Protection comes in many forms, but with all-mountain helmets we talk about added coverage in the rear and additional technologies to cope with rotational impacts. Sweet Protection has been in the helmet game for a long time and the new Bushwhacker II MIPS helmet is definitely a great one to consider.
Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS Features:
- In-mold construction fuses foam with outer shell
- STACC venting
- Digital Optimized Venting
- Removable, adjustable shatter-resistant visor
- MIPS protection
- Occigrip turn dial
- Moisture-wicking comfort pads
- Colors: Grey, Orange, Matte White
- Weight: 365 grams (M/L, actual)
- MSRP: $259.95
A well-built safety shell
Ain’t protection sweet? With a name like Sweet Protection, it makes you wonder just what sparked the name. From their origins in Norway, Sweet Protection has been making helmets since 2000 — first in the snow and water sports industries and then, in 2011, they launched their first bike helmet. Since that time, helmet safety has improved and construction methods have also taken positive strides with Sweet Protection staying at the forefront.
The Bushwhacker II MIPS represents the latest in all-mountain helmet design from Sweet Protection and delivers a confidence-inspiring fit with high-quality construction. MIPS is always worth the extra money, in my book. I’ve tested it first-hand (not with this helmet, but another MIPS lid) and can confirm that it works.
With a $259 price tag, just what makes this helmet stand out?
As with other similar helmets, the Bushwhacker II features an adjustable visor that pivots out of the line-of-sight and upward enough to accommodate goggles stashed on the front, when not in use. Added coverage on the backside and a helmet that sits just a touch deeper on my head all combine to enhance the secure feeling here.
Breathability is good, but I have not tested it in mid-summer 90+ degree temps. I’ve been able to wear it with a cycling cap underneath just fine — thanks to the adjustability of the turn dial on the back. I will say that the dial itself is really small and difficult to reach. Additionally, the buckle on the chin strap can be difficult to clip on the first try. I’m not sure why this buckle was chosen, but I usually spend 5-10 seconds attempting to align the buckles just right every time I put it on.
So, to address the elephant in the room here, the high price tag is really due to the 5-piece shell construction that involves a calculated variety of foam and shell components. The end result is a stepped-thickness shell that will both crumple and protect where needed.
I’ll add that the pads are thin and comfortable, but not very absorbent. The result is they don’t trap much sweat and I found a pretty steady stream of sweat dripping right into the backside of my sunglasses during long climbs.
I’ve tested this helmet with a variety of sunglasses including: Adidas Zonyk Aero Pro, Adidas Evil Eye Pro and Rudy Project Fotonyk. All worked well and didn’t cause any fit issues. The Zonyk Aero Pro’s did tend to fit the best overall.
- Achieves another level of protection
- Adjustable visor stays out of the way
- Thin straps are comfortable to wear
- Added protection of MIPS
- Breathes well
- Straps are directly-mounted into the shell
- Buckle is tedious to close
- Sweat drips constantly on the back of my glasses
- Fit dial is small
The Bottom Line: Bushwhacker II MIPS
Safety first, right? Well, Sweet Protection is all in on the safety thing and the Bushwhacker II MIPS is evidence of that. With extra all-mountain coverage, MIPS and a 5-piece stepped shell, the Bushwhacker II earns its top-shelf price tag here.
Buy Now: Available at EVO
Sweet Protection may not be a household name, but it should be. Their attention to safety is on display with the Bushwhacker II MIPS. It checks all the boxes with innovative construction and design. The miniature fit dial is really the biggest issue here -- once you get past the price tag.