Bell Sidetrack II MIPS Youth Helmet

In this review, we're looking at the Bell Sidetrack II MIPS Youth Helmet. An mtb helmet full of top-end features such as MIPS and fully adjustable straps offering a no-compromise approach to helmet design.

We've asked a range of different kids (and their parents) to try it out and give us their impressions, so you can decide if this helmet is suitable for the Cycle Sprog in your life.

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Helmet Details:

Helmet Model: Sidetrack II MIPS Youth Helmet

Size: One size 50 to 57cm

Colours available: Choice of 5

Safety standards: CPSC Bicycle, CE EN1078

Weight: 320g

Cost: £64.99

Date of review: January 2022

We Like: All the features you could possibly want plus great straps and adjusters. 

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bell sidetrack helmet review

Bell kids helmet review

Bell is a major brand for all types of cycling from road to mountain biking and focus on one thing, making helmets.

This is their Sidetrack II  Youth helmet in the MIPS version, you can read more about MIPS here. They offer the same helmet without MIPS which comes with a £20 saving and it also comes in a smaller 'child' version.

The Sidetrack II Youth is packed with all the features you would expect from a high-end mountain bike helmet, which is exactly what it is.

The size is the only giveaway that this is not an adult mountain bike helmet.

 

bell sidetrack kids helmet review

The main structure of the helmet is an EPS expanded foam bonded to a plastic shell. It has 14 vents, but many of these are small, so it suggests this might lack the airflow afforded by more 'holey' helmets.

It has a removable visor that blends nicely into the main body of the helmet and gives the whole package a smooth, fluid style.

The main adjustment on the back of the helmet is a rotating dial with a chunky adjuster.

The straps are a soft material and have low profile dividers that can simply be slid up and down to position under the ears.

The chin strap buckle is a slide-in ratchet-style with a push button to release which reduces any risk of pinching the skin.

The MIPS liner is covered with ample padding which doubles up as a mesh 'bug shield' for the front three vents. You also get a choice of 4 colours ranging from the lurid to the stealthy.

It weighs in at 320g and costs £64.99, which places it alongside other MIPS equipped kids helmets.

view of the rear of the Bell Sidetrack II helmet

Simple, and easy to use rear adjuster on the Sidetrack II

Rear adjuster on the Bell Sidetracked II kids helmet which we are reviewing

The Bell Sidetrack II helmet in use

The bright orange split opinion early on in the testing and predictably the younger riders loved it and older ones were less keen (someone may have mentioned a traffic cone...).

Rather smartly, Bell has other options including black, which mean there is a good chance of finding the right colour.

The 'duck bill' peak is a striking addition and also split opinion, but I think it looks good.

The fit has been good across all testers and was deemed to be very comfortable by all that tried it.

The additional padding seems to help as it extends over the top of the head. there was a strong feeling of being contained with the helmet, and reports of feeling "very comfortable and protected”.

The MIPS lining is covered with pads so there is no chance of hair getting caught in the rubber attachment points and the rear of the helmet will accommodate a ponytail happily.

bell sidetrack helmet - full review
Inside the sidetracked II helmet

The straps are very well managed, sitting flat to the face and are easy to adjust.

The buckle is great and easy to operate by big and small hands while all but eliminating the chance of pinching any skin.

I found the dial at the back a little fiddly to adjust when it's on the head of a child, but it has good positive action and clicks into place easily.

The small, narrow vents, MIPS lining and padding mean it's a hot helmet, so that is something to consider based on your prevailing weather conditions. Less of an issue for us in the North of England.

full review of the bell sidetrack youth helmet review

The straps on the Sidetrack II helmet are great and the buckle is a clever design to prevent pinching.

The Alpina Carapax Jr kids cycle helmet for mountain biking

MIPS is becoming more and more common on kids helmets and although there is a price implication.

 

 

Overall verdict on the Bell Sidetrack II helmet

With strong colours and a striking peak, the style may divide opinion, but at a functional level, the Sidetrack II is hard to beat. The attention to detail in the adjustments and fit are fantastic and complete a great package. 

Buy Now

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