Are you searching for the perfect kids' bike helmet? We purchased and tested hands-the top 9 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, and quality and style, to provide the details you need to help your child find the right helmet for their personal style and overall needs.
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 doesn'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 ability to protect your little one's noggin, we suspect most kids won't continue to wear a damaged, "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.
If you seek a straightforward kids' helmet for younger ones, the Joovy Noodle is 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 good 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 Bell Richter Youth Helmet is a basic kids' bike helmet with 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 measuring 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.
Razor V-17 Multi-Sport Helmet is a no-nonsense helmet your child can wear for multiple activities involving wheels (skateboarding, biking, hoverboards, scooters, etc.). This helmet provides full-head protection instead of sitting on top like a bike helmet. Plus, it has enough ventilation to avoid a 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 numerous 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.
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, leaving 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 often 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 extraordinary this high-quality helmet is and think kids will beg to wear it.
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 how 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 claustrophobic. It is also hot and 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 unsuitable for motorized activities, and we encourage parents to read the fine print before purchasing it 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.
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 measuring your child before making your purchase, you shouldn't have any trouble. It doesn't have an adjustable circumference knob, so it may not fit as long as an adjustable helmet might. Also, the thin plastic overlay could 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 straightforward helmet is a potential choice for younger riders, especially those who need a helmet and aren't as concerned with style or standing out.
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, making 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 as some traditional bike helmets do. Overall, this cute kids' helmet is an excellent option for younger riders who need head protection. We think parents and kids will appreciate the adjustable circumference for a custom fit.
Toddlers will feel protected and cozy in the Schwinn Classic Design for little ones. This classic kids' bike helmet is designed for babies and toddlers, 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.
Tip: You may wonder how I measure my child's head circumference for a helmet. Luckily, the task is easy and straightforward. 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, about an inch above their eyebrows, and the back of the head, which results in the largest measurement. It may be helpful to measure a few times to ensure you have the correct size.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our selection of popular products, along with experienced hands-on testing and side-by-side comparison for comfort, quality, and style, ensures that we have the details and information you need to choose the best 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. We used these helmets off-road on mountain trails and city sidewalks with children of various ages. We assessed each helmet's comfort, fit, quality, and style and used tester feedback to influence our rank and winner selections.
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 head protection.
Analysis and Test Results
We purchased and tested popular activity helmets for kids. We considered metrics like comfort, fit, quality, and style in our quest to find the best kids' helmets.
The one-size-fits-all philosophy does not apply to helmets; 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 and too tight or shifts around can contribute to potential injuries instead of preventing them. While every helmet in the United States must meet specific 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.
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 those lacking 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, many 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 comfort that kid testers enjoyed; the Mongoose is one of these.
The hardest to ensure a proper fit for 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 so that it can't be relieved like it can with adjustable products. It also means your child could outgrow it faster as there is no adjustability.
Bike helmets and helmets for kids, in general, come in various styles and shapes. We mainly considered helmets suitable for biking activities. We included a few rated as appropriate for multiple sports like skateboarding, scooters, or rolling skating to offer various options that might save you money or storage space with their increased versatility. As most 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 money-saver.
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, etc. It has thick interior padding and a comfortable chin strap but has 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, 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, we think most kids will be happiest with open-face, full-ventilation kids' bike helmets that are comfortable, lightweight, and adjustable, like the Schwinn Thrasher or Joovy Noodle, depending on age or head size.
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 suitable 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 helmets in our lineup are suitable or safe for motorized sports like 4-wheelers, motorcycles, and motocross dirt bikes. So please do not use them for these activities. While some might be potentially suitable for slower electric-powered equipment like hoverboards and electric scooters, they are not appropriate for faster activities with more significant head injury risks. We recommend checking the helmet's user guide for more information or contacting the manufacturer if you are unsure about a specific helmet and its use. Despite the dirt bike styling of the Razor Full-face helmet, it is not appropriate for motocross or other motorized vehicles.
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.
Looking for a little peace and quiet? Find a great...
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.