When it comes to the safety of their children, parents today will often spare no expense, acquiring specialized protective equipment for each activity their kids participate in. While this is admirable, all those gear purchases can add up in a hurry, stressing Mom and Dad’s bank accounts!
Enter Thousand, a company founded with a Kick Starter campaign in 2015 with the expressed goal of “saving 1,000 lives by making helmets people actually want to wear.” More importantly, Thousand has designed a helmet that is approved for cycling, skateboarding, and roller skating or rollerblading, cutting down on the need for a different helmet for each activity, a feature which can represent significant cost savings.
Priced reasonably at $60, the Thousand Jr. oozes quality straight out of the box. The helmet arrives with its own protective bag, as well as a variety pack of stickers that kids can use to customize the helmet to their heart’s desire.
The helmet is attractive, with a shape that strikes a balance between a bike helmet and a skate helmet. Our test model arrived in the “Standout Sparkle” colorway, which will surely please kids – after all, who doesn’t love a bright, sparkly helmet on a sunny day?
Mom and Dad can feel good about their purchase in more ways than one, as Thousand takes their social responsibility seriously, too. Not only do their helmets feature “vegan leather straps”, (more on this later) but Thousand also offsets 110% of their carbon emissions with purchased carbon offsets.
Review In A Nutshell
- Hard plastic shell provides long-term durability
- Magnetic buckle won’t pinch sensitive skin when clasped
- CE 1078, CPSC, and ASTM F1492 Certified in Europe and North America
- FREE accident replacement
- Hard plastic shell is heavier than a traditional bike helmet’s thin plastic skin
- Vents are on the smaller side, leading to concerns about overheating on hot days
- Vegan leather” is actually made from Polyurethane
Price and Where To Buy:
- $60 List
- Check price at ExploreThousand.com*
- Check price at REI.com*
- at Amazon.com* (Last updated: ) – More info
Look Good to Feel Good
The importance of wearing a proper bike helmet cannot be overstated, and good habits should be instilled from an early age. Around here, my children know that no one – not Mom or Dad, not kids, not the baby – gets on a bike without two things: a helmet, and closed-toed shoes.
The fun shape (including a small, molded visor for style) and bright, attractive colors of the Thousand Jr. scream “FUN!” to kids, which only goes to encourage them to wear their helmet as much as possible. Of course, comfort plays a critical role in this as well, and my little testers proclaimed the Thousand Jr. to be “SUPER COMFY!”
The adjustable straps (complete with a removeable chin pad for added comfort), magnetic clasp, and adjustable dial fit system all serve to secure the helmet quickly, comfortably and safely. The fun sticker pack that Thousand wisely included increases the aesthetics of the helmet, while allowing kids to customize their helmet to their liking.
Ease of Use
Fashion aside, the next thing I look for in a helmet to determine if my kids are going to like it is how easy it is for them to take on or off without help from an adult. In the case of the Thousand Jr., this couldn’t be easier.
The magnetic clasp is both super easy to use, while also preventing the dreaded “pinched chin” that can happen with a more traditional plastic clip and strap mechanism. The same can be said for the adjustable dial fit system in the rear, which my kids had no problem adjusting to fit their heads. As is wise with any helmet (for children, or adults), extra padding in the box serves to customize the fit.
The Thousand Jr. features excellent coverage, with the foam and plastic shell extending a good way down the back of the wearer’s head. Certified to cycling, skateboarding, and roller skating standards in both the U.S. and Europe, parents can rest easy knowing this is a very safe helmet.
In another example of Thousand standing behind their goal of keeping kids safe, the company will replace any helmet that has been involved in an accident and damaged with a model of equal or lesser value.
The Thousand Jr. comes in one size only, XS, which the company says will fit heads between 49cm and 53 cm in circumference. The helmet arrives with extra foam pads in the box for fine-tuning the fit, and additional stability, comes from the adjustable dial in the rear. The helmet is intended for children ages five and older.
These days, if you walk into any Target/Walmart or even your local bike shop, you cancome out with a safe, certified bike helmet manufactured by a reputable company for under $35, which begs the question: why would I spend almost twice as much money for a helmet that does the same thing?
In my opinion, the Thousand Jr.’s value proposition lies in its multi-sport approach. If a parent has to purchase more than one helmet to accommodate their child participating in multiple sports, the premium price of the Thousand Jr. is easily explained, and much appreciated. Thoughtful touches like the inclusion of the sticker pack for customizing the look to the child’s desire only add to the appeal of this helmet.
Cons: Heavy-ish And Limited Breathability
Now for the (few) complaints we had about the helmet….The most significant being that the helmet does NOT have a lot of beathability.
The vents on the Thousand Jr are much smaller than our favorite bike helmets (like the Giro Tremor pictured below. While this isn’t a big deal on cooler days, it can mean that little heads will get hot and sweaty on summer days.
The other issues is the weight of the helmet. While we were pleased with the durability and head coverage the helmet provides it comes in at a significant 390 grams. (Compare that to 306 grams for the Giro Tremor). This means that kids may find it uncomfortable sooner than a lighter helmet, especially for kids on the smaller end of the age specturm.
Finally, it does not have MIPS technology, which is an added safety feature many parents we know specifically look for in a bike helmet.
Match Mom Or Dad
Perhaps less important, but still attractive for some, is that with the Thousand Jr. your kiddo can match mom or dad. This isn’t something that can be said for a lot of kids helmets.
The Thousand Jr is a smaller version of the adult Thousand. In fact, we’ve reviewed the Thousand Heritage helmet on our sister site Femme Cyclist.
The Bottom Line
Kid’s bike helmets come in all shapes, sizes, and designs these days. Getting your child into a helmet that’s stylish, comfortable, safe, and affordable should be every parent’s goal, and the Thousand Jr. checks all of those boxes.
The company itself has a great story, acts in a responsible manner (even if some of their efforts seem puzzling, i.e., “vegan leather” straps being made from, basically, oil), and seems to be doing their best to help both parents and the world. If you’re looking for a helmet that can handle several different activities without having to be changed out, the Thousand Jr.’s multiple sport certifications will certainly be appealing.
More Help Picking A Great Helmet For Your Child
About The Reviewer
Chris Del Sole has been an avid cyclist for over 20 years. He is now sharing his love of the sport with his wife and three children. A Marketing Director by day, in his free time he can be found riding, working on, looking at, talking about, and generally geeking out over bikes. In the winter, he spends his weekends teaching skiing and encouraging his kids to “send it” off every jump in sight.
Since the writing of this article Chris has left his track down the trail and passed on. He will be forever missed and thought of often. Chris, thank you for the indelible mark you left on this world.