Hockey is a fast-paced game with quick shots and hard falls. When it comes to protecting yourself, there’s nothing more important than choosing the best hockey helmet. And, with so many options, picking the right one can be overwhelming.
No matter your age and size, this list of the best hockey helmets on the market will give you everything you need to know! Whether you’re looking for something that won’t break the budget or something that can hold up at a professional level, these helmets are what you’re looking for.
If you keep reading, you’ll also find your buyer’s guide for all the tech jargon, what to look for, and more!
Our Top Picks
CCM Super Tacks X
Warrior Alpha One Pro
Best for Kids
Bauer Re-Akt 100 – Youth
CCM Super Tacks X
This CCM Tacks line may have been released a few years ago, but there’s no denying its continued position as the best hockey helmet.
And the Super Tacks X raises the bar with its completely customizable 3D printing technology that ensure a perfect fit that is as unique as you are.
The D30 material and 3D printed liner, located around all the important areas of the head, are top-of-the-line for protecting against injury. CCM’s team specifically engineered the helmet to dissipate and distribute impact energy.
But this technology does nothing if the helmet doesn’t fit properly. Which is why CCM uses 3D printing to allow for a custom fitted insert. In addition, tool free adjustments allow you to fine-tune that fit anytime you need it.
Now, the coolest part of this helmet is the honeycomb design of the 3D Nest Liner. A hot head leads to sweat-saturated foam. And nothing messes with the safety technology more. So clear paths for airflow are what really make this the best hockey helmet.
- Completely Customizable fit
- Nest Liner to promote cooling
- CCM’s customizable 3D printing technology
Warrior Alpha One Pro
The Alpha One Pro represents Warrior’s response to Bauer’s best hockey helmet. It’s also known for being one of the most comfortable helmets on the market.
Instead of the suspend-tech, an EPP base liner makes up the inside of this helmet. Instead of VTX tech, the Omnishock System protects against hockey’s various impacts. Instead of the Fit Plate, a removable viconic insert creates your comfort.
Yet, there’s still some incredible innovation in this helmet! Warrior is one of very few to successfully engineer a one-piece shell.
Though the one-piece has always been seen as more durable, getting the right fit was too hard for it to be worth it. Until Warrior came out with their Adaptfit 270.
This is the best hockey helmet for your budget, with micro-adjustments to the entire inner liner, strategic venting, and odor-preventing materials.
- Extremely comfortable
- Crafted to protect the most vulnerable places on your head
- Lots of venting and removable sweat-wicking materials
- The warranty only lasts for 30 days
Best For Kids
Bauer Re-Akt 100 – Youth
For a parent, there’s nothing more important than keeping your kid safe. And the Bauer Re-Akt 100 is by far the best hockey helmet for that.
The tool-free adjustable mechanisms allow for a range of sizes that should fit ages six through nine. And it’s newly designed clips and strapping system make it easy for your kids to handle on their own. In terms of youth gear, this is the only helmet where every aspect was made with kids in mind.
The safety technology is also of the highest standard. Based on the ideas that built the Re-Akt 200, Bauer implemented all of their newly improved PORON XRD foam, Suspend-Tech 2, and VT Seven+ technology into a smaller model.
The only downside is that it’s a pricey purchase for something you’ll have to replace fairly quickly.
- Tool-free adjustments
- New easy-to-use clips
- The latest in Bauer’s safety technology
- Expensive for how quickly you’ll have to replace it
The Hyperlite is Bauer’s newest edition to their collection. Predicted to claim status as the best hockey helmet so far, there is nothing more exciting out there.
But its newness should make you cautious. Without professional testing, there are still some concerns about how it will meet everyone’s expectations.
Despite that, you can’t deny the innovation that has gone into this product. As its name suggests, this helmet is the lightest one you’ll find. Made with Bauer’s new SHOCKLITE foam, it’s 20% lighter than the Re-Akt 200.
This new foam replaces nearly every other feature previously contained in Bauer’s helmets. Other than pockets of XRD foam, nothing else can be found inside.
Bauer has also made changes to their outer shell. A new higher cut at the back may help to reduce the weight even more. But it also frees up a lot of unprotected neck. Hits to the base of the skull could be a problem for this helmet.
Another added feature is the varying levels of thickness throughout the shell. High-density areas protect all the important and vulnerable parts of your head. While other areas have the usual shell density over them.
With specs like that, this could very well be the next-best hockey helmet.
- New and improved type of foam for the inner lining
- Moisture channels for cooling
- Even lighter than previous Bauer helmets
- Hasn’t been professionally tested yet
The Hockey Helmet Buyer’s Guide
The best hockey helmets on the market may be made with adjustable parts, but picking the right size is still extremely important. Nothing will protect you more than a helmet that holds the right parts of your head in the safest way.
Before you can understand how to read the sizing chart, you need to know how to measure your head. Wrap a soft tape measure around the circumference of your head, about half an inch above your eyebrows.
Now, each brand has a different size chart that you’ll have to follow for a more accurate fit. But, generally, a small is from 51 to 56 centimeters, a medium is from 55 to 60 centimeters, and a large is from 59 to 63 centimeters.
You’ll also want to look into the line you buy within the brand because some are built for specific head shapes. At CCM, their Tacks line is meant for people with narrower heads, and their Fitlite helmets are built for wider ones. Whereas Bauer models are generally all made for round heads.
Overall, when you put the helmet on, you want it to rest flat on your head, half an inch above your eyebrows. And it should be snug enough that it doesn’t shift when you move.
When trying to understand all the different types of safety technology that goes into the best hockey helmets, many confusing names can be involved. But there’s really only one thing that technology is trying to prevent: a concussion.
And the main thing they’re using to do that is foam. Each brand has its own engineers that come up with unique designs and ideas. Where specific foams go depends on the type of blow you’re likely to receive in each area.
The foam that makes up the inner layering tends to be softer. Some companies, like Warrior, even use a memory foam base. While the outer layer tends to be dense and more technical.
Each company will try to sell you on why their product is the best. But, whether they layer their foam or have it surrounding a water pod, different testing facilities, and researchers have already ensured the product is safe.
You don’t need to understand the specific engineering that goes into each helmet. It’s much more important for you to understand what the products are trying to protect against.
Types of Impact
Any blow to the head is dangerous. But, there are specific impacts that the best hockey helmets really try to minimize.
The worst is a blunt-force hit. Even if it doesn’t cause bleeding, a hard impact to the skull can lead to serious internal damage. Especially a hit to the frontal lobe, which is responsible for a lot of important brain functions.
Brands and product testing groups use repeated hits to the front, sides, top, and back to ensure your safety. But checking the safety measures in that area before purchase is an extra step you should take before buying.
The second is rotational force. Skating builds up a lot of speed very quickly. And researchers are only just realizing that a quick stop, turn, or fall can cause just as much damage as certain hits. So, older products don’t have the proper safety measures for that.
Ensuring your product is up to date with safety codes is essential for choosing the best hockey helmet. As with any contact sport, safety is a concern. You can expand your training while maximizing safety with online hockey training – from an NHL pro!
Before any product can be sold, it must be certified by various boards and committees. For hockey equipment, that includes the HECC and the CSA. All the best hockey helmets are certified by these two groups.
The Hockey Equipment Certification Council is a group that ensures all products uphold a certain safety standard before they can be used on American ice. Each brand must send its products in for testing and third-party vetting. And most stores won’t offer a product that hasn’t passed these tests.
The Canadian Standards Association is basically the same as the HECC but for Canada. With their own set of testing, the CSA also ensures your gear has what it takes to keep you safe.
These groups fund the research into creating the best hockey helmets for protecting your body and mind from the big hits. A stamp of approval from them means a lot for your safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a cage?
The debate between “yes cage” or “no cage” has been part of the hockey world for a long time. But the answer has always been yes. You never want to risk a puck directly to the face. And visibility with a cage is actually better.
Can I buy a used helmet to save money?
The best hockey helmets on the market can be expensive, but buying a used helmet is not a good idea. Bacteria from another person’s sweat-saturated foam can pose health risks. And your head is way too precious to be protected by worn-down technology.
Best Hockey Helmets: Summed Up
Your safety is what’s most important, and these five helmets are the best hockey helmets for the job. No matter where you’re playing or who you’re playing with, we hope this guide gives you everything you need to enjoy your game.
If you’re looking for tips on other hockey gear, check out our article on the best synthetic ice!
Still want more hockey content? Then check out our hockey page for training guides, equipment rankings, and fun facts about our favorite sport!