As bike moms who have tested over 60 kids bike helmets, we’re picky about which helmets we put on our own kids heads. That’s why it says a lot that our entire family is outfitted with Giro helmets. The Giro Tremor MIPS and Giro Hale MIPS are two of our very favorite youth bike helmets.
With best-in-class comfort and high-quality adjustment systems, the Giro Hale and Giro Tremor youth helmets are functionally almost identical. Both models come standard with MIPS safety technology, and are exceptional helmets. So Giro Hale vs Tremor? For most kids the choice between the two just comes down to style or color preference. Read the review below to see how they’re different, and which one is best for your child!
Giro Tremor MIPS & Hale MIPS Overview
BEST FOR: Parents who want a youth helmet with upgraded features, best-in-class comfort, ease of adjustability, and the added safety of MIPS technology.
SIZE: 50 – 57 cm
ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM: Dial adjust
WEIGHT: 306 g
- With no side strap adjusters, adjusting for the perfect fit is easy
- Dial-adjust system has a larger rubber dial for ease of use
- Plenty of vents and internal air channels for great ventilation
- Internal pads are high-quality technical material
- Lighter-weight than previous models
- MIPS safety technology comes standard
- Standard buckle can pinch, but keeps costs down
Giro Tremor MIPS Video Review
Take a visual tour of the Giro Tremor MIPS youth helmet with Kid Bike Tester. Please excuse his dirty helmet, he’s worn his Tremor like crazy for the last 2 years!
Giro Tremor and Giro Hale – Results of our Test Rides
Giro’s Tremor and the Hale made a quiet entrance into the kid’s helmet market, but we want to shout from the rooftops how much we love both of them! The Tremor is similar to the very popular Bell Sidetrack, except that for just a few dollars more, it’s a much better helmet. The Hale is an update on Giro’s own Raze helmet, and they fixed everything about the Raze that we thought was a bit annoying.
Coverage – Tremor Has More Coverage than Hale
Because the Tremor is stylized like a mountain bike helmet while the Hale is a junior cycling helmet, the Tremor has more coverage in the back and sides, but both helmets provide plenty of coverage to keep your child’s head safe in the event of a crash.
Helmet Coverage – Tremor vs. Hale on 50.5 cm Head
Size – Tremor and Hale are Standard “Youth” Size
The Tremor and the Hale are standard “Youth” sized helmets fitting kids’ heads in the 50 – 57 cm circumference range. At their widest point, they’re 16.5 cm, just slightly smaller than the Bell Sidetrack at 17 cm. It’s incredibly important to remember that heads come in many different shapes. You could have two kids with a head circumference of 55 cm, but they many not be able to fit in the same helmet depending on how wide or tall their head is.
While the Bell Sidetrack‘s sides narrow when the dial adjust knob is turned to make the helmet smaller, the sides are fixed on the Tremor and the Hale. So if your child’s head is a little wider than average, the Giro helmets would probably be the better choice. If your child has a very wide head, skater-style helmets like the Melon, are usually the route to go.
Adjustability – Dial-Adjust for a Snug Fit
To provide a proper helmet fit, any helmet worth buying should have an internal adjustment system. Giro’s Roc Loc adjustment system is A++ and is definitely a step up from the Sidetrack and most other helmets we’ve seen.
The dial adjust system of both the Tremor and Hale feature a slightly larger dial that’s covered in a rubber grip to make it so much easier to adjust, especially when it’s already on a child’s head. The Sidetrack dial is harder to grip and also doesn’t dial in nearly as smoothly.
Dial Adjust and Pads on Tremor and Hale vs. Bell Sidetrack
Pads – Sealed and Sweat-Wicking
While many higher-end helmets have traditionally come with multiple sets of pads of different thicknesses to better customize the fit for your child, it seems to be a trend to forgo the extra set of pads.
This keeps costs down, and also gives parents one less thing to worry about when adjusting the size of their child’s helmet. And while it may be nice to have a set of thinner pads to exchange out as your child grows, if you can manage to keep track of them that long, you’re far better parents than we are. 🙂
The Tremor and Hale are both lined with high-end, sealed pads to prevent sweat from dripping down your child’s face, but also, the side that touches the skin is a high-end athletic performance material called Quick-Dry padding. These pads are definitely among the nicest we’ve seen and are an upgrade from the pads of the Bell Sidetrack, which are sealed but don’t feature the technical fabric.
There is a slight difference between the pads on the Tremor and Hale. The cushioning of the Tremor’s pads are broken up periodically with small air channels to promote better air flow and ventilation, while the Hale’s is not.
Side Straps – No Adjusting Required!
Correctly adjusting the sliders on a helmet’s side straps is one of my least favorite things to do in life. It is SUCH A PAIN but completely necessary to have a truly great and lasting fit. THANK YOU, Giro for removing this first world problem from my life.
Side Straps and Buckle on Tremor and Hale vs. Bell
The Giro Tremor and Hale both feature side straps that are fixed, don’t need to be adjusted, and aren’t part of their fit system. (Most kids’ helmets require adjusting the side straps to get a proper fit.) We love it! We also love that the side traps are a much softer and more tightly woven fabric than the traditional nylon found on the Sidetrack and most other helmets. They feel soft against the skin and look pretty sweet.
Buckle – Giro Tremor and Hale Feature Basic Buckle
The buckle on both the Tremor and Hale is a standard-style buckle. While more expensive helmets are starting to upgrade to magnetic, pinch-free buckles, we don’t mind a traditional buckle if it helps keep costs down.
We also love this buckle because, while basic, it’s easy to use. The Sidetrack and many other child helmets feature a buckle called the “Pinchguard” that supposedly prevents your child from getting pinched while buckling or unbuckling. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s also really hard to use and just kind of annoying.
The excess buckle strap on the Tremor and Hale is spot on – just enough for what you need without all the excess strap found on other helmets.
Lightweight and Quality Construction
This area is where the Tremor and the Hale differ the most.
Both the Giro Tremor MIPS and Giro Hale MIPS are super lightweight, but they do differ. With more coverage and less venting, the Tremor weighs 306 g while the Hale is one of the lightest weight helmets we’ve seen, at 247 g. The Tremor, however, does weigh about 14 g less than the similar Bell Sidetrack.
The Tremor and Hale feature in-mold construction which means that the outer shell is fused with the inner foam core so the helmet is one solid piece. This is the preferred type of helmet construction because it keeps quality high and the weight low.
The Hale does have slightly more coverage over its foam core than the Tremor. Exposed foam can get damaged more easily, so while still providing adequate protection, helmets that have more of the foam covered do have a bit more durability.
Slight Differences in Tremor, Hale, and Sidetrack Outershell Coverage
Visor – Giro Tremor Visor Longer than Giro Hale
The visor on the Tremor extends out farther than most visors we’ve seen, providing more protection from the sun. The visor on the Hale is much smaller, but is also consistent with other cycling helmets.
Ventilation – Giro Youth Helmets Have Great Airflow
For superior ventilation, the Hale features 22 vents and 5 air channels running from front to back. If you live in a hot climate, the Hale should be high on your list of helmets to consider.
The Tremor also features 5 air channels, but only 18 vents. This is better, however, than the Sidetrack with just 15 vents. We live in Texas, and while our summers get pretty humid and miserable, the Tremor has still provided adequate airflow.
Tremor has 18 Vents while Hale has 22
MIPS Safety Technology – Standard on both Tremor and Hale
The Giro Tremor and the Hale both come standard with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System). MIPS is the latest and greatest in helmet technology and is a feature we highly recommend. Helmets are not fashion accessories, but safety accessories. Anything that can make a helmet more safe for your child is something you should consider.
The foam core of a helmet protects a child from direct impact but does not protect the head and neck from twisting during an impact. MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) allows the energy from the crash impact to be absorbed by the helmet regardless of what direction the impact is coming from.
The MIPS system works by allowing the helmet to slightly rotate around the head during a crash. The rotation is possible due to rubber anchors that adhere an inner plastic MIPS shell to the outer foam shell of the helmet. In an impact, the anchors stretch to allow the outer foam shell to rotate around the inner plastic MIPS shell.
Giro’s New MIPS Upgrades vs. Bell Sidetrack
While many MIPS helmets have exposed yellow anchors that easily snag long hair, the Tremor and Hale’s internal pad system covers the MIPS anchors, solving this issue!
What we’re most excited about with the MIPS system in the Tremor and Hale is that they’re actually incorporated into the dial-adjust cage and are slimmer in design. What this means is less plastic making your child’s head sweat! Besides long hair catching on MIPS anchors, sweaty-head-syndrome has been the other small issue with MIPS.
While we strongly believe that the added safety MIPS provides has been worth these minor inconveniences, it looks like Giro and MIPS are making great strides in comfort.
Giro Tremor MIPS and Hale MIPS Bottom Line
The Giro Tremor MIPS and the Hale MIPS are both phenomenal options for your child’s next helmet. With one of the highest quality and easiest to use adjustment systems available in a kid’s helmet, great ventilation, durable and lightweight construction, and optional MIPS models, Giro has hit a home run with these helmets. When choosing between the Tremor and Hale, it really should just come down to which colors and designs your kid likes better!
To view an a full selection of helmets, check out our 10 Best Kids Helmets page.