My son’s Kali Chakra helmet is about to expire and it’s going to be a sad day. Despite having several helmets, this one has been hands-down his favorite for a long time. The design is cute, an integrated visor provides sun protection, and plenty of vents make the helmet breathable.
Kali is well-known for their adult mountain bike gear, and the Chakra is just as cool as their grown-up stuff. One of the reasons I think my son likes this helmet so much is that it looks like mom’s and dads’s helmet rather than a “baby” helmet.
If you are looking for a safe, but cool, helmet for your 2 to 8 year old, consider the Kali Chakra.
Review in a Nutshell
- Integrated visor
- Plenty of vent holes
- Universal fit ring
- Attractive design
- Lacks MIPS technology
- Traditional strap and buckle design
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Detailed Kali Chakra Child Helmet Review
If you have a rambunctious child (which I’m sure you do), they are going to produce some serious heat when biking. We have a few other “skateboard” style helmets with limited vent holes, and when we take them off, my son’s hair will be soaking wet with sweat. With the Kali, on the other hand, when we take it off, his hair is totally dry (albeit a bit messy)!
Mountain bike design
This helmet is manufactured by Kali Protectives, which is a mountain bike accessories company. Therefore, it is very much a “mountain bike” helmet design. An integrated visor provides sun protection which is nice (on or off-road). The Chakra also has extended coverage at the back of the head, which I would highly recommend if your child is going to be riding at the pump track or local bike park.
All that said, even if your child isn’t mountain biking, the Chakra is a great helmet and works just as well on rides around the neighborhood and in the bike trailer.
Unlike some cheaper kids helmets, the Chakra is made of a lightweight in-mold polycarbonate shell and an EPS liner. In-mold helmets are preferable to cheaper helmets because they are lighter (more comfortable for the child) and more durable.
The highly adjustable Chakra can fit kids with head circumferences between 48cm and 54 cm, which means it will fit most kids between 2 and 8 years old. If you’re not sure on how to measure your child for a helmet, read this article on fitting kids helmets.
If your child has a head larger than 54cm, Kali also makes the Chakra Youth for older kids.
Like all helmets sold in the U.S., the Kali Chakra child is CPSC certified. So while all helmets on the market are “safe,” some are safer than others. The primary thing that makes a kids helmet safe is making sure it is fitted properly.
The Chakra has a universal fit ring on the big that makes tightening it to your child’s head easy. I MUCH prefer this to helmets where you must adjust the sizing with removable padding. One unfortunate thing about the Chakra is that it has the traditional strap and buckle design found on most helmets. This design takes quite a bit of time to make sure the straps are all adjusted properly, and then you have to keep adjusting over time as they become loose again. In order to buckle his Chakra on his own, my son tugs on the straps which cause them to become loose.
Some newer kids helmets have rethought this design by offering alternate designs with easy-adjustment and buckling features like magnetic buckles, dial adjusted straps, and more. While I’m sure it would raise the price, I would love to see Kali incorporate these features on the Chakra.
My only other con on the Chakra is that it doesn’t feature MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) technology. This fairly new technology offers maximum safety, particularly for mountain biking. If you want the very safest helmet (that comes with a big pricetag), consider a helmet with MIPS.
The Kali Chakra is comfortable and breathable for my little boy. He is always happy to wear it even for very long periods of time, which I think is the best thing that a helmet can have going for it. The mountain bike design offers both the cool factor, and an extra element of safety with the extended rear-of-the-head protection and the integrated visor. As our Chakra nears its final days, we will very well be buying another despite the fact that my son has PLENTY of other helmets. Two thumbs up for the Kali Chakra.