With a clear departure from their sister company MET, Italy’s Bluegrass protection designers have an impressive gravity lineup to choose from. Their recently launched Rogue MIPS half shell comes in at a reasonable €150, with a non-MIPS version selling for €100. To get ahead of the most common question, Bluegrass is currently working to secure US distributorship, though at the moment the Rogue is not available in those 50+ United States.
At 380g, this vent-packed size large shell is a windy breather. Sets of vents under the brow and below the visor are linked with those above the ears and at the backside to carry sweat away and cool the dome. My oft sweaty head is a big fan of the Rogue design.
While the vents are large enough for airflow, they’re not so open that I worry about sticks or debris poking through as I slide across the trail. Fortunately, the soil-sliding portion of the Rogue helmet test has yet to happen. Bluegrass smashed several hundred of these half shells at various angles, velocities, and temperatures during the design process, and I’m confident this one will hold up as advertised.
The MIPS layer inside some helmets can feel uncomfortable, creating sharp edges agains the skin. This one is properly padded, and feels cozy on long adventures. Like other MIPS-equipped protection there is a little creaking noise between the yellow plastic and the shell while bouncing up rough climbs, but it’s not annoyingly loud, nor is it consistent. Once every helmet manufacturer has their own integrated solution for rotational impact protection this sound will likely cease, and for now, the leaves can drown it out.
The Rogue is held in place by the usual 360° ratcheting retention system, and the angle of that belt is adjustable between three different positions. I was able to find a comfortable position where the helmet doesn’t move around, while not being overly tight or annoying. The forehead padding is notably soft and doesn’t leave marks on my skin.
Like any head protection that’s worth its EPS, the Rogue uses a Fidlock magnetic latch to keep the strap together. The clasp is easy to use with gloves on, no matter how cold or numb my fingers are. The straps on either side are comfortable and adjustable, and the plastic collection pieces that sit below the ears stay put after they are adjusted.
One of the most unique features on the Rogue are the visor cutouts that allow riders to stow eyewear safely in the visor. Simply slide the temples through, close them, and ride. They will stay in place. I rode several long and rough descents with my favorite glasses clipped to the visor without any issues. While they do rattle around a tiny bit, they don’t come loose or open up. I don’t often wear a bag, so any time a ride becomes too steamy for my glasses they have a safe storage spot. While a few other companies include a glasses-garage on their helmets, I have yet to use one that’s this secure.
The Rogue MIPS half shell helmet is a great piece of protective gear at a fair price. The amount of impact testing taking place at Bluegrass is confidence inspiring, and I look forward to wearing this helmet through the next few seasons. While it’s not tested for accessories, there are several flat surfaces across the top that should make for solid light or camera mounting positions. On any ride where a full face isn’t necessary, the Rogue is a good looking lid to keep your thinker safe.