can be used in any kind of situation on the bike and then folded in a bag when you don't need it any more. The top level safety standard is guaranteed by EN 1078 certification, for the coolest helmet ever seen on the roads.

Cool is as cool does. Or something. It's very personal.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Unique design that reduces in volume by nearly 25% when not in use.

Exceptional front-to-back ventilation minimises moisture retention, helped by absence of lateral bars

Adjustable strap with metal clip for use to compress the helmet, or as a trouser clip when riding

Elastic fitting system provides anatomical support for the back of the head achieving exceptional comfort and stability

Adjustable side straps allow for optimal regulation

Top level safety standard: EN 1078 certification

Rear light

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
5/10

It folds, but only by 5cm. I'd describe it as more squashable than foldable.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Seems like a well made helmet from a respected brand.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
4/10

Its stated weight of 340g (I made it 360g) makes it heavier than other helmets in the price range. Less is not more in this case.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10

Once I'd got used to it it was quite comfortable, though the struts were more obvious in my upper field of vision than usual helmets.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

A lot of R&D money has obviously been spent on this helmet.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It folded by 25% widthways.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The colour was particularly awesome. The inner pads were very soft.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The look of it from the front.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? No.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if space-saving was their priority.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 5'7  Weight: size 16

I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD  My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Novice

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure

 

14 comments

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MrGear [87 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

The last helmet I wrecked suffered a side-impact that broke one of the spars that is essentially missing in this design. So where does energy from this type of impact get dissipated? Into my head I guess.

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The _Kaner [693 posts] 2 years ago
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..yep side on 'concertina' head squishing type injury seems to eliminate me from this type of design, so 'I'm Out'...  24

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cub [86 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I tried this on in store and my first thoughts were of some brain juice from a side impact.

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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60 notes would just about buy you 2 perfectly adequate lids for commuting and general use. I say commuting 'cos I can't see peeps considering one of these for more enthusiastic cycling use.

I'll pass, thanks.

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caaad10 [184 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I'd like to know in which circles that could ever be "deemed deeply cool"... politicians maybe?

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nuclear coffee [205 posts] 2 years ago
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Certainly looks better than the vast majority of helmets to me. Doesn't pretend to be something a professional would wear (which in turn makes you look like a saddo pretending to be professional), nor does it look like a giant mushroom.

And the next time some arsehole hears you ride a bike/hits you because they couldn't be arsed to look, you can tell them you have a helmet and are therefore responsible and could you please stop hassling me/running me over - which, let's face it, is 99% of what helmets are for now.

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Grizzerly [254 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

It looks like an old style 'leather hairnet' helmet.

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ajmarshal1 [403 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

"The holy grail of the foldable helmet has not quite been reached yet"

Pay attention Road.cc. Morpher are already at the door: http://www.morpherhelmet.com/

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Tony Farrelly [2856 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
ajmarshal1 wrote:

"The holy grail of the foldable helmet has not quite been reached yet"

Pay attention Road.cc. Morpher are already at the door: http://www.morpherhelmet.com/

Yes, we've already seen it. It's still a prototype looking for funding though. So the 'holy grail' hasn't quite been reached yet.

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markwill [21 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

just bought one of these a couple of days ago from the link bellow for a good price of £42.50. there is good range of different colors available i bought the lime green one as i think this will make you stand out more to other road users. i find the helmet very comfortable to use during my daily commute and it is easily folds up and fits in my bag.

http://www.charleysbikeaccessories.co.uk/collections/carrera

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dazwan [320 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Had mine a few months in lovely gaudy orange. Someone mistook it for a pumpkin on my desk today! Much nicer than a mushroom helmet.

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The _Kaner [693 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
markwill wrote:

just bought one of these a couple of days ago from the link bellow for a good price of £42.50. there is good range of different colors available i bought the lime green one as i think this will make you stand out more to other road users. i find the helmet very comfortable to use during my daily commute and it is easily folds up and fits in my bag.

http://www.charleysbikeaccessories.co.uk/collections/carrera

and would you like to upload some pics of it on your head, so we can see what it looks like 'real worlde'???

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bjornalkema [21 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I have the `grand tour edition` 8 months or so....and i´m very satisfied.
I fell a few months ago in the woods with my cx-bike... a side-impact on the helmet!!! Resulting only a few minor scratches on the side of the helmet but nothing broke...
I think with any helmet the energy from an(y) impact goes `into your head`, only your skull is `saved` by the helmet!
 39

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andyp [1438 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Surely the holy grail of helmets is to have one which offers some reasonable degree of protection? Not sure that's been achieved yet by any manufacturer.