The excuses of not wearing a helmet while riding range from, “It gets too hot inside” to “helmet is too heavy”. While the Indian government’s new rules have mostly taken care of the second so-called issue, the first one is being addressed by the BluSnap2 helmet cooler. Yes, you read it right. Aptener Mechatronics, a Bangalore-based start-up has introduced portable helmet coolers in India. The product cost is Rs 2,299 and is available online as well as at leading helmet accessory stores in India. We got a test unit and used it for almost a month.
What the BluSnap2 made of and how heavy is it?
We wouldn’t want to bore you with the details and as it is, BluArmor have done a good job of explaining things here.
The entire device weighs 270gm. Once strapped on, there is no issue with the device coming in your line of sight or you will not even feel the extra weight. However, if you want to look behind with the helmet, it seems a bit cumbersome and the same is the case if you want to look down. Moreover, others will look at you as a Darth Vader companion or someone who is out on a gas chamber mission. Jokes aside, once you get used to it, you will hardly notice the BluSnap2 helmet cooler.
How does the BluSnap2 helmet cooler work?
In short, there is a small motor inside this assembly. It pushes in fresh air that is filtered by a cartridge. This cartridge is to be dunked in water for a good 10s before you start the ride. BluArmor claims that this will provide around 1.3hrs of cool air. The device can be charged externally and a single charge usually takes four hours. We liked the fact that the battery back up is nearly the same as claimed by the company – 10 hours. If you were worried about your visor getting fogged up all the time (My ARAI Quantum J does tend to all the time), then the helmet cooler solves that problem as well. It directs fresh air inside the helmet, thereby preventing the visor from fogging and provides clear vision.
BluArmor says that the temperature inside the helmet is significantly more than the outside. Given that summers in India tend to get quite hot, the helmet cooler reduces inside temperature by about 6-15 degrees. While it isn’t noticeable once you hit the open highway, the traffic conditions is where the BluSnap2 helmet cooler works best. It silently works in the background putting the area around your cheeks, upper lip, nose and to some extent even some parts of the forehead, sweat free. The downside is that the air vent sits close to your chin. This portion, once you remove the helmet, is noticeably sweaty.
I have a half face helmet. Will it work?
A half-faced helmet, as it is provides fresh air from the lower side of the lid. You won’t need a helmet cooler. Moreover, a full face helmet, if strapped properly, protects your head in a better fashion than a half-faced unit will. Speaking of which, in the event of a crash with the helmet cooler strapped on, the device will tend to break rather than hurt you with the debris. That’s a nice thought especially given that a helmet’s primary role is to protect the wearer.
By the way, the helmet cooler also ensures that you don’t need to get your visor up while riding. This helps in the sense that there will be less dust and particles coming your way.
Would you recommend it?
For the price, it is a decent buy. If most of your rides are in town or in the city traffic conditions, you should get one. It will help a fair bit in beating the summer heat but again, it is practically useless should your helmet have a lot of air vents and most of your trips are out on the highway. BluArmor says that this is an all-weather product. We are looking forward to test it in other seasons too see how much of a difference it makes.
What changes will you suggest in this product?
For starters, the device could be a bit smaller. The blower fan should have varying speeds depending on the traffic situation. The current fan speed seems a bit on the lower side but we understand that it has been kept so because a higher fan speed could distort vision. If the company can find a workaround for this, then the product will become even more alluring.