There’s no denying that team sports do amazing things for your child’s development. But no game, no matter the benefits, should come at the cost of your kid’s safety.
And with all the amazing innovation that now goes into hockey equipment, it won’t have to!
Choosing one of these top picks of the best youth hockey helmets will protect your child from any hits and falls. And if you’re looking for safer ways to practice, check out an online hockey training!
Read on for descriptions of each product and a buyer’s guide to help you understand how all that new technology works.
Our Top Picks
Bauer Re-Akt 100
Bauer Prodigy Combo
Best for Beginners
Bauer Lil Sport Combo
For years Bauer has been ahead of the protection game with their helmet technology, and this youth-sized product is no different.
Filled with all the pro-level features you could ever need, like the Suspend-Tech liner and XRD Foam padding, the Bauer Re-Akt 100 is well worth the high price tag.
Whether it’s a blunt force hit or spinning whiplash, this youth hockey helmet is ready to take the impact. Even the chin cup is made from Bauer’s triple-density PORON XRD Foam, so even a face-first fall will feel like nothing.
Then there’s the adjustable two-piece outer shell that helps this product grow with your child to make sure it lasts as long as possible. And quick release chin straps make it easy for them to get their helmet on and off themselves.
- Best concussion prevention technology
- Quick release chin strap
- Triple-density chin cup
If you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank but can still be trusted to protect your child’s head, look no further!
The Bauer Prodigy youth hockey helmet is specifically designed with small children in mind. The engineers know that kids aren’t reaching the same speeds as professionals, and the technology in this product accounts for that.
A dual-density foam liner provides just the right amount of protection for the smaller impacts your child will likely see throughout their recreational games. Even with the lesser technology, this youth hockey helmet has still managed to earn its title as one of the safest products for your child.
Lastly, the youth-specific engineering in this product is enhanced by quick-release cage straps that your kid can easily work themselves and the comfort-focused design of the foam that allows them to wear it for hours on end without issue.
- Quick-release cage straps
- Less protection technology
Best for Beginners
When your child is just starting a new sport, and you don’t know if it will stick, your first purchase doesn’t always need to be the most intense product on the market. And you often want something that’s as versatile as possible.
Bauer’s Lil Sport Combo youth hockey helmet was designed specifically for that situation. The lightweight shell comes with a removable goggle strap at the back that easily turns this into an amazing snowsport helmet.
Yet the protection technology along the inside is still perfect for hockey. An EPP liner and polyurethane comfort padding put the design of this product on par with Bauer’s Prodigy helmet. But the biggest differences are the added ventilation and the liner being hydrophobic for more comfort.
Whether your kid is using it outside in the summer, on a ski trip, or in a hockey game, this youth hockey helmet provides all the protection they need!
- Good ventilation
- Less protection technology
The Warrior Alpha One Youth Combo hockey helmet is another pro-level product on this list in terms of the technology that has gone into it.
The Alpha One padding and EPP liner create a multiple-density layer of foam for your head. Designed so that specific types of foam rest in the areas where they are needed most to ensure that each area’s most common type of impact is properly protected against.
Another impressive part of this helmet is its lightweight one-piece outer shell. Though rarely used, the one-piece design is always going to be stronger than its two-piece counterpart.
And to counter the lack of adjustment afforded by the one-piece shell, this youth hockey helmet has a dial that can make the inner liner up to 10mm tighter. A method that often makes the helmet’s fit feel even more customized.
- Good foam design
- 10 mm fit range
- One-piece shell
Last but not least on this list of the best youth hockey helmets is CCM’s Tacks 70 youth hockey helmet.
Built for a more oval-shaped head, this product is best suited for children that need a narrower-fitting helmet. Since the oval shape makes it long and skinny, rather than the wide and shorter rounded helmets that are more common in Bauer designs.
Packed with CCM’s dual-density liner and comfort padding, this product is definitely worth consideration. The lightweight construction of the Tacks 70 makes it perfect for children, and the foam’s quality and high-density shell relieve every parent’s stress about a contact game.
Despite the youth-specific design, this helmet still gives the look of a pro-level product. This is great for the kids that want to look just like their NHL heroes on the ice!
- Dual-density liner
- High-density shell
- Narrow fit
Youth Hockey Helmets Buyer’s Guide
The size of your child’s youth hockey helmet is extremely important for its success. Before purchasing, be sure to measure the circumference of your child’s head with a soft tape measure wrapped just above their eyebrows. This number can be compared to the small, medium, and large size ranges indicated on the outside of the helmet’s box.
Once you have a helmet within the correct size range, you’ll want to adjust it to the exact fit for your child’s head. Using the various adjustment tools for the helmet’s shell, tighten or loosen the helmet until it rests snugly one inch above their eyebrows and completely covers their temples and ears.
You want it to be tight enough that it doesn’t shift when they shake their head but loose enough not to hurt. The best way to test is with all the straps and a cage, if you plan to use one, attached because the straps will also help secure it.
Beyond that, brands often have certain designs for their helmets that fit one of the two main head shapes, oval and round. CCM tends to make a narrower, oval-shaped helmet, and Bauer leans more toward rounded helmets.
For foam padding to successfully protect against an impact, it must compress to a specific degree that corresponds with the force pushed against it. If the foam is too hard, powerful impacts will directly transfer through it without absorbing any of the force. If it’s too soft, it will compress so quickly that it will be as if it’s not even there.
That is why it’s important to have varying degrees of foam density throughout the inside of each helmet. A uniform layer of foam is not engineered to absorb the specific impacts that will likely hit each part of the helmet.
Newer helmets have also adopted a suspended inner liner. This is engineered with spinning impacts in mind. When the helmet is forced to whip to one side, the outer shell will take the majority of the spin’s force while the inner liner holds your child’s head in place.
Lastly, outer shells are usually designed as either a one-piece or two-piece mechanism. Two-piece shells are more popular because they are easier to adjust. But one-piece shells are stronger and they usually have an adjustable inner liner or customizable foam to create the right fit.
The full wire cage is definitely the strongest option between the wire cage, face shield, and combination mask.
A lot of people choose the face shield because they believe it offers better visibility, but that is usually false. The plastic can easily become cloudy as your face heats up during a game. It can also get scratched over time, making visibility worse than it would be from a wire cage.
The combination cage, which has a plastic shield in front of your eyes and a wire cage below to protect your mouth and chin, is slightly better. The ventilation provided by the wire cage ensures that the plastic won’t fog up, but it can still wear and become scratched over time.
Unless you have the money and time to continually replace the plastic shield and keep it meticulously clean, the wire cage is the best option for a youth hockey helmet.
When picking the color of your child’s youth hockey helmet, remember that hockey leagues can sometimes restrict the colors they allow.
If there are no restrictions, most helmets come in black, blue, red, and white. But there are some lines that you can get in other colors. There are even some brands that allow you to completely customize the design of the shell before purchasing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do good youth hockey helmets cost?
The cost can vary significantly depending on whether you’re looking for a pro-level or simple beginner youth hockey helmet for recreational skating. On average, a good pro-level helmet will cost over $100 and no more than $250. Whereas a good beginner helmet can cost anywhere between $35 and $80.
What’s the difference between a junior and a youth helmet?
The main difference between a junior and youth hockey helmet is the size of the product. Since youth hockey helmets are designed with children ages 3 to 7 in mind, the products run a lot smaller than junior hockey helmets, which are designed with children ages 7 to 12 in mind.
How long do hockey helmets last?
If properly dried after every use and stored in the right conditions, a good hockey helmet can last as long as 7 years. That’s why you should lay your youth hockey helmet out overnight after every use. At the end of the hockey season, you should also wash your helmet before storing it.
How do I wash my hockey helmet?
First, you’ll need to remove the cage and chin cup to give them both a wipe-down with a disinfectant. Then, clean the inside and outside of your helmet using a no-tear shampoo and water mixture. A thorough rinse is really important after this process because soaps can break down materials over time. You can then use a towel to dry most of the moisture before leaving it to fully air dry in a warm and well-ventilated room
Wrapping Up Our Top 5 Picks of The Best Youth Hockey Helmets
When it comes to your child’s protection, don’t take any chances with the type of helmet you buy.
Rest easy knowing that your choice of one of these top picks of the best youth hockey helmets will ensure your child is ready for whatever the game throws at them!
And for more information on all things hockey, check out our Hockey page!
- About the Author
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Liv covers everything hockey for Life in Minnesota (the State of Hockey!)
With a childhood filled with hockey at various levels – in nearly every position – she has a deep passion for the sport.
Liv has a Bachelor’s of Communication Studies, loves to travel, and of course… hockey.
Liv can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org