Giro Scamp

Giro Scamp

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.
Giro Scamp in MotionWith 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.
Giro Scamp SweatThe 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.
Giro Scamp MIPSThese 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.
Giro Scamp Compare 3

The Lazer, also has an Autofit system that automatically adjusts to your child head, while the Scamp and Uvex have a dial-adjust system.

Giro Scamp ComparisonThe Scamp is also the slimmest helmet of the three.  With a narrower profile in the back, the Scamp is also well suited for trailer or bike seat use, in addition to bikes.
Giro Scamp Compare 2

Bottom Line

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.

Where to Purchase

The Giro Scamp is available at many local bike shops (click to find a shop near you) or on Amazon in MIPS and non-MIPS.


      • Janet M

        I bought the giro scamp helmet (non-mips), and for the life of me, I cannot adjust the strap. I emailed the company twice and have not gotten a response.

        It seems like it adjusts on one side only – and you have to thread the straps through the helmet to get both sides even. Except they won’t budge.

        • Sorry to hear that your didn’t get a response from them, that annoying, but I’m glad to help. I went ahead and got my Scamp out and you are right, only one of the straps adjust. As long as the sliders (the plastic clip that connects the two straps below the ear), are in the right place, the buckle does not have to be centered below the chin. So as long as you can shorter the one side enough to create a snug fit below the chin as well as center the sliders below the chin, then the helmet should fit fine. I will say, however, that the chin strap is really long (too long in my opinion), so it does hang out when tightened all the way down (as shown in several of the pictures above). In fact, after looking on the pictures above, in the last picture, the sliders on the Uvex are properly placed below the ear, while the others are not. The Giro is not tight enough and the Lazer is not centered below the ear.

          I hope that helps, if not, let me know.

          • Janet M

            Thank you. My husband got a good fit on her with it, with the buckle off center.

          • Collin Bradford

            I was just trying to adjust my son’s Giro Scamp and found this site searching for a solution. I eventually solved it. The two sides of the straps are actually joined in the very back of the helmet. It’s held in place by a black plug that is inserted from the outside and the straps go through it on the inside. It’s a little tough to do, but you can pry that plug out from the outside with your fingernails and then you can slide the strap in it to adjust the amount of the strap that is on each side.

            • Awesome find! I clearly missed that, and a little embarrassed that I did, but oh well, now we know. I will take some picture and add that to the review. Thanks!!

      • Robert M

        I purchased the Giro Scamp MIPS helmet for my 4yo mainly after reading the glowing review on this website. It is indeed a very good looking, sleek, and light weight helmet. My daughter has long silky hair and every time I put this helmet on her, a few hair strands get stuck in the yellow plastic pins inside the helmet. (I suppose these are the MIPS anchors). It is quite painful for her to get it off. After 2 or 3 wearings, she is totally refusing to wear it anymore. Has anybody come across similar problem? Any solution to it? I would hate to let go of an otherwise good helmet. Also does it mean that every MIPS helmet would have a similar issue?

        • Wow, I am so sorry. I clearly didn’t even consider that in my review as I only tested the helmet on boys. That is clearly my mistake. I will be sure to test it out on some girls now and I can absolutely see how this would be a problem. Due to their longer hair, helmets do fit differently on girls than boys. We had this problem several times with my daughter when she was younger and addressed it then, but need to do it again. As you mentioned, I assume the anchors on all MIPS helmets would have the same problem. As a potential solution, I got out the helmet used in this review and applied tape over the anchors, which would prevent hair from being stuck in it. The tape adheres to the inner shell without preventing it from moving. While this may be the perfect solution, since the tape could now get stuck in her hair if it came lose, I think it might be worth a shot. I used painters tape so that the anchors could still slide if needs to. Although duct tape would hold better, I would be concerned that it could prevent the inner shell from shifting upon the event of a crash. Sorry again for not being thorough in my review. Please keep me posted if the tape solution works or if you come up with another one.

          • Robert M

            Thanks Natalie. I sure will try the painters tape and convince her to give it one more try. And, hope that the tape itself doesn’t stick to her hair. Good thing that I got the helmet at REI so I can always give it back and get the non-MIPS version. I like the MIPS technology from safety point of view but the manufacturers must address this obvious design flaw. I didn’t see a link for customer service email on Giro website, I will look harder tonight.

      • Iva

        Hi, I am currently trying to find a helmet for my two year old, but am really struguling… It seems he fits the smallest models, but I am hesitating buying it because it will clearly last only one season. Anyway this site is a big help in trying to find quality helmets. Really this is just what you want out of reviews- a good comparison and someone who acctualy uses and tests the producs, not just open the box…
        But I have a question about the last pictures- shouldn’t the straps be tight? The Giro and Lazer have it quite loose, but Uvex seems to fit. In my country the helmets are usually sold in kids stores and the staff are not so skilled at fittings, but I don’t want to spend such money and then be frustrated because it will not fit properly. (already have one of those) Do you also have a “how do you know a helmet fits” page?

        • Yes, good eye. The straps are way too lose on the P’Nut and the Giro. I’ll admit, for those photos I was just showing a comparison on the same head. He was wearing and testing out the Hero at the time (which is why that one is fitted properly) and I just swapped helmets quick for a picture. Actually, the Giro is too lose in the picture of him riding a bike as well, I really need to work on that!

          As for fit, I don’t have a page, but I probably should put on together. In addition to circumference, you want to make sure the helmet is not too far up or down on the head. Some kids have rounded shaped heads and others oval, so not all head circumferences will fit the same head. The best way to check this is to look at their ears. If the helmet (not the strap) is touching their ears or more than about 2 inches above the top of their ear, then the helmet is too deep or too shallow for their head. Some brands have adjusters that allow you to adjust top to bottom, but it is rare in a kids helmet (can’t think of a brand off hand). The chin strap is also important. The sliders should form a triangle at the base of the ear (as shown on the Uvex above) and not be touching the ear or lose, like the Lazer and Giro. Below the chin, the strap should also be tightened so that you can only fit two fingers between the bottom of the chin and the strap.

      • Jackie Martin

        I have a two year old, that is the size of most 4-5 year olds. She wears her hair in multiple ponytails (4-6). Would this compromise the fit of a helmet? Is there a certain helmet that would be better for her in this case. We live in a small town, so I am shopping online. Thanks

        • If her hair is in really small pony tails, it could work, but it is best for her to have one large one at the base of her neck. The is true with any bike helmet, not just the Scamp. I also would not recommend the MIPS model with small pony tails as the blue MIPS anchors are likely to pull her hair when you are taking the helmet off.

          • Jackie Martin

            Thanks for the help. I just ordered the Giro Youth Raze for my little one. She measured 51-52 cm, so I’m hoping this will work for now and allow room for growth. She has thick curly hair that is not quite long enough to gather at the base of her neck yet, so I’m hoping that this won’t be a problem. We will see when it gets here. Thanks again.

            • With time, I’m sure your’ll figure out where the best placement of her pony tails are. The good news, is that since the Raze is a youth helmet, there will likely be more wiggle room for her hair :).

      • Esther An

        I have a 2 year old son with a fairly large head. I am debating between the Lazer Nutz with MIPS (which he already tried on and fits) or the Giro Scamp with MIPS. I love that the Lazer has more air vents, auto fit and magnetic buckles but it is pretty bulky. I like that the Scamp looks more sleek and less bulky. Which do you recommend between the two? I’d like this helmet to last at least several years on him. Thanks.

        • It depends on his head circumference, but I would probably go with the Scamp. It is a “preschool” size helmet versus a youth helmet, so it has a much smaller profile, which will be more comfortable for him to wear. If he is close to the max head circumference on the Scamp though, I would go for the Nutz.

      • amanda

        Hi! Thank you so much for this site! I have an almost 3 yr old son, 36 in tall, 26 lbs. And thanks to all of your reviews here, we are close to settling on the Yedoo Too Too. As we look at helmets, we are leanign toward the Giro Scamp with MIPS – he has a head circumference of 19 in/48 cm, putting him right in the middle of the XS and S. Is there any risk of putting him in the S now? Thanks!!

        • Not that I know of. There are several bike helmets that convert to snow helmets by simply adding more insulation and/or ear covers, but the actually protective portion of the helmet stays the same. As a result, I image the helmet would offer adequate protection for sledding, but for skiing, I would look into a true skiing helmet.

          • Kelsey Leonardsmith

            I think S now (as in size small now) got misread as snow.

            • Ha! Yep, you’re right. And no, he should be fine with the S versus the XS.

      • Supro

        My 2 year (and 3 months) old son’s head measures 51cm. Do you think the (S) Scamp will be good for him, or should I go with the Raze, since it can be used for 50cm – 57cm?

        And thanks for this site! Its been an incredible help!

        • Glad to help. I would go with the Scamp as it is smaller than the Raze. The Raze is a youth helmet while the Scamp is a toddler helmet and will be less of a “bobble head” than the Raze.

      • Alex

        Got the Giro Scamp with MIPS – looks great, from POV of not being bully. But it is very poor as far as ventilation – 20 minutes of riding, and my son’s head is soaking. MIPS is definitely an A MUST, but I think I should have gone with Lazer due to larger vents.

        • Thanks for the feedback. I found that the MIPS helmets are sweatier than non-MIPS due to the plastic liner close to the head. I have not compared the P’Nutz MIPS to the Scamp MIPS, but like you, I would assume the Lazer would have more ventilation due to larger vents.

      • Claris Harbon

        Thank you so much for this thorough chart!!!! My son is 14 months old. I really do not know what to buy for him, using a tricycle. Should I get the Giro Scamp with MIPS, that for some reason I am more inclined to, or the Lazer P’Nut with MIPS (in your chart the latter is second. Is it random?). What would you recommend? I know that the Scamp has considerably less vents, plus no autofill. are these a deal breaker? Thanks again.

        • The order of the helmets in the chart is just random, so no worries there. We have used both helmets extensively and they are both great. I prefer the P’Nut as the magnetic buckle and Autofit make it really easy to get the helmets on and off. The Scamp, however, is a great helmet as well, so if it aligns better with your budget, I would go with the Scamp.

          • Claris Harbon

            Hey, Natalie, thank you so much for your reply. So you would recommend the P’Nut or the Scamp?

            • I personally like the P’Nut better 🙂

      • Janna

        Thank you, this is a very helpful website! I am hoping you have some advice, I have a 3.5 year old boy whose head measures 51-52cm. My problem is that he seems to be almost between helmet sizes. I just brought the Giro Scamp (S) home and it seems like a very nice helmet but it only just fits, there is very little (I mean maybe one click on the dial) adjustment room. I am going to return it because he will likely outgrow it this fall! We have tried on the Giro Raze and it seemed perfect, nice fit, room to grow, until I tried the straps. They are way too long, I mean we were an inch or two from even touching his chin on the tightest setting! If you have any suggestions, maybe a helmet that is youth size with much shorter straps? Thank you!

        • Helmets can be tricky, which is why it is great you had a chance to try them on. If the Giro Raze works, then I would get it and just shorten the straps. Simply cut the straps (not too short to allow for room to grow) and then melt the nylon ends or add some crazy glue to prevent fraying.

      • I reviewed the non-MIPS version here, http://www.twowheelingtots.com/giro-dime/. MIPS doesn’t affect the sizing or styling of the helmet, so the pros and cons of the helmets are the same. MIPS does add that extra layer of safety though. My only concern with the Dime for a 3yo is that since it doesn’t have a dial-adjust, I would make sure his head circumference is at least the middle of the helmets measurements to ensure a proper fit. If he is near the lower end of the helmets measurements, the helmet is likely to be floppy on his head.