The Iwind crowdfunded on Kickstarter in May this year but the campaign was canceled when it became clear it would not attain its goal. Still, interest in the product was warm enough to prompt a promise from the makers that – in the words of the great Schwarzenegger – they would be back. The Iwind will make a return at some later point and, hopefully, this time, secure the necessary funds to go into production.
Looking forward to this moment, here’s what could possibly be in store. The Iwind is made up of three separate parts – four, if you count the base that straps to the helmet with elastic straps, to which you magnetically attach the filtration module. There’s the filtration module in the back, a flexible articulated hose that goes all the way around, and a piece that sits in front of the mouth and nose, blowing air directly towards them.
“Iwind is your personal innovative breathing filter,” the makers say. “Lightweight and ergonomic, it is easy to attach to your cycling helmet in just one move. A powerful portable compressor takes in air, purifies it, and redirects fresh air flow toward your face. Even in heavy traffic, you will feel like you’re cycling in the woods.”
Iwind is no heavier than a pair of sunglasses, so it shouldn’t feel awkward adding it to the helmet. It doesn’t hinder visibility and, more importantly, it offers better air filtration than a standard mini-HEPA filter. In fact, it boasts of being able to catch particles as small as 0.4 microns and it also includes an antibacterial silver coating. In other words, it’s effective in offering protection from exhaust gases, dust, allergens and industrial wastes.
For amplified protection, Iwind can be delivered with a separate face mask as part of the kit. It is completely sealed and comes with exhalation flaps.
A bonus feature is the LED light on the back, offering rider visibility on the road without compromise on battery life. Iwind works with most bike helmets on the market – from what we gather, if they have holes, you can strap the base on them, and the rest is a piece of cake. Made from durable recycled plastic, it’s easily disassembled and put together.
If you’re thinking a regular mask would work just as well, the makers say it won’t. Iwind has the advantage of not coming into contact with the face, not fogging up glasses, not getting wet from exhaled air and it doesn’t muffle the voice, so you can still chat on your phone – as long as you’re stationary, of course.
All this sounds good, but the one aspect that will make all the difference is this: will cyclists dare ridicule by strapping this device onto their heads?