The Bern Nino and Nina are skater-style helmets that are offered in several cutesy or stylish patterns for little or big boys and girls. It addition to their sporty and fun designs, the Nino and Nina helmets are unique because they offer “all-season” protection.
With the purchase of a winter liner, the vents in the helmet are covered to provide all the extra warmth you need for riding in the cold or sledding in the snow. If your family is dedicated to getting outside all year long, the Bern Nino and Nina might be the answer! Read the review below for all the details one what we loved (and didn’t) about these kids bike helmets.
Bern Nino and Nina Overview
BEST FOR: Kids who need a helmet that can be used for summer and winter sports
SIZE: 48 – 51.5 cm (XS/S), 51.5 – 54.5 cm (S/M)
ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM: Velcro adjust
WEIGHT: 310 g
- Zip-mold, liquid-injected foam allows for lower-profile, lighter helmet
- Superior coverage along the back and sides of helmet
- Slimmer profile and flat back are great for use in a bike trailer
- Flippable sun visor
- Optional winter liner (with or without visor)
- Side buckle prevents neck pinching
- Less ventilation than other helmets
- Velcro size adjustment system
- Narrow size range means less room for growth
Bern Nino and Bern Nina Helmet Review – Results of our Testing
Over the last 10 years, we’ve tested and reviewed over 60 kids bike helmets. Some helmets are clear winners, while others are a sure pass. Then there’s that small group in the middle that are great for a very specific situation. The Bern Nino and Nina fall in that category. So who is best suited for these little helmets?
If you’re looking for a single bike helmet that your child can wear for all four seasons (including very cold winters), you are who the Bern Nino and Nina are designed for.
These helmets are solid-quality (a far cry from a helmet you’ll pick up at Walmart), but they have a few drawbacks that outweigh the benefits if you won’t be using the helmet with a winter liner during the coldest months.
All-Season Helmet Protection
For about $20, you can purchase an optional winter knit that lines the helmet to cover the vents and keep little noggins and ears toasty. This is the only kids bike helmet that we know of to offer this.
While wearing a generic knit cap under a bike helmet is also an option, they are often quite bulky and can cause the helmet to sit more “on top” of the head than is truly safe. The Bern winter liner is designed specifically for this helmet to fit snuggly inside.
It’s important to note that the Bern Nino and Nina are not certified for skiing, so we won’t recommend them for that. But for winter biking or sledding, they are a cozy option.
Warm Weather – A Little Too Warm?
The Nino and Nina come standard with a warm-weather liner with a flippable sun visor. The liner covers the inside circumference of the helmet in sweat-wicking tech material, but contacts considerably more of a child’s head than traditional helmet padding. Our testers compared it to wearing a padded hat.
Additionally, the interior top padding of the helmet extends down the inside rear of the helmet, but these pads are not sealed. This means that sweat is more likely to get absorbed and then potentially escape again.
During the heat of the summer, all this extra padding padding means more covered skin, which leads to more sweat. Combine this with extended helmet coverage and very few vents compared to other helmets (just 7) and you’ve got a heated situation.
Essentially, the Bern Nino and Nino are going to be hotter than pretty much any other bike helmet out there. Depending on where you live and how scorching your summers are, this could be a no-go.
Extended Coverage, But Lightweight
The Nino and Nina offer exceptional coverage, with the helmet’s shell extending farther down in the back that most every other helmet we’ve seen. While this does contribute to making the helmet hotter, it also extends how much protection it’s offering your child.
That said, it’s important to note that these helmets still have the same CSPC helmet certification as every other bicycle helmet in the US market.
With additional coverage you might expect the helmet to be pretty heavy. But the Bern Nino and Nina are some of the lightest kids bike helmets! How is this possible?
Zip Mold Technology
All Bern helmets feature their patented Zip Mold technology. Compared to the standard foam found in most helmets, Zip Mold is a liquid-injected foam that bonds directly to the outer plastic shell, creating a solid, unified helmet. The advanced nature of the Zip Mold technology has a higher weight to strength ratio, which allows for a lighter, slimmer-profile helmet that is more comfortable to wear.
The slim profile and flat back of the Nino and Nina make them one of few helmets we recommend for use in a bike trailer or with a child bike seat. Flat and less bulky prevent a helmet from pushing a child’s head forward when resting on the back of the seat.
Nino and Nina Sizing
The Bern Nino and Nina come in two different sizes – XS/S for heads with a circumference range of 48 – 51.5 cm, and S/M with a head size range of 51.5 – 54.5 cm.
With just 3 or 3.5 cm of range, these helmets don’t offer as much room for growth as other helmets. Kids helmets generally have a head size range of 4 to 7 cm.
Our Kids Bike Helmet Sizes and Fit Guide will show you how to get a proper fit by correctly measuring your head circumference before purchase.
One big reason (if not the reason) for the smaller size range of the Bern Nino and Nina is its Velcro adjustment system.
Most bike helmets these days feature a dial-adjust knob at the back of the helmet. The knob can be turned to tighten the back cage of the helmet against your head. These helmets can have quite a wide sizing range.
On the Nino and Nina, the Velcro can only be tightened so far before you run out of Velcro. Also be aware that the Velcro adjust can slide up into the helmet when putting it on. As a result, when putting on the helmet, our testers found it necessary to hold the adjuster to prevent it from folding up.
Side Straps, Buckle
Standard nylon straps and a standard buckle are featured on the Nino and Nina. And while they are basic, basic keeps costs down.
One feature of the buckle we do appreciate is its placement. Most buckles are placed right under a child’s chin, making it all too easy to pinch your child’s chin or neck skin while buckling.
The buckle on the Nino and Nina is placed on the side of the face, below the ear. This makes it much easier to see what you’re doing when you’re trying to buckle it, and also moves the buckle away from loose, sensitive skin.
Bern Nino and Nina Bottom Line
The Bern Nino and Nina are lightweight, durable, and affordable, but best suited for cold-weather outdoorsy families. Due to the extensive padding of the adjustment system, these little helmets get hotter than is necessary during the summer. But the optional winter liner is unique to kids bike helmets and a perfect solution for outdoor winter sports.