eight occasions stronger, simply as inexpensive: Bern is dropping carbon ski helmets at plastic costs

Photo credit: Bern Helme

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Bern took the Watts, its original visor helmet, and made it the strongest and most protective helmet of the brand on the market.

Brand new technology should be cute, innovative, and put the scope of what we can expect in an industry category. But breakthrough technology usually comes at a higher price. Not so with Bern’s new ski helmet.

The Carbon watts ($ 250) is made of carbon fiber to create a stronger, lighter, and more durable winter sports helmet. The Carbon Watts is unique because of the carbon fiber technology used in the design process.

Almost all ski helmets on the market are made of ABS plastic (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), impact-resistant plastic, polycarbonate or a combination thereof. There is no plastic in the Carbon Watts. The shell is made entirely from this hand-layered carbon fiber.

Bern Carbon Watt helmet

  • Materials: full carbon shell (11% lighter and over 8 times stronger than ABS plastic), nylon straps, BOA dial
  • High-quality UV and gloss coating to protect against UV rays and scratches
  • ASTM F2040 certification
  • Weight: 485 g
  • Price: $ 250

How it works

Bern layers the carbon fiber on its classic vintage helmet silhouette. According to Bern, the process comprises 10 steps that take up to 5 days due to the shaping, hardening and finishing of the shell that lies above the basic structure of the helmet.

Bern Carbon Watt helmet design

The carbon fiber shell also distributes the force of an impact to a wider surface. This leads to a “more even absorption and a higher level of protection,” wrote Bern. Bern also promotes the fact that the Carbon Watts can provide better protection against sharp objects and bumps due to their durability and flexibility and expansion ability.

Carbon watts versus original watts

The Carbon Watts has almost the same design as Bern’s original Watts snow helmet. The original Watts uses a thin ABS shell lined with EPS foam and a liner. The lid meets the certifications for bicycle and snow.

Except for the shell material, the new Carbon Watts is very similar. It has the same BOA customization technology and drop-in audio enabled ear pads. The Carbon Watts is only certified for snow sports. The carbon is also compatible with Bern Rechargeable Quickmount asteroid light.

Note: You will find that the OG Watts helmet has MIPS technology to reduce the impact force in the event of an accident or fall. Currently, the Carbon Watts do not have MIPS technology.

“We wanted to bring the Carbon Watts back to their original shape and based on performance we will examine the potential for adding MIPS in future seasons,” said Bern.

Bern Carbon Watts against competitors

I would normally say a helmet is a helmet. (As long as it fits your head and is suitable for the sport you are into – anyone that works; it comes down to preference.) How does the carbon fiber shell compare to the regular ABS plastic construction?

“The biggest difference between ABS plastic and carbon fiber shells is that carbon fiber is inherently lighter and stronger,” the Bern product design team told me in an email. If you’re going uphill, racing, skiing competitively, or even just traveling, the extra grams makes a difference. The Carbon Watts helmet offers light weight and a relatively low price.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first carbon helmet on the market – other brands have played with carbon technology too. But compared to helmets from other brands – like POC’s Super Skull Spin ($ 800) or The rooster from Sweet Protection II ($ 500) – Berns Carbon Watts really wins in price.

The Carbon Watts are available from today at BernHelmets.com.

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