A hockey helmet is a piece of protective equipment worn by hockey players to protect their heads from injuries on the ice. The hockey helmet covers the top, sides, and back of the head, as well as having an attached face shield to protect the athlete’s face. Helmets should fit snug on the head and also have an adjustable chin strap to ensure the helmet stays on during collisions.
Concussions are common in hockey, so most modern helmets are made to deal with them. Any full contact hockey player should be wearing a helmet to protect themselves, especially children. Newer hockey helmets are designed with technology to disperse impact throughout the helmet. This reduces the overall damage to the head or brain and greatly lowers the risk of serious injury.
Hockey Helmet History
The helmet was first used in professional hockey in 1928 by George Owen, who played for the Boston Bruins at the time. Many players at this early stage actually rejected helmet use, regardless of the frequent head injuries suffered by many hockey players. Up until 1979, when the NHL made helmets a mandatory piece of equipment, helmets were optional and only worn by about 70% of players. Today, every hockey player is required to wear a helmet while playing, and most leagues also require face shields as well.
Hockey helmets have evolved a lot over the years. Older helmets were bulky, less comfortable, and did not have the same protective capabilities. Newer helmets feature a cushioned foam liner and shell made of vinyl nitrile, which is a strong plastic-like material for maximum protection. They also have easily adjustable parts, such as the chin strap, to ensure a good fit and comfortability.
Helmets are an essential part of any hockey player’s gear. They come in different sizes and styles for men’s, women’s, and youth hockey. They can range in price from $40 to upwards of $300. Some of the most popular hockey helmet brands today are Bauer, Easton, Warrior, and Reebok.
Things To Consider
When looking for an ice hockey helmet, you'll want to consider the following:
- What size helmet do you need?
- How much do you want to spend on a helmet?
- Are you a skater or a goalie?
- What level of hockey are you playing at?
What is the best hockey helmet?
Hockey helmets come in various different styles, sizes, and brands. Finding the best hockey helmet can rely a lot on personal opinion, taking into account the overall fit, safety features, style, or overall value of a helmet.
However, across the hockey market, there seems to be a consensus on one helmet that players much prefer. The Bauer Re-Akt 200 is the company’s top-of-the-line model and provides state of the art safety features as well as multiple options for adjustments to give the best possible fit.
This helmet costs around $300.00 and is available across almost any hockey outlet in the U.S. and Canada. Players especially praise this helmet for its comfortability, style, and protection it provides.
How much does a hockey helmet cost?
Hockey helmets are available at a very wide range of prices. The cheapest are priced at around $40 for smaller and lower quality models such as the Bauer 2100. More expensive helmets can be upwards of $300 for the highest quality helmets such as the Bauer Re-Akt 200.
The main difference between cheap and expensive helmets is the quality of materials used to produce them and their respective protective abilities. Cheaper helmets will be made of cheap plastic with little protective foam, while higher priced helmets will have high-impact protective technology, adjustable features for better fit, and gel-based foam to shield athletes.
In general, the more you pay for a helmet, the better structure, fit, and overall protection it provides. Players in full-contact hockey leagues will want to consider buying a more expensive helmet to provide the best possible safety features.
How should a hockey helmet fit?
How well your hockey helmet fits can have a profound impact on a player’s game. However, it can be difficult to find the perfect fit. Players want a properly fitted helmet to be more comfortable, be able to see and hear well, and to be properly protected.
Players can find their proper helmet size by measuring the circumference of their head at about 1 inch above their eyebrows. If the helmet feels extremely tight or is pinching your head, you may have the wrong size. Sizes and fit can depend on the brand of helmet.
First, the helmet fit should be snug on your head (but not so tight that it's uncomfortable) without being able to slide forward or backward. Hockey helmets should sit flat on the head and be about ½ an inch above the eyebrows. Finally, adjust the chin strap to sit firmly underneath the chin and ensure the helmet fits comfortably without moving. Now your helmet should fit properly!
What is a hockey helmet made of?
Hockey helmets are composed of two main parts, the shell and the liner. The shell is generally made of vinyl nitrile or polyethylene, which are strong plastic-like substances. These materials help disperse collisions and protect your head from high-impact injuries like concussions.
The liner is made of varying foam-like materials, depending on the manufacturer. The foam is molded into the shape of your head for better fit and protective ability. Some newer helmets will use gel-foam for better comfortability.
Additional parts that make up a hockey helmet are the chin straps which are generally made of nylon, and the face shield, which mostly consists of plastic or a metal cage.