TheBest Hockey Neck Guards in 2023: Our Top 5 Picks

Hockey is a fast-paced and high-impact sport, making protective gear an essential part of any player’s equipment. One of the most important but often overlooked pieces of gear is the hockey neck guard. Designed to shield the vulnerable neck area from potential injuries such as skate blade cuts, it’s crucial for players to invest in a high-quality neck guard to ensure adequate protection.

There are various types of hockey neck guards on the market, each designed to meet different needs and preferences. Some neck guards offer cut resistance from skate blades, while others add impact protection to help prevent injury from collisions or pucks. When searching for the best neck guard, players should consider factors such as materials used, comfort and fit, protection capabilities, and adherence to relevant guidelines and standards.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall:
CCM 600 Cut Resistant Neck Guard

Runner Up:
CCM 900 Cut Resistant Neck Guard

Best Hockey Neck Guards in the Market

CCM 600 Cut Resistant Neck Guard – Junior

The CCM 600 Cut Resistant Neck Guard provides excellent lightweight protection to young hockey players of various skill levels. Crafted with a combination of durable materials, it effectively prevents injury to the neck area without compromising comfort. Priced at $16.99, it offers reliable protection without breaking the bank.

CCM 900 Cut Resistant Neck Guard – Junior

Another fantastic option from CCM is the CCM 900 Cut Resistant Neck Guard for junior players. An upgrade from the CCM 600, this neck guard boasts enhanced protection while still maintaining a lightweight design. At $24.99, players can confidently stay guarded on the ice without feeling weighed down.

Bauer Premium Neckguard Collar – Youth

The Bauer Premium Neckguard Collar caters to youth players in need of top-notch protection. Its construction features moisture-wicking materials and an ergonomic design, providing a comfortable fit while performing on the ice. Bauer’s commitment to quality ensures this neck guard as one of the market’s best options.

Shock Doctor Ultra 2.0 Neck Guard – Junior

For those who prefer a more anatomically shaped neck guard, the Shock Doctor Ultra 2.0 Neck Guard is an ideal choice. This lightweight, flexible neck guard with Kevlar core is BNQ-certified and built to prevent injury from skate blades and pucks during gameplay. Designed for junior players, it prioritizes safety without compromising mobility.

CCM Pro Cut Resistant Bibbed Neck Guard – Junior

The CCM Pro Cut Resistant Bibbed Neck Guard offers superior protection by extending its coverage to the collarbone areas, which are particularly vulnerable during gameplay. Recommended for junior players of all levels, this neck guard combines exceptional safety with a comfortable design.

While there are many neck guards available in the market, the CCM, Bauer, and Shock Doctor brands stand out as top choices. With lightweight materials, durable construction, and reliable protection, these neck guards offer outstanding value for their respective price points. Whether it’s the Aegis Interceptor or the Bauer NG NLP7, players can confidently choose from these top-notch options for their preferred hockey equipment.

Key Takeaways

  • Hockey neck guards provide essential protection for players in a high-impact sport.
  • Different types of neck guards cater to varying needs, such as cut resistance and impact protection.
  • When choosing the best neck guard, consider factors like materials, fit, protection capabilities, and adherence to guidelines and standards.

What Are Hockey Neck Guards

Hockey neck guards are essential pieces of protective gear designed to minimize the risk of injury to a player’s neck area while on the ice. These guards are typically made from durable materials such as polyester, foam, or cut-resistant fabric, offering a combination of comfort, flexibility, and safety.

A hockey neck guard functions by covering important arteries and other injury-prone spots in the neck region. This helps to prevent lacerations, abrasions, and other injuries resulting from contact with ice, skates, or hockey sticks. Hockey neck guards come in various styles and sizes to accommodate players of all ages and skill levels, from youth to senior players.

It is worth noting that there are different types of hockey neck guards available on the market, each with their own unique features and benefits. Some neck guards come with an accompanying bib, which provides additional protection and coverage for the lower neck and upper chest area. This feature may be particularly useful for goaltenders who require extra defense against high-speed shots and potential collisions.

In terms of materials used, certain neck guards incorporate advanced technologies such as D3O, offering increased impact protection and resistance to cuts. This type of material can be found in both bib and bibless neck guards, providing players with a range of options tailored to their specific needs.

To ensure a secure and comfortable fit, many hockey neck guards offer adjustable features, such as Velcro straps or elastic bands, allowing them to conform to different neck sizes and accommodate various levels of activity. Additionally, some neck protectors are designed to integrate seamlessly with other pieces of protective equipment, such as helmets and shoulder pads, ensuring a streamlined and cohesive experience for the player.

Importance of Neck Guards

Neck guards play a crucial role in protecting hockey players from potential injuries. In a fast-paced, high-impact sport such as hockey, neck injuries can result from various sources, including sticks, pucks, skate blades, and collisions with other players. By wearing a neck guard, players can reduce their risk of sustaining cuts, lacerations, and other injuries to the neck and clavicle area.

One main function of a neck guard is to protect the throat from skate blades. Skate blades are sharp and can cause severe lacerations if they come in contact with a player’s neck. A well-designed neck guard offers a protective barrier between the skate blade and the vulnerable area of the throat, reducing the risk of serious injury.

In addition to preventing cuts and lacerations, neck guards also provide impact protection. During a hockey game, players may experience collisions with other athletes or hard hits from pucks and sticks. A quality neck guard helps absorb and disperse the force from these impacts, preventing potential damage to the neck and spine.

Furthermore, many leagues and associations require players to wear neck protection while playing hockey. This requirement aims to enhance player safety and reduce the potential for injury during games and practices.

Different Types of Neck Guards

Hockey neck guards are an essential piece of protective equipment designed to prevent injuries to the neck area during games and practices. There are several types of neck guards available to cater to the diverse needs of hockey players and goalies.

Neck Collar: A neck collar is a simple and lightweight form of protection, providing basic coverage around the neck. It usually features padded foam and is secured with an adjustable strap. Neck collars are suitable for players seeking a minimal and non-restrictive form of neck protection.

Bib Neck Guard: The bib-style neck guard offers extended protection, covering not only the neck but also part of the chest and shoulders. This type of neck guard typically consists of foam padding with reinforced materials such as Kevlar for added security. Bib neck guards are often preferred by goaltenders because they provide more comprehensive protection needed to withstand high-impact shots on goal.

Neck Guard Shirt: For players wanting seamless integration of protective gear with their clothing, neck guard shirts are an excellent option. These shirts feature built-in neck protection, consisting of foam padding or reinforced fabrics around the neck area. They offer a comfortable and convenient alternative to wearing a separate neck guard, as they provide protection without hindering mobility.

Goalie Neck Guard: Goalie neck guards are specifically designed for goaltenders, taking into account their unique position and needs. These neck guards provide better coverage for the collarbone, shoulders, and chest area, incorporating additional padding and reinforced materials for enhanced protection. As goalies are subjected to more hard hits and high-velocity shots, these specialized neck guards offer them the necessary safeguard.

In summary, when selecting the right neck guard, players and goalies should consider their position, the level of protection needed, and their personal comfort. Whether opting for a minimalistic neck collar, an extended bib neck guard, a convenient neck guard shirt, or a specialized goalie neck guard, each type offers advantages that cater to different preferences and requirements.

Materials Used in Neck Guards

The materials used in hockey neck guards play a crucial role in providing protection and comfort for the players. Some of the most common materials used include foam, kevlar, cut-resistant aramid fiber, ballistic nylon, and polyester. Each of these materials has its own unique properties that contribute to the overall effectiveness of the neck guard.

Foam is a popular choice for neck guards due to its lightweight and flexible nature. However, it must be paired with other materials like kevlar or cut-resistant aramid fiber to offer enhanced protection against cuts and impacts.

Kevlar is a high-performance, cut-resistant material that is often used as a core component in neck guards. Its durability and strength make it an ideal choice for offering enhanced protection against skate blades and other sharp objects. Additionally, kevlar is often combined with other materials, such as foam and ballistic nylon, to create a more comfortable and flexible fit for the player.

Ballistic nylon is another material commonly used in the construction of neck guards. This type of nylon boasts impressive durability and abrasion resistance, making it a great choice for added protection in high-impact areas. It may be used in combination with other materials like foam and kevlar for an optimal balance of comfort and protection.

For the liner portion of the neck guard, soft knit lining and polyester are frequently used. These materials provide a comfortable feel against the player’s skin while also offering moisture-wicking capabilities. A liner made from soft knit lining or polyester can help to keep players dry and comfortable during intense gameplay.

In neck guards designed for premium cut-resistance, an aramid fiber reinforced core may be employed. This will enhance the level of protection from cuts and punctures, ensuring the safety of the player’s neck during high-impact moments on the ice.

Lastly, terry cloth is sometimes incorporated into the design of neck guards as an additional layer of padding or moisture-absorption. Terry cloth can provide extra comfort and absorb sweat, maintaining a comfortable fit throughout the game.

Comfort and Fit

When it comes to choosing the best hockey neck guards, comfort and fit play crucial roles in ensuring the safety of players on the ice. A comfortable neck guard should feel snug and secure, without being too tight or restrictive on the player’s neck. It is essential to find a neck guard that not only provides protection but also allows for full range of motion during gameplay.

One aspect to consider for comfort is the adjustable features of a neck guard. Many neck guards come equipped with adjustable straps or hook and loop closures, allowing players to fine-tune the fit according to their unique neck size and preferences. This helps ensure that the neck guard stays securely in place, while also providing a comfortable fit that doesn’t hinder the player’s movements.

Another important factor is the design of the neck guard. An anatomically shaped neck guard follows the natural curve of the player’s neck, providing a more comfortable and snug fit. The use of high-density foam, moisture-wicking lining, and additional padding can also contribute to enhanced comfort and protection.

Protection Capabilities

Hockey neck guards are designed to provide maximum protection for players on the ice. One of the key features to look for in a top-quality neck guard is its durable and tough construction. Neck guards made with materials such as Kevlar and high-density foam offer superior cut-resistant capabilities, as well as effective impact protection.

Many neck guards in the market also incorporate advanced technologies, such as D30 impact protection. This innovative material offers excellent shock absorption, ensuring the player’s neck is well shielded from the force of collisions, errant skate blades, and high-speed pucks.

Some noteworthy options with remarkable protection capabilities include the Aegis Interceptor Neck Protector and the Shock Doctor Hockey Neck Guard. The Aegis Interceptor offers comprehensive neck coverage, featuring D30 impact protection and a sturdy neck collar for added safety. On the other hand, the Shock Doctor Hockey Neck Guard comes with an adjustable hook and loop closure, a Kevlar core, and a lightweight, flexible, anatomically shaped design—a reliable choice for players.

It is critical to prioritize neck guards that offer a balance of comfort and maximum protection. High-performance neck guards typically have a moisture-wicking lining, which helps keep the player cool and dry during intense gameplay. This feature, coupled with the right level of protection, ensures that the hockey player can focus on their performance while staying safe and comfortable.

Features to Consider

When choosing a hockey neck guard, it’s essential to strike a balance between protection, comfort, and functionality. This section will highlight the key attributes to consider, ultimately helping you make an informed decision.

One crucial factor to consider is weight. A lightweight neck guard ensures comfort and enables easy movement on the ice without compromising protection. Breathability is another notable feature, as a breathable neck guard allows for adequate airflow, reducing the chances of overheating.

Mobility is integral to any athlete’s performance. Thus, a neck guard with optimal flexibility ensures skaters have a complete range of motion during gameplay. Look for materials designed to provide flexibility, such as an adjustable Velcro strap, which allows for easy adjustments and increased mobility.

Moisture-wicking is a significant attribute for a hockey neck guard. With high-intensity gameplay and rapid body heat changes, skaters need to stay dry and comfortable. Neck guards with moisture-wicking materials effectively pull sweat away from the body, providing a dry environment for better performance.

Besides moisture-wicking and breathability, materials with HeiQ Fresh technology can add value to the neck guard. HeiQ Fresh technology effectively neutralizes odors, ensuring the neck guard maintains a fresh, clean feeling throughout your games.

Reliability and Recommendations

When it comes to hockey neck guards, reliability is crucial for effective protection against potential injuries. Players should invest in a neck guard that not only provides the necessary level of protection but is also comfortable and durable during intense gameplay. Here are some recommendations to ensure the reliability of your hockey neck guard:

  • Shock Doctor Hockey Neck Guard: This lightweight, flexible, and anatomically shaped neck guard is a reliable option. It features an adjustable hook-and-loop closure and a Kevlar core, making it BNQ-certified and designed to prevent injury from skate blades and pucks.
  • Aegis Interceptor Hockey Neck Protector: As another top choice, the Aegis Interceptor offers notable reliability, thanks to its cut-resistant material and innovative design. The neck protector is an excellent option for both beginners and experienced players looking for a durable and comfortable piece of protective gear.
  • CCM Hockey 600 Cut Resistant Neck Guard: For players seeking a more budget-friendly yet reliable option, the CCM Hockey 600 delivers decent protection without compromising on quality. Its cut-resistant construction ensures that players stay safe on the ice without having to worry about unnecessary discomfort.

To further enhance the effectiveness of a hockey neck guard, it is essential to choose the right fit, as it should work hand-in-hand with a great set of shoulder pads. Always ensure that the neck guard fits snuggly and comfortably to minimize the risk of injuries during high-impact collisions and gameplay.

Budget and Value

When searching for the best hockey neck guards, it’s important to consider both your budget and the value the product offers. Hockey neck guards can range in price from as little as $10 up to $150, depending on various factors such as brand, level of protection, and materials used.

A beginner player, for example, might want to start with a more affordable neck guard that provides basic protection. Brands like A&R Sports and Shock Doctor offer cost-effective options without compromising on safety.

For more advanced players, investing in a higher-priced neck guard can provide added protection and comfort. Brands such as Aegis, Bauer, and CCM are known to offer higher-quality neck guards with features like moisture-wicking materials, lightweight construction, and superior cut resistance. Some of the top-rated options include:

  • Aegis Interceptor D30: Known for its 100% DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber-lining and moisture-wicking properties, this neck guard offers excellent protection and comfort.
  • CCM Pro Cut Resistant Bib: Priced at around $31.99, this neck guard provides excellent coverage for both the neck and collarbone areas with its superior cut resistance.
  • Bauer Premium Neck Guard Collar: Offered in both youth and senior sizes, this neck guard provides good protection for a reasonable price of $24.99.

Proper Sizing and Adjustability

When it comes to hockey neck guards, proper sizing and adjustability are key factors to consider for ensuring comfort and optimal protection. The right size of a neck guard is crucial, as it should not be too tight or too loose, which could affect its functionality on the ice.

A hockey neck guard’s primary purpose is to protect the wearer’s neck from potential injuries caused by skate blades and pucks. To achieve this, the neck guard should fit snugly around the neck, covering the throat and collarbone area, without restricting the player’s movement or ability to breathe.

Sizing for neck guards can vary between brands, so it is essential to consult each manufacturer’s sizing chart before making a purchase. These charts are typically based on neck circumference and age, providing a starting point for finding the right fit. Keep in mind that individual preferences and body types may require adjustments to the suggested size.

One feature that can help ensure a proper fit is an adjustable Velcro strap. This allows for customized tightness, accommodating various neck sizes and shapes. An adjustable strap also enables players to make quick adjustments during play, ensuring consistently comfortable and secure wear throughout the game.

Guidelines and Standards

When it comes to hockey neck guards, there are several guidelines and standards that players should be aware of. These standards are in place to ensure the safety of the players, which is the top priority in any sport.

In regards to mandatory use, neck guards are required for youth hockey players in the USA and Canada. The specific rules may vary depending on the league and region, but overall, it is essential for young players to wear neck guards for their protection. For NHL players and NHL goalies, neck guards are not mandatory; however, many still choose to wear them for added safety. This decision is often based on personal preference and the player’s position within the game.

When selecting a neck guard, players should look for BNQ-certified options. BNQ (Bureau de Normalisation du Québec) certification ensures that the neck guard meets certain safety requirements and provides an adequate level of protection. Hockey organizations such as USA Hockey also provide helpful resources and guidelines on their website to ensure players find the most suitable neck guard for their needs.

As players advance and grow within the sport, it is essential to reevaluate the fit and protection level of their neck guards. This is particularly important in youth hockey, as children grow and develop rapidly. Proper sizing is crucial for optimal protection and comfort, so players should carefully follow the manufacturer’s sizing guidelines when selecting a new neck guard.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top neck guard options for young hockey players?

When selecting a neck guard for young hockey players, it is essential to look for options that provide both comfort and protection. Some top-rated neck guards for youth hockey players include the Shock Doctor Hockey Neck Guard, Aegis Interceptor Hockey Neck Protector, and the CCM Neck Guard. These models offer flexibility, comfort, and certified protection for youngsters on the ice.

Which neck guards offer the best protection from skate cuts?

The best neck guards for preventing skate cuts are those with reinforced materials, such as Kevlar. The Shock Doctor Hockey Neck Guard and Aegis Interceptor Hockey Neck Protector both feature Kevlar cores that provide superior blade-cut resistance.

Are there neck guards specifically designed for goalies?

Yes, there are neck guards designed explicitly for goalies. Goalie neck guards offer additional protection and coverage compared to standard neck guards. The CCM Goalie Neck Guard and the A&R Goalie Neck Guard are popular options for goalies, providing reinforced throat and collarbone protection.

Do any professional players use a particular neck guard brand?

While personal preferences may vary, many professional players choose neck guards from trusted brands such as Bauer, CCM, and Aegis. These companies have a reputation for producing high-quality, reliable protective gear for hockey players at all levels.

What materials should I look for in a high-quality neck guard?

High-quality neck guards are typically made from a combination of lightweight and durable materials. Some common materials include foam padding for comfort, a hard plastic or carbon fiber core for impact protection, and a Kevlar or reinforced fabric outer shell for cut resistance. Breathable fabrics and moisture-wicking materials can also help keep the wearer comfortable during gameplay.

Are there any neck guard alternatives for players in other sports?

While traditional neck guards are primarily used in hockey, other sports such as lacrosse and football may also require neck protection. Some players in these sports opt for a neck guard shirt, a garment with built-in neck protection that can be worn under uniforms. These shirts often provide similar protective benefits to a standard neck guard while allowing for a more natural range of motion.

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