Following from the M11 review we did earlier, we are carrying on in the world of head protection, this time by looking at the all new Easton E700 helmet. Easton is carrying on with the design concept it came up for the Stealth line of helmets with the E700 and the helmet looks sleeker and more streamlined than its predecessors do.
For the E700, Easton teamed up with the helmet manufacturer Giro to design the helmet and lend some of the technologies used in bike helmets to combine for light weight and protection. Giro is known for its bicycle and snow sport helmets and is regarded as one of the leaders in those markets.
When first getting the helmet in hand, it felt incredibly light. So light in fact that it almost felt too light. So with the lightness of the helmet in mind, the first thought was obviously going to be “Well if it’s so light, is it actually any good and is it durable.” In fact the helmet that we tested came with a cage and the cage was the heaviest part of the helmet and it almost felt like the cage was weighing it down. Having said that, the cage was an Easton cage, which is lighter compared to most other cages. I personally preferred to use the helmet without the cage, and the removal of said cage was not overtly complicated. However, I’d probably pay attention to what cage you will fit on the helmet as you will notice a difference and it can get some time getting used to.
Like the M11 helmet that we looked at, the Easton E700 relies on a single shell design, which again is designed to spread any impacts to a larger area of the surface of the helmet. The interesting element of the E700 is that there is no clips or ratchets on the outer shell of the helmet, anywhere, giving it a really nice sleek look. The adjustment mechanism actually sits inside the helmet, which is quite unique in the realm of helmet design.
Inside the helmet:
So as said, the adjustment mechanism sits within the helmet and this took me a while to work out, despite the mechanism coming with fitting instructions. To adjust the helmet to fit your head you have to remove some of the padding (which is attached by Velcro) to access it. At first the fitting might seem a bit fiddly but once you get the hang of it, it is relatively straight forward.
The thing that was surprising with the padding. Normally we see helmets use foam that moulds itself to the head, but with the E700 Easton has opted for canvas plush padding, which replaces the EPP foam seen in the previous models of the Stealth line of helmets. Remember I said that the adjustment sitting inside the helmet? Well the canvas pads are attached to the helmet by Velcro and I must admit that they feel comfortable when wearing the helmet. However, the only downside is that the Velcro strips are prone to breaking and this happened on the helmet. Per Easton’s instructions you’re not supposed to glue the strips back to the helmet as it voids the warranty on it. So our advise would be to keep a hold of the receipt from the retailer you bought the helmet from and make sure that you check the warranty period. For Europeans, it might be tricky to get a replacement with Easton as they do not ship to Europe, as per a company customer services representative. Figure that one out.
Otherwise the helmet has a polypropylene foam liner inside it, much like seen in majority of the helmets. The shell itself is made out of polycarbonate plastic and combined with the design and the foam, the helmet offers a improved energy absorption than previous models. Additionally, due to the desing, Easton has been able to use more foam, which leaves for fewer gaps within the helmet shell and liner, thus offering better protection.
Though the helmet looks like it doesn’t have that many air intake vents on it, it actually circulates air really well, making sure that you don’t overheat or get too uncomfortable wearing it. Actually, due to the light weight of the helmet and combined with the few vents, it almost felt like you weren’t wearing a helmet at all, which at first was a very weird sensation.
The fit of the helmet is super comfortable, almost more comfortable than the M11 that we recently reviewed. The fitting system, makes the helmet sit nicely on the head. Much like the ratchet system on the M11, the E700 provides superior fit that most helmets on the market still have not mastered.
Once adjusted properly, the helmet does not shake or move about unnecessarily, but provides the same level of confidence as the M11.
Now, I already mentioned that there were some issues with the liner and the Velcro strips within the helmet. There were other malfunction issues with the helmet as well, namely that the chin strap broke. Or more accurately, the locking mechanism on the chin strap (the shorter of the two straps) completely fell off and we could not find it on the ice. This lead us to think about the reliability of the helmet and the durability of it. If the helmet is only been in use for a few weeks and these are the issues users can potentially face, is it worth spending up to $179.99 on it?
Having trawled through a few hockey discussion boards, it would seem that the helmet we tested was not the only one to have malfunctions such as the ones stated above. Others have reported that the matt version of the helmet scratches easily and that the shell can crack.
It’s not that the E700 is a terrible helmet, the technical aspects of it are nifty and it is super comfortable, but simply because of the issues in the helmet we have been testing, one can only wonder if it would be better to spend the money on a different helmet.
The helmet’s retail price is up to $179.99 for a helmet without a cage, or $149 on HockeyMonkey.com. The $149 price tag seems pretty unanimous among online retailers and in Europe the prices are around €169.
- Incredibly light weight
- Does not rattle around
- Sleek look
- Good ventilation
- Malfunctions and reliability
- Anything that you attach to the helmet (cage, visor etc) will make a noticeable difference
- Bit fiddly at first
- More expensive than most