Product Review

Best Mountain Bike Helmets for an 8-Year-Old

Kids are daredevils, and I know I worry about my kids’ safety when they’re out playing on their bikes. Fortunately, many excellent mountain bike helmet options keep them safe, whether we’re barreling down a hillside or hitting up the local stunt area.

Bell Nomad Jr. MIPS


Pros

  • Trail specific design
  • Multidirectional Impact Protection System (MIPS)
  • Easy adjustment and fasteners
  • Fusion in-mold polycarbonate shell

Cons

  • Not a full-face model

 

In the Bell Nomad Jr. MIPS helmet, I found a reliable model that my kids don’t mind wearing even when they’re merely riding in the street with their friends. I like that this helmet has great protection features with the shell fusion and MIPS. It’s also easy to adjust as my kids grow, and the straps are designed to stay flat.

 

Kali Zoka

Pros

  • Designed for mountain biking
  • ABS shell and EPS foam with composite fusion
  • Washable liner
  • Full-face protection
  • Comprehensive protection strategy
  • EN 1078, CPSC certifications

Cons

  • Minimal adjustment available

 

I like the full-face coverage of the Kali Zoka helmet model. It provides my little ones with a bit more protection than a traditional helmet design does, especially when we’re racing down a trail. The added certifications back up the sturdiness of these youth bike helmets, which I find reassuring. The only downside is I’ll need to buy the next size up once my 8-year-old grows again.

 

Giro Switchblade

Pros

  • Multidirectional Impact Protection System (MIPS)
  • Removable chin bar
  • Roc Loc® Air DH comfort system
  • ASTM-1952 DH certification

Cons

  • Price
  • Minimal adjustment available

I found the Giro Switchblade adaptable, and my 8-year-old just fits in the smallest size. The big feature for this mountain bike helmet is the removable chin strap. This feature helps me make sure that the helmet is comfortable no matter what activity we’re doing. With the extra safety certifications, I feel confident letting my kids loose in this helmet.

 

iXS Xact Evo

Pros

  • ABS helmet shell with EPS foam
  • Ergonomic padding with emergency padding release
  • Washable padding
  • Full-face protection
  • EN1078:2012, CPSC, ASTM F1952-15/F1446-15 certifications

Cons

  • Weight
  • Minimal adjustment available

This helmet model supplies another protective option for when I take the kids out to bike in the mountains. The overall design is robust, not that it helps my heart when I see my 8-year-old doing something dangerous. The padding is comfortable and washable, which is a nice bonus. The only drawback I see is the weight consideration for young and developing bodies.

 

Fly Racing Default

Pros

  • Aerodynamic design
  • CPSC 1203 certified
  • Poly-alloy shell with EPS foam
  • Washable liner and pads
  • Full-face protection

Cons

  • Minimal adjustment available

The Fly Racing helmet feels like the most aerodynamic on this list, though I attribute that to its racing roots. The helmet provides excellent full-face protection for my 8-year-old while we’re mountain biking. Meanwhile, it also works fabulously at the local trick riding park. That’s usually when I must pull everything out to wash.

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