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Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS Review

No matter what the weather is, this helmet will help you find your perfect temperature
Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $250 List | $199.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Great sound quality, well ventilated, innovative buckle, adjustable
Cons:  Vents can be noisy, minimal top padding
Manufacturer:   Sweet Protection
By Alex Bogner ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 19, 2019
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Ventilation - 20% 9
  • Weight - 10% 5
  • Goggle Compatibility - 10% 7
  • Style - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS is one of the most well ventilated all-mountain helmets on the market. Let mother nature do her worst because this helmet will help you adapt to whatever gets thrown your way. This helmet also comes with great features such as MIPS, which is designed to reduce the rotational forces on the brain when involved in certain impacts. The Switcher MIPS also comes with great adjustability in its fit as well as its ventilation system. With a magnetic buckle design, the Switcher is easy to operate with one hand, even with gloves on. If you want to listen to some tunes while you ski, this helmet is audio ready with zippers for easy access to earbuds or audio chips. When you're not listening to tunes, enjoy the unimpaired sound quality through this helmet's comfortable earpads. Advanced all-mountain skiers will enjoy all that this helmet has to offer.

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Star Rating
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Pros Great sound quality, well ventilated, innovative buckle, adjustableComfortable, warm, vents well, style points, compatible with most gogglesProtective features, lightweight, adjustable ventilation, versatileAffordable, adjustable vents, MIPS, adjustable dialSimple, comfortable, protective
Cons Vents can be noisy, minimal top paddingPriceyEarpads are challenging to remove, dial hard to use with gloves, styleHeavy, larger profileFixed open vents, goggle compatibility
Bottom Line No matter what the weather is, this helmet will help you find your perfect temperatureDeemed best of the best by our testers, there isn't a better combination of performance available from any model we have testedEqually at home on the skin track as the resort, we reached for this friendly-priced helmet frequently on ski toursEquipped with MIPS, adjustable vents, and an adjustable dial, this model has high-end features and strong performance at a stellar priceA protective, rugged helmet offered at a very reasonable price
Rating Categories Switcher MIPS Smith Vantage MIPS Smith Mission MIPS Giro Ratio MIPS Giro Ledge
Comfort (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Warmth (25%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Ventilation (20%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Weight (10%)
5.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
6.0
Goggle Compatibility (10%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Style (10%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Switcher MIPS Smith Vantage MIPS Smith Mission MIPS Giro Ratio MIPS Giro Ledge
Measured Weight (in ounces) 20.8 oz 17.7 oz 16.9 oz 21.7 oz 17.0 oz
Adjustment System Occigrip turndial Boa Fit System Adjustable Dial Fit System In form dial Removable Auto Loc 2 Fit System
# of Vents? 26 20 18 10 8
Number of Sizes 3 3 4 4 3
Removable Ear Covers? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Goggle Attachment? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Visor? Yes No No No No
Audio Compatibility? Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Certifications CE EN1077 class B / ASTM2040 ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 Class B ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B CE EN 1077 ASTM F2040-11/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.

Performance Comparison


The Switcher from Sweet Protection hits the details right, from...
The Switcher from Sweet Protection hits the details right, from comfort to ventilation to hip, all-mountain style.
Photo: Laura Casner

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.

Most of the padding on the Switcher is located on the sides of the...
Most of the padding on the Switcher is located on the sides of the helmet. The top of the helmet is a bit firm, but allows air to easily pass through.
Photo: Alex Bogner

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.

Switcher's unique and easy to use pull tab magnetic buckle.
Switcher's unique and easy to use pull tab magnetic buckle.
Photo: Alex Bogner


Warmth


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.

This helmet traps heat inside when you want it to, but also has...
This helmet traps heat inside when you want it to, but also has plenty of vents to open up and let your head cool down.
Photo: Laura Casner

Ventilation


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.

The vents on the Switcher can be opened to a specific amount...
The vents on the Switcher can be opened to a specific amount correlating to the number of turns on the rear dial adjuster.
Photo: Alex Bogner

Weight


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.

Goggle Compatibility


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.

No gaper gap here! Great goggle compatibility on the Switcher.
No gaper gap here! Great goggle compatibility on the Switcher.
Photo: Alex Bogner

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.

Our testers and ski buddies like the slick style of this helmet. It...
Our testers and ski buddies like the slick style of this helmet. It offers a variation in shape from most helmets you see out there, and we appreciate that.
Photo: Laura Casner

Style


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 sleek patterns on the top and side give this helmet a cool look.
The sleek patterns on the top and side give this helmet a cool look.
Photo: Alex Bogner

Value


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.

Tearing up the slopes with the Switcher.
Tearing up the slopes with the Switcher.
Photo: Alex Bogner

Conclusion


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