Best Bike Helmets for Kids

After extensive research, these are the best helmets to keep your kiddos safe on the road without breaking the bank.

When looking for the ideal helmet for your child, you’ll want to consider a variety of both safety and comfort factors. After all, if a helmet is uncomfortable, your kid won't want to wear it. The table below lists some of the most important features of our top helmet picks and shows how each helmet stacks up against the competition.



Best for babies and toddlersBest value Best safety pickBest multi-sport helmetStyle pick

Giro Scamp

Razor V-17 Youth Multi-Sport

Bell Sidetrack

Retrospec CM-1

Krash Black Gator

List price
Head circumference

49–53 cm

53–57 cm

47–57 cm

51–63 cm

54–58 cm

Adjustability

Pads and dial

Pads

Pads and dial

Pads

Pads

Buckle type

Non-pinch

Standard

Non-pinch

Standard

Standard

Construction

In-mold

Hardshell

In-mold

Hardshell

Hardshell

Certification

CPSC 5+

CPSC

CPSC 5+

CPSC

CSPC and ASTM

Visor type

Integrated

None

Detachable

None

None

Number of vents

8

17

15

8

6

Amazon.com prices as of 04/29/21 10:37 am MST. See full disclaimer.

Bike helmets for kids: Our top 3 picks

1. Giro Scamp Helmet: Best for babies and toddlers

Best for babies & toddlers

It can be tricky to find a helmet that fits smaller heads, but parents love that the Giro Scamp offers the latest safety technology and fun designs in a helmet that fits children from twelve months up to age five.

The Giro Scamp comes in a rainbow of bright, fun colors that your kids will love to wear (and it will be easier to see on bike rides). It also comes with an anti-pinch buckle to keep little faces safe from accidents (ouch!). And we like the built-in visor that protects their eyes from the sun.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Optional MIPS Technology (Multidirectional Impact Protection System)
Pro Bullet Flat back with a low profile
Pro Bullet Room for a ponytail
Pro Bullet Adjustable size
Pro Bullet Pinch-guard buckle
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Fewer vents
Con Bullet Slippery strap that can loosen during the ride.

2. Razor V-17 Youth Multi-Sport Helmet: Best value

With a cool shape that will make your kid feel like an X-Games pro, the Razor V-17 is stylish and comfortable, and it offers more protection than a typical bike helmet.

With a whopping 17 vents in this helmet, your kids will keep a cool head during all their long bike rides, skateboarding lessons, and rollerskating in the park.

It comes in a wide range of colors, but depending on your child's head shape, it might not be the best fit. Pricing may also vary based on the color helmet you choose.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Multi-sport functionality
Pro Bullet Whole head coverage
Pro Bullet Comfort and style
Pro Bullet Affordable price
Pro Bullet Excellent impact absorption
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Heavy
Con Bullet Difficult to adjust with pads and chin strap
Con Bullet Lacking a visor

3. Bell Sidetrack Helmet: Best safety pick

The Bell Sidetrack has a trendy, mountain-bike style design, and safety experts give it top ratings for crash protection. It’s priced reasonably, and its extra comfort features put it near the top of our list for best kids’ bike helmets.

The Bell Sidetrack is ergonomically designed to keep the helmet tough but lightweight and prevent head damage. Although it takes some finessing to get it to fit properly, its quick-adjust fasteners help form it to your child's head (even as they grow).

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Visor
Pro Bullet MIPS option
Pro Bullet Covered MIPS anchors
Pro Bullet Easy-to-adjust tri-glide strap sliders
Pro Bullet Extended rear coverage
Pro Bullet 1-year warranty
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Hard-to-reach dial
Con Bullet Excess strap

4. Retrospec CM-1 Helmet: Best multi-sport helmet

Best multi-sport helmet

The Retrospec helmet comes in three sizes (small, medium, and large) to fit kids 14 and up. Its hardshell design makes it a good fit for skateboarding, rollerblading, or riding bikes.

The Retrospec comes in plenty of colors to suit your kiddo's personality (we're partial to the cool wood grain pattern).

Inside the helmet, you'll find high-quality EPS foam to pad your child's head and protect from injury. Plus, it comes with two interchangeable pads to customize the fit further.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Variety of matte colors
Pro Bullet EPS foam lining
Pro Bullet Interchangeable pads
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Best for 14+

5. Krash Black Gator: Style pick

When it comes to looking awesome, the Krash Black Gator multi-sport helmet takes the prize. Any kid will be eager to wear a helmet that’s sprouting a Mohawk.

But it's not just about looks—the Krash is certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and it has vents to keep your child feeling—and looking—very cool.

Just be careful when storing it, as some parents say the silicone spikes can easily get bent out of shape.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Appealing style for kids
Pro Bullet CSPC and ASTM certified
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Silicone spikes can be easily damaged

Final word

From family bike rides to riding off to school, your kids need a sturdy, comfortable helmet to keep them safe on bicycles. Kids aged 5 to 14 and teens from 15 to 19 years old have the highest rates of bicycle-related injuries.1

Small children, especially, can be hard for motorists to see and are vulnerable to accidents too. Even little spills can cause scrapes and scars on their face that a helmet can protect against.

We recommend leading by example. Wear your own helmet when you go with your kids on rides, whether you're biking, skateboarding, or rollerblading. Starting the helmet habit early will help them stay safe throughout their life.

How we reviewed the best bike helmets

To research the best bike helmets for kids, we studied the products available on the market, checked out what the industry was saying about them, and looked for products that consistently received favorable reviews and high ratings. Learn more about our methodology.

FAQ

EPS stands for Expanded Polystyrene. It’s the same kind of foam used to make disposable picnic coolers. A higher-quality EPS is often used to make bike helmets because it’s both rigid and lightweight.

MIPS stands for Multidirectional Impact Protection System. Swedish scientists developed MIPS technology for bike helmets to reduce stress on the skull from rotational impacts.

It cradles the head in a second inner shell that attaches to the outer helmet shell with elastic bands to absorb impact and allow the head to rotate in a controlled way during a crash. The biomedical team who developed MIPS actually based its design on the way the brain is naturally protected inside the skull.

The helmet should be snug on their head and come just to the top of their ears. If your child’s eyebrows move when you shift the helmet on their head, that’s a good indicator that it’s snug enough.

The strap should be tight against their chin when they open their mouth all the way but loose when their mouth is closed. The helmet should rest on the forehead about two adult finger widths above the eyebrows.

A traditional bike helmet is lighter and has more vents than a multi-use (skater-style) helmet, so kids often find them more comfortable. But multi-use helmets are usually dual certified, so they can be used for biking, riding a scooter, skateboarding, and more.

Plus, they often provide a better fit for kids with asymmetrically shaped heads. Multi-use helmets can offer more protection for the back of the head as well.

All helmets have an inner EPS (foam core) layer and an outer plastic shell. Bike helmets are usually made with in-mold construction, where the EPS is fused to a thin plastic shell, keeping the shell from cracking or separating from the helmet.

With hardshell construction, the plastic shell is thicker, so it can’t be fused to the EPS. Instead, it’s glued to the foam core. ASTM standards require multi-use helmets to be more durable than bike helmets, which is why multi-use helmets are usually hardshell.

The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) is a US government organization that certifies US bike helmets for safety based on a specific set of cycling safety standards.

The ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) is an independent, international nonprofit organization that tests and certifies multi-sport helmets for everything from horseback riding to snowboarding to mountain biking. For bike helmets, look for a helmet that’s at least CPSC certified.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

1. Centers for Disease Control, "Bicycle Safety," June 2017. Accessed April 29, 2021.

Disclaimer

*Amazon.com list price as of 04/29/21 10:37 a.m MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of this date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any prices and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Kasey Tross
Written by
Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers.
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