Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Great sound quality, well ventilated, innovative buckle, adjustable
Cons: Vents can be noisy, minimal top padding
Manufacturer: Sweet Protection
Compare to Similar Products
Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS
|Price||$187.46 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$156.00 at Backcountry|
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|$195.00 at Backcountry|
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|$197.52 at Backcountry||$174.95 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Great sound quality, well ventilated, innovative buckle, adjustable||Comfortable, warm, vents well, style points, compatible with most goggles||Toasty, comfortable, really well-built||Comfortable, warm, well vented, great hearing ability, easy to adjust||Great interior fit, stylish look, warm|
|Cons||Vents can be noisy, minimal top padding||Pricey||Expensive and a little heavy||Runs a bit small, heavier than most||Ear flaps can be noisy|
|Bottom Line||You'll never have to worry about overheating or getting brain freeze with this helmet||A top shelf helmet for the die-hard skier||Expensive but worth it||This innovative helmet is full of new safety tech and style||A high-quality helmet at a more moderate price point|
|Rating Categories||Switcher MIPS||Smith Vantage MIPS||Smith Quantum MIPS||Scott Symbol 2 Plus D||Giro Zone MIPS|
|Goggle Compatibility (10%)|
|Specs||Switcher MIPS||Smith Vantage MIPS||Smith Quantum MIPS||Scott Symbol 2...||Giro Zone MIPS|
|Measured Weight (in ounces)||20.8 oz||17.7 oz||21.0 oz||19.8 oz||17.9 oz|
|Adjustment System||Occigrip turndial||Boa Fit System||Boa FS360 fit system||RAS 2 system||In Form 2 Fit System, Vertical Tuning|
|# of Vents?||26||20||22||44||14|
|Number of Sizes||3||3||4||3||3|
|Removable Ear Covers?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Certifications||CE EN1077 class B / ASTM2040||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 Class B||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 Class B||EN1077:2007, Class B, EN12492:2012||CE EN1077|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Switcher MIPS is a great addition to the lineup. This helmet utilizes a hybrid design that combines in-mold and hard shell technology. It offers great ventilation and an innovative design.
Fit and Comfort
The Switcher MIPS has a solid adjustment system with a wide range of head sizes. The dial adjustment system was hard to reach while skiing, so it's best to set this before going out for the day. When testing this helmet, there were no notable pressure points around the side of the head or hot spots from the ear pads. However, due to the lack of padding on the top of the head, there was some slight uncomfortable downward pressure.
One of the great things about this helmet is the innovative buckle design. Unlike other magnet buckles that slide together from the side, this magnet buckle clasps on top of each other. The magnet is incredibly powerful. This makes it easy to buckle since it practically wants to buckle itself. When releasing the buckle, all that's needed is to pull the rubber tab and it comes off without a hitch. It is a little strange to get used to at first, but then it becomes simple and routine after that.
The Switcher MIPS retains its heat very well. If all the vents are closed it is easy to keep your head toasty in this helmet all day. On the coldest of days, you still might want to add a thin beanie due to some of the lack of padding on top, and the small vents in the ear pads.
The Switcher MIPS is all about the ventilation! Whether it is a hot spring day, or you're hiking up a bootpack, this helmet will have you feeling cool no matter what you are doing. With 26 strategically placed vents, you'll be able to hike up and not overheat. You can really "dial" it in, with Sweet Protection's turn dial ventilation system. The turn dial lets you adjust to the exact amount of the vent you want open. There are also two manual slide vents in the front if you still need more vent openings. These vents are so effective that if you are skiing fast with the vents fully open, you might notice a whistling sound.
Coming in as one of the heavier helmets in the review, the Switcher MIPS didn't feel burdensome on our heads. While testing the helmet, the weight was hardly noticeable. However, if you were to pick it up and compare it to the other helmets, it definitely packs a few more ounces. If you don't mind a little extra weight, but love the ventilation and low profile it would be worth bringing this helmet on the occasional day in the backcountry. Its weight keeps it from being our go-to model for ski touring, though.
Working well with all the goggles we tested, the Switcher MIPS can definitely play nice with others. Goggles tested included Scott, Smith, and Abom. The rubber goggle strap fits tightly around the ventilation dial to securely lock your goggles in place.
While testing the ability to take off the goggle strap with gloves on, we found it very difficult to locate the very small tab and undo the strap. For this helmet, instead of messing with the adjustment, it is best to set it and forget it until the end of the day.
The Switcher MIPS definitely gets some style points. It comes in many color options, so there should be something that suits everybody's taste. The helmet does look a bit similar to a combat helmet, and the rubber design on the outside of the ear pads add to this effect. It's definitely hip.
The Switcher MIPS is on the more expensive side, and it's hard to say the value is truly on point. There is some value for its great earpads, venting capabilities, MIPS, and proprietary buckle design. However, there are still areas to improve on this helmet, like comfort and usability, which leaves us wanting more.
If you're looking for a helmet with extreme venting capabilities, the Switcher MIPS is a great choice. Whether you're going uphill or downhill, this helmet will always keep your head at the perfect temperature.
— Alex Bogner