Sweet Protection’s Bushwacker II is one light lid, thanks in large part to the absence of a MIPS liner. Perhaps the biggest advantage of a light helmet like this is its tendency to stay in place on your head. Visors have gotten shorter in recent years and the Bushwacker follows this trend. This helps prevent the helmet from creeping downward on your forehead, especially over rough chatter. The helmet feels well balanced and stays put.
That’s also the result of a comfortable and stable fit system. The Occigrip Turn-Dial doesn’t look as sexy as a Boa, but it holds firmly. The mechanism sits comfortably at the back of the head, and it’s wide enough to provide plenty of stability. The straps that run around the head are padded with silicone, again increasing stability, though the silicone can sometimes tug at your hair.
MIPS is everywhere … well, almost. If you’re a MIPS devotee, the Bushwacker II comes in that option. Those who are after a light helmet with heaps of venting should look no further. You’ll do without the advantage of added protection against rotational injuries (MIPS claims that its system helps dissipate rotational forces in the first milliseconds of an impact), but you’ll also do without the extra weight and bigger helmet shell the system requires.
The straps run straight into the EPS foam shell, which means they’re always in a fixed position. That consequently means they won’t slide around or start rubbing on your ears. It’s an often-overlooked benefit and we’re big fans of it. The plastic pieces that connect the straps beneath your ears is not adjustable, which wasn’t a problem for our testers but may irk the more fidgety adjusters among us.
There’s nothing too outrageous about the overall shape of the Bushwacker. It extends down low in the rear for added protection, and on the sides as well — though not so far as to interfere much with your eyewear. The helmet feels as though it encompasses the head on all sides without feeling overwhelmingly large.
Four wide, slit-like vents in the rear work in conjunction with nine smaller vents throughout the helmet to keep air moving over your head. If you’re switching over from a lightweight road helmet like a Poc Octal or Giro Synthe, you probably won’t be wowed by the cooling. But when compared to other mountain bike helmets Trail category, the Bushwacker’s venting is above average.
Sweet doesn’t break the mold with the Bushwacker, but it has created a reliably attractive lid that’s stable on the head, well-vented, and super light. If that ticks all your boxes, give the Bushwacker II a shot.