In a game like hockey, mobility is everything. Your equipment needs to be able to move with you, and sometimes, it’s the smallest pieces that make the biggest difference.
Whether you’re trying to get all your force behind a good defensive shove or you need every available millimeter of dexterity for that dangle, your elbow pads need to be able to keep up with you.
And only one of these top picks of the best hockey elbow pads is good enough for the job!
Read on for descriptions of each product and some information to help you make the right choice.
Our Top Picks
CCM JetSpeed FT6 Pro
CMM Tacks AS-580
Best for Agility
Bauer Vapor Hyperlite
There’s no competition for first place on this list of the best hockey elbow pads when you have CCM’s JetSpeed FT6 Pros as an option!
These elbow pads have some of the best features for keeping you cool and dry in the middle of a heated game. Which every athlete knows is essential for staying focused and keeping your movements sharp.
CCM’s new AER-TEC suspension mesh keeps your hot skin off your pads. Allowing endless airflow in and out of the vents placed throughout your forearm’s and bicep’s high-density, protective foam. Plus, the DryFoam liner won’t absorb any moisture, so you’ll always feel nice and light in the game.
Lastly, straps along your forearm and bicep secure the two main pieces of your gear while a Y-shaped anchor strap in the middle locks your elbow cap into place. Ensuring your pad will never slip from its intended place on your arm.
- DryFoam liner
- AER-TEC system
- Reinforced high-density foam
- Three-piece flex design
There’s always a tricky balance between quality and price when buying new hockey gear. Luckily, the CCM Tacks AS-580s offer amazing protection and movement at an affordable price!
In the elbow, you’ll find CCM’s top-of-the-line JDP technology that works to disperse the force of every impact before it can get to your body. Plus, it’s lined with an EVA molded cap that provides even more protection and some essential comfort.
Not to mention, the reinforced bicep guard along the outside of the foam. Designed in strips that angle down and behind you, the guard helps redirect the force of each impact before it can do any damage.
These hockey elbow pads may only have a two-piece construction, but the floating bicep design offers more than enough mobility for defenders and other players who rely on a physical style of play.
- JDP elbow cap
- Adjustable fit
- Floating bicep
- Two-piece construction
Best for Agility
For hockey players with a style of play that is centered around agility and speed, the Bauer Vapor Hyperlites are hands down the best option for you on this list!
Bauer’s Hyperlite HD foam is some of the lightest protection on the market. With these on your arms, you’ll barely feel like you’re wearing anything. Especially with the Thermocore liner that’s made from a treated yarn and provides a cooling effect for your skin.
The independent bicep construction in these hockey elbow pads also allows a complete range of motion for your joints. Making it easy to achieve those fancy stickhandling moves when deeking around your opponents.
Finally, the 360 design of the forearm and the ExoLite Skin provide just the right amount of protection. It may not be enough for heavy-hitting players, but it’s perfect for the quick and agile ones!
- Independent bicep
- 360 Forearm with ExoLite Skin
- Thermocore liner
- Not made for physical players
When it comes to comfort and protection, there’s nothing on this list of the best hockey elbow pads quite like the CCM Tacks AS-V Pros.
Slide your arm into these pads and find a cushy D30 molded donut that feels soft and flexible to the touch for your elbow to sit in. Yet the minute the action starts, the smart technology in the material stiffens to the exact degree needed for optimal impact absorption!
A JDP elbow cap on top of that amazing foam technology brings these elbow pads to a whole other level of safety. Even a fall on a tougher Polyglide synthetic ice tile will feel like nothing when you’re wearing the AS-V Pros.
With three amazing Adaptfit straps locking these hockey elbow pads in place, you’re guaranteed to have none of that protective technology shift from their proper places!
- D30 foam
- Adaptfit 360º wrap
- JDP elbow cap
Last on this list of the best hockey elbow pads are the Alpha LX 20s. And they definitely give some of these other options a run for their money.
Warrior’s amazing lightweight foams make these pads a great option for players who like to feel as light as possible on the ice. Which is only enhanced by the WarTech sleeve along the inside of the foam.
The Polygiene treatment in the material keeps you cool, dry, and odor-free all game long. Helping you to stay focused on what really matters, like sniping the puck right between the goalie’s legs.
The two-piece construction may hinder movement a little bit, but the maximization of your arm’s coverage is worth it for players who need hockey equipment as versatile as themselves! No matter what position you feel like playing, the Alpha LX 20s can keep up with you.
- Lightweight foam
- Great strapping system
- WarTech sleeve
- Two-piece construction
Hockey Elbow Pads Buyer’s Guide
When finding the perfect size for your hockey elbow pads, start by measuring from the base of the bicep guard on your shoulder pads to the cuff of your glove. This measurement will help you understand most of the sizing charts.
Each brand does its sizing chart a little differently. For Bauer, their sizing chart will have an arm-length column that directly matches up with your measurement. Warrior will also have a mid-arm length column that is the same measurement just under a different name.
But CCM is a bit trickier because they only provide height as a measurement option for helping you choose one of their products. That’s why it’s important to not just rely on the charts but on how the pad is supposed to feel on your body.
Your hockey elbow pads should cover all the exposed skin from the bottom of your shoulder pads to the tops of your gloves. When completely fastened, they should also be snug enough that they don’t shift, without having to be so tight that they restrict your range of motion.
The best hockey elbow pads will include lots of different components and materials that all work together to keep you cool, protected, and comfortable.
Heavy, sweat-soaked pads will easily slip from their proper place on your arm and dampen the effectiveness of the foam. That’s why it’s really important to have a good liner made from sweat-wicking materials like nylon and polyester.
In terms of protection, the foam is really important, but so is a plastic guard. Some of the cheaper products will only have a high-density foam, which is better than nothing. But joints need that hard layer of plastic to really prevent injuries. That’s why a hard elbow cap is really important.
Finally, the materials used in the straps are a big part of your comfort. When something is fastened tight to your skin, you don’t want it to be made from something scratchy that could give you friction burns. Make sure they have a soft liner along the inside before buying them.
Hockey elbow pads are either made with a two-piece or three-piece construction. The stiffer two-piece construction might prevent you from completely extending your arm, but it usually has better protection technology.
No matter what construction your pads have, they should always have three straps. The ones at the top and bottom are for the pads themselves to make sure they don’t slide up or down. But the one in the middle is what will really hold your arm in place.
The best way to figure out if the pads are right for you is to complete a training regimen while wearing them before you hit the ice. Something that will put you through all the usual moves, like this Online Hockey Training, that will really test the effectiveness of your gear.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do elbow pads do in hockey?
Like most parts of your hockey equipment, elbow pads are meant to protect you from the various impacts that can occur in a game. All while minimizing the effect that protection has on your mobility.
How effective are hockey elbow pads?
When properly sized and placed, hockey elbow pads do an amazing job of protecting your elbow and arm from strikes, falls, and collisions. Wearing an elbow pad can significantly lessen your chance of injury on the ice.
Do you wear a shirt under your elbow pads?
To prevent friction burns and help wick sweat, it’s important to wear a breathable, long-sleeve shirt under your hockey equipment that also doesn’t make you feel bulky.
The Best Hockey Elbow Pads Summed Up
Make sure you never sacrifice mobility or protection with one of these top picks of the best hockey elbow pads!
No matter what style of play you have, this list has the perfect option for you.
And for more information on this amazing sport, check out our Hockey page!