The 10 Best Kids Bike Helmets to Buy 2020

Cycling, Reviews

The only thing more important than personal safety is the safety of your child.

When you have a little one to protect, you get flashbacks of what you were like at their age. Like the first time you learned how to ride a bike on your own. It might have started with the training wheels. It felt safe for both you and your parents knowing that losing balance is almost unheard of on a four-wheeled bike.

But the time came to take them off and start understanding balance and inertia. To make this leap, you still needed some sort of safety assurance. And that is where the concept of a helmet came in. No matter how many falls it would take for you to finally ride continuously, your head would be protected. Until it finally worked. The helmet is a more grown-up version of training wheels, because it protects the most important part of your body. In hindsight, having worn that helmet was an important lesson to learn to take care of yourself.

Now it is time for your little one to learn this valuable lesson. Whether they are just starting to ride or if they’ve been doing it for a while, a helmet is the only piece of you as a protective parent that they carry while riding. And because you want your kid to be safe at all times, the quality of the helmet should match your peace of mind. We compiled the top 10 best helmets for kids in 2020, so you can find solace when your child goes biking with his friends.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Children’s Bike Helmets

Whether your little one still has training wheels on his bike or not, the helmet they wear shouldn’t inhibit their pleasure to ride. It has to fit well, to be ventilated enough, and to be safe enough. Prices are usually in direct correlation with the quality of all factors that make a helmet reliable. So let’s discuss those factors.

The main features you should consider when looking to invest in a helmet for your child are:

Age Range

Bike helmets for kids can be made for any age group between toddlerhood and the teenage years. As certain helmets only come in sizes that suit parts of this range, we’ll be sure to point out what ages each helmet is suitable for across its various sizing options.

Safety

Bike gear companies are always upping their ante when it comes to safety technology, so it is safe to say that helmet safety is at its peak right now. All helmets in the U.S. are certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), but some helmets have additional certifications, which makes them a safer choice. There are also features like Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) that really go above and beyond to provide maximum protection.

Comfort

The comfort, size, weight, and design all contribute to the safety of a helmet. A helmet should fit comfortably and snugly on your child’s head, and not feel like they have a brick tied on top. The design differs from one style to another: if your child is prone to go on long bike walks, either over wide flat terrain or in the woods, you may want to consider a mountain bike helmet. If they just ride casually in the city or go to skateparks with their friends, the design will match the skills and risks involved.

Children have much more energy than adults. They also have a reduced notion of danger and pain, as they normally haven’t been seriously injured by a fall at this point in their lives. Combine that energy with a nonchalant attitude towards injury, and it’s easy to see why parents are often anxious about taking off the training wheels and move on to helmets—so let’s take a look at the best options available today.

Top 10 Bike Helmets for Kids

1. Best Overall Helmet: Giro Scamp

Why we like it: An ideal helmet should be safe, comfortable, and light. This helmet ticks all three boxes, and then some. Its modern design makes it as practical as it is stylish. Another bonus is the handy adjustable chin straps that make it fit any child perfectly.

Our number one pick is the best helmet for the youngest riders. Once your little one is ready to outgrow their balance bike, the Giro Scamp will be their most trusted plastic companion in making the transition to regular bikes. Giro makes helmets that are usually the number one picks in any age or style category, and they definitely don’t disappoint with this one.

Editor’s Rating:

Age Range

Children grow at a fast pace between ages one to five, which is one of the aspects that make the Giro Scamp special. Its Roc Loc Jr. system is adjustable enough to suit a one-year old as well as a five-year old, and any age in between.

Safety Technology

The most sought-after and popular safety technology on the market is the MIPS system. This technology reduces the impact of a fall that happens at an angle, which is the resulting trajectory of most falls that occur on a bike. The Scamp is also available without the MIPS liner, in case you want to knock a few bucks off the price tag. But if you’re going to buy a helmet for safety, you might as well benefit from all the safety features it can offer.

The in-mold polycarbonate exterior is complemented by an interior layer made of Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS). Most bike helmets have this material combination, as it seems to be the most effective even for more risky styles of biking such as enduro racing or BMX.

Comfort

The 8 vent holes in the helmet create a decent amount of ventilation when riding on hot, sunny days. It is built to not seem like it is in the way of anything your child might want to try. The Scamp also offers a nice bonus feature for girls in that one of the vents at the back is meant for ponytails.

Size and Weight

One of the reasons the Giro scamp performs so well with kids is its accommodating size for tiny heads. The helmet comes in sizes XS and S. Size XS fits children aged one and two, whereas the S fits children aged 2 to 5. Whichever the age of your child may be, you should always consult the size chart first.

Another important and useful feature the Giro Scamp offers in terms of size adjustability is its dial-adjust fit system. The fit can be adjusted by the turn of a dial, located on the back of the helmet. The standard plastic buckling system is sturdy and keeps the helmet on tightly. It weighs 17 ounces, which is not bad for all the features it includes.

Design

Giro opted for an integrated visor, rather than an adjustable one. This means your child’s eyes will always be protected from the sun, and in the improbable but possible event of a frontal impact, there will be that much extra protection between your child’s head and the ground. If you want to take your kid with you on bike rides, the low profile on the back of the Scamp accommodates riding in a bike trailer or on a seat behind yours.

The helmet isn’t quite perfect, though. The chin strap might get a little loose over time, and the plastic buckle can be a bit uncomfortable—especially if its tight enough to pinch your little one’s neck. The ventiliation isn’t fantastic, either.

Value

Admittedly, one of the reasons why we picked the Giro Scamp as our number one choice is its affordability. It is sold at an ideal value and is available in green, pink, black, red, and blue. This helmet is ideal for year-round usage. It is ventilated enough to keep your child’s head cool while the sun is blazing, but padded well enough to keep the head warm once the temperature drops.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable all year-round
  • Good size adjustability
  • MIPS safety technology
Cons
  • The chin straps tend to loosen during rides, which may require mid-ride adjustments
  • Limited amount of vents
  • Plastic buckle system can pinch your child’s neck if fastened too close to the neck

2. Best Budget Helmet: Bell Rally Child Helmet

Why we like it: This helmet is a great choice for budget and offers many features higher-end helmets offer. It has a cool exterior, the True-Fit adjustment system and the PinchGuard make it easy to put on and to wear, it has plenty of ventilation, and the color choices really stand out.

If your kid is looking for a helmet that is suitable for longer rides and isn’t really interested in developing a BMX style, the Bell Rally is an ideal fit. This low profile helmet offers great coverage and excellent size adjustability for kids, all at a bargain.

Editor’s Rating:

Age Range

The ideal age interval for which the Bell Rally helmet is suitable is between 3 and 6 years. It is not suitable for toddlers, but once your kid reaches the age of 3, you can rely on this helmet for the next 3 years. Its built-in harness system ensures the helmet will sit snugly on your child’s head regardless of where he finds himself between the 3 and 6 year spectrum.

Safety Technology

The Bell Rally helmet is CPSC certified. There is enough padding in this helmet to not worry about a damaging impact, in case of a fall. The reflectors on the back of the helmet will ensure your child is always visible to drivers or other riders at nighttime.

Comfort

The 11 vent holes on the Bell Rally create a very comfortable riding experience. On sunny days, it is important for your child to feel air pass through all that plastic and padding. The air dissipates through the 11 vents and helps the head breathe. The tightening buckle has a PinchGuard feature that prevents those annoying pinches when securing the helmet on.

Size and Weight

This is a very light helmet. The 11 vents also reduce the helmet’s weight of a mere 10 ounces. Another major draw this helmet has is its True-Fit 1 step adjustment fit belt system. The straps of the helmet’s fitting ring are joined together below the ear through small plastic anchors. So your child only needs to adjust either one of the anchors and the fitting ring will accommodate the head accordingly. This helmet is suitable for heads measuring between 20 and 22 inches.

Design

The design of the Bell Rally is in the vein of what is known as an “open-face” helmet. These are used for riding cross country or uphill. It is very stylish and durable, in part due to the tapeless technology which gives it a smooth finish. The back of the helmet provides more coverage than other helmets, which increases protection and stability on the head. The fin, or visor, is not integrated in the design but cannot be removed. And there shouldn’t be a need to remove it, as it acts as a perfect sunguard.

While the main part of the helmet is solid, some of its parts are not without flaws. The foam tends to fall off and break down, the glue tends to pinch long hair, and the pegs that keep the visor in have a tendency to break—so while this helmet will get the job done, it might not last as long as a more premium model.

Value

The Bell Rally is one of the most affordable kids’ helmets on the market. It offers much more than the price might indicate, in terms of quality. Bell is a well-respected company on the bike market, so that should come as no surprise. To top it all off, it comes in 9 different color choices. Basically, your kid will look the coolest out of any park he wears it in.

Pros
  • True-Fit system makes adjustability easy
  • More back coverage
  • PinchGuard
  • Good ventilation
Cons
  • Foam lacks durability
  • Glue between the foam and the shell can cause hair to get caught in it
  • Visor pegs are not that durable

3. Best Premium Bike Helmet: Bell Sidetrack II Youth

Why we like it: This is a great helmet for beginners and even intermediate kid riders. It is equipped with all the safety features the adult helmets have, it is light, and it is durable. Not only does it have a sleek and eye-catching design, but it’s also easily adjustable and comfortable.

For kids that are a little older and aspire to make riding a here-to-stay activity, the Sidetrack II is a great plastic companion. We find this to be the best transitional helmet before investing in an adult helmet. It has that sleek mountain bike design and offers all the features that expert riders look for in theirs.

Editor’s Rating:

Age Range

Because it comes in 3 available sizes, the Bell Sidetrack II is suitable for children aged between 3 and 8 years. 8 years might be a stretch, but this is where measuring your child’s head even at 8 years old really comes in handy.

Safety Technology

The Sidetrack II has a sturdy in-mold construction. This provides additional protection, as the foam is molded in the shell, filling up every available space with padding. The Sidetrack II comes equipped with MIPS technology, but if you want to knock off a few dollars, it can also be purchased without the MIPS. However, this extra inner shell can be a huge factor in reducing the impact of an angular fall.

Comfort

The helmet is easy to adjust on the go with the help of the Ergo-Fit dial system. It takes a single-handed gesture and it will sit comfortably attached for the whole duration of the ride. It doesn’t quite work well enough for the small toddler sizes, but it’s great for any older children.

This helmet has 14 vents which assures there is plenty of ventilation to keep your child’s head cool on hot days. And if that isn’t enough, Bell’s integrated Sweat Guide pad is really helpful in that respect as well. This interior liner pad pushes the accumulated sweat drops away from your child’s eyes and brows, so that no discomfort is caused.

And of course, the people at Bell included a built-in visor to block out the sun rays from the eyes—although it is, unfortunately, not very easily attached, so make sure your little one doesn’t let it fall out while they ride.

Size and Weight

As an update to its successful predecessor, the Bell Sidetrack, this helmet is available in three sizes. These are known as Universal Toddler (17 – 20 inches), Universal Child (18 – 21 inches), and Universal Youth (19 – 22). Once your kid puts on the correct size and adjusts it properly, the Sidetrack II also has incorporated no-twist tri-glides. These fasteners keep the straps straight and flat without twisting in case the helmet moves in any way. Depending on the chosen size, the helmet can weigh between 9 and 11 ounces.

Design

The Bell Sidetrack II has a huge advantage over the other helmets: it looks incredibly cool. While this may not seem like a crucial feature for its safety, it is important for children to wear something that is considered cool by their friends. It comes in 10 different colors you can choose from. And the attractive design is just the cherry on top of the cake, as the Sidetrack II really does tick the boxes for every useful feature. It is built like an open-face mountain bike helmet and covers the rear and sides of the head enough to feel like the safe helmet it is.

Value

It doesn’t really come at the price of dinner for two, but what it offers is definitely worth the minor leap. It is definitely cheaper than other helmets which aren’t necessarily better, and it is priced just fair enough for how well it performs. If your child will be riding to commute to school or around the city to meet with his friends, the Sidetrack II is definitely a perfect option.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Optional MIPS safety technology
  • Prevents sweat from entering the eyes
  • Adjusts easily for the Child and Youth sizes
  • Great design
Cons
  • The visor is not steadily attached
  • Adjustment dial doesn’t work that well for the Toddler size
  • A bit pricey

4. Best Multi-Sport Helmet: Razor V-17

Why we like it: We know that kids are full of energy and can sometimes easily get bored. If they have the aptitude to ride, but they see their friends are getting into skateboarding, roller-blading, or riding scooters, this helmet is multi-functional and fitting for any adjacent sport.

For kids that are slowly approaching the tweening period, the Razor V-17 will keep them covered for a good amount of time, as they progress in skills. The helmet has an X-Games vibe to it, and it is definitely suitable for taking a few chances and trying out tricks at the park, or just riding around in the city.

Editor’s Rating:

Age Range

This helmet is suitable for kids aged between 8 and 14 years old. That is a pretty big age gap for a helmet to cover. Imagine: a helmet that will last your kid for the duration of 6 whole grades.

Safety Technology

The Razor V-17 is built for daredevil trick attempts and imminent impacts that might occur along the way. It is CPSC-certified and what adds to the sense of security is how the back of the helmet covers the whole part, while other helmets only partly come down. Though it lacks MIPS, its solidly built. It has a sturdy build so it won’t fall apart after one impact.

Comfort

Razor knocked the ball out of the park in terms of good ventilation. In fact, the generous number of 17 vents also christened the V-17. The airflow is kept constant on sun-soaked days, as the vents are strategically placed over the brows, on the sides, and on the back of the helmet. The fitting straps are soft and easy to adjust, and they don’t cause pinching.

Size and Weight

The Razor V-17 weighs almost 16 ounces. It is not the lightest helmet on the market, but what adds to the weight takes away from the sizing worries. As the helmet only comes in one size (for heads measuring between 21 and 23.5 inches), it has plenty of padding that can be moved around, or in and out, to provide a snug fit for your kid’s head. This means that if your little girl has a ponytail, padding can be rearranged to accommodate it and not cause discomfort.

Unfortunately, this works better in theory than it does in practice. While some will be able to get a perfect fit by rearranging the padding, others will find themselves unable to find the sweet spot.

Design

Razor opted for a smooth, creaseless design, in the vein of a BMX bike helmet, rather than a mountain bike helmet. The interior padding is double-stitched to ensure durability, and it is made of foam, nylon, and expanded polystyrene.

The buckles on the side are easy to fasten and release, and they are not in the way of the jaw area, so your child will barely feel that the helmet is strapped to his face. It does lack a visor, so it’s not the best helmet when it comes to keeping the sun out of your child’s eyes.

Value

Buying a helmet that lasts 6 whole years before your child’s head size expands seems like it might cost a fortune. This is not the case with the V-17. This inexpensive helmet has all the features that would normally make it a high-end one. Your child can also choose from four modern yet classy color options, so all the kids at the park or at school will ask their parents for the same cool helmet.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Great ventilation
  • Easily adjustable
  • Plenty of sturdy padding for safety
Cons
  • Not as light as other helmets
  • Tricky padding adjustments for obtaining a snug fit
  • No visor
  • No MIPS safety technology

5. Safest Bike Helmet: Giro Tremor

Why we like it: We like how important the safety aspect is for Giro, and how they really went out of their way to make the Tremor one of the safest bike helmets for kids. We like the fact the size is easily and readily adjustable out-of-the-box.

Helmets should instill safety and comfort above all else. Giro, being the household name on the bike gear market since 1985, has created a helmet that combines the best safety and comfort features available. Another priority was the fit of the helmet, since children’s heads grow constantly until they reach their tweens. This helmet has a highly adaptable fit, so your child can be on his way to trail ride as soon as you take the helmet out of the box

Editor’s Rating:

Age Range

This helmet is suitable for kids aged between 5 and 10 years. 10 might be a stretch, so as that age approaches, you might want to get your card ready for a new purchase. But for almost 5 years, a bike helmet for your little one won’t be a worry.

Safety Technology

The Tremor has a shell made of in-mold polycarbonate material that ensures it’s resistant to impacts. Not only does it have an MIPS liner, but the liner it uses has less plastic to allow more airflow through the numerous vents. Topping it off with EPS foam, the helmet is built for endurance.

Comfort

As one of the most well-ventilated helmets on our list, the Giro Tremor has 18 vent holes that ensure a hefty amount of airflow. As if that wasn’t enough, it also features Quick-Dry pads that keep sweat away from the eyes. The soft straps on the sides are made of woven fabric and stay fixed on your child’s head, without the helmet wobbling. All your kid has to do is turn the dial-adjust knob on the back to fix the helmet on tightly and snugly.

Size and Weight

This helmet only comes in one size, which fits all children whose heads measure between 19.5 to 22.5 inches. The Roc Loc system makes fitting any size easier. The lone drawback (aside from price) on this helmet, though, is that the retention system that keeps the helmet on your little one’s head isn’t the best. Although it’s not unsafe, its instability might bother your child a bit.

Design

Giro opted for a mountain bike-style helmet with the Tremor. It has an extended, adjustable visor that protects the eyes from the sun, whereas the back of the helmet is large enough to cover the whole back of your child’s head.

Value

This helmet is available in six attractive colors, at a fair price. It might not be the first choice if you’re on a budget, but there are definitely more expensive bike helmets for children out there that come with only half of what The Giro Tremor offers. This helmet is ideal for riding in the woods or on wide terrain. It is built to last, and built to safely accompany your child on long rides. Essentially, you pay for less heart palpitations knowing your child is out and about with a safe helmet on.

Pros
  • MIPS safety technology and plenty of padding
  • Sleek design
  • Great ventilation
  • Quick-Dry pads that prevent sweat from dripping down
Cons
  • Unstable retention cage
  • Not a budget option

6. Bell Spark Jr.

Why we like it: We love the way it looks and the comfort it provides. Due to its lightness and ventilation, this helmet gives the impression that it is not even on your child’s head. But you can rest assured that it is, and offers everything it needs to while on there.

This helmet stands out due to its futuristic design. It looks like it was designed by Marvel for some new Avengers movie, or a remake of Robocop…if Robocop was even cooler. It is the junior counterpart of the adult Bell Spark, which is a great helmet for mountain bike enthusiasts who ride uphill or all-mountain (both uphill and downhill, as well as across long trails). You can be sure it offers everything an adult expert would expect from a good helmet.

Editor’s Rating:

Age Range

The Bell Spark Jr. is ideal for grade-school-aged children in general. Depending on your child’s noggin shape, it is even suitable for children up to 12 years old, since it is designed for wider heads.

Safety Technology

Like its adult version, The Bell Spark Jr. is equipped with a built in MIPS liner. Its sturdy outer shell is made of polycarbonate, and it has EPS foam on the inside to reduce any sort of angular impact.

Comfort

This porous helmet offers balanced ventilation and extraordinary breathability, due in part to the airflow channel located at its center. The vents on top are large, and there are 13 of them in total. This also makes the helmet feel very light, and a breeze to wear on sunny days or humid areas, as sweat build-up won’t be a problem.

Size and Weight

The Spark Jr. only comes in one size, which is Universal Youth. This means it is suitable for kids starting at age 5 and can be comfortable enough even for 12 year olds. It is also easily adjustable and stable due to the no-twist tri-glides around the ears. It weighs 12 ounces, which makes it a lightweight option.

Design

The visor on the Spark Jr. is remarkable. It looks like a mean beak, and is durable and extended to the point where it even serves as extra protection in case your kid falls in the front—though its admittedly a bit lackluster when it comes to protecting the back of the head. The modern touch offers a breath of fresh air to this open-face mountain bike design.

Value

The Bell Spark Jr. falls within the reasonable price range for a bike helmet that offers all these features. It is not a hefty investment by any means, but it isn’t something your child might afford from two months’ worth of allowance. The helmet comes in 4 modern colors, and because the MIPS anchors are covered, the Spark is a great option for girls, as the hair won’t snag.

Pros
  • Cool design
  • MIPS safety technology
  • Well-ventilated
  • Good fit
  • Includes SweatGuide padding
  • Great for kids with long hair
Cons
  • Not a budget option
  • Back of the head doesn’t have too much coverage
  • Buckle can pinch

7. Joovy Noodle

Why we like it: Aside from ticking all the right boxes when it comes to safety, weight, size adjustability, and ventilation, here’s a feature that’s not found in most helmets: bug mesh!

Although you would initially think this is a miniature construction site helmet rather than a bike helmet, the Joovy Noodle is full of useful features that many other helmets don’t have. It is also affordable, and can accommodate changing head sizes for at least a whole decade.

Editor’s Rating:

Age Range

This unique-looking helmet is designed to grow with your kid. In that, the Joovy Noodle now comes in two sizes: XS/S and S/M. The XS/S is suitable for children aged 1 to 4 years, whereas the S/M can fit kids aged from 5 to 10 years.

Safety Technology

The helmet is CPSC-compliant and has a sturdy build. The back of the helmet is not flat, so the bulky, pointy part serves as extra protection in case your child falls on his back. There is a one-piece padding system on the interior, which is very thick and comfortable. A second padding piece is located on the back of the helmet, something that many other helmets don’t have.

Though the helmet’s shell is very protective, it’s built to break (so that your head doesn’t) rather than last. While this does mean that it’s very safe, it also means it might break when dropped or due to an otherwise minor impact.

Comfort

The Noodle is a lightweight helmet, thanks in part to the 14 vents that create a generous airflow in and out of the helmet. All the straps that keep the helmet securely on your kid’s head are made of nylon , and there is a pinch guard where the chin straps get attached. To top it off, the modern dial-adjust system provides a snug fit which won’t annoy your kid to the point that they’ll be taking the helmet off when you’re not around.

Size and Weight

The XS/S and S/M sizes are meant to make the Joovy Noodle the top helmet choice from when your child first climbs on a bike, to the point they want to buy their first teenage/adult helmet. The XS/S suits heads that measure between 18.5 and 20.5 inches, whereas the S/M picks off where the XS/S leaves off, all the way to 22.5 inches. The fit dial on the helmet’s back brings the chin straps together, creating a stable fit on your child’s head, so the helmet won’t wobble once the right size is found—which, given the relatively poor quality of the chin strap, is a necessity. And it only weighs 8 ounces, making it one of the lightest helmets on our list.

Design

Although it looks different from any style of helmets (BMX or mountain bike styles alike), it has an ergonomic design. The shell features an extended visor that not only blocks out much of the sun’s rays, but can also be crucially protective in the event of a fall. The vents are narrow, so in case of rain, your child won’t come home with a totally soaked set of hair.

Value

This is barely a mid-range helmet, in terms of price. In terms of what this affordable piece of headgear offers, it is quite impressive. Available in seven classic colors, what you get is a light, safe, and solid helmet that will make your child want to ride more, just to not have to take it off. Here’s a feature that’s not found in most helmets: bug mesh! If your child is out and about in a less urban place, flies or bees can sometimes find themselves entering the vents of the helmet. But the Joovy Noodle prevents insects from getting caught by adding the bug mesh to the pads around the vents. This makes the helmet ideal for riding in the countryside or in the forest.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Super light
  • Easily adjustable fit
  • Solid internal padding
  • Bug mesh on the front pads
  • Breathable
Cons
  • Design may not be for everyone
  • The hardshell is not made of the most durable quality
  • Chin straps can be flimsy

8. Kali Chakra Youth

Why we like it: We like the hybrid design of the helmet. It sets it apart from other helmets visually, yet is as safe as the best ones on the list, and it’s one of the lightest helmets you can find at this price.

The Chakra from Kali Protectives is more than just a kiddie helmet. Because Kali Protectives primarily specializes in mountain bike gear, they have made sure the Chakra offers all the necessary features that make a bike safe, and then sprinkled it with a very kid-friendly exterior. Skate park or pump track, this helmet is a hybrid when it comes to design and safety, so it is adaptable to any riding circumstances.

Editor’s Rating:

Age Range

The Youth version of the Kali Chakra helmet is suitable for kids who are between 5 to 12 years old. There is also a Child version for younger kids, namely between 2 and 8 years old.

Safety Technology

This helmet is CPSC-compliant, as are all helmets sold within the U.S., which makes them safe enough to wear. It is made of in-mold polycarbonate shell and it has an EPS foam liner—which work about as well as a slightly-superior MIPS system would. The back of the helmet is flat and covers a larger area of the head, thus deeming it safer in case your kid falls on his back.

Comfort

The 21 vents offer plenty of breathability. All vents have different sizing, and the back of the helmet actually has a cool venthole pattern that enhances the way it looks. Unfortunately, none of these vents are located on the side of the helmet, but it still keeps things pretty cool.

Size and Weight

The size of the Kali Chakra Youth makes it suitable for kids between ages 5 and 12. Adjusting the fit is easily achieved through the dial-adjust system on the back. Once you find the right fit for your child, all you have to do is trim off any strap excess. At 10 ounces, it is one of the lightest helmets on our list.

Design

It is not exactly a mountain bike open-face helmet, but it comes close to it. It has a non-removable visor that blocks out the sun from your kids’ eyes. It has no side vents, because they are all located on top and in the back of the helmet. Its enlarged rear prevents the helmet from slipping off your child’s head, but the outside straps will need to be frequently adjusted.

Value

This is a mid-range helmet in terms of pricing. But besides the 3 super funky and attractive colors you can choose from, it comes with another important bonus: a crash replacement guarantee! In the unfortunate event of a crash, if the helmet has even the slightest crack on it, Kali Protectives will provide you with a free replacement!

Pros
  • Light
  • Plenty of ventilation
  • Crash replacement guarantee
  • Cool design
Cons
  • No vents on the sides
  • No MIPS safety technology
  • Straps need frequent adjusting, as they are located on the helmet’s perimeter, rather than on the inside

9. Giro Hale

Why we like it: All the fitting features make this helmet so seamless to wear and to adjust on the go. The design is really sleek and the ventilation is impressive. It is one of the best helmets on the market that you can get at this value.

The Giro Hale helmet is basically an upgraded version of another successful helmet released previously by Giro, namely the Giro Raze. What the Hale offers in addition to its predecessor is an easier-to-use fit adjustment system, as well as an updated safety technology. It is a pleasant mountain bike style helmet with enough design adjustments to set it apart from others and put the Amazon’s Choice seal of approval on it.

Editor’s Rating:

Age Range

This helmet suits children between ages 5 and 12. Giro’s helmets are usually optimal for children with wider heads, which means the helmet could work even for kids over 12.

Safety Technology

If you want to knock off a few bucks, you can get the Hale without the MIPS. But we recommend opting for it, because the MIPS technology on this helmet has been updated. It uses less plastic so that your child’s noggin doesn’t sweat as much. The helmet benefits from a sold in-mold construction.

Comfort

Apart from the comfort the upgraded MIPS technology offers, ventilation is really the key in this helmet, as it has 22 vents. No expense was spared in designing the pads for this helmet, as this Quick-dry padding is meant to prevent sweat from causing discomfort. In addition to the vents, there are also 5 air channels across the helmet, to enhance breathability.

Size and Weight

At barely 9 ounces, the Giro Hale is one of the lightest helmets on our list. This is part due to the excellent ventilation. It comes in a single size (Universal Youth), which is suitable for head circumferences measuring between 19.5 to 22.5 inches. There is a rubber dial on the back which has also been upgraded for the Hale. It is larger, therefore easier to use and it takes even less to secure the helmet on. The helmet features a Roc Loc system that ensures the helmet stays securely on without having to be adjusted mid-ride.

Design

Giro makes some of the best-looking helmet models for children and adults alike. The Hale takes on an open-face mountain bike design that features a removable visor. The visor is big enough to keep the sun out of your child’s eyes but small enough to not weigh down in front. It also features fixed side straps that don’t need additional adjustments, and are soft on the skin too, as opposed to the nylon material most helmets opt for.

Value

The Giro Hale costs just a bit more than a mid-range helmet. But that is if you buy it with the optional MIPS safety technology. The lack thereof marks it down to just below mid-range. The helmet comes in 6 attractive colors your kid can choose from. This helmet is ideal for long rides on trails or uphill.

Pros
  • MIPS safety system
  • Great ventilation
  • Comfortable fit
  • Soft, fixed side straps
  • Easy adjustment
Cons
  • A bit pricey
  • Buckle can pinch

10. Best Looking Helmet: Naranja Minimalista

Why we like it: It is an extremely cute helmet. We love the way it looks and we appreciate that Naranja haven’t flaked out on safety features and material. There is plenty of coverage thanks to its round design, and it is not expensive at all.

Many kids’ highest priority will always be the visual aspect, before they gain a deeper understanding about the importance of safety. There are helmets that look like they’re exclusively about looks, yet still feature the best characteristics of a good helmet. The Naranja Minimalista is one of them, and is especially suitable for girls.

Editor’s Rating:

Age Range

This cute little noggin cover is ideal for children between the ages of 5 and 12. If your little one has a naturally wider head, it could even fit them at 3 years of age.

Safety Technology

The Naranja Minimalista has a shell made out of polycarbonate. As is the case with all helmets made out of this material, it makes them 20% lighter. On the inside, the helmet is equipped with EPS foam, which is the most effective foam for shock absorption. The helmet is CPSC-certified, but lacks MIPS.

Comfort

The 19 vent holes on the Naranja Minimalista helmet make it pleasant to wear and breathable in situations of excessive heat. In addition to the vents, there is also an extra velvet liner that absorbs sweat. The helmet also features a strong and adjustable chin strap that makes the helmet stay securely on your little one’s head.

Size and Weight

This helmet comes in 2 sizes. The Small-sized version is suitable for head measuring between 19 and 21 inches, whereas the Medium fits heads between 21 and 23 inches. Its spin-dial adjust system makes the fitting process much easier and can be done on-the-go. The velvet sweat-preventing layer also contributes to the snug fit.

The big drawback with this helmet is that its not nearly as adjustible as it could be. If you’re right in the middle of one of the size ranges it should fit perfectly fine, but anyone on the outer edges might want to choose a better-fitting helmet.

Design

The classy “half-melon” design makes this helmet perfect for riding in the city and even at the skateparks. It is round, smooth, and creaseless, and the different shapes and placement of the vents just add to the coolness. What really takes the cake is the graphic design and color choices on this helmet. They are a pleasure to look at, and your little girl will feel even prettier and cooler knowing what the helmet looks like on her.

Value

This helmet is just below mid-range, in terms of pricing. It is an affordable, attractive head accessory that is also safe for riding in various situations. The 5 colors and models it comes in are worth the price alone, but it also features an extra travel pouch for when you take your child to the park to ride.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Great design and colors
  • Good ventilation
  • Includes carrying pouch
Cons
  • No MIPS
  • Not too easily adjustable

Guide to Buying the Best Kids Bike Helmet

young girl wearing bike helmet

We chose the 10 best bike helmets for kids, from all across the market spectrum. What we judged them based on are some traits that should come first for anyone who wears them, and especially for you, the parents, who are counting the seconds until your kid safely returns home after riding without your supervision.

Safety

In 2018, it was reported that between 2006 and 2015, 600 children suffered bike injuries every day. Most of the serious injuries occurred to children that did not wear helmets. It is important for your child to understand the importance of wearing a helmet while riding, even if it may not be considered cool by the other kids. It would be even less cool if your child would have to visit any of them in the hospital because they chose style over safety.

Thankfully, most bike helmet manufacturers take this into account, and strive to make their helmets both cool-looking and safe. The best safety technology on the market right now is the MIPS. It stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System and is specially designed to reduce the gravity of injuries occurring at an angled fall. Since most falls happen at some sort of angle – rather than children just falling flat on their back or on their face – the MIPS technology offers that extra piece of mind, for an extra price increase. If the whole purpose of a helmet is to ensure safety, we encourage you to not skim out on helmets that also offer this technology.

Of course, the MIPS is only a token of extra safety. The most important safety features are the material the helmet is made of and the shock resistance of its inner padding. Since all helmets sold in the U.S. are CPSC-compliant, it means they all went through some sort of injury test, and passed it. The most durable helmets are made of polycarbonate material (sometimes referred to as In-Mold construction) and have inner paddings made of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam. It is built so that it feels stiff in the occurrence of hard impacts, and soft on softer impacts.

Comfort

The fact that a helmet is safe doesn’t necessarily make it comfortable to wear. We start from the premise that injuries won’t occur on every single bike ride, so the comfort factor plays an important role in helmet quality.

When things tend to get hot while riding outdoors on a sunny day or in a humid area, sweat can stand in the way of your kid enjoying a relaxing ride. It might even drip down from the forehead over the eyes, creating a totally preventable hazard.

It is important for a helmet to have as many vent holes and airflow channels located across the helmet. A breathable helmet also makes it lighter, and allows the breeze to keep your child’s head cool while riding. Some helmets like the Bell Sidetrack II Youth even come with a sweat-prevention liner, meaning a set of quick-dry pads. These pads absorb the sweat or direct it away from the brows, so that it doesn’t drip down your child’s face while riding.

Also, if you know your child will be doing much of his riding during the summer, consider choosing a light-colored helmet. The darker the color, the more heat it will retain.

Size and Fit

A badly fit helmet cannot guarantee safety. It will deprive your child of its important safety features if it is too large or too tight on the head. That’s why it is very important to read the size measurements on every helmet.

Some helmets come in a universal size, while others have a couple or more options you can choose from. It is very important to measure your child’s head before checking with the size guide of each helmet.

Measure for helmet size implies taking a measuring tape and wrapping it around your child’s head. The tape should be placed right above the brows. The tape level should be kept straight from front to back.

If you prefer to follow along with a video, this kid-friendly guide to fitting a helmet will entertain you and your child alike.

If your child’s head is between sizing, something highly adjustable like the Giro Scamp is your best bet.

Kids’ Bike Helmet FAQ

Do Children Really Need Bike Helmets?

Yes! Not only are children legally required to wear helmets in most areas, but even low-speed falls from a bike or trike close to the ground can seriously injure anyone without a helmet.

How Long Does a Bike Helmet Last?

If a helmet hasn’t been involved in a collision, it should be good for about five to ten years unless you see visible signs of deterioration. However, any helmet that has faced an impact—whether or not it causes visible damage to the helmet—should be replaced immediately, as helmets are sacrificially built to withstand only a single crash.

Bottom Line

Choosing a helmet for your kid may sound like a menial task. But it is actually an important fashion accessory as well as a portable safety measure for when you are not around to supervise them. You should consult your child on what color, design, and style they would prefer their helmet to be, and then take it from there to consider all other aspects. The main purpose is for your kid to wear the helmet when you’re not around, so their opinion should take priority.

Thankfully, all helmets sold in the U.S. have to comply with standard safety regulations, and many feature state-of-the-art impact technology. The market has much to offer, and it’s virtually guaranteed that you and your child will find a product that meets your specific needs. Then you’ll be ready to let your child enjoy hours of safe riding, making the best of their childish energy.