In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Best Bike Helmet for Kids

We tested helmets from Schwinn, Bell, Razor, and more to find the very best helmets for kids
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff
By Wendy Schmitz ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Tuesday August 3, 2021
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Are you searching for the perfect kids' bike helmet? We purchased and tested hands-the top 10 options with considerations for full-face, cool styling, and multi-sport versatility. Finding a great helmet doesn't have to be a chore if you have the right information at your fingertips. Our testing analyzed key factors, including comfort and fit, along with quality and style, to provide the details you need to help your child find the right helmet for their personal style and overall needs.


1

Best Overall Kid's Helmet


Schwinn Thrasher


Style: Bike | Adjustable Circumference: Yes
Lightweight
Visor
Comfortable
Lacks multi-sport ability
No lower head protection

The Schwinn Thrasher is an impressive bike helmet with a removable sun visor and an adjustable circumference knob. The helmet has a cool plastic graphics overlay available in various patterns and blends with the coordinating sun visor. It is lightweight, has ample ventilation for sweaty summer days, and didn't shift when appropriately fitted to testers of all sizes. This helmet provides a comfortable fit for longer rides. It also sports a slightly curved buckle for a more comfortable fit against the chin, resulting in less complaining.

The plastic graphics are somewhat thin, and we worry they could warp in the sun or extreme heat or easily become damaged. While this wouldn't affect the functionality or its ability to protect your little one's noggin, we suspect most kids won't continue to wear a damaged, and therefore, "uncool" helmet. However, we think this occurrence will likely be a rarity, and if your child takes care of the helmet, it should take care of them in style and comfort for a long time.

The Schwinn Thrasher is lightweight with great ventilation and a...
The Schwinn Thrasher is lightweight with great ventilation and a comfortable fit.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

2

Best Helmet for Younger Kids


Joovy Noodle


Style: Bike | Adjustable Circumference: Yes
Good ventilation
Suitable sizing for little heads
Attractive colors
Won't fit larger heads
Small visor

If you seek a straightforward kids' helmet for younger ones, the Joovy Noodle is definitely a contender. This lightweight option comes in various kid-friendly, bright solid colors that can help your child stand out in a crowd. The dome is adequately padded for comfort and has plenty of ventilation, with a wire mesh covering the front openings for bug control (what a thoughtful addition!).

The Joovy has a sun visor, but it isn't very long and is unlikely to provide useful coverage for sensitive peepers. We wish it were longer as younger children often refuse to wear sunglasses, and outdoor activities are often bright. Overall, we like what the Noodle brings to the table for essential protection and think it is comfortable enough that little ones will wear it without a fuss.

The Noodle has ample ventilation and a comfortable inner halo with...
The Noodle has ample ventilation and a comfortable inner halo with padded chin strap.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

3

Best on a Biking Budget


Bell Richter Youth Helmet


Style: Bike | Adjustable Circumference: No
Biking design
Sun visor
Rear reflectors
Graphics can melt
Not suitable for all sports

The Bell Richter Youth Helmet is a basic kids' bike helmet with a few handy features, like rear strap reflectors, elastic size circumference, and a no-pinch buckle. This helmet has a flashy plastic graphics overlay, a removable visor, and adequate comfort padding.

This helmet requires that you measure your child's head before purchasing as it doesn't have the adjustable size circumference knob like some competitors. It also has thinner plastic graphics that could become damaged by intense or direct heat, so you'll want to avoid leaving it in a hot car or direct sun. Overall, we think this Bell is a potential contender for those who want good coverage, ample ventilation, and a sun visor but have a tighter budget that might prevent buying an adjustable helmet.

The Bell Richter has rear reflectors but doesn't offer adjustable...
The Bell Richter has rear reflectors but doesn't offer adjustable circumference.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

4

Best Bang for the Multi-Sport Buck


Razor V-17 Multi-Sport Helmet


Style: Multi-sport | Adjustable Circumference: No
Multi-sport design
X-games feel
Budget-friendly
No visor
Could cause sweating

Razor V-17 Multi-Sport Helmet is a no-nonsense helmet your child can wear for multiple activities involving wheels (skateboarding, biking, hoverboards, and scooters, etc.). This helmet provides full-head protection as opposed to sitting on top like a bike helmet. Plus, it has enough ventilation to avoid the super sweaty head. The Razor comes in a few attractive colors, including a popular matte black finish and shiny pink. Kids like the X-games feel of looking like professional extreme sports athletes, and we like that purchasing one helmet for multiple sports can prevent spending more or juggling multiple products.

This product is a full head style and is heavier than a traditional bike helmet. It also features more padding and less ventilation and could be hot for some active kids on the go. This Razor lacks a sun visor, though we can see how a visor could cause potential problems depending on the sport and the type of accident a child might have, so we assume this is an intentional choice. Overall, this helmet is pretty stinking cool, and kids can potentially wear it for a long time pursuing multiple interests, which could save you time, hassle, and money over time.

Buying a multi-sport helmet like the Razor could save you money if...
Buying a multi-sport helmet like the Razor could save you money if your child likes to sport hop.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

5

Coolest Style Helmet


Mongoose MG77927


Style: Multi-sport | Adjustable Circumference: NO
Ultra-cool design
Multi-sport versatility
Potentially scary for younger kids
Less ventilation

For kids who want something a little different or edgy, we bring you the Mongoose MG77927. This full-head style helmet has skull-shaped ventilation in the back that leaves a lasting impression that observers won't forget and will probably envy. Our testers consistently argued over who got to wear this multi-sport helmet. They were willing to tolerate the heavier weight and less ventilation to sport the absolute coolest dome protector at the bike park.

This helmet is more expensive than most, proving style is often something that costs more. However, this added expense could be offset if your daredevil uses it for multiple sports like biking and skateboarding. There is the chance this spooky helmet could scare younger children in group settings, which might be a concern depending on where you ride. Those minor things aside, we can't get over how unique and cool this high-quality helmet is and think kids will beg to wear it.

Our testers fought over who got to wear the Mongoose thanks to its...
Our testers fought over who got to wear the Mongoose thanks to its unique styling and comfortable fit.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

6

Best Full Face Protection


Razor Full Face Helmet


Style: Full-face | Adjustable Circumference: No
Full-face protection
Lightweight
Large sun visor
Harder to fit

The Razor Full Face Helmet looks and feels like a lightweight motocross helmet (it is not!). It has front mouth ventilation for better airflow and a visor for sun protection of sensitive eyes. Kids like the way it mimics the tough helmets worn by motocross riders, and we love the full head design that offers face protection for the potential faceplate that can happen while riding.

This helmet has a somewhat closed-off feeling for the wearer and could make some kids feel claustrophobic. It is also hot, and it may not be the best choice for warmer weather as your child will sweat more when wearing this style than a traditional bike helmet. This helmet is not suitable for motorized activities, and we encourage parents to read the fine print before purchasing to avoid disappointment. Overall, it is a good choice for those who want a little more protection for their face or added warmth for cooler weather.

Chin scrapes can be a thing of the past with a full-face helmet like...
This Razor has ample ventilation on the top and back which helps...

7

Great For Younger Kids


Bell Rally Child Helmet


Style: Bike | Adjustable Circumference: No
Lightweight
Sun visor
Comfortable
Graphics could melt
Not suitable for all sports

The Bell Rally Child Helmet is a traditional bike helmet for younger riders. This helmet is brightly colored plastic graphics over impact foam. It is lightweight, offers good ventilation, has adequate padding, and comes with a sun visor. Testers say the product is comfortable, and we like the simplicity and straightforward design.

This product is small and unsuitable for children with larger heads, but if you pay close attention to sizing and measure your child before making your purchase, you shouldn't have any trouble. It doesn't have an adjustable circumference knob, so it may not be something that fits as long as an adjustable option might. Also, the thin plastic overlay could potentially become misshapen in intense heat, so we suggest not leaving it in a hot car or under intense direct sun. In short, we think this simple helmet is a potential option for younger riders, especially those who just need a helmet but aren't as concerned with style or standing out in a crowd.

The Bell Rally is a good bike style helmet for younger kids.
The Bell Rally is a good bike style helmet for younger kids.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

8

Good for Under Five


Obsidian Kids Bike Helmet


Style: Bike | Adjustable Circumference: Yes
Good for smaller tots
Adorable graphics
Small visor
Graphics could warp

The Obsidian Kids Bike Helmet comes with adorable cartoon graphics and a built-in visor. It features adjustable circumference sizing, so it should fit a broader range of heads right out of the box. We like the thicker padding and the slightly curved chin buckle that makes it somewhat more comfortable for wearers.

This helmet has a smaller visor, and we aren't convinced it will protect eyes the way parents hope, but it is solid. It could help protect against face damage by not crumpling or popping off the way some of the traditional bike helmets do. Overall, this cute kids' helmet is a great option for younger riders who need head protection. We think parents and kids will appreciate the adjustable circumference for a custom fit.

Sometimes cuteness can encourage even the most reluctant helmet...
Sometimes cuteness can encourage even the most reluctant helmet wearer to protect their head on a regular basis.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

9

Good for Babies


Schwinn Classic Design


Style: Bike | Adjustable Circumference: Yes
Good for babies
Classic design
No visor
Less ventilation

Toddlers will feel protected and cozy in the Schwinn Classic Design for little ones. This classic kids' bike helmet is designed with babies and toddlers in mind, with more head coverage and simple lines without flashy graphics or bells and whistles.

This helmet has no visor, which feels like an oversight given how sensitive little peepers can be. It also lacks ventilation on the sides and back, resulting in a sweaty baby head depending on the weather. However, these minor flaws aside, we think parents will appreciate the adjustable circumference and the straightforward concept of this classic helmet for the littlest of passengers.

Protect your toddler and baby's head with the Schwinn Classic bike...
Protect your toddler and baby's head with the Schwinn Classic bike helmet.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

10

Unique Versatility but Harder to Fit


WESTGIRL Bike Helmet


Style: Bike/Full-face | Adjustable Circumference: Yes
Cool design
Full face protection
Versatile styling
Harder to fit
Assembly required

The WESTGIRL Bike Helmet has a super cool look, and we like the idea of the versatility of going full-face or sans face mask. It has better matte graphics than much of the competition and thick padding throughout for comfort. Kids liked the way the helmet looks, and parents felt it offered full coverage protection not found in all of the competition.

This helmet comes in multiple parts, and it is sort of a hassle to assemble as it comes without directions. The quality is also sort of iffy with rough plastic edges and visible glue. Overall, we think if the helmet feels comfortable and your child loves the graphics, it can get the job done, but the full-face components could result in excessive sweating and a shorter lifespan.

Despite the name, the WestGirl helmet isn't gender-specific and our...
Despite the name, the WestGirl helmet isn't gender-specific and our testers loved the cool reptile style graphics.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Tip: You may wonder how I measure my child's head circumference for a helmet? Luckily, the task is easy and simple. Gather your measuring tool, such as a soft or cloth tape measure, and if you don't have one of those items on hand, a string will do, which you can wrap around your child's head and lay against a metal tape measure or yardstick. The goal is to measure the thickest part of your child's head, which is about an inch above their eyebrows, and the back of the head that results in the largest measurement. It may be helpful to measure a few times to make sure you have the right measurement.

With 10 of the top helmets tested side-by-side, we have the insider...
With 10 of the top helmets tested side-by-side, we have the insider knowledge you need to find the right helmet for your child.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Why You Should Trust Us


Leading our kids' bike helmet review is Wendy Schmitz, Senior Review Editor. Wendy is a mother of two boys who enjoy mountain biking, BMX tracks, and other helmet-requiring activities. Their combined passion for wheeled activities gives her a unique perspective on all things head protection. Our selection of top-notch products experienced hands-on testing and side-by-side comparison for comfort, quality, and style to ensure you get the details you need to find the right helmet for your needs and wallet. Testers from 3-10 years old graciously offered their noggins and opinions to help us rank and evaluate the contenders.

The Bell helmets failed to offer true adjustability, and instead...
Adjustable circumference knobs, like this one on the WestGirl, can...

Analysis and Test Results


We purchased and tested 10 popular activity helmets for kids. We considered metrics like comfort and fit, quality, and style in our quest to find the best kids' helmets.

The Thrasher offers adjustable circumference which helps ensure a...
The Thrasher offers adjustable circumference which helps ensure a properly fitted helmet and is one of the reasons we love this option.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Comfort/Fit


When it comes to helmets, the one-size-fits-all philosophy does not apply, and you'll need to adjust a helmet to obtain a proper fit. A good bike helmet should be comfortable and provide a snug fit that protects your child's head. A helmet that sits too far back or too far forward, as well as too tight or shifts around, can contribute to potential injuries instead of preventing them. While every helmet in the United States must meet certain safety requirements and expectations, manufacturers can't assess how well any particular helmet will fit every child and whether or not their products are a comfortable or safe fit for your child. This responsibility is up to you. We tested each helmet for the ability to achieve a comfortable and proper fit. The helmets' adjustability heavily influenced these factors and whether or not you can move the padding or make sizing alterations based on your child's head.

The Joovy has an inner padded halo with breathable padding and...
The Joovy has an inner padded halo with breathable padding and wrap-around padding on the chin strap for additional comfort.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Among the competition, the most comfortable and best-fitting helmets are the options with an adjustable turn knob that allows you to change the helmet circumference size. Honestly, this knob is a game-changer, especially for growing kids, allowing your child to use the same helmet longer than an option without this feature. The knob changes the size of an interior plastic halo that encircles the head and keeps it snugly inside the helmet. In our review, a fair amount of contenders have this adjustment knob, including the Schwinn products, the Joovy Noodle, and the Obsidian Kids Bike Helmet. It is important to note that none of the multi-sport type products have this feature, so you'll need to do a little more precise head measuring to ensure a good fit, and the helmets may need replacement faster as your child grows. While not adjustable, these helmets tend to include thicker interior padding, offering extra overall comfort that kid testers enjoyed; the Mongoose is one of these helmets.

Due to a lack of adjustment knob, the Bell helmets can require more...
Due to a lack of adjustment knob, the Bell helmets can require more precise measuring of your child's head and less forgiveness when finding a great fit.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

The WESTGIRL Bike Helmet has the knob and the ability to be full-faced, but the convoluted process of the full-face assembly will probably result in most folks tossing the parts aside. The hardest to fit are the Bell helmets. These helmets have elastic around the backside of the interior head frame structure that sits inside the helmets instead of the adjustable plastic halo that allows for a customized snug fit. It isn't a terrible design and will work well for some, but it can also squeeze the head in a way that can't be relieved like it can with adjustable products.

Depending on your child's taste or sense of humor, the Mongoose...
Depending on your child's taste or sense of humor, the Mongoose can't be outmatched when it comes to style or the ability to get people talking.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Style


Bike helmets, and, actually, helmets for kids in general, come in various styles and shapes. We primarily considered helmets suitable for biking activities and included a few rated as suitable for multi-sports like skateboarding, scooters, or rolling skating to provide various options that could save you money storage space with their increased versatility. As many parents know, kids change hobbies and favorites as swiftly as the weather, so finding a helmet they can use for more than one activity could be a real money-saver.

Our testers loved the full-face protection and look of this...
Our testers loved the full-face protection and look of this motocross-inspired Razor helmet for multiple sports.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

The Mongoose multi-sport helmet was a tester favorite, with the rear ventilation cut in the shape of a skull. This matte black finish helmet is suitable for skating, skateboarding, hoverboards, biking, and more. It has thick interior padding and a comfortable chin strap, though heavier and less ventilation than a traditional bike helmet. Both Razor helmets can be used for multiple sports, though the full-face option might be overkill for sports that don't traditionally require it. While theoretically, we suspect you can wear a bike style helmet to do other sports, and indeed we've seen them on hoverboards, Segways, and the like, they probably aren't the best for activities like skateboarding or even trick-riding where you tend to see the multi-sport helmet style that covers more of the backside of the head than the traditional bike helmet. If biking is your go-to, then we think most kids will be happiest with the open face, full-ventilation kids' bike helmets that are both comfortable, lightweight, and adjustable like the Schwinn Thrasher or Joovy Noodle depending on age or head size.

The Thrasher is a people pleaser when it comes to comfort and style.
The Thrasher is a people pleaser when it comes to comfort and style.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

The style you need or select can depend on the activity your child plans to do and your personal choice. The most important thing is to protect your child's head with the right equipment, and we encourage you to read the fine print before purchasing any option to ensure that the helmet is right for the chosen activity. If your little one tends to experiment across sports without sticking to anything specific, a multi-sport helmet like the Razor V-17 Multi-Sport Helmet could be the best choice for staying stylish while saving money and storage space.

No Motorized Sports
None of the products in this review are suitable for motorized sports like 4-wheelers, motorcycles, and motocross dirt bikes. While potentially suitable for slower electric-powered equipment like hoverboards and electric scooters (check the helmet's user guide or ask the manufacturer), they are not appropriate for faster activities with greater head injury risks. Despite the dirt bike styling of the Razor Full-face helmet, it is not appropriate for motocross.

It is hard for kids to resist the cool motocross styling of the...
It is hard for kids to resist the cool motocross styling of the Razor full-face helmet.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Conclusion


Choosing the perfect kid's helmet can make the difference between your child proudly wearing their helmet and tedious arguments over why they should. We feel there is a product for every child and need in this group. Be it an ultra-cool, versatile multi-sport helmet or a traditional dome protector for biking. After rigorous testing, we believe you'll find the best helmet for your child, their style, and comfort in this roundup of excellent options.

Wendy Schmitz

Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.

BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.

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