While the Sweet Protection name hasn’t quite reached household status on this side of the pond, the Norwegian brand is a major player in Europe, known best for its next-level helmets that are some of the safest on the market. In 2015, Sweet popped up in North American shops with its Blaster and Trooper helmets, and has since seen major success here in the States with both its helmet and goggle lines.
The brand, however, has been making outerwear since the mid-2000s, beginning with the legendary Crusader Flightsuit in 2006—inspired by Formula One racers—and evolving into a source for technical big-mountain apparel that protects against the harshest conditions while still performing at the highest level.
With its helmets and goggles achieving success stateside, Sweet decided the time was nigh to deliver a small outerwear collection to the U.S. market this coming fall—two shells kits, one insulated kit, and a few layering pieces for both men and women—which will be available online and at specialty shops already carrying the brand’s accessories.
“Prior to 2021, there hadn’t necessarily been enough demand for the winter outerwear,” says Casey Garrity, Sweet Protection’s Marketing Manager, “and we needed to focus on growth in our primary segments: helmets, protective equipment, and eyewear. We feel that our North American fans are now aware of our long-standing dedication to uncompromising quality.”
What sets these pieces apart is the simplicity and intention that’s gone into the design. SKI had the opportunity to check the line out at Sweet’s Colorado headquarters in early January, and we were impressed with the level of technology, the streamlined design, and the comparable price tag compared to similar products from other brands in the space.
“With the growth in awareness of Sweet Protection due to the quality of our helmets, protection and eyewear,” Garrity explains, “we feel that Fall/Winter 2021 will be a great time to put the full apparel line in front of customers.”
Here are some of the key pieces.
Sweet Protection Outerwear and Apparel Highlights
Crusader Gore-Tex Pro Jacket
The Crusader Gore-Tex jacket has one of the cleanest silhouettes we’ve seen, yet offers a range of motion and level of comfort that belies its sleek fit. It’s a three-layer recycled Gore-Tex shell with an articulated fit, zip-off powder skirt, helmet-friendly adjustable hood, and pack-compatible chest pockets and pit zips with grippy pulls for easy open/close with gloves on. As with all pieces in Sweet’s collection, the Crusader is Bluesign approved. $750
Crusader X Gore-Tex Jacket
The Crusader X is pretty similar to the Crusader Pro with a few key differences that make this one an ideal shell for adventurous resort skiers. It’s also a three-layer recycled Gore jacket, but with an adjustable, not removable, powder skirt. It also boasts more storage—five pockets, four exterior and one interior—a longer silhouette, and slightly lower price tag. $600
Crusader X Gore-Tex Bib
This freeride-inspired three-layer Gore-Tex bib offers an articulated fit for easy movement complemented by a softshell high-waist bib that’s super-stretchy and serves up plenty of give around the midsection—though it’s not removable. Both the men’s and the women’s version have the appropriate drop-seat solutions as well as two-way ventilating side-zips and expandable cargo thigh pockets to fit everything you need for a day on the slopes. $500
Crusader Gore-Tex Infinium Jacket
This Crusader is a lightly insulated option for resort skiers who are looking for warmth combined with weather protection. The warmth comes from 80-gram Thermolite Active insulation beneath an airy two-layer Gore-Tex Infinium face fabric that’s waterproof, windproof, and breathable. The magic of this jacket is that despite it being insulated, it has a low-profile fit without sacrificing any features, including pit zips, powder skirt, and generous pockets. $350
Crusader Down Hooded Jacket
An insulator designed for warmth before the descent, this Crusader rounds out Sweet’s collection with a versatile layering piece packed with 800-fill Downtek waterproof down, two cozy hand-warmer pockets, plus a large chest pocket for extra stash space. Wear it under a shell on colder days, or throw it in your pack for whenever you need a quick warm up. $400