Advertisement

Sign up for our newsletter

Advertisement

Met Manta Mips aero helmet review

16 Jun 2021
Verdict:

Super comfortable, great in the rain and more aero than its predecessor but a bit pricey

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Incredibly comfortable • Improved aerodynamics • Ideal for wet and cold weather
Against 
Expensive • Interesting colourways

It seemed like a difficult prospect to review an aero helmet, in this case the Met Manta Mips, given that in order to test its two most important features it would require putting my life at risk or having access to a wind-tunnel.

However from the moment the box was opened the Manta Mips has been nothing but a joy – as weird as that is to say about a helmet.

Let’s start with the untestable part, since there have been some major upgrades from the Met Manta Mips's predecessor. Mainly – as the name suggests – the addition of a Mips system to protect against rotational forces in the event of a crash.

Though thankfully the helmet’s safety capabilities haven’t been called upon in my time wearing it, adding Mips is certainly a step up and all but a necessity when choosing a helmet nowadays.

As for aerodynamics, Met has altered the shape since the original Manta, adopting the silhouette of its top tier Trenta helmets.

The brand says the tube shape and lower profile save on average four watts on its competitors when tested in the wind-tunnel at speeds between 33kmh and 80kmh. Without the ability to compare real world performance, I can only take Met's wind-tunnel data at face value but I did notice the helmet felt unobtrusive when descending, perhaps hinting at its slippery credentials.

 

Fit

As well as borrowing its silhouette from the Trenta, the Manta Mips has the same internal shape as the Trenta 3K Carbon, seen recently guiding Tadej Pogačar to the yellow jersey in last year's Tour de France.

More importantly though, its Safe-T Orbital fit system allows for vertical and occipital adjustment and the 360° head belt around the inner circumference works to prevent pressure points on the skull.

Add all of that together and you get a supremely comfortable helmet.

The cushioning is excellent, the fit precise and its weight fairly light – 249g for a size medium, about 40g lighter than Kask’s claimed weight for its aero Wasabi helmet but just over 30g heavier than the HJC Furion 2.0.

 

Ventilation

The concern for your average user with this kind of helmet, after the price, would be ventilation, with vents often sacrificed in the search for aerodynamic efficiency. However the Manta still has enough with six along the sides and the NACA Vent – that gives the helmet its manta ray-like appearance – at the top to bring air through the front and out the exhaust ports to the rear.

Riding in the UK, it’s highly unlikely you’re ever going to have to worry about overheating, but in the recent 25ºC sunshine the interesting grey and fluorescent yellow colourway didn’t cause any problems. If you do ride in much warmer climes and tend to get uncomfortably hot headed, maybe avoid the black to be on the safe side.

The lack of ventilation holes does mean, on the other hand, that it’s actually an excellent choice for rides in less favourable conditions, even in a heavy downpour it had no problem in keeping my head reasonably dry.

 

Extras

Despite the fact that I wasn’t blessed with the most match-friendly colourway, it’s hard to deny that it looks good. In my book, any helmet that doesn’t show hairs poking out is a bonus (here’s hoping Pogačar switches to the Manta soon).

Potentially my favourite feature, and the first thing that caught my attention, is actually the Fidlock magnetic buckle. With a satisfying click, simple unclick and secure feel, I don’t think I can ever use a standard buckle again.

At £220, it’s not the most expensive helmet on the market but it is far from cheap. However if you’re forking out big bucks and shopping in the upper echelons of road helmets, it is absolutely worth considering.

Price: 
£220

Read more about: