Helmets are like shoes. Kids never want to wear them, they only want to wear the ones that don’t fit and finding a pair that properly fits is close to impossible. Why? All too often, kids bike helmets are ill-fitted due to poor design and construction. Heavy, hot and uncomfortable, its not surprise why kids complain. Luckily, over the past few years, great strides have been made to improve the safety, fit and functionality of kid’s bike helmets. No longer mere buckets strapped to their heads, today’s helmets are much more comfortable to wear as they are lighter, slimmer and come in a variety of fun colors. The new Giro Scamp, is a such a helmet.
With years of experience behind them, Giro hit a home-run with the Scamp. Built with lightweight in-mold construction, a dial-adjust system and with optional MIPS technology (explained below), the Scamp has an impressive resume, but just as important, it offers a great fit. Straight out of the box, the Giro was eagerly received by even our pickiest preschool-aged testers. While the chin straps were a challenge to get perfectly right (which is extremely common), both of our testers kept the helmet on for quite a while even after they were done riding.
The Scamp’s main standout feature, however, is its optional MIPS version. Designed to decrease the rotational forces upon the head and neck, MIPS can add an additional layer of safety to kids helmets in certain impacts. Wanting to ensure the technology was truly beneficial, Giro spent several years testing MIPS technologies prior to adding it to their helmets. Their results clearly demonstrated MIPS effectiveness and Giro went on to only add it to their helmets, they also purchased 20% of company that created MIPS.
Inside the helmet, the MIPS system is a thin plastic shell connected to the helmet’s protective foam with flexible anchors. These anchors stretch to allow the helmet to rotate upon impact.
These MIPS anchor’s, however, easily snag and pull on long hair hair when the helmet is removed. Purchasing a helmet without MIPS is an option, or covering the anchors with painter’s tape or another loose fitting tape that will still allow the anchors to move in the event of a crash.
Compared to other helmets in its class, the Scamp is fairly priced at $35 for non-MIPS and $55 for MIPS. Similar in quality, the difference in price is based on the other helmets additional features. To keep down the price, the Scamp does not have locking sliders (the piece that keeps the chin straps in place below the ear) or a non-pinch buckle. Locking sliders help to keep the helmet properly adjusted for kids, but aren’t necessary if you regularly check to make sure the sliders in place.
The Lazer, also has an Autofit system that automatically adjusts to your child head, while the Scamp and Uvex have a dial-adjust system.
The Giro Scamp with MIPS is exceptional. Lightweight, comfortable, easy to use and readily available, the MIPS Scamp is one of our hands-down favorites for toddlers. For those on a budget, the $35 non-MIPS comes in more colors (MIPS is only available in pink and blue) and still offers exceptional fit and quality for the price.
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