Review: The Morpher Folding Helmet
Crowd-funded Folding Helmet Supporter & Bike Friday Owner Jeffrey B. Reviews the Morpher
The Morpher helmet is a foldable bicycle helmet, meant for all styles of riding. It features a simple design that is quick and easy to operate. Initially funded on Indie-Go-Go in 2013, the Morpher is manufactured by Strategic Sports LTD and will be available for sale in 2017 for USD $150. The Morpher will fit heads from 52cm (20.5”) to 62cm (24.5”). Folded Dimensions: 14.5″x 2.75″x 6.75″ Unfolded Dimensions: 11″x 8.5″x 5.” The helmet has CPSC (US) and CE EN1078 (non-US, excluding Australia) safety certifications.
I am an avid cyclist who thoroughly enjoys traveling and commuting by bicycle. To that end, I own both a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro and a Bike Friday tikit, the former for world travel, and the latter for city riding. But for the purposes of this review, I’m focusing on traveling with my Pocket Rocket Pro and the significant space-saving benefits of a folding helmet.
World travel is, without a doubt, my favorite hobby. Add a compact, foldable bicycle to the mix and I’ve got to book a few extra weeks. I’ve cycled in Australia, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Morocco, Portugal, Singapore, and Spain. My rides have varied in single day length, with the longest being the 168 miles I cycled from Malacca (in Malaysia) back down to Singapore. I’ve also cycled assorted locations and rides in the U.S. like the Copper Mountain Alpine Classic in Colorado. This year alone, I spent 50% of my time on the road; my Pocket Rocket Pro was with me the entire time. Lots of great riding, much of it was back in California– the Napa, Sonoma and Carmel Valleys.
I love my folding bikes, I love cycling, and I –obviously– love to travel. The Pro packs really well into the F’Lite Samsonite suitcase; it’s easy to take with me on any flight, domestic or international. The difficult part, until recently, was trying to pack a helmet into the case. Historically, I always used a duffle bag as my second suitcase to ensure enough room to hold my helmet. I have many friends that strap their helmets on their carry-on bags, so clumsy and inconvenient. Ah, if only I could fit my helmet in my Samsonite with the bike…
Three years ago, I signed up on Indie-Go-Go (a crowd-sourcing site similar to Kickstarter) for a Morpher flat folding helmet. I waited patiently, and this year my helmet was delivered. It folds really FLAT and is ultra-portable, fitting easily into nearly any bag or case. As a commuter, I regularly stash it in my briefcase. And while wearing my hat as a world traveler, it stores really conveniently in my suitcase along with my folding bike. Take a look at my pictures- you’ll see my bike, my folded Morpher helmet (in the matte black bag), water bottles, and Lysol wipes all in my suitcase.
There are several other collapsible helmets on the market, but none of them are as compact or portable as the Morpher. For example, the Overade is a popular folding helmet, but when folded it’s a big lump that can’t fit into something as thin as a briefcase. The Overade only folds about 30%, meaning you’d still need a gym bag to carry it. The Brooks Carerra, also known as the JB Classic, collapses to eliminate the open space between helmet sections, but again, does not get substantially smaller than the fully open helmet. There are others, like the Biologic Pango and the Closca, which collapse in some fashion, but they don’t fold flat like the Morpher. And to size it up, that’s precisely what sets the Morpher apart: it folds into a thinner profile than any other helmet on the market.
The Overade & The Brooks Carerra
As a cyclist, I’ve sometimes encountered other riders who choose not to wear a helmet. They don’t find carrying a helmet convenient, or worse, they think it isn’t “cool.” A few years ago I was in an accident with a Chevy Suburban. We both occupied the same space at the same time, and I quickly learned how important it was to always wear a helmet. I was cycling very safely, but obviously, I couldn’t control what the driver did; there was nothing I could do to prevent the crash. His mirror took me out and I cracked my helmet. That was followed by a ride to the Emergency Room and extensive testing. My head and the bike survived, the helmet did not. Whether you’re doing an urban or a suburban ride, helmet safety is paramount. Don’t let pride or inconvenience keep you from staying safe.
Fashion comes and goes, practicality is everlasting. In addition to its convenient packability, the Morpher has a number of highly practical, premium design qualities. It’s lightweight– the Morpher weighs in at a mere 430 grams. It’s unisex, eliminating the need for separate men’s and women’s helmets. Using the sizing strap, it fits all heads, from very small to very large (like mine), making helmet size no longer the challenge it has always been. It’s fully safety certified in every country, though not (yet) in Australia. The Morpher has great ventilation (something that many other brands compromise on) providing the airflow needed to keep you cool– the kind of cool worth caring about.
Given its advantages, Morpher is the perfect helmet for flying anywhere with a bike, I also think it’s the best bicycle helmet for city riding. Frankly, this helmet is ideal for anyone for whom space is a premium, and convenience is king. I got mine this past June, tore into the package like a kid at Christmas, and I’m never without it- I don’t have to be. I talk it up to everyone. Actually, I was buzzing about my recent purchase over dinner with a friend, brainstorming ways to get the word out- my friend cut me off and said: “why don’t you reach out to the company.” So I did! I put them in contact with my brother, an experienced salesman, and a new U.S. distributorship was born. It’s exciting that someone in my own family will be helping to get the Morpher folding helmet into shops across the country- I couldn’t be more thrilled.
FINALLY — one that actually folds flat. Can’t wait to try it.
Just read the article on the Morpher Collapaible Helmets, nice. The writer, Jeffrey, who travels and rides a lot did a nice job describing his dilemma and convinced me that this is the right helmet for the resolution.
Thanks for the feedback!
Excellent idea who’s time has come. As a physician I always advise riders to protect against head trauma. We now know even minor cerebral contusions can lead to serious health issues. This helmet is the right size with the right protection. Just like you would’t drive your car without a seat belt, no one should ride a bike without a helmet.
Now we have a portable, easy to carry Morpher helmet.
I couldn’t agree more!!! Thanks.
Absolutely. I suggest that someone investigate volume production and price points. For a rider that flies perhaps 2 or 3 time per year, I just clip my helmet to my carry-on pack and treat it like a hat. $150 is pretty costly, but get it under $100 and sales volume would increase.
I am small, so my bike friday is small. I can fit my helmet into the suitcase with my bike. However, in doing so, I have also had my helmet cracked (ya gotta love the baggage handlers). Having a low-profile helmet, that I can easily store in my carry-on would be great.
It’s great that you noticed the helmet had cracked. Unfortunately, it is also feasible that your full size helmet would be in your suitcase, take impact, crack and you not realize it. That would be very unfortunate as it would not provide the needed protection.
With the Morpher flat folding helmet, it would sit comfortably in the suitcase and not be at risk of cracking due to impact on the case itself.
Or there’s this solution: hovding.com
While the hovding is an interesting idea, there are several things to consider:
· It is a scarf that needs to be zipped up around the neck in order to be used. It is VERY hot and restrictive to cycle in.
· It costs $300 (more than some bikes)
· It can only be used once then needs to be discarded
o so if it’s dropped and goes off in error it needs to be chucked away – goodbye $300
o it can’t be tested, because once again, if it’s triggered and goes off then it needs replacing
· It needs to be fully charged before use
· It needs to be serviced annually (apparently)
· It has a complex algorithm to decide if it needs to be inflated
o Would you be confident that it would always go off when needed? I wouldn’t
o If it goes off when not needed then, once again, you have a complete failure and will need to replace it
· It can’t be taken on an aircraft. The ATA and TSA won’t allow it
· You have to remember to turn it on when you mount your bike and then turn it off when you demount
· It weighs 812g… so it is very heavy
· It hasn’t passed CPSC testing so can’t be used legally (or sold) in the US!
The mechanicals of the helmet should be explained.
How is it stabilized while in the open position so that it will not be crushed on impact?
When folded, there is a magnet device that holds the helmet totally flat. When you pull the helmet open, there is a locking mechanism on each side of the helmet that engages to hold the helmet totally open. To fold the helmet, you slide the locking mechanism up, it releases the sections of the helmet and it folds flat once again. (Sorry, a little tough to describe without a picture, but it really works!)
The article does not state what safety standards are met by this helmet (CPSC, ASTM F447, Snell B-95, or?). These standards protect for a drop of 2.0m or 2.2m, equivalent to failing from the bike). If a new design could offer protection for impact a realistic speed if would be worth a premium price.
We believe that it meets the EN1078 and CPSC safety standards, but we’re still waiting on the final confirmation from Morpher HQ. We should have an answer for you soon!
Got the word from Morpher- the helmet has CPSC (US) and CE EN1078 (non-US, excluding Australia) safety certifications.
Would have liked to see more info on the helmet. Rather than packed in the matte black bag in your suitcase a video of how it works/folds would have been nice. Also exactly what safety standards the helmet meets is NOT clearly explained. I am familiar with ANZI, ASTM, and CSA but I have never heard of CPSC (US) or CE EN1078 (non-US). Also no information is given regarding colour options.
Why did Bike Friday NOT urge prospective customers interested in the Morpher Folding Bicycle Helmet to log onto the Indigogo site and order the helmet from there, then the customer would have a wider selection of colour choices, NOT just restricted to WHITE ONLY which Bike Friday is currently offering?
When first got in touch with Morpher we weren’t aware that their helmets were available for purchase through their 2013 Indie-Go-Go. Once that came to our attention we reached out to them and have negotiated a deal- Morpher is going to offer BF customers an exclusive discount to purchase a helmet through their campaign! We’re still ironing out the details, but we’ll be in touch soon with the specifics on the offer!
Matthew @ Bike Friday
My boyfriend ordered and paid for a Morpher helmet for me in November 2016. It’s now Feb 2017 and this helmet never showed up. I was starting to think this was a scam. We’re in the US so thought maybe it just takes longer to get here. Emailed numerous times and messaged through Facebook. Can’t find a phone number to call. Can anyone help out?
Hi Barbara, we aren’t reps for Morpher, so unfortunately we don’t have any info that you don’t already have. The order deadlines they’ve given in their campaign are estimates, did they not give you an estimated delivery time? Might be a technical issue, you may want to try emailing from a different account, and/or checking your spam folder in case their responses ended up there.
Hi Barbara, I checked with Morpher and Geeta Bhandari would be happy to assist you. Her direct e-mail is email@example.com. She tried to look up the order, but since it was ordered by your boyfriend, she was unable to find it with just your name. Please reach out to her directly.
I too order a helmet via the Indiegogo site after reading about the helmet in Time magazine (Nov’16). I was given a Mch’17 delivery time but still yet to materialise. I have tried emailing but no response. I will follow the ‘tip’ above and email Geeta directly. Thanks.
Have you reached 200 yet? Are you close? I’d be glad to sign up if it’s available.
Thank you for reaching out about the Morpher Helmet! This offer is no longer available through us, but you can order directly from Morpher themselves- https://www.morpherhelmet.com/