MIPS Vs WaveCel Helmet ?

A helmet can prevent a brain injury or reduce its severity. For that to happen, the helmet should employ the best Brain Protection System (BPS), and two of the leading BPSs are MIPS and WaveCel. So, how does MIPS Vs WaveCel helmet compare?

While MIPS effectively protects the brain against rotational impact force, WaveCel is effective against rotational and linear impact forces.

Overall, these two BPS technologies work differently and so you can expect them to have different results.

Experts argue that MIPS helmets are 10% safer than non-MIPS ones, while WaveCel is 48 times safer than traditional foam ones.

I’ll explain how these two helmets work to help you decide what to go for.

WaveCel vs MIPS Helmet

In a rush? Below is a hotlist of the hottest MIPS and WaveCel cycling helmets.

6 Best MIPS and WaveCel Helmets

  1. Giro Syntax MIPS Helmet: Best MIPS Road Bike Helmet
  2. Bontrager XXX Helmet: Best WaveCel Road Bike Helmet
  3. Bell Super Air Helmet: Best MIPS Mountain Bike Helmet
  4. Bontrager Blaze Helmet: Best WaveCel MTB Helmet
  5. Bern Hudson Helmet: Best MIPS Commuter Bike Helmet
  6. Bontrager Charge Helmet: Best WaveCel Commuter Helmet

MIPS Vs WaveCel Helmet Compared

Let’s compare the two helmets under technology overview, effectiveness, cost, and range.

a) MIPS vs WaveCel Technology Overview

  • MIPS (Multidirectional Impact Protection System)

MIPS refers to a slip-plane helmet technology that minimizes the effect of the rotational movement of the brain. The slip-plane system mimics the brain’s self-protection mechanism to protect it against angled or rotational impact.

  • WaveCel

WaveCel is a Trek-engineered helmet protection system present on the Bontrager helmet. Actually, the term helmet nowadays refers to a collapsible cell layer inside a Bontrager helmet that offers 48 times the protection of a traditional foam helmet.

b) MIPS vs WaveCel Working Mechanism

  • MIPS

Usually, the MIPS system takes the form of a non-friction layer that allows the head to rotate naturally by about 10-15mm, waiting to absorb or reduce the energy released from an angled impact.

  • WaveCel

WaveCel works more like the crump zone, whose job is to absorb impact force before reaching the head and brain.

Generally, WaveCel works in three steps:

  • Step 1 – During a crash, the WaveCel cell layer flexes to reduce the initial impact force.
  • Step 2 – The next event is the cell layer crumbling, more like a vehicle’s bumper.
  • And Step 3 – Lastly, the WaveCel cell layer grinds and redirects impact energy away from the head, protecting your brain.
MIPS vs WaveCel

c) WaveCel vs MIPS Helmet Effectiveness

  • MIPS

When the head rotates naturally and comes to a sudden stop or hit, the brain could feel a sharp strain which could cause a concussion. MIPS helps to reduce the impact, protecting the brain from a possible injury.

According to experts, MIPS reduces rotational or angled impact force by about 10%, which is not much but makes MIPS helmets 10% safer than non-MIPS helmets.

Given that most cycling-related brain injuries are from rotational impact, MIPS is quite effective.

Though MIPS helmets do not guarantee survival, they are more effective than non-MIPS options, thus a good investment.

  • WaveCel

WaveCel is a product produced by top experts that the U.S National Institute of Health even funded. Moreover, it’s certified by the Virginia Tech Safety System.

Though WaveCel doesn’t guarantee 100% brain protection, the fact that it’s 48 times more effective than traditional foam helmets means it’s safer.

Understandably, WaveCel protects from all angles (top, rear, sides, and front); thus, the BPS is more effective.

According to experts, WaveCel is effective against both rotational/angled impact and linear impact.

d) MIPS vs WaveCel Helmets Cost Comparison

Cost-wise, both technologies make helmets costlier than those that don’t employ them.

However, WaveCel’s effectiveness against rotational impact and linear impact makes the helmets slightly pricier, more so than their road cycling options.

e) MIPS Vs WaveCel Bike Helmet Range

You can get as many MIPS helmets as WaveCel helmets. That includes road cycling helmets, commuter cycling helmets, recreational cycling helmets, mountain bike helmets, etc.

There are even kids’, youths’, and women options, which means there is no winner in this aspect.

But as an overview, here are some of the best MIPS and WaveCel helmets on the market:

Best MIPS Helmets on Amazon

  • Giro Syntax MIPS Road Bike Helmet: Best MIPS Road Bike Helmet
  • Bell Super Air MIPS Mountain Bike Helmet: Best MIPS Mountain Bike Helmet
  • Bern Hudson Commuter Helmet: Best MIPS Commuter Bike Helmet
Are WaveCel Helmets Better Than MIPS

Best Bontrager WaveCel Helmets on Trek

  • Bontrager XXX WaveCel Road Bike Helmet: Best WaveCel Road Bike Helmet
  • Blaze WaveCel Mountain Bike Helmet: Best WaveCel Mountain Bike Helmet
  • Bontrager Charge WaveCel Commuter Helmet: Best WaveCel Commuter Bike Helmet

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • MIPS

The biggest advantage of MIPS is that it’s at least 10% more effective against rotational impact. So, if you crash, you can count on the helmet to reduce the injury’s impact and severity.

But how about the other 90%? That’s where the helmets’ outer shell, EPS lining, and other layers come in.

  • Bontrager WaveCel

WaveCel is quite effective at protecting the brain against angled and linear impact. Overall, WaveCel is 48 times more effective than traditional foam helmets.

Besides, the manufacturer guarantees a one-year Crash Replacement, which proves the quality of the helmet.


  • MIPS

Though MIPS makes helmets safer, it only guarantees 10% safety. That’s a small number, even though it’s worth it.

Also, the technology is only effective against rotational impact but not linear impact.

  • WaveCel

Though WaveCel is effective against both rotational and linear impact, it’s not as effective as MIPS on rotational impact.

The other thing is the price. Some WaveCel helmets are slightly costlier than MIPS.

Are WaveCel Helmets Better Than MIPS, Or Is It Vice Versa? Verdict

When it comes to rotational impact forces, MIPS helmets are unequaled. They are more effective than non-MIPS helmets, and that includes WaveCel helmets.

WaveCel protects against both rotational impact (though not as much as MIPS) and linear impact. That makes it more effective than traditional foam helmets.

So, you could argue that WaveCel is better than MIPS.

But overall, a helmet’s effectiveness is dependent on many things and not just its BPS technology. You also have to rely on the inner EPS lining and the outer polycarbonate shell.

Based on rotational impact, MIPS is a safer option. But based on both rotational and linear impact, WaveCel is the better of the two.

Where Can You Buy MIPS and WaveCel Helmets

Where Can You Buy MIPS and WaveCel Helmets?

You can get MIPS helmets on Amazon and shops alike and websites of licensed manufacturers like Giro and Bell.

As for WaveCel helmets, they are only available for purchase online on Trek and through Bontrager retailers. You won’t get them on Amazon or stores alike.

People Also Ask

1. Are WaveCel Helmets Worth It?

WaveCel helmets are pretty effective against linear impact and rotational impact, and that makes them worth it. Though they don’t guarantee 100% injury protection, the technology is likely to lower the severity.

2. Are MIPS Helmets Worth It?

MIPS helmets are at least 10% more effective and safer than non-MIPS cycling helmets, owing to their effectiveness against rotational impact. That alone makes them worth it.

After all, the 10% extra protection is better than none, as you get the rest of the percentage from the EPS lining and outer shell.

3. Are WaveCel Helmets Safer?

No helmet is 100% safe, not even WaveCel helmets. The advantage that WaveCel helmets enjoy over other helmets is protection against both linear and angled impact forces. That makes them safer.

4. Are MIPS Helmets Better?

MIPS helmets are better equipped to absorb 10% or more rotational impact force than non-MIPS helmets. That alone makes them at least 10% safer and better than non-MIPS helmets.

5. Is WaveCel Better Than MIPS?

While MIPS only absorbs rotational impact energy during a crash, WaveCel absorbs rotational and linear impact forces.

So, if you want to protect your head against multidirectional impact, MIPS is a better choice. But if you also want protection against linear impact, WaveCel is the better option.

6. Are WaveCel Helmets Good?

When it comes to offering protection against both linear and angled/rotational impact, no helmets are better at the job than WaveCel helmets.

The technology is effective in reducing the severity of a brain injury by offering all-angle protection.

7. How Long Do WaveCel Helmets Last?

In terms of lifespan, WaveCel helmets are not different from other helmets. So, you need to replace them after 3-5 years of regular use or immediately after a crash.

8. Do MIPS Helmets Make A Difference?

MIPS technology makes a massive difference when it comes to protecting your brain against rotational impact. According to experts, MIPS helmets are at least 10% safer than non-MIPS helmets when absorbing rotational impact.

MIPS Vs WaveCel Helmet: Closing Thought

Overall, if your goal is to reduce rotational impact forces during a crash, you should get a MIPS helmet. But if you plan to reduce both rotational and linear impact, consider getting a WaveCel helmet.

WaveCel may not offer you as much rotational impact protection as MIPS but offers you the extra advantage of linear impact protection.

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