Since the year 2000, Norway’s Sweet Protection has been producing helmets, gear and clothing for MTB, skiing and whitewater rafting. In recent years, Bikerumor checked out their top of the line Bushwhacker carbon MIPS helmet and then put the non-carbon Bushwhacker MIPS to the test two years later….and we were pretty impressed.
For 2017 Sweet Protection has made some upgrades to the Bushwhacker’s ventilation, visor and interior and renamed it the Bushwhacker II. They’ve also announced an all-new, price-conscious trail helmet called the Dissenter. This helmet maintains many of the key features from the higher end model, but uses a one-piece shell to keep it affordable…
The shell construction hasn’t changed on the Bushwhacker II. The helmet continues to utilize in-mold construction to fuse the polycarbonate (or carbon) shell pieces and EPS liner together for optimal impact protection.
In 2015 we found the Bushwhacker MIPS’ ventilation was already impressive, but Sweet Protection has gone back to their computers and digitally re-mapped the vents to target arteries in your head. Sweet’s new patent-pending STACC (Superficial Temporal Artery Cooling Channel) ventilation specifically directs air over your temporal artery (see lower, outer vents above) to keep your blood from boiling on really hot rides. At the same time, the helmet’s shell maintains impact coverage over your vulnerable temples.
The company describes the Bushwhacker II’s occigrip retention system as new for 2017, but it looks quite similar to what we saw in 2015… perhaps it has undergone some minor tweaks? Regardless, our own Cory Benson found the occigrip system comfortable and easy to use. The dial mechanism is reach and height adjustable, plus it’s fitted with silicone pads to keep the plastic body from contacting your skull.
The helmet’s shatter resistant ABS visor is now adjustable for 2017, and if you want to remove the visor altogether Sweet Protection includes a pair of branded plugs to replace the hardware. The Bushwhacker II’s cushy foam pads are covered in an anti-allergenic, moisture-wicking fabric, and now the helmet has softer and lighter internal webbing for even better comfort.
The Bushwhacker II has dropped a little weight since the last version, with a non-carbon size ML listed at 320g. The helmet comes in standard ($219.95 USD), MIPS ($259.95) and Carbon MIPS ($319.95) versions. The Bushwhacker II is sold in sizes SM, ML and LXL, and each helmet comes with two sets of thick and thin pads to further customize the fit. This colorful lid can be had in white/blue/red, black/white, white/black, midnight blue/steel blue, or white/silver.
The Dissenter is an all-new helmet for 2017. While it is aimed at riders on a tighter budget, it’s still a lightweight lid with a low profile design that offers ample protection for trail riders.
The Dissenter features the same in-mold technology as the Bushwhacker II, and boasts the STACC ventilation and occigrip retention systems as well. To keep the price tag lower, this model uses a one-piece polycarbonate shell, which is geometrically shaped to enhance rigidity in key areas.
The visor is not adjustable, but is designed to optimize airflow in its fixed position. The PP/PE copolymer visor can be removed if desired, although you don’t get the fancy branded plugs the Bushwhacker II includes.
Weight-wise, the Dissenter is actually lighter than the Bushwhacker II at just 300g for a size ML. Despite its lower price, the Dissenter is still available with or without MIPS. MSRP is $149.95 for the standard version and $189.95 for the MIPS equipped model. Color choices include black, white, camo grey, orange and navy blue (all with a matte finish). Sizes SM, ML and LXL are available.
The upgraded Bushwhacker II and the new Dissenter are now available online.