MET’s Crackerjack helmet is the Italian outfit’s flagship youth-specific MTB helmet. Despite being a kids’ lid, the Crackerjack still gets a small visor, 13 vents backed by internal channelling to pull air through the helmet, washable pads and a 360º dial-based retention system — complete with an integrated LED. This ain’t no Spiderman brain bucket from K-Mart.
Mini-shredders and their bigs alike will appreciate the child-conscious appointments, such as the anti-pinch buckle, front bug netting, and highly adjustable sizing to accommodate growth. Our young testers not only commented on the helmet’s comfort but also raved about how cool they looked. The Crackerjack sees an in-moulded manufacturing process, meaning the foam is expanded directly into the polycarbonate shell, rather than being manufactured as two pieces and then glued together, improving durability. While this is the standard for adult lids, some kid’s helmets are still made using the latter.
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The back of the shell sees a reflective sticker, and MET has also integrated an LED into the dial for the fit system which has both solid and flashing modes. While both of these features are to improve visibility, in the eyes of your mini-shredder, a light is all about the cool factor and can be an effective tool to encourage them to wear a helmet. That way they can ‘power up’ or ‘flash on’ before taking off down the footpath.
Weighing in at a mere 270g, the Crackerjack is pretty feathery and shouldn’t put too much stress on small necks. To put that in perspective, it’s in the same range you’d expect for a high-end XC/road helmet.
The Crackerjack comes in one size with an extensive range of between 52-57cm, allowing these helmets to grow with the kids. Our youngest rider’s noggin measured 51.5cm, and wound all the way in the Crackerjack fit with a slight wobble, and fit perfectly with a thin head warmer. On the other end of the spectrum, our 9-year-old rider wound the retainer a couple of clicks in from wide open and felt the fit to be comfortable without any pressure points.
While priced higher than a lot of kids helmets, the Crackerjack’s features and quality make it a worthy investment — you are talking about your child’s head, after all. At this end of the price spectrum for kids lids, some could argue it’s not unreasonable to expect something like a Fidock buckle, which would be the ultimate in anti-chin-pinch. We recognise kids are well capable of using buckles, and it should be noted the ones on the Crackerjack are not as stiff as the ones found on adult helmets.
The Crackerjack also comes in a MIPs version if you felt the need for the added protection at an additional $20 AUD.