January 9, 2014
A great fitting helmet with some proper science built in.
We’ve previously tested the Fixer enduro helmet from Scandinavian company Sweet Protection and, while we liked the protection, found it a little warm and over-peaked for a trail helmet. This new Bushwhacker is aimed a lot more at ‘regular’ trail users and features more venting and a very contemporary look.
Sweet Protection comes from a whitewater paddling background, so it has a different approach to helmets compared to many bicycle companies. All its helmets have a much sturdier feel (and weight) and better resistance to everyday careless handling than many mountain bike lids. Compared to the enormous peak on the Fixer, this has been trimmed down on the Bushwhacker and the look is of a deep-fitting, enduro/trail-style lid.
The helmet is in-moulded, so the shell is an integral part of the structure, with all the hardware clipping in or, like the straps, being moulded into the shell. The deep fit worked perfectly with my head; it’s probably the most secure-feeling helmet I’ve worn.
There’s an additional ‘MIPS’ safety system on this helmet (a non-MIPS version is £139), where there’s an inner surface inside the lid which can move within the helmet’s outer shell. Under severe rotational impact (where your helmet slides down the trail with you in it), that inner surface will rotate within the shell, rather than your brain doing the same job inside your skull, which is said to greatly reduce brain injuries in that kind of crash.
In use, I found the aforementioned fit was fantastic (though the retention system release system is fiddly) and the helmet was very comfortable, even for 12-hour days. It is, however, incredibly hot. On any day where the temperatures were in double figures, I sweated copiously unless there was a handy cooling breeze. If your riding is more stop-start than hour-long climbs, you’ll be fine with it, but it can be offputtingly warm to wear unless you’re keeping stress levels low.
Overall: A great fitting helmet with some proper science built in. A pity it’s just so warm to wear, as that will put off more riders than the price.