10 Best Kids Ski and Snowboard Helmets for 2020

best kids ski helmets

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Ski or snowboard helmets for kids are similar to adult helmets but they are a smaller fit and lighter to accommodate the smaller mass and less force exerted when involved in impacts. Helmet use is on the rise and over the last 15 years, adoption has increased from 22% to 83% in North America.

When buying a ski or snowboard helmet for your child, the most important thing to keep in mind is safety, fit and comfort. Together these three things make or break a helmet.

Comparison Table

Ski HelmetsNameAwardPrice
Drift YouthBest TeenagerCheck Price
Giro Youth Launch Jr.Best Pree-TeenCheck Price
Lucky Bums DoodlebugBest ToddlerCheck Price
OutdoorMaster KELVINBest BudgetCheck Price

What to look for in a kids ski helmet?

Look for safety certifications ⛑

You’ll want to buy a ski helmet that has been tested and complies with the safety standard systems of the country you live in. 99% of helmets you can commercially buy will follow the standards but some unscrupulous outlets may sell ‘fake’ or untested helmets. The certification is an indicator that the manufacturer is producing safe helmets that have been tested specifically for use in snowsports.

These are the most common safety standards that will be shown on stickers attached to the helmet:

  • 🇪🇺 In Europe, the common norm is CEN 1077 (satra.com)
  • 🇺🇸In the United States, ASTM F2040 (astm.org)
  • 🌎Snell RS-98 or S-98 is another stringent safety standard (smf.org)

Get the right fit 📏

Even the most expensive helmet that has been tested to the highest standards is only partially effective (at best) if it doesn’t fit properly. Too loose a fit and a violent collision can cause it to fly off the wearers head before they make an impact or collide with an object or the ground.

Too tight and it will squeeze your head giving you a headache and reducing your ability to concentrate properly and enjoy your time skiing.

To get the right fit measure the circumference of your child’s head just above the eyebrows. Then buy a helmet that is equal to or slightly above this measurement.

Here is an estimated general guide to head circumference as kids age:

Head Circumference 🙆
AgeCMInches (rounded)
12 months4618
2 years4819
3-5 years5120
6-10 years5321
11+ years5622

Best teenager ski helmet

#Drift Youth 

drift ski helmet

  •  Comfortable ergonomic fit
  •  Official US Ski team supplier
  •  Excellent ventilation

How much? Check Price on Amazon.com

This is an excellent helmet for adults and the youth version is perfect for teenagers who want a protective ski helmet that is comfortable, ergonomic and well vented. It comes in 8 minimalist matt colors for a refined look.

Wildhorn is the official supplier of ski helmets to the U.S ski team which shows the engineering and precision that has gone into this. It has a plush interior lining with ear pads that are ready to fit the Wildhorn Bluetooth earphones if you want to upgrade and play music while your surfing down the mountain.

Best pree-teen ski helmet

#2 Giro Youth Launch Jr.  

giro launch kids ski helmets

  • Awesome selection of colors and graphics
  • Excellent vent system (prevents goggle fog)
  • Come with matching ski goggles
  • Comfortable fit

How much? Check Price on Amazon.com

This is my top pick for pree-teens any kid that loves to rock out with some loud colors and graphics. From the awesome shark decals to the bright pink version – this helmet is for young skiers or snowboarders who want to express themselves. One thing is for sure – you’ll be hard to miss coming down the slopes.

My favorite thing about these helmets is that they come with a goggle combo that matches the helmet. That means as a parent you can buy both the helmet and the goggle together and know that they will fit without any gaps.  The goggles also match up beautifully to the helmets for a nicely put together look.

Size range: XS (48.5-52cm) – Medium (55.5-59cm) – full details

Best toddler ski helmet

#Lucky Bums Doodlebug

luky bums doodlebug helmet

  • Lightweight & comfortable
  • Precise fit dial on the back
  • Great for toddlers and kids

How much? Check Price on Amazon.com

Size range: Toddler XS/S (48-50cm) – Toddler M/L (50-52cm)

Best budget youth ski helmet

#4 OutdoorMaster KELVIN 

OutdoorMaster KELVIN Ski Helmet

  •  Comfortable fleece lining
  •  1 year free returns
  •  Budget-friendly

How much? Check Price on Amazon.com

This is my top pick for the best budget helmet. It’s got excellent reviews and the company back their product with a 1 year returns policy if you’re not happy with it (check product description for terms).

It comes in 8 sleek matt color combos and has a very soft fleece lining and 14 vents for excellent breathability.

For protection, the helmet uses a reinforced ABS shell and a shock absorbing EPS core which means its strong and doesn’t sacrifice safety for its low price point.

Size range: S (48-53cm / 19-21″) – L (56-61cm /22-24″)

Best of the rest

Here is the rest of my list. These helmets are neck and neck and by all means great choices. There is a mix of prices and styles for all ages from 1-19 years of age.

#5 Bolle B-Free

bolle kids ski helmet

  • Click-to-fit for a very precise fit (rubber wheel tightener)
  • Adjustable fit means helmet can grow with your child

How much? Check Price on Amazon.com

#6 Giro Youth Crue MIPS

giro crue MIPS

  • Strong hard-shell construction
  • Removable ear pads that fit Giro audio systems
  • Excellent ventilation

How much? Check Price on Amazon.com

#7 Smith Zoom Jr.

Smith Optics Zoom Junior Helmet

  • Super soft furry lining
  • Lightweight: 325g
  • Adjustable helmet fit

How much? Check Price on Amazon.com

#8 K2 Entity

k2 entity helmet

  • Super soft furry lining
  • Lightweight: 325g
  • Adjustable helmet fit

How much? Check Price on Amazon.com

#9 Roxy Misty

roxy misty helmet

  • Helmet & matching goggle combo
  • EPS shock absorbing foam
  • Removable fleece earpads

How much? Check Price on Amazon.com

#10  Salomon Grom

Salomon Grom Helmet - Kids'

  • Lightweight: 297grams (10.5 oz)
  • Good ventilation
  • Adjustable circumference

How much? Check Price on Amazon.com

At what age should a child use a ski helmet?

Skiers at any age can wear a helmet from 0 and upwards. No child is too young to wear a helmet and as long as the helmet fits them properly, without weighing them down or reducing their vision then a helmet is a wise investment.

When should I replace my child’s helmet?

  • When it no longer fits (too tight and squeezes your child’s head)
  • When it is older than 5 years (check with the manufacturer for the specific recommendation)
  • When it has been involved in a substantial collision
  • When it has visible signs of damage, cracks or missing foam.

I cover all this in much more detail (from an unbiased viewpoint) here: When To Replace Your Ski Helmet.

Is it compulsory for children to wear a helmet?

In some ski resorts, it is compulsory to wear a helmet under the age of 16 & most ski schools will insist that a child wears a helmet. Countries that I know have made wearing a helmet compulsory

  • 🇦🇹Austria – children under 16 must wear a ski helmet
  • 🇮🇹Italy – children under 14 must wear a ski helmet
  • 🇨🇦Nova Scotia, Canada everyone has a legal obligation to wear a helmet.

For specific details on individual resorts or ski schools check their website.

If I don’t wear a helmet, will my insurance still be valid?

Some ski specific or travel insurance companies now insist that helmet use is required for the cover to be valid. Confirm with your insurer for a definitive answer.

teenager skiing with helmet

Can an adult wear a child’s helmet?

It wouldn’t recommend for an adult to wear a child’s helmet even if it fits properly, primarily because it won’t be as protective as an adults helmet. Adult helmets are heavier and crash-tested with the mass of adults while kids or youth helmets are lighter and designed to be worn by children or teenagers with a smaller mass.

If your body mass is the same as a child or youth and there are no size options that fit you in the adult category, then wearing a child helmet would be the best course of action.

On the other spectrum, it would not be advisable for a child to wear an adults helmet, even if it fitted correctly – primarily because it is heavier. Although if the choice is between wearing no helmet and an adults helmet, then it would likely be the safest option.

What types of ski helmets are there?

  • Injection Molded
  • Hardshell
  • Specialized Helmets

Is there a difference between ski and snowboard helmets?

Nope, they are the same and can be worn interchangeable between skiing and snowboarding.

But there is a difference between helmets for skiers and for those riding snowmobiles which require more substantial protection (source).

Why should my child wear a ski helmet?

The main reason is safety, while ski helmets are no a guarantee of complete safety, they do help protect your head from injury during collisions or crashes with other skiers, fixed objects or the ground.

While most falls are harmless and part of the learning experience of picking up new skills – sometimes if you hit or get hit by something or someone with enough speed or force it can lead to much more severe injury. Helmets protect our brains – our most vital and asset and reduce the risk of significant injury.

Aside from safety, here are my top 5 reasons to wear a ski helmet:

  • Helmets keep you warm
  • Helmets give you more confidence
  • Helmets make your more identifiable on the slopes 
  • Allow you to attach cameras like GoPro’s

You can read my in-depth article on reasons to wear helmets here.

Bonus: How to keep your goggles fog free?

So you’ve got a brand new helmet and ski goggles and you’re ready for a day on the slopes, but how do I stop my goggles fogging up you might be wondering.

Goggles fog when the air inside our goggles gets too warm and comes into contact with the cold lens. Water vapor inside the air then condenses into water droplets and accumulate, refracting light and reducing visibility. So the best way to stop fog building up is to make sure that warm air can escape (vents) and doesn’t build up in the first place.

Here are the best ways to prevent goggles fog:

  • Don’t overheat – stay warm but not hot and sweaty.
  • Don’t tuck your balaclava too far into your goggles.
  • Rest your goggles on your helmet, not your forehead.
  • Shake snow off vents and use a soft cloth not your fingers.

If you want to know more practical tips for fog-free days on the slopes, check out my full guide.

Author: Simon Naylor

Hi – I’m Simon, I started NewToSki.com to write about everything I wish someone had told me when I started learning to ski.