The Smith Wilder Jr Bike helmet is designed for young mountain bike enthusiasts and features ample ventilation. It is designed with the latest precautions available to reduce the harm from impact making it an excellent option for faster riders.
It is lightweight, easy to adjust, and will help keep your child cool and dry on the hottest days. This will hopefully reduce the number of times they will reach up and scream “off!”
Being an Idahoan, I was introduced to Smith while they were still located in Ketchum. I have always enjoyed their products because they are well built and generally more appealing than other styles available. I am pleased to see that they have crafted both a safe and stylish helmet for young riders and am happy to have this in our arsenal for this season.
Review in a Nutshell
- Available with MIPS
- Plenty of ventilation
- Secure dial adjustments
- Works well with sunglasses or goggles
- Chin strap slips loose easily
- Only comes in one size
Price & Where To Buy:
- $75 List
- Check price at SmithOptics.com
- Check price at REI.com*
- $37.50 at Amazon.com* (Last updated: 2023-03-12 at 08:18) – More info
Safety is first when it comes to helmets and impact protection is vital. The Smith Wilder Jr provides adequate coverage, but is lightweight enough for hours of comfortable use.
Breathability is also important when it comes to summer activities and this helmet is the perfect balance of coverage and comfort making it enjoyable for your child and also reassuring for the parent.
Smith offers several youth helmets available with MIPS protection, this helmet included, and essentially reduces the friction you would experience in a crash. This is accomplished by allowing the head to rotate within the helmet upon impact and therefore reducing brain injuries.
This has become the standard in the larger helmet sizes and it is excellent to have an option for young children. MIPS gives this helmet its protection capabilities while keeping the overall weight down.
Adjusting this helmet to your child’s specific sizing can be a bit of a challenge. It is more complex than your average toddler helmet because you need to reposition the straps under their ears before tightening the chin strap. Adjusting the straps slightly under the ear is best and the chin strap must be tight enough so that the helmet cannot lift back on your child’s forehead.
As with most other Smith cycling helmets, a tension dial is located on the back, allowing the circumference to fit snuggly while also giving the child room to grow. The VaporFit dial allows for 270-degree fit adjustment, so it is accommodating to most head shapes and has up to 5cm of adjustability. The tension arms are flexible and form fitted which keeps any pressure points down to a minimum.
It is only available in a youth small and can fit a child with a head circumference of 18.9 – 20.5 inches. That sizing, according to average growth charts, means this helmet may fit children aged 1.5 – 3 years old, depending on measurement. Be sure to measure your child 1 inch above their eyebrows for the most accurate sizing.
With plenty of ventilation, this helmet is both safe and lightweight. It is constructed of molded foam with a full coverage polycarbonate shell, weighing in at just under 10 ounces.
There are 21 open vent holes, all without any mesh shields, making it more likely to attract insects and sunburns, but also keeping sweaty heads to a minimum. When parked, your child is also able to secure their sunglasses in the built-in vent slots.
The integrated visor and comfort lining are securely attached and unlikely to be damaged or detached in the event of a spill. The cushioned lining is lightweight and removable for cleaning and the chin straps are ultralight single-layer webbing.
The chin straps are susceptible to slipping while riding and include only a single band to secure any extra strap. Be sure to readjust the fit properly before each ride.
This helmet is also equipped with Smith’s trademark AirEvac ventilation system which is designed to work specifically with Smith goggles and glasses, but also increases overall air circulation around lenses, preventing fogging while working hard.
The Smith Wilder Jr Bike helmet is essentially a high quality mountain bike helmet that has been shrunk to size for younger riders. It is lightweight, stylish in design, and features the latest protection technologies that Smith has to offer.
With plenty of ventilation and a secure dial, you can be sure that your child will have a snug fit, offering better protection, with plenty of air flow. Overall, this is an affordable option that offers excellent protection and comfort for your growing mountain biker.