Children’s bike helmet test 2020: which is the best? •

Kerstin Güntzel

We tested 18 children’s bike helmets. The best is the Alpina Ximo Flash. Pretty much everything fits here: good safety rating, high wearing comfort, easy handling, good temple and forehead protection and plenty of ventilation slots with insect protection. In addition, there is a design that appeals to children and a highly visible LED lighting for safe driving in the dark – and all for a very good price. But trying on is of course a must. If the Alpina Ximo Flash doesn’t fit, we have alternatives for you.

Update April 2, 2019

We tested 8 new children’s bike helmets. We really liked three models, but since none of these helmets integrated a light, we decided against a clear purchase recommendation.

Admittedly, bicycle helmets are rarely sexy: they flatten the hairstyle, at best you look like Lord Helmchen and the feeling of freedom, when the wind blows around your ears, is somehow gone. Many cyclists therefore push themselves in front of the plastic hood. According to the Federal Highway Research Institute, only between seven and 21 percent of adult cyclists wore head protection in 2016.

But things are different with children: Many children not only find a bicycle helmet pretty cool, they also like to put it on. 76 percent of six to ten year olds cycled with helmets. In the meantime, especially in the city, you hardly meet a three-cheese-high that runs without a piece of plastic on the bulb.

Which one is the right one? We looked at 18 models for children who scored at least well in the overall assessment by Stiftung Warentest and ADAC, after all, the best possible protection against injuries is the most important thing with a bicycle helmet. We also had two popular helmets that only performed satisfactorily overall in the test. The helmets were priced between 30 euros and around 50 euros. 15 of the tested models are currently still available.

Seldom has it been so difficult for us to choose the best. Apart from the Abus Anuky, none of the tested bike helmets caught our eye completely. On the contrary: we can recommend the majority of the models with a clear conscience. But there were also a few that we particularly liked. Here are our recommendations in the short overview.

Brief overview: Our recommendations

Alpina Ximo Flash

bought from 313 readers

What we like best about the Alpina Ximo Flash micro shell helmet is the overall package: its easy handling, appearance, quality, good safety rating, light weight and good lighting. As much as we think, we find nothing to complain about. In addition, it is one of the cheapest bike helmets in the test.

Cratoni Akino

bought from 78 readers

The Cratoni Akino is also a very solid, reliable micro shell helmet. That is why he was also chosen as the test winner by the Stiftung Warentest and the ADAC. In general, this helmet turns out to be large and is therefore perfect for bulky children’s heads. We find the selection of different designs great, its light weight, its high wearing comfort, the LED light and the fair price. Only the operation is not as easy for us as for the Alpina.

KED Meggy Originals

bought by 9 readers

Great fit, lots of comfort, bright lighting, made in Germany, relatively light – and at a low price: We are talking about the KED Meggy Originals. But there are also points of criticism: Because of its rather childish motifs, the helmet is suitable maximum for preschool children. He is too "babyish" for older semesters. In addition, it does not prove to be particularly heat-resistant.

comparison Chart

comparison Chart
  • Easy to use
  • Great fit and quality
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Clearly visible lighting
  • Many designs
  • Light
  • Good price
  • Very good workmanship
  • Very convenient
  • Good fit
  • Large selection of different designs
  • Weighs little
  • Clearly visible lighting
  • Easy handling
  • Relatively easy
  • Great comfort
  • Top fit
  • LED flashing light
  • Unbeatable value for money
  • Made in Germany
  • ultra Comfortable
  • Well padded
  • Great fit
  • Cuddly padded chin strap
  • Good results in the test by Stiftung Warentest and ADAC Leicht
  • Easy handling
  • reflectors
  • Forehead well protected
  • Great quality
  • Good price-performance ratio
  • Super price-performance ratio
  • Good fit
  • Temples and forehead protection
  • Megalight for the minis
  • Easy to use
  • insect net
  • Very nice design and a large selection of colors and motifs
  • With the best fit
  • Very convenient
  • Easy handling of the straps and the strap fastener
  • Easy handling
  • Comfortable
  • Size and width easily adjustable
  • Good quality
  • Good fit
  • Soft padding
  • Protects the forehead
  • Light
  • TÜV and GS checked
  • Simple operation
  • insect net
  • Looks sporty
  • Seven different street style looks
  • High quality workmanship
  • Easy to handle
  • Very easy
  • Good fit
  • Very convenient
  • Dual LED flashing taillight
  • Good forehead and temple protection
  • insect net
  • Good workmanship
  • Sits well with the tester
  • Comfortably padded
  • reflectors
  • mosquito net
  • lightweight
  • Large selection of designs
  • Easy to use
  • TÜV and GS checked
  • Cheap
  • Visually the coolest in the test
  • Dozens of different looks to choose from
  • Good quality
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Good evaluation of the Stiftung Warentest and the ADAC for small children, especially when it comes to accident protection
  • Thickly padded and comfortable
  • Fits well
  • Free additional upholstery available
  • Unexpensive
  • LED taillight
  • reflectors
  • Good temple, neck and forehead protection
  • Rather easy
  • TÜV and GS checked
  • insect net
  • 10 design variants
  • Good Amazon ratings
  • Good fit
  • LED light
  • Very easy
  • Easy to use
  • Good rating from Stiftung Warentest and ADAC
test winner Good as well For the younger ones
model Alpina Ximo Flash Cratoni Akino KED Meggy Originals Cratoni Pacer Uvex Kid 2 Uvex Kid 3 Bell Sidetrack Child Alpina Carapax Jr. Uvex Air Wing KED Status Junior Abus Smiley 2.0 Nutcase Little Nutty Skullcap BMX helmet Abus Youn-I Abus Anuky
  • Operation okay, but not quite as easy as with the test winner
  • Turns out big
  • Large selection of designs, but all motifs are quite childish
  • Not very heat resistant
  • No lighting, but at least retrofittable
  • Temples not completely covered
  • No insect net
  • No lighting, but at least retrofittable
  • Squeaky-colored optics not for puristic parents
  • No lighting
  • Accident protection and heat resistance only so medium
  • Quite difficult, even if the test children didn’t complain about it
  • Unfortunately without light
  • Accident protection only satisfactory
  • No lighting, but can be retrofitted
  • Does not completely cover the temples
  • Our test winner offers a better price-performance ratio
  • Only boys like optics
  • No standard light, available as an option
  • Annoying size adjustment inside the helmet
  • Visually very massive, looks oversized on children’s heads
  • Sometimes turns out too big
  • Rather in the upper price range
  • Lack of lighting
  • Amazon customers complain about fit
  • Quality questionable
  • Price in the upper segment
  • No taillight
  • No insect protection
  • Weighs the most of all
  • No light
  • Looks cool at first glance, but sits too high on the head, which looks a bit strange in a child
  • Webbing loosens on its own
  • Forehead and temples not optimally covered
  • Without insect net
  • Uncomfortable and hard because too little padding
  • Not very cheap
  • Very uncomfortable due to insufficient padding
  • Doesn’t look quite as stable
  • Hardly any temple protection
  • design "for babies" (Original sound of the testers) and therefore nothing for primary school children
Best price

No prices found.

Show technical data
St. goods test / ADAC Good (2.3) Good (2.2) Fair (3.5) Good (1.8) Has not been tested Fair (2.8) Good (2.3) Has not been tested Good (2.5) Has not been tested Has not been tested Good (2.1) Has not been tested Has not been tested Good (2.3)
Weight about 250 grams around 250 grams about 280 grams about 230 grams around 185 grams about 370 grams about 300 grams about 250 grams around 230 grams about 280 grams about 225 grams about 400 grams about 350 grams around 240 grams about 230 grams
processing micro-shell micro-shell micro-shell micro-shell micro-shell hard shell micro-shell micro-shell micro-shell micro-shell micro-shell hard shell hard shell micro-shell micro-shell
sizes From 45 to 54 centimeters From 49 to 58 centimeters From 44 to 58 centimeters From 49 to 62 centimeters) From 46 to 52 centimeters from 51 to 58 centimeters From 47 to 54 centimeters From 51 to 56 centimeters from 51 to 57 centimeters From 49 to 59 centimeters From 45 to 55 centimeters from 48 to 53 centimeters From 53 to 55 centimeters (children’s helmet) From 48 to 57 centimeters From 46 to 57 centimeters

No helmet required

In Germany it is not a must to wear a helmet when cycling, not even for children. In fact, the risk of getting a serious head injury while biking is pretty low. Statistically speaking, such an accident happens exactly once, according to a study by the University of Copenhagen, if you cycle fast on average for 3000 years. Cyclists also die less frequently from serious head injuries than pedestrians or car occupants.

There is also controversy among experts about whether helmets actually provide as much protection as hoped: neurosurgeon Frank Thomas Möllmann and his colleagues from the University Hospital in Münster examined the reasons for bicycle accidents and frequent injuries in 2004. They examined more than 300 patients who sustained brain injuries while cycling. Almost all of them, namely 90 percent, had not worn a helmet. The researchers’ surprising conclusion: with or without a helmet – the degree of injury between the two groups was not significantly different.

Disagreement about the introduction of a helmet requirement

The basic study of the states of Baden-Württemberg and Thuringia in 2017, on the other hand, showed that a helmet lowers the risk of injury by 50 to 70 percent and can demonstrably reduce the consequences of a traumatic brain injury – the most common cycling injury at all. Sounds logical. Another study of accident research by insurers, the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Munich and the University Hospital in Münster also examined 543 accidents with cyclists in 2012 and 2013. She came to the conclusion that bicycle helmets have been shown to prevent or mitigate most life-threatening head injuries. And these are just two of the many studies that show that it is better to wear a helmet when cycling.

In countries like Australia, Chile, Finland or Spain, cyclists cannot avoid head protection. The law wants it that way. Even if the police in Germany recommend wearing a bicycle helmet – there is no compulsory helmet in Germany. According to Chancellor Angela Merkel, it should stay that way. At the 2013 Eurobike, she said that the government feared that more people would be prevented from cycling in an environmentally friendly and healthy manner.

Here she takes over the attitude of the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC), which refuses to wear a helmet, because then the car traffic would increase. In addition, the helmet requirement is neither enforced nor controlled. To avoid accidents, the association relies on cyclist-friendly traffic planning and an even faster speed limit for cars in residential areas.

In the unlikely event of a fall, unbelievably large forces act on the body. Unfortunately, the head is the central problem here, because it almost always hits the floor or another hard object. If the helmet fits correctly, you can at least reduce this force. The various shapes offered by many manufacturers, on the other hand, have no impact on safety, they are simply a question of taste.

It sits!

What can be said with good conscience despite controversial studies: every helmet is better than "topless" riding. Even a mixed model can reduce the risk of injury. And: The best head protection is of little use if it doesn’t fit.

Pay attention to the correct fit

Therefore, please take the tape measure first. Place it about one and a half centimeters above the eyebrows of your mini Lance Armstrong and then place it diagonally around the skull so that the band at the back of the head comes together slightly below the height of the forehead starting point. Compare these centimeters with the respective helmet size.

Here we have listed the size chart for children’s bike helmets:

helmet size head circumference Age
XS 44-49 cm 0-3 years
S 46-51 cm 2-7 years
S / M 49-53 cm 3-9 years
M 52-60 cm 4-12 years

Now it is time to fine-tune: According to the Stiftung Warentest, it must be ensured that the helmet shell is neither too wide nor too narrow. Feel free to shake your child’s head a little. The helmet must not slip even when the fastener is open. If this happens, you choose a smaller model.

The forehead and temples must be protected by the helmet as they are the most likely to cause injury. To do this, the bicycle helmet must sit horizontally. Soft cushions are ideally placed wherever the child’s head touches the shell. If this insulation is missing, it can become painful. Therefore, it makes sense that the little ones wear the helmet for a quarter of an hour before buying. Because kids are guaranteed not to put on an oppressive thing. Where do the straps optimally meet? About a finger’s width under the ear, while the strap is neither too loose nor too tight under the chin.

So that active girls and boys don’t tip off their bikes from the heat in the summer, wide ventilation slots are necessary, which must be insect-proof-network are provided. This is the only way a wasp does not drive small cyclists into total damage. It is also important, especially for older kids, that they can easily put on or take off their helmets themselves – and above all that they find them pretty. Otherwise you have to fight a fight before each bike tour.

Only a new helmet is a good helmet

Do you want to be on the safe side? Then your child has to say goodbye to his helmet immediately after a fall – even if the headgear looks great on the outside. It can be damaged inside. Therefore, it is better not to buy used products. Who knows how often the previous owner fell off the bike.

Be careful with used helmets

When buying, take a look at the production date in the helmet shell: the newer the better, because the material wears out. How long helmets are generally ready for use depends on use. However, after five years at the latest, many experts would replace it for security reasons. Please also pay attention to the CE mark, which guarantees compliance with German safety standards. And forbid your child to leave the helmet on in the playground – in the worst case the strap could strangle it.

Micro, hard or soft shell?

Micro shell bicycle helmets, the latest technology, are also the safest and best: At the same time, hard foam (expanded polystyrene, called EPS) is welded to the in-mold process with a thin layer of hard plastic that protects the EPS and slides better against the obstacle in the event of a crash.

Soft shell helmets do without this hard plastic layer. So they don’t protect the head so much. The state initiative "I wear a helmet" therefore says: "The process that was often used in the past for children’s helmets is outdated. These helmets should definitely be replaced. «

The extreme athletes among the head guards are hard-shell helmets, which downhill bikers also like to wear because of the hard outer shell. Its main weakness is its high weight.

So we tested

Because we didn’t want to push our two test children (7 and 8) off the bike dozens of times to test the protective effect of the helmets, we almost exclusively decided on models that were tested by the Stiftung Warentest and the ADAC in their joint test with "Good" were evaluated. Only the Uvex Kid 3 and the KED Meggy Originals got the grade "satisfactory". However, since they are bestsellers, we also looked at them.

As far as the pollutant content is concerned, all ten models are harmless, according to the Stiftung Warentest and ADAC: apart from the Nutcase Littly Nutty and the KED Meggy Originals, which are rated "Good", they all get a smooth one. What else we focused on: straps, chin strap and width adjustment, fit, insect protection, design, weight, material, comfort and safety as well as the lighting.

First of all: It is of course quite difficult to test bicycle helmets as universally as possible, because every head is different: flat, wide, Homer Simpson-like … In our case, we had to rely on our two test children, of whom the eight-year-olds had a relatively large one Turnip, the seven-year-old for their Age carries a very small head around with him.

The most important thing is of course that you let your pupil try on the helmet. The best helmet is useless if it is not properly seated or is so uncomfortable to wear that it does not like to be put on. Our recommendations are therefore primarily intended as a decision aid, which you should try out first. In the end, you have to decide which one your child gets along with best.

Test winner: Alpina Ximo Flash

With the Alpina Ximo Flash micro shell helmet, pretty much everything is right: the straps, chin straps and helmet size can be easily adjusted or adjusted – for example with the uncomplicated rotary wheel on the back, which, incidentally, all test models have.


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Christina Cherry
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