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 specific impacts. The Switcher MIPS also comes with great adjustability in its fit and its ventilation system. The Switcher is easy to operate with one hand, even with gloves on, with a magnetic buckle design. If you want to listen to some tunes while you ski, this helmet is audio-ready with zippers to easily access 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.Editor's Note: We updated the Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS review on February 25, 2022, with more details on competing products and advice on what we would buy.
Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS Review
Compare prices at 4 resellers Pros: Great sound quality, well ventilated, innovative buckle, adjustable
Cons: Vents can be noisy, minimal top padding
Manufacturer: Sweet Protection
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Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS
|Price||$188.96 at Backcountry|
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$224.93 at REI
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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||Protective features, lightweight, adjustable ventilation, versatile||Affordable, adjustable vents, MIPS, adjustable dial|
|Cons||Vents can be noisy, minimal top padding||Pricey||Expensive and a little heavy||Earpads are challenging to remove, dial hard to use with gloves, style||Heavy, larger profile|
|Bottom Line||No matter what the weather is, this helmet will help you find your perfect temperature||Deemed best of the best by our testers, there isn't a better combination of performance available from any model we have tested||A top of the line helmet for the avid resort skier seeking warmth great features||Equally at home on the skin track as the resort, we reached for this friendly-priced helmet frequently on ski tours||Equipped with MIPS, adjustable vents, and an adjustable dial, this model has high-end features and strong performance at a stellar price|
|Rating Categories||Sweet Protection Sw...||Smith Vantage MIPS||Smith Quantum MIPS||Smith Mission MIPS||Giro Ratio MIPS|
|Goggle Compatibility (10%)|
|Specs||Sweet Protection Sw...||Smith Vantage MIPS||Smith Quantum MIPS||Smith Mission MIPS||Giro Ratio MIPS|
|Measured Weight (in ounces)||20.8 oz||17.7 oz||21.0 oz||16.9 oz||21.7 oz|
|Adjustment System||Occigrip turndial||Boa Fit System||Boa FS360 fit system||Adjustable Dial Fit System||In form dial|
|# of Vents?||26||20||22||18||10|
|Number of Sizes||3||3||4||4||4|
|Removable Ear Covers?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Certifications||CE EN1077 class B / ASTM2040||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 Class B||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077 Class B||ASTM F 2040, CE EN 1077:2007 CLASS B||CE EN 1077|
Our Analysis and Test Results
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, there was some slight uncomfortable downward pressure due to the lack of padding on top of the head.
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 and easy to latch with gloves on 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 routine and straightforward 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. You can also make up for this if you start with a warm base layer.
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. With Sweet Protection's turn dial ventilation system, you can really "dial" it in. 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 you might notice a whistling sound if you are skiing fast with the vents fully open.
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 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 and love the ventilation and low profile, it would be worth bringing this helmet on an 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 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 tiny 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 is something that suits everybody's taste. The helmet looks somewhat similar to a combat helmet, and the rubber design on the ear pads adds to this effect. It's definitely hip.
Should You Buy the Sweet Protection Switcher MIPS?
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 while skiing or riding. It scores slightly lower in the weight metric, and it is not as comfortable as some other helmets. Still, if you want ultimate temperature control without having to add and peal layers throughout the day, then this helmet is a perfect choice.
What Other Ski Helmets Should You Consider?
The Switcher MIPS is on the more expensive side, and while it has some cool features in its earpads, venting capabilities, MIPS, and proprietary buckle design, there are still areas to improve on this helmet. The comfort and usability leave us wanting more, and if these categories are essential aspects to you, then you may prefer the Anon Logan WaveCel or the Smith Quantum MIPS.
— Alex Bogner
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