Merging the worlds of fashion and bike safety, Thousand Jr. kids bike helmets are turning heads with their sophisticated style. Both vintage and modern, fashionable and functional, Thousand has managed to create a kids helmet that fits great, keeps kids safe, and oozes a retro cool vibe.
These adorable head buckets are dual-certified for biking and skateboarding use, making them particularly suitable for adventurous kids who bounce from biking around the neighborhood to tackling the skatepark.
They also have optional matching bells to complete the whole “outfit”. And if the idea of matching with your mini-me gets you all excited, make sure to check out the matching helmets for adults!
Read our full review below to get the skinny on these retro-cool kids helmets, and find out if the Thousand Jr. kids bike helmet is a great fit for your child’s head and their budding sense of style.
Thousand Jr. Kids Helmet Overview
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Any kid who wants the most fashionable helmet on the block
SIZE: 49 cm – 53 cm
ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM: Dial-adjust
WEIGHT: 390 g
CERTIFICATION: Dual-certified for biking and skateboarding
- Dual-certified for biking and skateboarding
- Dial-adjust fit system for easy and accurate sizing adjustments
- Magnetic buckle makes buckling a breeze
- High-quality, in-mold construction
- Integrated visor provides great protection from face plants
- Vegan leather straps (available on some colors) are soft and stylish
- Fixed side straps never get out of adjustment
- Comes with removable sticker kit to make the helmet more playful
- Matching bike bells (optional purchase)
- Like other dual-certified helmets, heavier and less venting than traditional cycling helmets
- Thin internal padding
Thousand Jr. Kids Bike Helmet – Results of our Test Rides
Sizing – Thousand Jr. Comes in One Size
Head Circumference Range
With a size range of 49 – 53 cm, the Thousand Jr. helmet is sized like a traditional toddler or child helmet. While Thousand states that this helmet is for kids ages 5 – 11, in our experience this size range usually starts closer to 2.5 years old. For example, a boy in the 50th percentile of head size has a 49 cm head at 27 months.
Remember – age matters much less than head circumference! It is imperative that you measure your child’s head circumference before you buy. Ideally, you would purchase this helmet when your child’s head is between 49 and 50 cm to get the longest life from it. Check out our Kids Bike Helmet Sizes and Fit Guide for help getting the perfect fit.
The Thousand Heritage women’s bike helmet (seen on Mama above) is the adult version of the Thousand Jr. The size small has a sizing range of 54 – 57 cm, and would be appropriate for older kids with larger heads. Be aware, however, that 3 cm of size range doesn’t offer much growth for a child with a growing head.
Helmet depth is something else you should consider when looking for a perfect fit. Some kids have “tall” heads, while other kids have “short” heads. A child’s “head height” will affect how low a helmet sits on their head.
Some kids helmets are deeper than others, and dual-certified helmets are usually in that group of “deep” helmets. As you can see below, the Thousand Jr. sits much lower on our tester’s head than the Giro Scamp (size small). Both of these helmets have a size range of 49 to 53 cm.
A helmet that sits too low on a child’s head can potentially obstruct their vision while riding. If a child is doing casual neighborhood riding, where they are mostly upright, this probably won’t come into play much. But if a child is doing more aggressive riding where they are leaning forward, a low-set visor could be problematic.
For kids with taller heads, the Thousand Jr. would sit higher than on the test rider shown above and would be a great helmet for any riding scenario. For this tester, either the Thousand Jr. or the Scamp are great helmets for casual, more upright riding. But for aggressive riding, we would prefer the higher-set visor of the Scamp her.
Integrated Visor a Big Win!
While we’re on the topic of visors, we are huge fans of integrated visors on kids helmets. A visor provides a bit of shade for the eyes, but more importantly, protection for the face in the case of a face plant! An integrated visor won’t snap off upon impact, providing the most protection possible. For our own kids, this has come in quite useful on many occasions.
The Thousand kids helmet is unique because it’s the only kids dual-certified helmet that we know of to have an integrated visor. The Nutcase Little Nutty has a plastic visor, but it can easily be removed.
Dual Certified for Biking and Skateboarding
Speaking of dual-certification… there are very few toddler and child helmets that are dual-certified for biking and skateboard use. The Thousand Jr. helmet is one of them!
If your child will be biking and using a skateboard, a dual-certified helmet is a necessity. If they will just be biking, it’s certainly fine to have a dual-certified helmet.
Be aware that although dual-certified helmets are certified to withstand multiple crashes/impacts while skateboarding, they are only certified for one crash/impact for biking. As a result, a dual-certified helmet isn’t more durable or safer for biking than a standard bike helmet.
Dual-certified helmets also tend to be heavier than cycling helmets. At 390 grams, the Thousand Jr. is heavier than the biking helmet Giro Scamp which weighs 250 grams. But for a dual-certified helmet it’s actually pretty light. Our other favorite dual-certified helmet, the Nutcase Little Nutty, weighs 460 grams.
For more information on dual certification and skateboard helmets, check out our article all about it!
Vegan Leather Side Straps and Chin Strap on Some Colors
The Thousand Jr. helmet is the only kids helmet on the market to offer vegan leather straps. In addition to looking pretty vogue, they are also soft and smooth if they come into contact with your child’s face.
When these helmets first premiered, all colors had vegan leather straps. Newer colors (like the purple shown here) now come with brown nylon straps. There are pros and cons to each style.
Vegan Leather vs. Nylon Straps
The vegan leather straps have an advantage in that they simplify the process of putting on your child’s helmet. This is because their design comes to a fixed “V” below the ears. (We do wish the angle of the Thousand’s V was more centered under the child’s ear, but have found that it’s just fine for most kids.)
Most helmets have plastic pieces that adjust up and down to form a “V” under your child’s ear, but the Thousand’s vegan leather straps are sewn into a permanent “V”. Having a properly placed “V” helps keep the helmet centered on your child’s head.
Over our many years of testing helmets, we’ve found that kids and parents usually forget to re-adjust the moving plastic pieces to form a snug “V”, often resulting in a poor fit. With a fixed “V”, this is just one less thing to worry about when putting on your child’s helmet!
Vegan Leather Straps vs. Nylon Straps
Newer models of the Thousand Jr. have brown nylon straps with plastic sliding pieces that lock into place underneath a child’s ear. Thousand’s sliders stay in place very well, but you should still check that they are placed properly before every ride.
The advantage of the moving sliders is that they can be adjusted to fit directly under your child’s ear. This allows for a more precise fit for some kids. Many kids have no issue with helmet fit with the fixed “V” system, but some do. Without the ability to tighten that “V”, the helmet can slide back on the child’s forehead.
In the end, there are pros and cons to each system. If you prefer a color that has the fixed “V” and it ends up sliding around on your child’s head too much, we recommend trying a color with the nylon straps and locking sliders.
Easy Adjustability for Thousand Kids Helmet
A dial-adjust fit system allows you to instantly tighten or loosen your child’s helmet to accurately fit their head. A helmet should always be snug, but not uncomfortably tight, against the head.
While some helmets used different thicknesses of pads to help customize the fit, that process is rarely accurate and we can rarely find the pads when we need to adjust the helmet as our child’s head grows.
The dial-adjust fit system on the Thousand Jr. is good quality and easy to use. The knob is set low enough so that it’s easy to grab and twist. As your child grows, the Thousand Jr. helmet will continue to be a good, snug fit if the dial-adjust is used consistently. However, remember that you need to tighten that knob every time your child wears their helmet!
Magnetic buckles can be tricky to figure out at first, but one you “get” it, they are so much easier to use than standard buckles. The buckle on the Thousand Jr. is a high-quality Fidlock magnetic buckle.
Be aware that while magnetic buckles are often marketed as “pinch free”, this isn’t entirely accurate. We’ve pinched our kids plenty of times with magnetic buckles. However, you’re probably less likely to pinch your child with this style of buckle, and if you do, it tends to hurt less.
Thin, Sweat-wicking Padding
The internal padding of the Thousand Jr. is sweat-wicking sport material. The pads are sealed to help trap sweat and prevent it from dripping down your child’s face.
One potential issue with the Thousand’s padding is that it’s pretty thin. At the front of the helmet, the foam core is ridged due to the ventilation air channels. This uneven surface can feel awkward against the forehead, and the thin pads don’t help much.
While most helmets have ridges in the foam across the forehead, higher-end helmets often have an additional layer of plastic between the foam core and the padding. In these helmets, the padding sits against the flat plastic, not the ridged foam. (Bottom image in the collage below.) As a result, you can’t feel the ridges in the foam against your forehead.
Thousand Jr. Foam Ridges vs. Giro Scamp Flat Plastic Layer
Whether or not this will bother your child we can’t say and may depend a lot on their head shape. I use the adult helmet and it bothers me because the helmet’s primary pressure points are at the front and back of my head. However, our three kid helmet testers didn’t complain about it.
Venting on Thousand Jr. Helmet vs Others
With six long, skinny vents along the top of the helmet, the Thousand Jr. offers a bit less ventilation than our other favorite helmets. With no vents along the front or back for air to flow front to back, it could be a problem if you live in a hot climate.
As a comparison, the Giro Scamp has 8 vents while the Joovy Noodle has 14. However, due to design requirements, dual-certified helmets almost always have fewer vents than standard bike helmets.
Sticker Pack for Decorating that Thousand Jr.
For kids who prefer a helmet with cute graphics, each Thousand kids helmet includes a pack of stickers for a completely personalized transformation.
While one packet of stickers comes standard, additional packs can be purchased separately. The stickers are easily removable, so kids can’t really “mess up” their helmet.
Matching Thousand Kids Bike Bells
We’re suckers for matchy-matchy cuteness, so Thousand’s kids bike bells were kind of a big hit at our house. The bells are harder to ring than other kids bike bells we’ve used, but our 3.5 year old tester still had plenty of fun ringing it over and over and over…
Thousand Jr. Helmet Bottom Line
The Thousand Jr. is one of the highest-quality helmets on the market, and also boasts a pretty rad retro vibe. For parents looking for a kids bike helmet that will keep their kids safe and stylish, the Thousand Jr. is the hippest choice on the block.