Women’s helmets target comfort by design
Schuberth designs helmets specifically for women’s facial structures
Powersports aftermarket suppliers have made great strides in the past decade in providing gear specifically for women. Riders can now buy jackets, chaps, gloves, etc., with a feminine fit. But what about helmets, a key piece of protective gear?
In that category, Schuberth is the clear leader, as the only helmet manufacturer to have designed lids specifically for women’s unique facial structures.
Schuberth offers the C3 Pro Women and the C3W, which are women’s versions of the company’s popular men’s helmets that actually include different features designed for female customers.
Schuberth’s journey into women’s helmets began when the company stumbled upon research showing that the female facial structure is different than a man’s. The company then polled some of its female employees and learned that they had had issues with helmet fitment. That prompted the engineers to run their own research, which had the same findings about facial shape.
“Third party research and additional research that Schuberth engineers did show that women generally have smaller heads and different facial structures [than men],” said Sarah Schilke, marketing and PR manager for Schuberth North America.
Research revealed that women typically have a high, prominent cheekbones and narrower jaws than men. Some of the reports Schuberth received were from women who said helmets that often fit the crown of their heads are too loose on their faces. For a helmet to reach optimal fit, it should be snug across the crown and throughout the face and move with the face when the strap is tugged. To reach this effect, many women have resorted to wearing beanies or scarves to fill voids in their helmets.
Once Schuberth learned more about the differences in facial structures, the company set out to design women-specific helmets. What has resulted is a lid design that doesn’t fit all women, but one that conforms better to the faces of most.
“The main difference is primarily in the fit of the cheek pads. The cheek pads have been reconstructed to fit that facial structure better. Also, they’re made of a softer memory foam, so they will shape to a woman’s features better,” Schilke said. “The material of the liner is a little bit different — it’s easy to clean, it’s made for sensitive skin and also the colors are made to mask makeup residue, since a lot of us like to ride with makeup.”
This attention to detail and the lengths Schuberth has gone to in its quest to design a female-specific helmet set the company apart.
“We’re the only company that makes a women’s helmet that is specifically engineered to fit differently,” Schilke said. “A lot of other companies have women’s helmets that are women’s only because of graphics.”
Because so much marketing in general is aimed specifically at women, Schilke said some have been skeptical of the product, but many have grasped the concept once they’ve had a closer look.
“They aren’t buying it just because it’s made for a woman. When they try it on and the majority time it does fit really well, I think it sways them,” she said.
Female customers are not only attracted to the new features of the helmet, but also to the light weight that Schuberth aims for in all of its products. Along with the differences in facial structure, Schuberth’s research found that women have weaker necks than men, so the lighter weight can ease a lot
Schuberth finds it important to make product for women, not only for the ever-important safety aspect, but also because of sales opportunities.
“I would venture to guess that most people, when they think about the women’s market, they think the numbers aren’t there to justify making a product just for women because they think about that 10-12 percent [rider] demographic. But for helmets and apparel, you have to think about the passenger market as well,” Schilke explained.
So far, the women-specific helmets have done so well that sales have surprised even those at Schuberth. The company has even ventured out of its normal colorways to offer a Pearl Pink version to appeal to a wider audience. Schuberth will continue offering the women’s fit in a few of its models going forward.