The Best Hockey Helmets in 2023: Our Top 5 Picks

Hockey is a fast-paced and intense sport, where collisions and high-impact plays are the norm. Ensuring the safety of the players is essential, and one of the most critical pieces of protective gear is the hockey helmet. The best hockey helmets on the market today prioritize player safety without compromising comfort or performance.

Understanding the nuances of hockey helmet design and technology is essential in making an informed decision for purchase. Market leaders such as CCM, Bauer, and Warrior offer top-rated helmets, which incorporate the latest innovations in head protection, while other brands provide budget-friendly options that still maintain high safety standards. The importance of proper sizing and equipment care cannot be overstated, as these factors directly impact the effectiveness of the helmet in preventing injury.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Hockey Helmet:
CCM Tacks 910 Hockey Helmet Combo

Runner Up:
Bauer RE-AKT 85 Hockey Helmet Combo

Top Rated Hockey Helmets

CCM Tacks 910 Hockey Helmet Combo

The CCM Tacks 910 Hockey Helmet Combo is a top-rated option, offering excellent protection and comfort for players. It features advanced D3O® Lite Smart Foam, providing a high level of protection against impacts. The helmet also has a modern fit with a customizable adjustment system, making it easy for athletes to achieve a perfect fit. The CCM Tacks 910 is highly regarded for its combination of safety and comfort, making it a reliable choice for anyone seeking the best hockey helmet.

Bauer RE-AKT 85 Hockey Helmet Combo

Another top-rated helmet is the Bauer RE-AKT 85 Hockey Helmet Combo. This helmet is well-known for its impressive VTX foam technology that provides advanced impact protection, reducing the risk of head injuries on the ice. Its multidimensional adjustment system allows for a personalized fit, while the SUSPEND-TECH NGINX liner offers exceptional comfort and airflow. Many players find the Bauer RE-AKT 85 to be a great option for its balance of protection, comfort, and weight.

Bauer RE-AKT 150 Combo Hockey Helmet

The Bauer RE-AKT 150 Combo Hockey Helmet is yet another top-performing helmet. Its unique Free-Floating impact diffusion system lies at the core of its design, helping to distribute and absorb impacts efficiently. The RE-AKT 150 also features Bauer’s Comfort Pod liner system, providing enhanced fit and comfort. Its VTX technology further improves safety, combining with other features to make it an excellent option for players seeking a high-performance helmet with a focus on protection.

CCM Tacks 70 Hockey Helmet Combo

The CCM Tacks 70 Hockey Helmet Combo is highly regarded for its combination of protection and affordability. Its lightweight I.Q.SHION Gel Liner offers comfort and a secure fit. Moreover, its R.E.D. system helps to alleviate the force of impacts and reduce the risk of head injuries. The adjustment system makes it easy to customize the fitting, making it a popular option for players seeking a comfortable and reliable helmet without breaking the bank.

CCM Tacks 720 Hockey Helmet

Lastly, the CCM Tacks 720 Hockey Helmet is another excellent choice for players seeking top-notch protection and comfort. This helmet features the same D3O® Lite Smart Foam found in the higher-end models, providing excellent protection against impacts. Its unique tool-free adjustment system ensures a perfect fit, while the pro-preferred shell delivers an optimal balance of performance and comfort. The CCM Tacks 720 offers a high level of protection and comfort at an accessible price point, making it a popular choice among players.

Key Takeaways

  • Best hockey helmets prioritize safety, comfort, and performance
  • Top brands offer innovative head protection technology and options for various budgets
  • Proper sizing and equipment care are essential for maximum safety and effectiveness

Understanding Hockey Helmets

Hockey helmets are an essential piece of protective gear for players who step onto the ice. They provide crucial head protection during the fast-paced and physically demanding sport of hockey. A well-fitted and high-quality hockey helmet can prevent serious head injuries and reduce the risk of concussions.

The primary purpose of a hockey helmet is to provide players with a comfortable and protective barrier between their head and potential impacts. Modern helmets accomplish this by combining several layers of materials, which work together to absorb and dissipate energy from impacts. These materials typically include a hard plastic outer shell, foam padding, and an adjustable liner to ensure a snug and secure fit.

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right hockey helmet. One of the most important considerations is the level of protection offered. A high-quality helmet should meet or exceed the safety standards set by organizations such as the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Another key factor to pay attention to is the overall fit of the helmet. A properly fitted hockey helmet should cover the entire head, from the forehead to the base of the skull, and sit snugly without causing discomfort. Most hockey helmets come with adjustable straps or sizing mechanisms, allowing players to achieve a personalized fit. It’s important to ensure that the chin strap is correctly secured, as a loose helmet can reduce its effectiveness in protecting the head during impact.

Some of the top hockey helmets in 2023 include the CCM Super Tacks X, Bauer RE-AKT 85, Warrior Alpha One, CCM Tacks 910, and Bauer Hyperlite. These helmets have earned high praise for their comfort, protection, and performance on the ice.

Helmet Design

Weight and Comfort

When it comes to helmet design, weight and comfort play a significant role in a player’s experience on the ice. Lightweight helmets reduce strain on the neck and shoulders, improving overall performance. Many top hockey helmets, such as the Bauer Re-Akt 150 and CCM Super Tacks X, prioritize being lightweight without sacrificing protection. Comfort is also crucial, as players should feel at ease wearing the helmet for long periods. High-quality helmets feature padding and liners made from breathable, moisture-wicking materials to enhance comfort.

Shell and Liner

The shell and liner are essential components of a hockey helmet’s design. The shell serves as the outer protective layer, built to withstand impacts and provide structural support. Tough materials such as polycarbonate or ABS plastic are often used in the construction of shells, ensuring durability.

The liner is the inner layer responsible for absorbing and dissipating impact energy. Liners are typically made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, designed to provide a proper fit and cushioning while controlling sweating. Some helmets, like the Bauer Re-Akt 150, feature advanced liner technologies resulting in enhanced protection against concussions.

Adjustment Systems

A well-designed hockey helmet should have an adjustable fit to accommodate different head shapes and sizes. Many helmets on the market offer tool-free adjustment systems, which allow for quick and easy customization. One example is the Microdial III System found in the CCM Super Tacks X helmet, which provides 360-degree fit adjustability. Another popular system is the tool-free adjustment system offered by the Bauer RE-AKT 85, allowing players to effortlessly tailor the helmet to their unique dimensions.

In addition to these primary adjustments, some helmets offer options for cage and visor attachments. These accessories improve on-ice visibility and protection. Ensuring your helmet has suitable sizing and adjustability options is crucial for proper fit, comfort, and performance on the ice.

Hockey Helmet Safety and Protection

Impact Protection

When it comes to hockey helmet safety and protection, impact protection is a critical factor to consider. Most modern helmets use advanced materials, such as EPP foam and XRD foams, to provide excellent impact resistance. These materials are specifically designed to disperse the force of impacts across the helmet’s structure, reducing the risk of injury. In addition, many helmets feature adjustable chin straps and integrated ear protection, ensuring the helmet stays in place and provides optimal safety during play.

Concussion Prevention

Concussion prevention is another important aspect of hockey helmet safety. Some advanced helmets incorporate technologies like the MIPS Brain Protection System and D3O Smart Foam to help reduce the risk of concussion. The MIPS Brain Protection System is designed to allow for slight movement of the helmet on impact, reducing the rotational forces on the brain and lowering the risk of concussion. D3O Smart Foam, on the other hand, is a soft, flexible material that hardens upon impact, providing excellent shock absorption while maintaining comfort. Furthermore, helmets with Virginia Tech’s VTC Technology have been rigorously tested and rated for their ability to prevent concussions.

Market Leaders in Hockey Helmets

Bauer, CCM, and Warrior are some of the leading brands in the hockey helmet industry. These prominent manufacturers focus on producing high-quality, protective, and comfortable helmets with an emphasis on innovation and constant improvement.

Bauer stands out with its impressive range of helmets, such as the Re-Akt models. The Bauer Re-Akt 200 is a top pick for many due to its exceptional protection, good adjustability, and amazing concussion rating. Another notable Bauer helmet is the Hyperlite, which has been praised for its comfort and overall design. Players find it to be highly protective and lightweight, making it an excellent all-around option.

CCM is another strong contender with its Super Tacks X Helmet that emerged as a favorite in 2023. This innovative helmet is engineered to provide superior protection, comfort, and durability. Its sleek design ensures that players look stylish on the ice. The CCM Tacks 910 Helmet also deserves a mention for providing well-rounded protection and comfort.

Warrior, a less prominent but still significant player in the hockey helmet market, offers the Alpha One and the PX+ models. The Warrior Alpha One is a lightweight helmet with adjustable features that cater to different head shapes. It is built for optimal protection and comfort. Meanwhile, the Warrior PX+ delivers a balance of design and functionality, with a focus on protection and adjustability.

The market leaders mentioned above share some common features that make their helmets appealing to professional and recreational players alike:

  • High-quality materials for durability and protection.
  • Comfortable fit with adjustable features for various head sizes and shapes.
  • Innovative designs that balance aesthetics and functionality.
  • Compliance with safety standards to ensure optimal protection during gameplay.

These market-leading brands continuously push the boundaries of helmet technology, resulting in more advanced and safer options for players at every skill level. While the elite-level helmets come at a higher price, they offer superior protection and comfort that can make a significant difference during games and practices.

Budget Friendly Options

For those on a budget, finding a reliable and safe hockey helmet is crucial. There are several cost-effective options available in the market that cater to the needs of buyers who are more price-conscious. These helmets still offer decent levels of protection and comfort without compromising too much on the overall quality.

One affordable option is the CCM FitLite FL40 Hockey Helmet. Although it is relatively low-priced, it provides a higher density shell design for decent protection. Those interested in purchasing this model can find it at low prices in both the USA and Canada.

Another budget-friendly choice is the Bauer RE-AKT 85 helmet. This model offers great features at a more reasonable price point, without sacrificing safety and security on the ice. It can be purchased both in the USA and Canada, making it a great option for North American players who want stellar protection without breaking the bank.

When considering a budget hockey helmet, it is essential to thoroughly evaluate your preferred model’s features and ensure that it meets the necessary safety standards. Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to protect your head during the game.

Remember, investing in a high-quality hockey helmet is a wise decision for any player, regardless of their skill level. By exploring these budget-friendly options, buyers will be able to make a well-informed choice that best suits their needs and keeps their finances intact.

The Importance of Proper Sizing

A correctly sized hockey helmet is crucial for every player’s safety and comfort on the ice. The primary objective of a hockey helmet is to protect the player’s head from impact during collisions, falls, or contact with the puck and other players. Therefore, it is essential to focus on the right fit when selecting a helmet.

First and foremost, it is necessary to measure the circumference of the player’s head. Use a flexible measuring tape, and wrap it around the head approximately one inch (2.5 cm) above the eyebrows. This measurement will provide a starting point for determining the appropriate size for a helmet.

Hockey helmets come in various sizes, typically ranging from small to large, though some brands may also offer extra small or extra large options. The sizes often correlate with specific head circumferences. To ensure a proper fit, consult the manufacturer’s sizing chart as guidance.

When trying on a hockey helmet, adjust it to the appropriate circumference for the player’s head. It should fit snugly around the head, but not be too tight, causing discomfort or pressure. The helmet should rest flat on the head, approximately ½ inch (1.25 cm) above the eyebrows, without tilting forward or backward. Any internal padding or cushioning should feel comfortable against the scalp, ears, and the back of the head.

In addition to the circumference fit, secure the adjustable chin strap. The strap should be firm under the chin but not uncomfortable. A proper fitting helmet will stay in place when the player shakes their head from side to side, without any significant movement.

Hockey Equipment Care

Taking proper care of hockey equipment, including helmets, is crucial in ensuring player safety and equipment longevity. Hockey helmets are exposed to sweat, body heat, and moisture during games and practice. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain the equipment’s overall performance to avoid any discomfort on the ice and maximize protection.

One important step in caring for hockey equipment is dealing with sweat and moisture. Players need to remove and air-dry their equipment after every session, reducing the chances of harmful bacteria or unpleasant odors. Additionally, ensuring that the moisture channels within the helmet are clear and functioning efficiently is paramount for maintaining comfort and reducing the amount of sweat that could affect visibility.

Cleaning the hockey helmet is also vital, and it can be done either by hand or using a washing machine if the manufacturer’s guidelines permit machine washing. For manual cleaning, fill a sink or tub with warm water, mild detergent, and vinegar, and allow the helmet to soak for 45 minutes to an hour. Using a soft cloth or sponge, gently clean the helmet and remove the liner (if applicable), ensuring every part of it is thoroughly cleaned. Rinse the helmet and liner with clean water and air-dry them.

To prolong the life of your hockey helmet and ensure maximum protection, it’s advised to inspect the helmet’s structure regularly. Check for any cracks, dents, or loose parts, and make sure the straps, fastenings, and foam padding are in good condition. In case of any significant damages or wear, consider replacing the helmet as necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top-rated hockey helmets for safety?

Some top-rated hockey helmets for safety include the CCM Super Tacks X and the Bauer RE-AKT 150. These helmets are designed with advanced safety features to protect the head from impacts while maintaining comfort and proper fit.

How do CCM FL500 and Bauer Re-Akt 200 compare?

The CCM FL500 and Bauer Re-Akt 200 are both high-quality hockey helmets that offer excellent protection. The CCM FL500 utilizes advanced multi-layer foam for impact absorption, while the Bauer Re-Akt 200 features a combination of foam and suspended liner technology. Both helmets provide comfort and adjustability. Personal preferences and fit will often determine which helmet is best for an individual player.

Which helmets are most popular among NHL players?

Many NHL players prefer helmets from brands like CCM, Bauer, and Warrior due to their reputation for safety, comfort, and performance. The specific helmet model can vary among players based on personal preferences, sponsorship agreements, and other factors.

How accurate are Virginia Tech helmet ratings?

Virginia Tech helmet ratings provide a valuable resource for evaluating hockey helmets’ safety. However, they should not be the sole decision-making factor for choosing a helmet. It’s essential to consider other factors such as comfort, fit, and personal preferences when selecting a hockey helmet.

How effective are hockey helmets in preventing concussions?

Hockey helmets are designed to reduce the risk of concussions and other head injuries, but they cannot provide absolute protection. No helmet can completely eliminate the risk of a concussion; however, quality helmets with proper fit and modern safety features can significantly reduce the chances of sustaining one.

What are the best helmet brands for comfort and protection?

Some of the best helmet brands for comfort and protection include CCM, Bauer, and Warrior. These manufacturers offer a variety of helmet models with advanced safety features, adjustability, and comfort to suit different player preferences and needs.

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