Sweet Protection is a European company that makes excellent helmets and protective equipment. We tested the Trooper MIPS Helmet last year and were very impressed. This year we are testing the model one step below the Trooper – the Sweet Protection Igniter MIPS. Although it is a step down from the Trooper, it is actually a great helmet. I personally think the Igniter is even better. Find out why below.
Lightweight but not light on features
The Igniter MIPS helmet is actually lighter (530 grams) than the Trooper helmet (680 grams). Credit the ABS Superlight Thermoplastic shell for that. Is lighter really better? Well, if you are hauling gear up a mountain, it is. That 130-gram difference is noticeable. You still get many of the same features of the higher end model though.
Simply slide the vents open to cool your noggin and slide them closed to retain warmth. Rather simple with just two sliders to operate. There are 26 vents to be exact. They do a great job of dumping heat.
This is one of the reasons that Sweet Protection stands out. The Impact Shields is an additional layer of protection. They have basically molded inserts that are strategically placed in larger areas of the front and back of the helmet. This allows the helmet to distribute the impact to lessen the blow to your head.
Odd name but works great for securing a great fit. Most helmets have a way to dial in a precise fit and this is Sweet Protections offering. Simple to use, even with gloves on.
Multiple Impact Protection System. This technology is being offered in more and more helmets of all sports. Reason being – it works better! Basically, MIPS allows the helmet to rotate and absorb more of the impact (rather than your head). I think everyone should be wearing a helmet that uses MIPS.
Sweet Protection Igniter MIPS Review
As you can see, the Igniter has all the features you would need for a ski or snowboard helmet. There are several other features that make this a great helmet. The chin strap is very soft and is easy to adjust on the fly. If you have a beard, the extra layer of softness will be a blessing for you. I am sick of my beard getting caught in chin straps. Sweet Protection’s chin strap is the answer. The rubberized goggle strap in the back is robust and easy to use, even with gloves on.
One of the biggest features I appreciate about Sweet Protection helmets is the earpads. I know, not what you were expecting. I feel like I can hear better through their ear pads. This is very important to me as I am in the backcountry and need to be able to hear my touring partners. The downside is that the ear pads have less insulation than other manufacturers. So if your ears get chilly…. wear a beanie or use a neck gaiter. Problem solved.
The only gripe I can think of is the sizing seems off. Last year I tested an S/M helmet and could barely get it on my head. I am usually a medium in every other brand. I measure 55cm for reference. Maybe I have a weird head? This year they sent us an M/L to test and this was perfect. So size up and you will be fine.
All in all, I believe the Sweet Protection Igniter MIPS Helmet is the best helmet for backcountry skiers and splitboarders out there. MSRP $239