WaveCel has arrived in the snowsports world. Previously available only in Bontrager bike helmets, the new head protection technology is now built into two helmets in Anon’s Winter ’21 line. The Merak WaveCel and Logan WaveCel are the first snowsports helmets designed with this material. Anon holds exclusive rights to it in the snowsports industry for the season.
WaveCel is a collapsible cellular structure that lines the inside of the helmet, working like a crumple zone that helps absorb the force of an impact before it reaches a rider’s head. To do this, WaveCel goes through a three-step change in material structure. First, the cells flex to help reduce the initial frictional forces. Next, the cells crumple like a car bumper upon impact. Finally, WaveCel glides to help redirect energy away from the head.
The WaveCel material isn’t hidden inside the helmet’s substructure. It is plainly visible; on the inside of the helmet you can run your fingers over it and feel its cell structure for yourself. We know that plenty of no-nonsense R&D went into the design and production of WaveCel. According to Anon’s Global Business Unit Director Mark Wakeling, “WaveCel is the first helmet technology to receive funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.”
The Merak, which we’ve demoed, hugs your head reassuringly with its interior of Polartec Power Grid fleece. The heavier-duty, slightly fancier helmet of the two, the Merak weighs in at 480 grams (the Logan is 424 g). And it boasts 19 ventilation channels (the Logan 10). To us, this is one of the handiest features of the Merak and really cuts down on goggle-fogging and sweaty-head syndrome while touring. (You can also close the vents for traversing those exposed ridges.) Not fighting against constant overheating—and knowing that very smart people have spent years on this technology to keep your head protected—means you can focus more on what really matters out there.
We can’t say that we crash-tested the Merak (yet). And we’re not going to get into a debate about WaveCel vs. MIPS. Both helmet technologies are the fruit of scientists, industrial designers and athletes working together toward the common goal of safer snowsports.
Anon Merak WaveCel Helmet Details:
-WaveCel helmets are designed to fit closer to the head, providing a snug, comfortable fit. If you are in-between sizes, you may want to size up.
-In-shell 360° BOA® Fit System features a fit dial just below the helmet shell that provides micro-adjustments in a complete halo around the wearer’s head.
-WaveCel® behaves like a network of hundreds of interconnected shock absorbers connecting your head and the outer shell of the helmet. WaveCel® helps distribute the impact energy through its network of cells, reduces impact forces like the crumple zone of a car, and then helps divert rotational forces by flexing and gliding.
-50/50 hybrid shell construction combines Endura®-shell and in-mold shell constructions for wear-and-tear resistant durability and featherweight performance.
-Active ventilation with 8 vents, a total of 19 to let you easily fine-tune your temperature with open settings for maximum airflow, closed settings for locking in heat, and everything in between.
-Fidlock® snap helmet buckle uses magnets to allow you to open and close the buckle with one hand even when wearing gloves.
-Polartec® Power Grid fleece (liner and ear pads) is low pile, pill-resistant, and moisture-wicking for maximum warmth.
-Compatible with audio accessories.
-Anon Warranty All Anon products are backed by a 1-year warranty from date of purchase. Anon helmets are also backed by a 2-year crash replacement policy.
What is WaveCel?
WaveCel is a new helmet safety technology that’s available exclusively for snow in these Anon helmets. Standard foam helmets are designed to help protect against direct impacts. But WaveCel accounts for how most accidents actually happen: ungracefully, with twists, turns, and angled impacts.
How does WaveCel really work?
WaveCel is a collapsible cellular structure that lines the inside of your helmet. It works like a crumple zone that helps absorb the force of an impact before it reaches your head.
In order to help protect your head and absorb energy created by an impact, WaveCel goes through a three-step change in material structure.
• First, the cells flex to help reduce the initial frictional forces.
• Next, the cells crumple like a car bumper upon impact.
• Finally, WaveCel glides to help redirect energy away from your head.
WaveCel accounts for how most accidents actually happen: ungracefully, with twists, turns, and angled impacts.
What is rotational acceleration, and why is it harmful?
Rotational acceleration is the rapid spin of the head caused by an impact. Higher rotational accelerations carry a greater risk of brain injury. To illustrate the harmful effects of rotational acceleration, check out WaveCel’s “Egg Test”:
How much does it weigh? Nothing outweighs safety.
Gram for gram, WaveCel punches way above its weight when it comes to protection. This safety tech adds only 53 grams on average to the total helmet’s construction, which is .1 of a pound.
How was WaveCel created?
WaveCel is the brainchild of a biomechanical engineer and an orthopedic surgeon who wanted to address the problem of head injuries in people that engage in outdoor activities. It’s the first advanced helmet technology to receive funding from the US National Institute of Health.
Dr. Michael Bottlang is the founder of the Legacy Biomechanics Laboratory in Portland, Oregon. Since 2002, he has continually received research funding from the US National Institute of Health along with the Department of Defense. The US Army and medical field have since adopted his inventions throughout Europe and North America and now influence patient care around the world.
Dr. Steven Madey is an award-winning orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand and microvascular surgery. In 2017, he founded Go To Ortho, an on-demand urgent care clinic in Oregon that treats muscular-skeletal injuries outside of the costly ER setting. He and Dr. Bottlang have collaborated for 25 years, pioneering advances in fracture care, thoracic and pelvic trauma, and head injury prevention.
How is WaveCel Different than MIPS?
WaveCel is an alternative to the MIPS slip-plane technology, designed to help reduce rotational forces that can result from certain impacts. However, through WaveCel’s collapsible cellular material, the WaveCel structure is able to Flex, Crumple, and Glide, to help reduce the effect of oblique head impacts that generate rotational forces that may cause head injury.
What if I crash in my WaveCel helmet?
In the event of a crash, WaveCel is designed to absorb shock by partial deformation of the shell and liner. This damage may not always be visible. Therefore, if subjected to a crash or damage, the helmet should be replaced.
What is the lifespan of a WaveCel helmet?
Every helmet has an equal lifespan and should be replaced when it shows obvious signs of wear and tear. Most helmet manufacturers recommend replacing a helmet after three years; however, a helmet should always be replaced if it has been damaged or has been involved in a crash.
What is WaveCel made of?
WaveCel’s construction consists of a dual-density copolymer that is bonded together with UV-activated glue.
Is there a WaveCel insert for my existing helmet?
Unfortunately, a standard helmet cannot be retrofitted to accommodate WaveCel. In order to provide an exceptional level of protection, a helmet must be specifically engineered to work with WaveCel technology.
Does WaveCel affect the fit of the helmet? How do I find the right size?
The WaveCel liner forms a flexible dome that naturally conforms to the head shape. WaveCel helmets come in a variety of sizes and are consistent with helmet sizing standards. When possible, Anon recommends trying on a helmet to ensure proper fit based on head circumference and adjusting the installed fit system.
Anon Sync Goggle + Bonus Lens
The Anon Sync Goggles offer the terrain defining-clarity of PERCEIVE optics and the convenience of M-Fusion magnetic latch system to secure and guide lenses into place.
Full-perimeter venting ensures maximum airflow for a clear, fog-free view in all conditions. They are over-the-glass compatible for wearing with eyeglasses and include a bonus lens for cloudy conditions plus a microfiber bag for storage and lens cleaning.
Another key feature? MFI Technology (Magnetic Facemask Integration) to protect your face and simplify your kit.
The four magnetic connection points make sealing your MFI facemask to your goggle a snap, and provides long-lasting connection without disrupting your goggle’s performance on-hill. The reinforced perforated O2 vents keep you fully covered and fog-free making sure you never sacrifice clarity for comfort.