The 7Protection M1 earned our Best Buy award for its eye-popping affordability and rock-solid, if not flashy, performance. The sport of mountain biking is expensive enough and accessorizing for the bike park can be mind-bogglingly spendy. Goggles, gloves, different shorts, neck brace, it adds up fast. We give a tip-of-the-cap to 7Protection for delivering a serviceable and effective full-face helmet at an excellent price. This lid provides exceptional comfort, a couple of key certifications, and a sneaky low weight. The M1 is also available in a whopping seven sizes, including two youth sizes.
7Protection M1 Review
Cons: Warm, poor ventilation, fit is a little loose
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The 7Protection M1 performed nobly in most categories. Comfort was a particular strong suit, and weight was quietly impressive. That said, it couldn't quite match the helmets that cost three times more in terms of fancy protective features or the most effective ventilation system. The theme throughout this review, and we will hammer it home, is the tremendous value delivered by the M1.
Upon sliding your head into this helmet, the high levels of comfort were immediately apparent. The 7Protection uses good ol' fabric over foam in the interior. This creates an exceptionally plush and cush feel shared by the Giro Disciple MIPS. While the turbines in the Leatt helmet may boast extra levels of protection, the pillow-like feel of the M1 is great.
The fit is comfortable with no pressure points. The cheek/jaw bone pads are snug and remain in firm contact with your face without restricting speech or mouth movement. The top of the head fits into the top of the helmet well with no apparent ill-fitting pockets or extra space.
If we had one critique on the comfort levels, we might point to the rear of the helmet where the shell meets the back of the head. There appears to be a little bit of extra space in this area of the helmet. The rear doesn't exactly cup or cradle the back of the head. The helmets with the best fit really cradle the back of your head. This isn't directly a comfort issue as it pertains more to fit. That said, the two are connected in some ways.
The M1 helmet carries CE, CPSC, and AS certifications. This helmet has a solid level of protection, even if it isn't using the latest and greatest technology.
The M1 is constructed with a polycarbonate shell paired with traditional EPP foam. This helmet feels substantial on your head, and it is reasonably confidence inspiring when firing down the hill.
This helmet doesn't use any fancy protective technologies. No MIPS, no SPIN, no fluid inside the helmet, no turbines. Just a simple shell and simple foam. As one may suspect, this is one reason the cost is relatively low. We won't get into it, but there are plenty of studies questioning the effectiveness of all of these rotational impact protection technologies. Other people say, if there is a new technological breakthrough in the helmet industry, it is better to have it than not….even if it is debatable how well it works.
The M1 hit the scales at 33.4-ounces. This is about 10-ounces lighter than some of the significantly more expensive helmets in the review.
Why is it lighter than these feature-loaded lids? Well, the answer is quite apparent. The M1 doesn't have any of the fancy safety features some of these other helmets do. There is no MIPS layer lining the helmet, and there is no fluid, nothing fancy, just a sensible and serviceable helmet. A lower weight is always nice, but it's never an end-all-be-all, and we would typically rather have the helmet with the better safety features over the lightest one.
The 7Protection helmet is not a breezy and airy helmet by like the Fox Proframe Moth, Troy Lee Stage MIPS, or Leatt DBX 3.0. This helmet is significantly more stagnant and toasty than these enduro lids that are meant to be pedaled and breathed in heavily.
The front of the chin bar has one vent located front and center. This is a relatively small port that has a plastic screen mesh/screen to keep debris out. The ventilation in this area is okay, but it isn't in the same universe as some of the other helmets like the aforementioned enduro-focused models.There are small ventilation holes near the ears, and there is also a healthy amount of vents sprinkled on the top of the helmet. Regardless, this is not a well-ventilated helmet. It is rather toasty when you blend the lack of any serious airflow with the cozy and cushy fabric interior.
The M1 has a large and somewhat narrow visor. It certainly offers proper length but is noticeably narrow. The visor protrudes a good distance from the brow.
The visor has two fixed screws above the temple on each side. Underneath the center of the visor is a thumbscrew that loosens and allows it to adjust. The thumb screw is really tucked under the visor and isn't the most user-friendly due to its difficult to reach location. The M1's thumb screw is a little more tucked away. This isn't a big deal, but it's noticeable. The visor has a sufficient range of adjustability, but certainly not as much as other helmets like the Fox Racing Rampage Pro Carbon.
The visor is quite firm compared to other full-face helmets in our test. The product page on the 7Protection website is unclear as to whether or not this is a break away visor that is designed to snap off in the event of a crash.
Throughout testing, we observed no signs of significant wear or indications the helmet will fail in any way. After inspecting the 7Protection website, it appears that the warranty policy is a little vague. It appears the company has a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
One area of concern regarding this helmet is the visor. It is very stiff, and it doesn't bend very well. We could see this snapping off in the event of a crash reasonably easily.
The M1 comes with a helmet bag. That's it.
7Protection delivered an excellent value with the M1 helmet. In fact, the value is so strong it earned our Best Buy award. The performance and protection levels are solid, while the price tag is exceptionally low. This is an easy recommendation for riders on a budget looking to dip their toes into park riding.
A strong value meets well-rounded and respectable performance with the 7Protection M1. In a time where full-face helmets are closing in on $500, 7Protection delivered a viable option for a fifth of the price. Riders who are really pushing the envelope of speed and huge jumps may want something with more technology and features, but for the vast majority of riders, this helmet does just fine.
— Pat Donahue