Bluegrass has a solid reputation when it comes to making robust and reliable full-face helmets, but their lineup has historically had a gap when it comes to lighter-weight enduro offerings. That changes with the introduction of the Vanguard, a DH-certified lid that won't weigh you down over a long day.
With a two model lineup, you can choose between the Vanguard Core, which features Mips rotational protection as well as a nicer trim package, or the Vanguard, which is lighter and less expensive.
Bluegrass Vanguard Details
• Intended use: enduro, e-bike, downhill
• Sizes: S (52-56cm), M (56-58cm), L (58-61cm)
• 5-star Virginia Tech rating
• Mips protection (Core model)
• ASTM F1952 & NTA 8776 Certified
• Weight: 725g Core, 690g Standard
• Price: $350 Core, $289 Standard
Regardless of which you choose, there are plenty of colors to suit your style and taste, with four to choose from in either of the trim options.
Vanguard Core, $350 USD, 725g
If I were choosing between the two model options, I'd likely go for the Core, as the increased safety performance and nicer detailing makes it a far better value. The standard Vanguard keeps the weight even lower, but it's worth a few extra grams to protect your dome.
On the safety front, the Vanguard Core received a 5-star rating from the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, which is quickly becoming the de facto helmet test for the MTB world. It also passed the ASTM F1952 downhill chinbar test, as well as the NTA 8776 high-speed ebike test. This is achieved by implementing a Mips rotational impact system, safety release visor, and a polycarbonate shell with an EPS liner.
There are 24 vents to keep things cool, and the Core version comes with a removable mud grill to keep your teeth clean. The Core also uses a magnetic Fidlock buckle, as opposed to the ratchet buckle on the regular model. As per usual, there are multiple cheek pad thicknesses that come with each helmet, to help dial in the fit. Additionally, the Vanguard uses MET's Safe-T Heta fit system, which allows you to fine tune the cradle to your exact head size.
The weight of the Vanguard is quite impressive, considering the competition in the high 600 to low 700 gram space. Other options in this realm would be Specialized's Gambit
, the Troy Lee Stage
, and the IXS Trigger
All of these options fall well below the 1000-gram mark that is typical for more DH-oriented full faces, but notably the Bluegrass is the only option to tout a Virginia Tech rating in addition to the typical downhill certifications. This of course doesn't mean that the other options are unsafe, or that this is guaranteed to keep you in better shape after a nasty crash, but it's a nice bit of reassurance when you're pushing it in a race or on the trails.
The Bluegrass Vanguard and Vanguard Core will both be available in early July, and you can learn more at MET's website