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Understanding In-Mold Helmet Construction

by Jim Bartlett June 15, 2016

In-Mold Helmet Construction - learn more about this popular manufacturing technique for helmets

Action sports helmets are made from several different manufacturing techniques. Each type of helmet has advantages and disadvantages, depending upon what mission the helmet is required to accomplish - and at what price! The three most popular helmet construction methods are:

  • In-mold
  • ABS
  • Soft Shell

What exactly is an "in-mold helmet"?

An in-mold helmet is a helmet constructed with a manufacturing technique where the foam interior liner of the helmet is "blown in" while the hard exterior shell is still in the manufacturing mold. (Hence, the term "in-mold"...). So, what does that mean? Well, in-mold helmets tend to be:

  • Light Weight. By fusing the liner to the shell during construction, the outer shell can be very thin and light weight.
  • Well Vented. With an in-mold helmet, the manufacturers are able to create many more vents, and locate them all around the helmet, while at the same time retaining the structural integrity of the shell/liner combination.
  • More Interesting Shapes. With in-mold construction, the helmet can have distinct angles, shapes, and certain features that make the helmet much more interesting and unique.

While in-mold construction was originally limited to high-end helmets, in-mold helmet construction now appears in many mid-to-high-end helmet models across bike, skate and snow helmets. If you want a very light weight helmet, with generous venting and unique styles and angles, then an in-mold helmet can be just right for you. Watch the following video from Giro for a pictorial explanation (it is oriented around snow helmets, but the in-mold discussion is relevant to both snow and bike helmets):



Jim Bartlett
Jim Bartlett


Founder of XSportsProtective, snowboarder, mountain biker, father of four young kids who love action sports.

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