The Torch T1 Helmet: Putting the Head in Headlight

Are you concerned your lights make you visible from the front and back – but not the side? Have you ever wished for lights on your helmet… but not wanted an expensive lighting system with an annoying cord and battery pack? Does it occasionally occur to you it might be nice if passing drivers could see your head, not just your rear? Do you think “too many lights” is still just a few lights away?

If your answer to any of these was yes, Nathan Wills of Los Angeles just may have you covered. He’s got a helmet up on Kickstarter with integrated front and rear lights that are also visible from the side – a critical area many light manufacturers virtually ignore.

Right now it looks like Nathan has a good working model, but needs a cash infusion to make it a reality. Like most Kickstarter projects, you can contribute as little or as much as you want… but $80 will get you a helmet (in red, black, or white) that’s CPSC certified, offers adjustable dial fit, has some cool lights, and makes you look like a commuter instead of a racer. Assuming the funding happens (which I’m hoping it will), the cost will rise to $100 later on – which is maybe a bit pricey, but not really any more than a decent helmet and a decent set of “be seen” lights will set you back, so I think it works out.

The Torch T1 from the side

I personally wouldn’t ride with only this helmet for light – and in many states it’s the law to have lights mounted to your bike after dark – but I think it’d be a pretty nice addition. Here’s hoping the final versions (expected in October 2012) are as awesome as they look!

H/T to James at Bicycle Design.


  1. Mike Myers April 19, 2012 4:19 pm 

    I agree that I wouldn’t rely on the lights on this helmet as my only lights.

    My current helmet,a Bell Metro, has a blinkie strap on the rear, and running a blinkie on the helmet in addition to one mounted on my rack seems to be a good combination. The built in headlight on the helmet would be good for getting motorists’ attention, looking at non-backlit computers, etc.

    Am I in the minority in wanting a helmet that is light, well-ventilated, and has a visor? That’s why I wear the Metro and another Giro roadie helmet instead of a Nutcase. They just seem so HOT. Ghost Rider used to live down here in the swamps, so he knows just how important a well-ventilated helmet is.

    I would be much more interested in the Torch if it was a conventional bike helmet. I think, and it’s purely my own opinion, that the Bell Metro/Citi/Muni nailed the commuter helmet thing. A visor, mirror that folds into the visor, winter kit, snap-on reflective rain cover, and reflectivity on the helmet straps!

    You add THOSE features to the Torch and it’s perfect. Bike commuters have no problem buying stuff if you target them. But that’s just my opinion.

  2. Ghost Rider April 19, 2012 9:00 pm 

    Yep, that one’s got vents, but they look like Nutcase vents…and my experience with those in Florida is that such helmets are “brain bakers”.

  3. Raiyn April 19, 2012 11:09 pm 

    Great concept, but as others have said, it needs better ventilation. Does L.A. just not get as hot as we do in FL?

    On a side note, those top vents look suspiciously like those of a toaster – which this helmet would be for me in this configuration.

  4. Nathan Wills April 20, 2012 10:01 am 

    Hi guys,

    thanks for the suggestions. We have gotten several comments regarding the ventilation of the helmet and we will be looking at increasing the size and number of the vents into production as we work further with our manufacturer.

    Thanks for checking us out,

    Nathan Wills – Torch

  5. Matt April 20, 2012 10:45 am 

    Thanks for chiming in Nathan! Please keep us updated as this goes forward!

  6. Matt April 20, 2012 10:47 am 

    Also, I corrected the spelling of your name in the post… sorry ’bout that!

  7. Pelle April 23, 2012 12:10 am 

    I signed up for one. Will be great in Stockholm during the winter. No vent problems for me…

  8. tony blain April 24, 2012 12:16 am 

    Would like to purchase would like the cost to send to Australia

  9. Nathan Wills April 25, 2012 11:14 am 

    Hi Tony,

    we are asking our international backers to add an extra $10 per helmet to help us cover the shipping charges. So the helmet prices will either be $90 or $110.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *