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.
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.
Comfortable space-saving helmet, but it doesn't fold that much.
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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
It folds, but only by 5cm. I'd describe it as more squashable than foldable.
Seems like a well made helmet from a respected brand.
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.
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.
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.
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