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The Best Bike Helmets for Kids So They Can Shred — Safely

These helmets will keep your kid's noggin both safe and looking stylish.

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—but there are a few other factors to consider as well. 

But how do you help ensure your child stays safe while riding a bike alone or with friends? The answer is relatively simple: You buy him or her the best bike helmet that fits, and ensure he or she wears it every time—even for short jaunts down the block. We’ll say it again: the safest bike helmet is going to be the one they’re willing to put on.

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. Seattle Children’s Hospital offers a handy infographic, which recommends a snug fit one- or two-fingers-width’ from the eyes, with slackless Y-straps over the ears secured snugly under the chin. 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 Kids’ Bike Helmets

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.

Pros: 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.

Cons: It comes in a single size, so please measure your kid’s noggin before ordering.

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A Triple 8 helmet is a stellar option for kids five and older, and is also ideal for skateboarders and roller skaters.

Pros: 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.

Cons: The fit can be a little too bulky for some.

Well, hot damn, that's one bold and fine-looking kids' bike helmet.

Pros: 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 safety standards. But most of all, it just looks so badass that no kids will refuse to wear it.

Cons: Some parents say there’s not enough padding inside the helmet.

This bike helmet is meant for kids eight and older, has 16 vents for an extra cool ride and rear reflectors for added visibility.

Pros: 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.

Cons: Despite overall positive reviews, there are reports of the visor breaking off.

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.

Pros: 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.

Cons: These tend to run big.

The greatest number of positive Amazon reviews is nothing to scoff at, and Schwinn’s Thrasher wins by a landslide. After a century of building bikes and components, the company has learned a few tricks.

ProsAn EPS foam core is protected by a three-piece plastic microshell for a lightweight, protective package. Thanks to a dial on its back, kids ages five to eight can dial in the perfect fit while growing with them over the coming years. We also like the fact that it comes in an adult version, so that you and your child can match. (Don’t laugh — wearing a helmet while riding with your son or daughter is an important factor in his or her use of a helmet.)

ConsWhile this is a great, affordable bike helmet, it’s only available in bigger sizes, precluding it from being used for toddlers. If your child is using a balance bike, he or she needs a helmet now. For those younger riders, another option has to be found.

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.

ProsAs 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.

ConsMany negative reviews complained of the helmet’s inability to be customized to fit, as others are able to do on this list. For that reason, careful attention should be taken and an accurate measurement achieved prior to purchase.

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.

ProsA 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. Girls will especially appreciate the ponytail compatibility, as few others have this feature. 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.

ConsSecond only to the multi-sport helmets on this list, this may be the least breathable helmet here with the fewest number of cutouts. For longer trips, some kids may find it too hot.

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.

ProsWhile 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 a multi-sport design, appropriate in both the skatepark and the approaching streets. It’s best for kids in the latter part of their first decade through the early teens.

ConsIt takes a certain type of dad to buy his son or daughter a skull helmet. If you’re not the type, there are many other less-shocking options available.

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.

ProsFor 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. 

ConsSome complained that the myriad vents allowed longer hair to get stuck, creating a painful removal. For this reason, we’d recommend it for kids with shorter hair.

Bell bicycle helmets are like classic movies that keep improving. A great choice for older kids, eight and up, this one fits head sizes 54 to 58 centimeters, and has 19 vents to keep that head cool and prevent any overheating.

Pros: This Bell bike helmet is lightweight and has outstanding impact absorption. It has enough ventilating to prevent any sweaty heads, and reflectors for added visibility and safety.

Cons: The fit can’t really be customized much.

True, this may be branded for action sports, but your child may not want to look like he’s gearing up for the Tour de France. This bike helmet still meets CPSC and ASTM safety standards as a bike helmet while allowing wider use and a cooler silhouette.

ProsRigid 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.

ConsNot all kids want to look like they’re headed to the X Games, and this style of helmet often runs hotter than the traditional bicycle helmet. As such, if your kid stays away from action sports, there are better options.

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