The Met Parachute has been a feature in the Met Helmets lineup since 2007 and it’s no coincidence that that was around the time global Enduro racing really began to gather momentum. The original helmet was more a full face trail lid offering an increase in protection while not carrying the weight and restricted air flow associated with full-on downhill helmets.
Now, as you might have seen in the blimmin’ obvious teaser video for the Met Parachute MCR released last week, there’s a new version. Only this one comes apart…
Just chillin’ with my open face helmet…
The all-new Met Parachute MCR – with magnets!
While there are cues to the previous incarnations of the helmet, the Met Parachute MCR is all new. It boasts 21 main vents and internal air channelling to whisk hot air from within. Venting in the removable chinbar is large and it is void of any mesh or grills to maximise airflow and aiding breathing while the chinbar is in place. The new Met Parachute shell is constructed of polycarbonate and the complete full face helmet weighs in at 840g, but once the chinbar is removed you can expect to see the main shell to notch the scales at 455g (size Medium).
MCR stands for Magnetic Chinbar Release. This relates to the innovative way the main helmet locates when fitting and removing the chinbar. The two main screws located on the sides of the helmet have a magnetic loop to unclip, lift and use to turn the screw to release the chinbar. A firm pull on the chinbar will detach the mechanical fixing pins to separate the chinbar from the main helmet shell. To reattach the chin piece you align the eye-level slots with the two ridged side pins. You will know when the pins have located correctly and are all the way home thanks to a reassuring clunk. Once the pins are in place the magnetic system automatically locates and secures the chinbar in place and you are all set and ready to shred. The magnetic details don’t end there; Met has utilised a Fidlock magnetic buckle on the chin strap instead of the conventional D-buckle or ‘pinch to release’ clip.
Inside the helmet
Inside the main shell the Met Parachute utilises the Boa webbing adjustment system. This fit system creates a 360° belt around the head and avoids unwanted pressure points to maximise comfort. The Boa FS1 fit system has three positions of adjustment (backwards and forwards) to ensure the perfect fit and the maximum protection. To perfect the fit further there are two thickness of chinbar cheek pads supplied with the helmet to avoid the unwanted bunched up ‘hamster face’ look.
Met has improved safety details over the previous incarnations of the Parachute and after some stringent testing in their laboratory in Italy it has successfully secured the ASTM certification (F1952-15/F2032-15) for the main helmet and chinbar combination. This certification is awarded to BMX and Downhill Mountain biking helmets after proving themselves in test conditions offering the highest level of certified protection in the sport. Combine this ASTM certification with the benchmark rotational force management of the latest MIPS C2 technology, the helmet provides a serious level of technology with safety as paramount importance with the design.
There are three sizes to choose from (Small, Medium and Large) and the sizing seemed to be accurate with what I would expect and no odd surprises. It is available in a wide range of colours (six colours in total) to meet every taste. Colours ranging from a more subtle stealthy black, to a bright white/grey option and then through to a racy all red number with some more funky designs in between. My pick would be the subtle end of the range but the finish and the styling of all the helmets are top drawer.
The visor is flexible to avoid shattering and reduce the risk of snatching at the ground in a crash. The visor has two positions with the higher position offering a place to store your choice of goggles. If wearing glasses is more your style then pushing the arms into the two outer vents under the visor offer a secure place to stash them.
The helmet is marketed as a “Do It All” helmet and it differs from other designs that are pitched primarily for Enduro Racing. The launch for the new Parachute helmet was held in Val Di Fassa under the shadow of the picturesque peaks of the Dolomites and also as the title sponsor for the upcoming EWS round, Met insists that this is not a “Race only” helmet. With the chinbar removed it is considerably smaller unit than other helmets of the same ilk already on the market. With no chinbar you can expect a similar size to that of the Met Roam helmet, offering less material around the back and the ears like a more conventional trail lid.
Met has pitched this helmet at consumers who might not regularly need a full face helmet on a daily basis. Instead it is more aimed at riders who might occasionally ride days in the bike park or for riders piloting an E-bike and require more protection while using heavier bikes. Handily of course the Parachute is also designed to meet the demands of the ever increasing technicalities of multi stage Enduro racing. There is no camera mount incorporated into the new helmet, as these could snag in a crash and reduce the effectiveness of the helmet. The Parachute does have a large flat area on top that would lend itself to a sticky camera mount if you so wish.
Met offers a two year crash replacement warranty, where if you unfortunately come a cropper, a replacement can be sourced for 50% off the full retail price. That said, the chinbar will not be available to buy as an aftermarket separate item, in a bid for Met to control riders continuing to ride with damaged safety equipment.
The helmet is supplied with a draw string bag to keep it looking like new when it is not being worn on your head, but worth noting that there is a premium travel bag offering further protection also available separately at an extra cost of £30.
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Price: £300 €330 $350
Sizes: Small 52-56cm, Medium 56-58cm and Large 58-61cm
Colours: Black petrol blue/matt. Grey/matt. Black/Matt. Black red/glossy. Red/glossy. Black orange/matt.