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Sweet Protection Trailblazer helmet review

Sweet Protection’s latest Trailblazer uses trickle-down tech and a fresh, aspirational aesthetic to create a distinctive and deceptively breezy trail/enduro lid

Sweet Protection Trailblazer
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Trailblazer ticks all the boxes for premium head protection with stand-out style but that’s reflected in the price. Lots of MIPS cradle contact and distinctive shape won’t suit everyone either

For

  • Sweet build detailing
  • Area tuned protection
  • Good high speed venting
  • Six colour options

Against

  • High price
  • MIPS increases low speed sweating
  • Fit isn’t universal

Sweet Protection’s new Trailblazer is loaded with extra aspirational touches, advanced protection features and the visually limited venting actually works well on the trail if you’re moving. High quality means high price though and the fit and slower speed sweating won’t suit everyone - but is it a genuine contender as far as the best mountain bike helmets go? 

Performance 

Sweet Protection introduced the Trailblazer’s innovative construction technique on the £189.99 Bushwacker. It uses a four-piece EPS body with different densities depending on likely impact profiles for each area moulded into the full coverage hardshell. While the 16 vents include some very small slots and squares upfront, extensive STACC – standing for ‘Superficial Temporal Artery Cooling Channel’ - shaping and big exhaust vents pull a surprisingly high volume of airflow across the areas where it makes the most difference.

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Sweet Protection Trailblazer

When on the move the large rear vents do a decent job of exhausting heat out the rear of the helmet (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)
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Sweet Protection Trailblazer MIPS

The MIPS cradle can impede heat radiation due to its large contact area (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

The matte look is highlighted with gloss insert panels, with six different colourways and a polished metal logo front and rear for a premium aesthetic. The OCCIGRIP rear cradle dial is really crisply made and the Y buckles on the straps are a lightweight butterfly design. The mid-sized shatterproof peak is widely adjustable with a subtle but secure ratchet to tune glare or make room for goggles plus it’s replaceable if you wreck it in a crash.

This all makes it a cool helmet from a form and function perspective but there are some issues. Sizing is definitely on the large size and overall fit didn’t work for all our test team, with several suffering significant back and forward or side to side movement unless the cradle was cranked up uncomfortably tight. While minimal padding means soggy upholstery isn’t an issue the MIPS cradle creates a lot of contact area and the small vents don’t radiate much heat if you’re going slow. While it’s definitely a premium looking helmet with some nice touches and a more complex construction than most, price is definitely high too. You can mitigate that and the sweaty cradle issue by opting for the non-MIPS version at £129.99 though.

Verdict

Distinctive styling and premium touches backed up with good venting on the go and enhanced EPS and MIPS protection. The fit needs checking before buying though and low-speed cooling isn’t so good. 

Tech spec: Sweet Protection Trailblazer MIPS helmet  

  • Weight: 376g 
  • Colours: 6
  • Price: $179.95 / £159.95