Good idea, or not?
Airbag jackets, race suits, and vests aren’t exactly commonplace among riders in 2021. Nevertheless, they’re pretty well established as viable safety options from a number of gear makers, including Dainese, Alpinestars, and Helite (to name a few). In December, 2020, French company CX Dynamics developed a prototype pair of airbag pants, but that’s not the only company trying to keep your lower half safe.
Airbag Inside Sweden AB is one member of an EU-based airbag consortium that developed an airbag jeans prototype for motorcyclists. Rather than relying on electronic sensors, this airbag system is the tether-type, triggering only if the tether gets disconnected from the bike. As you can see in the video, the airbags fill with compressed air, hopefully shielding the rider from intense impacts.
It’s early in the prototyping phase, so exact details about how quickly the airbags engage aren’t available yet. Almost as important will be how easy it is to pull the jeans on and off with that extra bulk stuffed inside. For example, the CX Dynamics airbag pants mention that the legs zip up from the bottom once you’ve stepped into the waist, which is similar to many riding overpants but very different from traditional jeans. Figuring out how to maneuver around human physiology to make any kind of airbag pants easy to get on and off is essential if you want riders to want to wear them.
If you want to stay up to date on developments with this project, there’s a notification signup form on the official website. Airbag Inside Sweden AB plans to obtain EU certification, but it’s unclear what kind of timeline the company is currently looking at, nor how far along it is in product development. It’s also unclear what kind of abrasion-resistant material the jeans might be made out of, such as Kevlar, Dyneema, or another denim composite with similar properties. Will hip and knee armor of some type also be involved in these jeans, as upper body armor is in airbag jackets and suits?
It’s early days yet in this project, and we look forward to learning more about it as it progresses. Does this idea intrigue you, and if so, why or why not?