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When considering a helmet for your child you want a good quality, good safety and ideally plenty of adjustability – obviously – and the Hornit Lazy Lama Helmet has that pretty well covered. But possibly the most important thing is that it's something your child will agree to actually wear. And with 15 endearingly mad designs to chose from, it's very likely to have that nailed too.
Our little tester, three year-old Roo, chose the Lazy Llama featuring astronauts, detectives and weight-lifting llamas. It's a well made hardshell helmet, with good ventilation, a proper adjustment system and an integrated LED light.
The skate style does seem popular with the target age-range, though at 367g in a small the hardshell style is noticeably heavier than in-molded alternatives (and 27g heavier than claimed).
Neither construction is definitively safer than the other, and Hornit test all their helmets to both European and American standards (EN1078 and CPSC), though hardshells take more abuse – the common expanded foam/thin shell in-moulded type are designed to work by crushing, and need replacing after a heavy impact.
The shape of the Hornit kids lid is unusual – with its very wide profile it bears a passing resemblance to a military helmet. It sits high on Roo's head compared to other models, but still seems secure, and the extra width means good coverage around the side of the head and ears.
Some rivals, such as the Abus Youn-I 2.0 Helmet, have a deeper profile at the back, but the good thing about the Hornit is that the dial is much easier to get hold of. It's therefore more likely that you or your child will tighten it properly.
The adjustment dial doubles up as an LED light, and can be set slow flash, fast flash and constant. The button is child-friendly, though on our test helmet the button got stuck and was hard to work loose.
The helmet has good ventilation compared to most hardshell options, with seven vents on the top, plus two at the front and two at the back. The straps are basic but soft, and feature a standard buckle.
Roo's previous lid came with a soft chin protector which was a nice touch that is missing here. The plastic sliders on the side straps are also basic, and though they're common at this price they will move and need readjusting.
You can find much cheaper helmets on Amazon if you're willing to risk unknown quality, and even high street shops such as Halfords, but for a quality brand and strong design the price is spot on. At the other end of the spectrum, you can also spend a lot more on protecting your child's noggin. If you start looking at helmets with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) you can add around another £20 over the £34.99 of this one.
This is a simple, well-made helmet with good adjustability for different heads and growing kids, and while we could be all sensible and say nothing else matters, we all know looks are everything to the kids who'll actually wear this – and life is easier if they actually like it! Hornit has done a great job there with a ton of cool designs.
Well made, easy to fit and adjust to all kinds of heads and good-looking enough they'll want to wear it
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Hornit Lazy Llama Helmet
Size tested: Small - 48-53cm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Hornit says: "A helmet is only as good as its fit. Maximum protection demands a snug, well-aligned fit that is comfortable, yet secure. This is why Hornit helmets feature a fully adjustable ring adjuster - rotate right to tighten and left to loosen. Our three-way adjustable chin strap and the strong and secure buckle ensures the helmet always stays in place. Removable soft foam allows further flexibility for size and fit during growing years.
"Made from durable, weather-proof plastic, Hornit helmets protect your kids as they brave the rain, snow, and wind. Eleven air vents on each helmet ensure even air flow to keep them cool and comfortable. The rear safety light alerts distracted drivers or pedestrians to your child's presence. Combining style and safety, Hornit helmets come in a range of fun designs."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
AGES 3 years+
WEIGHT Small: 340g/ Medium 370g
COLOURS Available in 13 designs
SIZE Small: 48-53cm/ Medium:54-58cm
LIGHT MODES Slow flash, fast flash and constant flash
TESTING EN1078 and CPSC tested
At 367g on our scales, this isn't particularly light – and is closer to the claimed weight for a medium (370g) than a small (340g).
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. This Hornit helmet is well made, but the stand out feature is the design – if you're looking for lid that your little one will get excited to wear, this could be the one for you.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The designs are great: Roo chose the Lazy Llama, featuring astronauts, detectives and weight-lifting llamas, but he would've got excited about most of them.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The button on the LED light got jammed.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
You can find much cheaper helmets on Amazon, but for a reputable brand the price of the Hornit is spot on. It is also possible to spend a lot more on protecting your child's noggin. If you want MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) then you need to add approximately another £20.
Did you enjoy using the product? Roo got very excited when he was given it to wear and has never made a fuss about putting it on
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Overall it's a well made helmet and comes in great designs. If it were a bit lighter and the straps adjusters weren't quite so basic it would score higher, and having the LED button jam on ours was frustrating.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding:
Victor found his way over to road.cc from Cycling Weekly where he was the marketing manager for eight years. Most of the miles he covers are on the mountain bike exercising his cocker spaniel, but every once in a while he jumps on the road bike for a local coffee ride with friends or a trip across the channel to ride on flat canal-side cycle paths.