Never let it be said that Airbag Inside Sweden AB has a confusing name. The company clearly wants to make sure everyone knows what it’s about, and doesn’t appear to be anywhere close to ceasing its creation of motorcycle clothing with—yes—airbags inside. In January, 2021, we first told you about the company’s motorcycle jeans, with airbags inside.  

At the time, the company noted, most airbag protection created by other companies was only meant to protect the upper body, and not the lower body. Airbag Inside’s airbag jeans were a step toward changing that. Then, in February, 2022, the company revealed...airbag shorts? At the time, I wondered who these were even for. The airbags might cushion your butt, but your knees and lower legs would have to fend for themselves. While I see plenty of riders out in shorts, I don’t think they’d necessarily choose airbags over whatever other shorts they’ve been wearing up to this point.  

On March 31, 2022, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an Airbag Inside patent application for what it calls an “inflatable motorcycle outfit.” As you’d probably guess from the name, it’s comprised of multiple pieces of gear, each meant to protect a different part of the body. All of them use airbags in some way, of course. There’s an inflatable pair of pants, an inflatable jacket, inflatable boots, and what AI calls “inflatable canopies.” 

Airbag Inside Inflatable Motorcycle Safety Ensemble
An overview of the complete inflatable motorcycle outfit

What are inflatable canopies? They appear to be some type of airbag parachute(s), which are meant to deploy above a rider’s shoulders and head, with mounting points under the rider’s underarm area. In the event of a high-speed crash, the idea is that these would deploy and slow the rider down to help mitigate any serious injuries exacerbated by high speeds.  

Like the other Airbag Inside clothing pieces, the patent suggests that these should be nearly imperceptible when not in use. Ideally, says AI, they’d tuck neatly away inside either a vest or a jacket, so that a rider would just look like a normal person walking around in pants, a jacket, and boots while they’re off the bike. It’s not clear how comfortable it might be if you were to wear both the inflatable jacket and the inflatable vest at the same time, since they’re meant to protect different parts of your upper body—nor how much the inflatable parts might restrict a rider’s movement.  

Also, like race leathers, the inflatable canopies would likely be intended primarily for track use rather than everyday commuting. Still, the idea raises some questions. While the movements of riders on a track (either racing or at a track day) are generally more predictable than those flowing through daily traffic, deploying the canopies seems like it could potentially cause additional dangers to a rider.  

What happens if the canopies get tangled or otherwise caught as they’re working to slow a fallen rider’s speed? Also, what happens if the wind catches the canopies the wrong way, and blows the rider into a potentially even more dangerous situation than they might otherwise have found themselves in? Drag racers use parachutes to slow themselves down from terrifically high rates of speed, but they’re also going in a straight line. Riders—especially on tracks and not at drag strips—are often not going in a straight line.  

What do you think of Airbag Inside’s inflatable canopies idea? Yea or nay, and why? The entire patent application is located at the link in our Sources.

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