Abus Kranium Cardboard Helmet
Little known to most US consumers, Abus not only makes locks but has a full line of helmets available throughout Europe. Beyond a number of urban hardshell helmets, they also offer the unique Kranium helmet, with a liner made not from traditional foam but corrugated cardboard, just like the kind most every shipping box uses. This isn’t a concept piece, the Kranium is on sale and passess European helmet standards, in some cases absorbing 2-3 times more shock before failing than other helmets that pass muster. Using the same mechanics of preventing injury as EPS foam, the cardboard crushes upon impact, though reportedly stays together in one piece (rather than cracking into pieces) to better handle crashes with multiple impacts, such as hitting the windshield and then the ground for instance. There is a thin EPS liner present on the inside of the helmet for added protection and to prevent the cardboard lattice structure from actually causing injury to your skin in the event you have to use the helmet in a crash, but the waterproofed cardboard structure is otherwise recycleable, a rarity in the helmets we are all familiar with. While you currently can’t get Abus helmets stateside, a little bird has told me that it may be in the cards in years to come. Until then it is left to fantasy or international smuggling.