Giro Scamp Helmet Review

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!

toddler smiling while wearing the giro scamp helmet

Giro Scamp Helmet Overview

RATING: Exceptional

MSRP$40 (non-MIPS),$60 (MIPS)

BEST FOR: Our all-around top pick for toddlers and preschoolers – the Scamp is great for kids on bikes as well as in trailers.

SIZE: 45 – 49 cm (XS), 49 – 53 cm (S)

ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM: Dial adjust

WEIGHT: 251 g

PROS:

  • 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

CONS:

  • MIPS anchors can snag on long hair

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 S 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 S size.

12 mo in XS Scamp and a 2.5 in the S

12 month old in an XS Giro Scamp and the same child as a 2.5 year old in a size S Giro Scamp

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, they only want to wear the ones that don’t fit, 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.  No longer mere buckets strapped to a child’s head, 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.

toddler riding a balance bike while wearing a pink giro scamp helmet

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.

image showing the fused outer shell of the giro scamp helmet
Fused outer shell of the Giro Scamp

Comfortable Fit in a Variety of Uses

Comfort is king with toddler helmets. If a helmet is itchy, heavy, or flopping around on their heads, 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 toddlers testers prefer.

Giro scamp helmet being used in a bike trailer, a child bike seat, a balance bike and a pedal bike

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 as 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).

the moisture wicking pads of the Giro scamp helmet in the MIPS and non-MIPS versions
Soft pads of the non-MIPS and MIPS Giro Scamp

Dial-adjust Fit System

To keep the Scamp firmly on the child’s head, the Giro Scamp features an 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.

giro scamp helmet dial adjust system

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 on the helmet. 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 sides of the straps.

chin strap slider on the giro scamp helmet

In rare cases that the straps on the Scamp come 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.

webbing plug on the Giro Scamp kids helmet

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 $20 more to upgrade to the Scamp.

Schwinn Infant strap adjustments vs. Giro Scamp

chin strap adjustments on the Schwinn Infant helmet versus the 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.  The 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.

mips anchors of the giro scamp

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. Additionally, we’ve found that on some testers with long hair, the MIPS anchors can snag hair.

sweat beading up on the mips layer of the giro scamp helmet

Scamp vs. Competitors

Compared to other helmets in its class, the Scamp is very fairly priced at $40 for non-MIPS and $60 for MIPS. While it is 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, 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 Comparison

FeaturesGiro ScampGiro Scamp w/MIPSJoovy NoodleNutcase Little Nutty
Bike Giro ScampGiro Scamp w/MIPSJoovy NoodleNutcase Little Nutty
MSRP$40$60$25$69
Head Circumference45- 49 cm (XS), 49-53 cm (S)45- 49 cm (XS), 49-53 cm (S)49-54 cm48 – 52 cm
# of Vents881410
Weight251 g~251 g226 g460 g
MIPSNoYesNoYes
Review LinkYou're reading it!You're reading it!Noodle ReviewLittle 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 also suitable for use in child bike seats and trailers, making it a great choice for young toddlers and preschoolers.

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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