Dimensions Kids Bike Helmet With Bluetooth Speakers Fails Safety Test

Consumer Reports rates this helmet a 'Don't Buy: Safety Risk' after the chinstrap buckle released during testing

A video of one of the tests at CR's labs shows the helmet buckle coming undone.

Consumer Reports is rating the Dimensions Kids Bike Helmet With Bluetooth Speakers a “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk” after it failed one of our tests during routine evaluations designed to assess how well a helmet would remain in place to protect a rider during a crash.

During a test of its retention system—the straps and buckles that keep a helmet in place on your head—the chinstrap buckle on the Dimensions helmet came undone. This test was done on two different samples of the helmet, and both failed in the same way.

Two profile shots of the Dimensions bike helmet
Images of the Dimensions Kids Bike Helmet With Bluetooth Speakers

Photo: John Walsh/Consumer Reports Photo: John Walsh/Consumer Reports

“This test is designed to see whether a helmet will stay on your head after you fall off a bike,” says John Galeotafiore, who oversees bike helmet testing at Consumer Reports. That’s important because people can hit their heads more than once after a tumble or a crash.  

CR has reported this finding to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the manufacturer (Sakar International), and Walmart, where we purchased the helmet. 

Sakar International told CR that the helmet "has had no failure points around the retention strap or any other major safety issue in any other previous testing report." The company also said that it did not have "any consumer complaints directly or indirectly about any retention strap issue." After CR first contacted Walmart, the company temporarily stopped selling the helmet while Sakar conducted further testing, but CR confirmed it was back on sale by July 29.

We are not aware of any injuries related to the problem found with this helmet.

More on Bike Helmets

Wearing a helmet can help cyclists protect themselves from head injuries—especially potentially fatal ones. But a helmet can provide suitable protection only if it works as designed.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a standard to evaluate the strength and holding power of a bike helmet’s chinstrap and buckle. Consumer Reports’ helmet tests are modeled after—but not identical to—the CPSC’s standard. Our tests are performed to provide comparative evaluations for consumers, not for the purposes of compliance or certification.

In our labs, we use a weight to tug at the retention system, simulating what might happen in the event of an accident, such as falling off a bike and hitting the road. (See the video above.) Of the 18 helmets we evaluated this year, this was the only one that failed.

Wearing a helmet is essential whenever you ride a bike. If your child already has a Dimensions Kids Bike Helmet With Bluetooth Speakers, our advice is to replace it as soon as possible. Use this helmet only if your child does not yet have access to another helmet and needs to ride their bike. Note that some jurisdictions have laws requiring that children wear a helmet when riding. 

CR’s product safety experts say that using this helmet in spite of its failure in our retention system test is better than riding without a helmet. “Any helmet is better than no helmet,” says Galeotafiore.

In our most recent bicycle helmet ratings, we recommend four helmets for kids. The two that got the highest scores are the Bontrager Tyro, $50, and the Garneau Nino, $55. Our updated ratings will be available later this year. 

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include information provided by Walmart and the helmet manufacturer Sakar International.

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