Sweet Protection’s new Trailblazer trail helmet trickles down safety tech from their top-spec Bushwhacker into a more affordable and even lighter mountain bike lid with the security of MIPS. Arguably, with even better looking styling, the new Trailblazer MIPS helmet looks to be a solid option for everything from cross-country to enduro riding…
Sweet Protection Trailblazer MIPS affordable trail bike helmet
The Norwegian helmet maker calls the new Trailblazer a trickle-down tech helmet based on what they’ve learned in building the Bushwhacker. But outside of the missing option for a carbon-reinforced shell, there’s little lacking in the new Trailblazer MIPS. The new helmet still uses the same general multi-piece, multi-material in-mold shell construction that Sweet says offers unparalleled safety and durability by varying the elasticity of separate elements of the shell to maximize impact absorption.
And on the outside, the Trailblazer looks a lot like that Sweet Protection’s top-spec enduro helmet, with plenty of vent openings and deep occipital coverage for the back of your head. Personally, I probably prefer its more angular look over the wavy shape of the Bushwhacker.
Trailblazer – Tech details
The trick to Sweet’s Protection in the Trailblazer is a 4-piece variable thickness polycarbonate shell construction, that both protects the conventional in-mold EPS foam liner and holds it together in a crash.
The new helmet also uses Sweet’s STACC ventilation concept (superficial temporal artery cooling channel). The idea is to connect a front vent on each side to an internal channel & rear exhaust port in order to cool down the blood circulating in the sides of your forehead, without blasting outside air directly onto your temples. The Trailblazer also comes with a rotational force-reducing MIPS Brain Protection System as an option.
The only real place where the Trailblazer probably would lag behind the Bushwhacker is in overall airiness. It still has plenty of vents facing forward, up, and out the back, but it isn’t quite as open as the more expensive helmet.
The Trailblazer also gets an adjustable (and removable) ABS visor to make it more goggle-friendly. A two-direction Occigrip retention dial adjusts fit of the new helmet and keeps it securely in place while riding.
Sweet Protection Trailblazer MIPS helmet – Pricing & availability
The 180€ Trailblazer MIPS includes the added protection of the MIPS liner for a claimed weight of 325g (M/L) comes in six simple colors, and three sizes (S/M, M/L & L/XL). For a bit less protection (but probably a bit better ventilation), the standard 150€ Trailblazer leaves out the yellow liner at 305g, in the same color & size offerings.
Other Sweet Protection trail & more affordable MIPS helmet options…
The new Trailblazer MIPS is lighter & cheaper than the comparable MIPS Bushwhackers that claim even more advanced 5-piece shells, down from 270€ for the 360g Bushwhacker II Carbon MIPS or the 220€ 330g Bushwhacker II MIPS. But the standard 190€ Bushwhacker II helmet is a shade lighter at 300g.
But, if you are looking for full MIPS protection on an even tighter budget, their pared-down Ripper is an even higher-value deal. Sure, it’s a bit more closed off again, but the 340g Ripper MIPS sells for just 90€ in adult sizing, while it’s only 80€ for juniors.