A helmet is an essential accessory when your child has a bike, and the earlier you get one on them, the better. Wearing it will seem like second nature to them, which is good since more than 800 bicyclists die each year in the U.S. in collisions and thousands more are injured (1).
Finding the right type and perfect fit is all-important, but the choices can get overwhelming. We’ve found ten of the best kids’ bike helmets to help you out. There’s a helmet fit for every child, so let’s get pedaling.
Finding the Best Kids’ Bike Helmet
Here are some tips to finding a safe helmet your child won’t fight you about wearing while they are out popping wheelies.
1. The Size
If a bike helmet is either too small or big, it can’t protect the head as it’s supposed to.
Most manufacturers list sizes according to age but this isn’t always accurate since head sizes vary between children. It’s necessary to measure the head to find the correct size.
You also have to take into consideration the shape of your child’s head. Some are narrow, while others are wide. Helmets are the same — there are different styles to cater to variously sized heads.
If you buy online, we recommend looking at user reviews before making a decision — many parents write detailed reports, giving you an idea of the fit.
When you manage to find the right size, the helmet may still sit a little wobbly on your child’s head. A useful feature is a dial-adjust system to tweak those last millimeters. These sit at the back of the helmet and tighten the inner cage up.
Most kids’ bike helmets add these to cater to growing heads. If the helmet doesn’t have a dial-adjust, it’s likely to include thicker, removable padding. These aren’t as desirable as the dial, but it’s doable.
3. A Good Buckle
As a child grows, their helmet may pinch under the chin. Your child should know how to adjust the buckle. This will reduce the chance of them placing it on their head and leaving the straps loose because it’s uncomfortable fastened.
There are two types of buckles — the old-school buckle and the newer magnetic type. Magnetic fasteners are still a feature only included in luxury helmets. They do eliminate the chance of pinching, though, so they could be worth the investment.
A light helmet is best as a heavy one can weigh your child down and tire them. When you get into the bigger sizes though, the helmets generally weigh more, so if your child has a large head, it’s something to be aware of. Extra stuff such as novelty ears or other accessories can also add to the weight.
5. Your Child’s Activities
Not all bike helmets are suitable for other activities, such as skateboarding or scootering. If your child takes part in other pursuits requiring a helmet, look for one that is dual certified. These are designed to keep your child’s head safe in various situations.
Ensuring the Fit Is Right
- Let your child wear the helmet: Start by placing the helmet square on your child’s head. It has to sit on the top, not too far back or forward.
- Check the space: Use two of your fingers, and place them between the helmet and your child’s eyebrows. There should be no more or less than the width of two fingers in this space.
- Ensure it’s snug: Grab it gently and try to move it from side to side — if it doesn’t budge, the size is right. If it moves and feels loose, it’s too big, and you should either insert padding or replace it.
- Check the sides: Look at both sides, and check that the straps surrounding the ear create a “Y” shape. If the form is off, use the strap adjuster to tighten or loosen the fit.
- Test the strap: Buckle the strap and tighten it until you can fit no more than one finger. You can also ask your child to open their mouth as wide as possible — if the helmet pulls down, it’s okay. If not, it’s too loose, and you should tighten the strap.
Reasons to Replace a Helmet
- Outgrown the size: This one is obvious — once the helmet sits too snugly on your child’s head, it’s time for a replacement.
- Dropped helmet: Experts recommend you replace the helmet after it has fallen on concrete or other hard surfaces (2). Even a drop can cause significant damage to the materials, reducing their effectiveness during an actual crash.
- Following a crash: If your child wore the helmet in an accident where it took the impact, it’s best to replace it. Even if there are no visible damages to the exterior, small fractures could have occurred on the inside.
The Best Kids Bike Helmet Reviews of 2020
Now that we know what to look for, it’s time to bring you the best kids’ bike helmets. By using our pointers above as guidelines and searching through user reviews, we managed to find our top ten.
1. Mohawk Child Bike Helmet By Raskullz
Raskullz has created an ideal helmet for boys — it has a cool look that will encourage your kid to wear it.
The main feature on the helmet is the fin mohawk at the top. It illuminates via five LED lights. Your child can choose between steady or flashing.
The mohawk helmet is available in multiple colors and designs. It comes in one adjustable size suitable for children aged 5 to 8, measuring 19.68 to 21.25 inches. You can fit it snug around their head using the included sliders.
For the construction, Raskullz used EPS for the inner shell to absorb impact shocks. The soft pads inside ensure a comfortable fit. Your child will love wearing it.
The chin strap also allows for adjustments to prevent the helmet from slipping off while riding fast. At the top, there is a row of ventilation holes, keeping the noggin cool on warm days.
The mohawk requires batteries to light up, but these are included. The LED lights will shut off automatically after a while.
- Unique mohawk design with LED lights.
- Fun and unique colors and designs.
- Adjustable width and chin strap.
- Included ventilation holes.
- It can melt if left in direct sunlight or high heat.
- The batteries can’t be replaced.
|Recommended age||5 to 8|
|Width size||19.68 to 21.25 inches (50 to 54 cm)|
2. Thrasher Microshell Bicycle Helmet By Schwinn
For children between 5 and 8 years, we recommend the Thrasher from Schwinn. It suits head circumferences between 19.63 to 22 inches.
It’s excellent for the growing head. The Thrasher features a 360-degree comfort fit, which adapts to your child’s head. You can adjust the size using the dial-fit system sitting at the back of the helmet.
There’s full-range padding surrounding the head, which complements the customized fit perfectly. It’s super comfortable, allowing your child to cycle for hours. To further enhance well-being, there are 20 ventilation holes at the top — they will bring a breeze through to prevent the head from overheating.
The Thrasher is incredibly lightweight, which is mostly due to its three-piece micro-shell. It weighs a mere 10 ounces, so it won’t slow your child down.
The shell is also durable and can withstand high impacts in the case of a crash. You can ensure it is secured correctly by using the adjustable side straps.
- Full-range padding for a comfy fit.
- Easy to adjust using the dial system.
- Good ventilation for summer bike rides.
- Adjustable side straps.
- The size runs big.
- Your child might complain on sharp edges with this helmet, which may make riding uncomfortable for some.
|Recommended age||5 to 8 years|
|Width size||19.63 to 22 inches (50 to 54 cm)|
3. V-17 Youth Multi-Sport Helmet By Razor
For older kids, we present the V-17 from Razor — it’s a multi-sport helmet combining high-quality with top features. It’s perfect for any sport your preteen may do — this includes skating, snow or skateboarding, and cycling.
The Razor V-17 offers superior quality — it features ergonomic padding, providing excellent comfort. What’s more, the included sizing pads help to provide the perfect fit — you can remove them as your child grows.
The helmet is suitable for kids between the ages of 8 and 14. The width can fit heads measuring 22 to 23.5 inches. It’s also available in youth and adult sizes.
It’s easy for your child to use without assistance. A side release buckle makes it a breeze to fasten and open again. The chin strap is also fully adjustable to ensure a snug fit.
Included at the top are 17 air vents, which keeps the noggin cool to ride for longer. The helmet is CPSC approved.
- Skate-type helmet, which looks cool and is fun for kids.
- Comfortable fit with size pads included.
- Easy buckle for children to close by themselves.
- Lots of colors to choose from.
- The width isn’t adjustable.
- Some parents say it’s too big for their 8-year-olds.
|Recommended age||8 to 14|
|Width size||22 to 23.5 inches (50 to 54 cm)|
4. Raskullz Child Unicorn 5+ Helmets
If you’re looking for a unique helmet for your girl, then this example from Raskullz is a good pick. It’s a unicorn-themed design with a mane, face, horn, and big eyes. It’s decked out in girly colors and cute little hearts.
Besides the wow-factor appearance, the helmet is durable, and CPSC approved. It’s made of a shock-absorbing EPS inner shell, which does a superb job at keeping your little rider safe. Around the chin sit adjustable nylon straps to ensure the helmet stays put.
For the interior, there’s extra padding to make sure your girl is comfortable. The helmet is quite long, providing some frontal protection as well. To keep your child cool on warm days, Raskullz included air vents throughout the top.
The unicorn helmet is suitable for children aged 5 and up. It can fit heads measuring 19.68 to 21.25 inches.
- Girl-friendly design with vibrant colors and a cute unicorn.
- Features an EPS inner shell.
- Adjustable straps.
- Includes air vents for ventilation.
- The sizes run small.
- You can’t adjust the width.
|Recommended age||5 to 8 years|
|Width size||19.68 to 21.25 inches (50 to 54 cm)|
5. Rally Child Helmet By Bell
For the growing head, you need something that’s fully adjustable. The Rally helmet by Bell features True Fit, which eliminates strap and hardware adjustments. It’s designed to fit correctly every time with only one small tweak for the chin strap.
At the back of the helmet sits a self-adjusting belt. It tightens and loosens as your child puts the helmet on. The Rally is suitable for head circumferences between 20.47 to 22 inches.
Your child can pick from eight colors — these include both boyish and girlish hues like pink and blue. All are vibrant and attractive for any kid.
- Self-adjusting width.
- Easy-to-adjust chin strap.
- Broad range of color options available.
- The size runs a bit small.
- Not adjustable in the back of the helmet.
|Width size||20.47 to 22 inches|
6. Dual Certified CPSC Helmet By Flybar
If your child enjoys doing different activities where a helmet is a necessity, then we recommend the Flybar. It’s a dual-certified helmet, that’s both ASTM and CPSC approved.
Your kid can use it for any activity, including in-line skating, skateboarding, and biking. The helmet features a durable ABS outer shell and an inner EPS foam liner.
Your child will love the color options — they can select from nine designs. These range between cool prints with a shiny exterior or a solid matte color. Also included on the helmet are 12 ample vents to provide an even airflow through to the head.
The Flybar is available in three sizes — S/M, M/L, and L/XL. Make sure you measure your child’s head to know which is appropriate.
- Dual certified.
- Durable construction and impact-absorbing interior.
- Lots of color options available.
- Adjustable width and three sizes available.
- The width runs a bit snug.
- Some parents had issues with the straps coming off.
|Width size||Size S/M covers 20.8 to 21.6 inches|
7. Kids’ Bike Helmet By Exclusky
Looking like an adult mountain bike helmet, this example from Exclusky is perfect for serious biking children. It has a sporty appearance and is packed with safety features.
It’s constructed with an in-mold composition that’s durable and comfy for them to wear. Additionally, there’s a dial-adjust system to ensure the fit is perfect for your child. It’s suitable for children aged 5 to 13 years with a head circumference between 19.68 and 22.44 inches.
The helmet is perfect for warm sunny days. It’s fitted with air vents throughout the top, helping your child keep fresh.
It’s available in seven fresh colors, which both girls and boys will enjoy wearing. The helmet also has a removable visor.
- Adult-like helmet.
- It’s both durable and comfy.
- It has a snap-in visor.
- The buckle could use a rubber grip to prevent slipping.
- The visor flips up rather easily.
|Recommended age||5 to 13|
|Width size||19.68 to 22.44 inches|
8. Kids’ Bike Helmet By Exclusky
For print-loving kids, our next helmet from Exclusky is excellent. It’s a skate-style helmet available in five colors with a vibrant print on each. The helmet is suitable for both boys and girls aged 3 to 8 years with a head circumference of 19.68 to 21.25 inches.
The helmet itself is made with a durable ABS outer shell, which is impact-resistant. On the inside, it’s suited with top-notch EPS, shock-absorbing foam, and it’s CPSC certified.
The chin strap is fully adjustable and at the back sits a dial-secure system, providing a snug fit. It’s easy to tweak and will fit your child suitably, for longer.
- Fun colors and prints for both girls and boys.
- Durable and safe materials.
- Adjustable width and chin strap.
- Easy-to-use dial system.
- The fit is a little tight on older kids — don’t go by the age, but by the head measurements.
|Recommended age||3 to 8|
|Width size||19.68 to 21.25 inches|
9. M Merkapa 3D Shark Bike Helmet
For the best-themed kids’ helmet, we’ve chosen this one from M Merkapa. It’s cute, available as a gray or pink shark, or as a girl or boy dinosaur.
The helmet is both CE and CPSC certified — it provides full coverage to protect your child’s head. A PVC shell and EPS shock-absorbing foam makes it robust yet lightweight. The helmet weighs around 0.45 pounds.
It’s suitable for children aged 3 to 8 and it’s fully adjustable using the rear dial. Your child will feel incredibly comfortable thanks to the 11 air vents fitted throughout the top. It includes a removable inner liner, providing extra padding — the liner is machine washable.
- Fun 3D designs.
- Durable shell and protective interior.
- Lightweight construction.
- Eleven air vents and extra padding for comfort.
- The exterior is a little flimsy.
|Recommended age||3 to 8 years|
|Width size||19 to 21.5 inches|
For our last pick, we have this unique and fun helmet. It’s a dry-erase helmet, meaning your child can draw on the shell with the included markers. With the bundle, your kid gets a stencil and five dry-erase markers in different colors to customize their helmet.
The markers included are non-toxic and will help freshen up the look with your child’s designs. It’s a great choice if your kiddo is reluctant to wear a helmet.
The helmet is dual certified by CPSC and ASTM standards — making it suitable for skateboarding, roller skating, and biking.
It’s available in two sizes — three-plus and eight-plus. Measure your child’s head to ensure you get the right size.
- Fun helmet with included dry-erase markers to customize the look.
- The helmet is dual certified.
- Available in two sizes for children ranging between 3 to 8 years.
- Four colors of helmets available.
- The marker doesn’t come off easily — requires some elbow grease.
- Some parents complained the markers didn’t show up on the black helmet.
|Recommended age||3 to 8 years|
|Width size||19.29 to 20.47 inches|
Detailed Comparison Chart
|Product||Best||Recommended age||Width size||Adjustable size||Weight|
|Raskullz Mohawk Helmet||For Boys||5 – 8||19.68 – 21.25″ (50 – 54 cm)||Yes||2 lbs|
|Schwinn Thrasher Microshell||For Kids 5 to 8 Years||5 – 8 years||19.63 – 22″ (50 – 54 cm)||Yes||10 oz|
|Razor V-17 Youth Multi-Sport||For Kids Aged 8 to 14||8 – 14||22 – 23.5″ (50 – 54 cm)||No||1 pound|
|Raskullz Child Unicorn 5+||For Girls||5 – 8 years||19.68 – 21.25″ (50 – 54 cm)||No||0.16 oz|
|Bell Rally Child Helmet||For Growing Heads||N/A||20.47 – 22″||Yes||10.4 oz|
|Flybar Dual Certified CPSC||Multi-Sport||N/A||Size S/M covers 20.8 – 21.6″||Yes||N/A|
|Exclusky Kids||For Serious Bikers||5 – 13||19.68 – 22.44″||Yes||0.4 lbs|
|Exclusky Kids||3 – 8||19.68 – 21.25″||Yes||N/A|
|M Merkapa 3D Shark||Themed||3 – 8 years||19 – 21.5″||Yes||0.45 lbs|
|Wipeout Dry Erase||For Creative Kid||3 – 8 years||19.29 – 20.47″||No||1 pound|
Jump to the Full Kids Bike Helmet Reviews
Mind the Head
A helmet can significantly reduce the chances of severe head injuries during a crash. It should be safety certified to fit the activity it is used for.
Finding the best kids’ bike helmet to protect your child is essential. Ensure that the fit is right, and that it’s lightweight and adjustable.
Once your child is wearing the helmet, have them shake their head. If the helmet moves excessively from side to side, it’s too big.
Remember to require they use it every time they take their bike for a spin.