The Trailblazer MIPS is Sweet Protection’s latest enduro and trail-specific lid, and comes with MIPS protection that works to reduce some of the harmful forces that can be transmitted to the brain during a crash.
Sweet Protection Trailblazer MIPS details
The Trailblazer is built using Sweet Protection’s multi-piece variable elasticity shell technology – a four-piece polycarbonate outer shell with different thicknesses and geometrical shapes to help refine the lid’s protective abilities.
The shell extends around the entire circumference of the helmet’s rim. Despite the different shell thicknesses, and its four-part construction, the Trailblazer is built using EPS foam with an in-mould design, and there’s a MIPS liner to help reduce the chances of rotational forces causing injury in an accident.
It has 16 vents, with six forward-facing entry ports. The vents are joined by internal channelling to help with air flow, dubbed STACC ventilation, that’s claimed to channel air across the temporal artery on the side of a wearer’s head. It does this without needing a specific vent near the artery, potentially compromising safety.
The lid’s sold with two thicknesses of pads and its retention cradle has an indexed thumbwheel for adjustment. The cradle also has three points of vertical adjustment.
The straps are fastened using a standard clip and the strap splitters are height adjustable. The peak has three points of height adjustment and is made from a shatter-resistant thermoplastic ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) material.
The Sweet Protection Trailblazer MIPS wasn’t included in Virginia Tech’s helmet safety impact tests.
Sweet Protection Trailblazer MIPS performance
The Trailblazer has a comfortable, average fit that feels snug and secure. It didn’t need any initial micro-adjustment to get it to feel comfortable or require persistent re-adjustments to maintain its comfort out on the trail.
There were no pressure points or hot spots even after wearing the lid on prolonged hot and slow rides, and its fit was fairly neutral.
However, unlike a lot of other helmets, I could feel each individual pad against my head. Although they weren’t uncomfortable, it was possible to distinguish each pad as a separate block because of their fairly dense volume.
The pads retained their shape more than other lids, and their material still felt soft against my skin.
The retention cradle was easy to adjust on the move, and the indexed thumbwheel had a positive click between each stage of tightness. The retention cradle felt like it tightened from the rear of the lid, with a particular focus just behind my ears. Unless it was too tight, this wasn’t an issue, though.
The Trailblazer felt secure over bumps and didn’t wobble or shake even as the trail got particularly vicious. Changing the height of the retention cradle didn’t make the main body sit any lower on my head, unlike some other lids I’ve tested, instead the indexed thumbwheel portion of the lid moved further down my neck.
This meant I was able to wear the lid in its deepest setting without it moving lower on my brow and interfering with my glasses. In general, it was comfortable to wear with glasses of any size or arm width, with neither the lid or glasses contacting each other or causing discomfort.
Large-framed goggles didn’t sit especially well with the lid, either pushing it back on my head or the goggles down my nose. Smaller framed goggles didn’t have this problem, though, and there was space under the peak to store goggles while climbing.
Despite Sweet’s claims about its meticulously-designed cooling system, I didn’t think the lid was as cool as something like 100%’s Altec or Smith’s Session. I attribute its average cooling – that is no worse than Troy Lee’s A1 or the Bell 4Forty, though – to the fairly small forward-facing vents that don’t let in a huge amount of air.
This meant sweat build up was noticeable on climbs, and although the pads did manage to absorb a significant amount of moisture, once saturated the lid was unable to direct dripping sweat away from my brow.
Sweet Protection Trailblazer MIPS bottom line
Sweet Protection’s Trailblazer performed well, feeling comfortable and secure on long rides and over rough terrain. Its shape is visually appealing and it has become one of the lids I choose to wear on a regular basis.
However, the average ventilation means that I’m most likely to pick it on cooler days and when I’m not planning on wearing large goggles. Along with the price, this might be enough to dissuade you from purchasing.
|Price||EUR €180.00GBP £160.00USD $180.00|
|Weight||388g (M/L) – as tested|
|Features||Sizes: S/M, M/L, L/XL
Features: Shatter-resistant and adjustable visor, two thicknesses of pads included
Colours (include): Black, Blue, White, Green
|Helmet type||Mountain bike open face|