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Beanie hardens into a safety helmet

Swatches | May 1, 2019 | By:

Available in multiple styles, the revolutionary cap-helmet means snow skiers don’t have to sacrifice comfort and style for safety on the slopes. Photo: ANTI Ordinary.

One of the quickest ways to get hurt downhill skiing is to skip the helmet. In fact, 88 percent of all snow sport-related deaths are due to head injuries, yet many people just won’t wear a helmet on the slopes. Australian bioengineer Rob Joseph learned this lesson the hard way. Frustrated with his helmet while snowboarding, he took it off and then sustained a brain injury. He and his friend, Brodie Robinson, a product engineer, wanted to find a wearable solution, started the company ANTI Ordinary and developed a soft cap with unique properties that protects against injuries.

Naturally flexible, the ANTI Ordinary A1 beanie feels like any knit cap. But upon impact, it instantly hardens into a protective helmet. The cap features a durable acrylic outer layer, with an  inner layer made of moisture-wicking Merino wool. The protection resides in a blend of non-Newtonian fluids that start soft and rubbery, but stiffen instantly upon impact. After the hit, the liquid goes back to its soft state. 

This material has been used in body padding for other action sports but had not been sufficient to absorb enough force to be classified as a helmet. ANTI Ordinary’s patented layering system does enable the material to absorb sufficient force: It converts the overall system from one that disperses force to one that is better at absorbing impacts, especially complex impacts that can cause head trauma. The beanie is expected to be certified with the EN1077 and ASTM F2040 safety standards. For more details, visit

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