According to safety agencies, wearing a bike helmet reduces the risk of head injury for cyclists by up to 85 percent. That’s an extremely significant boost. Of course, some bicycle accidents are so bad, even the best helmets can’t do anything to keep injuries away. That’s when you need something like the EVOC Sports Commute Air Pro 18.
No, it’s not a helmet replacement. Instead, it’s designed to protect other parts of your upper extremity that a cycling helmet won’t be able to cover, providing more comprehensive protection than a simple helmet can provide. When you’re sharing the road with cars, trucks, and other motorized vehicles, bringing every protection available at your disposal can only be a good thing.
The EVOC Sports Commute Air Pro 18 is a cycling backpack housing an emergency airbag that automatically deploys when it detects any falls, crashes, or collision, providing a protective surface over parts of your upper extremity that a helmet won’t cover, namely your neck, shoulders, chest, and collarbone. To use, simply put it on like any regular backpack. It looks the part, too, so it will feel just like a standard pack for carrying your gear. Once you’re on the bike, however, you’ll want to close the chest strap, as that is what will activate the motion sensors to go on alert. When activated, the sensors will monitor your position and movement at a rate of 1,100 times per second, ensuring it captures those split-second moments when road mishaps occur.
Those motion sensors are looking for sudden extreme motions, which would be the sign that you’re potentially in an accident. As soon as that’s detected, an 18-liter bag deploys from the top of the pack and inflates within 0.2 seconds, wrapping around the upper part of your body to absorb any potential impact it’s going to take. According to the outfit, it can reduce impact forces on those covered body parts and braking acceleration on the cyclist by up to 80 percent, a number that, in some cases, could mean the difference between life and death.
The EVOC Sports Commute Air Pro 18’s airbag is perfectly reusable, provided it wasn’t damaged during deployment. Yes, you’ll have to check that manually, but if you put in the necessary diligence, you should be able to reuse the airbag safely. Do note, you’ll need to get a new CO2 cartridge to feed air to the bag, but being able to reuse it should help cut down on the safety equipment’s operating cost.
Aside from protecting you with an air bag, the backpack also includes a Liteshield-Plus back protector, which has been a part of the outfit’s mountain bike and snow sports backpack line for the last few years, so you get reinforced coverage across your spine, too. As for the bag itself, it has 18 liters of storage volume available for your gear, so you can use it as a replacement for a regular backpack. Bag features include an easy-access laptop compartment, a dedicated compartment for small gear (phone, sunglasses, wallet), an elastic side pocket, seamless shoulder straps, and a height-adjustable hip belt.
The EVOC Sports Commute Air Pro 18 comes out spring of next year. Price is €900.