Wearing the right safety gear and clothing is essential to protecting riders from injury and outdoor elements while on the trail or track. A quick and simple rule to go by is to cover every part of your body before you go riding.
I spent a few weeks researching the best gear for kids riding an ATV. I wanted to make sure they were protected, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune when doing so.
I learned a lot in my search for reliable gear at a good price. In this post I want to share with you the things I learned about buying ATV safety gear for kids.
Here are the pieces of equipment I recommend for kids:
- Chest Protector
- Knee Pads
- Elbow Pads
- Jersey And Pants
I also suggest a collar if you are going to be riding, racing, or jumping at an official track. We mostly ride in the trails outside of Colorado Springs in the Rocky Mountains.
The best way to go about buying ATV gear for your kids is to get as much of it online as you can before going to the store. The store is great for trying things on and making sure everything fits properly. But, you will save a ton of money getting everything online. Sometimes the price at our local ATV store is 2 to 3 times as much for the same piece of equipment found online.
Being safe is my number one goal, but why spend more than you have to on the gear you need.
Recommended: I recommend getting them the Fox V1 Helmet found here on Amazon. However, I do not recommend buying one without knowing their size. If you don’t know what size helmet your kid needs, you should bring them somewhere they can try them on first.
Approximate Cost: $110-140
The most important aspect to consider when picking out a new helmet is to get one that fits properly. With kids this can be tough. They have a hard time knowing which one fits right and all the helmets will feel heavy to them.
The method I found that works best is to have them try on a helmet without buckling the chin strap and have them quickly shake their head around. If the helmet stays mostly in place, then it is probably a good fit.
When buying a helmet it is better to spend the extra money on a good quality one. The cheaper ones may fit fine and look cool. But, if they don’t have proper ventilation, your kid might not enjoy riding as much over time. The helmet will make them uncomfortably hot. The cheaper ones will still run you around 80 bucks. It is worth it to spend the little extra cash to make your riding experience so much better.
I made the mistake of buying a cheaper helmet, and when the kids weren’t enjoying the trails with me as much, I ended up getting the better helmet anyways. And now, they can’t wait to hit the trails. I learned a pricey lesson that way.
Recommended: I recommend the Fox Youth MX Goggles found here on Amazon.
Approximate Cost: $25-35
A helmet and a set of goggles together will protect your entire head and face while riding. Youth goggles are all mostly the same size. If you are unsure about what type of goggles to get, it is best to try them out at a store first.
To get a good fitting pair of goggles, make sure there is little to no exposed skin between the helmet and goggles frame. If the helmet does not allow the goggles to sit against your face, you may need a smaller pair of goggles.
Goggles are similar to sunglasses, you get what you pay for. You want to make sure the pair you get will protect your kids eyes from the sun, dirt, and dust on the trail.
Recommended: I recommend these O’Neal Boots found here on Amazon. These boots should be the same size as their normal shoe size, so it is ok to order these online.
Pro Tip: Order a pair slightly larger than their shoe size if they are growing. Make sure you don’t get a size too big to protect their feet though. You could always have them wear an extra pair of socks.
Approximate Cost: $90-110
I usually recommend not cheaping out on boots. But, kids will outgrow them in a couple years so the boots only really need to last that long. I would normally suggest spending 200-250 on a decent pair of boots that will last you a while.
The expensive boots also flex a lot better, allowing the rider to feel the gear shift much easier. The cheap boots rely on leather a lot for protection, which wears out over time. However, your kids will outgrow the boots before that becomes an issue.
That is why we went with the less expensive O’Neal Youth Rider Boots from Amazon. They work great and give the same level of protection as the high end expensive boots would.
Recommended: I recommend the Leatt 2.5 Chest Protector found here on Amazon.
Approximate Cost: $60
You can find plenty of cheap roost protectors on Amazon for as little as 30 bucks. And, some higher end chest protectors that go for over $100. I picked this one because it was a good mid range option with as much protection as the higher end models.
Fox makes a good Fox Racing Youth Roost Deflector for around $40. But, it doesn’t provide as much protection. The call is yours on this one, how much protection do you think your kids need?
The Leatt I recommended also fits nicely with a neck guard. Some tracks require all riders wear a neck guard, so that’s something to consider as well.
Knee And Elbow Pads
Recommended: I recommend the JBM Knee and Elbow Pads found here on Amazon.
Approximate Cost: $16
When we first started out we had the fox knee and elbow pads. The elbow pads ended up being more of a hassle than they were worth. The velcro stopped sticking after a short while and they kept sliding off.
The knee pads were great though. The Fox Youth Pro Cycling Knee Pads will run you about 60 bucks though. I’ll let you make the call on that one.
The set I recommended comes with knee and elbow pads at a great price. They seem to stay on better and are made with a hard plastic which adds better protection than just padding.
Normally it would be best to find knee pads that protect the shins better than these JBM’s do. But for kids, these should work fine because their legs are so small the pads won’t be far from the top of their boot. These pads do the trick and you can’t beat the price versus the competitors.
Recommended: I recommend the HML Youth Kids Gloves found here on Amazon.
Approximate Cost: $12
Get a pair of gloves for the kids that have a good amount of padding and protection. The Fox Racing Youth Gloves are a great fit, but for almost twice the price, we decided to go with the cheaper HML.
Your kids shouldn’t be going fast enough to fall of their ATV all the time. But when they do fall off, gloves are great for protecting their hands against rocks and sticks. They also help make riding more enjoyable if it gets a little cold outside. The air can make their hands cold, and they won’t enjoy riding as much. To save yourself some injuries, pick up a good pair of riding gloves for the kids.
Jersey And Pants
Recommended: I recommend the Fox Youth Jersey and Fox Youth Off-Road Pants. The jersey and pants you will find from all different companies are basically the same. For this one, just focus on finding something that will fit, and the kids think looks cool enough they will like wearing it.
Approximate Cost: Jersey $25 – Pants $70
I looked around quite a bit trying to find a better pair than these for the same price and I couldn’t. In terms of durability, all the brands make about the same quality jersey and pants. The pants are more expensive because they are thicker. They make them that way to protect against the heat from the engine. It really is worth it to avoid any burn injuries resulting from your kids legs touching the engine.
These will last longer than it will take for your child to grow out of. Find something in your price range that the kids will like the look of. I found pants ranging up to almost $200, so shop around for these, they are all similar enough that a $70 pair will work just fine.
Pro Tip: Get a jersey 1 or 2 sizes too big so that it will fit over their chest protector. When the kids grow have them start wearing the jersey under the chest protector. This way you won’t have to buy a new jersey every couple years.