Our great white north’s national sport. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have fallen, gotten beaten down, checked from behind, cross-checked, hooked, elbowed, and roughed up during a game.
If it weren’t for proper protective gear, I’d probably be eating liquid food with a straw for the rest of my life.
So today, I’m going to give you a ton of advice on what the best hockey helmets are, especially what features to look for. Now I know we all have our preferences. That’s why I’ve included extensive reviews of 10 top-rated helmets so that there’s something for everyone.
Let’s hit the rink and start with a bang with what I believe to be today’s best pick for an ice hockey helmet.
Top 7 Best Hockey Helmets Ranked
A hockey helmet is a necessary gear that mainly protects the players from receiving a head concussion during the game. The Bauer RE-AKT 200 is designed keeping just that in mind and offers 25% more protection than its previous version, RE-AKT 100.
The RE-AKT 200 is probably the most technologically advanced hockey helmet by Bauer. It has tons of cool new features that not only improve protection but also increase the player’s comfort. For instance, the single lock adjustment mechanism focuses on providing better protection at the temple, while the Fit Plate technology offers a custom occipital lock.
Apart from this, the RE-AKT 200 combines different high-density foams, which are relatively lighter and more protective when compared to the traditional foams found in more common hockey helmets.
Additionally, Bauer’s RE-AKT 200 also features moisture channels that direct the sweat away from the eye, allowing players to focus on the game more comfortably. The front-to-back vents allow seamless airflow to help you keep a cool head.
Another notable feature of this helmet is its NextGen Suspend-Tech system that is specifically built to sustain all kinds of impacts, making it one of the safest and most protective hockey helmets currently available in the market.
All in all, Bauer’s RE-AKT 200 is an exceptional choice for a hockey helmet. It is lightweight, easily adjustable, comfortably fitting, and filled with innovative features that allow the players to focus more on the game and less on safety measures.
If you’re looking for a high level of protection, it doesn’t get any better than this. The CCM Super Tacks X and its Nest Tech Liner System allows you to comfortably adjust the helmet to the shape of your skull.
Were you concerned about the helmet moving in-game after a contact? No problem there either, thanks to the locking system that ensures your helmet will stick to your head like glue.
A tad more costly than the Bauer RE- AKT 200, this helmet is more heavily focused on protection. Whether we’re talking about the way it fits, the weight, the padding, impact distribution, everything has been optimized for your safety.
Now another strong point with this CCM Super Tacks X, is its durability. This helmet can be worn for up to 5-6 seasons without a problem. This fact alone makes a strong case against my above-mentioned comment on its steeper price.
Last but not least, I want to talk about the foam used here. Not only is it incredibly soft and comfy, it also is the best one to absorb impacts. The technology of the D30 Smart Foam allows for a perfect fit for all head shapes.
Warrior continually churns out higher benchmark scores for comfort and performance with their premium hockey helmets.
The Alpha One Hockey Helmet is the brand’s best and most exciting product yet. With a redesigned look and new technology, this helmet’s affordable price is an unexpected highlight.
You get superior protection on a lightweight helmet, and the impact diffusion is just awesome. I also love the stylish look and how it perfectly fits, thanks to the new Adoptfit 360 feature.
A high-impact sport like hockey requires you to be adequately protected. This Warrior Alpha One hockey helmet delivers a host of advanced features designed to reduce impact injury for players.
The Omni shock protection system is just great for ultra-rigid and lightweight protection. This helmet is loaded with excellent features like a viconic diffusion plate, EPP foam, Impax soft touch foam shield, and BOA AdoptFit 360.
This helmet’s superior design and specs make it an excellent choice for hockey players. You not only look great wearing it, but you also get premium lightweight protection at a great price.
Features such as one-piece design, venting system, and fit precision make it superior to almost any competitor in the market.
The CCM Tacks 910 is a premium hockey helmet designed to be much more protective and lessen players’ chances of severe head trauma.
Hockey players are often exposed to significant injuries due to many less quality protective helmets on the market. Besides the risks of concussions, many hockey players have complained about the less comfortable and heavy helmet brands on the market.
This Tacks 910 model has been designed and built for comfort and does not feel heavy on the head. Its unique design is based on a new technology meant to alleviate impact shock while creating a safer player experience.
CCM created a superior design product with a new padding system, making it one of the top hockey helmets you can ever find in the market today. The helmet has been crafted in a way that focuses on protecting the most vulnerable areas of a player’s head.
Designed by the top experts in the market, the CCM Tacks 910 features innovations that give it a much better overall fit on a player’s head than any other competing product in the market. It’s also made of a solid one-piece shell, making it a more durable and protective model.
It has also been fitted with a new design element known as the Omnishock Protection System to help absorb high levels of shock from heavy impacts.
This helmet was built with MIPS technology, a protection system designed to work on more realistic hockey impacts than the traditional tests. A low-friction layer helps absorption and redirection of impacts throughout the entire helmet.
The helmet’s shell is exceptionally lightweight (EPP shell) and provides a high level of comfort no matter your skull shape.
The interior fit pads are interchangeable and allow a high level of customization for the players. You can even choose the thickness of your pads (from 5 to 15mm), allowing for tailored protection and fit.
If moisture and sweat management is a big concern to you, worry not, as this True Dynamic 9 Pro helmet features a hydrophobic layer that will help you keep a dry and fresh head on the rink.
The Bauer RE-AKT 75 is the best-performing helmet for the mid-priced hockey market, and it is clear why. Having bought one of these for the concussion safety ratings (3 stars under the Virginia Tech rating system), I expected it to have some drawbacks to keeping the head safe.
Receiving it in the box for the first time, I noticed it brought a more streamlined look than the more traditional helmets. Putting on the helmet for the first time, it seemed to be a little heavier than the more expensive RE-AKT but hardly noticeable when going on the ice.
The Seven+ technology designed by Bauer comes into effect when taking knocks, whether high or low energy impacts, allowing the plastic layering to dissipate oncoming whacks. With the affordable price and the newest impact-resistant foams, Bauer has designed a comfortable, smooth-looking helmet while also giving players appropriate safety against head-knocks.
One disadvantage is the slightly heavier feel, nullified by purchasing higher up the Bauer range. Still, if you can’t spend premium dollars, this incredible alternative backed by a one-year warranty makes it a difficult helmet to pass up.
So, whether you’re buying for your son or daughter to play in the juniors or using it in the physically demanding open leagues, the Bauer RE-AKT 75 is a game changer for its 120-dollar price tag.
If you’re simply looking for a hockey helmet that properly protects you while not looking like a cosmonaut, the Bauer 5100 is your best choice.
Relatively lightweight (590 grams), this helmet’s quality isn’t compromised by its price. Although I found this helmet to size a bit larger than the other options, I thought it was fairly easy to adjust while being comfortable.
Now it may not be as sophisticated and technologically advanced, but it’s definitely an awesome helmet for those of you who are on a tight budget.
What To Consider When Buying Top Rated Hockey Helmets?
Hockey helmets are probably the most crucial piece of gear on the list of mandatory equipment to play. A helmet and a face mask will not only protect your face from sticks, pucks, and elbows, but will also help prevent head impacts that can cause concussions or more severe injuries.
For parents, a quality helmet is the best insurance you can buy for your young hockey player. For advanced players, owning a state-of-the-art hockey helmet gives you the confidence to play the sport aggressively. Additionally, a face shield or helmet cage allows players to hit the ice without having to worry about receiving a puck or a stick in the mouth.
Hockey helmets are built with three main parts which are the shell, the liner, and the cage.
The shell is made of plastic and is often responsible for the breathability of your helmet. It is also where the chinstraps are attached.
If style is important to you, the shape of the shell is what gives its overall look to a hockey helmet.
The liner is what’s inside your helmet. It’s how it’s designed to protect you with gel pads, memory foams, and several straps. It is critical that the liner has been well-engineered because it’s responsible for the protection and the fit of your hockey helmet.
The cage or the visor is a mandatory part of every helmet that protects the player’s faces without impairing their hability to see. If you use a visor, make sure it is scratch-resistant, and has an anti fog feature.
2. Safety Ratings
Virginia Tech is not just a college for future doctors. They also study head injuries and the best way to protect athletes from concussions in sports like football, basketball, soccer, or baseball.
One of their recent studies found that helmets with more padding on the front are better at reducing your chances of getting hurt than other types because they absorb some force before it reaches your skull!
The star rating system is a new and innovative way to keep people safe in sports. The ratings are determined by how well the helmet can reduce head acceleration, with five stars being the highest possible score.
You must know your safety gear before playing any competitive sport because it could protect against lifelong problems or neurological issues due to concussions!
The problem of long-term consequences of concussions has been better understood over recent years thanks to research undertaken on both sides of science, looking at prevention techniques as well as treatment methods for those who have received them. One such process involves giving helmets stars: 1 to 5.
Remember that even a player wearing the best helmets can still receive concussions. There is no helmet out there that’s concussion-proof, but they help reduce your risk of injury to some degree. Prevention should also be on everyone’s minds when playing hockey, like skill building and coaching.
3. Size and Fit
In a nutshell, it needs to be tight. The chin strap shouldn’t leave more than two fingers wiggle room under the chin to ensure that the helmet does not come off in a fall or a heavy hit, leaving your head unprotected.
The helmet itself must be tight enough so that it does not come off when you shake your head up and down or side to side. To properly adjust your helmet, screws must be loosened with the helmet placed on your head, and with both hands, you must push the helmet until it snugly fits. At this point, a teammate can tighten the screws and adjust the chin strap to maintain the ideal fit.
You want to make sure the helmet sits right above your eyebrows. Your neck, forehand, and temples should feel stress-free If you’re experiencing some sort of discomfort, it may not be the correct size.
4. Hockey Helmet Preferences
Depending on your personal preferences, you may choose to add some features to your hockey helmet. Do you want a cage? A visor? Maybe you want to remove the ear protectors or have a custom-reinforced chinstrap?
Some of these optional features can increase/reduce the level of protection while facilitating airflow and improving your comfort.
Sweat management can also be an issue with some helmets. To counteract this, you can wear a thin bandana underneath your helmet.
A word of caution, though, modifying the inside or outside of the helmet for weight or airflow reasons can be perilous and compromise the protective integrity of the helmet. I strongly advise you against doing that.
Each helmet has been vetted and comes with a certification sticker from various associations. Most certifications are valid for up to six playing seasons. Helmets should not be used beyond their planned lifespan, as foams and plastics can degrade and the helmet’s structural integrity can be compromised, potentially exposing you to injuries.
6. Tips to save money
It is important to steer clear of the used market, but more on that in the FAQ section. If you are on a tight budget, I strongly advise you this budget option: The Bauer RE-AKT 75
You could also go for discontinued models where you can sometimes get sweet deals on top-notch helmets. I’d recommend looking into brands Bauer, Jofa, Mission, or Cascade.
7. Recommendations When Purchasing A Helmet
Consider all the factors in your purchasing decision process: weight, appearance, comfort, materials, fit, price, features, and accessories. Safety is number one, comfort is number two, and the rest can be bargained with.
The Best Hockey Helmets – Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should You Replace Your Hockey Helmet?
Generally, I advise players to renew their hockey helmets every 4 to 5 seasons. This will, of course, vary depending on your helmet’s durability, how often you play, how aggressive you or your opponents are, and how well you’re taking care of your gear.
What Does CCM Mean On Hockey Helmets?
CCM is a Canadian brand that manufactures and markets hockey equipment. CCM Stands for Canada Cycle & Motors.
What Helmets Do NHL Players Use?
NHL Players use helmets from the three main brands that are CCM, Bauer, and Warrior. These helmets must be approved by the NHL and certified by both the Canadian Standards Association and the American Society for Testing and Materials.
When Did They Start Wearing Helmets In NHL?
The first game of Ice Hockey was played in 1875, but it wasn’t until 1979 that the NHL ruled that helmets should be mandatory.
Although that ruling came in 1979, helmets were introduced to the sport in 1933 after a couple of players were seriously injured. However, they were unpopular, with players saying the helmets were hot and heavy and impaired their vision. Some superstitious players even blamed them for scoring droughts.
Before 1979, it was the individual player’s decision to wear a helmet, and NHL veterans could still opt not to wear them. By 1997, Craig MacTavish was the only player to play without a helmet.
Can I Buy An Used Hockey Helmet?
You can, but you absolutely shouldn’t. Not only is it extremely unsafe, you also have no idea of knowing what the helmet went through, no idea of the damages it has received and how long it will last.
The money you’d be saving by opting for a used model is just not worth it, as you’d be putting your own safety in jeopardy. Like Clint Eastwood said in Million Dollar Baby, “Protect yourself at all times.”
The 3rd Period
Ultimately, your decision should come down to a simple question. Which helmet is going to best protect from the casualties of the game?
The best pick is the Bauer RE-AKT 200, not only does it provide the best protection across the board, is very light, has the tightest fit, it’s also the most cost-efficient when you factor in durability.
If budget is an issue, the RE-AKT 75 Bauer model does a marvelous job at the expense of a little less comfort and durability.
Remember that fit is important. Equip your helmet with a visor and a facemask for extra protection, and hit the ice worry-free to concentrate on winning and performing to the best of your abilities.