The original MET Parachute can lay claim to being one of the first ‘Enduro’ specific helmets on the market, with its detachable chin guard. For better or worse, these helmets were barely seen in Australia (thanks to our perplexing helmet standards regulations), but the latest iteration of the Parachute is here and it’s ready to rumble with the new school Enduro crowd.
Unlike the original Parachute, which took a two-helmets-in one approach to protection (just like the Bell Super 2R), the new Parachute is an ultra-minimalist full face – the chin guard is not removable despite appearing as if it is – with an emphasis on ventilation and low weight. In the world of Enduro racing and technical all-mountain riding, there’s definitely a need to maximise protection, but wearing a full-blown full-face helmet is too much of a hindrance for many to live with. The Parachute aims to make full-face protection possible without all the usual downsides.
What’s truly impressive is that the Parachute passes all the same standards/certifications as every other ‘regular’ full-face approved for downhill riding on the market
MET call it a ‘utopian dream’ which sounds a bit bat-shit mental, but what’s truly impressive is that the Parachute passes all the same standards/certifications as every other ‘regular’ full-face approved for downhill riding on the market! So, from a safety perspective, it all hunky-dory, yet it weighs 400g less.
At just 700g, it’s about twice the weight of the type of all-mountain open-face helmets that are popular with Enduro riders, but around 400g lighter than an average ‘regular’ full-face helmet. But it’s not just lightweight, it’s also exceptionally well ventilated, both around the mouth and over the top of the head – you definitely never get that ‘head in a sauna feeling’ of a conventional full face. We found the breathability of the Parachute to be sensational. All the padding is removable, which is not only good from a stink perspective, but the cheek pads clip in/out using simple press-studs, so it’s really easy to remove them on long climbs to improve the ventilation even more.
The goggle strap clip is a handy addition, and the adjustable retention system is easy to use and gave us a really secure fit. As we noted in our piece a few weeks back, the D-ring closure for the chin strap seems at odds with the convenience of the helmet overall – in operation it wasn’t a problem, but we’d still prefer a standard chin strap buckle. The styling definitely has a touch of Batman about it and won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but once it’s on you can’t see it anyhow.
Is it a versatile enough helmet for us to consider trading in our open-face lids? Not for us personally, but we think that many people will, particularly if their riding involves taking it easy on the climbs and smashing the descents. For some people, the risk of damaging their teeth or face is too big to ignore, and that’s a fair call to make. The Parachute gives those riders an option to feel protected without having to ride with their head in a world of sweaty claustrophobia.
Overall, the MET Parachute is an option worthy of consideration for the keen Enduro racer or even the trail rider looking for a little bit more protection.