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Wearing a helmet whenever going for a bike ride is a crucial safety precaution that both kids and adults should stick to. The sooner you teach your child to wear a baby bike helmet, the better.
Wearing a helmet has NO disadvantages, so there’s no reason to avoid using one. They protect the head from more serious injuries which can happen even at low speeds and on short rides. This is especially important for kids, as kids’ heads and brains are still developing.
When looking for the ideal baby helmet for your child, you should consider safety, comfort, and looks. The helmet needs to be safe, but your child won’t wear it if it’s not comfortable or it doesn’t look good. Finding a middle ground is crucial!
If they see their parents wearing a helmet, they’ll want one as well.
The article below includes our recommendation of the 14 best kids’ bike helmets that check all of these boxes!
The helmet must fit a child’s head perfectly in order to provide the best possible protection!
That’s why choosing the right helmet size for your kid is of utmost importance.
Helmet sizes refer to the circumference of your child’s head. To get your child’s circumference, you should use a tape measure and measure just above the eyebrows, around the temples.
However, child bike helmets also come in different shapes. Some are narrow and long, others are wide and short. If your child has a narrow head and you get them a wide helmet, it might not fit well.
If you’re not sure what shape your child’s head is, getting a skate-style helmet is a safe way to go, as they have a round shape that fits most kids.
There are also boys’ and girls’ bike helmets, though the majority of models fit both genders.
Best Kids’ Bike Helmet! Best Design and Price
MSRP: $60 – $75 (REI.com)
Nutcase makes nutty helmets that any kid will ASK to wear. The most recognizable feature of these helmets are fun and colorful designs which make wearing a helmet seem appealing. That’s why they are our top pick.
The Baby Nutty (infants) and Little Nutty (toddlers and youth) series offer more than 20 unique designs to choose from.
However, Nutcase helmets have more to offer than good looks. They’re equipped with the MIPS technology that protects the head from rotational forces which are very common when falling from a bike.
The interior of the helmet is made from compliant EPS foam that offers excellent protection and soaks up impact in case of a crash.
Parents will also like the magnetic buckle on the straps that is unlikely to pinch the child’s neck and cause chaos to ensue (trust me, I’ve been there). A dial fit is incorporated as well on the back of the helmet, so finding the perfect position is a breeze.
So if you want a helmet that offers phenomenal protection and that your child will actually WANT to wear, get one of the Nutcase models.
— or see the Little Nutty Youth and Toddler helmets —
Best Toddler Helmets
MSRP: Check on Amazon
Convincing a child to wear a bike helmet is not always that easy, but it shouldn’t be a problem doing it with one of these Schwinn kids’ bike helmets. What kid wouldn’t like to wear a panda, bear, firefighter, or a police bike helmet? Choose among boys’ and girls’ bike helmets.
Related: Kids Bike Accessories
Apart from being fun, funky, and bright, these Schwinn cool bike helmets are also characterized by excellent durability and great protection. The lower molded shell of the helmet provides protection where it is most necessary, which is what matters the most.
These cycle helmets are available in two sizes — Infant and Toddler and together fit a range of head circumferences between 44cm and 52cm.
Finding the right size will not be an issue, especially thanks to the dial fit mechanism that allows you to adjust the size precisely for small or large heads.
Best Kids’ Bike Helmet with MIPS
MSRP: Check on Amazon
Giro Scamp is by far one of the best toddler bike helmets for the money. It has everything you can ask in terms of protection, comfort, style, and ease of use, but it does not break your bank.
It comes in 8 different colors and designs, so you can let your child pick the one they like the most. That way, they will gladly wear it every time!
Giro Scamp comes with MIPS technology that offers additional protection and an in-mold polycarbonate shell that’s super strong.
Thanks to the Roc Loc Jr. fit system with a pinch-guard buckle, you can easily find the perfect fit. This children’s helmet is also ponytail compatible and comes with a built-in visor, both of which greatly improve comfort.
Giro Scamp is also pretty lightweight, so kids will absolutely love it!
This is a cheaper and more basic version of the Giro Scamp kids’ bike helmet without the MIPS technology. Therefore, it offers slightly less protection against rotational impact, but it’s just as safe in cases of direct impact during a crash.
If you have a limited budget, this is a decent choice made by a reputable manufacturer. Even though it’s affordable, it does not mean it is not jam-packed with fantastic safety and comfort features.
For example, the Roc Loc Jr. fit system has a pinch-guard buckle that eliminates the risk of pinching your kid’s chin while fitting the helmet.
This Giro kids’ helmet is built with an in-mold polycarbonate shell with an EPS Liner. That’s the same composition seen in Giro’s adult bike helmets, but just in a smaller package.
That makes Scamp an excellent youth bike helmet!
Most Colorful Design
MSRP: Check on Amazon
Schwinn Infant is one of the cheapest and the funkiest baby safety helmets on this list. It’s intended for kids up to three years old, with a head circumference between 44 and 50 cm.
It comes in three fun colors that improve its visibility. The selection includes both boys’ and girls’ bike helmets. Getting the right fit is pretty easy thanks to an adjustable dial fit that provides 360-degree adjustability.
The front of the helmet has several large vents that offer excellent ventilation on hot summer days, plus it is very lightweight, so it feels comfortable on the head.
Schwinn Polkadot has a flat rear end, which also makes it suitable for stroller and bike trailer rides!
If you want the best toddler helmet that looks great and has excellent safety features, this Schwinn helmet is a win-win.
Best Skate-Style Kids’ Bike Helmet
MSRP: $60 (REI.com)
The Nutcase Baby Nutty is a fun-looking and technology-packed baby helmet for the tiniest of riders. It’s intended for infants and toddlers and is the perfect choice for balance biking or bike trailer riding.
It’s available in four exciting design patterns in different colors, with prints of sharks, dinosaurs, hearts, and flowers. Any child will love it.
When it comes to safety, Nutcase Baby Nutty features MIPS technology which offers protection from rotational motion. The inside is fitted with Crumple Zone EPS foam that offers soft and reliable impact protection.
The updated Fidlock® snap-and-go magnetic buckle system will make life easier for both parents and kids — a super-easy mechanism that eliminates pinches.
Baby Nutty bike helmet is great for warm days as it comes with 11 large vents that cool down the baby’s head!
Best Multi-Sport Children’s Helmet
MSRP: Check on Amazon
Do you have a hyperactive child that simply does not stop? In that case, a multi-purpose and multi-sport helmet such as this Triple Eight model is a smart choice. This is a skate-style cool kids’ helmet that can be used for biking, skateboarding, scooters, BMX, roller derby, and commuting. It’s certified for all of these purposes.
Triple Eight is characterized by a strong ABS shell lined with compliant protective EPS foam that absorbs impact forces if a crash occurs.
This kids’ bike helmet is available in six colors which are not too bright, so they are excellent for kids who want to be more serious — like adults.
The fit is easily adjusted using straps or replaceable fit pads that can be washed. They also wick moisture and ensure a more enjoyable ride in hot and humid weather.
If you want the best toddler helmet that can do it all, Triple Eight is an excellent and affordable option!
Best Kids’ Bike Helmet w/ WaveCel Technology
Bontrager Jet WaveCel is an affordable skate-style bike helmet characterized by durability, good-looking design, and excellent safety features.
It’s available in three bright colors that kids will fall in love with easily. The colors are more suitable for boys, but the helmet can certainly fit and protect girls as well.
The proprietary WaveCel construction uses a collapsible cellular structure that reduces rotational forces. To ensure the best possible fit, the Fidlock magnetic buckle fastens quickly for a quick, secure, kid-friendly fit.
When it comes to comfort, Bontrager Jet WaveCel has soft and thick helmet pads that can be removed and washed regularly.
All of this makes Bontrager Jet WaveCel one of the best bang for the buck in this category!
Best Enduro-Style Kids’ Bike Helmet
The Spark Jr. is one of Bell’s most popular kids’ bike helmets to date. It is an enduro-style helmet, but it can be used for all types of riding.
Bell Spark Jr. comes standard with MIPS technology that protects the head from rotational impact, along with other comfort and safety features.
One of these is the improved Ergo Fit system that helps you adjust the fit of the helmet more precisely for better comfort and protection.
Moreover, the no-twist straps system ensures they are always flat against the head and the sweat guide wicks sweat away from the eyes.
If you need an enduro-style helmet for trail or park riding, Bell Spark Jr. is an excellent budget option.
Most Visible Design
The POC POCito Omne bike helmet is one of the best you can get, as far as technology is concerned. This helmet is inspired by POC’s adult helmets, but it is made to meet the needs of kids.
First of all, POCito features SPIN technology which protects against rotational impact during crashes. It is very similar to the MIPS technology, by allowing pads inside the helmet to move in all directions and redirect impact forces.
The lightweight in-mold construction comes with an EPS liner that ensures the best possible protection in case of direct head impact.
POCito Omne is suitable summer use thanks to large vents that suck air up from and direct it towards the rear, thus maximizing airflow.
The helmet is available in three highly visible fluorescent colors with reflective details that further improve visibility.
It’s a safe choice!
Best for Off-Road Riding
The Smith Zip Jr. is a proper all-mountain kids’ bike helmet! It’s intended for tiny riders and weighs just 9.5 ounces. Apart from very cool design and colors, this Smith helmet is packed with other useful and desirable features.
First of all, it comes standard with MIPS technology which protects against rotational impact, in addition to protecting against direct impact.
The helmet sits low on the kids’ head, extending down the sides and the back of the head, thus offering even more protection than standard helmets.
This Smith helmet has a total of 21 vents that cool down the head and lower the weight of the entire construction. The fit is also easy to adjust thanks to the VaporFit system.
If you need a proper XC/All-mountain helmet for the youngest rider in your family, the Smith Zip Jr. will get the job done.
Best Ventilation System
Bern Bandito is a seriously cool-looking bike helmet any kid will love to wear on every single bike ride. It comes in two colors — white and blue — which makes it suitable for boys and girls alike.
The Bandito is available in two sizes — S-M and M-L — so it fits kids of different ages. That also means you can use this helmet for a long time before the child grows out of it.
When it comes to the construction and the protection, a thin ABS shell makes the outer structure, with soft EPS foam protecting the head inside.
The Crank FIT and Sink FIT designs ensure a proper fit on every child’s head and keep the helmet firmly in place in case of a crash.
All in all, Bern Bandito has an excellent value for money and a great cool factor!
Best Comfort and Adjustability
No matter what kind of riding your kid does, they need to wear a high-quality helmet! Bell Sidetrack is a versatile helmet suitable for rides in the backyard, around the park, or down some proper trails.
Bell Sidetrack combines fun looks, comfort, and protection in an affordable package. It’s available in two sizes — Child and Youth — so finding the right fit is easy.
This helmet is characterized by the integrated MIPS technology and a fusion in-mold polycarbonate shell. This type of shell is pioneered by Bell and results in stronger and lighter helmet construction.
Apart from that, Bell Sidetrack features no-twist straps and an Ergo-Fit mechanism that lets you position the helmet firmly on the head.
Your kid will love this helmet especially if you let them choose their favorite design out of the four available ones — blue/pink, white, matte black, yellow/red.
Best Full-Face Helmet for DH
Fly Racing Default is a full-face kids’ bike helmet intended for extreme sports on two wheels. If you have a fearless boy or girl and you want to protect them while they’re doing BMX or trail tricks, this helmet is made for that.
Fly Racing can also be used for Freerides and Downhills, but it’s certified for Jet Skiing as well.
Protection is guaranteed by an EPS foam liner that encircles both the head and the face. The pads inside the helmet are removable and washable, so you can maintain the helmet clean.
Other selling points include plenty of vents, aluminum visor screws, a padded chin strap with a D-ring closure, and so much more. However, the best selling point is definitely the design — the red/black paint job looks mean!
Unique and Fun Design
MSRP: Check on Amazon
Krash! is the most unique and the most fun looking kids’ helmet we’ve seen thus far! If you or your little rider are Mad Max fans, you’ll love this helmet.
It features a moto-inspired design and paint job with a bendable rubber 3D mohawk. I don’t think there’s a kid out there that won’t think this Krash! helmet is cool and that would refuse to wear it.
Apart from the design, the Krash! helmet delivers in terms of comfort and protection as well. It’s fitted with shock-absorbing EPS shell with soft pads that improve comfort.
A system of cooling vents promote airflow and the adjustable strap fit system ensures finding the proper fit.
Overall, Krash! has everything necessary to be called one of the best youth helmets out there!
To ensure the maximum possible protection that a bike helmet can provide, you have to get the best possible fit. To do this, you can simply follow these five simple steps below.
Children’s bike helmets don’t have an expiration date, but they should be replaced every 5 years. The reason is that small impacts add up and some materials naturally degrade over time. Also, if defects or cracks are noticed, the helmet should be replaced immediately.
It depends. If the helmet sustained an impact during the crash and you can see any scrapes, dents, or cracks, it should be replaced. Better to be safe than sorry.
Wearing a helmet should not be negotiable. A helmet should be presented as an integral part of riding a bike — no helmet means no riding. This goes for balance bikes as well. However, if kids see parents wearing a helmet and they like the design of their own helmet, they usually gladly wear them.
You need to measure the circumference of the head with a tape measure. Measure just above the eyebrows and make a straight circle around the head.
The selection of kids’ bike helmets is insane, so choosing just one is hard. However, our personal favorites are Schwinn helmets for babies and toddlers and Bern Nino Jr for older kids.
Sizing a helmet based on age is not a good method to get the proper fit. It’s best to measure your kids’ head circumference and buy a helmet according to that size.
Babies need to wear a helmet to protect their head and brain against injuries in case of a fall. Babies are even more susceptible to serious brain injury than adults, so helmets are a must. However, children should not wear a helmet until they are 12 months old.
To choose the best helmet for your child, you need to consider what type of riding they do and buy the right size. The design also matters a lot, so choose a helmet that looks fun. Make sure to also get a model that has tried and true safety features.
Related: Best Kids Bikes
Safety first, from a very early age!