Best Budget Helmet
With a compact, lightweight design, easy dial-adjust, excellent ventilation, and built-in visor, the Kali Chakra is a kid and parent favorite.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Head Circumference: 48 - 57 cm
Weight: 208 g
Internal Adjust: Dial
Skater Style: No
Sizes Available: Child, Youth
Child: 48 – 54 cm
Youth: 52 – 57 cm
With a compact, lightweight design, easy dial-adjust, excellent ventilation, and built-in visor, the Kali Chakra helmet is a kid and parent favorite. Getting my daughter to consistently wear a helmet while riding her bike used to be a power struggle of epic proportion. I blame in equal parts my daughter’s feisty will and her old, sub-par, uncomfortable helmet. Fortunately for me, half of that equation was remedied by the Kali Protectives Chakra Helmet. (Her stubbornness was subdued a bit after my own head was saved by a helmet from a nasty bike spill, but that’s another story.)
Kali Protectives gets just about everything right with its Chakra helmet. I first loved how compact it is; no longer does my kid look like she’s wearing a carved out watermelon while riding down the street. Its low-profile design snugly cradles her noggin, and the back is shaped like the contours of a head rather than poking out. The flatter-style back meant that she was happy to wear it while being towed in the trailer since it didn’t push her head forward. The Chakra comes in two sizes, Child (48 – 54 cm) and Youth (52 – 57 cm), at age 5, my daughter was the perfect fit for the Child. Besides size and therefore weight, the helmets are the same, expect the youth has a plastic breakaway visor while the child has a built in visor.
Ventilation on the Child’s Chakra is superb. Twenty-one large vents allow for excellent air flow. At 208 grams, it is also one of the lightest-weight helmets we’ve tested. In fact, this helmet is so comfortable my daughter often forgets she has it on. One minute she’s out riding bikes, and the next she’s on the swings or climbing the playset, helmet still buckled happily on her head. (I’m not going to complain!)
The subtle, built-in visor is nice because it won’t break off. The dial-adjust system is very easy for my daughter to use, and she knows to snug it up whenever she puts on the helmet. Unlike most other helmets, the back ends lower down the head. The dial-adjust is almost at the nape of the neck, leading to a cradled feeling, and—importantly—preventing the helmet from sliding back and exposing that all-important frontal lobe to trauma.
The Chakra straps are fairly easy to adjust. The front straps are attached at the front, and the one-piece back strap is threaded through the back of the helmet. Just pop off the triangle in the back, adjust the straps as necessary, and trim off any excess.
The only downside to having the straps attached at the perimeter of the helmet (rather than on the inside) is that if it’s not tightened adequately the helmet can slip side-to-side.
Bottom line: Kali Protectives Child Chakra (48 – 54 cm) is an excellent helmet at a price point that can’t be beat. It’s lightweight, compact, comfortable, and easy to adjust. Its unique contoured shape makes it cradle the head and prevents it from slipping back. The icing on the cake is that it comes in some fun colors and designs, making it that much easier to convince your kid to protect their brain. The Chakra is also available in a larger youth size (52-57cm).
By: Natalie Martins
Last Updated: January 31, 2017
FTC Disclosure: No monetary compensation or product was provided for this review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC and should not be used or replicated in any way. Two Wheeling Tots LLC is not an affiliate of Kali Protectives, but is an affiliate of Amazon.com.