Thousand Jr. Kids and Toddler Bike Helmet Review

Merging the worlds of fashion and bike safety, Thousand Jr. kids and toddler 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 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. bike helmet is a great fit for your child’s head and their budding sense of style. (Please note that the Thousand Jr. Toddler and Thousand Jr. Kids are two different helmets with different features.)

Toddler wearing Thousand Jr. toddler size helmet in green, 4 year old wearing Thousand Jr. kids size helmet in blush

Thousand Jr. Helmet Overview

RATING: Highly Recommended

MSRP: $44 (toddler) $60 (kids)

BEST FOR: Any kid who wants the most fashionable helmet on the block

SIZE: 45 cm – 49 cm (toddler), 49 cm – 53 cm (kids)

ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM: Dial-adjust

WEIGHT: 220 g (toddler), 390 g (kids)

CERTIFICATION: Kids model (not toddler) is dual-certified for biking and skateboarding

MIPS: No

PROS:

  • Dial-adjust fit system for easy and accurate sizing adjustments
  • Once adjusted, these helmets stay in place better than many helmets
  • High-quality construction
  • Integrated visor provides great protection from face plants
  • Magnetic buckle makes buckling a breeze (kids model)
  • Dual-certified for biking and skateboarding (kids model)
  • Comes with removable sticker kit to make the helmet more playful
  • Matching bike bells (optional purchase)

CONS:

  • Like other dual-certified helmets, heavier and less venting than traditional cycling helmets (kids model)
  • Thin internal padding (kids model)

Thousand Jr. Bike Helmet Sizing – Toddler or Kids?

The Thousand Jr. toddler and Thousand Jr. kids helmets are similar in styling, but differ in a few important details that we’ll cover throughout this review. Which model is right for your child is completely dependent on sizing.

(1) Thousand Jr. TODDLER: head circumference 45 – 49 cm

(2) Thousand Jr. KIDS: head circumference 49 – 53 cm

Remember – age matters much less than head circumference! It is imperative that you measure your child’s head circumference before you buy. Check out our Kids Bike Helmet Sizes and Fit Guide for help getting the perfect fit.

Overall, we found the Thousand Jr. toddler and kids helmets to offer great and consistent coverage. Once adjusted correctly, they stay in place really well. (Helmets shifting out of place is a common problem with kids bike helmets.)

Click the jump down buttons below to read the section of the review that’s right for you.

Thousand Jr. TODDLER Review – Results of our Test Rides

2 year old wearing Thousand Jr toddler helmet in green

Head Circumference Range

With a size range of 45 – 49 cm, the Thousand Jr. toddler helmet is one of the smallest bike helmets available, and really should be categorized as a baby and toddler helmet. This helmet is CPSC 1+ certified, meaning that it satisfies special requirements to be categorized as a helmet for babies 1-year-old and older.

Helmet Depth

Besides head circumference, how tall or short your child’s head is also comes into play. Some babies have taller heads, while others have a shorter “head height”. If your child has a taller head, you’ll want a deeper helmet. If they have a shorter head, you’ll want a more shallow helmet.

This helmet falls somewhere in the middle – not super shallow but not super deep. Deep enough to stay in place really well, but shallow enough to not sit too low over a child’s eyes.

Here you can see how it compares to the XS woom helmet, which is one of the deepest toddler helmets on the market.

Thousand Jr Toddler More Shallow than woom Helmet

Side by side comparison of the depth of the Thousand Jr toddler helmet and the woom toddler helmet

Flat Back for Trailer and Child Bike Seat Use

With a somewhat flat back and overall less-bulky build, the Thousand Jr. toddler’s design makes it particularly suitable for riding in a trailer or child bike seat.

When a baby or toddler is sitting in a trailer or child bike seat and leans against the seat back, a bulky or pointed helmet can push their head forward. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can push their helmet out of place as well.=

Soft Side Straps with Locking Sliders

Side straps of Thousand Jr toddler helmet form a V under toddler's ear

The side straps of the Thousand Jr. toddler are soft and shouldn’t bother your child’s skin. For a proper fit, the straps should form a “V” below your child’s ear. They can be adjusted for length by moving the straps through the black plastic sliders on the left and right side, and then locked into place by closing that same plastic piece.

With the straps in the correct “V” formation, the helmet is able to stay more centered on your child’s head, and is less likely to be pushed forward or backward out of place.

Locking sliders are an upgraded feature that comes in very handy. Even the Giro Scamp II ($75) doesn’t have locking sliders. When those plastic pieces can lock into place, they pretty much stay where you’ve adjusted them. Non-locking sliders need to be re-adjusted for the right fit quite frequently, which parents often forget to do!

High Quality Dial Adjust for Accurate Adjustability

Dial adjust knob on back of Thousand toddler helmet

Most helmets these days have a dial-adjust fit system that allows you to tighten the rear portion of the helmet so that it sits snug against your child’s head. If a helmet doesn’t have a dial-adjust, don’t buy it because you won’t be able to get an accurate helmet fit! (Unless it has an auto-fit tightening system like found on Lazer helmets.)

If the helmet is still loose on your child’s head even after you dial it all the way down, you need a different helmet. The Kali Chakra Child XS is smaller and more narrow, and would be a good option to try.

Thicker Padding

Internal padding of Thousand Jr toddler helmet are basic pads

Compared to the Thousand Jr kids helmet, the padding in the toddler helmet covers more area and is thicker. However, it is more basic in quality. Our little testers had no comfort complaints and never resisted wearing the helmet.

Additionally, because the pads don’t have sealed edges like those on the Thousand Jr. kids or Giro Scamp II, sweat is more likely to drip out and potentially get in a child’s eyes on a very hot and sweaty day.

Standard Buckle

While the larger Thousand Jr. kids helmet has a magnetic buckle, the toddler version has a basic standard buckle. Magnetic buckles are beneficial because they make pinching your child’s neck less likely. But they are also more expensive.

While a magnetic buckle would be a nice to have, the much lower price tag of the toddler helmet is also a nice to have.

Integrated Visor a Safety Win

Side shot of toddler wearing Thousand Jr helmet, showing integrated visor

Most baby and toddler bike helmets have a visor integrated into the body of the helmet. While the visor does help shade eyes from the sun a bit, it’s more important function is that it will protect a child’s face in the event of a face-plant.

With the visor extending past the child’s face, ideally it will hit the ground first and prevent scraped noses or busted teeth. While this visor won’t protect from every type of fall, an integrated visor has saved our kids from major injury on several occasions.

Venting on Thousand Jr. Helmet vs Others

6 vents on top of Thousand Jr helmet

Like the Thousand Jr. kids and Thousand’s adult helmets, the Thousand Jr. toddler is less ventilated than other brands. With no vents on the front and only two partially extending down the back, air can’t really flow through the helmet. There are six long vents along the top which will allow heat to escape.

If you live in a very hot climate, you may want to look at helmets with more and larger vents. That said, we live in Texas and still wear these helmets in the summer because we just love their style, and our heads are going to get sweaty in any helmet when it’s over 100 degrees!

Thousand Jr. KIDS Review – Results of our Test Rides

Close up of pink Thousand Jr kids bike helmet while child is leaning forward on bike

Head Circumference Range

With a size range of 49 – 53 cm, the Thousand Jr. kids helmet is sized like a traditional 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.

Ideally, you would purchase this helmet when your child’s head is between 49 and 50 cm to get the longest life from it.

Mom and toddler daughter both wearing Thousand bike helmets

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.

Depth

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. kids 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.

Side by side comparison of helmet depth of Thousand Jr. and Giro Scamp.

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. kids 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 for 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.

Side by side comparison of the integrated visor on the Thousand Jr kids helmet vs the removable visor on the Nutcase Little Nutty

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

Young girl wearing Thousand Jr bike helmet for kids. Collage of her laughing and making faces.

Speaking of dual-certification… there are very few child helmets that are dual-certified for biking and skateboard use. The Thousand Jr. kids 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. kids 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. kids 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 below) now come with brown nylon straps. As of spring 2024, certain colors still come with vegan leather straps, while other colors have the brown nylon. (You can see them in the product images up their site.) 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

Side by side comparison of side straps on Thousand Jr. Vegan leather vs nylon.

Newer models of the Thousand Jr. kids 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 vegan leather straps and 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.

Dial adjust knob on the back of the Thousand Jr. helmet

The dial-adjust fit system on the Thousand Jr. kids 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 Buckle

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. kids 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.

magnetic fidlock buckle on Thousand Jr.

Thin, Sweat-wicking Padding

The internal padding of the Thousand Jr. kids is sweat-wicking sport material. The pads are sealed to help trap sweat and prevent it from dripping down your child’s face.

Inside of Thousand Jr helmet showing padding

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

Front inside of Thousand Jr helmet showing ridged foam

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. Kids Helmet vs Others

With six long, skinny vents along the top of the helmet, the Thousand Jr. kids 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. That said, we live in a very hot climate and still love these helmets year round for shorter rides.

As a comparison, the Giro Scamp has 13 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.

Thousand Jr helmet with stickers on the side

For kids who prefer a helmet with cute graphics, each Thousand toddler or 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.

Child looking at sticker packets to put on her Thousand Jr 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…

Collage of all the Thousand Jr bike helmet colors and matching bells

Thousand Jr. Helmet Bottom Line

The Thousand Jr. helmets are some of the highest-quality toddler and kids helmets on the market, and also boast a pretty rad retro vibe. For parents looking for a toddler or kids bike helmet that will keep their little ones safe and stylish, the Thousand Jr. is the hippest choice on the block.

FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this review.  No monetary compensation was provided for this review and the product was purchased by Two Wheeling Tots. 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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