Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Helmet manufacturers have known for a while now the importance of protecting against rotational energy during crashes by adding liners like MIPS to their helmets. Last year, Bontrager introduced its own solution to impart additional protection into its helmets. Called WaveCel, this collapsible cellular structure lines helmets and goes through a three-step change in material structure on impacts. First, the cells flex to reduce the initial frictional forces of a crash. Then the cells crumple and finally glide to redirect energy away from the head. This material has helped several Bontrager helmets earn five out of five stars on Virginia Tech’s independent helmet testing.
- WaveCel helmets hit the $100 price point
- New Jet WaveCel Kids’ helmet comes in child and youth sizes.
- XL sizing now available in WaveCel helmets
Luckily, a year or so on, this material has trickled down from Bontrager’s top end helmets into a more affordable pricepoint. The new Starvos WaveCel comes in at $100 and has earned a five star rating from Virginia Tech. Plus it comes in size XL, something Bontrager says customers had been asking for repeatedly. A size medium sample we received weighed in at the claimed 335g. It features 14 vents and is available in three colors: black, white and high-visibility yellow.
Another big announcement is the inclusion of WaveCel in a kids’ helmet for the first time. The Jet WaveCel has a skate-helmet inspired design and is available in both a child size (48cm-52cm) and a youth size (50cm-55cm). It passes a more-stringent ASTM certification, which utilizes testing that’s more specific to a child’s head size. It also features a Fidlock magnetic buckle, making putting it on a breeze, and prevents pinching fingers in the buckle (because a helmet should reduce injuries, not cause them). It comes in four colors: black, white, high-visibility green and red.
Both helmets feature Bontrager’s Crash Replacement Guarantee which provides a free helmet replacement if you’re involved in a crash within the first year of ownership. Hopefully you never need it, but it’s nice to know it’s there.
More info: trekbikes.com