At A Glance
Sweet Protection have a serious pedigree, making helmets and protective equipment for snow sports, whitewater and biking. They have established themselves as creators of high-tech helmets with equally high price tags, occupying the top end of the market. The Bushwaker is now a classic in their range and comes in standard, MIPS, and Carbon MIPS options. We've been using the Carbon options with MIPS, representing perhaps one of the most feature laden trail/enduro helmets on the shop floor. The list of features is long, but the helmet is based around a five piece construction, which is then overlaid with a carbon polymer in critical areas. The rest of the helmet is covered in a more standard plastic outer. The MIPS deals with impacts from all directions, allowing the helmet to move slightly with rotational forces and not move your head too violently. The cradle system is adjustable both in height and circumference and the chinstraps are moveable in all the usual directions. Removable visor, spare visor mounts, spare pads and a helmet bag all add to a package which wants for nothing.Buy Helmets on
On The Trail
Now, all the features in the world mean nothing if the helmet doesn't fit, and fortunately the range of adjustment on the Bushwaker give plenty of opportunity to get it right. The cradle system gives a real 'wrapped around' feel, leaving the chin strap feeling almost superfluous, but this too is fully adjustable to get a great fit. The dial on the back tightens up easily, but is a little small for my large, gloved hands to operate easily, especially as it really needs to be undone for removal. Padding within is adequate but not luxurious, and I found that the pads on my forehead were too thin, resulting in two mildly uncomfortable points on my brow. Swapping for new pads helped, but soon the problem returns, however it's not enough of an issue to stop me using an otherwise very secure and comfortable lid.
Styling is excellent, and right on trend for the trail or enduro rider. The white finish looks great, yet I'm not the sort of person that puts things away carefully in their bag, or keeps them clean, which has resulted in the helmet looking a little tired after a considerable amount of use. There is a black option available which would suit my slack approach and retain it's fresh look for longer. In terms of protection it's hard to find a helmet with more features to back up it's skull-saving potential. As usual I haven't smashed my head into a rock in the name of research, but this helmet has all the right technology and acronyms so one can rest assured that short of a full face helmet, this is going to be as safe as possible. Venting is good, and apparently 'Digitally Optimised', which seems to mean it'll keep your head cool. I found it to be pretty good for temperature regulation and coupled with it's light weight (360g in size large) felt great.
It has all the features and more, to create one of the most technologically advanced open-faced lids on the market. Available in the three options to suit your wallet or safety concerns, there is plenty to choose from in the range. The style is great, as is the fit, my only gripes ended up being the forehead comfort and a small ratchet dial on the back, which aren't huge issues at all. It's not cheap, but to get a helmet of this specification it never will be, and at least you know you are getting a lot of protective bang for your buck!
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.