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Sweet Protection Trooper MIPS Helmet

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Sweet Protection Trooper MIPS helmet for Blister Gear Review

Sweet Protection Trooper MIPS Helmet

Sweet Protection Trooper MIPS Helmet

Size Tested: Medium / Large (55-59 cm)

Available Sizes:

  • Small / Medium (52-56 cm)
  • Medium / Large (55-59 cm)
  • Large / Extra Large (58-61 cm)

Stated Features:

  • TLC Shell Technology
  • MIPS
  • Occigrip adjustment system
  • Adjustable ventilation
  • Coolmax liner
  • Artificial microfur earpads

Certifications: CE EN 1077:2007, Class B/ ASTM 2040-11

Stated Weight (M/L): 680 g

Blister’s Measured Weight (M/L): 689 grams

MSRP: $319

Days Tested: 40+

Test Locations: Silverton & Arapahoe Basin, CO; Santa Fe Ski Area & Taos, NM; northern NM backcountry

Intro

Sweet Protection is a company that isn’t messing around when it comes to head protection. And this is good, since head protection isn’t something that any of us should take lightly.

To learn a lot about how the proper sizing of a helmet; the differences in materials being used (and why they matter); and the current state of helmet safety tech, listen to our podcast with Ståle Møller, the lead designer and co-founder of Sweet Protection, and our podcast with Rob Wesson, Sr. Director of R&D at Giro.

Here’s what Sweet Protection has to say about the Trooper MIPS:

“This is a game-changer. With its Thermoplastic Laminated Carbon Fiber (TLC) construction, our 2-piece Shell construction and the unique “Impact Shields” liner, the Trooper is one of the most advanced helmets on the market. This model is equipped with MIPS, a technology that reduces rotational forces.”

And here’s what we said about the Trooper MIPS in our 16/17 Blister Winter Buyer’s Guide:

If your primary concern is impact protection and coverage, then check out the Trooper MIPS. This is the heaviest helmet in our group (689 g, size M/L), but it is also a very comfortable helmet. Biggest surprise: that we haven’t missed more the outstanding ventilation of the Smith Vantage MIPS — we’ve got a lot of days in the Trooper MIPS, and its minimal-looking vents do a better job than we assumed they would. Finally, a merely anecdotal but true statement: if we had to pick one helmet in this group to wear in a big impact (e.g., hitting a tree), we’d pick the Trooper MIPS.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Sweet Protection Trooper MIPS helmet for Blister Review.

Jonathan Ellsworth in the Sweet Protection Trooper MIPS Helmet, Taos, NM.

Fit / Comfort

I wear a size Medium helmet pretty much all the time, and I’d say that the Trooper MIPS runs true to size — quite similar to a size Medium Pret Cynic, while the Trooper MIPS is a bit lower-volume than a size Medium Smith Vantage MIPS.

But worth keeping in mind: like ski boots, your helmet should have a very snug fit; so if you are often right on the cusp between two sizes, you might need to size up in the Trooper MIPS, but you’d also be smart to avoid going larger than you need to.

Adjustment System

The adjustment tabs on the back of the Trooper MIPS is fine; it’s not quite as smooth as the adjustment dial on the Smith Vantage MIPS (which I’d call best-in-class in this area), but the Trooper’s system is fine, and this is isn’t a big deal unless for some reason you are adjusting your helmet repeatedly throughout the day.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Sweet Protection Trooper MIPS helmet for Blister Review.

Sweet Protection Trooper MIPS

Ventilation

I am a fan of closable vents, and the Smith Vantage is still the best adjustable-venting helmet I’ve ever used. But the Trooper MIPS has proven to be fine / good / adequate. There are two smaller vents on the sides of the front of the helmet — they can be opened or closed. Then there are a pair of black vents on the back of the helmet that do not close. With the front vents open, the Trooper MIPS does a fine job of moving air through the helmet, and on really cold days, I appreciate having the option to close the front vents.

Goggle & Headlamp Integration

I’ve worn Anon M2 goggles and Julbo goggles for most of my days in the Trooper MIPS, and both goggles have paired just fine. I can’t speak to all goggles, but I wouldn’t say that there is anything peculiar about the helmet that might lead to common issues with the helmet / goggle interface.

If you do a decent amount of touring at dawn or dusk and use a headlamp, the shell of the Trooper MIPS is slick, so you will probably want a lamp that has silicone on the strap. (By comparison, the Pret Cynic has a textured shell, and I’ve never had a headlamp slip.)

Safety Features

MIPS. And as Ståle Moller and I discuss on our podcast, not all MIPS-equipped helmets are created equal. Again, I think it’s a good investment of time to listen to Ståle and Rob Wesson talk about these issues.

One thing I will say: we have found in some helmets that the MIPS system reduces the comfort of the helmet. That is not the case with the Trooper MIPS. And since an uncomfortable helmet is one that you may be less likely to wear, comfort actually is a safety feature.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Sweet Protection Trooper MIPS helmet for Blister Review.

When Cy Whitling talks me into going into places I don’t belong, it’s good to have a good helmet.

Weight, Profile, and How to Think about Those Things

What are you giving up — and what are you gaining — by wearing a super light helmet or a much heavier helmet? (Related issue: as a generalization, lower-profile helmets will not offer as much impact protection as larger helmets.)

Given this, how should you think about weight when it comes to helmets?

There isn’t a correct answer here per se — there are a series of compromises that each of us has to make.

But in the case of the Trooper MIPS, while it is heavier than some of the helmets in its class (e.g., the Pret Cynic X, the Smith Vantage MIPS, etc), the helmet doesn’t make you look like a bobble head, and I’ll repeat again our anecdote from the Buyer’s Guide that you are welcome to completely disregard: of every helmet I’ve ever worn, if I had to pick one to wear in a bad crash, I’d currently opt for the Trooper MIPS.

Bottom Line

Fit is critically important when it comes to helmets. So if the Trooper MIPS fits you well, then you are getting a very solid, comfortable helmet. There are lighter and lower-profile helmets out there. But if impact protection is your primary concern, there can be very good reasons to accept a bit more weight and a bit more volume.

5 Comments

  1. Jim December 27, 2016 Reply

    Could stand a better description of “fit.” Is the reviewer (and thus, the helmet) a round, round/oval, oval, or long oval head? In my experience, while manufacturers do as much as they can to univeralize (is that a word?) their helmets, invariably they have to choose a predominant shape to cater to, and if you’re on the outer margins of the shape spectrum, e.g., very round or long oval, then you have to find a helmet that leans in your direction.

    Of course part of the answer is, “Well, you have to try them on.” But as a reviewer, a short sentence or two about the actual fit of the helmet (not whether it fits you) would help me know whether I should waste my time seeking one out to try.

  2. Hans123 December 28, 2016 Reply

    Interesting read. And I have the Same question as Jim. Giro Makes helmets for oval/longer heads. POC helmets are more for the round faced. How about the Sweet Protection helmet?

    • Author

      It’s funny, your experience may vary, but I haven’t found that I can effectively generalize about a particular brand this way — e.g., that *all* Giro (for example) work for me, while all Smith helmets don’t. Anyway … in the case of the Trooper MIPS, it is more of an oval shape. And it works well for me. But the Prett Cynic & Cynic X is much more of a round shape … and those work, too. I think another factor here is that the implementation of a MIPS system can also really affect how comfortable / not comfortable a particular helmet is. So given all that, I tend to shy away from what seem to me to be over-determined fit notes that suggest that ‘this one will / will not work for you’.

  3. Blister Member
    Mark January 3, 2017 Reply

    I grabbed one of these at the end of last season and wanted to provide a few comments to supplement Jonathan’s review:
    – Fit and finish is fantastic; this feels like a premium product – far nicer than my 2 year old Smith Vantage.
    – To me, the Trooper feels really big. Unlike Jonathan – I do feel like a bobblehead. Another note on the impact of size: I’m in a size medium, and it doesn’t come close to fitting under the helmet-compatible hood of my size M Trew Cosmic shell’s hood – not even a little – whereas my Vantage works under there. We were lucky enough to get some good snow after Christmas in Vermont, and the hood was useless during a day with pretty constant snowfall.
    – Anon M2 goggles fit better for in the Trooper than Smith I/O’s in my hands (head)
    – Reiterate heavy – I haven’t compared to a MIPS Vantage – but it is noticeable.
    – FWIW, I fit very well into a Smith Vantage – and not as well into the Trooper; so if your head fits into the Vantage well, it might not fit as well into the SP-T. That said, about the most extensive fit kit I’ve ever seen is included, with pads that can be placed pretty much anywhere around the helmet to correct fit issues; Another comment on fit: the chin strap is limited in the amount it can be tightened effectively. It works for me, but just barely.

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