Hockey isn’t a game for the faint hearted, and when you’re on the ice, you need to have your head as well protected as possible with the best hockey helmet you can get. This game is a very physical sport and you should be protected from top to bottom to avoid injury.
Your head is a very vulnerable area when it comes to hockey. And when it comes to safety when playing hockey, you should never settle for anything that is less than the best, especially when it comes to your head.
Protecting Your Head Should Be Your Top Priority
But getting the safest hockey helmet isn’t as easy as you may think. You need to have one that fits just right and has to be good quality. This is not the time to compromise on quality to save a few bucks.
Check out our hockey helmet review guide that helps you in knowing which helmets are good for your playing level and which helmets are the best hockey helmets you will need for a kick ass game.
How To Choose The Right Helmet For You
How do you decide which helmet is perfect for you? These are the key points you should keep in mind while looking for a new helmet.
Sizing & Proper Fit:
A hockey helmet that does not fit right is as good as not wearing one. If it sits too loose on your head and you can wobble your head easily, it can even cause damage to your head. It needs to be snug, but not too tight where you can hurt yourself.
Most manufacturers will have a sizing chart that you should use to make sure that you are getting the perfect helmet for your precious head. When you are measuring your head, you will need to measure the circumference of the top of your head and match it up to the size chart.
If you are concerned whether you have the right fit, open your helmet to the biggest setting and put it on your head so that the rim sits about a quarter of an inch above your eyebrows. Then tighten the screws until it is snug. If it cannot tighten enough to be snug, you do not have the right size.
Helmets With Visor vs. Cage:
You might have noticed that some hockey helmets come with a cage and some come with a visor, whereas some come with nothing at all. Some professional players will opt to not wear any type of visor or cage over their faces so they do not lose any field of vision.
In amateur and youth leagues, however, visors and cages might be required. This is because the added features will increase the amount of safety you have for your face. A cage can ensure that a puck will not hit you in the face and keep a high stick or elbow off of your face. Without it, your face is vulnerable to being injured.
A visor on the helmet is a piece of clear acrylic that will also keep your eyes and your face protected when in the rink. A visor can get annoying due to fogging as you sweat while playing on the ice, but they will increase your overall protection.
Before a hockey helmet can be approved to be sold, it has to pass a series of tests to prove that it will actually help you in the event that you hit your head. The impact-protection standard is a pass/fail system created by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.The supplemental rating is provided by Virginia Tech that will give a helmet a rating from zero to five on how well a helmet can actually absorb impact.
Few helmets exceed three stars with the Virginia Teach rating system, which means you need to pay careful attention when looking at helmets.
Protection Level & Foam Lining:
The final consideration you need to make when shopping for the best hockey helmet is the protection level and the foam lining. Sometimes it is not how hard you hit your head, but how you hit your head that can be the difference in receiving a concussion.
The protection level is what decides the type of hit that your helmet can take. Less expensive helmets often have a lower quality foam lining and therefore have a lower protection level than more expensive helmets do.
Regardless, helmets of all price ranges need to have protection against rotational impacts. Nearly all helmets are made to handle direct attacks, but few are made to handle a rotational hit. When looking at the protection level of a hockey helmet, pay close attention to the levels that are listed. Linear and direct protection is essential, but not enough.
Top 10 Best Hockey Helmets (2019 Reviews)
1. CCM FitLite 3DS
2. Warrior Covert PX+
3. CCM FitLite FL500
Safest Hockey Helmet
4. Bauer RE-AKT 100
5. CCM FitLite Combo
Helmet + Cage Combo
6. Bauer RE-AKT 200
7. CCM Resistance
8. Bauer RE-AKT 95
9. CCM Tacks 710
10. CCM FitLite FL90
Helmet + Cage Combo
(Concussion Rating - The Lower The Number = The Better The Concussion Prevention)
1. CCM Fitlite 3DS Hockey Helmet
Our Editors loved the CCM Fitlite 3DS, not because it is the best, but because with its wide array of comfort and protection features, this helmet really has the best of everything.
What makes the CCM 3DS our Editor’s top choice is the 2 piece shell which is made of a high density PE and an inner shell makde of a high density ABS material. Overall, these two mesh together to give you both strength and durability.
Perhaps what drew us to the 3DS is that CCM is taking the prevention of concussions or head injuries very seriously with their helmet designs. Their designs show that you can still get a great level of protection while maintaining a high level of comfort.
Speaking of comfort, the 3DS also contains a memory foam liner that cushions your head from any possible injury.
The CCM 3DS has a tool-free adjustment system, which makes it easy to get the fit right the first time, without having to fiddle around. Its Micro-Dial III system is specially made to give you a snug occipital lock, using an easy dial that will tighten the helmet down for you.
The rate-sensitive D3O Smart Foam will also give you an extra bit of protection around your temples. While it was previously thought that high density EPP foams were the best for impact protection, it turned out that lower density is actually better. And guess what? This helmet is right in the middle!
2. Warrior Covert PX+ Helmet
The Warrior Cover PX+ is a great option for those who want to play hockey but don’t have the deep pockets to invest in state-of-the-art gear. This budget friendly hockey helmet gives you a good combination of comfort and protection. The PX+ is an updated version of its predecessor, giving you better quality and protection.
The Covert PX+ was designed keeping comfort in mind. It has a lot of impact protection features that will keep your head safe, all the way from your neck to your eyebrows. With an optimum fit, the play shell on the PX+ is well-rounded in order to handle a blow from any angle. It is designed with a 360-degree fit, with the shell of the helmet being made with high density PE for lightweight protection.
This helmet features three unique layers of strategically selected foam that will keep your head well protected against impact, regardless of which direction you are hit from. It also has a low profile and soft touch foam, giving you a nice even weight distribution as well as a comfortable fit.
The single dial adjustment will let you activate and adjust the shell as you need. There are also vents on the helmet to keep your head cool. One of the most useful features that you will see from the PX+ is that if your helmet does take a hit, it will crack on the outside, making the crack known. This will make sure that you know you need to get a new helmet rather than continuing with a damaged one unknowingly.
3. CCM Fitlite FL500 Hockey Helmet
Safest Hockey Helmet
You may look for the helmet that is the lightest on your pockets, or the best quality one where money is no object. However, if safety is paramount, you should check out the CCM Fitlite FL500, the safest hockey helmet available. Another favourite from CCM, the FL500 model is further proof that CCM is doing all that it can to protect players against traumatic injuries.
The outer appearance of the FL500 might be similar to other helmets made by CCM, but it is not the same on the inside. Instead, it has a high-density PE shell for superior protection. It is designed with a two-piece shell for the best protection possible
The FL500 features D3O Smart Foam for temple and occipital protection. It also offers a tool-free adjustment system that will give you a personalized and comfortable fit. One of the features on this helmet is that it has an I.Q.Shion liner, an open-cell memory foam material that is both comfortable and soft as well as a great way to keep the moisture off of your face.
The D3O Smart foam used in this helmet is actually rate sensitive. Rate sensitive is where it is pliable and soft to the touch. This is not a combo helmet, but it does have the ability to support a cage should you decide that you need one at a later date.
The thing that really makes this helmet different is the multi density VN foam liner that allows it to absorb direct hits better than ever before. The extra foam and padding can make the helmet feel heavy.
4. Bauer Re-AKT 100 Helmet
Another top of the line hockey helmet that you can get in 2019 is the Bauer Re-AKT 100. This is a great helmet that is able to effectively combine comfort and protection.
The design of the Bauer Re-AKT 100 is a Suspend-Tech 2 liner, which gives more stretch and compression when you do have a blow to the head. Using the latest concussion prevention technology, the Re-AKT 100 is both responsive and secure by design. It also was designed with Bauer’s YourFIT system, which includes a CURV composite wrap all around your head. This is intended to give you a completely customized fit.
A downside to the customized fit is that there is more limited mobility with the head being thoroughly wrapped and protected. This might not bother all players, but it is a consideration when you are shopping for a new helmet.
The biggest selling point on this helmet is that it is made explicitly for impact management. So included in the features is PORON XRD Foam, which will give you a snug fit around your head. It also features a Suspend- Tech liner as well as FleXorb Tech. FleXorb is a feature that is exclusive to Bauer.
The VTX foam base of the Re-AKT 100 utilized Seven+ tech. Seven+ is made to be more versatile and durable than any other Bauer helmet out on the market. It means that the foam should hold up well when you do experience a hit.
5. CCM Fitlite 3DS Helmet Combo
Helmet + Cage Combo
If you are looking for a helmet that is safe, but is also a combination helmet, the CCM Fitlite 3DS Combo might be the best hockey helmet for you. With its cage, this helmet comes with a high safety rating and brings with it all of the features that you need to keep your head safe during a game.
Just like the CCM Fitlite 3DS without a cage, the CCM Fitlite 3DS Combo is designed with your comfort in mind. There is a 3DS system in place with tool-free adjustment system, giving you that snug fit every time.
The Fitlite 3DS was also designed with a built-in venting system, allowing cool comfort while still giving you great concussion prevention. This model does have a cage for the ultimate protection.
If you are looking for safety features, this is the right helmet for you. The features include a high-density PE and ABS shell. The materials are made for durability as well as impact absorption, keeping your head as safe as possible on the ice. There is also a low-density EPP base layer that has low-impact absorption, covering all of your bases on the best protection possible. It has been shown that high-density is less safe than lower density EPP.
This also features rate-sensitive D3O smart foam, which gives you the ideal temple protection that you need. Temples are especially sensitive and have to be taken into consideration. The cage that comes with the helmet is one of the lightest on the market, ensuring that you have great visibility.
6. Bauer Re-AKT 200 Helmet
Some of you might be thinking that you would prefer a higher quality or higher performance hockey helmet. If this is the case, the Bauer Re-AKT 200 will be the perfect choice for you. Like the other Re-AKT models, you will be getting an awesome, high quality helmet, but with a little more pizzazz.
The design of the Re-AKT 200 has a base layer of VN foam, which is a high density material that will ensure more shock absorption. It also was designed with Poron Xrd pads which are included to give you the highest quality of padding that you can get in a hockey helmet.
If you are worried about getting sweat in your eyes, you will be happy with the Re-AKT 200 since there are channels built into the helmet to keep sweat diverted away from your face and eyes.
The high performance features on this helmet include the three different types of internal padding, including the VTX, XRD, and MD foams. These are all in place to give you the best protection that you could hope for. There is also a memory foam inner liner to make it all the more comfortable.
It is also adjustable without the use of tools, and even offers the ability to adjust the length of the helmet. Unfortunately, all of the padding can make it hard to fit into this helmet, so make sure that you follow the size guide closely when purchasing it.
7. CCM Resistance Hockey Helmet
Another great helmet choice from CCM is the Resistance model. This helmet has the latest technology and styling, giving you a great looking helmet that will still keep you protected on the ice.
The Resistance was made with a new single-step adjustment system at the back of the helmet. Completely tool-free, you can make easy adjustments to your helmet whenever you want to, including when you are already wearing it. The system was moved to the back of the helmet for this model in order to give you more protection on the sides of the helmet.
This helmet was also designed to mimic the type of helmet that the pros use, giving you that extra look of precision on the ice. It is mean to be sleek and streamlined, leaving you looking fresh and modern. In fact, some pros do actually wear this exact helmet.
CCM introduced the RED system (Rotational Energy Dampening) in recent years and you will see that surface in the Resistance helmet. The RED technology was made to help reduce the amount of damage from a concussion, if you were hit hard enough. To combat that, there are liquid-filled bladders within the helmet that absorb the impact for you, reducing any effects from a rotational impact or injury.
Another interesting feature that you will get from the CCM Resistance is that it has impact rods that are placed in order to absorb any shock or trauma your helmet might receive during a game. Despite all of these features, the Resistance is not a bulky helmet at all and is in fact lightweight.
8. Bauer Re-AKT 95 Hockey Helmet
If you or someone you know is just starting out with hockey, you can still get a pretty good helmet. Another great helmet from Bauer, the Bauer RE-AKT 95 has a high level of quality without all of the bells and whistles that more experienced players might look for.
Designed HDPE Pro shell, the Re-AKT 95 is lightweight and not clunky to wear. If you are just working on skills, you will not have to think about whether your neck is getting sore from holding up a helmet. Even though it is lighter, the helmet will still give you protection that you need.
There are also removable ear guards on the RE-AKT 95. It is also designed with three different height adjustment positions, helping you achieve the ideal fit for you. Another design feature is the amount of vents that are in place to help keep your head cool.
The Re-AKT 95 has a lot of amazing features, including Poron XRD at the temples, which is one of the most advanced types of protective foam you can get. It is made to absorb all levels of impact, keeping the shock away from your head. There is also an IX Foam which is a type of molded foam that is in place to fill the interior protection gaps and giving you just enough extra shock absorption.
The fit on this helmet is troublesome as it really works well for players with round heads, but cannot get the same level of snugness and comfort with other or smaller shaped heads.
9. CCM Tacks 710 Hockey Helmet
This is an excellent quality hockey helmet that should meet your expectations of comfort and protection.
The Tacks 710 has some innovative design features that offer an elite-level of protection as well. This helmet was intended for players with rounded heads, so it might not work well for everyone’s type of head. Even so, it does have a multi-directional fit, which means you can adjust it in more than one spot, so it might still work for those who do not have round heads.
The design takes into consideration comfort as well as protection, ensuring that you will not be seriously injured during a game. It also will easily accommodate a cage if you were inclined to add one on.
A unique CCM system, and one you will find with the Tacks 710 is the RED system that we had mentioned above. The RED system is the liquid-filled bladders that will make sure that your brain does not get jarred or concussed during a game. There are also D3O lite foam pads that are inside of the helmet and further assist with impact absorption. This also contains the I.Q.Shion foam, which has been designed to provide the best comfort possible.
Another easily adjustable helmet, the Tacks 710 also can easily be tightened without the use of any tools. Unfortunately, if you do have a narrow head, you might find that this helmet will never quite tighten as much as you need it to.
10. CCM Fitlite FL90 Hockey Helmet Combo
Finally, we are going to take a look at one of the top rated hockey helmets that you can get that has a cage. The CCM Fitlite FL90 has an array of high performance protection, but is still a nice and affordable price.
Designed for elite-level comfort, the Fitlite FL90 was designed to be worn easily. This is due to the dual foam shell padding, but also because it is a caged hockey helmet. The cage itself was designed to be sure that the players could still see the ice just as well as they did before getting a cage. Part of this includes the FM 680 carbon steel cage for visibility
There is more than one way to adjust the helmet. These include the dual tool-less system with clips on the temples. This means the helmet can expand and contract. There is also the ability to fine-tune the fit with the micro-dial adjustment system. This will give you a tight lock so long as the helmet fits your head. Players with any head profile should be able to adjust this helmet to fit their heads, but it does seem to run a little large.
This helmet has many features, including a Hexagon Matrix padding which gives you shock-absorbing impact protection. There is also a two-piece PE shell with reliable venting to keep your head cool when you are out on the ice.
Another of this helmet’s features is the multi-density foam chin up. This provides moisture channels for dry comfort and stability. There is also an I.Q.Shion layer inside that is also made to help keep you cool and dry no matter how hard you are out there skating.
How Long Do Helmets Last And Do They Expire?
Unfortunately, hockey helmets do not last forever. A player can wear the same size of helmet for years, even youth players, but even if your head size is still the same, the foam will slowly degrade over time.
With regular wear and tear, your hockey helmet should be replaced about every six and a half years. The accredited testing certification is only good for six and a half years. Then, the helmets will naturally break down, the padding and lining becoming weaker to the point that the helmet would no longer be able to protect you from hits.
Of course, if you have had a heavy hit to your helmet or see any visible signs of wear, you should replace your helmet right away because its integrity could have been compromised. Some helmets will show cracks whereas others won’t, but you will know if you had a hard fall or hit your head.
Concussion In The NHL
It seems like science is only just now beginning to really understand what the long term damage of receiving a concussion is. A concussion is not simply a blow to the head, but it is a traumatic hit to the heat that causes your brain to rotate and swell. The repercussions of a concussion can range from a mild headache and onwards up to memory loss and other neurological side effects. Repeated concussions are especially dangerous because the extent of a concussion is not immediately visible on a brain scan.
In November 2018, the NHL reached a settlement with 318 former players who were claiming negligence in regard to concussions in the league. While the NHL did not admit fault, we should be seeing changes to concussion protocols in the future.
Don't Buy Used Hockey Helmets
Buying used hockey helmets is one of the most unsafe things that you can do in hockey. Because they do not have long life expectancy, you would never want to buy a used hockey helmet, even if you know that the expiration on the helmet has not passed yet. Also, certifications become void when there is any resale of a helmet. You would have no history of its damage. Likewise, the more that a helmet experiences blows, the less protective the helmet will be.
Used helmets will give you no idea on how many hits the helmet has experienced, which could mean that the helmet is broken already. While a used helmet might save you money upfront, the risk that you put your head in for the sake of a few dollars is not worth it at all.
Take good care of your head and brain by wearing a new, certified helmet.
Honestly, when it comes down to it, you really do need to take your time when you are shopping for the best hockey helmet possible.
You should not just jump in and order the first one that you see online.
Instead, you should measure your head and consider the qualities that you would like to see from your hockey helmet.
The best all-around hockey helmet is the CCM Fitlite 3DS Hockey Helmet. But if you have a bigger or smaller head shape as well as what you will be using your helmet for, read through all of the size charts and see if you can find the right helmet for you.
No matter what helmet you wind up with, you should remember the goal is concussion prevention. Your head is far too important to risk injuring it during a game. Take your time, find the right helmet to meet your needs, and get back out there on the ice.
What’s up guys! It’s Brandon here. I’ve been playing hockey since I was a kid and I keep playing whenever I get a chance even now. And that’s why I decided to start Hockey Homie. I wanna help people who want to start playing hockey but don’t know what gear they should get. Enjoy!