Bontrager Jet WaveCel helmet for kids delivers adult-size protection

The new model is the first kids' helmets to feature the company's honeycomblike technology.

Joseph Kaminski Senior Associate Technology Editor / Reviews
When not juggling the dual demands of parenthood and playing basketball, Joseph is a life-long Manhattanite who can be found testing the latest tech in the CNET Labs and developing new benchmarks and testing methodologies.
Joseph Kaminski
3 min read
Joseph Kaminski/CNET

There are several innovative helmets on the market that add preventative features like lights, signals and walkie-talkies to make cyclists more visible or able to communicate while traveling. Of course, some are designed simply to do a better job of keeping you safer by building products that exceed industry safety standards. But, surprisingly, there are fewer options like these for children. That's why it's nice to see Bontrager's superior WaveCel technology will now be available in kids' sizes in the Bontrager Jet WaveCel helmet. 

I can attest firsthand that WaveCel technology works. Just under a year ago, I got into a bicycle accident and I walked away with only minor bruises. At the time I was wearing the Bontrager Specter WaveCel helmet. In all my years of riding, that was the only fall I had where my hands never made it to the ground to soften my impact. I went over the handlebars right onto the back of my head. I was fortunate to have a helmet on. 


Now I can put something father-tested on my kids. What makes the WaveCel different from regular helmets is it's designed to not only crumple upon impact but also flex and glide to minimize your chances of getting a concussion and possible head trauma. 

Instead of the typical foam liner with padding, the WaveCel structure is more like a honeycomb design, which adds some weight to the helmet but nothing unbearable for an adult or child. The openings allow airflow, just not as much you'd find with some other helmets. But, again, protection is its first priority. This helmet is designed to be used with bicycles, scooters, skateboards and skates.

Joseph Kaminski/CNET

The Jet WaveCel helmet comes in two sizes -- 48-52 cm and 50-55 cm -- and four two-tone colors. A sticker pack is included so kids can personalize it, too. A head-circumference adjustment knob helps you get a snug fit and there's a magnetic clasp to secure the helmet that also happens to make it pinch-free. It's a small feature that stands out and is on all the WaveCel helmets and I really appreciate it. My daughter was able to lock and unlock the helmet much more easily than traditional ones.  

Bontrager Jet WaveCel bike helmet for kids is safe and stylish

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Since the helmet is made for kids, I decided to ask my 6-year-old daughter, Honor, some questions. Here's our conversation.

What's the difference between this helmet and the ones you've worn in the past?
Honor: The new one is more comfortable and it looks nicer and feels good.

What's the one thing that stands out most to you about this helmet?
Honor: The visor stands out the most to me. I like that it protects my eyes from the sunlight. And I like the magnet clip.

Do you prefer this helmet over any you've worn before?
Honor: Yes, because it's more comfortable. It's softer inside.

What's one thing you would change about this helmet?
Honor: I would add unicorns or a design to it.

Is this helmet too heavy?
Honor: It's perfect. Not too heavy.

The helmet is available globally today and retails for $100 directly from Trek's website and retail stores.