Our Top Bike Helmet Picks For the Smallest Noggins
Getting in the habit of always putting a helmet on your baby or toddler could literally save your child’s life. And with plenty of comfortable, cute, and affordable options to choose from, there’s really no reason not to wear a helmet! Based on performance, quality of construction, and factoring in price, here are our top 10 helmets for general bike riding for toddlers, and for use in bike trailers or bike seats for babies and toddlers.
If you have a child with a large head, check out our Top 10 Bike Helmets for Kids.
Best All-Around – Baby/Toddler
SIZE: XS (45 – 49 cm), S (49 – 53 cm)
FEATURES: Flat back for trailer or bike seat use, durable in-mold construction, dial-adjust fit, built-in visor, pinch-guard buckle and optional MIPS technology.
FULL REVIEW: Giro Scamp
Built with lightweight, in-mold construction, a dial-adjust system, and optional MIPS technology (to help minimize impacts at sharp angles) the Scamp has an impressive resume. MIPS helmets can be expensive, but the $55 price tag of the Scamp is one of the most reasonable available. To top it off, all of our testers loved wearing the Scamp. Because it’s so light and comfortable, the Scamp is our go-to helmet for picky kids. With a flatter profile in the back, the Scamp is also well-suited for trailer or bike seat use, in addition to bikes.
Best All-Around – Toddler
SIZE: Child (47 – 54 cm)
FEATURES: Ergo Fit dial-adjust system, in-mold construction, durable snap-in visor (removable), internal air channels and 15 vents.
FULL REVIEW: Bell Sidetrack
Styled like an adult mountain bike helmet, the Sidetrack is a sweet-looking safety accessory that’s packed with features for a very decent price. From extended coverage in the back for better protection to a dial-adjust system with a full cage for a more precise fit, the Sidetrack is safe, comfortable, durable, and just plain cool for your toddler.
NOTE: The Child version is not available in MIPS
Best for Tiny Heads
SIZE: One Size (44 – 49 cm)
FEATURES: Flat back, CSPC 1+ certified, dial-adjust system
The Schwinn Infant is the smallest helmet we’ve found. While our highly-recommended Giro Scamp fits heads as small as 45 cm, the Schwinn Infant is smaller, more narrow, and fits heads about 44 cm! While the quality isn’t the best and its pads aren’t as soft as the Scamp, for about $17, it’s a fine little helmet for your baby. It also features a dial-adjust system which is fantastic for that price point.
Best Super Budget – Toddler
ONE SIZE: 45 – 50 cm
FEATURES: Dial-adjust system
Similar to the Schwinn Infant, but for bigger kids, the Schwinn Toddler comes in several super fun designs. While the quality is basic compared to others on this list, it’s better than a helmet you’ll just pick up at Walmart. We especially love that there’s a dial-adjust tightening system, which is very hard to find at this price point.
We also found that this helmet is deeper than many other helmets, which is great for kids with taller heads. However, if your child has a short forehead, the helmet may sit too low on the head and interfere with their full range of vision.
Crash Replacement Guarantee
SIZE: Child (48 – 54 cm)
FEATURES: Light-weight, in-mold construction, dial-adjust fit, well ventilated, crash replacement guarantee
FULL REVIEW: Kali Chakra
With a compact, lightweight design, easy dial-adjust system, excellent ventilation, and a built-in visor, the Kali Chakra helmet is a kid and parent favorite. Ventilation on the child’s Chakra is superb – twenty-one large vents allow for excellent air flow. At 208 grams, it’s also one of the lightest-weight helmets we’ve tested! To top it off, all Kali helmets come with a crash replacement guarantee. If a Kali helmet is damaged during a crash, Kali will swap out your damaged helmet for a new, free one.
ONE SIZE: 49 – 54 cm
FEATURES: Unique ratcheting, non-pinch buckle, durable in-mold construction, dial-adjust fit, fun designs
FULL REVIEW: Uvex Hero
From top to bottom, the Uvex Hero is exceptionally built for durability and performance, but its unique buckle system really makes it shine. Designed using a simple ratcheting system, the Uvex buckle slowly clicks together to prevent skin from accidentally getting caught. With traditional buckles, the snapping of the buckle is very fast and can unexpectedly catch a child’s skin, which can be painful and upsetting for little ones.
Built for small heads, the Uvex offers a great fit for most kids, but is too shallow for kids with longer heads (taller foreheads). For those who need a little extra depth, the Uvex Quatro Junior, the Hero’s big brother, is a great option that also features Uvex’s unique buckle.
Best Skater-Style – Baby
SIZE: Baby Nutty (47 – 50 cm)
FEATURES: Flat back for use in trailers or bike seats, elastic adjust, magnetic buckle, some of the funnest, funkiest designs around, CPSC 1+ certified (Baby Nutty), dual-certified for skateboard use (Little Nutty)
If you want the hippest little baby on the block, a skater-style helmet with fresh and funky designs is probably for you! Weighing in at 280 g, the Baby Nutty is significantly lighter than other skater helmets, partially because it’s not actually certified for skate use. But let’s be honest, your baby shouldn’t be on a skateboard anyways! With extended coverage in the back, an elastic adjustment system that’s quick, easy and efficient, a pinch-free magnetic buckle, and a soft chin pad for added comfort, the Baby Nutty is a fun, quality, and comfy option.
NOTE: If you live in a hot climate, Nutcase helmets don’t have as many vents as other helmets and can get hotter and sweatier.
Best for Little Groms
SIZES: Youth (48 – 53 cm)
FEATURES: MIPS protection system, dial adjust system, locking chin strap sliders, in-mold construction, breakaway visor, great ventilation, quick-dry padding
FULL REVIEW: In progress
The cream-of-the-crop in kids’ helmets, the Troy Lee Classic A1 Youth helmet is designed for aggressive, growing groms. With extensive rear coverage, the A1 also comes standard with MIPS technology for some of the most advanced protection on the market. To top it off, the breakaway visor is not only adjustable, but will “break away” in the event of a crash so it doesn’t snag on any obstacles.
Quick-dry padding is soft against the skin and great at wicking away sweat, while the high-end ventilation channels do a better job than most helmets at keeping heads cool. If your kid wants to rip the trails (or come along for the ride as you rip the trails), there’s nothing better than a Troy Lee helmet.
Most Fun Designs
SIZE: Small (48 – 53 cm)
FEATURES: Dial-adjust fit, flat back for bike seat or trailer use, extended coverage in the back (CPSC 1+ certified)
FULL REVIEW: Coming soon…
Micro helmets have the most adorable designs. And with so many options to choose from, you might just want to get two! 🙂 The helmet itself is pretty standard, but we love that it features a dial-adjust system for a more accurate fit, a flat back so your toddler’s head won’t get pushed forward when sitting in a bike trailer, and is also CPSC 1+ certified, which is rare! It’s a little heavier than some of the other helmets on our list, but this is quite common with skater-style helmets.
ONE SIZE: 47 – 52 cm
FEATURES: Dial-adjust fit, more stable fit on small heads, easier to get on and off, available in fun, bright colors.
FULL REVIEW: Joovy Noodle
The Joovy Noodle was designed specifically with the youngest kids in mind. Its light weight makes it is easy for a toddler to wear and still be able to control their neck and head movements. With the chin straps threaded through the back dial-adjust, the Noodle is more stable on smaller heads, and the separated straps also make the helmet much easier to get on. The dual color chin buckle (black on the left, red on the right) makes the buckle easier to spot and get on and off a moving toddler. While it MSRPs for $40, it can regularly be found on Amazon for $30, which is definitely a bang for your buck!
How to Choose the Best Helmet for Your Baby or Toddler
For a more detailed discussion about how to choose and fit the perfect bike helmet for your baby or toddler, check out our post: Kids’ Bike Helmets: How to Choose. If you’re looking for something quick, here’s a short summary of the most important things to look for to find the best helmet for babies and toddlers.
Your cargo is precious, and if that helmet doesn’t fit, it can’t protect your baby! Baby helmets can especially be hard because there aren’t a ton of helmets that are small enough to fit small baby heads. The Giro Scamp and Schwinn Infant are two of the smallest helmets on the market.
You can measure your own child’s head with a soft tape measure, or we prefer to use the measurements provided by the pediatrician at our regular check-ups. Find a helmet with a size range (for example 45 – 50 cm) that your child’s head measurement falls into.
Whichever helmet you choose, just make sure that it’s a snug fit on your baby or toddler’s head. No biking activity you want to do is worth risking your child’s safety!
The lighter the helmet the better. Babies and young toddlers have weaker neck muscles and it can be difficult for them to support the additional weight of a helmet if it’s too heavy.
You’re most likely looking for a baby or toddler helmet so you can take them along for a bike ride in a trailer or child bike seat. Look for a helmet with a flat back so their head doesn’t get pushed forward as they lean back against the trailer or child bike seat.
Adjusting a helmet for the right fit can be a serious pain for a baby or toddler. The best helmets have a dial-adjust on the back that allows you to tighten the inner portion of the helmet for a snug fit. But even the best dial-adjust systems can be a pain because they can be hard to turn while your toddler is wearing the helmet.
Our hands-down favorite adjustment systems are the Lazer Lil Gekko’s (smallest head 46 cm) which is an auto-adjust system that automatically sizes to your child’s head.
Most helmets come with standard buckles that can pinch a child’s neck when buckling or un-buckling. Have you ever seen a baby or toddler get their neck skin pinched?? You don’t want to! Higher-end helmets now feature magnetic “pinch-free” buckles that prevent the possibility of getting neck skin stuck in the buckle. Of course this isn’t a must-have, but it’s a really nice nice-to-have!
MIPS is a newer technology that adds an additional layer of safety to a helmet. Unfortunately, there are not many baby and toddler helmets that offer MIPS technology. While MIPS can be pretty expensive, the Giro Scamp is a very affordable option that does offer MIPS.
In a nutshell, MIPS is an inner plastic cage secured by small plastic anchors. If an impact occurs, this cage rotates with your child’s head to provide better multi-directional impact protection.
Kids’ Helmets: How to Choose: Detailed information about how to choose a helmet that fits properly.
10 Best Kids’ Helmets: Need a bigger size? Try our list for Kids.
Kids’ Helmets Comparison Charts: To view and sort through all kids’ helmets, and read reviews.