Baseball Batting Helmet

Baseball Batting Helmet

In baseball, batting helmets play a critical role in protecting players from high-speed pitches while at the plate. Batting helmets significantly reduce the risk of serious head injury resulting from stray pitches for batters at all levels of the sport. Continue reading to learn all about the different types of batting helmets, top brands, and considerations before buying.


What are the benefits of batting helmets?

Batting helmets are an essential piece of protective equipment worn by batters in baseball. These helmets have evolved over time to offer increased protection for batters with the overall goal of making the sport safer. At the professional level, pitches can reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour, which can result in serious injury or even death if a batter is struck in the head. Batting helmets are worn by batters at all times they are susceptible to errant pitches, this includes when they are on deck, hitting, and on base.

All batting helmets manufactured today will utilize high-grade materials to maximize the protection they offer. Batting helmets typically feature a durable outer shell made of carbon fiber paired with a foam interior to absorb high-impact hits.

Things To Consider

When looking for a baseball batting helmet, you'll want to consider the following:

  • What type of batting helmet are you looking for?
  • What skill level of baseball are you playing?
  • How much money do you have to spend on a batting helmet?
  • What size helmet do you need?
  • How much protection do you want from a batting helmet?

What are you looking for in a batting helmet?

  • To wear during batting practice
  • To wear during a game
  • To protect the top and sides of your head
  • To protect your jaw
  • To protect your face
  • To provide increased visibility

Types

The three main types of batting helmets are open face helmets, fastpitch helmets, and jaw guard helmets. Each has its own unique features that distinguish them from one another. Some helmets prioritize additional facial protection, while others emphasize comfort and visibility.

Open Face Helmet

Baseball Open Face Helmet

Open face batting helmets offer high visibility at the cost of having less facial coverage. Open face helmets cover the majority of a player's head, leaving only the face and jaw exposed. These batting helmets are most commonly used in youth baseball since pitches tend to be thrown at lower speeds.

Pros:

  • High visibility
  • Good choice for youth baseball

Cons:

  • Exposed face and jaw

Fastpitch Helmets

Baseball Fastpitch Helmet

Fastpitch helmets differ from other batting helmets for the obvious reason that they offer facial protection in the form of a metal guard. The cage attached to fastpitch helmets is made of high-grade metal to withstand pitches upwards of 100 miles per hour. These helmets are most common in softball but are also used by baseball players who are looking for the best possible facial protection while batting.

Pros:

  • Maximum facial protection
  • Ideal for youth players

Cons:

  • Lower visibility
  • Less common in higher levels of baseball

Jaw Guard Helmets

Baseball Jaw Guard Helmet

Jaw guard helmets offer the same basic features as open face helmets, except with added protection on one side of the face. A deflector is attached to the helmet on the side facing the pitcher when at bat. Some jaw guard helmets will leave the opposite side ear uncovered as well. This type of helmet is most worn by most players in the MLB. Jaw guard helmets are the only type of batting helmet in which it is important to consider your batting stance before purchasing.

Pros:

  • Added jaw protection
  • Popular choice among pro players
  • Breathability for far side ear

Cons:

  • Batting stance dependent
  • Does not protect entire face

Materials

Some of the most common materials used to manufacture baseball batting helmets are carbon fiber, polystyrene, and EVA foam. Each of these materials plays a vital role in creating pieces of this protective equipment.

  • Carbon Fiber: Carbon fiber is an extremely strong polymer used for making the outer shell of batting helmets. Its durability and strength make it capable of protecting against pitches traveling upwards of 100 miles per hour.
  • Plastic: Many types of hard plastic are occasionally used to produce the outer shell of youth baseball and decorative helmets. While not as strong as other materials, it does the job of protecting against lower speed pitches. Plastic helmets are available at a much lower cost.
  • EVA Foam: Ethylene-vinyl acetate or EVA is a popular type of foam used in the padding of batting helmets. Its multi-density properties allow the material to absorb high-impact blows with ease.
  • EPS Foam: Expanded polystyrene or EPS is a polymer that is frequently used as a foam liner for helmets across many sports. EPS foam has a wide range of uses, but its lightweight and absorbent properties make it ideal for baseball batting helmets.

Brands

Rawlings, Easton, and Mizuno are among the top brands for baseball batting helmets.

Rawlings

Rawlings is the official helmet of Major League Baseball. They offer high-quality batting helmets in all three types. Rawlings' helmets can vary greatly in terms of price, depending on which model you choose.

Easton

Easton manufactures a wide range of baseball equipment and specializes in batting helmets. The brand carries open face, fastpitch, and jaw guard helmets at multiple different price points.

Mizuno

Mizuno is a Japanese sports manufacturer known for their baseball and softball equipment. They only offer open face and fastpitch batting helmets in both adult and youth sizes.

FAQ

How much do batting helmets cost?

Baseball batting helmets can range in price from as low as $20 for a youth helmet, to upwards of $160 for professional grade helmets. The average price for a carbon fiber batting helmet is around $40. The materials used to produce the helmet are mostly responsible for the fluctuating prices, as prices between different types do not vary considerably. Purchasing jaw guard or face mask attachments separately will add an additional $10-$20.

How do you know when to replace your batting helmet?

All modern batting helmets are designed to be both durable and impact absorbent. Batting helmets should last multiple seasons as long as they are not being frequently struck. Visible cracks or noticeable wear on the interior padding are signs that it is time to replace your batting helmet. The maximum lifetime of batting helmets is around ten years, after which the helmet will need to be replaced.

What kind of batting helmets do MLB players wear?

The most commonly used type of helmet in the MLB is jaw guard helmets; however, players have been known to use a wide variety of batting helmets over the years. MLB players almost exclusively wear Rawlings helmets, as they are the official helmet of the league. The S100 Pro Comp jaw guard helmet is the exact model currently sanctioned by Major League Baseball.

How do you know if a batting helmet fits properly?

Sizing is an important factor contributing to the comfort and protection that a batting helmet will provide. Batting helmets typically come in junior and senior sizes. Most manufacturers provide measurements or a sizing chart based on your head's circumference to help find the right size. Batting helmets should fit snug. A good way to tell if your helmet fits right is simply by shaking your head after putting on the helmet. If you can feel the helmet moving around a lot, it is too big.