Best Kids Bike Helmet - Kids Gear Guide

The Best Kids Bike Helmet

If you are just in the process of getting your child their first balance bike, pedal bike, or even a scooterbike safety should be a top priority! Perhaps the most essential piece of safety gear, a bicycle helmet is an absolute must for children of all ages. 

A proper fitting kids bike helmet can reduce the risk of head trauma from falls by as much as 85% and the risk of severe brain injuries by close to 90%. Children who don’t wear bicycle helmets (or wear ill-fitting ones) are twice as likely to sustain head injuries. Also, keep in mind that the best way to convince your child to wear his helmet is to wear one yourself. Almost all kids who don’t wear their helmet have parents who don’t either.

When thinking about kids’ bike safety gear, many parents make the mistake of only ensuring that their child has a helmet. While helmets are certainly a very important aspect of safety gear, bike gloves should not be overlooked either. Head over to our guide on the best kids bike gloves for more info and recommendations.

Top Pick
Schwinn Thrasher Bike Helmet

Available in a variety of 12 fun prints, they’re the perfect choice for kids aged 5 years and up!

A word from an expert

According to Dr. Kyran Quinlan, division director and associate professor of general pediatrics at Rush University Medical Center:

“Helmets are designed to prevent very serious head injuries like skull fractures and severe traumatic brain injuries. One thing they don’t do is prevent concussions. Bike helmets are required to comply with mandatory safety standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Helmets designed for other activities aren’t held to the same safety standards, but kids can still wear a bike helmet whether on a scooter, skateboard, or roller skating.

Start them young and create a habit by requiring your child to wear a helmet even when starting off on a tricycle. Lastly, always remember that they’re watching your example – so you’ve got to wear one, too.”

1. Schwinn Thrasher Kids Bike Helmet

Schwinn Thrasher Bike Helmet
  • Age: 5 years +

One of the most popular bike helmets for kids right now is the Schwinn Thrasher. A lightweight helmet with adjustable side straps. The Thrasher is available in sizes for kids aged from five years all the way up to adults. Generally speaking, if a product is durable enough to provide adequate protection to an adult cyclist, you can rest assured that the same quality is afforded to your child’s helmet too.

Aside from just adjustable side straps, the Schwinn Thrasher also features a dial-adjustable fit system with full-range padding for a customized and comfortable snug fit. Adding to the comfortability factor, the Thrasher is designed with 20 top air vents which provide excellent ventilation and breathability on those hot summer rides. On the front of the helmet, Schwinn has included a detachable visor.

The Schwinn Thrasher is available in a child, youth, or adult size option. The child-size is suitable for kids aged 5-8 years, with a head circumference of between 19.63 inches to 22.0 inches. The youth-size is geared towards kids aged 8-13, with a head circumference of between 21.25 inches to 22.88 inches. For kids aged 13 and up, or those with a larger head circumference, an adult-size would be a suitable option too.

Finally, the Thrasher comes in a variety of 12 different design options to choose from. The variety includes both options for boys as well as girls, with size options for each design,

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Most Popular Kids Bike Helmet on the Market
  • Adjustable, Comfortable Fit
  • Size Options for the Whole Family

2. Raskullz Mohawk Toddler Child Helmet

Raskullz Mohawk Toddler Child Helmet
  • Age: 3 – 8 years

Getting kids to wear their helmet consistently can be a real challenge. That’s where the Raskullz Mohawk kids bike helmet comes in handy! Another hugely popular helmet, the Raskullz Mohawk is a firm favorite – particularly among kids who don’t like the look and feel of the traditional bike helmet.

The Raskullz Mohawk is not just a fashion accessory, though. The Raskullz is apart of the Bell brand of helmets, rated as one of the best helmets for kids. CPSC & ASTM Certified, the Mohawk features a shock-absorbing inner shell made of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene). The inner shell is further lined with soft cushion pads, providing extra protection as well as comfort.

Ventilation holes line the top of the helmet, while adjustable straps offer a custom fit. The Mohawk helmet is available in two size options, one for kids aged between 3 and 5 years, and another for 5 to 8-year-olds. Lastly, designed as a multi-sport helmet, the Raskullz Mohawk kids helmet can be used for bike riding, skateboarding, scootering, roller skating, or even with their hoverboard.

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Appealing Design for Kids
  • Made by the Bell Brand
  • Multi-Sport Suitable

3. Razor V-17 Youth Multi-Sport Helmet

Razor V-17 Youth Multi-Sport Helmet
  • Age: 8 – 14 years

Another kids bike helmet deserving of a five-star rating is the V-17 Youth Multi-Sport Helmet from Razor. It complies with CPSC standards and offers superior quality with a modern design.

Hinted in its name, the Razor V-17 features 17 vents across the top and sides of the helmet. The vents provide excellent ventilation and comfort on those hot summer days. Inside the helmet, generous padding ensures a comfortable fit. Razor has also included additional pads as well, allowing you to further customize the fit for even more comfort and protection.

As is to be expected, the chin strap is adjustable and provides a secure and tailored fit. Razor has also gone with a side-releasing buckle. A useful feature than makes securing, adjusting, and removing the helmet an absolute breeze.

The Razor V-17 Youth is great for both boys and girls. It’s available in a variety of six color choices for kids aged between 8 – 14 years. For kids aged between 5-8, there is the Razor V-17 Child version.

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Multi-Sport
  • Additional Pads Included
  • Side-Release Buckle

4. Bell Marvel Spiderman Hero Helmet

Marvel Spiderman Hero Helmet
  • Age: 3 years +

This Multi-sport helmet (made by the trusted helmet brand, Bell Helmet) comes with U.S. CPSC Safety Standard certification. It also complies with U.S. ASTM safety standards for multi-impact helmets too.

The Spiderman print, along with the Mohawk decal, makes it ultra appealing to young Marvel fans. It’s available in nine different Marvel designs, with sizes to suit kids from the age of 3 years right up to 14 years+

The helmet features a shock-absorbing EPS shell, with easy to adjust chin straps for a comfortable, secure fit. Cooling vents line the top of the helmet for further comfort and ventilation.

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Made by the Bell Helmet Brand
  • Marvel!
  • Multi-Sport

5. Schwinn Paw Patrol Toddler and Kids Bike Helmet

Paw Patrol Toddler and Kids Bike Helmet
  • Age: 3 – 8 years

Another excellent kids bike helmet from Schwinn, this time with PAW Patrol graphics. This makes the helmet appealing to kids and they’re far more likely to wear it consistently – particularly toddlers and preschoolers.

The helmet also features Schwinn’s 360° Comfort, with an adjustable dial at the back and full-range padding providing a secure, custom fit. Ten ventilation holes line the top of the helmet, perfect for those hot summer days

The helmet is available in 2 size options: 3-5 years or 5-8 years. The lower section of the shell is extended to provide more protection as well as added durability. Kids of this age group are perhaps the most prone to falls, so this feature is really useful. Both size options are available in prints suitable for girls and boys

3 Reasons To Buy It

  • Made by Schwinn
  • PAW Patrol!
  • 360° Comfort Fit

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve rounded up a few of the most frequently asked questions about kids bike helmets. Got a question we haven’t answered here? Leave a comment and we’ll be sure to get back to you!

How often should you replace a kids bike helmet?

Just like car seats, kids bike helmets should be replaced after a crash, as well as when suggested by the manufacturer.

If you haven’t needed to replace the helmet for the above-mentioned reasons, then a good rule of thumb is to replace helmets every 3 years. Added to the small bumps and knocks sustained from general cycling, the foam inside the helmet also degrades over time due to things like sun, heat, and sweat.

What should a bike helmet look like on kids?

  • The helmet should fit flush against the head from all sides.
  • It should not move over an inch in any direction when pushed or pulled
  • When buckled, it should be impossible to pull the helmet off.
  • The helmet should cover the forehead, leaving about one or two fingers above the eyebrows.
  • When the chin strap is tightened, the left buckle should be under the chin, with no more than one finger fitting under the strap.

How to properly fit a bike helmet for kids

For a bicycle helmet to work correctly, it should fit properly. If it is not comfortable enough, your child won’t want to wear it in the first place, and even if he does wear it, the helmet won’t absorb and distribute shock properly. Many kids’ helmets have a universal fit ring that is adjustable to fit the kid’s head, and others come with sizing pads to secure it better. Don’t go and buy a larger helmet thinking that the child grows into it. If you buy a helmet online, you need to take a measurement of your child’s head to ensure that you at least have a rough indication of what size you will need.

Take the measurement just above the ears, at the largest part of the head. The smallest setting on the helmet should not be larger than your child’s head, as a helmet that is too big simply won’t give the needed protection. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller to measure the helmet for you, or look the hat size up online. If you buy a kiddies bicycle helmet at a brick-and-mortar store, take your child with to ensure a proper fit.

The front of the helmet should be aligned just above your child’s eyebrows (where you measured their head circumference). If the helmet tilts backward to where you can see a large portion of their forehead, then the helmet is either too large or it needs to be tightened. A proper fit is when your child can shake and roll their head without the helmet shifting. 

How to adjust bike helmet for kids

First, adjust the dial at the back of the helmet to ensure a snug fit on the head. Next, you’ll adjust the side straps. The straps should form a “Y” shape on either side, with the “Y” meeting right below the ear. Finally, buckle the chin strap, ensuring that no more than one finger can fit between the strap and your child’s chin.

How do you know when a kids bike helmet is too small?

A bike helmet should provide full coverage of the whole scalp area. If the helmet doesn’t come down enough and leaves areas of the scalp exposed, it is too small. Additionally, if the helmet pinches, it is also too small.

Features to Look for When Buying a Kids Bike Helmet

01

Shell Construction

Look out for helmets featuring MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System). The system is designed to reduce impact and protect riders from a concussion.

02

Adjustability

In order to provide the best fit, look for a helmet with an internal adjustment system. Since every child has a different head shape, added with the fact that kids grow like weeds, having an internal adjustment system will mean that the helmet can offer a custom, snug fit.

03

Foam

The inner part of the helmet is lined with a shock-absorbent foam. Kids’ bike helmets have thicker padding than that of adults, as their heads are softer and more vulnerable. Some manufacturers also include additional foam inserts to provide a secure and snug fit.

04

Straps

The straps and fastener on your child’s helmet should be strong and stable. Don’t buy a model that unbuckles too easily, as it might also unbuckle during a fall, defeating the purpose of the helmet.  Wider straps are more comfortable and helmets with a side-releasing buckle provide greater ease of use.

05

Certification

When buying a kid’s bike helmet, look for one that is CPSC-certified. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) is a government organization that certifies bike helmets for safety, based on a specific set of standards.

There may be many arguments against wearing a helmet, but statistics don’t lie, if you want what is best for your kid, you will ensure that he is protected at all times. However, it is imperative that you know what to look for when picking a helmet, as an ill-fitting one will just lull you into a false sense of security, while it doesn’t actually offer much protection.

Safety Standards

The more expensive kids bike helmets are not necessarily safer than cheaper helmets, they usually just have better ventilation or other features. All helmets have to comply with basic safety standards, but be on the lookout for those with the Snell B90 standards from the United States, as these standards are stricter.  Also, keep in mind that bicycle helmets are not suitable for skateboard and skating use. Kids bicycle helmets are meant to only protect the head from one crash, using a lighter foam that compresses during impact.

After a major accident, you will need a new helmet, whereas skateboarding helmets are designed to handle multiple crashes. Although skateboarding helmets can handle multiple hits without compressing, don’t go buying one of those for cycling now thinking that you will save money. This type of foam can only handle shorter falls, making it unsuitable for bicycles. If you do want a helmet that can be used for different sports, go for a helmet that carries Snell N-94 multi-purpose seal.

Additional Tips When Buying a Kids Bike Helmet

  • Have your child pick out his/her own helmet. There are many helmets on the market that are made to be appealing to boys and girls, with designs including superheroes, cartoon characters, camouflage, dolls, princesses, and even sparkles. If a child really loves his helmet, he would be proud to wear it and you eliminate the battle of getting it on every time before a bike ride.
  • Check for snags. Any fancy features such as an aerodynamic or square shape or even vents can catch onto things when the child takes a fall, something that you want to avoid at all costs. A basic, smooth, rounded model will work best.
  • Check for stickers that carry the safety standards, including the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), ANSI (American National Standards Institute), and Snell marks. This will ensure this helmet design has been properly tested to ensure safe use.
  • Check the weight.  Toddlers don’t have very strong neck muscles, so they can’t wear a heavy helmet. Rather than a bigger, heavier helmet that may fit, buy a special toddler-design for young children.
  • Don’t buy the “aero” shape if you are going to transport a child on a child seat on your bike. This design forces the child’s head downward, which is a bad, unnatural position and puts a strain on the neck.

Conclusion

Buying the right helmet for your kid is just as important as buying the right bike.  In the end, it is the child’s safety that is at stake.  When shopping for kids bike helmets, the higher priced ones with the extra features are not always better. You need to look at the helmet’s seals of safety, size, comfort, and a design that your kid will be proud to wear.

Top Pick
Schwinn Thrasher Bike Helmet

Available in a variety of 12 fun prints, they’re the perfect choice for kids aged 5 years and up!

Join the discussion