No Worries, You Can Fall

One of the biggest bnummers of any sport is the fear of injury from falls and winter sports are no different. Here is a jacket that proposes to act as a protective gear against those accidental slips on the ice, which can be really painful. The design includes an impact chamber filled with water and air that acts as a cushioning. On impact, the air is pushed up the back channel and into the dissipation chamber situated around the jacket’s neck, inflating it. Wear it and show off your stunts, without fear!

Since the neck area gets inflated, it offers a certain degree of whiplash protection and support. It’s a good idea to fill in drinkable water into the chamber; coz once you’re knocked down you may want to replenish yourself with some.

Shaken and stirred!

Designer: Francis Fox

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38 Comments

  • Carl says:

    So the more you drink the less effective it becomes?

    so at the end of the day when you are going for that one last big stunt, you have drank all your water this is of no use at all?

    • Radhika Seth says:

      Carl, I think you would have the sense to drink the water AFTER the fall and not Before it!
      Anyways after you use up the water, it gets replaced by air, so the cushioning stays!

  • Julia says:

    wouldn’t it freeze?

  • Edera says:

    Since it is under the jacket and next to your body, your own body heat should keep the water from freezing…. i think

  • Ed says:

    Great concept!

    I would certainly wear one for snowboarding.

  • One of our companies is in the martial arts and law enforcement protective equipment business and I know what it takes to protect against impact. This is a very interesting idea!

  • M.S.W. says:

    The image shows the demonstrator falling on his shoulder which isn’t protected with this product design.

    As far as freezing, the water needs only be a degree or so above the freezing point which should be easily done since the water bladder is so close to the user’s body heat.

    Design is a good start point, still needs development. Such as testing how much impact will it absorb before the seams of the bladder pop open.

    • Carl says:

      bingo and how many neck injuries there are, i bet there far more leg, back and arm injuries than wiplash. So to protect your neck to have to land on your lower back

    • demax says:

      If the water stays warm enough due to body heat, doesn’t that mean that it’s going to lower your body temperature? I don’t think that’s what you want at subzero outside temperatures.
      When it’s filled with air though, it will act as a good isolator.

  • damien says:

    can you buy this anywhere? i am interested

  • Thanks for everyones comments, its nice to hear different opinions. Just to clarify, this is primarily a hydration device that offers impact cushioning and an air bag system as a bonus. If you are going to carry a Camelbak style device around all day, it might as well provide a degree of protection. This will not out perform hard shell protection like dainese back protectors, but simply increases the functionality of a typical hydration device.

    • Carl says:

      does falling on your lower back lead to wiplash?

      when there is no fluid in the sack will this work with air? if so after every swig you have do you have to blow the same amount of air back into the sack?

      • Falling on your back doesnt always lead to a whiplash style movement but in the 1% that it does, the mechanism will provide some advantage. There is no loss of function in terms of hydration from having this neck air bag, so why no include it in every design- it allows the air to move around the body which takes some of the pressure off the bag’s seams, preventing it from splitting.
        After the water has been drank, you will have to blow air back into the bag, but manufactures such as camelbak recommend you do this anyway to move the water out of the delivery tube to prevent it from freezing. The whole mechanism works with the movement of air, the water mainly stays in the bottom half of the bag.

        • Carl says:

          so there is only a one in a hundred chance that this will provide ‘some advantage’?

          • No not necessarily, it depends where you fall because this can be different each time. I said ‘some advantage’ because i dont want to claim that this will prevent you from being injured, just provide an extra cushion between you and the ground. Remember this is taking the functionality of a hydration device and providing some ‘cushioning’, I would be wrong to claim it will stop you from being hurt- but it is better than no protection at all!

          • Carl says:

            so what your hinting at here is that its not really a protection device or would be marketed as one, just a camel pack with a gimmick? Of all the areas of injury on the slopes (ankle, knee, bum, elbow, spine and neck) this would provide possible protection for neck IF you land on your lower back?

            I assume you didn’t design the original camel pack or invent the airbag, just thought without comprehensive research into injury stats thought it would be a good idea to juxtaposition them both together. (Take it this is student work?)

            but hey sell the idea on looks, but watch out for the lawsuits.

  • laz says:

    Where can I buy one of these? they look very cool!!!!

  • dunno-man says:

    Nice idea, but I guess there won’t be enough pressure/speed generated to fully blow up the neck nut in case of a “wilson”(falling on your back).
    Just think about the reaction time of airbags, or back protectors filled with gel that turns solid within a 1/100sec in case of an impact!
    Furthermore it will probably be too expensive to produce-either you make a decent back/neck protector(expensive), or a rather simple hydration backpack(cheap).
    Nice thought, though – still needs some development.
    Same thing about the style, rock on dude!

  • michal says:

    good idea, but don’t u think that water is very heavy and incompressible so pressure from impact can damage ‘impact bladder’ material. Neck protection concept is very cool. I ride a lot so I know that sometimes when u don’t stomp trick u gonna feel u neck all night 🙂
    Maybe some kind of light liquid foam or something for body proctection could be better.

  • Great concept! I suppose once the water has been drunk you top up the chamber with air!

    Saves you having to carry a water bottle in a rucksack as well!

  • Regarding the pack filling up with air once all the water has been drank – The water comes from the bottom of the pack, so suction will drain the water out, and air bubbles could travel back up through the hose and bubble to the empty sections of the pack.
    The air will not be pressurized though, it will be at equilibrium with the air around it. (High altitude air at that) Falling on the pack might only be as effective as falling on a garbage bag that has been filled with air and has a few holes in it.

    If this design was going for “airbag” style protection, I imagine a small battery powered pump and a valve could be added to the bad.

    That being said, I think this is an awesome idea. If you fill it up with water in the morning, at lunch, and during an afternoon break, there should usually be somewater to help break a fall. It won’t help against broken wrists – that’s what wrist guards are for. But if you view it as a Camelbak with some extra functionality – you have the chance of protecting your chest, back and neck. Ever fallen while sliding on a railing? Great work Francis.

  • moyed says:

    useless frozen bag

  • No, not a frozen bag. I snowboard enough (in BC and Alberta, not Mammoth) and ride with guys who use Camelbaks religiously, and have never heard about the bag freezing.

    “Does the tube freeze on a real cold day?
    No. We sell a separate tubing insulator for snowshoers, hardcore skiers and snowboards, and cross-country skiers. Wearing the CamelBak under your jacket helps on really cold days too. We’ve talked to ski patrollers and mountaineers who use CamelBaks in harsh, sub-zero conditions. After drinking, they sometimes blow air back down the tube. While this defeats the purpose of our Bite Valve, it will keep it from icing at 25 F. below zero. By the way, if you ever use a CamelBak under conditions like that, let us know. You might wind up starring in our next ad. “

  • George Walker says:

    i really dig this design.

  • Wow this is pretty awesome 😀

  • Joshua Kelaher says:

    To Francis Fox: I'd really like to discuss this prototype with you a bit further. If you could, please email me.

  • Joshua Kelaher says:

    To Francis Fox: I'd really like to discuss this prototype with you a bit further. If you could, please email me.

  • choppe3 says:

    Personally, I use a camelback when I ride long days. It never freezes. I keep it close to the body and it does help with impact. As for the hose, when riding I use an insulator and if it's cold i use the blow back method and it works great. I teach snowboarding and skiing and can be out for long days and a bladder is a great way to keep my hands free, not drop anything and still stay hydrated. I like the concept here. I see a lot of whiplash with new riders catching edges and experienced ones pushing themselves.

    Nice concept. As far as the seams go, a good 3/8" ultrasonic weld should hold up VERY well. A nice addition may be sheer resistant foams to protect along the sides. They help fend off branches when riding trees.

  • choppe3 says:

    Personally, I use a camelback when I ride long days. It never freezes. I keep it close to the body and it does help with impact. As for the hose, when riding I use an insulator and if it's cold i use the blow back method and it works great. I teach snowboarding and skiing and can be out for long days and a bladder is a great way to keep my hands free, not drop anything and still stay hydrated. I like the concept here. I see a lot of whiplash with new riders catching edges and experienced ones pushing themselves.

    Nice concept. As far as the seams go, a good 3/8″ ultrasonic weld should hold up VERY well. A nice addition may be sheer resistant foams to protect along the sides. They help fend off branches when riding trees.

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