MET Eldar MIPS youth helmet review
MET is a big name in cycle helmets, and in this review we are taking a look at their Eldar MIPS Youth helmet which is designed for children's heads in the 52cm to 57cm range.
With so many features, and a price tag to match, is the MET Eldar MIPS one of the best kids cycling helmets money can buy?
We were kindly send this helmet to review by MET. We have not been paid to write the review and all opinions are our own.
Helmet Model: MET Eldar MIPS Youth
Size: 52-57cm (other models available for smaller heads)
Colours available: Choice of 3 in MIPS, 7 in standard helmet
Safety standards: CE; AS/NZS EN1078
Date of Review: 2021
We Like: The top-spec and addition of MIPS in a very professional mountain bike helmet.
MET Eldar MIPS Youth helmet review
MET produces a huge range of helmets and protective equipment in the mountain bike and road cycling world.
The MET Eldar MIPS Youth is a no-compromise helmet built on the success of their mountain bike helmets and 'designed for young riders who are fearless and skilled' apparently...
The Eldar looks like a mini version of an adult helmet and there is little to suggest it's a kids helmet other than size.
The styling is sophisticated and will certainly appeal to aspiring mountain bikers.
With low rear coverage around the back of the head, fully adjustable straps and MIPS technology for added protection, it's the whole package.
The visor is a breakaway / removable type and is in keeping with the mountain bike style.
MIPs is a third-party technology that many helmet brands have incorporated into their high-end helmets for additional protection from rotational forces, click here to read more about how MIPS works.
If you don't want to go all out with the MIPS, MET also do a non-MIPS version of the Eldar, which is £25 cheaper but has all the other features of this helmet.
The MET Eldar MIPS helmet received the thumbs up from all the testers in terms of style and appearance. The block colour and mountain bike styling was obviously appealing to the team regardless of age.
The helmet has been a good fit for everyone in the test team as it sits nicely on the head and the rear dial snugs it up around the head.
I found it easy to get fitted to the smaller kids and the older ones had no problems doing it themselves other than the buckle that was initially stiff.
I personally would have preferred a bigger buckle, as the little plastic clip is tricky for full-sized adult hands. However if your child is past the stage of needing help then the fastening is well sized for smaller hands.
Although the fit is good, there are noticeably fewer pads on the inside of the Eldar which one tester described as 'a little bit harsh against their forehead'.
The younger testers had no issue, though they do have more hair over their foreheads.
What was noticeable is that the MIPS attachments on the inside of the helmet are not covered by padding, which gives plenty of opportunities for long hair to get caught and snagged.
Other MIPS helmets cover these points with pads, which seems like a good idea.
At the back of the helmet, the rear cradle worked well with a ponytail and plaits, which was very helpful.
The straps on the MET Eldar MIPS junior helmet are all fully adjustable. I feel that the cradle system is superb and the straps extend up into the helmet to wrap all the way up the back of the head regardless of size. Once attached this helmet is going nowhere and is very reassuring from an adult's perspective.
Comfort out on the trail has been good, with no complaints or requests to change to another helmet. Watching them ride in this helmet certainly makes them look like a mini Enduro racer - there is nothing child-like about this helmet.
Does the MET Eldar MIPS cycle helmet suit long hair?
The mechanism sat high enough on the head for a low pony tail to sit below it.
The only complaint we had was that because the MIPS protection didn't have any padding over it the points where it was fastened to the inside of the helmet sometimes got snagged on our testers hair.
This can be annoying if you've just spend a long time plaiting long hair!
The Eldar worked well and was comfy with both plaits and a low ponytail.
Other features on the MET Eldar Youth helmet
The peak, whilst designed to detach in a crash, is a little too easy to fiddle with. Small hands seem to like fiddling with it and it might not welcome being removed and attached repeatedly.
This just further suggests the MET Eldar is designed is for an older child who will look after the helmet.
A reflective panel on the back is a nice touch and the vents do an ok job of keeping things cool. The Eldar doesn't claim a huge number of vents and combined with the addition of MIPS makes the helmet a little warmer than others.
Overall verdict of the MET Eldar MIPS Youth Helmet
A fantastic fit and all the safety features you could wish for in a youth cycling helmet does comes at a price.
But if you're looking for one of the best performance mountain bike helmets for smaller heads the MET Eldar MIPS is certainly worth considering.
Those with longer, tied back, hair may wish for better cover over the MIPS to avoid snagging.
Looking for a cheaper option? The MET Eldar is also available in a non-MIPS version
More helmet advice:
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