You can have many different pieces of gear inside your hockey bag, but none as important as a hockey helmet. Your head is one of the most vulnerable body parts, so keeping it protected during games is pretty important. It’s hard to believe that helmets weren’t even mandatory at the beginning of hockey, and we’re glad that has changed for the better.
Head injuries, concussions, and helmets are among the hottest topics in full-contact sports lately, so finding the right helmet is crucial. Having the best fitting helmet can make a hit to the head a minor bump rather than sending you to the ER. Although choosing the perfect helmet for you might be difficult, you need to get a model that fits you the best for optimal protection.
In this article, we’ll present to you some of the best hockey helmets the market has to offer. We’ll also go over some of the fundamental features you need to consider before making any purchases. Our reviews will contain critical specifications, including the Virginia Tech concussion rating scores, but keep in mind, the lower the number, the better the hockey helmet ratings.
But, before we get into our reviews, we’d like to present to you our top picks:
Our Top Pick
Bauer Re-Akt 200
- Great protection
- Good adjustability
- Amazing concussion rating
True Dynamic 9
- Super lightweight helmet
- Decent concussion rating
- Great overall design
CCM FitLite FL40 Hockey Helmet
- Higher density shell design
- Decent protection
- It comes with a cage
Table of Contents
- 1 Top Best Inline Hockey Skates
- 1.1 1. Bauer Re-Akt 200 Hockey Helmet
- 1.2 2. CCM Fitlite 3DS
- 1.3 3. Warrior Alpha One
- 1.4 4. Bauer Re-Akt 150 Hockey Helmet Combo
- 1.5 5. CCM Tacks 910 Hockey Helmet
- 1.6 6. True Dynamic 9 Hockey Helmet
- 1.7 7. Bauer Re-Akt 95
- 1.8 8. CCM Tacks 310 Hockey Helmet
- 1.9 9. CCM FitLite FL40 Senior Hockey Helmet Combo
- 1.10 10.Bauer 5100 Hockey Helmet
- 1.11 11. Warrior Krown PX3 Hockey Helmet
- 1.12 12. Warrior Covert RS Pro Hockey Helmet
- 2 Best Hockey Helmets Buyer’s Guide
- 3 Choosing the Best Hockey Helmet for You
- 4 Sizing & Proper Fit
- 5 Parts of the Hockey Helmet
- 6 Cage/Visor vs. No Cage Helmet
- 7 Virginia Tech Hockey Helmet Ratings
- 8 Concussion Rating
- 9 Concussions in the NHL
- 10 Used Hockey Helmets
- 11 Frequently Asked Questions
- 12 Conclusion
Top Best Inline Hockey Skates
1. Bauer Re-Akt 200 Hockey Helmet
· Skill level: Elite
· Weight: 602 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 3.30
Bauer is one of the leading manufacturers of hockey helmets, and the Re-Akt 200 is considered to be their most protective model. Compared to its predecessor, the Re-Akt 100, this model is at least 25% more protective, thanks to various improvements in the overall design.
The shell isn’t very different in looks when compared to other models, but it comes with some great new features. Some of these features include Bauer’s Fit Plate technology and a tool-less single-button adjustment system. To explain a bit more, the Bauer Fit Plate is a new technology that uses a moldable occipital lock for a custom fit – providing you with added comfort and protection.
To achieve a perfect fit, you can put the Re-Akt 200 in the oven and bake it. This will make it soft and ready for that truly personalized fit. If you’re unsure about baking your helmet yourself, professional hockey stores offer thermoforming services for a small fee.
When it comes to the liner, it’s made from a combination of XRD, MD, and VTX foams. These are lighter, high density, and more protective compared to EPP foams that we usually see in most helmets on the market. The Re-Akt 200 also features a Suspend-Tech system which is designed to sustain both rotational and linear impacts, reducing the possibility of receiving a concussion.
Another great thing about this helmet is its moisture channels and the ventilation that goes from front to back, providing you with a cool head. Although this model is on the pricier side, if it fits you perfectly, you won’t be wrong if you buy it.
- Great design
- Heat moldable
- Good ventilation system
- A bit expensive
2. CCM Fitlite 3DS
· Skill level: Elite
· Weight: About 600 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 7.35
The 3DS is among the newer elite-level hockey helmets brought to us by CCM, one of the best brands on the market. This model features a great combination of materials, customizations, and fit systems, making it perfect for pro-level players.
The two-piece shell of this model is amazing when it comes to adjustability as it has only two parts; the outer shell is constructed of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), while the inner shell is made from high-density ABS. This combination of materials allows the 3DS to provide the player with great durability along with a decent life expectancy.
When it comes to adjustability, this model features some unique tool-free fitting systems. The first being the length adjustment on the side of the helmet – you just need to unbuckle it and set it to your preferred length. The other great fitting system is the Micro Dial which allows you to adjust the helmet all around, providing you with a proper 360° fit.
Now for the central part of the helmet, the protective padding. For the 3DS, CCM chose D30 Smart Foam which has proven to handle some of the more considerable impacts with ease. On the other hand, the base foam lining is made from low-density EPP; but recent studies have shown that, compared to higher density foams, the lower density ones absorb much more force from the impact.
- Two-piece shell
- Great adjustability
- Highly durable
- Low concussion rating
3. Warrior Alpha One
· Skill level: Recreational
· Weight: 590 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 9.31
The Alpha One from Warrior is considered as one of the most technologically advanced helmets on the market today. It comes with a simple but great design and fantastic adjustability features, but more on that later. Even though it doesn’t have a good concussion rating, this model is still great at protecting the player from various head injuries.
The shell is constructed as a single piece built from ultra-rigid plastic, making it very dense and quite still during impacts. Even though it’s designed to be tough, the shell of the Alpha One is very lightweight. The overall design of this model combines the liner and the shell as a single unit; so, when you’re wearing it, the padding and the helmet will stay in place, offering you a snug fit.
When it comes to the liner, the Alpha One features one made from Flow Comfort Polygiene, which improves the overall breathability of the helmet. This type of liner absorbs sweat and dries quickly, thus keeping your head cool and dry.
But the main parts of this helmet are adjustability and protection. For adjustability, we have the BOA AdaptFit 360, which you can use to make tiny fit adjustments with a single dial. As for the protection, the Alpha One features Omnishock Protection which uses Impax foam to absorb and diffuse any shock and energy from an impact. This model also has Viconic diffusion plates located at the front and back of the helmet, further reducing any possible injury.
- Great protection
- Good adjustability
- Lightweight and rigid
- Getting the perfect fit might be tricky due to the one-piece shell design
4. Bauer Re-Akt 150 Hockey Helmet Combo
· Skill level: Performance/Elite
· Weight: 587 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 7.93
The Re-Akt 150 from Bauer is among the best hockey helmets you can currently find on the market. It’s one of the few lightweight models that manage to keep you protected and not sacrifice comfort for protection. In addition, it’s designed to have a more personalized and sleeker look while still being quite rigid and tough.
Bauer went for a relatively traditional two-piece design for the shell of the Re-Akt 150, and they used high-density polyethylene in the build process. They removed the two side adjustment systems and went for a single lock adjustment system, making the whole fitting process quick and easy. Also, like many other Bauer helmets, this one has an excellent air flow design, keeping you dry and fresh throughout the game.
As for the liner, the Re-Akt 150 features the VERTEX foam, offering better overall comfort and impact management. Another great thing about this foam is that it allows considerable weight reduction, allowing Bauer to keep this model lightweight. Also, there are memory foam pads on the inside to provide an even better fit and increase comfort levels.
To further enhance the overall protection, Bauer combined VERTEX foam with super light Poron XRD foam; this foam keeps players protected from both low and high energy impacts.
Since this is a combo model, there’s a Profile III Facemask that comes with the product. This is a lightweight cage built from stainless steel featuring oval wiring, which enhances protection and visibility.
- VERTEX foam technology
- Tool-free adjustment system
- Very comfortable
- None that we could find
5. CCM Tacks 910 Hockey Helmet
· Skill level: Performance/Elite
· Weight: 621 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 18.78
Another great helmet that you should take into consideration is the Tacks 910 from CCM, one of their newer models available. This senior hockey helmet was designed to offer fantastic comfort while providing ultimate levels of head protection even in the toughest of situations. CCM constructed this model with a new, high-density PE shell and a re-imagined foam lining with professional players in mind, making it suitable for more aggressive games.
As we said, the shell of this model was designed to absorb and diffuse any direct contact or impact the helmet receives. The other amazing thing about the Tacks 910 is that it’s a two-piece model, offering some great adjustability features, but we’ll get into that in a minute.
The Tacks 910 features liquid-filled pods that are strategically located between the shell and the liner. These pods are used to absorb and disperse any energy from the impact away from your head.
When it comes to the liner, the Tacks 910 features the I.Q. Shion, which is an all-new memory foam that only CCM uses. This is a dual-density foam that molds around your head quite easily and gives you that perfectly snug fit. As a result, this model is very comfortable while still providing that structural stiffness needed to keep the player’s head safe during the game.
Now we get to the adjustability – this model features tool-free adjustments that allow you to easily manipulate the helmet and get that perfect fit. For example, you can use the front and back adjustments along with the occipital support to widen the helmet, or you can scale it down, whatever you need to do to achieve a snug fit.
· Liquid-filled pods
· Tool-free adjustment
· Good memory foam technology
- Very low concussion rating
6. True Dynamic 9 Hockey Helmet
· Skill level: Performance/Elite
· Weight: 515 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 7.27
If you’re looking for the best roller hockey skates, well, you’re done looking because Bauer Vapor X2.9 inline skates are one of the best on the market. Offering elite-level performance for a performance-level price, the Vapor X2.9 are great for players who skate 2 to 3 times a week or more.
When you look at the boot’s construction, the first thing noticeable is the quarter package made of 3D Lasted Tech Mesh material, using Bauer’s Perform Flex system. And while this isn’t the stiffest solution in Bauer’s arsenal, it allows an increased range of motion without sacrificing comfort or durability.
The inside of the boot features a combination of Comfort Edge hydrophobic liner and Aerofoam memory padding – both of which add layers of comfort. The first does an incredible job of keeping your feet dry, while the latter keeps them snuggly secured, creating a complete custom fit.
The bottom features a clear TPU non-woven outer sole that supports a HI-LO aluminum frame. It boasts two 76mm wheels in front, and two 80mm wheels in the back, supported by ABEC 9 bearings.
- Heat molding
- Lightweight chassis
- Comfortable and durable
- You can’t attach a cage
7. Bauer Re-Akt 95
· Skill level: Recreational
· Weight: 638 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 6.29
If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly best hockey helmet, the Re-Akt 95 from Bauer might be the model you’re looking for. This helmet has all the bells and whistles you would expect from this manufacturer while still maintaining an affordable price tag. It even has a pretty decent concussion rating compared to some other models in its price range.
The Re-Akt 95 features a Pro shell made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), making it a lightweight model with outstanding durability and protection. But just because it’s light doesn’t mean it’s any less protective against all sorts of impacts. The design of the high-density PE shell also features vents that improve airflow from the front to the back, keeping your head fresh and dry.
When it comes to the liner, this model uses a combination of VTX foam and Poron XRD to further reduce the overall weight of the helmet. The VTX foam is used for the base of the interior; the Poron XRD, on the other hand, is used at the temples. As we said earlier, the Poron XRD foam is super light, and it’s capable of withstanding almost any impact.
As for the adjustment system, the Re-Akt 95 has a tool-free Occipital Lock 3.0 that’s located on the back. This lock features three different heights you can choose from, and it’s spring-loaded, allowing you to get a snug fit.
· Tool-free adjustment system
· Good combination of interior foams
- Not great for low impacts
8. CCM Tacks 310 Hockey Helmet
· Skill level: Performance
· Weight: About 600 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 9.45
The Tacks 310 is brought to us by CCM, and it’s one of the highly affordable hockey helmets available on the market today. This helmet is designed to offer both protection and comfort, along with some of the high-end features while having a very reasonable price tag.
This model features a two-piece shell, similar to the Resistance line of helmets from the same manufacturer. However, the shell also has a single, tool-free adjustable system located on the back, allowing you to find your perfect fit with this model. This adjustment system gives you the ability to contract and expand the backside so you can find the ideal place for the occipital lock.
Just like one of the previous CCM models that we reviewed, this one also uses their all-new I.Q. Shion technology to achieve a snug fit. For the base, CCM used a dual-density VN foam which dissipates energy around the helmet and minimizes the effects of an impact to the head. As for the temples, the Tacks 310 uses D30 lite foam, this advanced type of foam is excellent at absorbing energy from various circumstances.
The inside of this model has excellent ventilation systems and moisture channels which keep the sweat from entering your eyes. Compared to the 3DS model from CCM, this helmet has a slightly more traditional look with a rounder shell.
· Good liner combination
· Great ventilation
- None at this price range
9. CCM FitLite FL40 Senior Hockey Helmet Combo
· Skill level: Recreational
· Weight: About 550 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 12.19
If you’re looking for a highly affordable combo helmet, the FitLite FL40 from CCM might be the right choice for you. This model is quite good at providing comfort while you wear it, along with superb protection against various impacts. Because this model is meant for recreational use, the low concussion rating is to be expected, but it still offers great features for its price range.
For the shell of FitLite FL40, CCM used a higher density polyethylene casing, making it highly durable while keeping it lightweight and comfortable. In addition, the overall design offers the player a low profile fit and a higher degree of protection from head injuries. This model also has a sleek and aerodynamic look thanks to the vents’ design located on the sides above your temples.
When it comes to the liner, you’ll find multi-density foams that are quite soft to the touch on the interior of this model. There are also moisture channels fitted throughout the liner that keep the sweat away from your eyes and help you stay dry during a game.
Another great thing about the FitLite FL40 is that it’s a combo model, which comes with an already attached cage. The cage features thin round wires designed and arranged in such a way as to provide you with the best possible line of sight.
· Two-piece shell
· Tool-free adjustability
· Super cheap
- None that we could find
10.Bauer 5100 Hockey Helmet
· Skill level: Performance
· Weight: 566 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 6.31
The 5100 is a highly affordable but great helmet manufactured by Bauer, and even though it has a low price tag, it doesn’t lack other features. It offers excellent protection against almost any type of impact, but it doesn’t sacrifice its comfortability to keep you safe. We also have to mention that this helmet has an excellent concussion rating compared to other models in its price range.
Bauer went with a two-piece design for the shell, and they built it from high-density plastic, making it very durable and protective. The two-piece design also offers excellent adjustability features, but more on that in a minute. Another thing worth mentioning is that this is a great helmet for people with bigger heads, and it’s among the best-ventilated models.
As for the liner, this model uses dual-density vinyl nitrile, with one layer being softer and the other relatively denser. The denser layer is designed to absorb most of the energy from an impact and keep you safe from head injuries. As an added form of protection, the 5100 has a third, extremely dense layer of liner that resembles a honeycomb.
The adjustability on the 5100 is relatively easy to use, and best of all, it doesn’t require any tools. To change the size, you just need to unbuckle both sides, and then you can contrast and expand the helmet until you reach the perfect fit.
- Great performance
- Good materials
- A sound air venting system
- Hybrid frame
- Slightly larger mesh holes
11. Warrior Krown PX3 Hockey Helmet
· Skill level: Performance
· Weight: About 600 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 8.35
The Krown PX3 is one of the best models available on the market, and it’s also another highly affordable hockey helmet on our list today. Warrior has been making its mark lately by taking an updated approach with their gear, and this model represents their hard work over the years. This hockey helmet is packed with features that provide you with both an outstanding level of protection and comfort.
Just like the previous model from the Krown family, this one also features their 4-Play design which collects all adjustments into one single dial. This adjustment system gives you the ability to make your helmet larger or smaller to perfectly fit the shape of your head. Using this system to adjust the Krown PX3 is very quick and easy to use, taking you only a few seconds to find your size.
Warrior used three different foams to construct the liner of this model, providing the player with a fantastic level of durability, comfort, and of course, protection. The first layer is made from EPP foam which absorbs most of the energy from an impact and diffuses it before reaching your head. The second layer is made from VN, providing the player with a more traditional fit, while the third layer is just soft touch foams.
· 4-Play design
· Great durability
- Not the best concussion rating
12. Warrior Covert RS Pro Hockey Helmet
· Skill level: Performance
· Weight: About 600 grams
· Virginia Tech Rating: 8.98
The Covert RS Pro from Warrior might be the last model on our list today, but it certainly isn’t the least. This mid-range hockey helmet offers excellent protection along with a good fitment, all at a very reasonable price tag. So, if you’re in the market for a budget-friendly helmet that you won’t use for pro-level contact hockey, this might be perfect for you.
Warrior went for a traditional two-piece design for the shell of the Covert RS Pro, but they redesigned the comfort and protection. The two-piece design is excellent for adjustability and changing the size is only a matter of unbuckling the two latches on the sides. They also implemented a new and updated ventilation design that greatly improves airflow and keeps your head cool for extended periods.
As for the interior of the Covert RS Pro, you can see that Warrior used their Impax liner, which is compression-molded. This liner can be found stretching throughout the helmet’s entire interior, providing the wearer with ultimate protection against all sorts of impacts. Along with an exceptional level of protection, this interior also offers great comfortability.
So, if you’re looking for a model that features pro-level design, comfort, and a fantastic amount of protection, you won’t go wrong with this hockey helmet.
· Great protection
· Good ventilation
· Mid-range price tag
- · The adjustment could have more options
Best Hockey Helmets Buyer’s Guide
Just like with many other products, hockey helmets come in various types and with different price tags. Because you can’t just go out and buy the first hockey helmet you like, finding the perfect one can be a bit difficult. But as they’re meant to keep you safe and protect you from serious injuries, you must find the best helmet for you.
In this part of the article, we’ll show you how to find the right size and the best fitting helmet for your head. We’ll also go over some of the key features you should consider when looking for the best hockey helmet.
Choosing the Best Hockey Helmet for You
One of the first things you need to know when looking for a new hockey helmet is your skill level. Like any other sport requiring protective gear, recreational and beginner players need to be safe, but not as safe as professional players. Below you’ll find a brief explanation of every skill level and what to expect from each.
This category is designed for youth and beginner hockey players searching for an affordable starting helmet. The products in this category provide the players with comfort and a decent amount of protection at a reasonable price range.
The single-layer foam protective padding can be expected at this price point, but it’s not a deal-breaker; it will provide enough protection for an entry-level player. In addition, unlike the more expensive products, the helmets in this category usually feature a single lock adjustment system.
The ice hockey helmets in this category are built for competitive hockey players who skate more than once a week and require added impact protection. Unlike the previous type, the products in this category provide enhanced comfort and better impact management thanks to the dual-layered foam padding. As an added feature, these will have tool-free and easy-to-use adjustments providing you with the best fit possible.
Elite-level hockey helmets are meant for professional players who go to the skating rink more than three times a week and those who play full-contact hockey; they can also be used by lower-level players who just want the best impact protection possible. Because these are designed for professional athletes, you can expect the best in comfort, durability, performance, and adjustability.
As we said, the helmets in this category protect at the highest level possible thanks to the premier foams used in the production. In addition, some manufacturers even put liquid filled bladders inside their models to protect players from linear and rotational impact, further reducing the possibility of a player suffering a concussion in case of an injury.
Sizing & Proper Fit
After finding a hockey helmet for your skill level, the next thing you need to figure out is the perfect size of your new hockey helmet. To find the best size, the first thing you should consider is the type of your head. Is your head big? Is it small? Is it wide? Or maybe even oval? Different helmets fit different head shapes, so to find a perfectly snug hockey helmet, you’ll need to pay attention to everything.
One of the critical factors when choosing a size for your hockey helmet is to make sure it isn’t too little or too big. If your helmet is too little, it can be too tight and cause your head to hurt after a certain amount of playtime. On the other hand, if it’s too big, it can fall off during an impact leaving you unprotected and exposed to all sorts of injuries.
Almost every modern-day hockey helmet is built with adjustable features to help you find the one that fits perfectly on your head. However, when it comes to helmet sizes, there are three different types:
- Large – Large helmets are designed for adults with large and regular heads.
- Medium – Mediums are meant for adults and teens with standard and smaller-sized heads.
- Small – Small usually fit young players up to 12 years old.
Although there are only three sizes, they’re not standardized, so manufacturers usually provide the stores with sizing charts for their models, making it much easier to pick out the perfect size for you.
Once you determine your head type and what size of hockey helmet you need, it’s time to find the one that will fit you properly. Below you’ll find our step-by-step guide to check if the model you chose fits you or if you have to look for another one.
1. The first thing you need to do is to measure your head with any soft measuring tape. To measure the correct circumference, you need to wrap the tape around your head, about an inch above the eyebrows. Knowing the exact size of your head should help you a lot when it comes to eliminating the helmets that won’t fit you properly.
2. As we said, most modern-day models come with some sort of adjustment feature. So, once you pick the right-sized helmet, you should open it as much as possible.
3. While the helmet is at its largest size, you need to put it on and gradually tighten it until you achieve a snug and comfortable fit. You’ll know if the helmet fits perfectly if the top of your head is making contact and the rim rests one finger above your eyebrows. Another thing you should pay attention to is the occipital lock, as it needs to sit on the occipital bone.
4. The next step is adjusting the chin strap. Again, it would be best to tighten the chin strap to the point where it fits snugly around the chin but relatively comfortably with a small gap.
5. The last step is to test the model you chose and how it fits you. To do this, you need to shake your head side to side and up and down while the helmet is fastened. You don’t want it to move around too much. For optimal protection, it should stay snugly fit on your head with minimal to no movement.
6. This is an optional step, but we recommend that you wear your hockey helmet around for a few minutes before you make a purchase. Sometimes we don’t feel any discomfort when we put on the helmet, but we feel it after some playtime. If you feel uncomfortable wearing the model you chose, it might be wise to choose another one.
Parts of the Hockey Helmet
Modern-day hockey helmets can vary in design from manufacturer to manufacturer, but they all consist of three main parts: shell, liner, and cage or visor. Based on the skill category and the price range, these parts can be made from different materials.
As you can already guess, the shell is the helmet’s exterior part and the first line of defense, and it’s usually made from hardened plastic. However, to achieve the wanted durability and structural strength, the manufacturers constantly develop new types of plastic. As a result, the shell’s weight can vary based on the material used, so you don’t have to worry if you want to get a lightest helmet.
The good thing is that, when it comes to shells, the most significant difference between manufacturers is usually just in the shell’s appearance. The level of protection is usually the same for every category, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check the helmet’s ratings before purchasing it.
Liner is the inner part of your hockey helmet, and if you found the perfect model, it should rest snuggly on your head. Of course, there’s a lot of difference in liners from model to model and from manufacturer to manufacturer. But the essential thing is the same for all of them; it’s the part of the helmet that provides both comfort and superior protection.
As time passed, people became more aware of possible injuries occurring in full contact sports such as hockey. Thinking about how they could prevent these injuries from happening made them use better materials to perfect the hockey helmet design. So, unlike the old hockey helmets where the liner was just a simple padding, modern-day models may contain memory foams and gel pads, among other cushioning.
When it comes to materials for the liners, manufacturers use two types of foam, Dual-Density Vinyl Nitrile and Expanded Polypropylene, or VN and EEP for short.
VN foam is quite soft and easily moldable to fit your head correctly; that’s why many players prefer this type of foam in their helmets. On the other hand, EPP foam is much more rigid, expensive, and arguably, provides better head protection.
Cage & Visor
The visor or cage is an optional and removable piece of the hockey helmet attached to the front. However, the cage is mandatory in most leagues, especially in those with junior and beginner players. There aren’t many differences in design when it comes to cages; the only difference is that some helmets don’t have them.
If you choose a model that comes without a cage, we recommend that you choose one that has the option of attaching one later; you never know if you’ll need a cage at some point, and it’s easier to buy a cage than look for a whole new hockey helmet.
Unlike the cage that protects your whole face, the visor protects only your eyes. But they essentially have the same task: to protect your face from direct impacts, be it from a high stick or a puck. Therefore, we recommend that you buy a hockey helmet that already has a cage for complete protection.
Cage/Visor vs. No Cage Helmet
Although playing hockey with or without a cage or visor is mostly a personal preference, you still want to consider it when purchasing. The main reason for playing without a cage is to improve visibility and reduce the overall weight of the hockey helmet. But the main downside of this is leaving your face entirely exposed to potential injuries.
We’ve covered both cageless and helmets with cages on our list to present to you the best of both worlds. But we still recommend that you get a model with a cage; it’s easier to get used to a bit more weight on your head than to eat through a straw for a few weeks.
Virginia Tech Hockey Helmet Ratings
Since 2011, researchers at Virginia Tech have run tests and provide an unbiased star rating for all helmets used in sports. Based on their decades-long research, we now know which helmets are best to prevent a concussion in case of a head injury.
As a result of their research, Virginia Tech also learned what types of helmets could reduce the risk of severe injuries and concussions. Concussions can have long-term implications, like delayed neurological consequences and lifelong problems, which the system was primarily devised.
As you can already guess, by giving helmets a specific number of stars, we indicate the quality of their protective nature. Any model tested can receive from one to five stars, and, as with anything else, five stars is the best score possible.
Unfortunately, there’s no concussion-proof helmet, but there’s a higher possibility of not getting injured if you wear a higher-rated model.
Concussions in the NHL
There aren’t as many head-on collisions when it comes to hockey. It isn’t every day that we see a player in the NHL get taken down and smack their head on the ice, but it happens.
We found out that there were over 500 documented concussions in the NHL between 1997 and 2004, or about 70 cases per year. We can see the improvement of hockey helmet design and their ability to protect the player over the following years. Just ten years later, in 2014, the number of recorded concussions has dropped to 53, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s still an improvement.
Ever since 2016, to identify concussions as efficiently as possible, the NHL started using a concussion protocol. Essentially, a trained concussion spotter is present on-site; their job is to help recognize if a player has received a concussion and remove them from the game if they can’t continue.
Even though the spotters are present at every game, every club is still obligated to remove players from the competition and identify any concussion risks. This is partly done to ensure that any player with a potential head injury isn’t deliberately or accidentally left in the game.
Used Hockey Helmets
Right of the bat, we have to advise you not to buy a used hockey helmet. We understand that getting a pro helmet for a smaller price sounds great, but it’s not safe to do this. Every hockey helmet has its expiration date, the outer helmet shell can start to crack, and the inner foam degrades over time.
The first thing you need to know is that the helmet’s certification (guarantee of protection against injuries) becomes void upon resale. And because players are required to wear a certified helmet, you can’t wear a used helmet during an official game. Also, you never know what happened to the helmet before you bought it; has it been hit hard, did the shell crack somewhere, is the foam still in its best shape?
Various associations put their certification stickers on every hockey helmet, and most certifications are valid for about five to six years of regular play. The hockey helmet should not be used after the date on the stickers has expired, but you also need to consider your playstyle; if you’re taking heavy hits more often, then the helmet might need to be replaced even sooner.
As we said, our recommendation is to not buy used helmets just to save some money; it’s better to pay a bit more and be protected as much as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What helmet do most NHL players wear?
All NHL players and officials must wear a hockey helmet approved by the league, and three leading brands produce certified NHL helmets: Bauer, Warrior, and CCM. Bauer Re-Akt 200, our top pick product, is one of the best helmets in this category, offering unparalleled protection and comfort.
What is the most protective hockey helmet?
True Dynamic 9 is one of the most protective helmets on the market, thanks to its state-of-the-art MIPS brain protection system. It consists of an integrated, low-friction layer which absorbs and diffuses the impact forces throughout the hockey helmet.
What is the best hockey helmet for concussions?
As we previously stated, there’s no such thing as a concussion-proof hockey helmet. However, better-rated helmets, such as Bauer’s Re-Akt or CCM’s FitLite models, offer better protection against concussions. As it ultimately falls down to hockey helmet ratings, these models are exceptionally well-rated at minimizing the chances of concussion.
Keeping yourself safe and protected will allow you to play longer and better, with minimal downtime. So, investing in the best and safest hockey helmet is a sound idea. If you’re looking for the best money can buy, Bauer Re-Akt 200 is the best hockey helmet on our list. With its 3.30 V-Tech rating, it’s one of the most highly-rated helmets on the market.The runner-up, True Dynamic 9, is one of the lightest yet safest hockey helmets on the market, offering elite-level performance at a reasonable price. Lastly, for those looking for a budget-friendly option for their local league competition, CCM FitLite FL40 Senior Hockey Helmet Combo offers tool-free adjustability paired with decent levels of protection at a superbly affordable price tag.