We are big fans of Sweet Protection at Unsponsored and have been using their paddling and biking gear for years. We first got hold of a Sweet Protection Bushwacker mountain biking helmet way back in 2014.
Since then we have owned, used, crashed and written off several!
The Bushwacker was modified with the introduction of the Bushwacker II. The shape and fit of the helmet remained the same with only a small number of elements being updated.
The Bushwacker II in a medium/large (M/L) fits me well. I wear the same size Strutter helmet for kayaking and the sizing is definitely comparative. The helmet is supplied with two sets of pads of differing thinknesses so the fit can be fine tuned slightly. However with the thinnest pads already fitted the helmet was spot on from the box.
The Bushwhacker II MIPS is an Enduro and trail specific bike helmet offering state of the art protection and performance. The Bushwacker II sits at the higher end of the market place in terms of both its features and retail price (£199.99 with MIPS). But you can find them way cheaper than that.
Special features include STACC ventilation, adjustable visor and comfort pads. STACC is essentially the way in which Sweet have shaped and orientated the holes in the helmet for ventilation. The helmet isnt as ventilated as some others but does work well. Coverage is pretty good and the visor gives a good amount of coverage and easily moves up and out of the way. The lid will work with goggles with ease. I have used the Bushwhacker II with a set of Oakley goggles without issue. The visor does move to allow goggles to be moved up out of the way but the visor doesn’t move up as much as with some other brands.
The full helmet wrapped in a 5-piece shell technology to ensure superior protection to the head and the helmet itself. The more of the foam that is covered from the outside the more robust the helmet with be as less foam is exposed. The Bushwacker II I have also uses carbon as part of that shell.
This model is equipped with the MIPS Brain Protection System, a low friction layer solution designed to reduce rotational forces transferred to the brain. This is the yellow feature you can see in the images.
This added feature does cost more but having smacked my head into various different objects whilst wearing a MIPS equipped Bushwacker II, I would totally recommend using helmets that have MIPS.
Sweet have used their Occi-Grip technology on the Bushwacker II just like in the paddling lids but in the case of the cycling helmets they now use a dial rather than a pinch design. This adjustable strap system helps lock the helmet in place and provides a really comfortable/secure fit. The lid never moves or bounces around, even if not done up tight.
Sometime in late 2022 or early 2023 (possibly March 2023) there will be a new version of the Bushwacker released with an updated MIPS system. There is little detail on the new Bushwhacker 2Vi other than the fact it’s on its way.
The new Bushwacker 2Vi looks like a cross between the Bushwacker II and Sweet’s Trailblazer helmet. It also looks like from the image above that the visor will move up pretty high and possibly even higher than that of the Bushwhacker II.
The Bushwhacker II uses a conventional side squeeze plastic buckle on the chin strap. It does work well and without fault but I’m a big fan of Fidlocks magnetic/bayonet system used by Specialized and others. I hope that the Bushwhacker 2Vi comes with the Fidlock system.
Given that I have crash tested the Bushwacker and Bushwacker II on many occasions I can highly recommend them and intend to move to the Bushwhacker 2Vi if and when I need to retire the Bushwhacker II I have.