Hockey Helmet Comparison
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Hockey Helmet Buying Guide
What is a Hockey Helmet?
A Hockey helmet is a helmet that is specifically designed for the game of hockey. Its express job is to protect the players that are wearing them from head injuries that can happen during play. Hockey helmets are made to handle impact with thick foam that is on the inside of the helmets to help absorb any impacts that happen during the game.
While there is no such thing as an injury-proof helmet, you can look for the best helmet you can afford to help reduce the chances of you getting a major head injury during play.
Considerations when Choosing a Helmet
- Fit – The top priority when you are looking for a hockey helmet is finding the right fit. You could purchase the most expensive helmet on the market, but if it doesn’t fit properly, it won’t do any good.
Ensuring that your helmet fits properly will decrease the chances of you sustaining a serious injury during play. In addition to making sure the helmet fits properly, you will need to make sure that the cage also fits properly and that the chin cup is secure and strapped snuggly against your chin.
The strap makes sure that the helmet stays in place. For the proper safety protection, you will need to make sure that both the cage and helmet fit properly before you play. Hockey helmets run in small, medium, large and extra large sizes.
Most helmets on the market today have the ability to be adjusted in some way. The best way to find the right fit in your helmet is to estimate the size you think you will need and then expand the helmet to the largest size it will go to.
Put it on your head and adjust the fit until it is snug on your head. You don’t want the helmet to move around but it should not be uncomfortably tight either. Wear it for a few minutes to see if you notice pressure points, pain or any other uncomfortable result from wearing the helmet.
- Level of play – A college or pro level player needs a different level of protection and performance than someone who plays for fun requires. Accidents such as falling down, hitting the boards, accidentally bumping into other players and checking can all result in injury if the helmet isn’t the right one.
- Budget – Price is a big consideration when you are looking for a good helmet. The most expensive helmet on the market is not a guarantee of the best quality. Your helmet is probably the most important piece of equipment you will buy so you need to buy the best helmet you can afford. Helmets are not the equipment to try and save money on due to the important job they have of protecting your head.
You want to look for a helmet that has been HECC, CSA and CE certified and approved. These helmets have had to go through specific testing to get these certifications so they are safer and better helmets than those that do not have those certifications.
The Importance of the Manufacturer
Who made your helmet is an important factor in choosing the right one. There are many different companies that manufacture hockey helmets. These include CCM, Reebok, Bauer, Easton and Tour. There are others as well but the ones we have listed are the main producers of hockey helmets.
Their reputations have established them as reliable manufacturers in the hockey helmet industry. All of the companies we have listed offer both beginner hockey needs and elite level as well.
The Construction of Your Helmet
There are several parts that make up a hockey helmet. These include the shell, inner padding and the hardware that holds the helmet together.
- Shell – The shell of your hockey helmet is made of plastic and some pieces may be made of composite material. The shell of the helmet can be any number of colors and designs. Most helmet choices are available in a large variety of team colors if this is something that is important to you. Colors do not affect the quality or the protective capabilities of the helmet.
- Padding –The dense foam padding that is on the inside of the helmet is designed to absorb the impact and shock from any contact that occurs between the head and a stick, puck, ice, boards or an aggressive opponent. You will be able to adjust your helmet lengthwise and depending on the model you can adjust them width wise as well.
- Occipital Locks – High-end helmets have occipital locks implemented into their helmets. What this feature does is cup the back of the head down below the occipital ridge. It is designed to make sure that the helmet doesn’t come loose if the player takes a hard hit. The dials to adjust the helmet to fit you specifically are located on the back of the helmet. They are typically very easy to operate so adjusting should not be difficult.
- Tool-Free Adjustment – Most hockey helmets on the market are adjustable in some way. The elite level models sometimes can be adjusted mechanically without the use of any tools. Tool-free is not always available on the lower quality models but gradually manufacturers are making the switch to that tool free technology. If you have a helmet that has a tool-free adjustment, you will find that they are easily operated with one hand, sometimes while you are wearing the helmet. People prefer this much more than having to take it off to adjust it.
- High Quality Foam – The foam that is used in higher end hockey helmets is usually concussion-preventative foam. It could be EPP, FXPP and Poron foam that is exclusive to Bauer. This type of foam has been shown to prevent concussions more often. If you play at the elite level, you will want to find a helmet that has this high density foam. The helmets with high density foam typically have another layer of soft foam that acts as a buffer between the player’s head and the high density foam, so the helmet is more comfortable to wear.
- Proper Sizing – You want your helmet to fit snugly but you don’t it to constrict your head or be uncomfortably tight around your head. The front of your helmet needs to cover half of your forehead and will need to come down over your hairline to be even with the cheekbones. Make sure that the top of your head is completely protected along with the back of the head just above your hairline. This will be where your head and neck meet. You want to also ensure that the helmet is resting securely on your head with no jiggling.
Choosing the right hockey helmet is a very important endeavor that should not be done using guesswork. The purpose of the helmet is to protect the head, chin, ears and neck from serious injury during play. It is important that a player chooses the highest quality helmet they can afford and that they don’t skimp on quality in this area.
This does not mean that the most expensive helmet is automatically the best. You need to know the different features that a high quality helmet provides. We have provided you with this information so you can look at the different hockey helmets available and make a decision based on durability, construction and quality.
This will ensure that you choose the best helmet you can get. Making a decision on an important piece of equipment like this can be a challenge. Use the information contained in this guide to help you make an informed decision that you will be confident and happy with when you strap it on to play your next game.
- Bauer – https://www.bauer.com/
- Warrior Krown – http://www.warrior.com/
- CCM Fitlite http://ccmhockey.com/