Sweet Protection Wanderer II and Rocker Top Renowned Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings


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Sweet Protection, an industry leader in high-performance helmets, goggles and technical clothing, announced that both the Wanderer II and Rocker Whitewater helmets received the highest rating to date among all the paddlesports helmets currently tested by the renowned Virginia Tech Biomechanics Helmet Lab.

The Virginia Tech Biomechanics Helmet Lab impact tests helmets to evaluate their ability to reduce linear acceleration and rotational velocity of the head resulting from a range of impacts a whitewater kayaker might experience. Virginia Tech has conducted these tests since 2011 and the ratings are the culmination of more than 10 years of research on head impacts in sports to identify which helmets best reduce concussion risk.

“The VT Helmet Lab has been researching concussions and helmet performance for 15 years. Ten years ago we came out with our patented STAR Rating system. These STAR ratings are really important because they supplement the pass/fair certifications with real-world helmet evaluations that inform consumers on the relative differences between helmet models,” said Dr. Barry Miller, Director of the Outreach Helmet Lab. “Additionally, by creating a STAR rating system for a given sport it provides the helmet manufacturers with a blueprint for further improving helmets.”

“Paddlesports have been in Sweet Protection’s DNA since Day 1, and we’ve never stopped innovating and improving our helmets to become the industry standard for safety,” said Ståle Møller, Founder and Head Designer at Sweet Protection. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with his announcement from the team at the Virginia Tech Biomechanics Helmet Lab, which cements both the Wanderer and the Rocker as the safest products on the market for whitewater athletes. Years of hard work went into the design and production of each of these helmets, and today is a validation of that effort.”

The Wanderer II and Rocker Helmets are Sweet Protection’s industry leaders for dependable and rugged protection when paddling in the water. Paddlesports have been an important part of Sweet Protection’s brand history since the 1980s, when the company’s founders fell in love with the local rivers in Trysil, Norway. While all of the company’s paddle helmets have existed for several years, the company is devoted to a constant pursuit of perfection and developing the safest paddle helmets on the market.

The Rocker (above) features advanced helmet-construction that combines the elasticity of injection-molded thermoplastic with the rigidity and strength of carbon fiber allowing Sweet Protection to essentially tune the shell and liner for optimized performance.

The Wanderer II Helmet (right) features everything needed for all-around river use at a significantly lower price. Boasting a strong reputation since its conception in 2008, this whitewater helmet includes customizable fit pads, direct ventilation, and Sweet Protection’s trusted construction to earn its place atop the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings.

Learn more about the Wanderer and Rocker Helmets here.


  1. This article misses the biggest take-away from the study: the huge safety gains from simply a putting Dagger logos on things! In the study the Sweet Rocker – Dagger Edition got a score of .56 while the regular Rocker got a .83, which is almost 50% worse, and the only difference between the two is the Dagger logo!

    In all seriousness, I think this study is step in the right direction. I’d love to see more 3rd party study of helmet saftey because it has always felt like a guessing game as to what the best helmet really is. But this study seems to be an over-simplification of the huge variety of factors that can impact a helmet’s performance, and the differences between the scores for 2 helmets that are identical (except for that magic Dagger logo) expose some of that variability and uncertainty and potential methodological issues that are missing from the simple ratings.


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