The current generation of young bikers is going faster, bigger, and harder than any before them. Ten-year-olds are launching jumps at the old Red Bell Rampage site. We’ve got 2-year-old balance bike riders hitting teeter-totters at Trailside and Valmont bike parks.
This kind of riding necessitates full-face helmets, and yet there is a considerable lack of them on the market for kids.
To save you some frustration, we’ve rounded up the best, lightest-weight options for kids–from the balance bike crew to the pre-teen rippers. Here are our 7 favorite kids full face bike helmets for mountain biking, racing BMX, or just goofing around.
We’ve also included a comparison chart and some advice on how to pick the best full face helmet for your child.
Bell Sanction: Best for Young Children
The Bell Sanction is the helmet my little wore when he was younger. It went with us on downhill days at Spirit Mountain, Burke Ski Resort, and countless self-shuttled runs.
The Bell Sanction is small enough even for toddlers. It’s not the beefiest helmet nor the fanciest but is perfect for younger children.
Note: When you go to buy the description is likely to say “adult” helmet. Don’t worry about that; the size chart doesn’t lie. The small sizes are made for kids.
Read Our Review: Bell Sanction
Price: $82.50 (Last updated: 2023-06-01 at 07:42 – More Info)
Mongoose Title Full Face Youth: Best for Parents on a Budget
The Mongoose Title Full Face Youth is an exceptional helmet for the price. At just under $100, the Title is a great option for parents who don’t want to spend a fortune.
And you’re not giving up a whole lot for being on a budget. The Mongoose Title meets the ASTM F1952 standard for downhill mountain biking, which virtually no helmets at this pricepoint do.
It also happens to be the lightest weight helmet we’ve tested, which makes it great for young kids who don’t have a whole lot of neck strength yet.
Read Our Review: Mongoose Title Full Face Youth
Price: (Last updated: – More Info)
Bell Super 3R MIPS: Best for Aggressive Trail Riding
This is an adult helmet but is small enough and light enough it works well for elementary-age children. The Bell Super 3R isn’t a true full-face helmet; it is a convertible helmet with a removable chin bar.
This makes it ideal for kids doing aggressive trail riding and saves mom and dad the cost of buying two helmets. We also like that it comes with MIPS for added peace of mind.
Price: $239.95 (Last updated: 2023-06-02 at 20:08 – More Info)
Giro Switchblade MIPS: Best Convertible Helmet
This is another helmet with a removable chin bar but is more tailored to downhill riding than trail riding. The Giro Switchblade offers a lightweight lid with all the extras: adjustable visor, camera mount, MIPS technology. It is ASTM certified so is a good choice for kids who are going big.
Price: Price not available (Last updated: 2023-06-02 at 20:08 – More Info)
Fox Racing Rampage: Best Bang For Your Buck
The Fox Rampage is a light-weight helmet with a small profile. It also has the ASTM-F1952 certification which makes it ideal for parents who want to keep their child safe on downhill days.
Compared to less expensive full face helmets, the Rampage is comfortable to wear. The padding inside is substantial and soft.
Fly Racing Default: Best for BMX Racing
The Fly Racing Default is a favorite out on the BMX track thanks to its flashy style, lightweight, and reasonable price. It does get a bit hot and sweaty so it’s not our top choice for long downhill days, but it works well for shorter rides and races.
Read Our Review: Fly Racing Default
IXS Xact: Best for the Lift Served Bike Park
We tested the IXS Xact at the Whistler bike park when we wanted to make our sure our son had a helmet certified for downhill riding. Despite a freak 85 degree day in June, he managed to stay (relatively) cool and comfortable; and mom was able to rest assured knowing his noggin’ was safe while he pushed the limits.
It utilized double-D closures rather than a standard buckle, and EPR (Emergency Padding Release) allows for quick removal of the helmet in the event of a serious accident.
7iDP M1: Best For Dirt Jumps Or Skills Park
The 7iDP M1 helmet is a great choice for your local skills park or dirt jumps. It meets neither the ASTM certs for DH or BMX riding, but it’s great for less aggressive riding that still requires full face protection.
The M1 is lightweight and has a smaller profile than most of the helmets on this list. This makes it more comfortable and easier to wear for long periods of time than bulkier, hotter helmets.
There are also a good range of sizes. The smallest size fits heads as small as 48cm, while bigger kids can wear an adult XS or small.
Read Our Review: 7iDP M1 Helmet
Price: $150.00 (Last updated: 2023-05-15 at 20:18 – More Info)
Other Kids Full Face Bike Helmet Options
These full-face bike helmets didn’t make our top 5 list, but they are other choices to consider.
- SixSixOne Comp*: A nice entry-level helmet. Does not have ASTM-certification.
- Lazer Phoenix Plus*: Adjustable visor and attractive designs.
- FlyRacing Kinetic Invasion Youth: A youth-specific helmet popular with the BMX crowd.
- Leatt DBX 5.0: Really expensive, but really nice.
- Bell Super DH MIPS*: ASTM DH certified, 850 grams.
- 100% Status*: Comes in youth sizes. Designed for both BMX and MTB.
- Kali Zoka*: Lightweight and budget conscious.
Comparison Chart: Youth Full Face Bike Helmets
Here are how the top helmets on our list stack up. For more help on choosing between the helmets, read our tips on how to pick a good helmet below.
|Helmet||Minimum Head Circumference||MIPS?||Standards||Weight|
|Bell Sanction*||52cm||No||CPSC, CE EN1078||950g|
|Kali Zoka||50 cm||No||CPSC, EN 1078||980 g|
|Bell Super 3R MIPS*||52 cm||Yes||CPSC||784 g|
|Giro Switchblade MIPS*||51 cm||Yes||CPSC, EN 1078, ASTM F1952||964 g|
|Fox Racing Rampage||53 cm||No||CPSC, ASTM F1952, EN 1078||1,043 g|
|Fly Racing Default*||53 cm||No||CPSC||1,133 g|
|IXS Xact*||49 cm||No||CPSC, EN 1078, ASTM F1952||1,007g|
|SixSixOne Comp*||55 cm||No||CPSC, CE EN1078||910 g|
|FlyRacing Kinetic Invasion Youth*||No|
|Leatt DBX 5.0||53 cm||No||ASTM F1952–10, EN1078, CPSC 1203||1040 g|
|Bell Super DH MIPS*||52 cm||Yes||CPSC, CE EN1078, ASTM F1952, ASTM F2032||850 g|
|7ipd M1*||48 cm||No||CE, CPSC, AS|
|100% Status*||47 cm||No||1,383 g|
How to Choose a Youth Full-Face Helmet
When shopping for a full-face mountain bike helmet, it is important to pay attention to certifications. All helmets sold in the U.S. come with a CPSC certification, and most of these all have the European equivalent CE EN1078. These certifications are not specific to full-face helmets and are the same standards found on other kid and adult helmets.
For mountain bikers, the certification to pay more attention to is the ASTM-F1952 standard. This one is specific to downhill helmets and adds additional levels of safety for high-speed, serious crashes. Unfortunately, not all full-face helmets have this certification, including a lot of the full-face helmets that are suitable to kids (lightweight, smaller profile). If your kiddo is doing serious riding–high speed, big gravity–you want to make sure their helmet has the ASTM certification.
BMX riders should look for a helmet with the ASTM F2032 standard. This specification requires impact protection over a larger area of the head than required for either the SPSC or F1952 standards.
For younger kids and those doing more conservative riding, the ASTM standards are less critical.
The biggest limiter in searching for a full-face mountain bike helmet for kids is the weight. Although many full-face helmets may fit your child in terms of head circumference, the weight may still be way too much.
Kids neck muscles are not as developed as an adult’s and many full-face helmets are just way too heavy. The younger and more petite your child is, the more concerned you need to be about the weight of the helmet. In fact, you should avoid full face helmets for kids much younger than 4 or 5 as their necks just aren’t strong enough yet.
In order to ensure you are buying a helmet that will fit, it is important to measure your child’s head first. Grab a flexible tape measure, and measure around your child’s head right above the eyebrows.
Note their head circumference — in centimeters. Make sure the helmet you choose is small enough for your child. Don’t be tempted to buy up a size, the helmet won’t be safe.
Why does your child need a full-face helmet? Are they spending time doing lift-assisted runs at the bike park? Or are they a crash-prone pre-schooler?
The answer to this question is going to result in very different helmet choices. The best helmet for the pre-schooler is the Bell Sanction; the top pick for the downhiller might be the Giro Switchblade. And for all the kids somewhere in between, we like the Bell Super 3R.
Full face bike helmets come with one of two types of buckles: a D-ring buckle or a traditional snap buckle. A D-ring buckle is the safest and will keep a helmet on even in the event of a serious crash.
The downside to a D-ring buckle is that it is hard for kids do buckle or unbuckle on their own and they will probably need your help. It can be particularly hard to get young kids to stay still long enough.
Does Your Child Really NEED A Full Face Helmet?!
We see way too many overly cautious parents put their kids in full face helmets for biking around the neighborhood. For biking in town or even for mellow mountain biking, do your child a favor and give them a traditional bike helmet.
Read: 9 Best Kids Bike Helmets & How To Choose!
Full face helmets are hot AND heavy. They are not comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Obviously if your child is going off jumps, racing BMX, or downhill mountain biking, your child NEEDS a full face helmet. Just don’t make a kid suffer that doesn’t NEED one.
34 thoughts on “7 Best Kids Full Face Helmets (BMX, MTB)”
Thanks for taking the time to put this post together. Really helped in the search for my son’s new helmet.
I’m so glad Bryan. Thanks for the kind feedback.
Thank you for your reviews! I’ve referred to your site several times. Today was for some full face ideas for my smallish 9 yr old (50#’s!). He’s confidence is getting higher and he is riding aggressively for his level of experience. I think this means his 1st bad spill might be a little rougher than most, so he might have a full face under the Christmas tree.
Again, thanks for the great info!
Thanks for the kind words Terry. I’m hoping for a full face under the Christmas tree myself!
After many nights of surfing the net for help for my 7yr old Grandsin’s full face helmet to go with his brand new bike bought today-advice that I know is THE BEST & SAFETY ADVICE that gives me peace of mind for his future so he can have all the fun he wants -NO WORRIES-A MILLION THANX-SO APPRECIATE UR IN DEPTH RESEARCH-AWESOME-BLESS UZ Happy Nanna Australia
This is great. Just what I was looking for. I have 3 boys and they are getting more and more confident with riding. One trip to the indoor bike park in Portland (The Lumberyard) and it was obvious I need to get full face helmets for them.
I was wondering if anyone has found a full face helmet for 3.5yr olds? My daughter is quite petite but aggressive riding so I am looking for something light with the smallest circumferential dimensions on the market.
The Bell Sanction is going to be your best bet.
Check out 100% helmets. Starting at 47 cm, They make a helmet that fits our 3 year old, and has a less protruding chin guard than other brands. Some chin guards hit the handlebars when riding because their arms are so short. It is a great helmet that has saved her face many times riding on the concrete, trails and gravel. Because as you know toddlers seem to face plant over that bars all the time.
Take a look at the Fly Default. It’s as light as the lightest on your list, right over $100, and a YS is 47-48 cm. All the 5 and unders on our BMX race team are wearing them.
My 5 yo daughter had a big spill and actually knocked herself out in a Giro Scamp. Obviously she was out riding the helmet and this article will help greatly in my search for a replacement. I’m happy with Giro products, so I will be looking at the switchblade if the fit is right.
Yikes! Always a scary thing to have happen. Glad she’s relatively ok.
from what age it is recommended that children wear full face?
The Bell Sanction will fit little ones as small as 2 or 3.
My grandsons are triplets and not quite 3yrs. They are also fearless! They are amazingly fast o their balance bikes love hills and my son has already started building small ramps for them. The first helmets I got for their age over a year ago were too small. And watching them I think they need the full face helmets but 750$ is a lot to shell out every year or whenever they get bigger or the helmet has to be replaced sue ti a fall/damage. Am I ok with a $100+ helmet? What’s my best option without breaking grandma’s bank or risking their little heads?
Hi Meg, Yes, for kiddos that little they really aren’t going that fast or falling that far. (It might seem like it for their age, but ultimately they don’t need ASTM-certified helmets yet). I would go with the Bell Sanction. You should be able to find it for around $60.
Hello I am 14 years old and I’m really into dirt jumping I was wondering which helmet would be the best and second best
Of the helmets on this list, I would go with the Fox or Fly Racing helmets. That said, by 14 years old, helmet weight and head circumference are going to be less of an issue. You should be able to fit any adult full-face helmet that you like.
Looking for a helmet with a squeeze buckle not d-rings. Any suggestions?
Check out the Bell Sanction. It has a traditional style buckle.
The Seven Intelligent Design Protection M1 (7 IDP M1) Full Face Helmet should have been included in this lineup for 2020. Super lightweight for kids or adults. Well ventilated and although not ASTM downhill certified, it is CPCS certified. It has adult and kids sizes and even has an extra small adult size that will fit many kids. Check it out. You have great information on your site, thanks for providing it to all parents searching for this type of equipment. Be well.
Hi Melvin, Thanks for the recommendation! We actually do have the 7IPD M1 full listed above under “other options”, but have yet to test it. Have heard good things, so will make sure try it out! Take care.
One thing to think about is actually the helmet frame size. What I mean is that some helmet brands make the helmets fit 48 cm withpad sizing but the outer helmet shell is the same as an XL size adult helmet of the same brand. So my husband and 5 year old have the same shell size of helmet but with different foam and pad sizing to make it fit the smaller head. It is pretty large looking on her, but it works. But I think it is important to see if brands make different shell sizes for their youth/adult sizes, not just bigger pads. After all, ca 3 year old should have a smaller size of helmet overall than an adult. But I do know that helmet companies are trying got develop better for the growing demand for youth full face helmets at smaller sizes.
Good point. Profile size does matter, but is a bit harder to quantify here. I think one good (but not precise way) to compare helmets in this way is to look at weight. The lower weight helmets tend to be smaller and have a lower profile over all.
Hi, just wanted to let you know that you have discrepancies between the Kali description and the chart. It lists it having downhill certified in the chart but alas it isn’t.
Thanks Nicole. Not sure what happened there. It is corrected now.
I’m looking for the lightest full face helmet on the market since my kid is 23 months old. Something around 250 a 300 grs max. Which one would you recommend?
Hi Raul, Unfortunately, I actually don’t recommend full face helmets for kiddos that little. There necks/heads just really aren’t strong enough to bare the weight yet. I don’t know of any full face helmets as light as what you are looking for.
One thing to watch out for is how much protection there is for the face. Especially with the convertible and lightweight full face helmets, the chinbar can easily be pushed down. this happend to my daughter wearing mine old Bells Super, leading to a cut on her chin, despite wearing a “proper size” full face helmet.
When we bought her a new full face helmet, we tried on many, pushing the chinbar down and trying to see how large of an oboe could touch her face. On some, basketball would touch, on the best, even a 7” toy ball would not.
It is a combo of padding around the neck and cheeks, how far oust the chinbar sticks, how low the brow of the helmet comes and more.
Thanks for the research and the recommendations. I really appreciate the child focus to look for products for my 4 and 7 year olds. 1 comment i might make or add is that MIPS is not the only technology out there and I think its a little misleading to not have a “mips or similar” heading or something like that in regards to the 6d, Leatt product specifically And others as they come out with alternatives. It’s a huge portion of the cost difference as compared to some of the older technology helmets. I’m just a dad not affiliated with any helmet companies but i have done a bunch of Research on this as my wife had a concussion last year from a horse riding accident.
Thanks for the research and the recommendations. I really appreciate the child focus to look for products for my 6 year olds.
Thank you very much for your article! May I ask is it ok for kids use adult full face helmet? My boy is 6 yrs old with head circumference 53cm, we found that few brands have XS that fit 53cm but they are for “adult”, didn’t mention for “junior”, would those be fine? Not sure is it common for kids to use adult helmet?
Nope, not uncommon at all. Just pay attention to weight as little necks aren’t as strong.