More comfortable helmets = more riders wearing them.
Finding a helmet that fits you properly is an amazing experience. Sometimes it can even take years, as I related with my own multi-year helmet fitment odyssey earlier in 2019. What if you want to ride more safely by wearing a helmet, but none of them fit you right because you wear a hijab?
For anyone who wears religiously-affiliated headwear every day, helmet fitment over that headwear can be a significant problem. Sikhs, for example, have dealt with this struggle in various ways. Some Canadian Sikhs have successfully petitioned for helmet exemptions, while at least one Australian Sikh local council member said he simply puts a smaller turban on his son’s head so his helmet will fit over it before he rides his bicycle.
Indonesia is a majority-Muslim country—and riding two-wheelers is a massive part of everyday life. That's why, at the 2019 Indonesian International Motor Show Motorbike Expo, local helmet manufacturer Cargloss introduced its new YRM Hijab, an open-face helmet that accommodates the added fabric of your hijab.
“Women donning hijabs will not feel agitated (or pressure points) on their head [with this helmet]. They will feel comfortable as we designed the helmet to accommodate the ‘hair bun’ area,” Cargloss R&D head Maman Haruman told Tempo.
From the outside, this helmet just looks like an open-face motorcycle helmet. However, there’s a slight hollowing out of some of the EPS foam inside, in the bun area. Meanwhile, the area of foam around that thinner bit of foam has been strengthened, a Cargloss representative told Motovaganza. Additionally, the cloth liner inside the helmet is very smooth, and made to stay cool longer in Indonesian heat.
This type of innovation makes total sense for the Indonesian market, and any area where riders can benefit. Making safety more comfortable helps to make it more accessible—and also makes riders more likely to want to wear a helmet.
Although Cargloss unveiled this helmet at the 2019 IIMS show, it is not yet available for sale. Motovaganza reports that the plan is to release it by the end of 2019, and Tempo reports that the price will be Rp270,000 (around US $19). Currently, Cargloss plans to offer this helmet in a range of pastel colors.