At A Glance
Sweet Protection has their origins in high-end kayaking helmets, and have carried that quality through their snow sports range and into mountain biking. It was exciting to find out they had again brought something new to the market with this, the Dissenter. When they first brought out the Bushwacker it quickly became the helmet of choice for a large percentage of the mountain biking population, and it was hard to venture near a trail centre or popular riding spot without seeing those tell tale horns upon the slick looking shell.Buy Helmets on
The Bushwacker came in a few different models, but they were all in the upper price bracket. Now, although I don’t think you can really put a price on the safety of your brain box, cost is often a contributing factor. I have been riding with (and unfortunately thoroughly tested to destruction) the Bushwacker on and off for a few years now, and the addition of the Dissenter to the range, provides a great price point for people to buy into some quality head protection or as Sweet Protection themselves say, “a bang for the buck helmet”.
With a shatter resistant fixed visor, air is channelled into what Sweet call the 'STACC'. This is short for Superficial Temporal Artery Cooling Channel. It's a front vent, channel and exhaust vent system to keep things cool whilst maximising coverage and protection.
At £129.99 GBP (£99.99 GBP without MIPS) the Dissenter comes equipped with MIPS in the single piece polycarbonate shell as well as some of the quality finishing touches I’ve become accustomed to with Sweet. Some more safety functional than others, but all adding to the overall quality feel of the product.
Available in three sizes (each with 2 sets of pads) and five colours, there is plenty of choice and a high probability of matching style and fit to your head
On The Trail
The helmet has an overall good fit. The Occigrip twist tight clasp on the rear provides an easy, but firm control on the general hold of the helmet, with suitably small increments to provide just the right tension throughout. The way it is fitted into the inner layer of the helmet also provides even tension around your head. Although fitting my head well, and being comfortable all round, it doesn't feel like it provides as much coverage, and in turn protection, at the back of the head.
It seems to have been a trend of late to extend helmets quite far down towards the neck, something which I have become accustomed to and comfortable with on other brands and felt I missed slightly on this helmet. The chin strap is also way ahead of most other helmets, mostly due to the joining buckle underneath the ears, which is simple and easy to use. The strap holds the helmet firmly on your head as expected, yet also keeps the straps flat and comfortably in place, a simple but pleasantly effective detailing.
As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of less functional, and more aesthetic finishing touches on the helmet. Whilst some may see these as a lavish indulgence on a helmet that will inevitably become covered in mud (and probably at some point bounced off a tree), in my humble opinion it is a nod to the finer things and the time and effort put into the product as a whole.
The tidy Sweet logo is stitched, embossed and stuck in a few key places, including a brushed steel effect, tiny logo on the front of the helmet and a gleaming bright yellow one on the aforementioned ear buckle. The rest of the logos are subtly colour matched with the almost mint imperial white, which contrasts nicely with the black hardware and bright yellow liner. All this whilst remaining, from a distance at least, a clean lined, simple white helmet.
And with that, the overall image and styling of the Dissenter is at first glance absolutely on point! Once I got over the initial glare of the incredibly, perfectly white helmet I was totally into its bold simplicity and minimal design in regards to its shape.
It initially looks to have minimal vents, however I would have to say the ones it has do work well. First time on, I felt that it sat quite high on the head, yet on closer inspection and with use, this does allow a massive air flow over the top of the head, through the main vent, which is what makes it work so well.
Apart from not feeling like it had quite the same lower head coverage as other helmets on the market and the lack of adjustment on the visor, I'm struggling to find any negatives with this helmet. Coming in at 330g, over the Bushwacker 2 MIPS at 360g, it’s lighter as well as cheaper. For those on the hunt for something with cleaner lines, combined with the safety, technology and quality associated with the Sweet Protection brand, the Dissenter is the one for you, without doubt.