Review: Sweet Protection Dissenter MIPS Helmet

Singletrack approved.

This summer, I took a spill off my mountain bike while on a downhill flow. I scraped my head on the side of a cliff and broke my fall face-first on the smooth dirt of Sun Valley's famed singletrack. With my heart racing, my adrenaline pumping, and blood dripping steadily from a gash in my lip, my first thought was of gratitude for my helmet. My whole body hurt, but my brain was mercifully unharmed. 

After a crash like that, I knew it was time to replace my helmet. Helmets are designed to absorb impact, and even if they don't look particularly damaged, they really only have one good crash in them. I thanked my helmet, disposed of it, and started looking around for my next brain-protector. 

Enter the Sweet Protection Dissenter MIPS

About Sweet Protection

Sweet Protection is a Norwegian company that got their start in paddlesport helmets, and are now known for their ski/snowboard and cycling helmets, too. The Dissenter MIPS is an all-around helmet for cross-country mountain biking, which is how I do most of my riding. They also have options for downhill bikers and road cyclists, and they have cool urban helmets, too.

After unboxing the Dissenter MIPS, I put it right to the test with a desert ride on the Hurricane Cliffs trails outside of Zion National Park in Utah. I'm always a bit concerned about adjusting new helmets, as I have a smaller-than-average-sized head. I was pleased that the small/medium slipped on easily, and was snug to my head with a few smooth turns of the Occigrip Turn Dial.

Riding the Trails

For the duration of the ride, with the sun beating down and desert dust mixing with my sweat, I didn't even notice the Dissenter MIPS was there. For me, that's about as high of praise a helmet can get. It's lightweight, thoroughly vented, and comfortable. The visor blocked a good amount of sun from reaching my face without being intrusive. The helmet didn't fall forward or wiggle from side-to-side, and most important of all, there were no pain points to deal with.

The MIPS System

The Dissenter MIPS is designed with the Multi-directional Impact Protection System or MIPS, for short. MIPS helps to reduce rotational motion to your brain in the event of an angled impact. According to the MIPS website, an impact with rotational motion can lead to severe and lasting brain injuries. I like my brain — quite a bit, really — and am happy to have the extra protection that lowers my risk of long-term damage.

Though I dream of a day when helmet designers can integrate the MIPS technology in such a way that it doesn't snag and pull at my long hair, it's a small price to pay for walking away from a major crash.

With the ride at Hurricane Cliffs behind me, the Sweet Protection Dissenter MIPS has earned its place in my mountain bike gear bag. Winter desert rides, here I come!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Sara SheehyAdmin

Writer | Nomad