Bern Kids Helmet Review – Nino 2.0 Model

Pairing a fun, sporty style with lightweight comfort, Bern kids helmets have a loyal following, and for good reason. The newly updated Nino 2.0 is not only easy to use and comfortable to wear, it also offers a unique style with a flippable (and removable) visor, optional MIPS safety technology, and an easy-fit elastic adjustment system.

The Nino 2.0 also stands out from the pack as it has an optional winter liner for use during the colder months. From sledding to fat biking, the Bern Nino 2.0 winter liner keeps your little one’s head and ears warm while on the go.

young boy wearing a yellow bern kids bike helmet with the visor flipped up

Bern Nino 2.0 Overview

RATING: Highly Recommended

MSRP: $49 (non-MIPS), $65 MIPS

BEST FOR: Kids who need a fun, sporty and lightweight helmet that can be used for summer and winter sports. Fit can be tricky though as we have found it to be a better fit for kids in the middle or tail end of the size range.

SIZE: Small: 52 – 55.5 cm, Medium: 55.5 – 59cm

ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM: Elastic self-adjusting

WEIGHT: 350g

PROS:

  • Zip-mold, liquid-injected foam allows for lower-profile, lighter helmet
  • Elastic self-adjust internal cage automatically fits to your child’s head
  • Slimmer profile allows the helmet straps to fit more snugly against the head, creating a better overall fit
  • Removable flip visor that helps to shade eyes
  • Fun, colorful helmets with a wide variety of designs

CONS:

  • Lower set internal cage can be harder for kids to put on
  • MIPS anchors aren’t covered and can snag longer hair
  • Shape of internal cage does not fit on some kids heads

Bern Kids Helmet (Nino 2.0) – Results of our Testing

We put the Bern Nino 2.0 kids helmet to the test with our pack of neighborhood riders. With its easy-fit, elastic-adjust cage, the Nino was quick and easy to swap from one tester to another. All of our testers raved about the Nino’s unique look as well as how comfortable it is.

At the time of this review, the updated winter liner was not available for the Nino 2.0, so we have yet to test it out. We can confirm that the mounts for the winter liner are on this Bern kids helmet and should easily snap into place.

young boy wearing a yellow bern nino helmet

Who is the Bern Nino 2.0 Best for?

The Nino 2.0 is a great helmet for young riders who want a cool and unique-looking helmet, as well as for those who are less likely to remember to properly adjust their helmet before heading out to ride. The Nino’s elastic fit and unique sliders (more below) help the helmet stay properly fitted with very little effort from the child.

While the Bern styling is a cross between a skater helmet and a traditional bike helmet, the Nino is not ASTM certified for skateboard use, so should only be used for biking and scootering.

The Nino 2.0 is also a great choice for little ones who need a helmet for year-round use. The Nino’s winter liner easily adds much-needed warmth during colder weather riding. While the Bern Nino is not certified as a “ski helmet”, it is perfectly suitable and safe to use while biking in colder weather or basic hill sledding.

Another Bern kids helmet, the Bern Bandito, is a better choice for kids who need a true bike and ski helmet. The Bandito is CPSC certified for biking as well as EN certified for skiing. The Bandito, however, does run slightly smaller than the Nino 2.0 so like any helmet, be sure to measure your child’s head before purchasing.

Bern Nino 2.0 Helmet Sizing

The Bern Nino 2.0 is available in two sizes. The small fits head sizes from 52 – 55.5 cm in circumference, and the medium fits heads 55.5 – 59 cm. For this review, we tested out the small Nino 2.0 with MIPS. Both size helmets are available with or without MIPS (more about MIPS below).

We tested the Nino 2.0 on three different kids: a 9-year-old with a 54.5 cm head circumference, another 9-year-old with a 52.5 cm head, and a 5-year-old with 52.5 cm head.

The Nino was a great fit on the 9-year-old with a 54.5 cm head. The elastic cage offered a snug – but not too tight – fit which securely stayed on top of his head when riding, cruising, and jumping around. In addition to being easy to get on and “auto-adjusting” to a child’s head, the “cupped” lower cage provides additional levels of “security” to keep the Nino in place (more about this below).

image showing how the bern nino elastic adjust system works and a child riding a bike wearing the bern nino

Although the small Nino 2.0 has a size range of 52 to 55.5 cm, the helmet was slightly too big for our 5 and 9-year-old testers with 52.5 cm heads. Unlike the 9-year-old tester’s head shown above, the elastic auto-fit band was too loose to fit snuggly against their heads. (Check out our Kids Helmet Sizing Guide for more info on an ideal fit.)

image showing the loose fit of the bern kids helmet nino elastic adjust

While we wouldn’t say this Bern kids helmet offered a secure fit, when using the helmet, the Bern surprisingly stayed put on the 5-year-old’s head. Whereas most helmets that can’t properly tighten down on a child’s head tend to flop around when in use, the Bern Nino 2.0 did not.

young boy wearing a Bern nino kids helmet

That wasn’t the case with our 9-year-old tester with a 52.5 cm head. In addition to the elastic bands being too loose, there was way too much space between the lower cage and his head, which caused the helmet to flop around on his head. The end of the cage also pressed on his head which made the helmet uncomfortable for him.

As a result, we don’t recommend the Nino 2.0 for kids on the lower end of the size range and would recommend the original Bern Nino/Nina instead (48 – 54.5 cm size range). The Nino/Nina does not have the lower plastic cage, but rather a soft liner with a Velcro adjustment strap. As you can see below, the Nino fits the same 9-year-old tester with 52.5 cm head size much better than the Nino 2.0.

velcro adjustment on the Bern nino 1.0 kids helmet

Since every child’s head is shaped differently, it’s hard to say at what specific head size the Nino 2.0 will fit versus the Nino 1.0, but based on our experience, we would recommend the Nino/Nina 1.0 for heads 48 to 53.5 cm and the Nino 2.0 for 53.5 cm and up.

Bern Nino’s “Cupped” Lower Cage

The Bern Nino 2.0 features a “cupped” lower cage with an elastic adjust fit system versus the more standard dial-adjust fit system. While the elastic adjust isn’t unique (a few other child helmets also use elastic instead of dial adjust), the shape of the lower cage is unique.

As shown above in the sizing section, this lower cage appears to be problematic for kids with smaller heads, but when it does properly fit a child’s head, it’s pretty amazing and the description below will help you understand why.

image showing the cupped lower cage of the bern kids bike helmet

While the lower cage of helmets (where the dial adjust is located) always extends down below the main body of the helmet, the Nino’s extends down significantly farther than any other helmet we have tested. Instead of extending straight down from the helmet, the Nino’s cage is rounded or cupped to better fit the natural curvature of a child’s head.

image showing the difference in fit on the bern nino kids bike helmet and the bell nomad helmet

As a result, the “cupped” cage is able to wrap around the lower portion of a child’s head and “cinch” inwards and upwards and provide a much more secure fit as compared to most helmets that simply apply pressure in an inward direction.

By extending down past the most proximal part of the skull (the part of the skull that is farthest away from the body – or the “widest” part of the head), the elastic band on the cage must expand in order for the helmet to be removed.

As a result, the helmet can’t simply slip off by becoming loose. An upward pressure must be applied to the helmet in order for the lower cage to expand enough to go back over the most proximal part of the head. We have never seen this on a regular bike helmet and absolutely love this concept and innovative design (on the testers it fit properly on).

Side Strap Sliders Hold Tight

While easy to overlook, the side strap sliders on a helmet play a large role in helping to keep a helmet securely on a child’s head. If not properly adjusted, a helmet can easily tilt front to back or side to side on a child’s head.

A properly fitted side strap should be positioned underneath a child’s ear with the side straps pulled taut. While getting the straps and slider properly adjusted to fit a child isn’t challenging, keeping them properly adjusted is.

Most sliders easily shift around and get out of place from something as simple as a child’s picking up their helmet by the straps. The sliders on the Nino 2.0, however, grip the side straps tightly. This keeps the sliders securely in place, yet still allows for easy adjustments.

image showing the sliders on the bern nino

As shown above, the straps of the Nino 2.0 are also made of soft nylon, which are smooth and comfortable on the skin.

Additional Nino 2.0 Features

Removable Soft Flip Visor

A fun and unique feature of this Bern kids helmet is its flippable (and removable) visor. Providing a sporty and fun look, as well as sun protection, our testers all loved the look of the visor. Both sides of the visor are a different color, so flipping it does slightly change the look of the helmet as well.

the difference visor options of the bern kids helmet nino 2.0

Unfortunately, the visor can be challenging for young kids to flip on their own, so expect your kids to ask for help when flipping it. Once flipped, however, the visor easily stays up. The visor can also easily be removed if desired.

The visor is attached to the padding on the inside edge of the helmet. A separate foam padding liner without a visor is included if you prefer to remove the visor. Both sets of pads are made with sweat-wicking material to help keeps heads cool and dry.

Based on our experience with our 5 year old tester, the visor can limit visibility, so we recommend removing the visor for kids on the lower end of the helmet’s size range.

images showing the difference in visibility of a boy wearing a bern nino 2.0 with a visor and without

Ventilation and Coverage

As a mash-up between the styling of a skater helmet and a traditional bike helmet, the Nino 2.0 offers the better ventilation of a bike helmet, but with the extended coverage of a skater helmet.

With 13 vents along the top, back, and rear of the Nino Bern kids helmet, it provides plenty of air flow to prevent excessively sweaty heads. We particularly like the large horizontal vents in the front which are usually lacking in skater-style helmets.

image showing the 13 vents on the bern nino kids bike helmet

Like skater-style helmets, the Nino 2.0 offers extended coverage in the back, as the helmet comes down lower on the head as compared to traditional bike helmets.

image showing the lower set coverage on the bern nino kids bike helmet

Narrow Zip-mold provides a slimmer profile

All helmets need shock-absorbing foam to protect your child’s head and brain in the event of a fall. Most helmets used the tried-and-true EPS foam. EPS foam can be molded into various styles of helmets, but due to its thickness, it does have some limitations.

In order to create a narrower profile helmet that can sit closer to the head, Bern helmets are constructed with a unique foam called Zipmold. Bern’s Zipmold foam has a higher weight-to-strength ratio than standard EPS foam found on most helmets. As a result, Bern helmets can be thinner and lighter than other helmets, while still providing the same level of protection.

image showing the difference in thickness of the standard foam vs. he zipmold on the bern kids helmet nino 2.0

For example, the Bern Nino 2.0 weighs 350 g, while the similarly sized and Giro Dime weighs about 420 g.

Optional MIPS

Lastly, both sizes of the Nino 2.0 are available with optional MIPS safety technology. Helmets equipped with MIPS allows the helmet to rotate around the head upon impact to prevent rotational strain on the head.

The MIPS anchors on the Nino, however, are not covered, so they may be problematic for kids with longer hair, which can get caught in the anchors.

exposed MIPS anchors on the bern kids bike helmet nino 2.0

Bern Kids Helmet – Nino 2.0 Bottom Line

Fun, comfortable, lightweight, and versatile, the Bern Nino 2.0 is a great helmet for young riders ready for action. With a unique “cupped” cage that offers a secure fit, a fun flippable visor, as well as a self-adjust elastic fit system, the Nino 2.0 is packed with child-friendly features that parents and kids both appreciate. To top it off, the Nino’s winter liner allows the helmet to be used year-round.

Unfortunately, the Bern Nino 2.0 wasn’t a great fit on our testers with heads smaller than 52.5 cm. The smaller Bern Nino/Nino (48 – 54.5 cm size range) was a much better fit.

FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this review.  No monetary compensation was provided for this review, however, the reviewed product was supplied by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate this review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC.  All content and images are copyrighted and should not be used or replicated in any way. View our Terms of Use.

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