Last year, we reviewed a unique helmet cooler by a Bengaluru-based start-up called BluArmour. The first-gen BluSnap worked using a battery-powered fan that blew air through a filter. The filter was kept wet by a water reservoir and thanks to the process of evaporation, it would blow a gentle stream of cool wind on your face. It was a good idea in theory, but the hassle of having to fill the water reservoir frequently as well as its size and weight meant I didn’t end up using it for long. This second-gen model aims to address those issues.
For starters, the new one is 40 percent smaller, and at around 260g, it’s also about 30 percent lighter. The mounting system has also changed from the previous MX goggle style-strap to a sticky mount. I don’t like the fact that I have to stick something on my helmet, but the upside is that the system is more secure and easier to use. The mount is also compatible with an action cam, so that’s another plus.
The battery and fan have not changed, but the soft rubber chimney that pipes the cool air under the jaw of the helmet is now larger. Best of all, there’s no water reservoir now, and all you need to do is pull the filter out and soak it in water for 10 seconds to get about an hour and a half’s worth of cool air. This makes using the device much easier and you don’t have to worry about leaks if the helmet isn't kept in an upright position. A full charge takes four hours and will last for about 10 hours, which should be generous enough for the average week’s commute.
On the road, the improvements are massive. The gentle stream of cool air feels similar, but the whole unit is so much lighter and less noticeable. I once rode with it for 7 hours on a hot day of mileage testing and my neck wasn’t screaming in protest by the end of it. It only gets bothersome is while doing head checks in traffic, where the device consistently bumps into my shoulder.
BluArmour claims a temperature reduction of 6-15 degrees, based on the climate - evaporative cooling works better in dry heat. It certainly isn't like being in an air-conditioned room, but the stream of cool air is pleasant and it's good enough that you never need to open your visor, even when stationary at the lights. That brings us to the second big advantage of this device – dust filtration. While this is no PM2.5 filter, the company says it managed to block 75 percent particulate matter in their tests. The filter has a life of about 6 months, after which it will lose the ability to hold moisture. We hear that there might be even more effective filters coming in the next few months and these can be installed in the current device.
Visor defogging is another advantage, but as before, there is the safety concern of having a large device stuck to your helmet. The cooler is designed to break apart under impact, but I definitely won’t be wearing this outside of the city. If you get caught out in the rain, the device is said to be water resistant enough to handle a mild shower.
BluSnap 2 improves upon a great idea and is now much nicer to use, to the point that I enjoy having it on my daily commute and I see no need to stop using it. It’s nice to see that the Rs 2,200 price tag has stayed constant, and if motorcycle commutes in this searing summer heat are a regular thing for you, this device will help you keep a cool head.