Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS Helmet - Review

May 14, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  
Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS


Sweet Protection's Bushwhacker II MIPS helmet is their enduro/trail specific MTB offering. Sweet makes the Bushwhacker II in three different models, this one sitting between the non-MIPS and MIPS carbon versions and selling for $239.95.

Based in Norway, Sweet Protection was founded by a group of friends who spent a lot of their time skateboarding, kayaking, snowboarding, and skiing. For 2018, the Bushwhacker II received updates that are designed to give it more protection and comfort than the original Bushwhacker.

Bushwhacker II MIPS Details
• Enduro/trail helmet with MIPS
• Black, white, blue color options
• 3 sizes: small, medium/large, large/extra large
• Weight: 374 grams (as tested, size medium)
• MSRP: $239.95 USD
• CE EN 1078, CPSC 1203 certified
www.sweetprotection.com


Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS
The Bushwhacker II.
Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS
The curves aren't just for looks...they also incorporate some technology to keep your head safe.


Details

The Bushwhacker II has a 5-piece shell construction Why five pieces? That's how Sweet Protection was able to create a shell with varying thicknesses, which in turn makes the helmet stiffer or more flexible in key areas. The height of the EPS liner also varies in different parts of the helmet in order to provide increased protection where it's needed most. Sweet also incorporated a MIPS liner into the Bushwhacker in order to help better protect against rotational impacts.

For ventilation, Sweet has a system they call "STACC" which consists of front vents that move air into an internal channel, bringing air down on to the temporal artery. This allows the helmet to theoretically keep the temple, one of the most easily injured parts of the head, better protected.

Other details include a tri-fixed webbing that's securely anchored into the helmet and a shatter resistant visor that helps channel air into the helmet. The visor is removable, but there's no logical reason to do that outside of a cleaning.


Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS
Glasses fit seamlessly and securely in the Bushwhacker.
Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS
Instead of poking you in the head, arms tuck behind the MIPS liner.

Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS
Air channels help keep the air flowing on warm days.
Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS
At 374 grams, the Bushwhacker doesn't set any records as far as weight goes, but it makes up for the extra grams in comfort.


Performance

As always, helmet fit is personal and fairly dependent on the shape of your head, so what is good for one person may not be the best fit for someone else. The Bushwhacker II fits me extremely well, better than most. Its fit and where it sat on my head felt similar to the Specialized Ambush, which has been my "go-to" on most rides for some time now. The Bushwhacker II doesn't sit quite as low as the POC Tectal, but there's still more than ample coverage for this style of helmet.

A $240 half-shell helmet should be outstanding, as there are many great $100 helmets out there that will likely protect you just as well. To that end, the Bushwacker II looks and feels like it's a quality piece of equipment; the construction and design give it a unique aesthetic compared to a lot of other trail helmets on the market. For something that protects your brain, the robustness and overbuilt feeling of the Bushwhacker II does a lot to inspire confidence.

The retention system is easy to adjust for fit, and the helmet always stayed securely in place on my medium-sized head. The webbing and buckle are solid and work as they should, nothing special but also no complaints. With spring heating up and the rainforest starting to fill in, humid days have been increasingly frequent in the North Carolina mountains where I live. The Bushwhacker II has an ample amount of ventilation and kept the air moving well; I don't find myself reaching to pull the helmet off at stops to let extra heat escape as I have with some others.

A detail I like is that I can easily stash glasses in the back of the helmet. More and more helmets are being designed with this in mind, but for some reason there are still a lot out there that aren't, or worse, those that say they do and then don't do a good job of it. To me, it's important. I would compare it to the importance of a trail bike frame being able to fit a water bottle. Being able to get those glasses off of my face on longer climbs, especially wide open fire roads on hot days keeps me cooler and prevents the glasses from fogging up, and with the Bushwacker II I was able to stash them without any fit issues or needing to worry about them flying off behind me.


Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Bushwhacker II is eye-catching. I think it looks great and it has garnered quite a few comments and questions of, "Hey, what helmet is that?" on the trail. The design and construction are excellent, as they should be given the top tier price. It's by no means the most affordable option on the market, but if you want to splurge and have a sweet lid (no pun intended) that's a little different than the standard fare, it's worth consideration. Daniel Sapp


Photo Forrest Arakawa Maxxis
Photo by Forrest Arakawa





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52 Comments

  • + 59
 Sweet, a helmet to match the 90's tribal tattoo I just lazered off.
  • + 3
 Dude, you are right.
  • + 5
 It's a bush wanker ain't it.
  • + 7
 Being the Assegai that I am,I now MUST get the Bushwacker to complete my rolling mountainbiking euphemism ensemble ,along with my XL Pole ... Just to see if anyone notices.
  • + 23
 I just bought a really nice Nolan helmet for my motorcycle. Came with pinlock and a drop-down sun visor. It was $230 and it's one of the top rated motorcycle helmets out there. I know people say it a lot but mountain bike gear prices are absolutely insane.
  • + 24
 Although healthier than cocaine, it’s a lot more expensive
  • + 3
 Totally agree, the world needs yet another over priced helmet like it needs a new wheel standard. As far as all the high tech safety features that are always better than the last helmet....if people are that scared of injury then they should try something safer like playing chess in the town park.
  • + 2
 Will eBikes help lower the price of regular mountain bike stuff. We talk about how expensive normal bikes are compared to motos! Then add a couple grand for the motor! Or are they expecting people to pay the premium for ebike stuff so they can ride in bike lanes, park wherever they want, and ride trails that aren't as beat to death!
  • + 2
 Wait until its last year's model an get it half price
  • + 3
 Where did you get a Nolan helmet for $230?
  • + 1
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: Check out riders discount on Amazon. Great prices
  • + 4
 @nojzilla: But I want to crash NOW!
  • + 1
 @BCtrailrider: I don't know, cocaine never put me in the hospital, mountain biking on the other hand...
  • + 1
 @KidCorporate: dont say crash, flash backs of last sunday an now my canceled welsh Wales trip Frown
  • + 11
 Does it come bottle cage equipped?
  • + 13
 Yeah honestly the last time I bought a helmet with a pressfit bb it did not end well
  • + 4
 @loplopk: I think I may have to try a threaded BB conversion on my bell super since its been creaking quite a lot
  • + 9
 Me: “Oh.. wow this actually looks pretty cool!”
Also me: “Okay... $240 for a half shell... okaaaay?”
  • + 6
 Now calm down with that pricing its not real estate in marbella what do you think of your selfs. Its a helmet basically everybody uses the same foam and outer shell materials and how much can you put on r&d on a helmet. For that price you should at least get a integrated ac or something
  • + 4
 New PB survey. How many of you bought a helmet with MIPS and do you really feel it is that much more protective than a helmet without it? I bought a brand new SixSixOne EVO AM last year, non MIPS for like $60 buck or something like that. I think the technology is pretty top and i'm not super sold on MIPS personally.
  • + 1
 My next lid will have MIPS or something more than what past helmets have offered. If there is one piece of equipment I don't mind have new standards in it's helmets (as long as it is actually a safety improvement)!
  • + 1
 Agree with @ridestuff ..I'll take safety upgrades on a helmet any day. $240 for a half lid though? That's a hard no from me.
I've taken a few diggers with non-MIPS helmets in days gone by though, and I'm still ticking. On the other hand, you can find MIPS equipped helmets under 100 beans these days. I'm happy to kick out another $20 for a MIPS model with the hopes of minimizing some rotational forces on the ol' brain/cranium interface. TBI's are no party Frown

All that said, I've always liked that SixSixOne helmet you picked up! Nice bucket that.
  • + 2
 Its worth mentioning that the Bushwacker is their top of the line trail helmet! The Dissenter (link down below) is a more affordable choice. And for me, on the Dissenter, i didnt noticed the odd pressure points.

sweetprotection.com/sp_no/bike/helmets-and-protection/dissenter-helmet-45894#217=1137
  • + 4
 For anyone interested, try it on before buying. Me and many of my friends had very odd pressure points wearing this helmet, very uncomfortable.
  • + 13
 As one should do before any helmet purchase Smile
  • + 3
 @Vegard85: obviously, but with how many people purchase items online without doing so, it’s worth mentioning.
  • + 1
 @andnyleswillriot: Definitely worth mentioning! It fits me great but, as you can attest to, it won't fit everyone the same. Fortunately, there are a lot of solid choices for helmets out there currently.
  • + 2
 We need an industry standard for head sizes.. just don’t change it every year ????
  • + 1
 @andnyleswillriot: @Vegard85 Sounds like PB might have a new survey to post. Also curious how many people buy their big-ticket bike purchase based on just reviews and a short ride around the bike shop parking lot. Around here it's hard to find a free demo and not always the bikes you want to try. Direct to Market doesn't make it any easier.
  • + 2
 I'm the other way - Bell Super had some horrendous pressure points for me and, as it was bought online in a sale, it was returned straight away. I now have this helmet, albeit not MIPS or the latest version, and find it super comfy...
  • + 1
 I'm selling Sweet helmets in the shop I'm working in, and they are hands down the most polarizing helmet I've ever sold concerning fit. They look damn good, but they either fit you extremely well or not at all. I know I definitly don't have a "Sweet head".
  • + 1
 I bought one of these on sale, and it's a nice helmet, but the biggest problem I have with it is that I can't wear any of my cycling eyewear with it. I have a half dozen pairs of Smith, Tifosi and Julbo glasses that I literally can't wear with this helmet because the back of the earpieces hit the helmet itself right behind my ears. I have one pair of casual sunglasses that seem to work okay because the earpiece is curved behind the ear, but in the PNW the forest is way too thick to wear dark sunglasses very often. It might work with goggles, despite the lack of a goggle retainer?
  • + 1
 I have been wearing an original Bushwacker for going on 4 years. It has been a very comfortable fit, good air flow, and good looks. This past winter I purchased the Sweet Dissenter and enjoy it just as much. Out of the seven helmets that I currently have, the Sweet helmets are the best fit, with the IXS being a close second. As others have pointed out, try a helmet on first or you may end up with regrets.
  • + 1
 While this helmet may be alright, i'll keep my smith forefront. There is no new tech here to justify cost. I want to see helmets innovate for low speed impacts and preventing concussions. While it is great we aren't cracking our skulls, even concussions have proven to be quite damaging over time.
  • + 3
 Why would anyone buy this for $240 ?? You could get an TLD A2 or Leatt All MTN for a lot less !
  • + 1
 Used their helmet for whitewater kayak the baseball shape helmet and coolest and best helmet ever used. I will not pay 240$ for a bike helmet though bit I'm sire it's a good quality comfy helmet.
  • + 2
 @danielsapp "humid days coming in"
Sir you got that right. We just went to full on August heat here in May.
Stay cool out there sir.
  • + 2
 No kidding! Straight from winter to August.
  • + 1
 Friend and I tried this helmet on as well, the adjuster was sharp like steel and quite difficult to adjust, also the helmet had odd pressure points like someone else pointed out, looks nice however and I'm sure its safe.
  • + 1
 I think this design of this helmet is about 15-20 years too late. Bonus would be, I would have to dust off some old rage against the machine and limpbizkit cds.
  • + 2
 Sweet Protection?? Bush Wacker?? There's a underlying theme that's unavoidably numerous.
  • + 1
 Damn you auto-correct. *humerous
  • + 1
 Hey everyone who is in love with this lid... only a year until you can find it on sale at cost! (Because no one paid 240 bucks for it)
  • + 1
 it's a mixed marriage-POC sunglasses and a SWEET helmet. the children will be beautifull
  • + 1
 At 240$ I'd expect MIPS spherical...Sorry but I'll pass, good looks means sweet fack all when it comes to head protection
  • + 1
 I've buyed first series bushwacker mips online at half price... so just wait. Is a good helmet
  • + 1
 All sweet protection stuff is expensive lol
  • + 8
 Totally, but they have some pretty amazing stuff. Their jackets and whitewater gear are top notch. I'm not sure I'd spend that much on this helmet, and MIPs never really fits me right, but they are a great company!
  • + 3
 POC, slytech, and sweet protection, they have all started in ski racing where people are willing to dish out unbelievable amounts for equipment and then when they come to mountain biking they continue to charge their ridiculous prices despite not being superior to true mountain biking brands that realize no one wants to pay 240$ for a half shell.
  • + 1
 sweet is just totally gay
  • + 1
 That price tag Eek

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