FAQ - Equestrian
- How to replace the cartrige of your airbag?
- How to install the saddle strap?
- How to procede the annual safety check?
- THE HELITE TECHNOLOGY
How does the Helite airbag system work?
Our equestrian airbag systems are provided with a mechanical detection system that includes a lanyard, a saddle strap to be installed on the horse’s saddle and a CO2 cartridge. To activate the system, the rider simply has to hook the carabiner of the lanyard in the saddle strap. No tools or technical knowledge are required for this installation.
In case of a fall, the lanyard will unhook and the gas 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. After inflation, the system can be reused and reconditioned by the rider in less than 2 minutes. Simply change the gas cartridge.
+ Learn more about the mechanical system
Which parts are covered in case of fall?
In the event of a fall, the unique shape of our airbags offers optimal and complete protection of the vital areas: spinal column, kidneys, thorax and hips. They compress the trunk for better resistance to hyper-extension and stabilize the head and neck.
Our airbags also provide trunk stiffening to stabilize and protect internal organs such as the lungs, pancreas, abdomen, stomach and liver.
+ Learn more about the Helite protection
What is the inflation time?
The inflation time of our airbag systems is 100 ms which is faster than the blink of an eye. This speed allows us to inflate a big volume with optimal pressure.
Are the Helite airbag systems CE certified?
Yes, all airbag systems are CE certified by by the external laboratory ALIENOR CERTIFICATION, the French specialist for objectively testing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
For which disciplines is the airbag adapted to?
We have 2 types of airbags adapted to the various disciplines.
The Airjacket: classic model dedicated to cross-country and eventing. With its adjustable straps, this airbag vest can be worn over any equestrian clothing and also over a rigid protector.
The invisible Zip’In airbag: designed for riders who want more discreet protection and combine style and safety. The airbag and the outers are separate: the rider can thus choose the outer according to his discipline: jumping, dressage, show – training or competition. With a single zip, you can combine these two components and enjoy complete protection. We collaborate with several brands such as Oscar & Gabrielle (Freejump) and Dada Sport who have created their outers compatible with the Helite Zip’In airbag.
What is the difference between the AirJacket and the Zip'in airbag in terms of protection?
No, there is no difference in terms of protection. Only the usage changes. The protection volume, airbag shape, detection time and protection zones remain the same.
What is the proctection volume?
Our airbags offer the biggest protection volume on the market between 14 and 28 L, depending on the size of the airbag. The bigger the volume, the more the impact will be absorbed in the event of a fall.
- How does the Helite airbag system work?
- PURCHASE OF THE HELITE AIRBAG SYSTEM
Where can I find and buy the Helite equestrian airbag systems?
Helite airbags are available in more than 30 countries. We have a large network of distributors worldwide. We can be found in most online equestrian and saddlery shops and their points of sale.
The Helite collection is also available from the Helite online shop (in Europe only).
How to choose the right size?
It is important to choose the right size of your airbag system for optimal protection. For this, we advise you to follow our size chart available on each product page.
Hint: measuring your back is important and a good indication to find the right size.
Caution: the minimum weight of the user must be 35 kg. Our airbag systems must always be worn over your clothing or rigid protections, don’t forget to take this into account when measuring.
For the AIRJACKET model, a fist must be placed between the vest and the clothing you are wearing under the vest.
See our size chart below to find out exactly where you need to measure.
Can I try the airbag system?
Yes, it is possible to try and even test an airbag inflation at any of our dealers. We even advise you to do so to choose the right size and to ask the dealers for instructions on how to use the airbag system.
- How can I find a dealer nearby?
- Where can I buy new cartridges?
- Where can I by the accessories for my airbag system (saddle strap, cartridge, lanyard)?
- Where can I find and buy the Helite equestrian airbag systems?
- FIRST USE OF THE AIRBAG SYSTEM
Is the airbag system sold ready-to-use?
Yes, all our airbag systems are delivered ready-to-use. This means that you can use your airbag directly after you have purchased it. The airbag consists of 1 cartridge, 1 lanyard and a saddle strap.
How to correctly install the saddle strap on the saddle?
It’s easy and it doesn’t require any special tools or knowledge.
1- Remove the two stirrup leathers from your saddle.
2- Attach the two Y-arms on each side of your saddle to the stirrup bars. You will probably have to loosen the saddle strap to reach the stirrup bars.
3- Put your stirrup leathers back.
Once the installation is completed, make sure to adjust your saddle strap and lanyard properly.
CAUTION: Only hook the lanyard in the saddle strap since any other part of the saddle could break in case of a fall. Please make sure that your lanyard cannot wrap around the saddle.
How to correctly adjust the saddle strap?
Your saddle strap should not be too long or too short. A strap that is too long can delay or prevent the airbag from inflating effectively. A strap that is too short could disturb you when mounting and cause unexpected activation, especially when jumping.
What is the saddle strap for?
The saddle strap ensures that the airbag system is connected correctly to the rider. It is installed under the saddle (see question ” How to correctly install the saddle strap on the saddle?”) to have a sturdy and balanced point that cannot break in case of a fall.
How to activate the system?
A simple click and you’re protected: just hook the lanyard in the saddle strap.
- Is the airbag system sold ready-to-use?
- MOUNTING WITH THE HELITE AIRBAG SYSTEM
How to wear the airbag system?
AirJacket: the airbag is worn over your equipment (garment and rigid protection)
Zip’In Airbag: the airbag is combined with the compatible outer via a zip.
Caution: remember to close the adjustment straps (AirJacket) and the zip (Zip’In) to get the best protection in case of a fall
Is the airbag waterproof?
Helite outers and airbags are designed for outdoor use. You can also wear them when it rains. In case of heavy rain, we recommend adding a rain cape.
What happens if I forget to detach myself?
Helite airbag systems are provided with a mechanical system to prevent unexpected activation. The tractive force required to trigger the airbag is between 20 and 30 kg depending on the size. If the rider forgets to detach himself when getting off the horse, he will feel a very strong tension on his garment. Like the belt in the car, attaching and detaching the lanyard will quickly become a habit.
Can I use a rigid protector under my airbag system?
AirJacket: yes you can wear a rigid protector under the vest
Zip’in airbag: Zip’In airbag: no because it can be very tight under the vest.
Do I need to recharge the system?
The mechanical system is always operational. It doesn’t have a battery, so there’s no no need to recharge it. A simple annual check is sufficient for the proper maintenance of the airbag.
+ Watch video: Annual safety check of my Helite airbag system
- How to wear the airbag system?
- TRAVELING WITH MY HELITE AIRBAG SYSTEM
Can I travel with my Helite airbag system?
You can travel with your Helite airbag in the bus, car or train without any restrictions. If you travel by plane, you may encounter some difficulties with the safety services regarding the CO2 cartridges used to inflate the airbag. According to the regulation (Iata regulation), you are allowed to fly with 2 gas cartridges (volume must be less than 200cc), in the cabin or in the hold. Even if the regulation allows it, it is possible that the security service or the airline company will refuse to let you board with it. We strongly recommend that you print out the “Iata Regulations” and show this document to the security service or the airline during the check if they ask for further explanations. In any case, it is the airport security service and the airline that will make the final decision on whether or not to accept the airbag on board.
- Can I travel with my Helite airbag system?
- REUSING THE HELITE AIRBAG SYSTEM AFTER A FALL
Can I reuse my Helite airbag system after a fall?
No. The CO2 cartridge is single-use and not reusable. A used or damaged cartridge will have to be recycled or disposed in accordance with your country’s legislation. To reactivate your airbag system, you must replace the old cartridge with a new one.
Please make sure that the cartridge corresponds to your airbag size.
How to replace the cartridge of my Helite airbag system?
It’s quick and easy and it only takes a few minutes and can be done by the rider:
1- Unscrew the bearing cap of the trigger system.
2- Unscrew the cartridge
3- Replace the piston
4- Replace the key-ball and close the bearing cap.
5- Screw in the new catridge of the same capacity.
How long will it take for my airbag to deflate after a fall?
The airbag inflates in less than 100 milliseconds, it protects and stabilizes the trunk optimally for 15-20 seconds. The airbag deflates progessively and is completely deflated after 5-7 minutes. If you are in a safe area, you can unscrew the cartridge to deflate the airbag much faster and remove the airbag.
Can I reuse the CO2 cartridge?
No. The CO2 cartridge is single-use and not reusable. A used or damaged cartridge will have to be recycled or disposed in accordance with your country’s legislation. To reactivate your airbag system, you must replace the old cartridge with a new one of the same capacity from Helite.
How to choose the right cartridge size?
There are 3 sizes of cartridges: 50cc, 60cc and 100 cc.
It is important to always replace a cartridge with a Helite brand cartridge of the same capacity.
To find the right size, please consult the label on the original cartridge, the size chart or the user guide.
Can I use any gas cartridge?
No. Only Helite branded cartridges must be used. Otherwise, your airbag will no longer be covered by the warranty and we cannot be held responsible in the event of a malfunction. Please ensure that you use the correct cartridge size (50cc, 60cc, 100cc). To obtain Helite brand cartridges, please contact our authorized dealers or visit our store locator to find the nearest store.
- Can I reuse my Helite airbag system after a fall?
- ZIP'IN TECHNOLOGY and AIRBAG PROTECTION
What is the Zip'In technology?
The Zip’In technology makes the airbag invisible by integrating the airbag lining inside a compatible outer via a zip on the sides.
This technology has been developed and patented by Helite and is made for all riders looking for a more discreet protection that combines style with a high level of safety. Ideal for training or jumping competitions.
+ Discover the Zip’In technology
What are the differences between the Zip'In airbag 1 and 2?
The Zip’In airbag 1 and 2 offer a very high level of protection.
The improvements of the Zip’In 2 are mainly in the integration and use of the airbag:
– Thanks to the central zip the vest can be worn alone or with an approved outer (recommended version).
– The shape of the airbag has been optimized, allowing better integration into the vest and a bigger protection volume at the thorax,
– The reduced weight of the cartridge allows a better comfort.
How to combine the airbag lining with a compatible outer (vest, jacket, blouson)?
It’s easy, just associate the Zip’In airbag (1 or 2) with an approved jacket always marked with the “Zip’In” label.
- Zip’In 1: the airbag is zipped inside the jacket.
- Zip’In 2: by zipping or not zipping the airbag under the outer.
Caution: for the Helite collection the size of the jacket and the Zip’In airbag must always be the same. For example, a size M Zip’In airbag must always be associated with a size M compatible outer. To know your size: refer to our size chart. If you hesitate between two sizes, take the larger one.
Can I wear the airbag alone?
Zip’In 1: No, it is mandatory to wear it with a compatible exterior.
Zip’In 2: Yes this is possible thanks to the addition of the central zip.
However, we recommend wearing it most of the time under an approved outer to avoid damage to the airbag in the event of a fall.
Can I wear the Zip'In airbag under any garment?
No, you must not wear the Zip’In airbag under any garment. In the event of a fall, the airbag will not be positioned properly, will not inflate optimally and therefore you will not be well protected. It must always be combined with a Zip’In compatible jacket, vest or blouson (Helite, Dada Sport, Oscar & Gabrielle).
Can I wear the Helite outers alone?
Yes, but you won’t be protected. The outer must be associated with a Zip’In 1 or 2 airbag lining to protect you.
How to choose the right size of my outer?
The size of the airbag and the outer must always be the same. A Zip’In airbag in size S must therefore be combined with a compatible outer in size S.
How to recognize Zip'In compatible outers?
Compatible and approved Zip’In outers must have the Zip’In label visible via a label sewn inside the jacket. This is the case today for the Helite range, and the airbag range of the brands Oscar & Gabrielle (Freejump) and Dada Sport.
Which brands are Helite Zip'In partners?
We work with the brands Dada Sport and Oscar & Gabrielle (Freejump).
The Zip’In compatible and approved outers must have the Zip’In label.
How to become a Zip'In partner?
We are constantly looking for new partners to expand the range of outers compatible with our Zip’In airbag in order to offer more and more choices to riders.
You are an equestrian brand and wish to work with us? Please contact us.
- What is the Zip'In technology?
How to maintain my airbag system?
We have different airbag models that require different maintenance procedures. Please go to the relevant product page for details.
We recommend an annual safety check to ensure that your system is functioning properly.
+ Video of the annual safety check
What are the annual checks to do?
To ensure that your airbag is working properly, we ask you to carry out an annual check:
1. Unscrew the CO2 cartridge and check its weight to make sure that the gas has not escaped.
2. Open the activation system (using the Allen key), clean the components with a cloth, check that there is no abnormal deterioration or rust.
+ See the annual inspection video
How to clean my airbag system?
AirJacket: You must not machine wash or immerse it in water. We recommend that you clean your airbag by rubbing it with a soft cloth and soapy water or wipes.
Zip’in airbag: You must not machine wash it or immerse it in water. We advise you to clean it by rubbing it with a soft cloth and soapy water or with baby wipes (no detergent products that could alter the fabric).
Outers: Can be machine washed at 30°.
In general, do not tumble dry, lay on a radiator or near a source of intense heat. Once clean, store the airbag in a dry place away from humidity.
How to check that the cartridge is still in a good condition?
Our cartridges come with a 10 year warranty. However, we recommend checking the condition of the cartridge once a year. To do so, simply unscrew the cartridge and weigh it on a scale. The weight must be between +/- 3g for 50CC and 60CC cartridges and +/- 5g for 100CC cartridges in relation to the weight indicated on the cartridge label.
Caution: If rust or other corrosive marks appear on the outer surface of the cartridge, change it immediately and contact your dealer.
- How to maintain my airbag system?
- AFTER SALES SERVICE and WARRANTY
What is the warranty of the Helite airbag systems?
All our airbag systems come with a 2 year warranty. If you register your product on www.my.helite.com within 3 months of purchase, you can benefit from an additional 2-year warranty extension. For registration, you will need your serial number (located on your product), the date of purchase and your invoice.
How to benefit from the warranty extension?
To benefit from an additional 2-year warranty (excluding textiles), register your airbag system on www.my.helite.com within 3 months of purchase. To register, you will need your serial number (located on your product), the date of purchase and your invoice.
Where can I find the serial number of my airbag system?
The location changes depending on the model. Click here to find out where to find the serial number of your product.
What is the warranty of the cartridges?
Helite cartridges come with a 10 year warranty.
However, we recommend checking them on an annual base. To do so, unscrew and weigh your CO2 cartridge on a scale.
The weight is written on the cartridge label.
For example, for 50 cc cartridges, the weight should be about +/- 3g and +/- 5g for 60 cc cartridges.
If rust or other corrosive marks appear on the outer surface of the cartridge, change it immediately and contact your dealer.
- What is the warranty of the Helite airbag systems?