The 10 Best Bike Helmets for Toddlers 2020

The 10 Best Bike Helmets for Toddlers 2020

Little kids love cruising around the cul de sac on bikes. Yet this age-old pastime isn’t without its dangers—one wrong turn and your tot could have a nasty tumble and crack their noggin. And that’s why bike helmets are so vital for every toddler: the cargo contained within is priceless and must be protected at all costs.

A wide range of helmets is available to cater to all budgets and tastes. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about shopping for a little one’s helmet and examine the top 10 models on the market today.

What to Look For In a Bike Helmet For Toddlers

To safeguard the wellbeing and style of your toddler, you can’t just buy any old helmet. There are several things you need to consider to find the ideal option for your tot.

  • Safety: The primary purpose of a helmet is safety, so it’s undoubtedly going to be the most significant consideration, right? Not necessarily. All helmets sold in America must comply with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations, which guarantee a high level of protection against accidents. The bottom line? Fit is far more critical than the helmet itself in terms of safety.
  • Fit: Fit is fundamental for both safety and comfort, so it’s vital you get the sizing right. Too small and the helmet won’t fit at all; too big, and it will slide around and provide substandard protection. See our buyer’s guide for more info on how to find the perfect fit.
  • Adjustable Fit Dial: One way to help a helmet fit on a toddler’s head is to tighten the adjustable fit dial. Although most models on the market come with this crucial piece of technology, some of the cheaper ones don’t. And without one, there’s no guarantee the helmet will fit safely and snugly.
  • Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS): Aside from finding the right fit, there is one thing you can do to optimize safety: choose a helmet with a MIPS certification. In a nutshell, these specially designed helmets are better at absorbing impact from different angles. Again, skip forward to our buyer’s guide to learn more about MIPS .
  • Magnetic buckles: Most bike helmets feature a standard buckle to fasten it around your toddler’s head. On occasion, however, these can pinch the skin around the neck, and believe me when I say this will only end in tears. Some modern, high-end helmets boast a newfangled magnetic buckle to bypass the issue.
  • Flat Back: If you plan to lug your toddler around on a bike or bike trailer, then you need to grab a helmet with a flat back so the little one has something comfortable to rest their head on. If your tot is going to be doing all the peddling, opt for a helmet with better ventilation instead.
  • Weight: Tiny necks will struggle under the strain of a heavy helmet, so aim for the lightest model possible. The weight doesn’t necessarily affect safety, and bear in mind that features like MIPS and flatbacks are going to be a little heavier by design.
  • Price: Last but not least, price is a key consideration for every parent, especially in the current economy. Luckily, with toddlers’ helmets ranging from $15 to $100, there’s an option out there to suit every household budget.

Top 10 Best Bike Helmets for Toddlers 2020

1. Best Overall Bike Helmet for ToddlersJoovy Noodle

Joovy Noodle

Why we like it: Its no-nonsense design ticks all the boxes at an affordable price.

Editor’s Rating:

MIPS: No
Magnetic Buckle: No
Flatback: Yes
Sizes:

  • X-Small – Small: 18.5 – 20.5 inches
  • Small – Medium: 20.5 – 22 inches

Weight: 8 ounces
Adjustable Fit Dial: Yes

Possibly the best-selling toddler’s helmet on the market, the groovy Joovy Noodle gives you all the essential features for a very reasonable rate. The lightweight helmet comes in at only 0.5 lbs and fits snuggly over most kids’ heads, despite coming in just two different sizing options. The secret to the Noodle’s well-fitting success is the adjustable fit dial, which parents can loosen up as their toddler’s head grows.

There’s ample ventilation over the top of the helmet to keep your child cool as they careen down the street at breakneck speed. And unlike other brands out there, all 14 vents are covered in a fine layer of mesh to keep the bugs at bay—a godsend when you’re tugging your little one through an insect swarm (it happens, okay). Toddlers on the tow will also appreciate the flatback design, which offers ample padding to rest their weary heads.

Although it lacks magnetic buckles (hardly a surprise at this price range), the Joovy Noodle does have separated straps and a dual-color, non-pinch chin buckle at the front (red on one side and black on the other). All this makes it a cinch to strap on a wriggling toddler’s head. There’s no MIPS feature here, but the helmet is safe and protective.

And for little dudes and dudettes who aren’t into showy patterns, the Joovy Noodle comes in a wide selection of plain color designs. There are seven different colors to choose from, with options ranging from bright and vibrant to dark and understated.

Pros

  • Cost-effective helmet
  • Widely popular
  • Adjustable fit dial
  • Dual-color, no-pinch buckle

Cons

  • Lacks MIPS
  • Lacks magnetic buckle

2. Best Budget Bike Helmet for ToddlersSchwinn Kids Bike Helmet Classic Design

Schwinn Kids Bike Helmet Classic Design

Why we like it: You get a safe and comfortable helmet with a nifty adjustable fit dial for a rock bottom rate.

Editor’s Rating:

MIPS: No
Magnetic Buckle: No
Flatback: Yes
Adjustable fit dial: Yes
Sizes: One-size only, up to 20 inches
Weight: 8 ounces

Parents on a budget love shopping with Schwinn, a Chicago-born brand who’s been in the bicycle business since 1895. And as one of America’s oldest and most beloved bike brands, Schwinn has built a cult following for pumping out high-quality products on the cheap.

How cheap, you ask?

Well, this particular model provides all the protection a little toddler could need for just under 20 bucks—you’ll be hard-pressed to find a functional helmet for less.

Of course, at that kind of bargain-basement price, you won’t get any cool bells and whistles—except for the handy adjustable fit dial that does a decent job of setting the size right. Incidentally, however, the fit is also where the Schwinn fails to shine, as the manufacturer doesn’t even provide sizing guidelines. For the record, we checked, and this thing is good for heads up to about 20 inches. But be aware the helmet is deeper than most, so it tends to fit kids with longer rather than shorter foreheads.

Nonetheless, it’s still a solid choice for the price. The lightweight 8-ounce helmet is adequately durable and offers ample padding to keep your little one comfortable at all times. Up top, a vented design brings in much-needed airflow for those hot summer days. There’s also a flatback behind to cushion your toddler’s head while they’re being towed.

Although a tad simplistic, we do love the designs on offer here. Choose from a cartoon knight battling it out with a dragon or opt for a basic dark and light blue blend.

Pros

  • Incredibly chea
  • Adjustable fit dial
  • Flatback
  • Ample ventilation

Cons

  • Company doesn’t provide sufficient sizing information
  • Doesn’t fit kids with short foreheads very well

3. Best MIPS Bike Helmet for ToddlersGiro Scamp

Giro Scamp

Why we like it: This ultra-safe option from GIRO is one of the few toddler helmets to include MIPS.

Editor’s Rating:

MIPS: Yes
Magnetic Buckle: No
Adjustable Fit Dial: Yes
Flatback: Yes
Sizes:

  • XS (17.75”–19.25” / 45–49cm)
  • S (19.25”–20.75” / 49–53cm)

Weight: 14.4 ounces

Safety is the most important thing to consider in a helmet, and the safest helmets on the market come with a Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS).

If you’ve never heard of MIPS, it’s a revolutionary safety system designed to protect against “rotational violence” in an accident, which occurs when you land at a funny angle and mangle your neck. In most accidents, a standard non-MIPS helmet will safeguard the rider just fine. But in those nasty stacks that involve significant rotational violence, these helmets can make a huge difference.

Very few toddler helmets out there have the feature, so if it sounds essential for you, then you can’t go wrong with Giro. The California-based brand is at the forefront of bike safety technology and has rigorously tested MIPS on its state-of-the-art Scamp helmet—the bottom line? It really works!

Rest assured, the Scamp is a pretty nifty toddler helmet even without MIPS (you can save about 20 bucks by buying the non-MIPS version if you prefer). One of the things we love most is how well it fits tiny heads; don’t be surprised to see it slide right on your 18-month-old. The fact that it’s got a flat back makes it ideal for carting your little one along on a trailer. You also get an adjustable fit dial, a no-pinch buckle (though its not magnetic), and a funky visor on the front as part of the package.

Style-wise, it looks more like a stack hat for adults than a goofy toddler’s helmet, which the extreme sports kiddies out there will adore.

Pros

  • High-end Multi-directional Impact Protection System
  • Flatback design provides protection during towing
  • Comfortable fit for younger kids
  • Cool mature design

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No magnetic buckle

4. Best Premium Bike Helmet for ToddlersMelon Urban Active Collection Helmet

Melon Urban Active Collection Helmet

Why we like it: This top-of-the-line, skater-style stack hat from Melon looks cool as a cucumber and comes with a fancy magnetic buckle.

Editor’s Rating:

MIPS: No
Magnetic Buckle: Yes
Flatback: No
Sizes: 5″-22.75″
Weight: 9.9 ounces
Adjustable Fit Dial: No.

Instead, the helmet has adjustable settings on the foam padding instead to cater to different sized heads.

Proud parents of the next Lance Armstrong will want to spend big to give their budding prodigy the best chance of making it on the cycling scene. And no other toddler helmets on the market offer as much raw functionality and unbridled cachet is this neat little number from Melon.

Firstly, a word of warning: with zero change from a Benjamin, this helmet does not come cheap. But if you’re flush with cash and only want the best for your grommet skater superstar, you won’t find a better option out there.

So what makes Melon so awesome, then?

The first thing you’ll notice is how light and comfortable it is for a high-performance helmet. Boasting up to 30% less weight than a comparable hard shell helmet, your little legend will be able to twist their head with ease and pull off the gnarliest of tricks.  Layers and layers of cushy foam padding underneath provide optimal comfort and are adjustable to help you pinpoint the perfect fit.

It’s also one of the few toddler helmets to boast a magnetic buckle, which lets them slip in and out of the thing without the risk of pinching their neck.

Pros

  • Comfortable and lightweight design
  • Thick padding is adjustable for a flexible fit
  • Comes in a cool skater style
  • Has a handy magnetic buckle

Cons

  • Very expensive

5. Best Mountain Bike-Style Helmet for ToddlersBell Sidetrack Child Helmet

Bell Sidetrack Child Helmet

Why we like it: The helmet comes in a swanky mountain bike-style design and fits comfortably on most tots.

Editor’s Rating:

MIPS: No, but MIPS is available on the Bell Sidetrack II.
Magnetic Buckle: No
Flatback: Yes
Sizes: 47-54cm / 18.5-21.2″
Weight: 10.5 ounces
Adjustable Fit Dial: Yes

It doesn’t come cheap, but if you’ve got a budding little mountain biker in the family, the Sidetrack from Bell will have them shredding with the big kids in no time. This all-terrain toddler’s helmet mimics the style of a hardcore downhill biker, letting your little one feel just like the pros.

But unlike an adult’s mountain biking helmet, the Sidetrack has a cushioned flatback so your tot can rest comfortably while being taken around on a trailer bike. You’ll also find an ErgoFit Adjuster System (a fancy name for their adjustable fit dial) on the toddler’s version, letting it slip snugly onto any youngsters head that measures between 18.5 and 21.2 inches.

Parents looking to up the safety ante can invest in the MIPS-enabled Sidetrack II, although this only comes in the “youth” size so it’ll be a bit too big for most toddlers.

As much as we love the look and feel of this helmet, the buckle is a bit of a hassle. The problem is the helmet has stacks of excess straps, which get in the way when you’re trying to click-in the buckle—the last thing you want when you’ve got an excitable tot. It’s probably not a deal-breaker, but it’s certainly something to consider.

At present, the helmet only comes in two colors: a matte green for boys and a matte pink for girls.

Pros

  • Cool mountain bike design
  • Highly functional adjustable fit dial
  • Sturdy helmet with a comfortable fit

Cons

  • Excess straps make it tough to buckle up
  • Only two colors available to choose from

6. Best Bike Helmet for Sci-Fi FansBell Star Wars Toddler Bike Helmet

Bell Star Wars Toddler Bike Helmet

Why we like it: Let your little one transform into an intergalactic Astromech Droid of the Resistance.

Editor’s Rating:

MIPS: No
Magnetic Buckle: No
Flatback: Yes
Sizes: 48-52cm / 18.9”-20.4”
Weight: 10.1 ounces
Adjustable fit dial: No

For fans of the Star Wars franchise, this beautiful BB8 helmet can’t be beat (we’re tempted to pick up one in the adult size for ourselves). And it’s more than a tacky decal stuck on an ordinary helmet; this comes complete with a life-like antenna and two rubber sensor bobbles, so it feels like the real thing.

If your toddler is into the films but doesn’t adore BB8 (if that’s even possible), then there are a few other cool Star Wars designs on offer like the classic R2D2 and stormtrooper. These don’t have the same level of detail, however, so the BB8 is the winner in our book.

Truth be told, the great thing about this helmet is its aesthetics—your tiny tot will feel like an intergalactic superstar while cruising around the cul de sac with this stuck on their head. But in terms of functionality, it’s lacking a bit compare to something like the Giro Scamp .

The biggest issue is the fit as the helmet comes smaller than expected (it’s closer to 48-51cm). And there’s no adjustable fit dial either, which means you’ll have to rely on extra foam padding if you go for the bigger “child” size. Most models don’t have any vents, so the helmet is going to get uncomfortably hot during the height of summer. Of course, at this price point, you won’t get any fancy add-ons like MIPS or magnetic buckles, either.

Nonetheless, the cool-factor alone is enough for your child to become the envy of the entire neighborhood, and that’s reason enough to grab this adorable Star Wars helm.

Pros

  • Highly detailed BB8 design
  • Other Star Wars designs available

Cons

  • Smaller than expected
  • No adjustable fit dial
  • Lack of ventilation is a big issue in hot climates

7. Best Bike Helmet for InfantsSchwinn Infant Bike Helmet

Schwinn Infant Bike Helmet

Why we like it: It fits like a charm on even the most minuscule of heads.

Editor’s Rating:

MIPS: No
Magnetic Buckle: No
Flatback: Yes
Sizes: 47cm – 51cm
Weight: 8.2 ounces
Adjustable Fit Dial: Yes

Finding a nice snug fit for a teeny weeny infant is a challenge, and the Schwinn steps up to the plate. As the All-American brand also makes our favorite budget helmet for toddlers, it should come as no surprise to learn this wonderful option is also incredibly cheap.

The highlight here is the helmet fits snugly into tiny heads between 12 months and three years old. And if you do find it a little bit too big or small, simply tighten or loosen the adjustable dial until it sits firmly in place. The model comes in three adorable patterns that are perfect for children this age. Also, plenty of padding underneath keeps the rider feeling cushioned at all times.

Although it’s sturdy and comfy enough to offer adequate protection, it’s important to note the straps and Velcro are a little on the flimsy side. Keep an eye on your kid because hyperactive tots may succeed at tugging the straps loose.

Pros

  • Excellent option for infants
  • Cost-effective helmet
  • Adjustable fit dial

Cons

  • Straps are a bit too flimsy

8. Best Toddler Helmet for Little BoysBavilk Toddler Bike Helmet

Bavilk Toddler Bike Helmet

Why we like it: It’s a freakin’ dinosaur. What’s not to love? Kids will also love how comfortable it is, and parents will be thankful for its safe design.

Editor’s Rating:

MIPS: No
Magnetic Buckle: No
Flatback: Yes
Sizes: 19.29″-21.65″
Weight: 8.8 ounces
Adjustable Fit Dial: Yes

The best way to get a little boy into the habit of wearing a helmet is by providing something he wants to wear. And what teeny male toddler wouldn’t want to rock a roaring dinosaur headdress?

This thing looks so cool the biggest issue is he might not want to take it off again. And it’s not just some cheapo gimmick, either: the outer shell is made from super-smooth PC material with 3D embossing, while the inside is fitted out with shock-absorbent foam—everything you need to keep your child’s head safe from harm.

It’s super lightweight as well, weighing in at just under 9 ounces. Another neat perk is the helmet fits riders of a wide age range thanks to the highly-functional adjustable fit dial on the back. Ample interior padding keeps things comfortable, and there are half a dozen air vents to cool overheating heads. The strap mechanisms also work quite well and don’t tend to pinch the child in the neck.

On the downside, kids who aren’t in love with dinosaurs are going to loathe this outrageous design. Plus, it’s a low-end model, so don’t expect fancy extras like MIPS or magnetic buckles.

Pros

  • Delightful dinosaur design
  • Comfortable helmet with ample padding
  • Adjustable fit dial suits a wide range of skulls

Cons

  • No MIPs or magnetic buckles
  • Only suitable for dino fans

9. Best Toddler Helmet for Little GirlsBell Frozen Toddler Helmet

Bell Frozen Toddler Helmet

Why we like it: Little girls who love Frozen are going to adore this cute Disney design, but Bell has gone beyond aesthetics with this comfortable and safe toddler helmet.

Editor’s Rating:

MIPS: No
Magnetic Buckle: No
Flatback: Yes
Sizes: 48-52 cm
Weight: 11.2 ounces
Adjustable Fit Dial: No

Little girls love Frozen as much as boys adore dinosaurs (probably more judging by the number of times we’ve heard “Let It Go”). And by that logic, it’s a pretty safe bet your little girl will love this gorgeous Frozen-themed helmet, not least for the cute 3D tiara that fills in for the visor (who cares if it won’t keep the sun out of her eyes?).

Much like our top pick for little boys , this fun themed option is on the lower end of the price spectrum so don’t expect fancy things like magnetic buckles or MIPS. The rock bottom MSRP also means it’s rather flimsy; thus you shouldn’t expect it to last all that long. Worst of all, though, is the sizing is way off, and it lacks an adjustable fit dial, so there’s no guarantee it’ll sit properly on your little girl’s noggin.

Nonetheless, your daughter will feel like a real-life snow princess in this lovely looking helmet, which makes it worth the risk for most moms.  And although it might not last forever, it’s safe and comfortable.

Pros

  • Cute Frozen designs
  • 3D model comes with a tiara instead of a visor
  • Incredibly cheap

Cons

  • Flimsy construction will fall apart
  • Sizing is smaller than expected
  • Doesn’t have an adjustable fit dial

10. Raskullz Mohawk Toddler

Raskullz Mohawk Toddler

Why we like it: This glow-in-the-dark dinosaur helmet comes with a fuzzy Mohawk—the ultimate toddler fashion statement.

Editor’s Rating:

MIPS: No
Magnetic Buckle: No
Flatback: No
Sizes: 48-52cm
Weight: 13.6 ounces
Adjustable Fit Dial: No

You could argue this awesome option from Raskullz is even cooler than our top choice for little boys . After all, we’re talking glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs AND a bad boy Mohawk here—toddler tastes don’t get much more epic than that.

So why didn’t this widely popular model get our top prize for boys? Well, it’s just not as good of a helmet.

It may look amazing, but the bendable 3D Mohawk has a habit of melting in the extreme heat. Also, the straps are fiddly, and the lack of an adjustable dial makes the helmet hard to fit.

A wide range of alternative designs is available for kids aged five and up (the product listed is suitable for ages three onwards), which come with inbuilt LEDs to light the helmet up at night. But infuriatingly, the lights automatically turn themselves off after a minute, and the batteries are impossible to change once they run out.

Still, the helmet’s shock-absorbing EPS shell passes all the relevant government regulations, so it’ll undoubtedly provide adequate protection in a crash. And there’s no denying toddlers will find this glow-in-the-dark dinosaur Mohawk to be indescribably cool.

Pros

  • Amazing glow-in-the-dark dinosaur design
  • Several other funky designs available
  • Meets government safety requirements
  • Incredibly cheap

Cons

  • No adjustable fit dial
  • The straps are fiddly
  • LED lights turn off too quickly
  • Batteries can’t be replaced

Everything You Need to Know about Bike Helmets for Toddlers

Protecting your toddler’s precious little brain is serious business, so it’s imperative you undertake adequate research before settling on a brand. And that’s where this buyer’s guide comes in, with everything you could need to know about shopping for a helmet for your tot.

Safety First: Choosing a Safe Helmet for Your Toddler

If you’re anything like us, you’ll happily fork over fistfuls of cash if it means making the life of your precious baby a little safer. But the truth about bike helmets—both for toddlers and adults—is they’re all pretty similar in terms of safety.

While expensive brands may look and feel like they provide superior protection, the truth is the budget helmets are pretty much on par in the safety game. Don’t believe us? A study by the Bike Helmet Safety Institute found a $150 helmet offers approximately the same protection as a $15 helmet.

So long as your helmet comes with a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) endorsement—all helmets are required to by law—then it’s going to provide a high level of protection. Even though this is mandatory, it’s best to double-check your helmet is compliant in case you’ve bought an overseas knock-off—look for the CPSC sticker on the inside.

Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS):

There is one golden exception to the above, however: the coveted multi-directional impact protection system, better known as MIPS. The slip-plane design features a plastic cage on the interior that’s held in place by little anchors.  In an accident, the inner cage spins with the head to reduce rotational motion, thus diminishing the chance of brain injury and concussion.

The technology was first developed back in 1996 and has become increasingly popular in recent years for its ability to provide enhanced protection from angled impacts.

The downside is the tech is pretty pricey for the limited level of added protection it provides. If you like the sound of MIPS but don’t want to break the bank, then consider opting for the Giro Scamp .

How to Find the Perfect Fit for Your Toddler’s Bike Helmet

One crucial factor that does affect safety to a significant degree is how well the helmet fits. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for helmets, and you’ll have to buy a few before your child is fully grown.

Although it may be tempting to grab a size up that your toddler will grow into, a loose-fitting helmet is a serious safety concern. If the helmet slides around the toddler’s head and isn’t properly positioned, it won’t offer anywhere near the optimal level of protection. And that could make the difference between life and death, literally.

Given how essential it is to find the perfect fit, we thought we’d run you through the whole process step-by-step.

Getting the measurements right

If you’re shopping online—which is so much cheaper and easier—you’ll need to measure your child’s head beforehand. Use a soft tape measure to wrap around your toddler’s forehead to determine the circumference of their noggin. Your pediatrician will also do this for you on your usual scheduled check-ups.

Bike helmets come in size ranges—i.e., small (49-53 cm) and extra small (45-49 cm)—and these often vary between manufacturers. Select a size range that covers the circumference of your child’s head. Although it may be tempting to buy one the next size up so your child can grow into it, that would mean the helmet is too loose and could pose a severe safety risk.

Even if your child’s head is at a borderline size, say 48cm in circumference, getting them a slightly too big of a size (small/49-53 cm) could be deadly. But if you went for the recommended size (extra small/45-49 cm), they’d grow out of it like next month, right? Well, one solution could be to opt for a different brand as sizes tend to vary between companies. Another option is getting the cheapest helmet possible (prices start at about $15) until their head is big enough to fit into the next size up. Alternatively, if you’re worried about the fit, you can order a product with a generous refund policy.

toddler riding a bike with her mom

Putting the helmet on safely

It’s not enough to buy a safe and snugly fitting helmet for your tot; you need to make sure they’re wearing it properly as well. A poorly positioned or improperly worn helmet won’t be effective in an accident, even if it is the perfect size.

Follow the four-step process to ensure your little one is wearing their helmet correctly.

  1. Position: The helmet needs to sit level on the child’s head, about the width of two fingers above their eyebrows. If it droops down too far forward, try tightening the straps at the back.
  2. Side Straps: The side straps should form a V shape around your child’s ears, with the bottom situated slightly in front. Make sure the slider is locked in place, so the strap doesn’t wriggle around while in use.
  3. Buckles: Take the helmet off and ensure the buckle is centered squarely under the chin.
  4. Chinstrap: The chin strap should fit firmly under your child’s chin, but without being so tight it restricts airflow. Aim to be able to fit two fingers between the strap and the chin. Get your toddler to open their mouth agape. If the helmet doesn’t pull down on their head, then tighten the chin strap some more.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has in-depth information on the process.

Parent putting bike helmet on toddler

Adjustable Fit Dials

Most toddler helmets come with an adjustable fit dial at the back, which the parent can use to tighten or loosen the helmet as needed. Because a toddler’s head size tends to grow so quickly, these contraptions are useful at enhancing the shelf-life of the average helmet. And without them, it’s far more likely the parent will buy a helmet that doesn’t fit.

Only the cheapest toddler helmets don’t have adjustable fit dials because most shoppers consider them a necessity at this age. Adult helmets, on the other hand, rarely ever have them because their heads remain the same size.

Magnetic Buckles

Strapping your toddler’s helmet safely around their precious little noggin can be a challenge, especially for hyperactive kids who won’t sit still for a second. And then you’ve got the possibility of pinching their neck in the chin strap, which is guaranteed to lead to a temper tantrum of nuclear proportions.

Well, like many things in life, there’s a 21st-century solution to this age-old conundrum: the magnetic buckle. High-end toddler’s helmets—those in the $50+ price range—sometimes come with this cool little extra as part of the package. Sure, it might not be a game-changer or a must-have feature, but there’s no denying the magnetic buckle is pretty neat.

Our favorite magnetic buckle helmet is the Melon , a skater-style helmet that looks adorable on little heads.

Flatbacks

Are you going to be dragging your child around town on the back of your bike or trailer? In that case, you should look for a flatback helmet rather than an ordinary one. These feature foam at the end to provide cushioning for your child’s head as they recline on a tandem ride.

Of course, a toddler can use a flatback helmet for normal riding as well, but it’s going to be less comfortable because flatbacks have less ventilation than standard helmets. Nonetheless, the difference isn’t extreme, so if you’re planning to have your child do both tandem and solo riding, then there’s no harm in getting one single flat back helmet.

In fact, the sheer versatility that flatbacks afford makes them so prevalent among toddlers’ helmets that we only recommend these on our list.

toddler on bike trailer

Weight

You may mistakenly believe heavier helmets are going to provide better protection—after all, the more foam, the better the cushioning, right?

Quite the opposite.

Helmet foam only requires a certain amount of thickness to protect the skull, which all CPSC compliant models achieve. Any more than that is counterproductive as the excess weight puts extra strain on your tot’s underdeveloped neck. And the younger your toddler is, the weaker the neck muscles and the lighter the helmet must be. The helmets on our list range from 7 to 14 ounces. Those with more bells and whistles (flatbacks and MIPS) are always going to weigh a bit more.

Now You’re Ready to Ride

If you’ve made it this far, you’re now an expert in the world of bike helmets for toddlers. All that’s left to do now is take a gander through our recommendations and pinpoint the one that best aligns with your budget and needs. Nothing on earth is more important than the safety of your child, so make sure they wear this essential accessory every time they ride.