All new Giro Merit Spherical MTB helmet is actually lighter and less expensive

Without but understanding any of the small print, once I first held the new Merit helmet, it was clear that Giro’s new helmet was a winner. It seemed nice, and proper out of the field, the match was superb. Knowing that they already had a top-tier MTB helmet with the Manifest, it appeared that Giro had taken what they’ve discovered from one in every of my favourite helmets, and created one thing new – for a bit less cash.

Giro Merit Spherical MTB helmet

Spherical Technology powered by MIPS, barely totally different

Their first path helmet that featured their Spherical Technology powered by MIPS, the Manifest was a particular helmet. To this present day it stays the most effective becoming and most ventilated helmets for my head, and the Spherical Technology claims to take the safety up a notch out of your common MIPS outfitted helmet. The new Merit continues with the ‘Spherical Technology powered by MIPS’, however this time it’s carried out just a little otherwise.

On the Manifest, there was an internal shell, and an outer shell—solely that outer shell solely actually consisted of the highest 2/3rds of the helmet’s construction. The Merit makes use of a whole outer shell with an internal shell with a barely decreased dimension. It nonetheless depends on the identical precept although, the 2 halves of the helmet rotate independently, which creates that slip aircraft that is mentioned to scale back trauma to your mind in rotational impacts.

Where Spherical Technology units itself aside is the power to make use of what Giro calls their Progressive layering know-how. Essentially the 2 halves of the helmet use totally different density foam layers, with one layer meant to work higher in slow-speed crashes and the opposite for high-speed crashes. They work collectively to construct a safer helmet for impacts in any respect speeds.

Giro Merit Spherical MTB helmet multi density layers

On the Merit, that internal layer is a black foam which we’re advised is nonetheless EPS (Expanded PolyStyrene), and not EPP (Expanded PolyPropylene). Giro doesn’t specify, however we assume that the white layer you see is a low friction layer to permit the 2 halves to maneuver freely. The white layer on this helmet is totally different colours on different fashions

How does the Giro Merit evaluate to the Manifest?

Giro Merit Spherical MTB helmet inner padding

Other than the modifications in Spherical building, what else is totally different between the Merit and Manifest? Mostly, all of it comes all the way down to air flow. Giro was in a position to make the Manifest vastly ventilated by benefiting from their AURA reinforcing arch. To make the Merit extra inexpensive, it loses the AURA arch in favor of a extra conventional helmet design. The variety of vents additionally drops from 19 to fifteen.

front vents on Giro Merit Spherical MTB helmet

The Merit does get two consumption vents proper on the entrance of the helmet, however on the opposite aspect, these are blocked by the helmet pads. The giant consumption vent on the Manifest sits above the padding, which permits it to blast cool air straight over your brow.

That isn’t to say the Merit isn’t a really well-ventilated helmet. It’s simply not fairly to the extent of the Manifest. Ultimately, that appears to be what you’re paying for between the 2 helmets.

Actual Weight

Giro Merit Spherical MTB helmet actual weight medium

It’s onerous to consider, however on our scale, the Merit is actually lighter than the Manifest. Part of that comes all the way down to small issues like the usage of a standard however lighter helmet buckle as a substitute of Fidlock, or the truth that the Merit has only a bit less of the Ionic+ antimicrobial padding. All these little issues add as much as a helmet that weighs 360g for a medium, the place the Manifest is 362g.

Giro Merit Spherical MTB helmet retention system

Otherwise, for $40 less at $220, you’re nonetheless getting an unbelievable helmet. The Roc Loc Trail Air match system is the identical you’ll discover on the Manifest, although it’s actually simpler to regulate on the Merit. There’s additionally the same adjustable moto-style screw-in visor and built-in goggle and eyewear grippers. The Merit Spherical is supplied in S, M, and L for males/unisex in six colours, and the Merit Spherical W shall be supplied in S and M, with three colours.

Key Features:

  • 15 Wind Tunnel™ vents with inside channeling
  • Roc Loc® Trail Air match system
  • Spherical Technology™
  • Mips® mind safety system
  • Progressive Layering™ dual-density internal and outer layers of froth
  • Adjustable moto-style screw-in visor
  • Goggle gripper and built-in eyewear grippers
  • Ionic+™ antimicrobial padding
  • Lightweight webbing

First Impressions

Giro Merit Spherical MTB helmet side view matte blue

Out of the field, I believe the Merit is actually extra snug than the Manifest which is saying loads. That feeling has remained after the primary few rides, so should you usually just like the match of Giro helmets, you’re going to like this. Even although the Merit is technically lighter, by some means it feels a bit heavier on the top which I can solely attribute to the load steadiness of the 2 being by some means totally different.

It was onerous to disregard the distinction in air flow. It was fairly noticeable for the reason that Manifest is so nicely ventilated. I’d put the Merit on par with different high-end helmets. The Manifest is in a league of its own.

My take is that should you are likely to run scorching and reside in a hotter local weather, the elevated air flow of the Manifest is price the additional $40. For everybody else, the Merit is an unbelievable addition to the Giro helmet line with that uncommon mixture of being by some means practically as full-featured, lighter, and less expensive.

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