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Gear Review: Sweet Protection Rocker Whitewater Helmet

Gear Review: Sweet Protection Rocker Whitewater Helmet

Gear Review: Sweet Protection Rocker Whitewater Helmet

Value Rating: 8
Durability Rating: 8.5
Overall Rating: 9

Location of Test: Southeast, Colorado, Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador
Duration: Two helmets over four years

Product Name: Rocker
Product Brand: Sweet Protection
Best Use: Creeking
Sizes Available/ Specs: 
Comes in four colors: Blue, Red, Black, White.
Two sizes: M/L and L/XL

Rocker Kayak Helmet

Sweet Protection Rocker Kayak Helmet


Sweet Protection Rocker Whitewater Helmet


The Full Review

The Rocker is Sweet Protection’s top creeking helmet. It offers the most coverage with the beefiest protection. I’ve been using it exclusively for about four years now and I love it.
First off, the reason I started using this helmet in the first place is because it offers the highest level of protection out of any whitewater helmet on the market. The coverage of the helmet is superb. The front of the helmet comes down over the forehead and offers good coverage to the temples. The back of the helmet drops down and cups the occipital bone which is the knob on the back of your head. Many other helmets offer great protection on the top of the head but do not provide the full protection that this one does.

The construction of the helmet is another thing that sets it apart. The shell is constructed from two different pieces of ABS plaster with different thicknesses. Underneath are two panels of carbon fiber. Between the two, the helmet is designed to absorb and distribute impacts in a very intentional way. There are other helmets that are simply foam with a hard shell.
Another reason I really like this helmet is the comfort. As stated above there are many helmets that simply slap together some foam with a hard shell. The Rocker goes beyond that. The fit is superb, rather than just being close to round the helmet actually matches the shape of my skull rather closely. The occigrip in the back does a great job of cupping the back of the head with good cushioning.

Overall the helmets have been extremely durable for me. The first one I had lasted until I set it on a heater to dry it out. The heater was a little too hot and melted the chin strap all the way through. I classify this as an extenuating circumstance. One other thing is that the liner of the helmet seemed to wear out after several years of heavy use but the shell was still in great shape.

The Good:

The two things that really set this helmet apart for me, the protection and the comfort. I feel that this helmet has the best in the industry in both categories.

The Bad:

The old Rocker helmets use to extend over the ears offering a little more protection. The current Rockers only offer the ear pads for ear protection. For me they are great during cold weather but during the summer they are more trouble than they are worth. I have a hard time hearing through them and the way they attach to the helmet is the one part of the helmet that wore out the fastest for me.

The Bottom Line:

Overall this is a great full protection helmet. If you see hard whitewater and big rapids in your future I highly recommend this helmet. If you are going to be raft guiding on your local class III river this helmet might be a bit of over kill. This helmet is a bit pricey but I view it as the cost of a high quality product. I love my Sweet Protection Rocker and will continue to use it into the future.

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