Review: Fox Metah helmet

Fox's Metah builds on their original trail helmet the Flux, with the Metah adapting to the demands of modern trail and all-mountain riders. The design principles behind the Metah were to create a helmet with broader coverage and protection while maintaining good breathability at a light weight.

Fox Metah helmet 2.jpg

 

The Design


The Fox Metah's shell is made from molded polycarbonate to ensure a great weight to strength ratio. The inside of the helmet has Fox's Varizorb multi-density impact reduction system. Varizorb is an EPS foam with softer, cone-shaped foam sandwiched between strategically designed layers of denser foam. This allows the foam to slow impact and provide better cushioning for your head during impact.

 

Airflow and heat management is taken care of by 10 big vents. The fixed visor is shaped and positioned to optimise airflow through the vents. A premium liner with sealed edges is used, which not only increases comfort and improves moisture management, it also helps with the airflow as air can pass freely through the helmet rather than "stall".

 


Fox Metah helmet 3.jpg

Fox Metah helmet 1.jpg


If you ride with goggles, you need not worry about keeping them in place when wearing the Fox Metah. The upper section of the back has been designed to hold goggle straps in place with a lip that hints at the Flux design. A Y-Strap system is used to direct the strap around the ears in an effort to make it as comfortable and unobtrusive as possible. This does mean you lose the ability to fine tune them and adjust how the each strap fits around your ears. The overall snugness of the fit can, however, be adjusted by a single-hand retention system in the form of a dial at the base of the helmet.

 

 

On the Trail


Over the year since its launch, other helmet manufacturers have released their latest trail and enduro open face helmets which are similar in size, but there's no denying that the Fox Metah is a big-looking helmet. The S/M size helmet that we reviewed is a bit on the small side, but with the adjustment on offer from the retention system, the fit is very comfortable and secure. Through the roughest of trail sections, the lid stayed firmly in place and did not distract from the ride. Overall comfort was excellent and once on your head, there were no signs of its exterior bulk.

 

Fox Metah helmet 6.jpg

 

Having recently ridden other helmets with fixed Y-Straps like the Metah, I realized just how good the positioning and feel of the straps on the Metah are. They were never in the way - to the point that I didn't take note of them - until I wore other helmets that felt awkwardly positioned and distracted from the ride as they kept irritating me.

 

The Metah breathes really well and on a couple of brisk early morning rides, I could really feel the ventilation at work. On hot days it got the job done and switching between two other trail helmets (Kali Maya and Giro Xar) showed that the Metah is bang on par when it comes to keeping a cool head.

 

With some trail helmets, it can be tricky to get your favourite shades to work, but that wasn't an issue with the Metah. Even the bigger-than-the-norm Oakley Jawbreakers worked well and never knocked against the brow or rattled against the helmet. I tried two different goggles (Spy and Oakley Mayhem MX) and the fit was good paired with the Metah, staying securely in place.

 

Fox Metah helmet 5.jpg

 

My only real gripe is the length of the visor which is a bit too long for my taste. I can appreciate the fact that it's fixed in place to aid airflow through the vents, but with the length, there are times when it does get in the way. This is usually when looking far down the trail. It is not a critical flaw as the effect can be countered be tilting your head a bit further back but it wouldn't hurt if Fox could trim 10 - 15mm off the front.

 

Verdict


I found the Fox Metah very comfortable and it breathes very well. Fortunately, I did not get to try out just how well it works when hitting the deck, but with the level of attention to detail seen in the design of the helmet, I have no doubt that it will get the job done as advertised. The only chink in its armour is the length of the visor coupled with the fact that it is fixed in place. The Fox Metah has been my helmet of choice when heading out to the trails. As a bonus, I really like the blue, white, and red colour scheme of the model that we have had on review - cool, bright without trying too hard or burning your retinas.

 




16 Comments

Duane_Bosch, Feb 08 2017 08:15

WOW! That looks like a lot of helmet for the price

stefmeister, Feb 08 2017 08:31

Pity it looks so hideous. A duckbill platypus looks less awkward.

EmptyB, Feb 08 2017 08:43

Nice if you like Daffy Duck on your head....

NicoBoshoff, Feb 08 2017 09:09

Doesn't look that weird in person.

NicoBoshoff, Feb 08 2017 09:10

Still better looking than these new enduro full faces everyone seems convinced you now need all of a sudden.

popcorn_skollie, Feb 08 2017 09:31

Nice if you like Daffy Duck on your head....

 

It looked silly to me at first glance too. But I must admit. It kinda grew on me. 

The star spangled paint also makes it seem longer than it really is.

The all black and similar variations look great.

 

fox-metah-black-bike-helmet-matte-black.

Albatross, Feb 08 2017 09:35

Been using the Metah for around a year now and was also worried at first about it's "bigness", I find it very comfortable. I can vouch for it's robustness as I hit a rock with the side of my head and only caused scratches on the paintwork with no head injuries, thumb however didn't come off so well, but that's another thread.

 

Edit: also have the all Black version

BaGearA, Feb 08 2017 09:35

Pity it looks so hideous. A duckbill platypus looks less awkward.

What he said ^^ :D

Jpollard, Feb 08 2017 10:52

Really like this. Bit pissed that the dude at cycle lab sold me the flux now.

Thermophage, Feb 08 2017 01:57

Having ridden since shortly after they landed in RSA...The visor is NOT  problem in the slightest.

However the lid is a little front heavy and has a slight tendency to want to flop downward if not tightned. Which so far has only been marginally irritating. Mostly only though when landing off drops while wearing sunglasses.

Phatman, Feb 08 2017 02:11

Having ridden since shortly after they landed in RSA...The visor is NOT problem in the slightest.
However the lid is a little front heavy and has a slight tendency to want to flop downward if not tightned. Which so far has only been marginally irritating. Mostly only though when landing off drops while wearing sunglasses.


Try using the replacement inners that come with the helmet, they're thicker and stopped mine from tipping downward. The inner retention system also has an adjustment where it attaches to the helmet near the strap mountings; just pull it loose and plug into the other holes.

Thermophage, Feb 08 2017 02:21

Try using the replacement inners that come with the helmet, they're thicker and stopped mine from tipping downward. The inner retention system also has an adjustment where it attaches to the helmet near the strap mountings; just pull it loose and plug into the other holes.

Yeah have tried the inner tightening mechanism adjustment and will give the pads a go as well to see.

I wonder why people moan about the visor though...

Bizkit031, Feb 08 2017 02:38

No adjustment on the peak

Thermophage, Feb 08 2017 02:39

And? You really find it being irritating in your vision? perhaps my eyes sit lower down on my head  :clap:

Phatman, Feb 08 2017 04:11

On a very steep downhill it does obscure vision very slightly, but the longer peak saved my face when I landed chest first on a barbed wire fence. Shirt was torn up but not a mark on my face.

Bizkit031, Feb 08 2017 04:17

And? You really find it being irritating in your vision? perhaps my eyes sit lower down on my head :clap:

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