A helmet is one of the most important pieces of gear that you will put into your hockey bag. Your head is the most fragile and important part of your body and you need to protect it. It is crazy to think there was a time where they weren't mandatory!
When you are looking for the perfect helmet to purchase, it can be overwhelming with all the colors, shapes, sizes, and features that separate one from the next. That is why we compiled this list of our top picks of hockey helmets for 2018.
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Table of Contents
The Bauer RE-AKT 100 is one of the most advanced helmets that Bauer has ever come out with. It is a combination of the original RE-AKT and famously protective Cascade M11.
This helmet uses the Seven-Technology system that made the M11 one of the most protective and comfortable buckets on the market. It is made with VTX foam, which is lighter and more protective than the traditional EPP foam found in most helmets.
The RE-AKT 100 comes equipped with the Suspend-Tech 2 system. This system is built to sustain combat forces and is stretch lined for a secure and comfortable fit. It has an adjustment feature that adjusts to fit the length of your head from front to back for the perfect fit. Overall, the Bauer RE-AKT 100 is lightweight, adjustable, and full of features that any player can appreciate.
2. CCM Fitlite 3DS
The 3DS is the newest elite protection helmet from CCM. The 3DS has the ultimate combination of materials, fit systems, and customizations that make this a pro-level helmet.
The internal padding consists of D30 smart foam that can handle high levels of compression. The bigger the impact, The stronger and more rigid the foam gets.
It contains a revamped Microdial III adjustment system that now offers the traditional front to back adjustment features, as well as 360-degree adjustment for a secure fit. This offers you maximum protection and a super comfortable helmet.
CCM is so sure you will like this new helmet, that they offer you a one-year warranty to keep you covered for the entire season.
3. Warrior Covert PX+
The Warrior Covert PX+ has an optimum fit and provides elite protection with dual-core technology. There is EPP foam throughout and VN foam in the interior padding for extreme comfort and fit. A single dial adjustment allows you to activate and adjust the 4-Play shell for a well-rounded, 360-degree fit. It is very lightweight with the weight evenly distributed throughout.
4. CCM Fitlite 80
The CCM Fitlite 80 is very lightweight with the R.E.D. protection system. The Rotational Energy Dampening system provides enhanced protection from impact to the head. It contains liquid filled bladders that are placed strategically around it to help reduce the chance of head rotation and brain injuries. The inner lining has the EPP foam along with lycra. There is a two-piece adjusting system with a PE shell and PETA subshell feature with strategic air vents for extreme air flow. It comes equipped with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty for a fun-filled year of extreme playing.
The Bauer 4500 is more stylish than any other. This is usually a favorite pick of the college and veteran pro players looking for a simple and straightforward helmet. It is known for its protective fit. It has an adjustment that is straightforward and super easy to manage. You will have to use a screwdriver to set the adjustment to a setting that is perfect for you. It has a dual-density lining inside of it. There are a dual ridge crown and Ergo translucent ear covers for that great looking fit around your head.
The Bauer RE-AKT 75 was put on the market by Bauer because not everyone wants to pay the price for an elite. You can get this one for lower the price with just as much value. It is equipped with seven-technology foam for its internal padding. It is lined with a comfort fit suspended liner for extreme comfort. The shell is lined with multi-density impact foam. You will have extreme protection when you are faced with extreme impact. There are plastic cylinders inside the shell that are meant to absorb the shock of impact. There is XRD Poron foam that is in the temple area of the helmet for greater protection and comfort that is treated with Microban antimicrobial technology. There is a two-piece slide adjustment system that is combined with an occipital support system for perfect adjustment.
The Bauer 5100 has a wider fit than most and is equipped with triple density padding. There are quick slip adjustments for a simple change to the size with a secure and proper fitting. There are no adjustments in the length of this one that most of them come with. There is Hx-sorb and comfort foam with lots of air vents all over the helmet to promote lots of air flow. It has a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. It has a great balance between performance and value.
This is a new helmet for the 2018 season with its high-end technology and protection. It is one step below the 3DS with plenty of upgrades and protection. It includes the D30 smart foam and I.Q. Shion memory foam. The D30 smart foam is on the temple areas to protect from shock absorbency impact. The I.Q. Shion foam is on the liner that offers high-quality protection and fit. Both foams together offer the highest quality of protection in its class. This super lightweight shell is adjustable from front to back. The adjustments are found on the sides of it. There is also a dial on the back for a snugger fit.
Thank you so much for checking out our list of the best hockey helmets. We hope you found our hockey helmet reviews useful. Hockey is an incredible sport that we all enjoy playing, but it’s important to acknowledge the risks that come alongside being a participant.
Buying a quality hockey helmet helps protect your head and brain from injury and ensures that you’ll be able to enjoy the game for a long time. If you have any questions or comments about hockey helmets, feel free to leave them below. We always love hearing from you.
Want to learn more about hockey helmets and concussions? Read our guide here and see the highest rated helmet ever!
Fitting Guide for Helmets
Let's take a quick look at a helmet so you know what we are referring to when we mention something.
When it comes to buying a helmet, the fit is the number one thing you want to consider. It doesn't matter if you have the best helmet on the market if it's too big and will fly off when you get hit.
The three things you want to check when it comes to fit is the helmet itself, the cage, and the chin cup. Not everyone wears a cage, though, which we'll get into below. One thing to consider when getting a cage though is to make sure it fits. When buying combo helmets, you may be large for the helmet but not for the cage. Now, this might not be common, but something you want to check out when trying on your helmet.
You can always buy a separate cage and switch it with the one that doesn't fit.
Hockey helmets come in a variety of sizes. So you don't have to worry about buying Youth, Junior, or Senior, but rather small, medium, large or extra large. This means that the list below works for everyone looking for a great helmet to pick up.
The sizings of the helmets usually run up against each other. So a large, adjusted as small as possible, is pretty equal to a medium which is adjusted as large as possible.
When finding the right size for your helmet, you'll want to measure the circumference (all the way around) of your head at about 1 inch above your eyebrows, or if you know your hat size, you can usually see that on the sizing charts on the sales page of the helmet you want.
This is what one of those sizing charts looks like.
So while it's good to try on helmets in the store or use your past sizing to determine what you are going to buy now, it's pretty simple to figure out what size of what helmet will fit your noggin the best.
Don't Buy Used
This is an important note to make. You don't want to buy a used helmet. The certification of the helmet (their guarantee to protect you) is void upon resale. This means you can't wear this helmet in any official games since players need to wear certified helmets.
You don't have any idea of how much the helmet has been used and if it'll still protect you when you step on the ice.
Every helmet comes with a sticker of certification from various associations. Most certifications last for five to size years of play. You should not be using your helmet after what the sticker says, but you should also be aware that if you are taking hard hits, your helmet might not last that long.
Differences in Helmets
Let's look at some differences in helmets. A couple of these are personal preferences that you get to choose after you buy, but a couple are ones you want to take into consideration when looking to purchase your helmet.
There are two types of foam lining for the most part when it comes to helmets. There's Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) and Dual-Density Vinyl Nitrile (VN).
EPP is a harder foam. It is the same foam that is used in your bike helmet. It is lined with a softer foam around it to fit a little snugger on your head. EPP is thought to be more protective, and is more expensive, although there aren't any studies or data to be conclusive about it.
The VN foam is softer and is easy to tell because it gets indented easier. It gives you a snugger fit on your head because it's so soft and moldable.
Cage vs. No Cage
Now, this is a personal preference, but you need to take it into account when buying. On the list below, we cover both helmets with cages and without cages, since we want to look at the best helmet altogether.
I'm sure everyone has their reason for going with or without a cage, but the common reason for getting rid of the cage is to make the helmet lighter and to improve visibility. However, without a cage, you are obviously way more at risk of getting hit in the face.
I personally wear a cage, but it's up for you to decide.
Removing the Ear Protection
This is something I've seen people do, and you'll even catch it in the NHL. It makes the helmet lighter, and you can hear better. However, in my opinion, getting hit in the ear hurts way too much to worry about taking a few ounces off of my helmet.
Loose Chin Straps
Now, this is just a poor move. You may see players doing this, and the only reason at all would be for style or comfort of maybe the chin strap annoys them. But this basically renders your helmet useless.
How to Maintain Your Helmet
Before we get into the list, a quick note for maintaining your helmet. To be honest, there's not much to do. Just keep it out of your bag to make sure it dries out and doesn't get smelly.
But the main thing you'll want to keep your eye on is screws coming loose. Just something you'll want to check periodically since it doesn't happen too often. However, I always feel safer carrying around a helmet repair kit, like this one on Amazon. It's only $10 and easy to toss into a pocket in your bag.
Now that we've looked at how to fit your helmet, it still doesn't help with the massive amounts of options on the market. With so many helmets it’s easy to find yourself asking, “What is the best hockey helmet?”