Wherever your kids are cycling, they’ll want to be seen in one of the best bike helmets for 2021 we’ve found from Bell, Lazer, Giro and more
Some of the best, and most carefree, childhood memories are made on bikes and scooters. There’s nothing like the rush of whizzing down a hill on your bike – kids and adults alike.
But with these moments can also come some bumpy rides – we all remember falling off our bikes and nursing scraped knees. Wearing a helmet can help prevent minor scrapes and, god-forbid, something more significant.
Getting kids to wear helmets can be a negotiation, but it’s worth persisting. A study in the British Medical Journal estimates that helmets decrease the risk of head injury by 85 per cent and brain injury by 88 百分. “It is of paramount importance that the helmet fits well.” Said a spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
“If a helmet is too small, it will sit too high and fail to protect the lower part of the head. If it is too big, the helmet will not be securely fitted to the cyclist’s head and could shift during a collision, exposing the cyclist’s head to damage.” They added.
To fit a helmet, measure your child’s head using a fabric tape measure. If you don’t have a fabric tape measure, use string or ribbon and then measure against a ruler. You need to measure the widest part of your child’s head – just above their eyebrows.
Buy a helmet that fits their head now – don’t look for one with growing room, even if they’re at the top bracket of a size range. Once you’ve found the right size, use the chin straps and rear adjuster on the helmet to get a snugger fit. Make sure the helmet is covering most of their forehead. Then ask them to wobble their head – a slight wobble is ideal.
Other than a good fit, what makes for a good helmet? We don’t want to sound shallow, but the design – a design your child loves will encourage them to wear it. And helmets come in an amazing array of colours and designs. Many also have LED lights on the back for extra visibility (and hey, kids love flashing lights), vents to keep sweat at bay – or at least minimise it, and an easy-to-use fastening.
Another thing some helmets have is a safety system called “multi-directional impact protection system” (MIPS). This patented technology is based on serious science and research, but essentially it’s a liner inside the helmet that lets the head move slightly to help prevent injury.
We road tested a plethora of helmets with a range of children and put them through some serious mileage on scooters, bikes and balance bikes. We looked at how comfortable and lightweight they were, how easy they were for our child to put on and take off, and any extra safety features. Here’s the heads up on the ones that came out best.
The best kids’ bike helmets for 2021 是:
- 整体最佳 – Specialized mio MIPS helmet: 50 英镑, Specialized.com
- Best budget buy – Hornit super sloth helmet: £29.99, Hornit.com
- Best for preschoolers – Micro deluxe children’s Gruffalo helmet: £32.95, Micro-scooters.co.uk
- Best lightweight helmet – Bobbin skylark helmet: £43, Bobbinbikes.com
- Best character helmet – Alpina hackney Disney Frozen bike helmet: £37.99, Tredz.co.uk
- Best high-spec helmet – Bell sidetrack II MIPS child helmet: 64.99 英镑, Bellbikehelmets.co.uk
- Best for easy fitting – Lazer lil’ gekko MIPS helmet: £37.49, Uberkids.com
- Best skate-style helmet – TryBike coconuts helmet: £37.50, Hippychick.com
- Best MIPS helmet – Giro tremor MIPS child helmet: £51.99, Tredz.co.uk
- Best for fun factor – Kiddimoto comic book helmet: £29.95, Kiddimoto.co.uk
Specialized mio MIPS helmet
Unsurprisingly perhaps for cycle brand Specialized, this is a really high-spec helmet with some great features. The numerous large air vents gave great airflow throughout and helped reduce sweatiness, while the mesh on the front air vents stopped bugs flying in the holes (grim). It is lightweight, which meant it got a thumbs up from our tester, while still feeling really robust.
Comfort has clearly been a priority in the design. There is a TriFix web splitter under the ears on the straps, which helps stop the straps digging in. The magnetic clasp under the chin stopped any pinching, and meant our child could put them helmet on themselves. It also has the added peace of mind thanks to the MIPS safety technology. The design has a bit of a visor at the front to help shade little cyclists’ eyes too.
Hornit super sloth helmet
最好的: Budget buy
The sloths on this helmet make it really fun for preschoolers – our four-year-old tester said they loved the design. The shape of the helmet is modelled on skate helmets, which helps with the cool factor. The fit is true to the sizing, and the adjustable cog at the back doubles up as a flashing red light so your child can be better seen as they zip around in a very un-sloth-like manner. Our tester was particularly drawn to the light, which has two flashing options and an always-on option. If sloths aren’t your thing, Hornit do this helmet in a huge range of designs and colourways – spiders, sharks, and unicorns oh my!
Micro deluxe children’s Gruffalo helmet
最好的: For preschoolers
The familiar faces for preschoolers on this helmet appeal to them as they traverse deep, dark woods (and other terrains). Our tester had a passersby comment on the Gruffalo and his friends, which they loved and made them feel more keen to wear the helmet again. The helmet is easy to fit using the rear wheel adjuster, which has an integrated red light with three sequence options for extra visibility. It was a doddle for our reception-aged child to put the helmet on and off themselves, thanks to the easy-to-use magnetic clip, which also is pinch-free. This made them feel very grown up – double bonus. Although we loved this design, this helmet comes in a vast array of designs aimed at children of all ages, so you’re sure to find one that fits the bill.
Bobbin skylark helmet
最好的: Lightweight helmet
This helmet from British bike manufacturers Bobbin is insanely lightweight. It’s designed to be akin to a cycle sports helmet, and our tester remarked on how much nicer it was to wear as it didn’t weigh them down. It has 13 really big vents on it to allow airflow and help keep the wearer cool.
The fit on this helmet was really good – it comes with spare sets of pads for the interiors, with different thicknesses, so you can make it nice a snug but still comfortable. You can also adjust the size using the dial at the back, and there’s a nice pad on the strap, which sits under the chin to help with comfort. We found our tester was happy to wear this helmet for longer because it was so light and comfortable for them.
Alpina hackney Disney Frozen bike helmet
最好的: Character helmet
我们的 Frozen fan fell in love with this helmet. We liked that, despite the addition of the characters, the design and colour way is pretty gender neutral. Letting it go for a moment, the front air intakes helped little heads stay cool, and the interior pads are nicely thick to help prevent helmet-ache (a term we just made up). There is an adjustable wheel at the back to ensure fitting is spot on. The strap fastening was apparently “brilliant” – an easy slot in catch that satisfyingly clicks as you tighten makes it easy for kids to put on the helmet for themselves and not pinch their skin.
Bell sidetrack II MIPS child helmet
最好的: High-spec helmet
Perhaps a more sophisticated helmet than some of the others we tried, this helmet made our tester feel more grown up. A visor at the front helped keep the glare of the sun out of their eyes, while huge vents all over the helmet that make the air flow over their heads meant they stayed cooler. The helmet has all of the spec you’d like to see on an adult helmet, such as MIPS for extra protection, a web splitter that stops straps getting twisted, and mesh over the front vents to keep roadside debris finding its way in. We also liked the sportier shape of this helmet – our tester felt like a Tour de France cyclist in it. It also has Bell’s patented sweat guide, which wicks moisture away from the brow. All in all, a very sporty little number.
Lazer lil’ gekko MIPS helmet
最好的: For easy fitting
This helmet was a breeze to fit thanks to an autofit feature, 哪一个, as the name might suggest, automatically adjusts the helmet for a perfect fit. While this was a reassuring feature, our mini tester wasn’t so keen on the plastic casing being so low down on their head. The integrated visor looks sporty and helped with visibility on sunny days though. And large vents across the helmet kept things nice and cool, even on warmer days.
This helmet is a nice balance between older looking, sportier helmets while still having a design that appeals to younger children. It comes in one toddler size, after which you graduate to the Gekko model.
TryBike coconuts helmet
最好的: Skate-style helmet
We really liked the understated cool factor of this helmet. More akin to a skate helmet, although the design was pared back it was happily strapped on by our mini tester. Personally we liked the two cute little coconut characters on the back. We found this helmet easy to adjust with a dial at the back, which has a reflective middle for extra visibility. And while it won’t win any awards for being super sporty and lightweight, if feels robust and nicely padded. It comes in extra small or small sizes, with a range of 44-53cm – so you should find a size that fits a younger child into their school days.
Giro tremor MIPS child helmet
最好的: MIPS helmet
Zingy and zippy is how we’d sum up this little helmet. Giro have used all their techno know-how from adults’ helmets and translated it into a smaller size with this little number. It’s as light as a feather, which helps our little roadrunner forget they’re wearing it. There’s an adjustable dial at the back for a secure fit, and an easy-to-use thread-through clasp. The pads inside are quick dry and although it’s not highly padded, they do feel nice against the skin and didn’t rub. 加, a large vent hole with a built-in bug net on the front keeps things cool and relatively clean.
The sporty visor on the front looks “cool” apparently, and kept the sun out of our little testers eyes. The Tremor comes in one size, which fits 47-54cm heads. Although we luckily didn’t have cause to test it out, it’s nice to know there’s MIPS in this helmet for added protection.
Kiddimoto comic book helmet
最好的: For fun factor
As soon as we got this helmet out, our preschooler’s little eyes lit up with delight. We admit that we also loved the bright colours as it meant it was easy to spot our child as they sped away across the skate park. The interior is nicely padded – even across the adjuster dial at the back. The dial is easy to use, even for little fingers thanks to the grip on the dial. While this perhaps doesn’t have the whizzy features of some of the other helmets, it felt like a good reliable option. And if our mini tester is happy to wear it then it’s a thumbs up from us too.
判决: Kids’ bike helmets
In a helmet, safety and comfort are paramount, 和 Specialized mio MIPS was brilliant in both of these arenas. If you’re looking for something a bit more jazzy to appeal to younger children, 这 Micro Gruffalo helmet will make them feel like the coolest creature in the woods.
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