MET helmets haven’t seen a lot of press in North America, but with a full lineup of head protection now available here you’re sure to see more from the Italian brand. The Parabellum is MET’s entry to the upper end of the all-mountain category. Light, well-ventilated, and with plenty of coverage, this aesthetically pleasing helmet has been my go-to for the past couple months.
The helmet has the same features as others in its category, with a fit dial at the back, adjustable visors that can go from practical-low position to goggle storage high position, gel forehead pads, and even has reflective stickers on the back that blend in with the overall helmet design. Weighing in at 270 grams, the Parabellum seems to have an equal volume of helmet and vents, while still managing to cover most of the back of my head.
If you could buy this helmet at Starbucks, it would be a venti. The visor’s vents align with those on the helmet, providing plenty of air through the front of the helmet and out of the back. Even with all the vents, I still felt very assured it would protect my head in case of a crash.
Looking inside the helmet, there is a minimal amount of padding to be found, but that didn’t mean it was uncomfortable in the slightest. I felt very secure and comfortable, my noggin only contacting the padding and never the helmet. The gel padding on the forehead worked double duty for me. It kept sweat from dripping down into my eyes and also kept my hair inside the helmet and not in my face (I had hair down to my eyes for the duration of the test). The gel felt a little small at first, and the plastic band felt uncomfortable on my temples, but that was fixed by stretching the gel (which is attached to the band via velcro).
The fit is adjustable via dial in the back, which was very simple to do. The dial adjusts in very small increments, allowing one to fine tune the fit. The dial never came loose with hard impacts (impacts of rubber to dirt, not helmet), something that other helmets have bugged me with in the past.
The GoPro mount for the MET is one that requires no stickers or glue on the helmet itself; 2 plastic cups sandwich one of the vents and screws in. A nice feature, but one that I would learn was a permanent fixture the hard way. When I tried to unscrew the pieces when I was not shooting POV video, the bolt head snapped off without much force. MEC does have a great warranty and I was able to get a replacement piece, but the replacement piece also broke the same way.
In the end, I have been very happy with the Parabellum, keeping my head cool, comfortable and covered. MET offers a medium and large size, and my head fit comfortably in the middle range of the dial in the medium (I’m usually a small for helmets). The Parabellum goes for $200 at MEC.
A good-looking alternative to the usual half-shell suspects, with tons of venting as well…