Mountain Biking The Slickrock Trail In Moab, Utah

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Riding Moab's Slickrock Trail with Kids

Overview of Moab’s Slickrock Trail

Many bikers consider this one of the best trails in the world. And, although this trail is often rated “high technical” difficulty, it does not require the same skills needed to ride over roots and on sharp turns through some alpine trails. This scenic trail is mostly on Navajo sandstone, which is a tacky surface for bike tires. We learned the name “slickrock” was given to the area by people riding horses with metal shoes.

This ride is on a mesa and it features beautiful landscapes. If you haven’t been on terrain like this, it is fun and unique sandstone mountain biking

The transitions between climbing and descending can be tricky. Watch for cactus. Be mindful of the exposure. We suggest a skilled adult with at least intermediate skills pre-ride this trail before determining if your kids are ready for it.

Riding Moab's Slickrock Trail with Kids

Getting To The Slickrock Trail In Moab: [1] Head east on E Center St toward S 100 E/S 1st E St (0.4 mi). [2] Turn right onto Fourth E St (0.4 mi) [3] Turn left onto Mill Creek Dr (0.5 mi) [3] Continue straight onto Sand Flats Rd (2.3 mi). There will be a toll booth. The parking lot for the Slickrock trailhead will be on your left.

Riding The Slickrock Trail With Kids

When our kids rode this trail for the first time, our youngest was on a heavy 20-inch mountain bike with v-brakes, heavy entry-level spring fork, and tires with tubes. His hands were as tired as his legs when we finished – but what an accomplishment!

Climbing the Slickrock Trail is really fun because the rock is grippy. Once you become comfortable, you’ll be amazed at how you can ride up climbs that look way too steep. The key is keeping your front tire on the ground and pedaling smoothly. We taught the kids to zig-zag up the steeper slopes that were wide enough and they can make almost every climb.

Slickrock Trail Practice Loop with Kids

The Slickrock Trail is made up of many short and steep undulating climbs and descents. The trail is easy to follow – white dots and arrows painted right on the rock. The views are breathtaking. A quarter mile from the parking lot, you’ll hit the 1.7-mile practice loop. This is a great introduction to riding on sandstone. You can just ride this loop, or add it to the full Slickrock Trail. It will add a mile and re-connects with the main trail.

At 2 miles, you’ll get to the loop part of the lollipop – you can ride either way, but we have only ridden it clockwise by taking a left at the fork.

Out And About On The Slickrock Trail With Family

Moab Slickrock Trail with Kids
Family Friendly Trails in Moab, Utah - Slickrock Trail

Along the way, there are optional short spurs that will take you to the edge of the cliff. These only add a bit to the length the ride – and add a lot to the overall experience of the trail. We took breaks at each overlook.

There are a few places where you have to ride/walk through sand. And many, many places to take breaks and enjoy the view.

Keep an eye out for potholes with sand and cactus. One time we rode this trail, our youngest managed to fall off his bike right into a pothole filled with cactus about mid-way through the trail. It was awful. His butt and leg were full of cactus barbs. After we removed as many of the barbs as we could, he demonstrated his toughness and completed the remainder of the ride. For a while he rode so slowly that I thought we might die out there, but we made it! If you’re wondering about the best way to remove cactus barbs, it turns out Elmer’s school glue works well. We initially used duct tape.

Landscapes are big while mountain biking in Moab, Utah

Being Prepared For The Slickrock Trail

Depending on the time of year, you want to make sure you have plenty of water and snacks for the ride. Bring proper clothing, tools, sunscreen and your camera! Your kids may want to take a lot of breaks because there are several long climbs where both kids and adults may need to hike-a-bike. It can also be quite windy. And, of course, be sure you check the weather so you don’t get stuck in a rainstorm several miles from the trailhead.

The Best Mountain Bike Helmets For Kids

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The Best MTB Helmets for kids

Mountain Bike Helmets For Kids – Helmets are obviously useful to keep your young mountain biker safe on the trails. If you want your little rider to consistently wear their helmet, you’ll want to be sure it fits well and feels comfortable.

The Best MTB Helmets for kids

If your kiddo likes how the helmet looks, that will help, too. A few notes to keep in mind:

  • Size: To ensure the best fit, it’s recommended to measure your child’s head circumference with a tape measure just above the ears. You can then check this measurement against the listed size.
  • Adjustability: As you can generally expect your kiddo to have a growth spurt just following an expensive clothing/gear purchase, it may be a good idea to get a helmet that can be adjusted using a dial. This will keep your kid comfortable in his helmet for a bit and save you some cash for a while.
  • Ventilation: Having enough ventilation is important if you want your child to enjoy riding in the heat.

Here is an overview of our top 8 helmets for mountain biking kids. Check out the comparison table at the end of the article to see all the size, cost and other data in one place.

If your little ripper enjoys multiple mountain biking disciplines, you might want to check out Best Helmets for NICA Riders, Best Helmets for Enduro Kids, and Best Full Face Helmets for Kids.

Specialized Shuffle MIPS mountain bike helmet for kids

Specialized Shuffle LED Standard Buckle MIPS Helmet – Kids’

Hit the trails or ride around the neighborhood with your young ones, while keeping them safe with the Shuffle LED Standard Buckle MIPS Helmet. A hybrid shell construction offers increased protection, and the added MIPS system helps protect against certain impacts and rotational forces. The Headset SX system keeps the helmet snug and is easy for kids to use to get a perfect fit. You’ll also love the LED light on the back of the helmet that keeps your kiddo visible on their way back home.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

POC ito Omne Spin Kid's Mountain Bike Helmet

POCito Omne Spin Helmet – Kids’

Your little shredder inherited your love of two wheels, and with the POCito Omne Spin, they can sport matching protection while sharing your passion. Informed by the adult version, the Omne Air Spin, the youth version features a 360-degree size adjustment system that makes it easy to find the perfect fit even as they grow. EPS foam provides all-around protection, while vents draw air through the helmet for efficient cooling on warm days.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Lazer Gekko MIPS mtb helmet for kids

Lazer Gekko MIPS Helmet

When your young rider is ready to roll, it can be nearly impossible to get them to sit still long enough to tighten a helmet. Lazer’s Gekko MIPS Helmet provides a kid-friendly fit system to get your rider on the road quickly and safely. The AutoFit retention provides an even and secure fit without needing to fiddle with a dial, so they can get on their way with less hassle. Inside the helmet, the MIPS layer provides extra peace of mind as it helps dissipate forces of rotational impact. Finally, the pinch-free chin buckle helps avoid grumbles as your little shredder finally heads off on the trail.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Bike helmets for kids - Giro Scamp with MIPS

Giro Scamp MIPS Helmet

Giro designed the Scamp MIPS Helmet to offer top notch protection to the smallest riders. They use the same In-Mold polycarbonate shell and EPS foam liner in the Scamp as in its adult helmets, and includes MIPS technology. MIPS refers to technology added to absorb the brain-damaging rotational energy created in certain crashes. Another key point is the Roc Loc fit adjustment system. Roc Loc makes fit adjustments quick and easy. Your kid will also like the bright colors and sporty look of this helmet.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

POC Pocito Crank - kids bike helmet

POC POCito Crane Helmet – Kids’

POC POCcito Crane Kids’ Helmet uses dual polystyrene and EPS foams provide a solid combination of low-speed and high-impact protection. Additionally, POCito includes moisture-wicking padding and passive ventilation to keeps your rider’s head from getting overly sweaty. Your kid will love the POCCito’s classic street style on the trail or at the skatepark.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Giro Tremor MIPS bike helmet for kids

Giro Tremor MIPS Helmet – Kids’

The Giro Tremor MIPS Helmet offers Giro’s best technology, sized down for smaller riders. Firstly, the Temor MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) can redirect energy and provide more protection in certain styles of impacts. Secondly, the inside padding is easy to remove and wash after a hot day on the trail. Finally, the Tremor includes a RocLoc fit system for fast and secure fit adjustments.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Bell Super 3R MIPS Helmet

Although the Bell Super 3r MIPS helmet is designed for adults, it will fit heads sized 20-24.4 inches. We love having one helmet that will work for cross country riding and provide some extra protection when trails gets sketchy. This helmet is well ventilated without compromising the helmet’s structural integrity.  Importantly the design includes a Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS). MIPS technology helps absorb and diffuse indirect or oblique forces. During certain crashes, this slim layer rotates slightly to absorb rotational forces. See our full Bell Super 3r MIPS helmet review for more details. Note: this helmet is sometimes listed as “men’s” or “women’s” but the only difference is color.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

HelmetShell Material / Impact FoamHead Circumference RangeCertificationsManufacturer Warranty
Lazer Gekko MIPS HelmetPolycarbonate20in-22 inchesCE, CPSC, AS1 year
Specialized Shuffle LED Standard Buckle MIPS Helmet - Kids’20.5in-22.5 inches1 year
POCito Omne Spin Helmet - Kids’Polycarbonate19.7-24 inchesCE EN 1078, CPSE 12 03, AZ/NZS 20631 year
Woom Kids’ HelmetPolycarbonate / EPS18.9-23.6 inches
Giro Tremor MIPSPolycarbonate / EPS19.75- 21.75 inches1 year
Giro Scamp MIPSPolycarbonate / EPS18.75-21.75 inches1 year
POC POCito CranePolycarbonate / Polystyrene and EPS impact foams20.1-21.3 inchesCPSC
Bell Super 3R MIPSPolycarbonate / EPS20-24.4 inchesCE EN 1078, CPSC1 year

The Best Mountain Biking Shorts And Pants For Kids

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The best mountain biking shorts and pants for kids
The best mountain biking shorts and pants for kids

Our favorite mountain biking shorts and pants for kids: Before buying your child’s mountain bike gear, there are a few things to keep in mind. Determine the type of riding they do, and when. This could resolve whether they need more protection, or perhaps less. It may determine if they need mountain biking shorts or mountain biking pants that provide maximum flexibility when changing positions – standing on the pedals or sitting on the saddle. The weather could dictate what they’ll eventually prefer to use while out and about. Shorts may be perfect for the summer, but mountain biking pants might be a wiser choice during the colder months or when riding technical terrain. Finally, other features to consider are length, the number of pockets, how fit is adjusted, and the availability of padding or chamois.

Not all mountain biking shorts and pants for kids are created equal. Here are a few for your consideration.

Mountain Biking Shorts For Kids Comparison Chart

ProductMSRPBuy from
100% - R-Core MTB Shorts - Youth$79.00BTO Sports
Troy Lee Designs Skyline Youth MTB Shorts$65.00Competitive Cyclist
Kids Dakine Prodigy Bike Shorts$60.00EVO
Fox Youth Defend S MTB Shorts 2019$79.95Jenson USA
Zoic Boys Ether Jr Cycling Shorts$50.00Amazon
Troy Lee Designs Youth MTB Shorts$80.00Competitive Cyclist
Pearl Izumi Junior Canyon Shorts$60.00Pearl Izumi

Pearl Izumi mountain biking shorts for mtb kids

Pearl Izumi Junior Canyon Shorts

This mountain biking short has all the fit, style and function of mountain bike shorts from our adult range, not to mention being durable enough to handle additional off-the-bike adventures. They feature a sewn-in liner short with our Junior 1:1® Chamois, for enough breathability and support for long ride adventures.

Zoic youth Ether MTB shorts

Zoic Youth Ether MTB Shorts

Zoic’s Ether Jr Shorts are a good choice for the kids. Made of 96% polyester, 5% spandex (gusset: 87% nylon/ 13% spandex), the DuraFlex fabric stretches when they move and has integrated Air Flow mesh ventilation panels below the back waistband. It resists abrasion, too. The 6-pocket shorts include zippered pockets and a nifty headphone routing for media players. Elastic rear waistband and hook-and-loop side adjusters allow room for growth.

Available in colors: Digi Camo, Green Camo, and Grey Micro. Sizes S/M/L/XL. MSRP $50.00 USD.

TLD Skyline shorts for mountain biking kids

Troy Lee Designs Skyline Shorts

From bike parks to alpine trails, the Troy Lee Skyline Short does it all without breaking a sweat. It’s made of a lightweight, breathable, stretchy, and temp-regulating CoolMax fabric built to handle punishing days on the bike, and then boasts a spandex back panel for extra mobility where it’s needed most. Adjustable hook-and-loop waist tabs provide a comfortable fit and accommodate growing kids, while zippered hand pockets keep gear (i. e. snacks) safe for energy-fueled adventures.

Fox youth Defend mountain biking shorts for kids

Fox Youth Defend MTB Shorts

Combining durability and 4-way stretch, the Fox Youth Defend MTB shorts keeps your kids agile on tough climbs and covered on rapid descents with its TruMotion all-way stretch for increased mobility. Made of 94% polyester and 6% elastane, it features body-mapped laser perforated areas on the front and back to keep you cool. The durable water resistant finish keeps away water, dirt, and debris. Ratchet closure provide a secure fit and allows quick on-the-fly adjustments. Zippered pockets complete this classic.

Available in Red or Black in even sizes 22-28. $79.95 USD MSRP.

100% R-Core mountain biking shorts for kids

100% R-Core Mountain Biking Shorts For Kids

Perfect for a downhill run when paired with knee pads, this durable yet lightweight selection is made of durable water repellent (DWR) 600D fabric and its 4-way stretch woven paneling increases maneuverability and comfort. These mtb shorts come in black only with stretch-mesh venting to increase airflow and mobility. Adjustable closures and a zippered pocket are included, too. Other features include a silicone print on the inner waistband to minimize slippage, an internal mesh lining to minimize chafing and add comfort, and fade resistant sublimated graphics.

The R-Core shorts come in even sizes from 22 to 28. MSRP of $79.00 USD.

Troy Lee Designs Sprint Shorts - mountain biking shorts for kids

Troy Lee Designs Sprint Mountain Biking Shorts For Kids

You may be hesitant to drop him off at the local trailhead or bike park, but the Boys’ Sprint Short by Troy Lee Designs affords you peace of mind in the face of inevitable spills and nasty falls. That’s because Troy Lee Designs reinforced them around the backside to handle abrasion, should he slide out on the trail or overshoot a jump in the park. The rest of the short is constructed from a burly polyester fabric with added stretch that conforms to his every move, whether he’s pumping around the park or dropping into technical trail sections.

Dakine MTB Shorts for Kids

Dakine Prodigy Youth MTB Shorts

Coming in light at 7 ounces, but strong and durable, the Dakine Prodigy bike shorts for kids is great for trail riding. The 4-stretch woven fabric offers unrestricted movement while the double-stitched construction adds durability. This pair is made of 92% polyester, 8% spandex and meets the Bluesign® criteria for sustainability. It’s quick drying, moisture-wicking, and comes with interior single-snap waist adjusters for a perfect fit. Front hand pockets complete the loose-fit style.

Available in a single color of Star Gazer, with sizing in Small (waist sizes 20-22), Medium (size 25-26) and Large (size 26-28). MSRP of $60.00 USD.

Mountain Biking Pants For Kids Comparison Chart

ProductMSRPBuy from
Fly Racing Kinetic Youth Pants$99.95Jenson USA
Fasthouse Fastline 2.0 Youth MTB Pants$99.00Jenson USA
Fly Racing - 2019 F-16 Pants (Youth)$59.96BTO Sports
Fox Youth Defend MTB Pants$99.95Competitive Cyclist
DHaRCO Gravity Pants - Kids’$95.00EVO
Dharco MTB Pants for Kids

DHaRCO Gravity Pants – Kids’

For the gravitationally-inclined youngster, it can be hard to find a pair of pants that fits right and is comfortable to wear on long trail rides and while using padding. The DHaRCO Gravity Pants are here to fix that. They’re stretchy, durable, resistant to mud and water, and tailored to perfectly accommodate the needs of a seriously trail-thrashing kiddo.

Fox Racing Defend Youth Mountain Biking Pants

Fox Youth Defend Mountain Biking Pants

Ride with confidence whether you go all-mountain, enduro, or downhill riding with Fox Youth Defend MTB Pants. This pair is perfect for aggressive riding with a 4-way stretch construction, targeted ventilation, and durable water-resistant coating. TruMotion all-way stretch fabric gives increased mobility, and the ratchet closure provides a secure fit and easy on-the-fly adjustment, while zippered hand pockets keeps your items secure. At 65% polyester, 27% polyamide nylon, 8% elastane, the durable water resistant finish sheds moisture, dirt, and debris.

Fasthouse mountain biking pants for kids

Fasthouse Fastline 2.0 Youth Pants

FastHouse Youth Fastline 2 MTB PantsLive life in the FastlineYour new favorite riding pants are here. Introducing the FastHouse Youth Fastline 2 MTB Pants, a durable, stretchy and great-looking pant that you’ll feel right at home in when you shred the bike park. Constructed of 400D polyester on the body and 600D polyester on the seat area, these pants were built to be durable. The Youth Fastline 2 Pants have four-way stretch panels for improved movement and also have a short-length inner liner for comfort.

Fly Racing Kinetic mountain biking pants for kids

Fly Racing Kinetic Mountain Biking Pants For Kids

Respected for its track cred and its maker’s solid reputation, and developed using stylish materials and innovations, the Fly Racing Kinetic Youth Pants 20’ could be a must-have. Updated for 2020 with various features including new, tapered lower and longer inseams on select sizes – this better fitting option still has all the features the Kinetic is known for such as its ultra-durable and breathable multi-panel 600D construction upper pants, and lightweight P200 4-way stretch material. It also retains the essentials such as the exclusive zipper lock system and ergonomically pre-shaped knee designed to accommodate most types of knee pads.

Available in Black in even sizes from 18 to 24. Priced at $99.95 MSRP USD.

Fly Racing F-16 MTB pants for kids

Fly Racing F-16 Mountain Biking Pants For Kids

Fly Racing’s F-16 line gets you ready for the ride. The material they use is 600D polyester for strength and outstanding durability. The look is clean, sleek, and relaxed. Multi-directional stretch ribbing gives the needed flexibility, and the mesh comfort liner keeps your mtb kid cool. Other features include ergonomically pre-shaped knees that accommodates most knee protection. Other features included soft-flex protective knee badges, and adjustable waist belt for a custom fit. An infamous YKK® branded main zipper guarantees maximum durability.

This item is available in a variety of color combinations to suit every taste in even sizes from 18-26. MSRP of $79.95 USD.