Because of how important your head is, it is essential that you use the best hockey helmet possible.
Helmets are designed to keep you safe on the ice and will do a good job as long as they are high quality and durable.
When you begin to look for a new hockey helmet, you will need to think about how the helmet will fit your head as well as other key features, including how padded it is and how easy it is to adjust it for your head.
Here is what you need to know before you buy a hockey helmet.
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Hockey Helmet
There are several factors such as hockey helmet ratings that need to be taken into consideration before you commit. The helmet will need to fit, be safe, and you need to consider whether you need a cage on it.
Hockey Helmet Sizing
Most hockey helmet manufacturers have a sizing chart that will help you make sure that the helmet will fit. Size is essential for protection. If a helmet is too big, it could slip and not give you the protection you need.
To measure your head, you need to use a tape measure around the circumference of your head and match it to the corresponding size in the size chart of the manufacturer.
If you are trying one on in a store, open the helmet to the largest setting and place it over your eyebrow. Then tighten it until it is comfortably snug.
Helmets & Concussion Prevention
Wearing a helmet is essential in playing hockey. It is really one of the most important pieces of gear, as important as your skates and your hockey stick.
As technology of hockey skates makes you faster and smoother than before and new hockey stick technology gives you a bigger power when you shoot, your head is more vulnerable to being injured than ever before.
The best hockey helmet can protect you by taking in the impact of a shot or hit for you, reducing the amount of force that you would experience from a blow.
As a result, there is more cushion for your head, reducing the risk of concussion and other head injuries. It makes sense to invest some extra money and buy the safest hockey helmet you can find.
Cage/Visor vs. No Cage Helmet
A cage helmet has a full cage that goes over the face, but still allows for plenty of room to see and breathe, while still keeping pucks and sticks away from the face. Visors inhibit the ability to see, but can also help protect the face, though they are not the preferred type.
A 2002 study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that full-cage helmets had a significant reduction in concussions, due to the added protection of the face. Pro players often do not wear one, however, as they are not required to.
10 Best Hockey Helmets (2021)
1. Bauer RE-AKT 150
2. CCM FitLite FL500
Safest Hockey Helmet
3. Bauer RE-AKT 200
4. Bauer RE-AKT 95
5. Bauer 100 Combo
Helmet + Cage
6. TRUE Dynamic 9
7. CCM Tacks 710
8. Warrior Covert PX+
For Wide Head
9. Bauer RE-AKT 100
10. CCM Tacks 910
1. Bauer RE-AKT 150 Hockey Helmet
Best Hockey Helmet Overall (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best hockey helmet is the Bauer Re-Akt 150. Since hockey helmets are one of the most important pieces of gear, it is important to get the best helmet possible.
This is a great all-around helmet that should work well for many hockey players.
The Bauer Re-Akt 150 has a sleek design and comes in black. It has a lightweight construction, so it will not be a burden to wear on your head.
The entire focus of the design for this helmet was to give an optimal fit, so you will not be disappointed. It is so important for your helmet to fit you well, so wearing this one should give you peace of mind.
The Re-Akt is also designed with a Comfort Pod liner. This is a liner system that has a contoured design to give you a better all-around fit. The construction also uses two types of foams that will help with both protection and comfort.
The Re-Akt 150 comes with a wide array of features, including XRD foam that provides high-end protection, which is exactly what you need from a hockey helmet. It also has the VTX technology which will help with overall impact resistance, ensuring your head is as safe as possible.
One of the nicest things about this helmet is that it has tool-free adjustments, so you can adjust the helmet until it fits your head perfectly.
Since it is tool-free, adjusting the helmet should take a matter of seconds, making it simple to get the best fit possible. Freeform Adjustment System for personalized fit
2. CCM Fitlite FL500 Hockey Helmet
Safest Hockey Helmet
Since the entire point of a hockey helmet is safety, we need to let you know what we found to be the safest helmet out there. Our choice for the safest hockey helmet is the CCM Fitlite FL500.
The Fitlite FL500 has a sleek, black design. The outside shell looks similar to other CCM helmets as well as other brands on the market, but this shell is a little bit different. It has a high-density PE and comes in a two-piece design. The helmet is adjustable without the use of a tool as well.
This helmet will also work with the FM500 cage. While this does not come as a combo, you can turn it into a caged helmet if you wanted to. This helmet does have a wider fit as well, so it might not work for everyone.
The Fitlite FL500 has a lot of features to offer, including the I.Q. Shion liner, which is an open-cell memory foam-type material that is both comfortable and breathable. This will help keep your head cool and as dry as possible when you are on the ice. Another part of the liner is made from multi-density VN foam, which is about 25% thicker than the average VN foam.
It also has a D3O Smart Foam at both of the temples as well as at the back of the head. This provides extra protection in the areas that receive the most impact and injury during a game. The D3O is one of the most protective materials that you can get. It is rate sensitive, so it is pliable and soft, but it stiffens under impact.
3. Bauer RE-AKT 200 Hockey Helmet
If you are looking for a higher performance helmet, then take a look at the Bauer RE-AKT 200. Similar to other Bauer helmets, this model is meant to provide the best durability and enhance your performance on the ice.
Looking at the helmet’s previous model, this helmet has been seriously updated. The extensive overhaul that it went through includes some design choices, including an updated single lock adjustment system for greater temple protection.
Additionally, it was designed with molded side foams that will give you extended gap protection while still allowing a constant air flow to keep your head cool. It is also designed with Bauer’s Fit Plate technology, which is the same type of technology that Bauer uses in the footbed of its hockey skates.
This high performance helmet has several wonderful features, including a Next Gen Suspend-Tech liner for linear and rotational impact absorption, keeping the risk of concussion as low as possible. There is also strategically located ventilation for the best airflow possible.
The liner inside of the RE-AKT 200 features a base layer of VN foam, which is a high-density material that has a layer of dual-density foam on top of that, giving you the best protection possible. This could be too much for some players, however, and not be as comfortable as you would need. If you are hoping for the best custom fit possible, you can bake this helmet to mold it to your head, not something that you could do with any helmet.
4. Bauer RE-AKT 95 Hockey Helmet
For a hockey helmet that won’t break the bank, take a look at the Bauer RE-AKT 95. Another hit from Bauer, this model still offers a lot of the wonderful quality that you expect to get from Bauer while still keeping the price point more accessible.
This helmet is designed with a variable thickness HDPE Pro shell, which means it is lighter weight than many other hockey helmets that are on the market. Just because it is lighter does not make it any less safe, however. The helmet should still give you the same protection that you would get from a heavier helmet.
There are ear guards on the RE-AKT 95, but they are removable. It is also designed with three different height adjustment positions, helping you achieve the ideal fit for you.
Just like all of Bauer’s hockey helmets, the RE-AKT 95 has many wonderful features. This includes the PORON XRD foam at the temples, which is specifically designed to withstand many impacts at a variety of energy levels. The Suspend-Tech liner is another layer of foam that will allow the liner to move independently of the helmet, which will allow the helmet to absorb any impact, while still giving you the proper moisture channels to keep your head dry.
This is ideal for players who have a rounder profile, meaning that players with differently shaped heads might not be able to cinch this one down the right way to get the most protection out of it.
5. Bauer RE-AKT Hockey Helmet Combo
Helmet & Cage Combo
If you are looking at a hockey helmet that also has a cage to protect your face, the perfect hockey helmet for you is the Bauer RE-AKT Hockey Helmet Combo. It still has all of the great features of the RE-AKT line, while still giving you the extra protection that you were looking for.
Like all of the Bauer RE-AKT helmets, comfort as well as safety are the primary purposes of the helmet. Bauer has designed a helmet that is meant to take all of the impact from a hit, keeping your head as protected as possible.
Unlike some of the other reviews here, this one was designed with a cage for the best face protection possible. The age will ensure that you do not receive a stick or a puck to the face while you are in the middle of a match.
This is an innovative helmet that features all of Bauer’s top technologies. This includes the innovative Suspend-Tech 2 liner as well as the FleXorb technology and the PORON XRD foam. All of these features result in a helmet that is meant to take a lot of blows before being compromised.
There are also several updates with this hockey helmet, including a well-positioned ventilation system that will keep your head dry and also angled ear loops that will give you a comfortable chin strap fit. The chin strap has to be put on the right way to ensure your protection and security.
6. True Dynamic 9 Pro Hockey Helmet
True Dynamic 9 Pro Hockey Helmet is an amazing high-end hockey helmet. This is a great combination of protection and comfort, giving you the best of both worlds. Since the helmet is the most important piece of protective equipment, it is crucial you get a quality one.
Let’s start by looking at its design. It is considered ultra-lightweight. This is achieved through the use of a one-piece polypropylene shell. The Dynamic 9 Pro is made to be the lightest helmet in its class, but that does not mean that they have removed any safety features to achieve that.
The helmet uses EPP Foam inside of the helmet to help dampen any impact that you might receive out on the ice. As an added bonus, you can choose from a variety of colours to get a helmet that is more in line with your uniform.
Moving onto the features of the Dynamic 9 Pro, it is important to note that its construction uses True’s patented MIPS Brain Protection System. This system uses a low friction layer, which will reduce the rotational motion transferred to the brain during impact. As a result, there is a reduced risk of receiving a concussion.
The helmet also offers you a personalized fit. This means that the helmet comes with interchangeable side and rear occipital Fitpads, which can come in three different thicknesses. This way, you will get 360 degrees of adjustability. The helmet should fit your head perfectly.
The only disadvantage we found with this helmet is that you will not be able to add on a cage if you prefer to use cages with your helmets.
7. CCM Tacks 710 Hockey Helmet
CCM never disappoints hockey players. The CCM Tacks 710 hockey helmet is no exception to this rule. It will still give you all of the concussion prevention that you need while adding in a few features that you might not have known that you needed.
This is designed as a pretty standard helmet without the cage to protect the face, but still giving you the best protection that you can get. The design resulted in a liquid-filled bladder system that assisted in protecting players’ heads from impact at any or all angles.
The design also ensures that the comfort is the best possible, including a round fit profile for players who have rounder heads. This might mean that the design will not work for everyone, but for anyone with a round head, this is a great choice for you.
One of the best features that you are getting from the Tacks 710 is the R.E.D. system. The R.E.D. system is the bladder system that will prevent hits from any angle. There are also D3O lite foam pads that are inside of the helmet and further assist with impact absorption.
This is an adjustable helmet as well, which you can do without tools easily. The features of the Tacks 710 all go back to where comfort and safety meet, ensuring that you get both from this awesome hockey helmet. The padding is really some of the best padding on the entire market, keeping your head safe while it is still comfortable.
This helmet is also a great hockey gift idea for players who are just getting started with hockey.
8. Warrior Covert PX+ Hockey Helmet
For Wide Head
If you have a wide head that does not mean that you should miss out on the latest hockey helmet technology on the market. The perfect hockey helmet for a wide head is the Warrior Cover PX+.
With your comfort as a priority, the Warrior helmet was designed for an optimal fit as well as a larger range of protection from your head and eyebrows down to your neck. It has a low profile and a soft touch foam throughout the entire build of the helmet, which gives you an even weight distribution.
Warrior thought of just about everything in the design of this helmet, including the ability to adjust the helmet to give you the best fit possible without having to find the right tool to do so. The single dial adjustment lets you adjust and active the shell, giving you a well-rounded, 360 degree fit.
Some of the best features of this helmet include the EPP foam, which is an inner liner material that will brace your head for impact. There is also an internal padding of VN foam, further giving you a layer of protection that should keep you safe when you are out on the ice.
This helmet does feature a cage as well, which can be a nice form of security, helping you prevent a concussion from the front of your head as well keeping your face completely safe as well. The impact protection for the Warrior helmet will leave you with protection for not just your face, but your neck and eyebrows as well.
9. Bauer RE-AKT 100 Hockey Helmet
This helmet uses the latest concussion prevention technology and is another great Bauer product.
The Bauer RE-AKT 100 is designed with comfort in mind. This helmet’s design includes a Suspend-Tech 2 liner as well as having a more flexible liner to allow both stretch and compression on impact, keeping the helmet responsive and secure.
The fit is meant to be as comfortable as possible, using Bauer’s YourFIT system. That includes a CURV composite wrapping around the head and leaves you with a customized fit.
This helmet truly has nearly everything that you could want from a hockey helmet, minus a cage if that was something you were going for. The VTX foam base uses Seven+ technology, which is far more durable and versatile than any predecessors that attempted the same. The foam also gives you the best protection from impact from any side or even multiple sides at the same time.
The PORON XRD Foam is created to provide the snuggest fit while still keeping the pressure off of your head. This really manages the amount of impact that your head can take while ensure than there is as minimal movement from your head as possible. This could be uncomfortable for some players who need more movability, but it is all personal preference. Ultimately, this is not just a comfortable helmet, but it is also durable and safe, bringing with it the level of concussion protection that you really need from a hockey helmet.
10. CCM Tacks 910 Hockey Helmet
Another great hockey helmet that you should look at is the CCM Tacks 910. This is a new helmet in the Tacks line in 2021.
The CCM Tacks 910 is designed for players who have a lot of experiences and who are planning to be more aggressive out on the ice. It was made with the focus on impact and protecting the brain as much as possible. Included in this design is Fluid Inside Pod Technology.
This works by placing fluid=filled pods along the liner, allowing more give to your head on impact. The pods will dissipate the strength of impact, for all kinds of impacts.
Also included with the design is the outer shell that has been pro-approved. It will help with protection as well, but this design has also been shown to be popular with pros, showing how seriously CCM is taking protection.
The helmet also has a personalized fit system. This is achieved with a tool-free adjustment system that will easily allow you to manipulate the helmet so that it will fit your head perfectly. The occipital support cushion and a front and back adjustment will widen the helmet or cinch it down as you need it to go, making sure that you are getting a customized fit.
The helmet also has the I.Q. Shion Memory Foam liner that is a CCM premium feature. The foams are a dual-density that will mold easily around your head, giving you a good contour. As a result, you will find that the helmet is decidedly comfortable, but still has all of the structural stiffness that you would need to really keep your head protected during a game.
Bauer Hockey Helmet Sizing Chart
Virginia Tech Hockey Helmet Ratings
Their impact tests help to evaluate the helmet’s ability to reduce both linear acceleration and rotational acceleration, both of which can result in concussions and head injury.
While most helmets have been shown to prevent skull fractures, the amount of helmets that prevent concussions is relatively few, since concussions are an internal injury, rather than an external injury
Hockey helmets are rated by Virginia Tech according to their ability to prevent head injury. They use a star system with a range from 0 to 5, with 1 being the lowest possible hockey helmet rating.
Helmets with more stars have been shown to reduce the risk of suffering a brain injury or concussions. It is incredibly difficult to receive a high rating from Virginia Tech, because helmet technology has not been able to progress as much as other technology has.
All helmets currently sold meet the minimum safety requirements, but that does not mean that they are the safest that you can get.
In fact, in 2015, after performing over 2,000 impact tests, Virginia Tech discovered that only 1 in 32 helmets had 3 star ratings. At the time, no helmets even made it to 4 or 5 stars, which has changed since then.
Ultimate Guide To Buying A Perfect Hockey Helmet
A hockey helmet is essential to your safety on the ice. Because of its importance, you have to get the right helmet the first time or you are putting yourself at risk.
You need to consider the shape and size of your head, the padding and comfort of the helmet, and know what is going to work best to meet your needs.
Fit & Adjustability
The fit of your helmet is simply how well it fits your head. It needs to be secure and snug, but not so snug that you feel yourself getting a headache or that your head is being squeezed.
The adjustability of a helmet is how easy or much you can adjust the fit to make it perfect for your head. Both fit and adjustability are extremely important.
Shape Of Your Head
You might not have thought about the shape of your head before, but when it comes to hockey helmets, it is extremely important.
Whether you have a round head, flat head, wide head, or even a small head can change the type of helmet that you should get. You may need to try a helmet on to know the shape you have.
Safety & Concussion Prevention
Your brain and skull are obviously important and require the best protection possible. You do not want to be hit so hard in the head that you wind up with a concussion or in the hospital. That's why you need to check hockey helmet ratings before making a purchase even if the helmet fits perfectly.
The right fit and amount of padding should ensure that you have the right amount of impact absorption to prevent concussions and other injuries.
Padding can be placed in a variety of places all along the helmet. It serves a couple of different purposes, including giving you a snug fit, keeping the helmet comfortable, and giving you the ultimate impact protection.
You should also make sure your ears and temples are adequately padded and protected
Whether you have face protection depends both on your personal choice and the league you are playing in. Some leagues require face protection like a cage or visor while others do not. It has been shown that face protection further prevents concussion, but many professional players do not use it.
The weight of a helmet does not always indicate how much protection it offers, but it can affect how comfortable a helmet is on your head. A helmet that is too heavy might cause you neck pain and headache, but something that is too light could also cause concern for the amount of padding and security it actually offers.
The chin strap is not just what keeps the helmet on your head, but it also offers its own form for protection. It will keep your chin from getting hit too hard on the ice. It has to fit well, however, or the entire integrity of the helmet might be compromised, exposing you to the potential of an unexpected injury.
Did you know that most hockey helmets have a warranty? The warranty normally expires in about a year, but that depends a lot on the manufacturer.
A warranty is a guarantee that the helmet should last for the indicated amount of time and if it does not, you should get your money back. Keep in mind about your warranty if your helmet is damaged not long after purchase.
Don't Buy A Used Hockey Helmet
Looking at online sales sites, like Craigslist, can be a great way to find used items that can be used. A hockey helmet cannot, under any circumstance, be used. A used hockey helmet has an unknown history and an unknown age.
If a helmet has previously been hit, there are potential micro-fractures within the helmet that would give when you are stuck in the head, leaving your head vulnerable.
Helmets also breakdown over time and will not be safe to wear on the ice. Your head and brain are too important to take the risk.
Parts Of The Hockey Helmet
The shell of your hockey helmet is the exterior part of the helmet. It is normally a hardened plastic. Different brands will use different types of plastic to achieve structural strength and durability.
Usually, the noticeable difference of shells between brands is the appearance, rather than the protection level, but still, it is always a good idea to take a look at the quality of the shell. Often connected to the shells are the chinstraps. These usually can be adjusted to fit right under your jaw and should never dangle loosely or even have room to your put fingers in the gap.
The liner is the part of the helmet that is resting against your head. It is definitely the part that provides both protection and comfort. There is a lot of variance of liners from brand to brand and even from line to line.
While in the past helmet liners were really just minor padding, modern liners can contain gel pads, memory form, and other forms of cushioning. It is ideal if your liner can be adjusted to give you a completely custom fit. Then, you will really have the level of safety that you should be looking for in a hockey helmet.
Cage & Visor
The cage or visor of a helmet is a piece that is attached to the front of the helmet. In many leagues, cages are mandatory, especially when it comes to minors. There is not a lot of variety with cages, but if you do not get a helmet that comes with one, you need a helmet that will allow you to add one on later, if you needed to.
The cage or visor is meant to prevent impact directly to your face, whether it is coming from a puck or a high stick. Some leagues do not require them, so check first before you buy a helmet.
How Long Do Helmets Last And Do They Expire?
Hockey helmets absolutely have an expiration date that must be adhered to. Your hockey helmet should be replaced no later than 10 years after the purchase date, but given the nature of the sport, they often need to be replaced much sooner than that.
It has been shown that accredited testing has shown that helmets really only are safe for 6.5 years before needing to be replaced.
The material inside of the helmet will not last forever and naturally breaks down over time, but it breaks down much faster when it is damaged or repeatedly hit. For that reason, you must never consider purchasing a used helmet.
The material has likely already greatly broken down and you would be putting your skull and brain in the hands of a helmet with unknown integrity. This is a risk you simply cannot take, regardless of how new the helmet looks.
Concussion In The NHL
Because of the known danger of concussions, the NHL has a concussion protocol that is in place to help identify concussions.
There is a centralized concussion spotter on site during games to help to identify any signs of a concussion and to remove any players who might have received one from the game. It has only been in effect since 2016.
The individual club is ultimately responsible for removing players and to identify concussion risks, but spotters can still help with this. Part of it is to ensure that players are not accidentally or deliberately kept in the game after a head injury.
When it comes down to it, the best hockey helmet that you can get is the Bauer Re-Akt 150. This is a great helmet that should fit the average player while still offering a high level of protection that you should be able to expect.
The design is in line with the modern hockey helmet, as it is both sleek and black. Appearances aside, the Re-Akt will offer you the level of protection you need.
If you have a larger head, you might be better suited for the CCM Fitlite FL500 helmet, which naturally comes with a wider fit.
This is the safest helmet out there, but only if it fits you. For the more average-sized head, you will still be better off getting the Bauer Re-Akt 150. The Re-Akt 150 is lightweight, comfortable, and has all of the important safety features that you should expect from a high quality hockey helmet.
Hey there, my name is Shawn and I’m a semi-professional hockey player. I’m also the founder and chief editor here at Hockey Pursuits. I love playing hockey and helping players improve their game and that’s why I decided to start this blog.