There’s arguably no more important piece of safety equipment your kid can wear than a helmet. Whether biking, skateboarding, taking out the trash in a hail storm — slap it on ’em. Broken bones heal; brain trauma, not so much. The only problem, as you are no doubt aware, is that they hate wearing helmets. They’re as uncool as having a dad who wears one. Fortunately for their school cafeteria cred, these lids are as cool as that cool thing Kanye just did (see, you’re up on what the kids like).
Yes, this is the droid helmet you’re looking for. Unless you’re looking for BB-8, in which case — it’s here. Both helmets are made by Bell for young Star Wars fans with heads sized 48 – 54 cm. And they are for sale. Now, move along.
Bell R2D2 ($20)
Perfect for heli-parents who want to watch their kids ride to school in real time. Classon incorporated a built-in front and rear camera that can livestream the whole trip (and record it for future teachable moments and/or badass YouTube clips). They also continuously scan the surrounding environment and a series of LEDs under the visor lets the rider know if cars are approaching. Furthermore, they control motion-activated blinkers and brake lights: Throw your arm out to signal a turn, the blinker goes on. Slow down for a stop sign, the brake lights illuminate.
Classon Intelligent Bike Helmet ($149, Pre-order for April 2017)
A kid version of Giro’s popular adult helmets, the Scamp uses Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) Technology — essentially a thin liner that allows the outer shell to slide — to reduce the amount of energy transferred to the head during a crash. It also has a pinch guard buckle to ensure said head fits securely, a built-in visor, and 8 vents for proper ventilation. Ponytail friendly? Yep.
Ages: 8 months +
Giro Scamp w/MIPS ($38)
For the young fashionista/er who wants to look smart while cycling around the neighborhood, the Yakkay is Danish 2-part helmet/cover set that makes it appear as if your kid is wearing a clever chapeau. Buy the base helmet — an in-mold design with expanded polystyrene inner shell — and you can mix-and-match covers. Sherlock Holmes, Bear Bryant … somebody who does Dressage? They’re all available.
Yakkay Helmet & Cover ($131)
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, so you know your kid’s noggin’ will be protected when they inevitably fall doing some terrifying Vallely-style move.
Triple 8 Brainsaver II w/MIPS ($75)
Enough already with the tiny handlebar light and neon ankle cuffs. The T2 uses 10 integrated LEDs in both the front and rear of the helmet to guarantee drivers can safely see your kid riding in the dark. It also lasts 36 hours on one USB charge (6 hours as a steady beam), just in case they get a little lost. The Torch comes in 8 colors and is one-size fits all, using a dial-adjust fit system to ensure heads 54-61 cm fit snugly.
Torch T2 ($150)
Because it’s never too early to teach your kid how to desperately cry out for attention, the Krash Vector is an edgy matte-glossy hybrid with a 3D spiked mohawk. If mohawks aren’t their jam, it’s also available with horns. It does not, however, come with tattoos, piercings, and a job at the local Third Wave coffee shop.
Krash Vector Victor Helmet ($20)
If safety is your top concern (and really, shouldn’t it be?), the Bontrager Solstice is Consumer Reports‘ top-rated youth helmet with a score of 82. It rates excellent in multiple categories, including overall performance and “impact absorption.” It also rocks a removable visor and “proprietary LockDown strap divider” for easy fastening. Because that’s the worst part.
Bontrager Solstice Youth ($40)
Those colorful paint-splat graphics on the front signify that this thing is also ready for a round of paintball. In terms of features, the Little Nutty comes in one size with an adjustable spin dial to fit kids ages 2-to-7. It has a detachable visor, foam lining, and a sweet magnetic buckle for easy, one-handed fastening.
Ages: 2 – 7
Nutcase Gotcha ($104)
Besides not wanting to mess up your perfectly coiffed hair, the main reason you don’t wear a helmet is that they’re a pain in the ass to lug around, right? Morpher leaves you with no excuses. Billed as the “world’s first fold-flat helmet,” it uses internal foam links to flatten down to a mere 1.4 inches. Shove it right in your equally un-dorky bag.
Morpher Folding Helmet ($117, Pre-order for November)