Giro Tremor MIPS Review

The Giro Tremor MIPS is easily one of our favorite helmets. As bike moms who have tested over 60 kids bike helmets, we’re picky about which ones we put on our own kids heads. That’s why it says a lot that several of our kids wear the Giro Tremor MIPS youth or child helmet.

With best-in-class comfort, a high-quality adjustment system, and optional MIPS safety technology, the Giro Tremor is truly exceptional. Available in youth and child sizes, plenty of color options, and with cool mountain bike styling, the Tremor is a safe and stylish fit for little shredders of all ages. Read the review below to see if the Tremor is the right Giro helmet for your child!

Group of four kids each wearing a Giro Tremor MIPS bike helmet

Giro Tremor MIPS Overview

RATING: Exceptional

MSRP$65 (Youth or Child MIPS), $45 (Child w/o MIPS)

BEST FOR: Parents who want a kids helmet with upgraded features, best-in-class comfort, ease of adjustability, and the added safety of MIPS technology.

SIZE: Youth: 50 – 57 cm, Child: 47 – 54 cm

ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM: Dial adjust

WEIGHT: 306 g (Youth), 255 g (Child)

PROS:

  • 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 in Youth, optional in Child size

CONS:

  • 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 MIPS – Results of our Test Rides

The Giro Tremor debuted in 2018 and we’ve been huge fans ever since. Our kids have put in a lot of hours riding with these helmets and we can vouch for their consistent, exceptional performance.

Boy riding his mountain bike on a dirt trail and wearing the Giro Tremor MIPS bike helmet

Size – Tremor Youth and Child Sizes

The Giro Tremor is offered in two sizes. The Youth has a circumference range of 50 – 57 cm, while the Child has a head circumference range of 47 cm – 54 cm.

Brother and sister wearing Giro Tremor MIPS helmets in child and youth sizes

Youth or Child?

So with overlapping sizing, what do you do if your child has a head circumference of 50 or 51 cm? While we certainly can’t speak for every child’s head shape, we found the Child size to be more narrow than the Youth.

Our 10-year-old tester with a small head at 51 cm is a great fit in the Youth size, but the narrower sides of the Child size were too tight and uncomfortable on his head.

Our 3-year-old tester with a 50.5 cm head fit fine in both sizes, but the Child size was a better fit. Because the Child size weighs less and is a bit less bulky overall, it was proportioned better for her small body. For her, I would purchase the Child size now and upgrade her to Youth in a few years.

From what we could tell with our testers, the Child is also slightly more shallow than the Youth size. On each tester, the Youth size came down just a little closer to our kids’ eyebrows.

We haven’t yet tested this helmet on a toddler with a 47 or 48 cm size head, and as a result can’t speak to how deep the Child helmet is for a much smaller head.

Tremor Child or Giro Scamp Small?

Giro offers two smaller child helmets – the Tremor Child (47 – 54 cm), and the Giro Scamp (49 – 53 cm). So with the Scamp sizing 100% overlapping the Tremor Child, which one should you get?

Besides the obvious stylistic differences, they also fit differently. The Giro Tremor Child is deeper, wider, and bulkier than the Scamp. They are both a great fit on our 3-year-old (50.5 cm head), but you can see here how they each provide a unique fit.

Between the two, the Tremor child will sit lower on your child’s head. If your child has a smaller or shorter head, the Tremor Child may be a bit too deep.

Because the Tremor Child is wider than the Scamp, if your child has a wider head, your better bet is probably the Tremor Child.

For young toddlers, you should also take into account the overall size (bulkiness) of the helmet. Below is a comparison of the Giro Tremor Child on a tall and sturdy 3.5-year-old versus her short and petite 2-year-old friend. Although their head circumferences only differ by 0.5 cm, the Tremor Child has a bobble-head effect on the smaller child.

For younger toddlers with smaller heads and bodies, the more flush profile of the Scamp may be a better fit than the Tremor Child. This is especially true if your child will be riding in a bike trailer, where a flat-backed helmet is a huge comfort bonus.

Side by side images of Giro Tremor Child and Giro Scamp, shown from side

Coverage – Tremor Has More Coverage than Many Youth Helmets

Giro offers two Youth helmets – the Tremor and the Hale, and two child helmets – the Tremor and the Scamp. Because the Tremor is stylized like a mountain bike helmet, it has more coverage than many other child and youth bike helmets, including the Hale and Scamp.

As you can see in the images below, the Giro Tremor youth helmet has more coverage in the back and sides, compared to the Giro Hale youth cycling helmet. However, keep in mind that they both carry the same CPSC certification and both provide plenty of coverage to keep your child’s head safe in the event of a crash. 

Giro Tremor vs. Giro Hale Coverage on 50.5 cm Head

Boy wearing Giro Tremor kid's helmet. Shots from front, side and back to show coverage.
Boy wearing Giro Hale kid's helmet. Shots from front, side and back to show coverage.

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 most helmets we’ve tested.

The dial adjust system of the Tremor features 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. It also dials in quite smoothly.

Dial adjust knob on the back of the Giro Tremor

Be aware that when a child is on the small end of the sizing range for a helmet, it’s generally more difficult to tighten the dial-adjust. This is because it sits farther back into the helmet, requiring you to reach up and into the helmet as you tighten it on your child’s head.

To demonstrate, on the left below you can see the dial adjust tightened all the way to its smallest size. On the right, it’s expanded to its largest point.

Dial-Adjust Harder to Grab on Smaller Heads

Dial adjust knob at its tightest and loosest point on the Giro Tremor. Side by side comparison

Some helmets, like the Joovy Noodle, have lower sitting dial adjusts that make them easier to grab, no matter where your child’s head falls in the sizing range.

Pads – Sealed and Sweat-Wicking

The Giro Tremor helmets are lined with high-end, sealed pads to prevent sweat from dripping down your child’s face. 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 on most kids helmets.

Channeled padding inside the Giro Tremor Youth helmet

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.

Fixed V side straps on the Giro Tremor vs plastic sliders on other kids helmet

The Giro Tremor features side straps that are fixed and don’t need to be adjusted. (Most kids’ helmets require adjusting the side straps to get a proper fit.) We love it! We also love that the side straps are a much softer and more tightly woven fabric than the traditional nylon found on many other helmets. They feel soft against the skin and look pretty sweet.

If your child has a particularly tall head, the fixed “V” could end up being a problem, because it can’t be adjusted lower and could end up sitting on their ear. However, we’ve put these helmets on many kids’ heads and have never had that issue.

Buckle – Giro Tremor Features Basic Buckle

The buckle on the Tremor 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 Bell 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 is spot on – just enough for what you need without all the excess strap found on other helmets.

Lightweight and Quality Construction

Weight

Giro Tremor helmets are lightweight and not at all cumbersome to wear. The 2021 Giro Tremor Youth weighs 307 grams with MIPS. This is about 10 grams lighter than the original 2018 version.

The Tremor Child MIPS weighs 276 g, while the Child without MIPS weighs 255 grams.

While there are lighter-weight helmets out there, all sizes of the Giro Tremor are very comfortable to wear. Trying to find a helmet that is lighter than the Tremor isn’t really necessary from a comfort or performance standpoint.

Construction

The Tremor features 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.

Here you can see the difference between high-quality in-mold on the Tremor, vs. the much more basic and less durable hardshell construction on the Joovy Noodle.

Giro Tremor In mold construction versus cheaper helmet with hardshell construction

The arrow indicates where the Tremor’s outer shell is fused with the inner core, and where the Joovy’s outer shell is taped to the foam core. You can also see that the Tremor’s shell covers significantly more of the inner foam core than the Joovy, which increases the Tremor’s overall durability.

Visor – Giro Tremor Visor Longer than Typical Helmets

The removable visor on the Tremor extends out farther than most visors we’ve seen, providing more protection from the sun. This is pretty typical for mountain bike style helmets.

If the helmet sits lower on the child’s head, however, the visor can limit their field of vision. Our testers commented that they could see the visor on the Tremor more than the Hale (or Scamp), but it didn’t bother them.

The visor on the Giro Tremor MIPS is longer than the Hale's.

Ventilation – Giro Tremor Has Great Airflow

The Tremor boasts 5 air channels running front to back, and 18 vents along the front, back and sides. We live in Texas, and while our summers get pretty humid and miserable, the Tremor has provided very adequate airflow.

MIPS Safety Technology – Standard on Youth, Optional on Child

The Giro Tremor Youth is only available with MIPS, while the Child size comes with or without MIPS. MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) 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 safer for your child is something you should consider.

The foam core of a helmet protects a child from direct impact but does not protect well from angled impacts.  MIPS 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 foam shell of the helmet.  In an impact, the anchors stretch to allow the foam shell to rotate around the inner plastic MIPS shell.

While many MIPS helmets (including the Giro Scamp!) have exposed yellow anchors that easily snag long hair, the Tremor’s internal pad system covers the MIPS anchors, solving this issue!

In the left image below, the pad has been removed so you can see the underlying yellow MIPS anchor of the Tremor. On the right you can see the permanently exposed anchors on the Nutcase Little Nutty.

Tremor’s Covered MIPS Anchors and Minimal Plastic

Interior of Giro Tremor helmet, showing plastic MIPS layer compared to the larger plastic layer of the Nutcase Little Nutty

What we’re most excited about with the Tremor’s MIPS system is that it is incorporated into the dial-adjust cage and is slimmer in design. What this means is less plastic, making your child’s head sweat less! Besides long hair catching on MIPS anchors, sweaty-head-syndrome has been the other small issue with MIPS.

In the image above, you can see the slim black plastic MIPS layer of the Tremor on the left, verses the much more extensive yellow plastic layer of the Nutcase Little Nutty on the right.

While we strongly believe that the added safety MIPS provides is worth snagged hair or a slightly sweatier head, we appreciate that the Giro Tremor and MIPS have made great strides in rider comfort.

Giro Tremor MIPS Bottom Line

The Giro Tremor Youth MIPS and Child MIPS and Tremor Child without 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.  

To view an a full selection of helmets, check out our 10 Best Kids Helmets page.

FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this review.  No monetary compensation was provided for this review.  The product reviewed was purchased by Two Wheeling Tots and not supplied by the manufacturer. 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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