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- Not Worth It
- Highly Recommended
- Life Changing
What Is It
The Closca Fuga is one of the best folding helmets on the market.
It’s a collapsible helmet that shrinks down to only 2.5″ wide– just about the narrowest among all folding helmets. It’s also one of the lightest. And did we mention one of the easiest to fold?
As a high-end model though, don’t expect it to be cheap.
The last thing to mention about the Fuga is that it has a built-in NFC chip that interacts with your smartphone. I haven’t met a single person who uses this feature though, so let’s leave that for another time.
About the Fuga
The Closca Fuga is made of three concentric rings that collapse into each other.
It’s a surprisingly simple design, but it took a couple tries before the Closca Fuga finally became a success.
Closca, the company from Valencia, Spain that’s behind the Fuga, originally had a slightly different design. It was called the Turtle, and looked like a collapsible cap.
The helmet didn’t do so well at first.
Starting over from the same basic design but incorporating feedback they got from the first attempt at a folding helmet, Closca set out to improve its style. Teaming up with a creative lab and engineers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Closca came up with an improved design two years later, called the Fuga– meaning “escape” in Spanish.
The Fuga retained the concept of three concentric rings, but aside from that was completely different.
Rather than trying to hide behind the disguise of a cap, the Fuga showcased its hard mechanical shell. You can tell just by looking at it how it works.
As soon as the Fuga was released in 2015, its design was immediately praised by design experts. It won a bunch of awards including Red Dot (“one of the most sought-after seals of quality for good design”, according to its website).
The Fuga was quickly picked up by the MoMA in New York– which started selling it at its Design Store.
The Guggenheim also seemed to like it and started selling it at its store too.
I couldn’t imagine why.
Aesthetically, the Fuga is not the kind of helmet you’d be ashamed to wear. It’s non-traditional, no doubt, but its look was carefully thought out and is more “novel” than “experimental”. Having seen many cyclists in New York wear the helmet, my first impression has always been that it looks unique but not strange.
The Fuga is innovative in that it has an NFC chip on the top of the helmet. You can use your smartphone to connect to the chip on the helmet by moving the smartphone and chip close to each other. Once connected, you can then use your smartphone to store information on the Fuga chip, and read information from it. For example, you can use the chip to make a call to an emergency contact, send your location, store personal information, register the helmet, and so on. It’s a unique feature that no other folding helmet has.
The NFC chip is on the top of the helmet, in front of the logo.
In terms of convenience, the Fuga is probably the best helmet option for a city biker or commuter.
There is just not much to dislike about it.
It is a lightweight, compactable, easy-to-fold helmet with good fit, comfort and ventilation. It is the only one that comes with a built-in NFC chip for integrating with your smartphone. The Fuga also comes with a customizable visor that can be swapped out for one of a different color or warmth.
In terms of responsiveness, Closca seems about average. There are a number of recent comments on the company’s Facebook page that Closca has been hard to get in touch with. But overall the company has a working email address and phone number that they respond to.
The only big downside I can find about this helmet is that it’s a bit expensive. As folding helmets go, there are only a couple others that are as expensive.
But if you’re willing to shell out for it, the Fuga is probably your best bet for on-and-off city riding.
Who the Fuga Would Be Perfect For
Because it’s super easy to fold, compactable, and portable, the Fuga is best suited for a commuter or anyone who uses rideshare.
However, if the price is too high, there are a ton of other folding helmets better suited for commuters not looking to spend more than $100.
Folding the Closca Fuga is very straightforward– you just smush the concentric rings down into each other. To open it, pop them out from the inside.
Unless you have really long fingers, opening the helmet will be harder than folding it. One trick you can use to make opening the helmet easier is to actually hold the helmet above your head and then pull the rings down over your head.
Overall, opening and folding the Fuga is really easy and after a few tries you should be able to do it without thinking.
|Time needed to open/ fold||2 seconds|
|Attention needed to fold||Minimal|
|Time/ Tries to master||Few tries (less than a minute)|
Once the Fuga is folded, its height is only around 2.5″. That’s really thin– it’s as thin as the Morpher, which folds in on itself like a book.
This extremely thin folding feature is unique to the Closca Fuga and the Morpher. No other helmet folds nearly as narrow.
|Size M||11″ l x 8.4″ w x 4.8″ h||11″ l x 8.4″ w x 2.4″ h|
One concern I always have with folding helmets is how easy is it to lug around.
Are you able to easily grip it with one hand? That’s important, because if for whatever reason the helmet slips out of your hand and hits something hard, there’s a chance you might need to replace it.
And besides, the whole reason you want a folding helmet is that it’s so convenient. Having a folding helmet that’s unwieldy is like a wireless device that only works plugged in.
That’s why I always check a folding helmet for these three things:
- Stays shut when folded
The Fuga wins in every category.
The Fuga weighs about 0.60 lb (for size Medium. The Small and Large are 0.05 lb lighter and heavier respectively).
That’s incredibly light. It’s about one-third lighter than most folding helmets.
In case you’re wondering how Closca was able to get the Fuga to be so light– and whether its light weight might come at the cost of safety– the answer is in the material the Fuga is made of, rather than the quantity. The Fuga uses an interesting material which helps the helmet reduce its weight without coming at the cost of safety.
Most helmets have an expanded polystyrene (EPS) interior lining, and an external shell made of some sort of plastic, such as ABS or polycarbonate. Of the plastics commonly used to make helmet shells, polycarbonate is relatively expensive, but strong. Closca chose a polycarbonate shell– which is tougher than an ABS shell– to allow the Fuga to retain its protection without as much weight.
In addition to using polycarbonate instead of ABS to reduce the Fuga’s weight, Closca also incorporated fiberglass into the helmet’s construction. The fiberglass further adds to the helmet’s cost, but allows it to be even lighter.
The result is a helmet that is one of the lightest folding helmet designs on the market.
Not only does the Fuga’s light weight make the helmet easy to carry by hand, it also makes it pretty comfortable.
Stays Shut When Folded
Once you fold the Fuga, it stays shut and won’t reopen on its own. I’m not sure how it works, but the helmet somehow locks after you push it shut.
To get it to open takes just enough force that it won’t really open unless you manually pop it out.
This is really great, because the last thing you want when you’re carrying the helmet is for it to slide open and then snag on something. Or, just be annoying to have to re-close.
So the fact that the Fuga stays shut when folded really adds to its portability.
The concentric rings of the Fuga, when folded together, create a natural hand grip. Combined with the fact that the Fuga doesn’t slide open, this makes it really easy to carry the Fuga in one hand.
The Closca Fuga comes in three sizes:
- Small– for head circumferences 20.3″ – 21.7″
- Medium– 21.7″ – 23″
- Large– 23″ – 24.4″
Most adults will probably need a Medium. The size Small is meant for kids, age 6 and up.
The Fuga also has a ratchet on the back to adjust the helmet tightness from the inside. So the helmet should be able to fit any head size.
The rear fit adjuster is elastic and is meant to hold the helmet tightly on your head. The elastic prevents the helmet from sliding around, and adds to the overall comfort.
Biking around New York City, I’ve asked a number of riders I’ve seen wearing the Fuga what they thought about it.
The answers were unanimous.
The Fuga is incredibly comfortable.
One cyclist in his mid-30’s who I asked had previously worn the Morpher but decided to switch to the Fuga. Comfort was the main reason, he told me.
Another cyclist the same age told me the helmet was very comfortable and even airier than a traditional helmet he had worn. The main reasons he gave me for loving the helmet was that it was light, the ventilation felt good, and that he felt the helmet fit him well.
No one I asked had anything bad to say about the Fuga.
The ventilation system for the Fuga is pretty interesting, because when you look at it there are no obvious vents. Actually, there are a few vents placed discretely between the Fuga’s rings. They’re quite small and hidden so you can’t see them, but the helmet is somehow designed specially to allow these small vents to get air flowing inside the helmet.
One man in his early 50’s who I saw wearing a white Fuga told me it was his second Fuga.
He really liked the helmet, he told me. “It’s the second Fuga I got. My first one–” he thought for a second. “Actually, I don’t remember what happened to the first one.”
About the first Fuga, the guy told me he was on his bike and that the last thing he saw was a car coming towards him from the side. The next thing he remembered was that he was in the hospital.
It was clear from this guy’s description that the Fuga prevented him from being killed in the impact.
It was pretty incredible hearing his story. And definitely made me trust the helmet more.
Folding Helmet Safety Considerations
A lot of times people wonder whether folding helmets are as effective as traditional ones in preventing serious head injury.
The truth is, both folding and non-folding helmets are required to meet the same safety standards (EN-1078 in Europe and CPSC in the US and Canada). However, it’s up to each helmet manufacturer to decide how far they want to go to make the helmet safe above and beyond the required standards.
For example, safety tests typically use an “impact test” where the helmet is dropped onto an anvil that is either flat, hemispherical, or curbstone from a certain distance.
However, depending on the shape of the actual object hitting your head, where it’s impacting the helmet exactly, which direction the object is moving in, and other considerations, the force may still be enough to cause serious head injury.
For example, a folding helmet may be particularly vulnerable at its joints or in another spot that has parts supporting the folding action. This issue may have been a problem for the Morpher helmet– it failed an unofficial Consumer Reports impact test on its side, right where where it’s latches are, and in another very unofficial test a sledgehammer caused its joints to break.
Or, a helmet may pass the official impact test, but if all of the force was concentrated in a single area, the “localized loading” could cause a more fragile skull to fracture. This happens frequently with helmets that have a lot of vents, which need reinforcement on the side to pass the official test. It could also happen with ultra-thin, light helmets.
Fuga Safety Considerations
As a folding helmet, is there any reason to suspect that the Fuga is less safe than its safety testing results suggest?
As an outsider, it’s very hard to know this with any degree of certainty, but there are a few things we can look at.
The Fuga doesn’t have any large vents or wide joints, but it is very light which, although it’s a good thing, is something to keep in mind in terms of localized loading.
Closca does say on their website however, “In the event of a collision, the helmet distributes the impact energy around the surface to reduce its speed. When you wear our helmets, the impact dissipates optimally, since the folding system allows micromotions to be in the helmet and therefore the force of the blow is better distributed.” This at least suggests that the engineers have thought about the issue of localization and distributing the force of the impact.
The Fuga is safety certified in Europe (EN-1078), as well as Canada and the US (CPSC). The testing was done by Société Générale de Surveillance, “the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company” according to its website.
You have a bunch of options to choose from when buying a Fuga. Aside from size (S/M/L), you also have to decide on:
- Adults’ or Kids’ Helmet
- Helmet Color
- For Adults’ helmet: Regular or “Nordic”
- For Adults’ helmet: Visor Color
Adults vs Kids Helmet
The Adults and Kids helmets are structurally identical, but the Kids helmets look a little more appropriate for a child. In terms of sizes, both helmets are measured the same way, so a Kids M is the same size as an Adults M.
The kids’ helmet comes with stickers that you can paste onto your helmet to personalize it.
The adults’ one doesn’t come with stickers, unfortunately. (I know, right?)
The standard Fuga comes in either all-black or all-white.
The visor that the helmet comes with is grey, and is removable and swappable.
Kids’ Helmet Colors
The kids’ Fuga only comes in white.
However, you have an option with the visor. You can buy it in either a light green (called “Leaf”) or orange (called “Carrot”).
Regular or Nordic
Instead of an ordinary gray visor, you can buy the Fuga in “Nordic”. The only difference between the regular Fuga and the Nordic version is that the visor is swapped out for one that’s wool to keep your head warm.
Other than that, it’s exactly the same helmet.
You can even buy a regular Fuga and swap out its visor for a wool one, if you want, to get the same “Nordic” helmet.
All the Fuga models have a visor that’s swappable. So whether it’s a kids’ helmet, a regular adult one, or a Nordic one, you can swap out the visor for another one.
The ordinary visors come in one of four colors, in addition to the grey one that comes with the regular helmet. You can purchase an ordinary non-wool visor in red-orange (called “Tanerine”), dark green (“Kale”), Blue (“Niagara”), or in a reflective material.
You can see what the visors look like in every color here:
The wool visors can be bought in either grey, or beige (called “Wheat”).
Here is what they look like:
Online reviews of the Closca are generally positive.
Comparing reviews, there is a surprising lack of consistency in how people describe its features. In terms of style, weight, comfort, ventilation, and quality what one review says is amazing the other says is bad. This makes it hard to find any sort of pattern in the helmet’s performance.
However, people who I’ve asked firsthand about the Closca Fuga generally cited comfort as one of its best features.
My main concern, based on a few comments online about the Closca Fuga, is that the company is not so responsive. So if you have an issue with the helmet, it may be difficult or impossible to have it resolved by the company, and you could be out a lot of money. I was personally able to reach Closca with my own questions, but it took some prodding, and I’m not sure how typical my experience is. Aside from the Fuga’s cost, I would say the company’s so-so customer service is the biggest risk with the helmet.
Where To Buy
The Fuga is sometimes available on Amazon, so you can try searching for it there.
You can also buy the Fuga directly from Closca, although their prices are only in Euro.
Comparison to Other Folding Helmets
There are a lot of other folding helmets on the market, but overall the Fuga is one of the best.
Morpher vs Fuga Overview
The Morpher is another folding helmet that folds down to 2.5″, which is as narrow as the Fuga. These helmets are extremely packable due to their thin width when folded. The Morpher folds on itself like a book, while the Fuga compresses down.
The Morpher and Fuga are also the two most popular folding helmets, at least in New York City based on what I have seen.
Both the Morpher and Fuga are higher end helmets, and tend to be on the more expensive side.
When you compare feature to feature, the Fuga tends to win out over the Morpher.
The Morpher and Fuga are both extremely packable, but the Closca Fuga folds smarter.
That’s because folding the Fuga takes much, much less time and attention than folding the Morpher. Whereas the Morpher uses four latches to open and fold (which can be a bit time-consuming to use), the Fuga just smushes down effortlessly.
Once again, the Fuga wins out over the Morpher in this department.
The Morpher does not always stay shut when folded, and can be hard to hold in one hand. Compare that to the Fuga, which locks shut when folded, and is easily grippable on its arched ring structure.
The Morpher is also almost 50% heavier than the Fuga (0.90 lb vs 0.60 lb).
Overall, the Fuga is not only lighter but also much easier to carry than the Morpher.
In terms of fit, the Morpher and Fuga are comparable. The Morpher comes in one size, whereas the Fuga comes in Small, Medium, or Large.
The Fuga is generally more comfortable than the Morpher due to its elastic ratchet on the back which holds the helmet in place. The Morpher has a plastic ratchet on the back, which is less comfortable.
The Fuga and Morpher have the same safety certifications– CPSC and EN-1078.
Based on weight, the Fuga likely has less material than the Morpher. However, the Morpher has many large vents. Both of these features are associated with localized loading. To address this issue though, Closca claims to have built into the Fuga’s design an ability to optimally dissipate the energy of an impact, which would make it safer.
The Morpher was recently tested by Consumer Reports and given their “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk” rating.
The Morpher can only be customized in terms of its solid color.
The Fuga can be customized in terms of the shell color, visor color, and visor type– regular or wool. The Fuga can also be purchased in a kids’ version (with helmet stickers).
This makes the Fuga more customizable than the Morpher.
Morpher vs Fuga Summary
The Morpher and Fuga are both excellent, and very popular, folding helmets. They both fold really small, and are generally higher-end helmets.
Side-by-side, though, the Fuga tends to win out over the Morpher in terms of ease-of-folding, ease-of-carrying, weight, comfort, and customizability.
Stylistically, the Morpher has a more traditional look, whereas the Fuga looks more sleek and modern.
Read more in our review of the Morpher helmet.
Other Folding Helmets
To learn more about other folding helmets and how they compare to the Closca Fuga, take a look at our list of all of the best folding helmets on the market.
Have a Question or Comment?
Did you see anything here that you disagree with, or would like to add to? Still have a question about the Fuga? Want to share your experience with us? We would love to hear from you! Post your comments in the chat box below.
This review was written by the Things That Fold editorial team. We have based our review on information we found publicly online, such as the vendor’s website, online sales channels, other review sites, and news articles. We do not currently own this product.
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