If your kid is going biking, he or she needs a solid kids helmet. The best kids bike helmet is, of course, the one your child will love wearing while off-roading, which means it needs to look like something your kid will actually want to strap on — but there are a few other factors to consider as well.
The American Academy of Pediatrics confirms what you already know: a helmet is effective at preventing a traumatic brain injury during a bike crash — but only if it fits correctly and is secured appropriately.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has some clear-cut tips for making sure the helmet fits.
- The bike helmet should sit level on the head and low on the forehead, which means about one or two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
- The chin strap should be snug, so nothing more than a finger can fit under it.
- To make sure the helmet fits correctly, have your kid yawn wide. If the helmet does not pull down on his or her head, you need to tighten the chin strap.
- If the helmet rocks back two or more finger-widths above the eyebrows, you need to shorten the front strap. If the helmet rocks forward into the eyes, the backstrap needs to be tightened.
But a helmet’s protection is only as good as its construction, and two organizations — the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) — work to ensure helmets’ components are ready to protect. Always look for at least one, as do the options on this list. The rest is up to you and your child.
Best Bike Helmets for Toddlers
A solid choice for beginner riders from a trusted name in the cycling world.
This bike helmet has cooling vents, high-impact reflectors to improve visibility, and a pinch guard that ensures pinch-free buckling. It’s CPSC-compliant for bikes.
For the toddler who wants to make a style statement.
Great for kids three and older, this CPSC-compliant helmet is as sturdy as it is badass. It has an adjustable strap fit system, and a shock-absorbing EPS shell. It’s specifically designed for smaller noggins.
Giro bike helmets have a distinctive, rounded look to them. Dads who bike also know that the company is legendary in the cycling world, and often gravitate to a brand they know and trust. This is a safe bet.
A polycarbonate shell on this bike helmet protects an EPS liner to cushion and spread impacts. It’s also nice to have a built-in visor. Finally, it comes in a range of circumferences, and the smallest, extra small (47 to 51 centimeter circumference), will fit children in their first year, making it an appropriate choice for those looking for an infant bike helmet or a toddler bike helmet. It’s CPSC-certified for biking only.
Best Bike Helmets for Kids
The Nutcase Little Nutty bike helmet has a magnetic buckle and is made of durable ABS (that stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, which is a fancy way of talking about a certain kind of tough, molded plastic). It comes in a single size, so it's best for kids ages two to seven.
This kids bicycle helmet has a standout magnetic clip, so you can close it without pinching any skin. The designs are insanely cool. The size is adjustable thanks to three different inserts. And the helmet is ASTM-certified for biking, scooting, and skateboarding.
A Triple 8 helmet is a stellar option for kids five and older, and is also ideal for skateboarders and roller skaters.
The only thing you really need to know about Triple 8’s Brainsaver is that it’s the helmet of choice of badass pro skateboarder Mike Vallely. For years Mike V refused to don a helmet, but now he has 2 girls, so suck it. It’s dual certified for bikes and skateboarding and also incorporates MIPS technology, which improves protection during angular impacts – not just head-on collisions. It’s ASTM-certified.
Well, hot damn, that's one bold and fine-looking kids' bike helmet.
This kids’ bike helmet, from the Bell brand, is made from thermoplastic rubber, has an open ventilation system, and an adjustable fit system. It complies with CPSC and ASTM safety standards. But most of all, it just looks so badass that no kids will refuse to wear it.
This bike helmet is meant for kids eight and older, has 16 vents for an extra cool ride and rear reflectors for added visibility.
This popular kids’ bike helmet has what the brand calls PinchGuard for pinch-free buckling, and features fusion construction technology for a solid yet lightweight design. It’s CPSC bike-compliant.
Damn, these are some good-looking bike helmets. They're CPSC- and ASTM-certified as well. The bike helmet has an EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) inner shell designed to absorb impact, and soft pads cushion the inside.
If you get your kid a badass helmet, you’ll never have to beg and plead for him or her to wear it. The Krash helmet combines total safety, with killer design. There’s ample ventilation as well, to prevent sweaty melons.
While flashy patterns are all well and good for younger kids, as your child approaches tween-hood, he or she may not want the flashy patterns of the early years. The Razor V-17 Youth Multi-Sport helmet comes in fun colors but ditches the cutesy patterns for fashion-conscious ages eight to 14.
s kids bike to and from the skatepark, they’ll need a helmet that can perform in both. That’s why we like the V-17, which has 17 vents to ditch heat during high-output activities. It also comes in a number of colors so that he or she can find the perfect look. It’s CPSC-compliant.
Some kids just want to burn down the world. For them, the skull-imprinted Mongoose MG77927-2 offers a grinning death mask with which they can terrorize the suburban roads and city streets while you and your partner gasp in mock horror.
While the cavernous eye sockets on its rear are certainly noteworthy, they also allow airflow to your kid’s noggin, which is pumped in through ports on the front. We also liked the bike helmet’s plush pads inside, which were some of the most comfortable on this list. This is an ASTM-certified multi-sport helmet, for scootering, skateboarding, and biking. It’s best for kids in the latter part of their first decade through the early teens.
Forget all the tech specs and inflated prices; this Bell bike helmet is a quality option with simplicity and affordability. If you’re looking for excellent protection without dropping a ton of money, this is it.
For kids aged five to eight, the Rally customizes its fit with each wear thanks to an internal harness system. It’s a simple and effective means of making sure the best fit is achieved without a lot of time-consuming manual adjustment. Sixteen vents offer a ton of breathability for summer days, which a pinch-proof buckle helps prevent injury. It’s CPSC-certified for biking only.
This bike helmet still meets CPSC and ASTM safety standards as a bike helmet while allowing wider use and a cooler silhouette.
Rigid foam with a hard protective shell ensures your child is protected when wearing this bike helmet, while ventilation ports keep him or her cool. We also like its range of sizes (even big enough for you). The small is appropriate for ages five and up, but confirm your son or daughter’s head circumference prior to purchase.
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