A helmet is without question one of the most essential pieces of equipment for any hockey player. Between the fast paced nature of the game and the high level of contact involved, it is crucial that you have the best hockey helmet to ensure your safety while out on the rink.
With all the talk of concussions in the sports community these days — it seems like a no-brainer as to why you would always want to take the appropriate precautions to protect your head while playing hockey.
But it hasn’t always been this way. Hockey helmets weren’t even made mandatory in the NHL until the late 1970s, after players around the league had taken a few too many serious knocks to the head.
Research has shown how important it is for players of all ages to use a hockey helmet that offers optimal protection and safety. But what’s also important is finding a helmet that’s going to offer you maximum comfort and style.
With so many different brands and models, we have broken down and provided in depth reviews of the top 8 hockey helmets on the market to make your purchase decision an easy one.
Breaking Down the 8 Best Hockey Helmets
1. CCM FitLite 3DS
CCM FitLite 3DS might be the most innovative hockey helmet on the market right now, which means that it also offers some of the highest level of protection and easy customizable fit. It features a microdial III system that comes paired with a shell that you can readily adjust without using any tool. This gives you a perfect 360 degree fit for a nice feel. It is crafted with a low density memory foam that creates a lightweight cushioning layer for added comfort. CCM also designed the helmet using a high density PE shell innovatively with an ABS subshell to make the helmet super strong and long lasting.
- It is made with a D3O® rate sensitive as well as a shock absorbing material
- The PRO inspired shell design works alongside the strategically located vents for enhanced air circulation
- This hockey helmet is CSA, HECC, and CE certified
- CCM offers a fully guaranteed one year warranty
- Some players have mentioned durability issues and needed to replace the helmet sooner than expected (If only CCM had a solid warranty?!)
2. Bauer RE-AKT 100
Have you been looking for the safest hockey helmet that is specially designed for impact management? If you have, then you may want to consider picking up a Bauer RE-AKT 100 because it offers triple-density impact management protection alongside a dual density ear cover protection. It is crafted with a VTX technology with seven+ protection and a suspend-tech 2 liner system w/FleXord technology.
It has spring-loaded side pads that make use of the Curv® composite and PORON® XRD™ foam to ensure the helmet fits perfectly. Furthermore, you can make central tool-free adjustment for a more customized and comfortable fit. The occipital lock works to keep the helmet in place while you are playing.
- It has ventilation ports for air circulation so you achieve extra comfort
- This hockey helmet is crafted with a moisture management liner
- The MICROBAN® antibacterial protection will keep the helmet free of odor and mildew
- Some users argue that this hockey helmet is made with poor craftsmanship that may render it uncomfortable
3. CCM Fitlite FL500
The Fitlite FL500 is the best hockey helmet to prevent and protect against concussions thanks to its highly protecting interior. In fact, Virginia Tech did a study which rated this model the safest of any currently on the market. It features a high-density PE two-piece shell so you get the highest level of protection in it. It is crafted with a tool-less adjustment system which will help you achieve a customized fit from the front to back. The manufacturer uses a D30 Smart Foam to make sure each user gets a top class temple alongside occipital protection. This is made even better by the FM500 cage that enhances your visibility as well as facial protection.
- This hockey helmet comes with a I.Q.Shion open-cell, memory foam-type material that stays dry for comfort
- The multi-density VN foam liner featured offers 25 percent more thickness than the competing brands for increased impact energy absorption
- It is crafted with both front and rear vents for enhanced air circulation
- Some users feel that this CCM helmet isn’t true to size, and this causes comfort problems
4. Warrior Convert PX+
Warrior Convert PX+ is the successor and upgrade of Krown PX3 and comes with a sophisticated multi-layered impact absorption foam for the ultimate protection. The foam is the thicker VN type and it offers soft padding as desired by pro hockey players. It also has a black EPP foam liner that is not only breathable and keeps you from overheating, but also strong enough to handle a high level of impact. This foam is designed to crack on impact so you know when it’s the right time to get a new helmet for better protection. It is made in a simple 2-piece design with clips on either sides over the ears that require tool-less adjustability.
- The liner comes blended with a superior quality multi-layered impact absorption protection foam
- The shell featured is uniquely developed for great fit, comfort, tool-less adjustment, and excellent comfort
- It has 2 layers of thoughtfully created form for protection against contact from different types of forces (low to high)
- The manufacturer should improve the air ventilation features of the helmet for addition comfort
5. CCM Resistance 300
This helmet comes with a R.E.D. System that features a series of bladders placed between the liner and shell. It is created with Oblique Technology developed at the University of Ottawa with the aim of reducing rotational acceleration of the head. The manufacturer uses a multi-density foam liner that can handle a wide range of impacts for added protection. For a proper fit, you can use the easy single tool-free adjustment for customization and better comfort.
- Features a unique protective capability for your maximum safety
- Comes with a stylish look that can also absorb most of the impact
- Provides excellent air circulation, and it’s easily adjustable for great comfort
- Some users experience sizing issues with the helmet that affects the fit
6. Bauer RE-AKT 200
This is the next generation hockey helmet that you may want to consider taking a look at as it comes with the Suspend-Tech NG liner system. Furthermore, it has a VTX Technology and XRD foam that make the most innovative liners in the contemporary market for hockey helmets. The multi-density liner is then molded to offer maximum coverage of all the vital areas while playing. The FIT PLATE customizable occipital lock that is developed with a Recovery alloy technology will also come in handy if you are looking for extra protection. You will definitely love this lightweight hockey helmet for its durability.
- CSA, HECC, and CE certified
- Comes with moisture channels and ventilation ports that increase airflow for a cooling effect
- The manufacturer uses a MICROBAN® antibacterial protection so the helmet is able to resist mildew and bad odor
- The memory foam temple pads provide cushioning for comfort even in the event of an impact
- Some users feel that although it is high quality, the value to price ratio is a bit lower than other models
7. Warrior Alpha One
Warrior Alpha One Hockey Helmet comes with an Omnishock Protection System that provides the user with the desired ultra-rigid protection against any impact. Moreover, this system is made with a blend of superior quality but lightweight materials to reduce strain on the wearer. You will also appreciate the Viconic diffusion plate that ensures effective impact distribution as a safety measure. The EPP foam included in the helmet also safeguards you against catastrophic injuries after an impact.
- The helmet comes with an impax soft-touch foam shield so it can handle different-sized impacts
- The BOA AdaptFit 360 is developed for dialed-in fit precision so you feel comfortable while playing
- It has a breathable polygiene liner that is soft for comfort and wearability
- It is easy to clean for maintenance purposes
- Though it is a great fit, some players have expressed slight satisfaction about the overall quality of the helmet
8. Bauer RE-AKT 95
This Bauer hockey helmet is crafted with a variable thickness HDPE shell that makes it super lightweight while ensuring that it stays rigid for ample protection. Moreover, it comes fully vented to ensure you experience exceptional air flow for that cool comfort. Players have also expressed their appreciation for the tool-free, single-lock adjustment system that allows you to attain a customized fit for extra comfort. The included occipital lock 3.0 gives the helmet multi-adjustment capability. The manufacturer uses PORON XRD temple foam since it provides top-level temple protection in case of an impact.
- The VTX and IX-Foam interior protects the hockey player against low, medium, and high level impact
- It has a suspend-tech liner so you get highly independent impact energy absorption
- The integrated moisture channels give this helmet an effective, non-irritating moisture management capability
- Some users find fault with the floating liner because it tends to increase abrasion
Factors to Consider When Buying a Hockey Helmet
Different Helmet Variations
Before deciding which brand and model to go with, you should consider the type you want. Most helmets are either one of two types:
- EPP (Expanded Polypropylene)
- VN (Vinyl Nitrile)
The two types differ on the material used to make them, structure, and density of the inner foam liner. EPP helmets are believed to provide the highest level of protection since they feature a hard outer foam layer alongside a softer foam inner liner. This design offers a snug fit to maximize both comfort and protection. That being said, you’ll almost certainly pay a premium for that luxury as the EPP helmets are considered higher-end.
The other alternative is VN helmets that also have a softer foam liner that will mold nicely depending on the size and shape of your head. Experts argue that their protection level is lower, which is nearly a direct correlation with their price tag when comparing with the EPP helmets.
What Size Should I Buy?
The other factor you should have in mind when shopping for a hockey helmet is its size. Most manufacturers make their brands in either small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes to fit a variety of users.
These sizes are more or less industry standard. Additionally, the higher-end helmets often have a tool-free adjustability feature that allows you to attain a customized fit.
Accessories: Cages & Facemasks
Depending on your preference and league rules, you have a few options for helmet accessories. You can either purchase a:
- Visor or Half Shield
- Full Face Shield
The majority of minor hockey leagues require either a full face shield or cage. However, in professional and some semi-professional leagues, visors are allowed.
When purchasing a hockey helmet, a cage or shield may come as a combo along with the helmet —but you can also opt to buy the helmet and cage and/or shield separately. Regardless, be sure to double check if the helmet you have selected includes a cage or a shield before you finish the checkout process.
The last thing you’d want to have happen is to order a helmet with no face protection before a big game!
Another important item worth noting is that the size of the helmet will not determine the size of the cage or visor. If you select a cage, it should always cover the whole chin area as well as your upper neck to ensure maximum protection. If you select a visor it should also fit snugly on the chin, and not “hang” too far away from your face.
How Should a Helmet Fit?
When searching for the safest hockey helmet, its size is one of the important factors that you have to consider in order to make the right choice.
Therefore, be sure the helmet fits tight enough for a snug feel, but not too tight so that it is uncomfortable while you play. If the helmet is too loose, then it increases your chances of sustaining an injury if you take a big hit or fall.
In general, the helmet should always sit on the brow line or immediately above it for proper eye sight. The temples of the helmet should be padded for a cushiony feel to ensure that you can comfortably engage your opponents without worrying about abrasion against your skin.
When it comes to protecting your head, you definitely want to make sure you invest in a high-quality helmet that is going to keep you protected in all situations on the ice. Failing to do so may lead to a helmet that only lasts for a short period of time, or worse — a potential head or neck injury.
It is important to take all the aspects that go into making a solid helmet into consideration, which we have done for you in this comprehensive guide. For that reason, we have concluded that the all-around best hockey helmet is the CCM Fitlite 3DS. It offers great protection, a comfortable fit, and sleek design at a decent price point.
Although some hockey players will have different buying requirements, compromising safety is not an option when it comes to keeping your head safe.