Unobtrusive, comfortable and well-ventilated
Reinvented for enduro racing, the MET Parachute is equally suitable for trips to the bike park as well as just about anywhere with challenging terrain.
Met’s Parachute was the original lightweight full-face helmet and popular among trail riders heading on alpine holidays for its blend of ventilation and protection.
First things first, and despite weighing an impressive 726g – which roughly splits the difference between a carbon full-face DH helmet and a standard trail helmet – it passes the ASTM international standard for full-face helmets.
Although the chin guard looks removable, it is actually fixed to the upper shell in four places. It’s a monocoque design, fully padded on the inside, with cheek pads either side that can quickly be removed with the aid of a couple of tabs.
The vented chin guard has a mesh mouthpiece to catch flying bugs, and while it allows plenty of air flow and lets you breathe largely unhindered, it doesn’t quite match the efficiency of the Fox Proframe.
Up top the Parachute is expanded polystyrene with an inmoulded plastic shell – pretty standard but lacking the dual-density liner of the Fox. However, there is a proper retention device – something you don’t get on the Proframe. This has a wide range of adjustment, is easy to fine-tune on the move and cradles the head brilliantly to keep the Parachute superbly stable, even without goggles.
However, putting the Met on is a time-consuming business compared to the Fox. You have to back-off the retention device, retrieve the straps that have folded over on themselves from behind your head, fasten the double-D loop and tighten the retention system. Arguably it’s safer and more secure, but it takes about three times as long to get ready to ride if you’re wearing the Parachute.
Met’s long list of features and accessories also extends to a POV mount for the top of the helmet, a goggle clip, a Dualgel brow pad and adjustable peak. To be honest though, none of them are really necessary. The Dualgel brow pad feels like you’ve got a jelly sweet draped against your forehead, we’ve never had a pair of goggles fly off on a ride and the peak has such a limited range of adjustment that it may as well just be fixed in the most rearward position.
Remove the Dualgel brow pad, slacken the retention dial and you can pedal around in the Parachute and barely even notice you’re wearing a full-face. As you’d expect, the fact that it has greater coverage means it runs a little hotter than an open-face, but we were continually impressed with its performance as an unobtrusive, comfortable and well-ventilated full-face.