Helmets, concussions, and other head injuries are a hot topic in hockey these days – You do not want to cheap out on your helmet! Below we have reviewed the best hockey helmets to keep your head safe!
We want to make one thing clear – Helmets do not prevent concussions. If you hit your head hard enough, not even the most expensive helmet on this list will protect you from a concussion. They will however, prevent you from cracking your heat open, or potentially suffering even worse damage!
Are you looking for a new helmet? Whether your old one is falling apart or you want a helmet with better and safer technologies, we have you covered with our list below! Companies like Bauer, CCM, True, and Warrior have been pushing helmet technology forward to try and keep players safer. Check out our list below to see which helmet will work best for your game! Contents
Specifications and Features:
- Enhanced Impact Protection – The new Bauer Re-Akt utilizes PORON Performance Cushioning and XRD Enhanced Impact protection foam to help dissipate impacts to the head.
- VTX Liner – Bauer has also changed to a VTX liner which optimizes the impact management of high and low energy contact. It also offers a sizeable weight reduction compared to standard EPP foams.
- Optimized Shell Design – The Bauer Re-Akt Hockey Helmet now includes a two piece shell design with tool less adjustment. This helmet features a Occipital Lock 3.0 which stabilizes the back of the helmet and locks the head into place for a perfect fit every time you put it on.
- Superior Protection – Bauer’s Re-Akt helmet might be one of the best on the market in providing uncontested protection. The extensive research and development has lead to cutting edge foam and liner technology to help dissipate the energy from impacts to the head.
- Lightweight Fit – The change to the VTX liner system has an immediate impact on the weight of the helmet and you’ll be sure to notice it as soon as you try it on. The helmet fits so comfortably and snug it feels like a baseball cap on your head.
- Sleek Traditional Look – Bauer has not changed much in terms of the classic look of its helmets, but they have always made them more streamlined year after year. The Re-Akt is one of the most worn helmets in the NHL with roughly 20% of players sporting this model!
This is arguably the premier helmet on the market and Bauer put a tremendous amount of time into ensuring optimal protection, which comes at a price. This is one of the more expensive helmets you can buy but for the price you get protection, fit, and look that is second to none.
Nothing is second tier with the Bauer Re-Akt 200, it is the premier helmet in regards to protection and popularity. There is a reason it’s one of the most widely used helmets in the NHL and in rinks across the world. This Bauer line offers some of the latest technology in impact protection with the re-designed liner materials offering a lightweight product offering the excellent protection. I personally like the classic helmet look and hope Bauer never strays from it.
Specifications and Features:
- MIPS – True’s patented brain protection system reduces the motion generated from impacts to the head – This means less impact to your brain!
- One Piece Construction – Using a true one piece EPP shell True has made one of the lightest helmets on the market
- Interchangeable Fitpads – More than just adjusting back and forth, True has adjustable side and rear pads to really help this helmet fit snug and hug your head
- Tapping into a Swedish Brain Protection Company – MIPS is a Swedish brand that creates helmets for Cyclists, Skiers, Motorcycles, and now for hockey. Leveraging all they have learned across so many sports and tests, True really went above and beyond by bringing in outside expertise to create a new and now fully patented hockey helmet protection system
- Fitpads = Fitment – The helmet comes with fitpads in three different thicknesses allowing you to reduce any space between your helmet and your head, equating to better overall protection
- Extremely Lightweight – The one piece shell True uses means you will hardly even notice this technological marvel sitting on top of your head since it is so light
The only disadvantage we could find is that this helmet does not fit Bauer and CCM cages and visors well. If you are buying a new setup from scratch this shouldn’t be an issue, but if you were hoping to re-use an old visor or cage you will have to get a new one made by True. Other than that people have been leaving shining reviews of True’s new helmet in all regards!
We hope this quick review of True’s new hockey helmet has brought it’s amazing new technologies to light for you! Leveraging a company that designs and tests head protection for many different sports is an ingenious idea. By admitting to themselves they could use outside expertise, True has helped the hockey world take a step forward in head protection and we commend them on doing so. Supporting them and this great product will give you top of the line head protection and help foster further innovation by great companies like True!
Specifications and Features:
- True One Shell – True one piece construction gives this helmet advanced protection while remaining very lightweight.
- OmniShock+ w/ Viconic Insterts – By integrating the shell and liner, certain impact zones such as the frontal lobe and occipital lobes protection are enhanced with the lightweight Viconic plate inserts.
- ADAPTFIT 360 By BOA – Forget adjusting four different latches to get the perfect fit, simply perform micro adjustments with the BOA system to get the perfect fit.
- A new approach to protection – This is one of the first hockey helmets we have come across that focuses on certain areas of the head with extra protection. All the front parts of the skull are the first ones to hit the boards or ice when taking a bad fall, and Warrior is working hard to protect your head in these unfortunate situations.
- BOA Fit – You’ve seen it on shoes, ski and snowboard boots, and now Hockey helmets. Use tiny adjustments to get the perfect fit with this innovative new design.
- Flow Comfort Polygiene Liner – The liners in this hockey helmet are treated by Polygiene. They absorb sweat and dry quickly keeping your head dry and smelling fresh. By optimizing airflow through the helmet you also get to feel the breeze as you are burning by a defender on the wing.
Technically speaking, we cannot find a single disadvantage with this helmet. The only thing that can be brought into question is its design, which has been changed up quite a bit to host the massive new suite of safety and comfort features.
Warriors new top of the line hockey helmet comes to the table with many comfort and safety innovations. From targeted skull protection to a new fit adjustment system, we can’t speak highly enough about Warrior working hard to protect every players greatest asset. This helmet rewards owners with comfort, and lends a sense of safety with its amazing features.
Specifications and Features:
- Microdial III System – Adjusting to the perfect fit is made incredibly easy by CCM’s new Microdial III. A few quick turns and the helmet tightens to comfortably remove any empty space with the occipital locking system helping the helmet stay locked in place in case of impact.
- D30 Smart Foam – Previously used in the CCM Super Tacks, the D30 foam does an exceptional job absorbing impacts and protecting your head. The foam is still soft and has a comfortable feel during the gameplay and will provide professional grade protection.
- High Density PE Shell – The CCM Fitlite shell utilizes a High Density PE material to achieve a high strength and lightweight helmet. The helmet also includes low density EPP memory foam to add a little padding and help mold the helmet to each players head.
- Peak Protection – CCM has incorporated the D30 foam along with an EPP memory foam to provide the best protection in its top of the line helmet. Everything about this helmet is tailored around protection, including the Microdial III system to provide the best fit possible.
- Streamlined Look – Everyone talks about the “mirror test” for a helmet, and the Fitlite 3DS would pass every time. A bit more of a classic helmet look, CCM has improved its sharp streamlined look to protect the NHL players such as Jakub Voracek and Vladimir Tarasenko.
- Featherlite Fit – When you put this helmet on and adjust the Microdial III system, the fit of this helmet cannot be beat. The High Density PE shell is extremely lightweight and the liner system provides an extremely comfortable fit. This helmet will look great and is so lightweight you’ll forget you are wearing a helmet at all!
This is CCM’s top of the line helmet, so you must pay the price to get your hands on all this technology and protection. On the flip side CCM has put the newest impact resistance technology in it providing premier protection.
In terms of price, this helmet is a bit less cost effective than the Bauer Re-Akt and offers top of the line performance and protection. Everything about this helmet from the weight, the fit, and the protection gives you amazing product for the money. This is an extremely popular choice for players of all levels, and also offers some of the best durability for any helmet I’ve worn. You won’t regret buying the CCM Fitlite 3DS once you discover the performance it offers game in and game out.
Specifications and Features:
- Impax Foam Layering – Warrior gives this helmet a very comfortable yet protective fit with the use of multi-layered foam and plastic. The Covert is one of the best helmets out there for a high performance fit and feel.
- 4-Piece Shell Design – The PX+ has gone to a four piece shell design which clips just above the ears for quick and easy adjustment. The multi piece shell design gives this helmet a great look and more flexibility on the fit, as the tooless adjustment controls all four shell pieces to fit each and every player.
- Updated Vent Design – Warrior has innovated the venting system on the new Covert to give you better cooling
- Sleek Look – This hockey helmet offers a great look, I can’t say enough about how stylish Warrior helmets look on the ice and not to mention the protection they offer competes with any brand.
- Paramount Protection – The most important thing in a helmet is the protection it gives you from concussions, and Warrior has stepped it up with the 4 piece shell and Impax foam + plastic layering for a soft fit. This helmet is a great combination of optimal protection and seamless fit.
- Optimized Ventilation – The four piece allows Warrior to put vents in strategic positions offering some of the best cooling on the market.
Obviously this helmet lacks a few top end fitment options, but you are still getting amazing protection for just over $100 at most retailers
The Covert RS Pro is Warrior’s updated Covert helmet designed to slot in at the mid-range of its helmet lineup. It offers great protection and decent fitment, and is at a very budget friendly price. If you aren’t playing top level contact hockey and are looking for some general head protection, the Covert RS Pro could be the perfect helmet for you!
Specifications and Features:
- R.E.D. Liner System – CCM has kept one of a kind Rotational Energy Dampening system from its previous model in this years 710. This is a celebrated liner system that was designed at the University of Ottawa which features a series of liquid filled bladders that sit between the liner and shell. This is one of most unique protection systems as the bladders absorb and disperse the energy away from the head while offering a comfortable feel with VN foam.
- I.Q.Shion Foam – CCM has brought in a new memory-foam style comfort with the I.Q.Shion technology to hold your helmet firmly in place. This foam is everywhere in the helmet and also helps to wick sweat keeping your helmet fresh and cool all game.
- Excellent Price Point – For the protection and look you get with this helmet, the price point cannot be beat. CCM has made a professional grade product and one of the best hockey helmets for a player who is looking for solid protection but doesn’t quite want to spend top dollar.
- Innovative Liner – CCM’s liner system is revolutionary in regards to protection and comfort. The R.E.D. system is designed not only to dissipate the energy before the head, it goes one step further and directs it away from the head. The liquid pods make a huge difference even on harmless contact to the helmet.
- Sweat Protection – The CCM Tacks 710 in my opinion is the best helmet at providing a sweat wicking and preventing system. The I.Q.Shion foam also acts as a hydrophobic layer so sweat doesn’t soak into the foam, coupled with an impressive ventilation system has you feeling cool and fresh no matter how hard you work.
- Protective Shell Design – The geometry of this helmet is designed specifically to absorb impacts and deflect any direct contact to the helmet. This is the first line of defence and comes with rave reviews in terms of looks as well.
This isn’t the lightest helmet you can buy, but the innovative R.E.D. liner system offers some of the most technologically advanced protection on the market.
In terms of price, this helmet is more cost effective than the CCM Fitlite 3DS and is a great option for any hockey player. CCM doesn’t disappoint with the look of the helmet or the protection it has to offer with the latest technology and liner systems. One of the more important features to me is how well it keeps you cool, i’m always prone to overheating during a game and the Tacks 710 is the best helmet to keep you cool and fresh. Thgere is a reason this is one of the most widely used in the NHL and is one of CCM’s best affordable helmets to date.
Specifications and Features:
- VN Foam Layering – The same feature as in the PX+ model gives this helmet a very comfortable yet protective fit with the use of multi-layered foam and plastic. The Covert PX2 is one of the best helmets out there for a high performance fit and feel.
- Improved Shell Design – Compared to the PX+ helmet, the PX2 now utilizes a two piece shell design which clips just above the ears for quick and easy adjustment. Instead of the multi-piece shell, the Covert PX2 holds the same sleek and streamlined look.
- High Density PE Material – Warrior has re-engineered the material of the helmet to be ultra lightweight and still have top of the line protection. The shell also has vents near the front to promote airflow and manage the temperature during a game.
- Price Point – This is a great mid-range hockey helmet that delivers the results you need on the ice. Warrior has stepped it up to offer a great affordable product for any caliber of player which fits great and provides premium protection.
- Complete Protection – The most important thing in a helmet is the protection it gives you from impacts, and Warrior has stepped it up with the material and VN foam + plastic layering. This helmet is a great combination of optimal protection and seamless fit.
- Sleek Look – One of the things warrior has really brought to the table in terms of the hockey helmet is creating a unique and professional look. They have broke away from the traditional mold to give you one of the best helmets in the game in terms of look and performance.
This hockey helmet is a little bit bulkier than the top of the line Warrior model, but that’s to be expected when you save a bit of money and the fit and protection are still top notch.
I for one have always been a huge fan of how the Warrior Covert PX2 looks and feels when your playing. They have managed to make this helmet even lighter and not sacrifice anything in terms of protection. The optimal vent placements and the High Density PE shell keeps you cool right into overtime. For the high performance player this helmet is everything you could ask for out of a helmet with top of the line performance and durability,
Specifications and Features:
- Poron XRD Foam – This foam is used throughout the Bauer RE-AKT 75 hockey helmet not only to provide a snug and comfortable fit, but to effectively dissipate the energy from impacts.
- Suspended Liner System – Bauer has used a multi-segmented design with XRD foam technology and plastic layering to give your head the premium protection and fit that you need
- Seven+ Technology – This is comprised of structural foam cylinders designed by Bauer specifically for this helmet, which have been tested and can handle shock absorption over multiple high and low energy impacts
- Great Price Point – Bauers brand new Re-Akt 75 helmet comes in quite a bit cheaper than the regular Re-Akt helmet, yet offers much of the same protection. The Re-Akt 75 is a very high quality helmet offered at an extremely competitive price.
- Stylish Look – Bauer has made the Re-Akt 75 more streamlined than the Re-Akt and it’s a refreshing change from the traditional helmet. This helmet has a fantastic look with a cage or visor and is a great choice for any caliber player.
- Solid Protection – This is the best value helmet that also incorporates some of the newest impact protection technology. As long as you aren’t getting into a brawl with Zdeno Chara, this helmet will do a fantastic job protecting players of all levels.
This helmet is a little bit heavier than the more expensive Bauer Re-Akt, but is hardly noticeable when you get going on the ice unless you change helmets mid shift which, lets be honest, you never will.
The Bauer Re-Akt 75 offers great protection at a very affordable price, with some of the newest impact resistant foams Bauer has still held safety paramount in this hockey helmet. I am a huge fan of both the look and feel of this helmet, as the XRD foam molds right to your head. I cannot say enough about the value of this helmet if you can’t spend premium dollar for the latest top of the line helmet this is a great alternative. With the great value, protection, and comfort offered by the Bauer Re-Akt 75 it’s a difficult helmet to pass up.
Hockey Helmet Buying Guide / FAQ
Parts of the Hockey Helmet
The hockey helmet is made up of three main parts; the shell, liner, and depending on age and league a cage / visor.
Shell – The shell of the helmet is the hardened plastic exterior. All helmets use similar hardened plastics, so the biggest difference among models is the styling and air vents. Every helmet will also come with a chinstrap. This should be adjusted to fit snugly under your jaw, with no more room than would allow two fingers to fit in between the strap and your head.
Liner – The liner portion of the helmet is what really sets models apart. In the past most helmets used a simple piece of foam to line the helmets, but this has all but been abandoned in favor of gel pads, advanced memory foams, and internal straps to give you the ultimate fit and protection. We will go into more detail about each helmet and companies proprietary liner systems below.
Cage / Visor – The final piece to the puzzle is the cage or visor. For almost all leagues with people playing under the age of 18 (as well as the NCAA), a cage is mandatory. They are all very similar and for the most part fit all helmet lines. For junior, Canadian university, and pro leagues, visors are now mandatory. Most visors have anti fog technology built into them, and are scrape resistant as well. We here at going bar down recommend that even if a visor is optional in your league that you ALWAYS wear one, and if you aren’t wearing a full cage be sure to check out our mouth guard recommendations to protect those pearly whites.
Wikipedia has a great article breaking down the various parts of the hockey helmet and their origins if you want to take a deeper dive!
Hockey Helmet Fitment - How To Select The Right Size
Helmets come three sizes – small, medium, and large sizes. Small usually fits children up to 12, medium is for teens and adults with smaller to normal sized heads, and large is for adults with normal to large sized heads. Almost every helmet made nowadays (and all the ones in our recommendations) are adjustable to find your perfect fit. To find out which size to start in you need to wrap a tape measure around the largest part of your head (imagine where a hat would wrap around). Following is sizing for the Bauer Re-Akt lineup of helmets which is a good starting point. If you are going to purchase another manufacturers always double check that your head circumference falls within their sizing chart.
Small – 20.4 – 22.4″
Medium – 22.2 – 23.6″
Large – 23.6 – 25.2″
Once you have selected your helmet, always open the adjustable flaps up to the largest adjustable setting, place on your head, and adjust down until you have a snug fit. The helmet should wiggle no more than a few millimeters or tenths of an inch on your head in any direction. You now have a properly fitted helmet and are ready to hit the ice!
Canadian Tire has created a fantastic visual guide on how to fit a hockey helmet – If you are looking for some additional info, check the link out!
Hockey Helmets and Concussion Prevention - Do Hockey Helmets Actually Prevent Concussions?
Concussions are a huge issue in hockey today, with sports such as football admitting connections between head impacts and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE for short. Studies have even shown that in sports such as soccer with repeated small impacts from heading the ball can lead to CTE. The NHL has not formally admitted it has found a connection between hockey and CTE, but at this point it seems a mere formality.
With fighting being slowly being phased out, or reduced at a minimum, this should help prevent CTE for future generations that play in leagues that allow fighting (Jr. A, Jr. B, Major Junior, and all North American pro leagues). Also a focus on reducing head shots and the having the head be the primary point of contact should serve to ensure head and brain health going forward as well. The future of hockey looks bright in our opinion in terms of player safety.
When it comes to hockey helmets and their ability to prevent concussions, no evidence exists as of yet that allows companies manufacturing hockey helmets to claim they prevent concussions. In fact, in 2015 the competition bureau of Canada told CCM-Reebok that they could not market their helmets around concussion prevention. A year earlier in 2014 the same organization told Bauer it could not market its RE-AKT helmets around concussion prevention.
So what does this all mean? Are hockey helmets useless? Not at all. The fact of the matter is that they are designed around reducing catastrophic brain injuries stemming from skull fracture. They likely do help with some concussion prevention, but by no means make anyone impervious to concussions. Adding a layer of complexity is the fact that any impact on any individual can produce different results.
What does this mean to you as a hockey player? All helmets will protect you from skull fracture. Just like a new Volvo has more safety devices and protection than a 1998 Kia, newer helmets constantly have improvements and advancements in the department of player safety. We at Going Bar Down like to stack the deck in our favor when it comes to protective gear, and tend to gravitate towards helmets with more advanced materials and engineering. Read on to see our reviews below and hopefully we can help you make an informed decision on protecting your head!
We have talked about some of the best helmets on the market today, and really it’s all about finding the best protection and comfort for your game. I have tried all the helmets discussed and none of them will let you down in the protection department, it all depends on the look and features you want. The helmet is what is going to keep you safe, looking good, and going bar down all the time. My personal favorite is the New True Dynamic 9 Pro, I love that they are innovating and pushing the boundaries of what currently exists. If anyone has an opinion or question on any of the helmets I have talked about, we’d love to hear from you.