Sweet Protection Bushwhacker 2Vi Helmet
While Sweet Protection may be a new brand for many Kiwis, the Norwegian company was founded way back in 2000 and has a long history in action sports. Sweet began as a bunch of friends pushing the limits of fun in counter-culture sports like freestyle kayaking and skateboarding. This inevitably drove the need for safer and more functional gear. Sweet soon evolved from their first cutting-edge carbon fibre kayaking helmets into snow helmets, and then cycling in 2011.
The Bushwhacker 2Vi is a rugged helmet with a lot of meat and strength to it. Sweet went to town on the protection with the Bushwhacker, using their proprietary 2Vi platform, which incorporates the industry leading Mips system, to provide impressive impact safety.
The Mips Air system is well known and protects against rotational forces (the cause of most concussions), and any serious rider should know the value of having a helmet with some sort of rotational force management system included.
The 2Vi system uses a four-part EPS liner of varying densities to progressively absorb impacts. The shell is actually thickest at the points where your brain needs most protection (hence the chunky look) and uses four impact shields to help distribute the force of a crash. The 2Vi system is all built around the Mips Air interior, providing a belt and braces approach to head safety which is a major selling point for the Bushwhacker.
Fit-wise, the Bushwhacker felt snug and comfortable, with easy adjustment via the 360 Occigrip Fit System at the rear. The aforementioned bulk was unnoticeable and the helmet felt light and effortless to wear.
In terms of features and added value, there’s a lot to like about the Bushwhacker. I’m a huge fan of the Fidlock buckle system, which makes cinching your strap a breeze. The adjustable visor and sunglasses holder sleeves are another smart and well thought out feature. I mainly wore glasses with the Bushwhacker, but it also felt great with goggles. There’s ample space under the visor to store goggles when not in use.
One of the downsides of the safety-focussed 2Vi system is that the extra impact protection leaves less room for venting, and initially I was concerned that the Bushwhacker might be a very hot helmet for summer riding. However, I was surprised by how good the airflow through the helmet was and I didn’t notice a lot of difference over other helmets. That said, it should be noted that I’m a follically challenged guy, so this may be different for those of you with long manes. The rest of my riding experience with the Bushwhacker was faultless; it stayed in place through rough terrain and worked nicely with my riding glasses.
The Sweet Protection Bushwhacker 2Vi is the epitome of the modern high end helmet – sleek yet oversized, laden with every possible safety feature and dripping in auspicious functionality. This parks it at the top end of the helmet market both in terms of performance but also price. However, safety and fit are the paramount features in any helmet, and I feel that Sweet’s strong focus on these key areas makes the Bushwhacker a standout. If your brain is not worth the investment, then I’m not sure what is.
More info – wideopen.co.nz