Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II Helmet Reviewed

Text by: Ted Morton

Biking & Cycling, Sweet Protection. Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II Helmet Reviewed
I first heard about Sweet Protection as a kayaker, they were by the far the “Cool Dudes” brand and as I moved away from Kayaking to biking I sort of lost touch of the brand.  The next time I heard of them was when I met a Scottish rider, that signature Sweet look, flowing curves and loaded full of tech goodness, caught my awe.  I made the inevitable pun of “Sweet Helmet Dude,” he laughed awkwardly.
Fast forward a few more years and here we are with Sweet Protection being worn by more North American riders than ever before, and there is a reason for this!
Our review of this product

The pros are:

  • Occigrip
  • STACC (Superficial Temporal Artery Cooling Channel)
  • Comfortable fit – no awkward pressure points
  • Lightweight
  • MIPS equipped
  • Adjustable visor

The cons are:

  • Helmet pads 
  • Soft paint finish


Initial Observations

The Sweet Protection helmet I received was the Bushwacker II MIPS, the helmet is one of the mainstay enduro/all mountain helmets and it’s loaded full of features which you can read about on their website.  But I’ll quickly highlight the two most prominent features that for me, really made this helmet stand out.

The Occigrip. This helmet fits, and it fits well, the dial adjusting knob never slips and it really form fits to your head. Often times problems with MIPS helmets are that they are a bit “pooky” or hard to find the right fit.  Not this one, easy peasy adjustment and a solid, great fit.

STACC is short for Superficial Temporal Artery Cooling Channel and the STACC on this helmet is amazing! The Bushwhacker II Helmet is one of the best venting helmets I’ve ever owned. In the last two years I’ve spent a lot of time in the SMITH Forefront and the Giro Montaro, and without a doubt, this helmet was the best-ventilated helmet I’ve owned within this lot.

Features and Technology

Ventilation is key when you’re making a helmet that has to be worn ALL DAY and let me tell you, I operate the Canadian Enduro Series, as well as race in the Enduro World Series, and I’ve worn this helmet for 10hrs at a time with no complaints of pressure points or other awkwardness.  As far as crash testing, well I didn’t go that far, but I do know the MIPS feature well and have had a few major smacks with other helmets featuring MIPS and I’ll never downgrade.  The construction of the helmet is also lightweight, which when wearing all day creates less pressure on your neck and other muscles.
Another big pro here is the adjustable visor and the sight lines of the helmet.  Often overlooked by other companies is how you see when wearing a helmet. When you’re tired and climbing up a big hill, you’re often found hunched over looking up, if your visor or helmet frame is in the way, you crane your neck upwards, putting stress on your neck and upper back. But not here, I’m really impressed with this feature and it shows that the team at Sweet Protection have really thought this through!
Not many complaints or issues for me, but the ones that I have can be the make or break for a rider. The material of the helmet pads does not dry quickly and is not antibacterial.  Meaning it acquires smells quickly and easily. I found that after a week of wearing the helmet, it needed a bath badly. Now 2-3 months in, I can’t get the smell to go away, even after several washes.  The pads also could fit a little better,  especially the front pads, they tend to sag. I also found that the coating on the top of the helmet scratches and chips easily.

Overall Opinion

I’ve spent a few months in this helmet, from day-long alpine missions to dirt jumping and enduro races and it hasn’t failed in any way. Overall, the Bushwhacker II gets a 7 out of 10 from me, mainly the only reason that it is not a ten is due to the smell.
*After reading the review, Jeff Rivest from Sweet Protection has provided some feedback regarding the stinky helmet pads.
Ed: “Sorry for the issues that you’re having with the smell of the pads Ted!  I work for Sweet and we’ve honestly never heard this feedback before … which is strange because you think we would have!  Can we send you a new pair of fit pads to try out?  Maybe these fell into a trash can at the factory or something strange – ha!”

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