My first bike helmet was made from styrofoam with a black spandex cover emblazoned with neon squiggles. It was 1990 and wearing it was more of a loose suggestion than a mandate. And because it was just about the goofiest, most heinous accessory I could have imagined, I conveniently "forgot" it time and time again.
Obviously, times have changed. Like rolling around unbuckled in the back of the station wagon, we couldn't imagine being so lax when it comes to safety. Whether riding their bike, scooter, or literally anything with wheels, wearing a helmet is non-negotiable for our kids. Finding one they'll want to wear is another story. Thousand, the creators of classically designed and innovative bike helmets just launched their first kids' helmet and—problem solved.
The main reason? 100+ kids helped design it.
"We are founded on guiding values of community and diversity, which includes the next generation of cyclists," said Gloria Hwang, founder and CEO, Thousand. "We want to encourage kids to have a say in their own safety and expression of personal style and identity, so we gave them a seat at the table in designing a collection that reflects their needs and wants. With Thousand Jr., young riders can independently practice safety, flex their creative muscles and define their own unique style."
The design itself is styled after their retro-inspired adult Heritage helmet with its deep, rounded shape and integrated visor. (Bike helmet twinning dreams coming true right here!) It's finished with thoughtful kid-friendly details like a magnetic clasp that totally eliminates chin pinching and extra ventilation to keep their sweaty heads cool and comfortable.
Equally important in the design process: Fostering values like inclusivity, identity expression, and honoring the fact that kids are more in tune and aware than grown-ups often give them credit for. So they asked questions. Thousand interviewed more than 100 self-identified girls, boys and gender nonbinary kids across the U.S. ages 5-11 to determine key design elements like colors, finishes and sticker pack themes based on their feedback.
The result? A safe, stylish helmet that they can truly make their own. Each comes with a set of kid-approved Thousand Jr. stickers which are both reflective and removable (totally clutch for kids whose interests change with the wind) and other rad packs can be purchased separately. (I'm particularly a fan of the junior activist set!) And if they want to complete the look, there's a line of matching bike bells so you'll always know they're coming.
Thousand Jr. helmets are available directly from their site. Check them out below!
Ideal for bike, scooter, and skateboarding, Thousand Jr. helmets are designed to fit kids ages 5-11. However, head circumference is a better indicator, so be sure to measure first. They come in one size which adjusts via a dial fit system at the back of the head, and sit lower than traditional bike helmets. They're also the only kids' helmet on the market with an integrated visor that not only keeps their face shaded but offers added protection in the event of a face plant. Speaking of which, their replacement program is 💯. They offer free accident replacement if the helmet is ever damaged.
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