Giant ARX Compel kids helmet review
Giant are well known as one of the world's leading bike manufacturers, but they also make cycle helmets, including ones designed for children.
We were pleased to be sent their Compel ARX helmet to review and asked several children within the head range size to try it out for us.
Obviously we didn't get them to test it out in the ultimate "crash test" scenario, but we hope that their thoughts on fit, comfort and usability will help you decide whether this is a suitable helmet for your Cycle Sprog.
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Helmet Model: Giant Compel ARX
Size: S/M (49-57cm)
Colours available: 5 options - red, green, blue, yellow, orange
Safety standards: CE EN1078
Weight: 310 g
Date of review: Summer 2021
We Like: Bright colours, lots of vents and ease of fit for longer hair (ponytails)Buy Now
Giant Compel ARX kids helmet review
Giant make a huge range of components and accessories to go alongside their equally huge range of bikes.
This is their 'Compel ARX' helmet in S/M which aimed children with a head circumference of between 49 and 57cm.
The ARX refers to the kid's bikes of the same name (and you can read our review of the Giant ARX 20 here).
The choice of 5 bright colours are chosen to "clash or compliment the ARX kids bike" and the Compel ARX is certainly a strikingly bright helmet.
It's made using an expanded foam (EPS) bonded to a plastic shell and features 17 vents and a short, removable visor. This gives the Compel a more general all round cycling look as opposed to a specific mountain bike or road cycling style.
Their fit system is called "Cinch ONE™" and uses a rotational dial on the back of the helmet to shrink it to fit.
The straps have adjustable dividers below the ears and a classic plastic clip under the chin.
The padding is "TransTextura Plus™ X-odour" which are anti-microbial and should keep it smelling sweeter for longer.
The rear of the helmet has a removable panel which is compatible with a Giant rear light (available separately).
This particular helmets is not fitted with MIPS (which some higher end kids helmets are now being fitted with).
It weighs in at 310g and costs £37.99 which puts it in line with equivalent helmets on the market. The helmet also benefits from a one-year crash replacement policy.
The Giant Compel helmet in use
Initial impressions across the age range of our test panel were positive.
The bright colour appeals to most young riders and the styling is pretty neutral meaning it will fit in wherever you're riding.
The fit of the Compel is good, the rear cradle coming down low and holding the helmet firmly in place on the head.
The helmet itself doesn't sit as low as some mountain bike styled helmets - this is personal preference as to whether you like to feel more of your head is covered.
We found it a bit tricky to get the straps to sit flat on the side of the face. It's not a huge issue, but there are more elegant solutions out there.
The chin strap clip is a generic buckle but a bit on the small side, making it a little stiff for small hands, and a little too fiddly for large hands.
Once the helmet is on your child's head these issues are quickly forgotten.
The many vents on the Compel do a good job of keeping heads cool so it's a good choice if you're going to be doing a lot of riding during the summer months.
The back of the helmet has a removable panel to attach a light, which is a nice touch but we haven't tested it. Currently, it's just a panel that gets fiddled with by small hands.
The fit of the helmet
The Giant ARX Compel is classed as being S/M and will fit heads between 49-57cm circumference (click here if you need help measuring your child's head).
Our reviewers were all within this range, and had no issues with getting a nice snug fit on their head.
We also set it to its minimum and maximum settings.
As you can see, there was no change in the width of the helmet, but there's 4 cm difference in the length.
If your child has a very wide or very narrow head you may need to look elsewhere for the width flexibility, but there's plenty of scope for growth and adjustment otherwise.
How does the Giant ARX Compel kids cycle helmet fit with long hair?
The Compel was one of the best helmets we've tested for longer hair.
A ponytail fits easily above or below the rear adjuster giving plenty of options, depending on personal preference and style / length of hair.
It also worked nicely with double French Plaits.
Overall verdict on the Giant ARX Compel kids helmet
The Compel is a quality kids helmet with strong, bright, styling that appeals to a range of ages.
It is comfortable, practical and well vented, and is a good everyday helmet.
We'd like to see some refinement in the straps and buckle department, but really like the flexibility for those with longer, tied back hair plus the good venting for warmer weather.
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The days are starting to draw in, it’s getting a bit colder and the leaves are changing colour.
Autumn can be a wonderful time of the year to get out cycling with your child – from finding brightly coloured leaves, collecting conkers, seeing squirrels, racing cyclocross or riding muddy routes there’s usually a lot to keep them occupied, what ever their age.
Here’s our pick of article to help you get out on two wheels this time of year: