Kids motorcycle helmets aren’t as easy to buy as adult ones. It’s a fact! Actually, adult motorcycle helmets aren’t exactly easy to buy either. There are so many different styles for different types of motorcycle riding, and of course, finding the perfect fit can be an uphill struggle. As adults, we’ve got it hard. But it’s much harder being a kid.
There isn’t as much variety when it comes to youth motorcycle helmets, and of the selection available, there are a lot out there that just look like they’d be safe. Even if you find a good model from a trustworthy brand or retailer, it also has to look cool too. Kids aren’t stupid. They’re like us adults. No one wants to wear something that makes them look silly, so you’ve got to find something cool lookin’ too.
With a bit of luck, you’ll find a helmet that they’ll want to wear. A motorcycle helmet that you won’t have to force on to their head every time they want to experience the thrill of riding or being on a motorcycle. Because they’ve got to wear it, no matter what!
It doesn’t matter what your locals laws say, because there’s no excuse for not protecting your child’s head. The freedom to choose to wear a helmet or not is something an adult rider can decide for themselves, but when it comes to a child’s safety, helmets must always be worn if they’re going to be riding a motorcycle.
There are a lot of myths about children’s heads and the negative effects of wearing a helmet. Some have a grain of truth in them, but most do not. If your kid is going on a motorcycle, put a helmet on them. Even if you believe the misinformation, it’s better to have a kid with a pinched head rather than head that’s splattered across the floor. Right?
For most people, it should go without saying. However, in some parts of the world it’s frowned upon for a child to wear a motorcycle helmet. It’s crazy, but true. Here in the US though, there’s no reason for your child to ride without one!
So without further ado, let’s look at the best kids motorcycle helmets out there!
Kids Motorcycle Helmets: A Buying Guide
The list above features some of the best kids motorcycle helmet examples on the market, but you can’t just hit the buy button straight away. For a helmet to work, it has to fit properly and be used as the manufacturer intended. A thousand dollar helmet won’t protect anything if it doesn’t fit right, and if it’s not designed to do the task at hand, it’s practically useless. This is our buying guide that should help you make the best decision for buying motorcycle helmets for kids.
What To Look For When Buying Kids Motorcycle Helmets
There’s more than one kind of motorcycle helmet, and choosing the right kind of helmet for the kind of riding that your kid will be doing will help keep them better protected.
For example, a dirt bike helmet comes without a face shield and with an elongated chin bar. These features help increase a dirt bike rider’s visibility and protect their chin in a slow speed accident. The helmet is tailored for its purpose. Of course, with this kind of helmet, you’d have to buy some goggles too!
A normal full face helmet is geared towards road riding. They’re designed with aerodynamics and high-speed travel in mind.
When it comes to a young rider who shouldn’t be traveling at high-speeds anyway, a dirt bike helmet is probably a better option. However, it’s worth keeping the types of helmets in mind when you’re shopping.
Even more important that the overall shape of a helmet is the size and fit of it all. When you’re looking around for a new helmet, it’s worth keeping in mind your child’s head shape. Like adult helmets, most youth helmets are classified by the shape: round oval, intermediate oval, and long oval. Searching for the right head shape is the first step in finding a great fit for your kids motorcycle helmet.
A helmet should also have adequate interior padding, cushioning the face in an accident, with a snug fit. Loose fit helmets are no good in a crash, but it shouldn’t be uncomfortable tight either. We always recommend visiting a motorcycle apparel store to try on a few helmets to get an idea of what sort of size and shape you and your child would need.
Safety features should also be a high priority. A decent helmet will have more than a tough outer shell and a bit of padding. A good helmet, motorcycle or otherwise, will feature the latest advances in head and brain protection. For example, be on the lookout for specific technologies that reduce the damage from rotational forces, or with special materials designed to absorb shock.
Any helmet that you consider buying should conform to an international standard, at the very least. Look out for DOT or ECE certification, and for more advanced ratings such as SNELL or ATSM. If it doesn’t have any of those marks stamped on the shell, move on—because that junk is no good to you or your child.
Comfort & Looks
If a helmet isn’t comfortable to wear, your child won’t want to wear it. That’s why it’s important to search for a helmet that has ample padding and cushioning, that doesn’t weigh a ton, with adequate air flow. Helmets without good padding hurt to wear after a while. Heavy helmets strain the neck. And stuffy helmets are just the worst! If a helmet is comfortable to wear, your kid will love wearing it.
Similarly, it has to look good too. A cool looking helmet will really appeal to your child. They’ll see it as a cool accessory that they want to be seen wearing. An uncool helmet will be ditched as soon as your back is turned. And that’s when accidents happen.
Another important thing that these kind of guides often overlook is the fastening. Modern helmets come with two kinds of clasps: Double D-Ring fastenings, or Quick-Release buckles. The debate over which one is better has been raging for years, and there’s no clear winner. However, when it comes to kids motorcycle helmets, the Quick-Release is probably the better option.
Because it’s easy to fasten and easy to undo. Double D-rings are great, but they can be fiddly for young hands to fasten and unfastened. If it’s frustrating to use, it will make the whole helmet frustrating to wear. For that reason, we recommend the simple Quick-Release system, because that is super easy to operate.
Lastly, always read the reviews. This probably goes without saying, but it’s always worth reading the reviews. Even if you’re sure of a product’s quality and protection ability, it might be sized differently to other helmets that you’ve looked at. Existing customers may offer some interesting insights or buying advice could help you make the right decision.
Is a helmet sized a little smaller than advertised? The comments section should let you know. Is it as comfortable as it says it is? Someone will say so in a review. Is the shipping any good? Did it arrive with faulty components? Never skip the review section.
Choose A Brand You Recognize
While it’s true that most of the leading helmet manufacturers in the motorcycle industry don’t make motorcycle helmets for kids, there are still a number of industry players that do. When it comes to buying safety equipment of any kind, it’s always worth opting for a name that you’ve already heard of.
The reason for this isn’t so much about quality, but more about customer service in the event something doesn’t go to plan. A large brand with a huge following is likely better equipped to offer replacement parts or replace faulty goods than a smaller brand that you’ve never heard of.
That’s why we recommend brands like HJC, Fox Racing, and Troy Lee Designs. You may find no-name brands with comparable quality, but it might not pay off in the long run.
Where To Buy Motorcycle Helmets
Choosing to buy online is arguably the best way to get the best deal on a new helmet. Thanks to sites like Amazon, Revzilla, and Chapmoto, buying has never been easier. However, make sure that these retailers offer the same warranty and inclusions that you’d get if buying directly from the manufacturer. And keep an eye out for shipping fees too—whatever you save on the ticket price you may end up spending on the postage!
It’s always a wise idea to visit a brick and mortar store. These stores a run by real enthusiasts who ride every day and have a wealth of knowledge that you can take advantage of. They also have physical products that you can try on for size too. Visit a store and get your size, and see if you can find the same product online for a cheaper price. Even if you can, the store may even match the price online.
The Best Kids Motorcycle Helmet: In Summary
Choosing the right helmet isn’t an easy task. Even with the suggestions that we’ve given, selecting the right helmet that meets all of your safety criteria, fulfills your obligations as a cautious parent, and is something that you child thinks is cool and wants to wear, isn’t going to be easy. And that wasn’t enough, it has to fit into your budget too!
To make things a little simpler, here’s a quick summary of our favorite three helmets that fit a range of criteria:
If you’re looking for the best kids motorcycle helmet and you’re on a budget, then we recommend the HJC CL-Y Youth helmet. It’s inexpensive, with high quality features, and in a huge variety of color schemes and styles. It’s not the most advanced helmet out there, but it does the job. What’s more, it’s from a brand name that you can trust.
If you want the best helmet, motorcycle or otherwise, for your child then we recommend the 6D Youth ATR-2Y Helmet. It’s a premium product, but it comes packed with all of the latest innovations. If you think your child has talent on a motorcycle, and they’re frequently pushing themselves to the limit, this is the best helmet you can buy, hands down.
But if your child hasn’t proven themselves to be a prodigy just yet, and you’re not sure whether to splash out on the most expensive helmet you can buy, then we recommend the Fox Racing Youth V1. It offers superb protection at a reasonable price point. It looks the part, it does the job, and it’s at price that if your child loses interest in motorcycle riding, the loss isn’t going to leave you bankrupt.