High-quality, lightweight, comfortable, and easy to use, the Giro Scamp helmet is hands-down our favorite helmet for toddlers and young kids. Built with lightweight, in-mold construction, a dial-adjust system, and with optional MIPS technology (explained below), the Scamp has an impressive resume.
Just as importantly, it offers a great fit. Straight out of the box, the Giro Scamp was eagerly received by even our pickiest preschool-aged testers. With a flat back, the Scamp is also ideal for use in bike trailers and child bike seats. Read the review below for all the reasons this is the helmet our own kids wear!
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Optional MIPS technology makes it one of the safest helmets on the market
- Dial-adjust system for an easy and accurate fit
- Narrower profile in the back – well-suited for trailer or bike seat use, in addition to bikes
- MIPS anchors can snag on long hair (older models only)
Giro Scamp Helmet Video Review
Want to see the Scamp in action? Check out our video review that covers the four main reasons why we love the Scamp for toddlers and preschoolers.
Giro Scamp Helmet Sizing
The Scamp is available in two sizes – S and XS. The XS fits heads with a head circumference of 45 to 49 cm and the small fits 49 to 53 cm. Remember that every toddler and child has a different sized head… measure their head for a proper helmet fit before you choose the size!
We’ve tested the Scamp on many kids, and XS is a perfect first helmet for many babies and toddlers while the size Small typically fits our testers from ages 2.5 to 5. At its smallest setting (45 cm), the XS was ideal for our 12-month-old tester to use in the trailer and child bike seats, but by the time she was 2.5 we had to move her up to the Small size.
12 mo in XS Scamp and at 2.5 in the Small
How long the helmet will fit depends on how fast your child’s head grows. This little nugget is now 4.5 and can still comfortably and safely wear the Small Scamp while riding her pedal bike. We anticipate needing a new helmet by age 5.
The Scamp XS is unique because it’s one of the smallest bike helmets available. The only helmet that is the same size or smaller (that we’ve been able to find) is the Schwinn Infant, with a minimum head size of 44 cm. It is, however, significantly lower quality than the Scamp.
If your baby has an average-sized head and you plan to begin biking with them at age one, the Scamp XS may be the only helmet that will fit! (Good thing it’s a great helmet!)
Giro Scamp Review – Results of our Test Rides
Helmets are like shoes. Kids never want to wear them, and finding one that properly fits is close to impossible. Why? All too often, kids’ bike helmets are a bad fit due to poor design and construction. Heavy, hot, and uncomfortable, it’s not a surprise that kids complain.
Luckily, over the past few years, great strides have been made to improve the safety, fit, and functionality of kids’ bike helmets. Today’s helmets are much more comfortable to wear because they’re lighter, slimmer, and come in a variety of fun colors. The Giro Scamp is one of the best in this new generation of helmets and sits at the top of our list of best toddler bike helmets.
Quality of Build
Upon picking up a Scamp it quickly becomes clear that the helmet is very well built. Considering toddlers and preschoolers are known to drop their helmets on the ground without regard, durability should not be overlooked when selecting a helmet.
The Scamp’s overall durability is the result of its in-mold construction that allows the outer shell of the helmet to be fused to the foam core of the helmet. The fused outer shell means that unlike most budget kids helmets, the outer shell cannot crack, warp, or completely fall off the helmet.
As a result, the foam core of the Scamp remains protected through years of even the toughest of treatment from the smallest of riders.
Comfortable Fit in a Variety of Uses
Comfort is king with toddler helmets. If a helmet is itchy, heavy, or flopping around on their head, you can be certain that your toddler will put up a fight when it’s time to put it on. With its soft pads, easy-to-use dial adjust system, and flat back for use in a child seat or a trailer, the Giro Scamp is, without question, the helmet our toddler testers prefer.
Moisture Wicking Sealed Pads
With one large soft pad along the front of the helmet and another along the top, our testers were significantly less resistant to the Scamp’s feel compared to cheap helmets with rough, itchy pads.
For added comfort for use in hot climates, the pads of the Scamp are moisture-wicking to help keep heads cool. The pads are also sealed along the edges to prevent sweat from dripping out. The pads are the same in both the MIPS and non-MIPS models (more about MIPS below).
Dial-adjust Fit System
To keep the Scamp firmly on the child’s head, the Giro Scamp features a simple dial-adjust system. Once the helmet is squarely on your child’s head, simply dial the knob until you feel slight resistance on the knob. Once properly tightened, the helmet should say firmly in place, even when your little one wiggles around.
Additional Fit Adjustments
Like all helmets, in order to get the perfect fit on a child’s helmet, it is important to adjust the chin straps. The chin straps should come together as a “V” directly below the child’s ear on both sides. This is done by adjusting the lengths of the chin straps by threading it through the sliders on the sides of the straps.
In rare cases that the straps on the Scamp come to you very uneven, with one side being much longer than the other, popping out the strap plug in the back of the helmet will fix this issue.
This is simply done by pulling on the black rubber plug in the rear of the helmet. Once out, this will easily allow you to move extra chin webbing from one side of the helmet to the other.
This ability to fine tune the chin straps on the Scamp is another reason why it stands out from the crowd. With many helmets, particularly budget helmets, the chin straps are often extremely difficult to properly adjust. As a result, these helmets often flop around on a child’s head and never remain squarely on top.
The Schwinn Infant helmet is a perfect example of a seemingly decent helmet that is almost impossible to adjust properly. The chin straps never stay in place, which results in the helmet moving around too much, which greatly affects the ability of the helmet to protect a child in the event of a crash. As a result, when at all possible, we highly recommend paying the extra money to upgrade to the Scamp.
Schwinn Infant strap adjustments vs. Giro Scamp
Flat Back for Use in Child Bike Seats and Trailers
When seated in a bike trailer or a child bike seat, traditional helmets with a pointy back can be very uncomfortable for a child. The point on the back of the helmet can push the child’s head forward, which can put significant strain on a child’s neck. To prevent strain, the back of the Scamp is significantly flatter, making it much more comfortable for use in a child bike seat or bike trailer.
Optional Giro Scamp MIPS Technology
The Scamp’s optional MIPS technology adds an additional layer of safety to kids’ helmets. The foam core of a helmet protects a child from direct impact but does not protect from rotational injuries.
MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) allows the helmet to slightly rotate around the head during impact to help minimize rotational injuries to the head and neck.
The secret to MIPS is a thin plastic shell inside the helmet that is connected to the helmet’s protective foam core with flexible anchors. When under force, these anchors stretch to allow the helmet to rotate around the head upon impact. A video and explanation of MIPS in action can be seen here.
In our tests, we found that the plastic liner of MIPS, which sits close to the skin, does tend to slightly limit the overall breathability of the helmet. While the plastic liner DOES NOT cover up any vents, sweat does tend to adhere to it. As a result, for those living in really hot climates, the non-MIPS version may be worth considering.
In older versions of the Scamp, we found that on some testers with long hair, the MIPS anchors can snag their hair. It bothered some of our kids, but others were oblivious to it.
On the newest version of the Scamp, these anchors have been covered to prevent this, as seen below. Unfortunately, Giro still has a ton of the older colors on sale and there’s not always an easy way to tell which models are new or old unless you see the inside. (However, on Amazon, many colors are labeled “Discontinued”.)
Giro Scamp vs. Competitors
Compared to other helmets in its class, the Scamp is priced at $55 for non-MIPS and $69 for MIPS. While it is quite a bit more expensive than the popular Joovy Noodle, the Noodle is not built with in-mold construction and isn’t as durable.
For families considering the Small Scamp, the small Nutcase Little Nutty is another great helmet that comes with MIPS, but it is certainly heavier than the Scamp.
The Little Nutty, however, is much deeper than the Scamp, so it is often a better fit for kids with taller heads. For those little ones who like to shred at the skatepark, the Little Nutty is also Dual-Certified for Skateboard use. For more helmet recommendations, be sure to check out our Best Kids Bike Helmets list.
|Giro Scamp||Joovy Noodle||Nutcase Little Nutty|
|Head Circumference||45- 49 cm (XS), 49-53 cm (S)||49-54 cm||48 – 52 cm|
|# of Vents||8||14||10|
|Weight||251 g||226 g||460 g|
|Review Link||You’re reading it!||Noodle Review||Little Nutty Review|
Giro Scamp Helmet Bottom Line
It’s rare that we feel like a product has really hit it out of the park, but the Giro Scamp truly is exceptional. It excels at offering a quality build for its price, and is also comfortable and easy to use. With its flat back, the Scamp is suitable for use in child bike seats and trailers, making it a great choice for young toddlers and preschoolers.