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review

Met Estro MIPS helmet

8
£120.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Excellent adjustment and fit combine with great ventilation to make this a very comfortable lid
Excellent adjustment
Great ventilation
Comfortable
Good looks
Slightly vague-feeling ratchet
High-gloss finish prone to scuffs
Weight: 
270g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Met Estro MIPS Helmet is a great fitting, well ventilated helmet that looks good too. It's a bit dearer than some helmets offering similar features, but then it's lighter too.

First and foremost for me in a helmet is a comfortable fit. As the owner of a 58cm head I sometimes find myself between sizes on the charts, and that's the case with the MET Estro MIPS. I could have gone for a large; the test helmet is a medium, though, and I found it just right.

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There was still enough spare room to fit all manner of beanies or caps underneath, but plenty of adjustment to snug it down when I was hatless. The largest size catered for is 61cm.

Adjustment is via what MET calls a '360 degree Head Belt,' which amounts to a flattened plastic strap that widens at the forehead and tightened via the usual ratchet wheel at the back.

2021 Met Estro MIPS road cycling helmet - inside 1.jpg

The idea is it provides a comfortable fit whatever head shape you have; I sometimes find helmets too round for my narrow head, but I got an excellent result with this. I'm guessing you should still get the same result if your head is rounder.

I thought the ratchet mechanism felt a bit vague, with only the lightest click telling me I was winding it in and none at all when loosening, but it works well enough anyway.

2021 Met Estro MIPS road cycling helmet - tension system.jpg

The strap guides below the ears are easy to slide up and down and stayed where I put them. Likewise, the clip adjustment stayed in place once set up.

2021 Met Estro MIPS road cycling helmet - clip.jpg

The only slightly awkward bit is the height adjuster at the back – it's partly obscured by the MIPS insert. MET has helpfully put a pull tab on the little rearmost pad to help with access, though, and once I'd settled on one the three positions I didn't need to move it again.

Head coverage is also excellent. It goes right down to the base of the skull at the back if you adjust it properly, and still offers a good chunk of temple protection. With it set well forward, I was just aware of the front of the helmet in the top of my line of vision.

2021 Met Estro MIPS road cycling helmet - MIPS.jpg

Ventilation is well-attended to with 17 ports directing the air in and nine rear outlets. It's vented right down to the base at the back, and there are five channels inside the forehead protection to really ramp up the airflow. (Being on winter test, overheating was not a problem for me). The MIPS insert is carefully cut and arranged to make the most of all that venting, too.

The air inlets at the temples also support your sunglasses, if you like that look.

2021 Met Estro MIPS road cycling helmet - inside 2.jpg

This red version has a metallic finish which I think looks better in the flesh than in the photographs, while the lower section is a glossy black. The dividing line is tidily done. I found the finish marked fairly easily, though. It comes in five other colours, including a snazzy-sounding 'white holographic'.

> 22 of the best cycling helmets for 2021 – plus how to choose the right helmet for you

MET claims this is 'fully covered by polycarbonate ... avoiding any exposed EPS surfaces to outdoor conditions,' but I take issue with that. There's exposed expanded poly in the rear vent dividers, which will undoubtedly cop the UV rays when the sun's shining on your neck.

2021 Met Estro MIPS road cycling helmet - back.jpg

MET also says it has 'reflective rear decals to enhance visibility in low-light conditions,' though the only decals on mine are on the sides and – while bright and white – aren't particularly visible from the rear, so I don't quite know what's going on there.

2021 Met Estro MIPS road cycling helmet - side.jpg

This lid is certified to the safety standards set for the EU, Australia, New Zealand and the USA (in the UK we still adhere to the EU standard EN1078).

Value

£120 and 270g is good for a MIPS-equipped helmet. It feels light to wear – more than once I had to touch my head to remind myself I had actually put it on. The Giro Syntax MIPS, another great helmet, weighs 296g for instance, but it's now £124.99.

The last helmet I tested for road.cc was the £89.99 Giro Agilis MIPS. No sooner was the review submitted than I got knocked off my bike and it was damaged, so I hope I don't carry out an involuntary destruction test this time... that was a good helmet, and this is a worthy replacement – if rather more expensive at £120.

Also check out the very good Lazer Sphere MIPS at the same price as the MET Estro, minus a penny.

Overall

The Estro is an excellent helmet in many respects: it's very comfortable to wear, gives good coverage, is well ventilated and keeps that potentially intrusive MIPS insert carefully tuned to the shell. It's definitely worth a look.

Verdict

Excellent adjustment and fit combine with great ventilation to make this a very comfortable lid

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Met Estro MIPS helmet

Size tested: Medium, 56/58cm

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

MET says: "A new road helmet with a remarkable price to feature ratio. The Estro Mips is a versatile road helmet ready for your longest day on the bike. As comfortable as our top of the line its design is widely open to maximize the ventilation at any speed. With 26 vents, 17 of which are inlets and 9 are exhaust holes, all of them work in synergy with the internal engineered air channeling system to ensure maximum ventilation."

The claim the EPS is 'fully covered' by polycarbonate is questionable because the rear-facing vent ports have dividers that are not covered, and it's supposed to have "reflective rear decals to enhance visibility'; my helmet only had side decals, which were bright white but not reflective.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Small: 52-56cm

Medium: 56-58cm

Large: 58-61cm

In-mould polycarbonate shell with EPS liner

Full polycarbonate wrapped EPS liner to enhance durability

Extended Head Coverage for deeper head protection

MIPS-C2 Brain Protection System protects against certain impacts

MET Safe-T Upsilon Fit System

360° Head belt, Vertical adjustment to maximse adjustability

Hand washable comfort pads

Air Lite straps with adjustable divider leave you with an individual fit

Reflective rear decals to enhance visibility in low-light conditions

26 Vents, Internal engineered air channeling to improve ventilation and comfort

Sunglasses ports to securely dock sunglasses when climbing or resting

Certifications CE; AS/NZS; US

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Very tidy indeed. I would question the claim that the expanded poly is 'fully covered' by polycarbonate because the rear-facing vent ports have dividers that are not covered. However, I accept that the surface itself is indeed well covered.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

All that ventilation is well-directed over the head and completely unobstructed by the MIPS insert. Having tested this helmet in winter it's been almost always with a hat under it but that worked well too. Coverage is good, right down to the base of the skull and with plenty of forward protection without that getting in the sight-lines.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

It's more a matter of the glossy finish being a bit easy to mark. Otherwise, it'll live a helmet-like life span.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

270g is pretty good for a MIPS helmet at this price.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10

One of the best helmets I've had in this respect, and easy to adjust (with the minor exception of the height adjuster being hidden behind the MIPS insert). It stays in place really well and, as with all the best helmets, I sometimes forgot I was wearing it.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

It's good for the quality, performance and weight, though there are plenty of excellent choices in the £90-£120 range so it doesn't stand out in this area.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Comfortable, well vented and easy to set up.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good comfort, good adjustment system, good head coverage and good looks.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The ratchet is a bit vague - it could do with a more positive click - though in fairness it works reliably.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

At £120 and 270g, this is good for a MIPS-equipped helmet. The Giro Syntax MIPS, another great helmet, weighs 296g for instance, but is now £124.99.

The last helmet I tested for road.cc was the £89.99 Giro Agilis MIPS. No sooner was the review submitted than I got knocked off my bike and it was damaged, so I hope I don't carry out an involuntary destruction test this time... that was a good helmet, and this is a worthy replacement – if rather more expensive.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The comfort factor itself would be enough to earn the MET Estro MIPS a good score; the general high quality and good looks give that a boost. The ratchet adjuster feels a bit soft but actually works fine, while ventilation and the integration of MIPS are first class. The glossy finish is a bit prone to marking and competition is fierce, but it's still a very good eight.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 54  Height: 6'2  Weight: 73kg and holding steady

I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10   My best bike is: Tomassini Prestige

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

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