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One thing that is important when cycling for me is a cycle helmet and this was always going to be true for one for when my son learnt to ride a bike. There needed to be several elements to it, the ability to appeal in it's design to make my son feel happy about wearing it. It also needed to be adjustable so the helmet would grow as he did as I didn't want to replace it frequently. It also needed to be comfortable to wear. Finally it needed to be robust enough to take the various knocks it would get as he learnt to ride his bike. For me it has fulfilled these criteria very well.
Style wise this hat is definitely designed to appeal to young boys with its bold red, blue and black Spiderman Mask design. The vents are cunningly crafted around the design giving the impression of Spiderman's mask with a sliver section for the eye holes as it were. The design of the eye holes are reflective which is a great added bonus for safety especially on twilight days when the light is going and helps keep my son visible. The design definitely does appeal to my son and whilst he isn't Spiderman mad he does know enough about superheroes to want to look like one. He helped picked the helmet and the design is definitely one that appealed to him from the age of 2 upwards since he has being wearing it and we never have any problems getting him to wear it as he sees this now as part of his cycling routine.
The vent holes on the helmet are well sculptured and provided good ventilation for my son whilst riding his bike however do they don't fully stop his head from getting a bit sweaty especially if he is riding his bike for a long time. However they are certainly better than none which is the case with some cheaper models that my son has borrowed at friends' houses which do leave him a sweaty mess after about 15 minutes.
The helmet has an integrated peak to it which my son likes as it makes his helmet look more like mummy's and daddy's helmets and makes him think he is more aerodynamic or in his words go faster! Whether he is more aerodynamic I am unsure but it does give him a bit of protection from getting sun in his eyes and occasionally if he is very lucky from stopping some spots of rain from going in his face. To the rear of the helmet it has a nice built up section that protects nicely the rear of his head and has helped protect his head when his has fallen off backwards after going up ramps or hills. Again to this section there are some reflective sections for added safety which I like.
Unlike some adult helmets all the adjustability to the main section of the helmet is by a dial at the back of the helmet. This is very easy to twist and turn to get it to the right fit for your child. We have never had any problems with the movement of this section and it turns and adjusts very smoothly. The majority of the adjustable plastic bits are covered in a soft foam material which makes it nice and comfortable for my son to wear. This covering does not affect the adjusting abilities in anyway and has remained nicely in place in the two years' worth of use the helmet has taken. The helmet fits heads from 48cm -54cm giving it quite a large range and we have found so far that this has meant it has fit my son from around 2 years old to so far 4 years old with still some growing room so it really does have a great life span.
To the rear of the adjusting dial there is a soft section that you can depress to set a flashing light off to give another useful safety feature to alert people to your cycling child. I found this especially useful when my son would be sitting in the bike seat on the my husband's bike as it added an extra alerting message for people to see that the was also a child on a bike, more often than not people would be a bit more considerate in how close they came to the bike. The batteries in this have only now just stopped working after two years of use. Unfortunately these are unable to be replaced which is a shame as I would of liked to have done this to maximise this feature. However we will still keep using the helmet without the light so it isn't essential merely a great additional extra.
The strap to attach under the chin is easily adjustable with again a tiny locking dial on the straps to keep it to the right length. We adjust this for my son with no problems and again there is plenty of length in this meaning it can easily fit in our experience a 2 year old to 4 year old head comfortably with still some growing room. The buckle itself is a ratchet style with a padded chin strap below which gives his chin a lot of protection. The ratchet buckle works nice and smoothly and has never stuck or jammed in our experience. The padding is necessary really as without it the buckle would be uncomfortable to wear. On occasions the buckle has caught my son's skin which has led to some tears. This has happened generally if the padded section has not being correctly in place e.g. off to the side and is something to watch out for went putting the helmet on.
Comfort wise this helmet his worn several times a week by my son as he rides his bike and he has never ever complained about it being uncomfortable to wear or to not want to wear it. This to me means it must be comfortable for him on his head and he does report that it is so I am more than happy that all the design feature on the helmet lead it to be comfortable to wear for a young child.
Robust wise the helmet is made from high density EPS which I believe is ridged foam and that is certainly how it appears in the helmet. What I do know is that the times that my son has fallen off his bike even with the stabilizers on it has protected his head from getting hurt. It has remained in one piece with no visible cracks or dents into it despite these falls being on hard paths at times. This gives me huge confidence in the helmets ability to protect his head as it seems to be very hard-wearing and solid. He has never had a bump or bruise where the helmet has been on his head and I am certain without it he would have as his knees have taken a bit of bruising and grazes from these falls.
Overall this is a great cycle helmet for children it has great features such as the adjustability, reflective sections, it is comfortable for them to wear and in a design that appeals. For me as a mum it is nice and easy for me to get him to wear it and to fit him securely due to it being able to adjust it so well. The quality of the helmet is show by how well it copes with his falls from the bike in that he has never sustained any damage to his head whilst falling off his bike whilst wearing it. At around £16-20 it is great value for money. My only quibbles are that the battery in the light can't be replaced and occasionally his chin gets caught in the buckle if I am not careful which means I am giving it 4 stars.