10 Best Kids Bike Helmets

Kids bike helmets are not cute accessories; they are safety equipment that provides essential life-saving protection for kids. Over the past 10 years, we have put over 70 bike helmets to the test to help you find the best! Throughout the process, we found some real winners as well as some that should be avoided.

After looking at everything from comfort level and ease of use, to performance and quality of construction, here are our top 10 helmets for general bike riding for kids. All of these helmets can be worn by boys and girls, and are offered in a variety of colors and designs. And remember – a helmet can’t protect your child’s head if it doesn’t fit well, so double check sizing before purchase!

Two girls wearing kids bike helmets while taking a rest on the grass

If you have a child with a small head, check out 10 Best Bike Helmets for Babies and Toddlers.

Our Favorite Bike Helmets for Kids

Kids Helmet Why We Love It MSRP
Traditional Style
Giro Scamp (MIPS) Best All-Around (Young Kids) $55 ($70)
Joovy Noodle Best Bang for Your Buck $35
Kali Chakra Youth Crash Replacement Guarantee $50
Giro Hale MIPS Best True Cycling $70
Mountain Bike Style
Giro Tremor MIPS Best All-Around (Older Kids) $70
Smith Wilder Jr or Zip Jr Highly adjustable fit system $75
Kali Maya Full Face Full Face, chin bar can be removed $140
Skater Style
Nutcase Little Nutty MIPS Dual Certified, MIPS $69
Hornit Mini Lid Budget Friendly, Cute Patterns $39
Thousand Jr. Dual Certified, Retro Cool $60

Kids Bike Helmets – Details and Descriptions

Giro Scamp

Best Overall – Young Kids

red giro scamp kids bike helmet

MSRP: $55 (without MIPS), $70 (with MIPS)

SIZES: XS (45 – 49 cm), S (49 – 53 cm)

FEATURES: Flat back for trailer or bike seat use, in-mold construction, dial-adjust fit, built-in visor, pinch-guard buckle, and optional MIPS technology


The Scamp is an exceptional kids bike helmet at a very reasonable price. Lightweight with a dial-adjust system and built with optional MIPS technology, the Scamp doesn’t have any extra bells and whistles, but its simplicity makes it easy to use and easy on the wallet.

With just a $60 price tag for the Scamp with MIPS, it’s one of the most reasonably priced MIPS helmets available. From a kid perspective, it’s consistently been one of our testers’ favorites because it’s so lightweight and comfortable. From a parent perspective, it offers incredible quality and great coverage. The Scamp is a win-win!

Joovy Noodle

Best Bang for Your Buck

blue joovy noodle kids bike helmet

MSRP: $35

SIZES: XS/S (47 – 52 cm), S/M (52 – 56 cm)

FEATURES: Dial-adjust fit system, fun colors, great ventilation, lightweight, exceptional padding

FULL REVIEW: Joovy Noodle

Joovy Noodle helmets are the perfect mid-range helmet – offering great features at a great price. While not as high-end as the Giro or Bell helmets on our list, the Joovy is heads above any helmet you’re going to pick up at Walmart. Regularly selling for $30, and often on sale for just $20, the Joovy Noodle is not only a bang for your buck, but also one of the lightest helmets on the market.

Heavy helmets often irritate kids, who then end up taking them off when parents aren’t looking. Our testers love the Noodle because you hardly feel that you’re wearing it! Parents love the Noodle because it offers great coverage and an easy-to-use dial-adjust system for a snug and accurate fit.

Kali Chakra Youth

Crash Replacement Guarantee

blue and black Kali Chakra youth bike helmet

MSRP: $50

SIZES: Youth (52 – 57 cm)

The Chakra does come in a smaller Child size, but it’s more narrow and is best suited for toddlers and pre-schoolers.

FEATURES: Lightweight, in-mold construction, dial-adjust fit, great ventilation, crash replacement guarantee

FULL REVIEW: Kali Chakra

With a crash replacement guarantee, you may never need to buy your child another helmet! But seriously, we’ve actually had a helmet replaced for free after a Kali Chakra prevented a pretty serious injury to one of our riders. It’s the real deal!

The Chakra is super lightweight, compact, has 21 large vents for superb ventilation, an easy dial-adjust system, and a built-in visor. The Kali Chakra is a kid and parent favorite!

Giro Hale MIPS

Best True Cycling

Giro Hale kids bike Helmet in red and black

MSRP: $70

ONE SIZE: Youth (50 – 57 cm)

FEATURES: Airflow channels and 22 vents for superior ventilation, high-quality and easy-to-use adjustment system, technical fabric on padding, upgraded MIPS system


The Giro Hale is an update and serious upgrade to Giro’s Raze youth helmet. Weighing in at just 247 grams and with 22 vents, the Hale is lightweight and boasts some serious ventilation for less sweat and a more comfortable ride. The high-quality technical material on the sealed internal pads also help keep your child’s head cool and dry(er).

The fit adjustment system is simplified and easy to use, and its upgraded MIPS system has less plastic for less head sweat. So what’s the difference between the Hale and the Tremor? While the are a few very minor differences, it’s really just about visual style!

Giro Tremor MIPS

Best Overall – Older Kids

Giro Tremor youth helmet in glacier blue

MSRP: $70

ONE SIZE: Youth 50 – 57 cm, Child 47 – 53 cm

FEATURES: Rubber-grip dial-adjust knob, side straps that don’t need adjusting, higher-quality internal pads, in-mold construction, sturdy and removable visor, upgraded MIPS technology

FULL REVIEW: Giro Tremor

The Giro Tremor is everything a kids bike helmet should be – lightweight, well-ventilated, easy to adjust, and stays in place really well! Its high-quality fit and adjust system is simple to use – with a larger, rubber-grip dial-adjust knob that’s easier to turn, and soft side straps that don’t need adjusting, the Tremor makes fine-tuning a proper fit a breeze.

Giro also made comfort a high priority with internal pads that are made of top-notch technical material and air channels in the pads for less head sweat. To top it off, the MIPS model of the Tremor features an updated MIPS system that has less plastic for better air flow. And to top it off, those MIPS anchors are covered to prevent hair from snagging!

NOTE: The Youth size is only available with MIPS. The Child size is available with or without MIPS.

Smith Wilder Jr. and Zip Jr.

Highly Adjustable Fit System

Smith Wilder Jr kids helmet in blue

MSRP: $75

SIZE: Youth (48 – 52 cm), Adult S (51 – 55)

FEATURES: MIPS comes standard, in-mold construction, highly-adjustable fit system, available with our without a visor, locking side straps, tons of ventilation

FULL REVIEW: Smith Wilder Jr. and Zip Jr. Youth Bike Helmets

New on the scene as of fall 2021, Smith’s debut into youth bike helmets is a BIG success. The Smith Wilder Jr. and Zip Jr. are smaller versions of Smith’s adult helmets. They boast the same exceptional quality, same super cool styling, and same highly-adjustable fit system.

Smith’s youth helmets run a little small, so if your child’s head is larger than 52 cm, check out the identical adult versions of these helmets – the Smith Convoy or Smith Signal.

The Smith Wilder Jr. and Zip Jr. are identical helmets except that the Wilder comes with a visor, while the Zip doesn’t. It’s a purely stylistic choice! They also come in different colors, so that may sway your decision as well.

The standout feature of these kids helmets is the size adjustment system. It boasts two qualities that are usually only found on high-end adult helmets. The rear of the helmet has a plastic cage that cups the back of the head when the dial-adjust is tightened. This can produce a more snug fit.

Additionally, the dial adjust knob and cage can be shifted up or down so that the knob sits on the sweet spot on the back of the head for the most secure fit. Ideally, the knob should sit on the occipital bone for the best and most accurate fit. Most kids helmets cannot be adjusted to account for the unique position of that bone on your child’s unique head.

Nutcase Little Nutty

Dual-Certified, MIPS Comes Standard

Nutcase little nutty kids bike helmet, navy with stars

MSRP: $69

SIZES: S (48 – 52cm), M (52 – 56 cm)

FEATURES: Dual-certified, dial-adjust fit, magnetic buckle, fun and funky designs, MIPS

FULL REVIEW: Nutcase Little Nutty

Super safe without sacrificing style, Nutcase kids bike helmets are dual-certified for use for biking, skateboarding or scootering.  Although many helmets are skater-style, many are only certified for biking use.  To truly protect a child during skateboarding, the helmet must be constructed differently to protect from the multiple falls and impacts experienced by skateboarders. 

Nutcase helmets feature a dial-adjust fit, locking sliders, a magnetic buckle, and super fun and funky designs. While Nutcase helmets are great for boys or girls, there are a few particularly girly designs that are some of the most adorable girl bike helmets we’ve seen.

For other dual-certified options, check out our list of 9 Best Skateboard Helmets for Kids.

Thousand Jr. or Thousand Heritage

Dual-Certified, Retro Styling

Thousand Jr kids bike helmet in forest green

MSRP: $60

ONE SIZE: 49 – 53 cm

FEATURES: Dial-adjust fit, vegan leather straps, integrated visor, magnetic buckle, retro color options, sticker kit for decorating helmet


Who said a bike helmet couldn’t be safe and stylish? Fashion and function come together in the Thousand Jr and Thousand Heritage helmets. With a cool retro vibe, Thousand helmets are perfect for kids who want head protection as much as they want a fashion accessory!

The Thousand Jr. is specifically a kids helmet, but its size range is on the smaller end for younger kids. If you have an older child with a head circumference of at least 54 cm, the Thousand Heritage adult helmet in the small size could be a great option!

Thousand helmets distinguish themselves in the safety category for two reasons. First, they are dual-certified for skateboard and biking use. Second, they have integrated visors that will stay firmly in place and protect a child’s face in the event of a face-plant crash.

Hornit Mini Lid

Skater-Style on a Budget

Hornit Mini Lid skater style kids helmet

MSRP: $39

SIZE: Small: 48-53 cm, Medium: 54 – 58cm

FEATURES: Dial adjust fit system, integrated LED light on rear

FULL REVIEWHornit Mini Lid Review

If you’re in the market for an adorable skater-style helmet, but you don’t want to afford a Nutcase Little Nutty or Thousand Jr., the Hornit Mini Lid is for you!

This helmet actually saved our daughter’s head and face in a high-speed crash, so even though it’s budget-friendly, we can testify that it works when you really need it! (As long as it’s the right size and adjusted properly.) The upgraded 2021 dial adjust system kept that helmet firmly in place on her head, even upon impact.

It’s important to note that the Hornit Mini Lid is not ASTM certified for skateboard use. If your child will be biking and skateboarding, stick with the dual-certified Nutcase or Thousand. Additionally, we do NOT recommend the older Hornit Lid model that is still being sold on Amazon. Only purchase the 2021 helmet from the direct link included here.

Kali Maya Full Face Child

Removable Chin Bar and Quad Core Protection System

Child wearing Kali Maya full face helmet with and without the chin bar

MSRP: $140

ONE SIZE: 50 – 54 cm

FEATURES: Dial adjust fit system, Quad Core (similar to MIPS), removable chin bar, adjustable visor

Full face helmets for kids can be tricky. With all that extra coverage, they are often much heavier and much hotter than a traditional bike helmet. The Kali Maya full face child is both lightweight and more airy, which make it more comfortable and more likely that your kid will want to wear it!

The Maya is a 2-in-1 durable, high-quality helmet that has a removable chin bar – wear it as a regular helmet for more casual riding, or as a full face for more technical terrain (cross-country MTB, skate parks, pump tracks, etc). Keep in mind that for aggressive downhill riding, you should consider a full face helmet with the ASTM 1952 DH (downhill) rating. Like many full face helmets, the Maya is NOT rated for DH. Its visor is adjustable up and down by simply turning a small knob.

For increased brain safety, the Kali Maya kids full face helmet features Quad Core Low Density Layer (LDL). LDL is Kali’s take on the more well-known MIPS brain safety system. Per Kali’s website, LDL “reduces rotational impact forces up to 25%, and reduced low-g linear forces up to 30%.”

Other Kids Bike Helmets to Consider

Not every helmet that we test can make our top 10 list. Here are some additional kids bike helmets that we’ve tested, reviewed, and happily recommend.

Bell Sidetrack II Youth

Honorable Mention

Bell Sidetrack 2 kids bike helmet in red

MSRP: $50 (without MIPS), $70 (with MIPS)

SIZE: Youth (50 – 57 cm)

FEATURES: Ergo Fit dial-adjust system, in-mold construction, durable snap-in visor (removable), optional MIPS

FULL REVIEW: Bell Sidetrack or Bell Sidetrack II

Styled like an adult mountain bike helmet, the Bell Sidetrack Youth offers the safety features parents desire along with a sporty and modern design kids love. Built with durable, in-mold construction and a sturdy dial-adjust system, the Sidetrack is also well ventilated for comfort.

The Sidetrack is available with MIPS safety technology to minimize injuries from impacts at sharp angles, but is the most expensive MIPS helmet we recommend. For those who love the look of the Sidetrack but can’t afford the MIPS, it does come in a non-MIPS version for $20 less.

One downside to the Sidetrack II is that the visor comes off very easily. Don’t hold the helmet by the visor or your helmet will detach and fall to the ground.

Bern Nino 2.0

All Season Helmet, Optional MIPS

Bern Nino 2.0 youth MIPS helmet in yellow

MSRP: $50 or $65 with MIPS

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

FEATURES: Elastic self-adjust internal cage, removable visor, optional winter liner for all seasons

FULL REVIEWBern Kids Helmets (Nino 2.0)

The 2021 update on Bern’s popular Nino and Nina helmets, the Nino 2.0 features a unique self-adjust internal cage. The huge advantage of this cage is that it automatically adjusts to your child’s head – no worries about forgetting to adjust your child’s helmet before every ride!

If the Nino 2.0 fits your child’s head, this benefit is pretty spectacular. However, we found the Nino 2.0 to be less likely to fit heads than other helmets we use. We highly recommend giving it a try, but if it doesn’t fit, try the original Nino or Nina instead.

Kids Bike Helmets Comparison Chart

Brand MSRP Fits Heads Weight Adjust System Vent Optional MIPS Visor Build

Giro Scamp

$35 ($55) 45 – 53 cm 251 g Dial 8 Yes Yes In-mold

Joovy Noodle


47 – 56 cm 226 g Dial 14 No Yes Hardshell
Giro Dime $45/$65 47 - 55 cm 420 g Pads 8 Yes No Hardshell
Smith Wilder Jr $75 48. - 52 cm 270 g Dial adjust 21 Standard Yes In mold
Bern Nino/Nina $40 48 - 54.6 cm 363 g Snap and hook 7 No Yes Hardshell

Nutcase Street


48 - 60 cm 430 g Dial 11 No No Hardshell

Micro Helmet


48 - 58 cm Dial 22 No No Hardshell
GoTrax Skater Helmet $20 48 - 59 cm Dial 11 No No Hardshell
Hornit Mini Lid $39 48 - 58 cm 360 g Dial 11 No No Hardshell
Strider Full Face $89 48 - 58 cm Dial No Yes In-mold
Thousand Jr. $60 49 - 53 cm 390 g Dial 6 No Yes Hardshell
Bell Span


49 - 55 cm 433 g Dial 10 No No Hardshell
Kali Maya Full Face Child $140 50 - 52 cm Dial LDL Yes In-mold
Raskullz Helmet $25 50 - 54 cm 363 g None - don't buy! 8 No No Hardshell

Giro Hale

$45 ($65)

50 - 57 cm 247 g Dial 22 Yes Yes In-mold
Giro Tremor

$45 ($65)

50 – 57 cm 306 g Dial 18 Yes Yes In-mold
Uvex Quatro Junior $60 50 - 54 cm 265 g Dial 10 No Yes In-mold

Bell Sidetrack 2 Youth

$50 ($70)

50 - 57 cm 276 g Dial 14 Yes Yes In-mold
Lazer Gekko $45 ($55) 50 - 56 cm 300 g Dial 14 Yes Yes In-mold

Kali Chakra Youth


52 - 57 cm 208 g Dial 21 No Yes In-mold

Bell Nomad Jr. 2

$65 52 - 57 cm 370 g Dial 13 Standard Yes In-mold
Lazer J1


52 - 57 cm 295 g Dial 15 No Yes In-mold
Giro Fixture $65 54 - 61 cm 320 g Dial 18 Yes Yes In-mold

How to Choose the Best Kids Helmet for your 5 to 12-year-old

For a more detailed discussion about how to choose and fit the perfect kid’s bike helmet, check out our post: Kids’ Bike Helmets Sizing and Buying Guide. If you’re looking for something quick, here’s a short summary of the most important things to look for to find the best helmet for girls and boys approximately 5 to 12-years-old.

Size – Circumference in King!

If a child’s bike helmet doesn’t fit, it’s not going to help protect their head in the event of a crash! Kids helmet sizes come in ranges that represent the circumference of your child’s head. For example, a helmet with a size range of 52 – 57 cm fits kids with a head circumference in that range.

That said, kids helmet sizing can actually be a bit tricky because everyone’s head isn’t shaped the same. Some kids have wide heads, others narrow. Some helmets are wider, while others are more narrow. So even if your child’s head circumference fits within a helmet’s range, if your child’s head is wide and the helmet is narrow, it might not fit.

In general, skater-style helmets are rounder all the way around and are a more sure bet for kids with wide heads.

side by side comparison of the shape of two kids bicycle helmets, a round nutcase and a more traditional shaped uvex

Weight – Lighter is Better for Kids Helmets

The lighter the helmet the better. Wearing a heavy helmet can get tiring over time and can make it more likely for a child to refuse to wear a helmet. As a child gets older this is less important because their neck muscles are stronger, but younger kids definitely resist wearing heavy helmets.

Adjustability – Dial Adjust for a Perfect Fit

Once you find the right size helmet, it can still be tricky to get it adjusted correctly so that it stays snuggly on your child’s head. But a helmet with a proper fit is a necessity for kids bike safety!

The easiest helmets to adjust for a perfect fit have a dial-adjust system at the back of the helmet that makes the helmet’s inner cage larger or smaller to cradle your child’s head.

Other (cheaper) kids helmets have pads of varying thickness that you swap out to get the right fit, or no adjustment system at all! These helmets generally don’t fit as accurately, and over time you have to swap the pads out as your child’s head grows. Hopefully you can find those pads when the time comes!

Dial adjust knobs on the back of the Giro Tremor and Bell Sidetrack Helmet

Buckle – Standard vs. Magnetic

Most helmets come with standard buckles that can pinch a child’s neck when buckling or un-buckling. Higher-end helmets now feature magnetic “pinch-free” buckles. While more expensive, they are worth the price if you can afford it.

MIPS – Multi-Directional Protective System

MIPS is a newer technology that adds an additional layer of safety to a helmet. If an impact occurs, a plastic inner cage rotates with your child’s head to provide better multi-directional impact protection. MIPS helmets are more expensive but are becoming very common. You can read all about the science behind MIPS on their website.

MIPS plastic shell inside the Bell Sidetrack Youth helmet, and upclose shot of MIPS anchor.

To be fair, there are some that don’t believe MIPS adds as much safety as it claims. Those opposing arguments are nicely summed up on helmets.org.

Bike vs. Multi-Sport Kids Helmets

Most bike helmets are only certified for biking use. (This also includes using a scooter or hoverboard.) If your child is going to be skateboarding as well, they need a dual certified helmet that is designed to protect from impacts from crashes while biking or skateboarding.

Not all helmets that are skateboard-style are actually dual certified. A dual certified helmet will have stickers on its interior that say CPSC and ASTM.

Girls Bike Helmets vs. Boys Bike Helmets

Is there such a thing as a girls bike helmet or a boys bike helmet? Nope. It all comes down to colors and patterns. Most helmet manufacturers are pretty savvy and create designs ranging from super girl (unicorns, rainbows, etc.) to super boyish (super heros, trucks, dinos), and lots of gender neutral options in-between. Choose the kids helmet that’s best for your child first, and then they’re almost certain to have a color or pattern your child will love.

Kids’ Helmet Sizes Guide: Don’t buy the wrong size helmet! Just follow our easy guide.

10 Best Helmets for Babies and Toddlers: Need a smaller size? Try our list for the littlest noggins.

22 Fun Kids Bike Accessories: For more ideas for kids protective gear and unique accessories for bikes.

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