To say I was quite excited to be asked to test the MET Parachute helmet would probably be an understatement. I received the email on my return from the last round of the UK Gravity enduro series, where for four out of the five races, I had ridden the transitions in my open face Mavic Notch helmet (310g) and the stages in my full face FOX Rampage Pro Carbon (1.1kg).
Although they're both highly rated helmets, carrying the full face attached to my rucksack, with three litres of water and snacks to get me through, often felt like I was carrying a small child around with me. Not to mention the hassle of having to change helmets at the beginning and end of each stage.
With 'Enduro' on the rise, manufacturers seem to be jumping on the bandwagon and launching "enduro specific" products. The Parachute helmet is one of them, obviously manufacturers see that over 50% of enduro racers use two helmets in a race, with next year it being mandatory, in the UK at least. MET combine the looks and features of a classic open face helmet and integrate that with the safety features of a full face.
The helmet looks great in my opinion and feels incredibly light, weighing in at just 700 grams. The HES construction spreads the pressure upon impact point, and dissipates the force of impact over the whole shell.
Most full faces are super hot and uncomfortable to ride a whole enduro race in . However on test rides in 20 degrees plus, on three to four hour rides, I was extremely comfortable with the MET Parachute on. The GEL O2 front pad, an exclusive piece of technology to MET, channels the sweat to the sides of your face. This was a little strange to have beads of sweat rolling down the side of my face, but it was doing what it's designed to do. A great idea once you have got used to it. Unlike traditional foam pads it doesn't wick the sweat, so it's more hygienic and adapts easily to fit your head.
The vents are plentiful and work really well to keep you cool. My test rides have been fairly airless days, but as soon as a breeze appears you can feel it straight away. The visor helps to channel the air to the centre of the helmet keeping it nice and cool inside. There are large vents around the ears so in the event of being caught up and asked to let the rider behind pass, you can easily hear them.
The "safe T-smart" system at the back makes you feel so secure, I've never experienced a full face helmet with such a feature, with no head wobble even on the roughest of terrain. A goggle strap is also something I've never had on a full face, but it worked well to keep them in place. Something I did notice was that my new Fox goggles did not fit well on the helmet, so I went back to an older, smaller pair which took a few adjustments to get the helmet to feel right.
Price wise, at £152.99, the MET Parachute is very reasonable considering the fact that a second helmet is now surplus to requirements. Take for example my last season racing, the Mavic Notch was £80 and the Fox Carbon Rampage was around £300. They've also designed the MOPOV (My Own Point of View) kit which allows you to fit your helmet camera to it in a flash.
I won't just be saving it for races, the MET Parachute is such a comfortable and well fitting product that I'm already thinking it will be my main helmet. Especially on weekends hunting out new trails in the rocky Lake District, I'm even dreaming about how nice and cosy I could make it in the winter with a buff underneath!
- As much protection as a traditional full face
- Well vented
- Well priced
- Precise fit
- I honestly don't have a bad thing to say
£152.99, available from Tredz.
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