ProView – Bern Hudson
I bike strictly for pleasure. I am far from a skilled mountain biker. Other than the occasional charity event, I do not partake in long road rides. I enjoy using my bike as another way to spend time in the outdoors, explore sights at slower speeds, and help reduce my environmental impact when running local errands. Even though my bike pace is not intense, having a proper helmet is still of utmost importance. Knowing that it was time to replace my previous bike helmet, I was excited to get the opportunity to test out the Bern Hudson. I have spent the past few weeks enjoying the long-awaited spring weather on bike paths and back roads around town in south-central Alaska with my new Bern helmet in tow.
Product Description: Whether speeding through your commute, or enjoying a breezy weekend, the Hudson is certified to keep you safe. Designed with the urban commuter in mind, the Hudson comes with an integrated LED light and reinforced u-lock vents. The Hudson is meticulously designed to keep you comfortable with 13 strategically place vents for optimal airflow
Offer price: MSRP: $119.99
The Bern Hudson bike helmet offers superior protection while providing the perfect blend of fashion and function. This helmet is ideal for warm weather commuting and pleasure riding. You truly will “Stay Out There” with features adding to your safety and comfort even after the sun goes down.
- Loaded with extra features
- Designed for safety
- Light can be tricky to operate
- Fit is slightly big
- Price is higher than other commuter helmets
I am a true medium in helmet sizes and love that Bern sizes helmets come in small, medium, and large. I never feel that helmets fit quite right when the sizes offered are combined such as a small/medium. The Hudson has a dial system to allow the user to create a more custom fit. I have always shyed from dial systems fearing they would be fragile, but the dial operates very smoothly. While the dial allowed me to get the helmet to fit snugly front to back, I could never get the helmet to fit snugly side to side. I also feel the helmets fit a bit too deeply. While extra coverage is a great safety feature for a commuter helmet, it came close to impeding my vision when the visor was adjusted down. Both issues I plan to remedy by repurposing some padding from my old helmet and installing in this one. Overall, the helmet was very comfortable and stayed in place well.
Bern strives to produce products that are both stylish and different. I always have had a hard time feeling stylish when wearing a helmet as they often feel blocky and bulky. I really enjoy the look of the Hudson and received many compliments. I love the matte finish (though the white is available in satin) and the variety of neutral color choices. I chose mint green, which is complemented by a darker green lower portion and a gray visor and straps. I also really like the look of the removable fabric visor. It’s different. It’s edgy. It’s fun!
This helmet is loaded with features. It’s no surprise that the Hudson is the 2021 Innovation Award Winner from Outdoor Retailer. Safety-wise, it has the MIIPS technology to help keep you safer from rotational impact during a fall. It also meets the NTA 8776 safety standard providing 25% more impact absorption and is rated for speeds up to 27 mph making it an option for e-bikes and scooters. There are 13 vents in this helmet, which provide excellent ventilation. If you like to lock your helmet up with your bike, you will love that the vents in the back of the helmet are reinforced and U-Lock compatible. The visor (in addition to looking cool) provides shading from the sun and can be flipped up when not needed or switched out with the provided plain padding if unwanted. Not being someone who likes sunglasses or ball caps, I love having this visor. Extra padding is also included to place over the chin strap. Bern is using an exceptionally soft material for the straps. These straps are far more comfortable than any other helmet I have worn.
A removeable and rechargeable 6.6 lumen LED light is also included with the helmet. The light has three different modes best described as steady, pulsing, and flashing. A short charging cord is also included, but the light is compatible with any micro USB charger. The light is very easy to attach/detach from the helmet and the entire outer lens serves as a switch. The light can be a bit tricky to operate. To turn it off or on, you must click it twice very quickly. Perhaps this is to prevent the light from being accidentally turned on, but I had difficulty turning it on while wearing the helmet. Once on, a single click allows you to change modes. I found it easiest to turn the light on and select my desired mode before attaching it to the helmet. The days are very long in Alaska this time of year so I have not used the light excessively, but it is reported to have a battery life of up to 10 hours. The LED light is packed in its own small box attached to the inside of the helmet box, so do take care to not toss this in the recycle bin on accident.
This helmet is well made and built to last. The straps are securely attached and have a durable feel. The plastic fasteners are strong. The helmet itself is lightweight but strong. (Luckily, I have not tested this with a crash!) The removable visor or optional plain padding attaches securely with Velcro. I think the matte finish also adds to the durable look by resisting scratching. Despite being used daily for the past few weeks, the helmet looks as if it just came out of the box. I have no doubt this helmet will last for years barring any riding accidents.
Friendliness to the Earth
I feel that this is a difficult category for a helmet. While we all want to recycle materials as much as possible, we certainly would not want to compromise the integrity of safety gear. Also, helmets themselves are very difficult to recycle due to the use of mixed materials. It would be nice to have a convenient way to recycle our old helmets, but, for now, we need to find creative ways to repurpose them or accept that they end up in a landfill. While I could not find specific information about steps taken by Bern to become more eco-friendly, I do think it’s worth noting how the helmet was packed. They used very minimal and mostly recyclable materials to ship the helmet. The packaging was made up of brown cardboard and minimal print graphics with a single large plastic bag over the helmet and a smaller one over the extra padding. A thin piece of Styrofoam lined the bottom of the box. The tags and owner’s manual were tied to the helmet with string. One of the tags doubles as a sticker. It was nice to see thoughtfulness towards minimal packaging.
The Bern Hudson is a fun, comfortable helmet that I am confident will help me stay safe for many more rides. It was exciting to see how many extras could be added to a helmet and clearly demonstrates Bern’s passion for outdoor pursuits. I will be shopping the Bern website when the need arises for bike, water sport, skate, and snow sport helmets.
About the Gear Tester
Michelle is a New Hampshire native who decided she needed bigger mountains to conquer and relocated to Alaska. Michelle currently works for a non-profit group dedicated to the protection of fish and fish habitat. When not working, she can be found exploring the backcountry and enjoying the wildlife by hiking, climbing, skiing, or horseback riding. You can connect with her on Instagram by following @michelle_ventures.