A totally sorted brain box
The Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS is the latest generation trail helmet from the Scandinavian brand. Improved in every way over the original Whacker.
It sits close to the head, looks great and offers extended coverage at both the tail and temples. The polycarbonate shell is made from five pieces for toughness and inside a multi-layered EPS liner and MIPs impact protection system (which allows the helmet to rotate slightly) help absorb any hits. For a perfect fit, it’s also supplied with two sets of moisture-wicking pads of different thicknesses.
I tested the first generation Bushwhacker in 2015, and the brand has since addressed every issue I had with the retention system (which used to pinch together and allowed the lid to pitch forwards). It’s now completely redesigned with a tensioning dial and comfy, silicone-padded cradle that tightens a wrap-around webbing (with solid positive increments) that keeps the helmet rock solid. The interior shape is also tweaked for comfort and increased cooling. The outer shell feels like it balances several contact points on your skull and forehead for more airflow, rather fully enveloping and connecting with the whole scalp.
The Bushwhacker II has a shatterproof visor that lifts high enough to stash goggles underneath and forehead inner air channels that keep you pretty cool when riding, although it doesn’t quite pump as much air over the forehead as some lids like the Scott Stego or Specialized Ambush. Riding hard, there’s no wobble or rattling and good moisture absorption when sweating, so the transparent Bushwhacker blends nicely into the background too.
Sweet Protection’s trail lid is now totally sorted, but the £160 asking price is expensive and other lids out there are lighter and also run a little cooler.