It’s the last five minutes of practice. You’re in an intense scrimmage with the score tied 1-1.
Your team is on offense and mercilessly pounding at your opponent’s goal. One shot towards the goal. It’s a narrow miss just outside the corner of the net. The puck bounces off the wall before your teammate regains control of it.
Your teammate takes a shot, but it deflects off the crouching goalie’s chest. The other team gains possession of the puck and they’re off to the races. They slot a pass towards their forward and he races down the sideline. It’s a rapid counterattack.
The other team’s forward approaches your net and cracks a vicious slapshot at you. You stand your ground and manage to block the shot. Unfortunately, as the game finishes and the buzzer yells, so do you. You clutch your chest as you collapse onto the ice.
What happened? You are wearing a subpar chest protector. It’s great to compete and have fun in the rink, but it’s also important to realize there are risks that come with playing hockey.
Fortunately, by wearing the proper protection you can greatly reduce your chance of getting injured.
One of the most important pieces of hockey equipment for a goalie (whether it’s ice hockey or field hockey) is your chest protector. We understand that researching the best chesties isn’t all that fun, but it’s important to be sure you’re safe in the rink. That’s why we did all the work for you.
Alright! Let’s dive into the 8 best ones on the market that even professional NHL players wear!
SHORT ON TIME? Here are our picks.
Table of Contents
- 1) Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Chest & Arm Protector
- 2) Warrior Ritual X3 E Goalie Chest & Arm Protector
- 3) Bauer GSX Goalie Chest and Arm Protector
- 4) Vaughn Velocity V9 Pro Carbon Chest & Arm Protector
- 5) Brians Optik 2 Goalie Chest & Arm Protector
- 6) Bauer Vapor Hyperlite Chest & Arm Protector
- 7) Bauer Elite Chest and Arm Protector
- 8) Vaughn Velocity V9 XFP Chest and Arm Protector
- 9) CCM Extreme Flex 5 Pro Chest and Arm Protector
- 10) Bauer Vapor X2.9 Goalie Chest and Arm Protector
- What to Look for in a Chest and Arm Protector
- How to Size Your Chest and Arm Protector
- Frequently Asked Questions
1) Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Chest & Arm Protector
Bauer has recently added the Supreme Ultrasonic Chest Protector to its popular line of lightweight goalie equipment with this model offering an incredible amount of coverage. This particular pad features Bauer’s Curv Composite, Poron Foam and Shock Lite Foam materials in the construction to help protect you from the hardest of shots and to expertly control the rebounds.
The arm floaters have AMP technology which allows the enables the arm floaters to move up and down when you bend your arms for optimum range of motion. This system also eliminates any protective gaps and makes sure the biceps are covered when your arms are fully bent. It comes with adjustable lace arm extensions and a two-point collar for a proper fit as well as a 360-degree stability harness to keep it firmly in place.
The liner is made to wick away any sweat and moisture while also controlling odours and bacteria to keep you cool, dry and refreshed. The new Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic Chest Protector comes in the higher-price range but offers a great deal of protection and comfort for competitive netminders. The senior medium pad weighs in at 6.3 lbs.
2) Warrior Ritual X3 E Goalie Chest & Arm Protector
The new lightweight Warrior Ritual X3 E chest protector with AxyFlex technology comes with double-shield front elbow floaters with squared biceps for the maximum coverage and mobility while the innovative shoulder design ensures there’s no interference with the protector and your goalie mask. It has adjustable lace arm lengths and removable side/front extensions for a better fit.
The adjustable backplate contains high-density foam blocks and plates in all of the the high-impact areas including the sternum. The chest floater is designed to be adjusted in height while the stomach and rib pads are equipped with removable Velcro extensions. The exterior is constructed with durable, breathable mesh and nylon with tough plastic elbow caps while the soft liner keeps you cool and dry thanks to its superb moisture-wicking qualities.
The Warrior Ritual X3 Chest Protector can be found in various sizes and is ideal for recreational and intermediate goalies. It provides great value and can usually be found in the mid price range.
3) Bauer GSX Goalie Chest and Arm Protector
The Bauer GSX chest protector is geared toward intermediate-level goalies who seek optimal protection in the arms, collarbone and stomach areas without giving up any mobility. This model features a three-piece belly wrap and floating sternum guard with high-density foams and tough plastic protection. The arms are made with the company’s Dynamic 3 Flex system while the soft and comfortable Thermo Max+ liner excels at wicking away bacteria-causing sweat and odours. The pads are held in place with a thorough strapping system.
This lightweight protector features durable nylon and polyester with screen-printed graphics and a hybrid-style fit. Segmented panels are designed to cover the padded, molded PE shoulder caps and it showcases a Collar adjustment system for full throat and clavicle coverage. The lightweight materials are made to expertly disperse impact energy and the pad also comes with anatomically-molded plastic biceps, forearms and elbows with a padded spine area.
The Bauer GSX chest protector is available in several sizes with the senior medium model weighing just 5.4 lbs. This popular model can usually be found in the mid price range.
4) Vaughn Velocity V9 Pro Carbon Chest & Arm Protector
One of the newer pieces of equipment from Vaughn is the Velocity V9 Pro Carbon Goalie Chest and Arm Protector which incorporates Kevlar, Pure composite and Pro Carbon into it for maximum protection. It comes with large HD-foam lined shoulder floaters and cushioned shoulder caps to help resist impacts. The chest pad features an extended rib cage and vertical adjustment system with straps for an exact fit.
The arm bases are made of mesh for optimum flexibility and ventilation and the arms are outfitted with a flat-front arm caps for increased coverage area. Also, the arm floaters have carbon inserts and HD foam for additional protection. The moulded-foam elbow caps have adjustable arm length options with wrist straps tapering over the the forearms.
The large back area of the protector boasts HD foam over the spine to make sure you’re fully protected from front to back. The Vaughn Velocity V9 Chest Protector offers a plenty of quality when it comes to comfort, mobility and protection and can be found in the mid to high-price range.
5) Brians Optik 2 Goalie Chest & Arm Protector
Brian’s has another winner here with the top-tier Optik 2 Goalie Chest Protector as it features adjustable, squared-off shoulder floaters which attach with Velcro to the back plate. They’re made with high-density foams as are the arms and wrist pads, which are attached to the elbow pads. The arms can be adjusted for length and are attached to the chest with Velcro.
The body of the pad has an adjustable floating Hex Air collar to add protection to the collarbone and sternum areas. The main pad is outfitted with segmented high-density/E Foam blocks with additional padding around the ribs. In addition, there are removable and adjustable rib pillows for more comfort and protection while the interior liner is made to wick away moisture.
Brian’s OPTIK 2 Goalie Chest Protector features moulded polycarbonate shoulder, forearm, bicep and elbow padding with high-density clavicle protection. The protector comes in several sizes and can typically be found in the mid to high-price range.
6) Bauer Vapor Hyperlite Chest & Arm Protector
New this hockey season is the top-rated Bauer Vapor Hyperlite chest protector which features innovative technology without sacrificing comfort, mobility and protection. This pad comes with form-fitting shoulder floaters that feature Shock-lite pro technology for freedom of movement. It’s equipped with a breathable ThermoCore liner which keeps you cool and fresh by wicking away moisture, germs and odours.
The foam-padded sternum and stomach sections are built for optimal rebound control while the sides are also fully padded for extra protection and confidence. The arms are made with fused composite foam along with Curv composite reinforcements while the pad is kept in place with a convenient and easy-to-adjust strapping system throughout. All key impact areas are fully protected including the spine, ribs, forearms shoulders and chest.
If you’re seeking a top-level chest protector in all areas you’ll find the Bauer Vapor Hyperlite model to fit the bill. It can be found in various sizes and is usually found in the higher price range.
7) Bauer Elite Chest and Arm Protector
Another new chest protector from Bauer this season is the Elite Goalie model which is aimed at intermediate to advanced-level netminders. The front of the chest panel comes with a three-piece belly wrap with a floating sternum made from soft, multi-density foams. These wrap around your body comfortably for top-level protection with the sternum guard also being reinforced with moulded plastic to handle the heaviest of shots.
The shoulder floaters feature suspender slot-straps to keep everything securely in place while the arm and collar adjustment enable you to customize the fit to your liking. The company’s Dynamic 3 Flex construction in the arms allows the arm floaters to work with the arm protection for top-level gap coverage and range of motion. In addition, the soft Thermo Max+ liner expertly gets rid of sweat, moisture and odours to keep you cool all day long.
The Bauer Elite Goalie Chest protector is built from tough synthetic leather, nylon and polyester with moulded PE shoulder caps and spine protector. It’s available in several sizes in the mid-price range with the senior medium protector weighing 6.5 lbs.
8) Vaughn Velocity V9 XFP Chest and Arm Protector
This professional-level goalie chest protector by Vaughn leaves no stone unturned when it comes to coverage, mobility and comfort. Each shoulder floater contains high-density carbon foam for impact energy as does the lower torso and chest areas. The armpits and ribs feature extended coverage while the arms, elbows, forearms and biceps are equipped with molded plastic reinforcements. This pad is easy to adjust for a custom fit thanks to the length adjustability options in the arms, wrists and chest.
The tough and durable exterior is constructed with strong mesh, nylon, synthetic and polyester materials which offer resistance to wear and tear and optimal airflow. The segmented pad offers a contoured fit while the spine protector is also made with HD foam. And to keep you cool and comfortable in the heat of the action the soft liner is made to wick way bacteria-causing sweat and odours.
The Velocity V9 XFP chest protector by Vaughn can be found in various sizes with the senior extra-large pad model weighing 7.2 lbs. This pro-level pad can usually be found in the higher price bracket.
9) CCM Extreme Flex 5 Pro Chest and Arm Protector
The CCM Extreme Flex 5 Pro chest protector is aimed at serious goalies who are looking to retain their agility without giving up and comfort and protection. It comes with D30 Smart Foam in the sternum with lightweight, compression-molded Zotefoam in the arms as well as different density foams in the torso and rib areas. The pad has an extensive and independent adjustable Velcro strapping system in the shoulders, chest and arms for a perfect custom fit.
This popular chest protector is equipped with popular D30 Smart Foam which is designed to quickly hardens and absorb impact energy and the stomach/rib guard is fully removable. All key areas such as the shoulders, biceps, spine and forearms are covered with compression-molded protective foams. The pad is made with breathable mesh, polyester and nylon materials and is lined with a moisture-wicking material to control sweat, bacteria and odours.
The CCM Extreme Flex 5 Pro goalie chest protector is available in several sizes with the senior large pad model weighing just 6.4 lbs. This highly-rated model can usually be found in the higher price range.
10) Bauer Vapor X2.9 Goalie Chest and Arm Protector
Bauer has designed another winner with the Vapor X2.9 Senior Goalie Chest Protector as it offers top-level protection in all areas including the spine at a modest price. It’s well known for its mobility and adjustability and is a great fit for hybrid-style netminders who are quite active around the blue paint.
The shoulder floaters are squared off for maximum net coverage and come with Bauer’s Free Flex design system aimed at improving arm and body movement. The protector also serves up the company’s Arch Adjustment System for protection in the throat and clavicle areas.
Bauer wasn’t finished there though as the Extension Fit System means the arms can be contracted or extended via a cord lock and lace system. This is perfect for netminders who have long arms but a small torso as well as younger goaltenders who haven’t stopped growing yet.
The chest protector is designed to help your range of motion while making saves while the high-density foams and layered panels provide optimum comfort and protection.
Each of the arms comes with hard moulded plastic surrounding the forearms, elbows and biceps to protect against the hardest of shots and impacts in the crease. There’s no problem when it comes to overheating and sweating with this protector as it’s outfitted with a Thermo Max liner which helps wick away moisture and sweat.
This senior chest protector by Bauer is aimed at intermediate to advanced-level players and comes in several sizes. There are also junior and intermediate models available with the senior medium-sized protector weighing just under 6 lbs.
What to Look for in a Chest and Arm Protector
Besides protecting your head and face, your chest and arm protector is most important piece of gear you need as a goalie for your saftey.
Quick Note: This is something that is a common mistake with almost every new hockey player. The throat protector on a chest and arm protector that sits at the bottom of your neck protects the neck area BUT IS NOT A NECK GUARD.
This pad shouldn’t fit against your neck, but rather a few inches below your neck. You want it to have a few inches so that when you get into your stance that it has space to move up.
We recommend picking up a separate neck guard which is worn under your chesty to give you full throat protection.
So when looking for a new chesty, you’ll want to first prioritize safety. Mobility and comfort are important, but if you aren’t safe then you shouldn’t be playing with that chesty. This depends on what level you are playing at. In our list, we have a couple beginner chest protectors for new players, but these shouldn’t be used where players can shoot hard (don’t worry, we let you know which ones in the list are for beginners).
A good chesty should cover your body from your wrists to your shoulders, and from your collarbone / neck to your belt line. The higher quality you buy, the more mobility you’ll get without sacrificing protection.
Chest protectors have different segments of padding for protection, and the higher level chestys have more segments and use lighter, more breathable material. With these better ones, they’ll tend to include little places that you can adjust, such as the elbow block or shoulder cap so you can get a more exact fit.
Also, when buying higher level chest and arm protectors, you’ll notice that you get better back and side protection.
When buying a new chesty, you’ll want to keep in mind that they can take a few practices to get broken in. They tend to come a little stiff but will improve upon use. Also, you’ll notice that some players wear chest protectors either inside of their pants or outside. This is a preference, so just find whichever one is most comfortable.
How to Size Your Chest and Arm Protector
For sizing your senior chest protector, you’ll want to know your height and your chest circumference. For the chest measurement, measure the length from the beginning of one armpit to the other. Once you know your measurements you can check out the chart below:
|Height||Chest Circumference||Chest Protector Size|
|Senior||4'10 to 5'6"||30" to 40"||Small|
|Senior||5'4" to 6'||38" to 42"||Medium|
|Senior||5'8" to 6'4"||40" to 44"||Large|
When fitting the shoulders and neck of your chesty, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough space to move around, but you don’t want it to slip. Also, you want to make sure when you are in your stance that you’re covered from the front and sides.
At your elbows, you’ll be able to adjust the block to get a better fit. You want the belly pad to come all the way to your belt line, but you also want to be able to bend without any restriction.
You want your arms to come all the way up to your wrist. They will end basically where you would have a watch on. In most high-level chest protectors, you’ll be able to adjust your arm sizing, so you can get this exactly where you want it.
While wearing your mask, you want to be able to turn it from side to side without it getting caught on your chesty. You need to be able to see while playing!
Frequently Asked Questions
What chest protector Do NHL goalies wear?
Even though professional NHL players can make their own choice when it comes to choosing equipment, most players use the Bauer Supreme 2S Pro model which provides excellent coverage and full mobility during the play.
How do you wear a hockey chest protector?
Once you put on the hockey chest protector, make sure that the neck pad sits a few inches below the neck. The pad should be able to rise up when the goalie bends and the elbows should fit in the cup, allowing you to move freely.
How do you wear a hockey chest protector the right way?
You can wear a hockey chest protector in two ways – inside or outside your pants, and it’s up to a personal choice of how you will be wearing it, as long as you secure all the straps which will keep the protector in place.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best hockey chest protectors. Shopping for a chest protector isn’t as fun as shopping for new skates, but it’s important to protect yourself. We hope our list has helped you find a chest protector that’s a good fit for both your size and style.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. We’d love to hear from you, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.
Want to make sure the rest of your goalie gear is top of the line? See our list of the best knee and thigh guards here.