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Nutcase Little Nutty Kids Helmet Review

Author: Christopher Del Sole

Updated:

Think back to your first bicycle helmet. You were young, the helmet was probably too big, too heavy, and let’s face it, made you look silly. None of these factors were very motivating, which is why many of us didn’t wear a helmet when we rode our bikes as children.

Fast forward to 2021, American parents have wised up, and it’s now the exception rather than the rule to see a child riding without a helmet. In our house, we have a rule that applies to everyone, kids and adults, equally – no helmet, no bike. No exceptions.

Our kids don’t question this policy, but even so, it doesn’t hurt to have some sweet looking, comfortable helmets on hand to protect their little noggins. With that in mind, we took the Nutcase Little Nutty helmet for a ride, and came away seriously impressed.


Review In A Nutshell

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Looks great
  • Features MIPS technology
  • Magnetic Buckle
  • Good for multiple sports

Cons:

  • Could use more ventilation

Price & Where To Buy:


Way More Attractive Than Your Average Helmet

Based in the bike-obsessed city of Portland, Oregon, Nutcase was founded by a former Creative Director at Nike back in 2000. With the motto, “Life is too short not to live a little nutty”, you know these helmets are all about FUN!

With a variety of bright, splashy graphics options, kids of all ages will be delighted by the Little Nutty. There are also options for adults, which can make it fun if you want to match your child.

nutcase little nutty helmet review

MIPS Technology Offers Extra Protection

Starting with the inclusion of a Multi-directional Impact Protection System, or MIPS, the Little Nutty features adult level protection in a tiny package. MIPS, which is usually found on much more expensive helmets, allows the skull to rotate slightly inside the helmet to absorb additional energy, resulting in a less severe impact to the brain.

Easy Adjustments And Pinch Free Magnetic Buckle

The Nutcase Little Nutty is held fast by a standard nylon chin strap affixed to an adjustable magnetic buckle, which is another nice feature to have. The No-Pinch magnetic Fidlock buckle is easier for kids to clasp and unclasp themselves, and also eliminates any possible pinching under the chin.

A “rock-lock” style adjustable dial sits on the rear of the helmet, allowing the back of the helmet to be secured snugly. This isn’t the norm on most skate style kids bike helmets, and it certainly helps get a better fit than pads alone can.

But yes, there are pads as well–three of them. They are removable and washable, and the provide both comfort and fit adjustment. Two additional pad sets, each thicker than the previous, are available from Nutcase for $8, which allows the helmet to fit just about any head shape and size. 

Sizing

The Little Nutty comes in two sizes – Toddler (48cm – 52cm), and Youth (52cm – 56 cm), both which include the previously mentioned additional pad kits, allowing for a fine-tuned fit for children ages three and up. 

nutcase size

For even smaller riders, the Nutcase Baby Nutty is a great option.

Certified For Multiple Sports

One thing we LOVED about the Little Nutty design is the fact that it’s good for multiple sports, from riding a bike to skateboarding or rollerblading. This cross-sport functionality is great for Mom and Dad’s wallet, allowing one helmet to handle duties across the board.

The Little Nutty is ASTNM F1492 Certified, and complies with the U.S. CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets for Persons Age 5 and Older. Having multi sport certifications is the exception rather than the norm when it comes to be kids helmets.  

Stylish and Functional Design

Kids love bright colors and bold designs, and Nutcase delivers on both fronts with the Little Nutty. Available in 15 different designs, there’s sure to be something for every child. The Little Nutty ships with a removable plastic visor, which adds a cool look and protects little eyes from the sun.

nutcase visor

Reflective elements front and rear provide an extra safety factor in dim light (never ride at night without proper lighting front and rear). The ten air vents didn’t look very big to us, but our toddler tester never complained, even on a late fall day with sunshine and temperatures reaching 70 degrees. 

That said, if you plan to ride in hotter summer temperatures, or live somewhere like Phoenix, we’d recommend choosing a helmet with a bit more airflow. This isn’t a criticism on the Nutcase Little Nutty specifically, but rather of skate style, bucket helmets in general. They just don’t breathe as well as a more traditional style bike helmet.

The Competition

When viewed alongside other multi-sport skate style helmets like the Thousand Jr. or Melon, the Little Nutty is competitively priced. At $69.99, it’s more than the Thousand Jr ($60) but not quite as expensive as the Melon ($80).

All three helmets are equally stylish, albeit in different ways, with the Little Nutty offering a bunch of bright, fun graphic options to satisfy little ones. All three helmets come with multiple safety certifications, making this comparison a true toss-up. 

Bottom Line

Overall, we really liked the Nutcase Little Nutty helmet. It has the winning combination of good looks and comfort for the kids, and a great price with proper safety features for Mom and Dad.

The extra pad kits and adjustable rear lock device offer a good degree of adjustment, meaning this helmet can grow with a child for several years, providing good value as well as safety. We can proudly recommend this helmet as something everyone in the family will certainly love!

Learn More About Kids Bike Helmets

About Us

The Rascals are a family of three. Kristen (mom), Blair (dad), and Parker (kiddo). We started Rascal Rides when Parker was born and we didn’t want to give up our passion for biking. As we learned, we shared. Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of kids bikes, helmets, bike trailers, and more.

Kristen is a USA Cycling certified coach and loves to share her passion for biking with other families. Blair is a bike geek, mechanic, and mountain bike junkie. Parker is our resident tester and inspiration.

If you see us out on the trail, make sure to say hi!

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