Helmets specifically for small children

For those that have children that kart race, specifically in the Bambino / Kid Kart/ classes.

What is your preferred choice of a small child specific helmet and why?

Not a parent, but I have always wondered what the best process is for finding a Kid Kart helmet for a kid that is really adequate. A lot of kids I see have a Vega or something that I’m not 100% thrilled to see them wearing. Fitting a helmet to a child’s head is so tricky. Interested to see what people have to say.

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The FIA’s CMR spec of helmet is specifically for kids. They are lighter and have a wider viewing aperture. Specifically they are for heads smaller then 60cm circumference and they have maximum weight for each size.

All the big brands make a CMR helmet (Arai, Bell etc). Really its the only helmet choice for a child.

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Both Bell and Arai’s offerings are pretty nice pieces. Bell has their KC7 CMR (599.99), their GP2 Youth (299.99) and Arai has the CK-6 (519.99). As an Arai dealer I always recommend Arai first, but given how fast kids’ heads grow, going with the cheaper GP2 Youth might not be a bad choice.

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Not sure why the dislike the Vega helmet. One of the reasons I chose them for myself and my son is that they meet the Snell spec. In addition they will warranty crash damage with a free replacement helmet for up to 5 years. Removable pads are a bonus since we both sweat a lot, nice to be able to clean out the funky smell.

I agree you should buy a helmet that fits properly, but to dismiss a helmet solely because it’s not one of the big brands seems silly to me.

The general quality on the lower-end Vega helmets is pretty atrocious. From the interior materials to the shell which is very thin. Plus that sharp point on the chin always make me cringe when I think of that possibly contacting the driver’s chest.

They also have this one though, which actually isn’t too bad for a budget helmet.

Just because helmets meet the Snell spec, doesn’t mean they are all equally safe. Some helmets are designed to simply meet the requirements of each test, and some are designed to exceed the requirements. Not to mention the increase comfort, durability etc. you usually find in a more expensive helmet.

This video is pretty good for breaking down the differences between a cheap helmet and an expensive helmet (in motorcycle lids): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmZICZbP5jI

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I watched the video, and what I got out if it is that all you get with the $$$ helmets is a more comfortable helmet. It even said at the end that the $150 helmet that meets the same spec will protect you just as well as the $500 helmet.

I won’t argue that the materials are nicer and it may be cushier, but if we can make it to the track more often because we saved $350 on a helmet that’s just as safe that’s a no brainer to me. My son’s safety is the most important thing to me, you won’t see me compromising on that. Reasonable minds can disagree.

edit: Here’s an analogy for you. Two years ago I bought a new truck. A 1500 can tow our trailer, but I went with a 2500 because I wanted the the extra overhead on the tow capacity/bigger brakes/E rated tires. I got a work truck (vinyl seats, steel wheels, rubber floor covering), would it be any safer to tow with a GMC Sierra Denali? Sure it’s nicer and had a lot of bells and whistles, but my Chevrolet work truck tows just as safely.

I highly recommend the Pyrotect youth helmet. It’s very lightweight (sub 3lbs), it is a youth sized shell designed for kids (not some adult version in a reduced size) and a pretty good bang for the buck.

In addition there are 3 cheek pad sizes (S, M, L) so that really helps allow them to use it for at least 2 seasons… maybe 3 if you are lucky.

My son did kid kart last year with a provided Bell GP2 helmet. I had no complaints on that helmet, but i will say this pyrotect fits my son better and with the cheek pad swaps I can really make sure he has good pressure all around his head.

This helmet.

I purchased mine from Randy @ Word Racing.

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Does anyone know the exact weight of the Bell GP.2 Youth helmet? I could not find it anywhere. Is it much heavier than the Bell KC7?

What justifies the price difference between the two models (the KC7 is almost twice as expensive as the GP.2)?

Check out Zamp helmets, their youth offerings are really great pieces. They have a RZ-42Y and the newer RZ-37Y. Much better fit than the helmets with the adult shell and tons of padding, and much lighter.

I don’t know the exact weights but both those CMR helmets are really light. The KC7 is more expensive because it’s just a much nicer built helmet. The GP.2 is good, especially for it’s price, but I imagine the KC7 has better ventilation and a nicer build quality. I wouldn’t think it would be much lighter than the GP.2.

Personal opinion: I got fitted for a Stilo helmet while I was in Vegas, and that’s probably the nicest fitting helmet I’ve had. The pads are all replaceable if they wear out and the shell is the same mold they use for the FIA 8860 specification. The visors are all rated to the same spec as well.

They just released a karting model and it does have a CMR model as well.

OSBE for the smaller shell size, weight and eye port vision.


Hi Everyone

Thanks for all your helpful contributions.

I’ve narrowed my selection down to 2 helmets for my child. His head circumference is 19.5 inches (50cm).

Bell GP2 youth.

Youth full face duckbill pyrotech.

The pyrotech is snell certified and is highly recommended by Mike Adams (Thanks again for your post).
I’m not certain the Bell GP2 is snell certified.
It may not matter since my kid is 3.5 and will not participate in racing events yet.

If anyone can advise between these two that would be great.

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When in doubt spend more money? They are both excellent brands. I associate Bell with high quality but thats marketing for you.

Thank you Dom, I appreciate it. Sounds good to me.

The Bell is definitely Snell CMR certified. I would recommend the Bell over the Pyrotech. The Pyrotech helmet is definitely an economy helmet. Not that it’s unsafe, but I would prefer to have something with known history of quality on my head.

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Thanks TJ. I’m going to purchase the Bell GP2 then.

I apologize for the dumb question, but I searched and couldn’t find a thread that discusses this.
What kind of shield do people recommend?

From my understanding the Bell GP2 comes with a clear shield 287 SRV.

Given that it’s summer, it would probably be best to choose a tinted shield.

Which color shields do people prefer to buy? Or which ones should be avoided?


I’d definitely get a smoked one as well. They pop in and out. Or, unscrew. Very handy to have both. You can pay more and get really cool looking tinted ones but they always have the basic tinted one too.

I would go with a standard dark smoke shield. They are more durable than the mirrored shields and are easier to take care of for kids who tend to beat stuff up.