Sweet Protection Trooper MIPS Helmet
Size Tested: Medium / Large (55-59 cm)
- Small / Medium (52-56 cm)
- Medium / Large (55-59 cm)
- Large / Extra Large (58-61 cm)
- TLC Shell Technology
- 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
Days Tested: 40+
Test Locations: Silverton & Arapahoe Basin, CO; Santa Fe Ski Area & Taos, NM; northern NM backcountry
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.