Helite US | Airbag Technology Expert

FAQs

  • THE HELITE TECHNOLOGY
    • How Does Helite's Technology work?

      Helite equestrian airbag systems come with a mechanical detection system that includes a lanyard, saddle strap and CO2 cartridge. To activate the system, the rider simply has to install the saddle strap and hook the lanyard's carabiner on the saddle strap. No tools or technical knowledge is required.

      In case of a fall, the lanyard will unhook and the cartridge will deploy the airbag in less than 100 ms (faster than the blink of an eye). The airbag absorbs the impact and completely stabilizes the upper body from head to tailbone. For an airvest to deploy the rider and horse must be separated.

      After inflation, the system can be reused and reset by the rider in less than 2 minutes by simply changing the CO2 cartridge.

    • How To Install The Device Correctly?

      To install the device correctly, the saddle straps and lanyard must be placed properly. Check out the video below for how to install the saddle strap.

    • How To Install The Saddle Strap?

      Saddle straps are easy to install and don't require any special tools or technical knowledge.

      1. Remove the two stirrups from your saddle.
      2. Attach the two Y-arms on each side of your saddle to the stirrup bars. You may need to loosen the saddle strap to reach the stirrup bars.
      3. Put your stirrups back on.

      Once the installation is complete, make sure to adjust your saddle strap and lanyard properly.

      CAUTION: Only hook the lanyard to the saddle strap. Hooking onto other parts of the saddle may cause damage to the saddle and negatively affect deployment of the airbag. Additionally, ensure the lanyard cannot wrap around or get tangled in the saddle.

    • What's The Proper Length For The Saddle Strap?

      Once you have installed the saddle strap, get on your horse with the airbag and stand up in the stirrups. If the saddle strap is at the proper length, there will be very little stretch from the lanyard.

    • Why Install The Saddle Strap?

      The saddle strap ensures that the airbag will deploy in case of a fall. Attaching the lanyard directly to the saddle could result in damage to the saddle and could interfere with the deployment of the airbag.

    • What Body Parts Are Protected By The Airbag Vest?

      In the event of a fall, the unique shape and design of the Helite airbag offers optimal protection of these vital areas:

      • Neck
      • Spinal Column
      • Kidneys
      • Thorax
      • Hips
      • Tailbone

      The airbag compresses the truck for better resistance to hyper-extension as well as stabilizes the head and neck. Helite airbags also stiffen the trunk to secure and protect internal organs such as:

      • Lungs
      • Pancreas
      • Abdomen
      • Stomach
      • Liver
    • What Is The Time Of Inflation?

      The inflation time of Helite's airbag systems is 100 ms, which is faster than the blink of an eye. This speed allows inflation at a greater volume with optimal pressure.

    • What Is The Protection's Volume?

      Helite's airbags offer the greatest protection volume on the market, between 14L and 28L, depending on the size of the airbag. The larger the volume, the more impact will be absorbed in the event of fall.

  • DISCIPLINES
    • Which Airbag For Which Discipline?

      Classic disciplines such as eventing, dressage, jumper, hunter and western.

      Helite has 2 types of airbags, both of which are adaptable to the various disciplines.

      • The AirJacket: Dedicated to cross-country and eventing. With adjustable straps, this airbag vest can be worn over any equestrian clothing and also over a rigid protector.
      • The Zip'In Airbag: Designed for riders who want more discreet protection as well as style and comfort. The airbag and outer shell are seperate. Thus the rider can choose the outer shell according to their discipline. With a single zip, you can combine these two components and enjoy complete protection.

      We collaborate with several brands who have created their outers to be compatible with the Helite Zip'In airbag.

  • SIZE
    • How To Choose The Right Size?

      It is important to choose the right size of airbag system to ensure optimal protection. We advise following the size chart available on each product page.

      TIP: Measuring your back is a good indication to find the right size.

      For The AirJacket, a fist must be able to fit between the vest and the clothing you are wearing under the vest.

      CAUTION: the minimum weight of the user must be 35 kg (77 lbs). Our airbag systems must always be worn over your clothing or rigid protector.

  • ZIP'IN FREE OR AIRJACKET
    • First Use

      All of Helite's airbag systems are delivered ready-to-use. This means that you can use the airbag directly after your purchase. Every airbag comes with 1 CO2 cartridge, a lanyard and a saddle strap. Make sure to install the saddle strap correctly to the stirrups bar and read the use guide carefully.

    • How To Wear The Airbag Vest

      The Airjacket is worn over your equipment (garment and rigid protector). The Zip'In can be combined with a compatible outer via a zipper or can be worn on its own.

      CAUTION: remember to close the adjustment straps on the AirJacket and the zipper on the Zip'In to get the best protection in case of a fall.

    • Is The Airbag Vest Water Resistant?

      Helite outers and airbags are designed for outdoor use and can be worn in the rain. In case of heavy rain, we recommend adding a rain cape. Once you are out of the rain, simply hang the vest to dry.

    • Can I Wear A Body Protector Underneath The Airbag Vest?

      The Airjacket can be worn over any equipment such as clothing or a body protector.

      It is not recommended that you wear a body protector under the Zip'In as it may be too tight under the vest.

    • Can I Wear The Vest Alone?

      The Helite equestrian airbag vest can be worn under compatible garments or on top of any other clothing.

      Please Note, only compatible clothing with the Helite logo guarantees that your airbag will deploy correctly, ensuring maximum safety.

    • What Are The Compatible Garments?

      You can't wear the airbag under any garment because the air bag may not deploy correctly in the case of a fall. Only garments with the "compatible label" or Helite logo will ensure that the airbag will deploy correctly and protect the rider.

  • NOISE
    • When The Airbag Deploys, Does The Noise Spook The Horse?

      It's very rare that horses spook when the airbag deploys. The inflation of the airbag is so fast that the horse has no time to analyze what happened. We have done extensive research inside barns and horses seldom react to the airbag.

  • FALL
    • How To Reuse The Airbag Vest After A Fall?

      After a fall and the deployment of the airbag, the rider can get back on the horse within a few minutes. Helite's easy-to-use airbag is reset by the rider without any intervention from our part. Simply replace the empty CO2 cartridge with a new Helite cartridge of the same capacity.

    • What Happens When The Rider Falls?

      When the rider is ejected from the saddle, it pulls out the key-ball from the lanyard activating the system. The gas deploys into the airbag in less than 100 ms (faster than the blink of an eye). The airbag then absorbs the impact and stabilizes the upper body from head to tailbone while protecting internal organs and preventing whiplash.

    • How Long Does The Airbag Remain Inflated After A Fall?

      In the event of a fall, the airbag vest inflates in less than 100 ms, protecting and stabilizing the upper body. After 15-20 seconds the airbag will slowly begin to deflate and after 5-7 minutes it will be completely deflated.

      TIP: To deflate the airbag quicker, unscrew the cartridge which can be removed right after the fall.

  • CARTRIDGE
    • Which cartridge Do You Use?

      The size of the cartridge depends on the size of the airbag vest. The size is indicated in the vest where you insert the cartridge as well as on the label of the cartridge, in the user guide and on Heliteus.com.

      CAUTION: Only Helite cartridges may be used for Helite airbag vests. Other brands cannot guarantee optimal performance or proper deployment. Helite is not responsible in the case of dysfunction.

    • Are Cartridges Reusable?

      Cartridges are not reusable. In the case of a fall and the airbag is deployed, the cartridge will release all of the gas. You may recycle the cartridge or put it in the garbage..

    • Where To Buy Spare Cartridges?

      It is important to replace the used cartridges with a new Helite one of the same capacity. You can buy cartridges at Heliteus.com or at any of our retailers.

    • How To Verify The Cartridge?

      Helite CO2 Cartridges have a 10 year warranty. We advise verifying the cartridge at least once a year. To Verify, simply unscrew it and put it on a kitchen scale. The weight should be + or - 3g maximum of the weight indicated on the cartridge.

      Check out the video to learn more about our CO2 cartridges

  • DISMOUNTING
    • What Happens When The Rider Forgets To Unclip Before Getting Off The Horse?

      It depends on the power of the dismount. Descending off the horse smoothly should not cause the airbag to deploy. However, if you jump off your horse, the system may deploy.

    Helite's airbag systems contain a mechanical system that prevents unexpected activation. The tractive force required to trigger the airbag is between 20 and 30kg depending on the size. If the rider forgets to detach themselves when getting off the horse, they will feel a strong tension on their garment.

    Similarly to the seatbelt in a car, attaching and detaching the lanyard will quickly become a habit.

  • CERTIFICATION OF THE AIRBAG
    • What are the labels obtained by the Helite's airbag?

      All Helite airbag systems are CE (Conformité Européenne) certified by the external laboratory ALIENOR CERTIFICATION, the French specialist for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) testing.

  • MAINTENANCE
    • How To Take Care Of The Airbag Vest:

      We recommend doing an annual test to ensure the airbag works correctly.

    • Annual Maintenance:

      To ensure that the airbag is working properly, please make sure to do an annual test.

      1. Unscrew the CO2 cartridge and check its weight to make sure that no gas has escaped.
      2. Open the activation system (using the Allen key), clean the components with a cloth, then check that there is no abnormal deterioration or rust.
    • How To Clean Helite's Airbag Vest?

      AirJacket: Do not machine wash or soak in water. Clean your airbag by rubbing it with a soft cloth and soapy water.

      Zip'In airbag: Do not machine wash or soak in water. Clean your airbag with a soft cloth and soapy water. (no detergent products that could alter the fabric)

      Outers: Can be machine washed at 30°C or warm water.

      TIP: Do not tumble dry or keep near a heat source. Once the airbag is clean, store it in a dry place away from humidity.

  • WARRANTIES
    • What Are The Warranties Offered On The Airbag Vest?

      All of our airbag systems come with a 4 year warranty once the product is registered on www.my.helite.com within 3 months of purchase. For registration, you will need the serial number (located on the product), the date of the purchase and the invoice.

  • TRAVEL WITH THE AIRBAG VEST
    • Can I Travel With The Airbag Vest?

      You can travel with Helite's airbag in a bus, car or train without any restrictions. If you travel by plane, you may encounter some difficulties with the safety services regarding the CO2 cartridge used to inflate the airbag.

      According to the IATA regulation, you are allowed to fly with 2 CO2 gas cartridges (volume must be less than 200cc), in the cabin or in the hold.

      Although regulation may allow it, it is possible that security services or the airline company will refuse to let you board with it. We strongly recommend printing out the IATA regulations and showing the document to airport security or the airline if they ask for further explanations.

      IATA Regulations

      It is up to airport security and the airline to make the final decision on whether or not to allow the airbag on board.

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