The Ripper is Sweet Protection's entry-level lid. While it certainly stacks up in the cooling and looks departments, it’s not the most comfortable helmet around, and a bit more coverage at the rear would be nice.
The Ripper benefits from the trickle-down of tech from the brand's high-end lids. It’s in-moulded, for one thing, which is a technique that fuses the EPS foam directly to the polycarbonate shell. This increases strength and its resistance to cracking, too.
Other cool techy bits include an Occigrip Turn Dial (basically the common dial-operated retention system), Digitally Optimised Ventilation – the airflow has been modelled on a computer – and STACC ventilation.
STACC ventilation is a channel for cooling your temporal artery specifically, without exposing the temples. This artery runs up from your neck in front of your ear, and branches forwards across your temple, right where helmets tend to sit.
There’s also a shatter-resistant visor, and all this means the Ripper weighs in at 270g.
The Ripper is priced just below where MIPS is becoming commonplace (the Ripper MIPS is £90), and as such, it’s no surprise this lid doesn’t include any rotational impact protection. But its price reflects that, and there are other upsides to this helmet.
Thanks to some pretty deep channeling, it’s a seriously cool helmet. It performs as well as, if not better than, some high-end hats out there. On the other hand, I can’t say whether the STACC ventilation helps or not, but airflow is definitely good.
Sweet Protection has done well to make the visor useful without it getting in the way. It always sits at the very edge of my eyeline, but provides a useful level of protection against sunlight and rain.
The thing that lets the Ripper down is comfort. While perfectly tolerable, it’s not the most cossetting helmet around. The interior pads are quite firm and that’s what you feel when it’s on, although this could be due to the deep channeling.
While riding, it’s quite easy to forget the discomfort so it’s not the end of the world, but it doesn't feel as snug or 'huggy' (if you get what I mean) as others.
Sweet Protection gives the retention dial quite a lot of space, which is great for making adjustments in thick gloves, though it would be good to have a lower rear just for a bit more protection and confidence. But the important bits are covered well.
Apart from some exposed EPS, I reckon that the Ripper looks worth more than it actually is. If I were just starting out, I wouldn't be rushing to buy a more 'pro' looking helmet if I already had this.
If you’re looking for a breezy entry-level lid that looks spendier than the asking price, the Sweet Protection Ripper is a great lid. It’s not the most comfortable option, but it's fine – and if cooling is a big issue for you, you'll be happy with the trade off.
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