Best Hockey Helmets in 2023 – Safest and Top Rated Helmets

Posted on June 15, 2024 by Dan Kent
hockey helmet

Do you have a hard time trying to find the best ice hockey helmets? If so, you'll want to look at our review, which includes some of the top helmets available in 2023.

Finding a helmet right for you is one of the most important parts of picking your gear as a hockey player. It's a sport that can leave your head vulnerable to being seriously hurt if you don't protect it. It would help if you had a great helmet and the perfect fit, with no exceptions.

This can make picking a helmet feel like a stressful process. That's why we've researched and reviewed the top options.

Along with this, we know that safety is paramount, but we also know that not everybody has $300 to spend on a helmet. For this reason, we'll have plenty of helmets that are still outstanding but at a budget price point. Ultimately, it will come down to personal preference.

Will they have as many features as a high-level helmet, be as light or as comfortable? No. But they'll keep your head safe, which is the most important.

We've written an in-depth buyers guide and FAQ, which can be found below the reviews. Be sure to read this to ensure you have all the information you need to make the best decision and buy the best helmet.

Comparison Table

Helmet

Tier

Best For

Price

Bauer Hyperlite

Premium

All-Around

CCM Tacks 910

Premium

Comfort

Warrior Alpha One

Mid-Range

Protection

Bauer RE-AKT 200

Mid-Range

Performance

Bauer RE-AKT 75

Mid-Range

Technology

Warrior Covert PX+

Mid-Range

Wider Heads

CCM Super Tacks 210

Mid-Range

Low Profile

CCM Tacks 710

Mid-Range

Comfort

Bauer 4500

Budget

Value

Bauer 5100

Budget

Ventalation

CCM Fitlite 3DS

Mid-Range

Adjustability

Bauer RE-AKT 95

Mid-Range

Affordability

Youth RE-AKT 100

Mid-Range

Best Youth Helmet

Bauer Hyperlite

The Bauer Hyperlite is comfortable, highly protective, and looks great. We've chosen this helmet as the best all-around option because players have been praising the overall design and functionality on offer.

I have tried this helmet on, and it is the lightest and most comfortable one I have ever worn. Why don't I own one, then? That all comes down to affordability. This is the most expensive protective helmet on the market and is certainly reserved for those willing to spend the money.

They've implemented the ShockLite Foam that enables you to feel comfortable whilst wearing the helmet. This, combined with high-quality, high-density memory foam padding, is one of the factors that enhances the amount of protection With the Hyperlite.

Adjusting the tightness of this helmet is super easy. Its tool-free adjustment system can be used from the back and side of the helmet. This allows you to adjust the width and length of the helmet on the fly. Bauer calls this the FreeForm adjusting system. The moisture channels inside of this helmet are also designed to keep sweat out of your eyes.

The overall design of the Bauer Hyperlite is excellent. Most importantly, however, the design has also been made to absorb heavy impacts to protect you better.

Awesome Features

  • Easily adjustable on both width and length
  • Excellent design for looks & protection
  • ShockLite foam makes the helmet very comfortable 

Downsides

  • The most expensive helmet on the market, retailing for over $300

Where To Buy?


CCM Tacks 910

Best for Comfort

CCM Tacks

This helmet has been designed to provide a comfortable fit due to the I.Q. Shion liner. 

Players have mentioned that it doesn't pressure their forehead or temple. The new comfort liner also works effectively to keep you comfortable while ensuring the helmet fits well.

The Fluid Inside Pod Matrix system is superb for providing ample protection. 

Furthermore, you can make quick and easy adjustments to the back of the helmet tool-less. This means that you can adjust the fit of the helmet at any time, which is convenient during games.

We also liked how the design of this helmet looked. You can rest assured that this helmet will keep you comfortable, protected, and looking good.

Awesome Features

  • Fluid Inside Pod Matrix system for enhanced protection
  • I.Q. Shion liner is great for comfort
  • Strong & aesthetic design

Downsides

  • Much like the Bauer Hyperlite, a little on the pricey side at nearly $300

Where To Buy?

Warrior Alpha One Pro

Best for Protection 

Warrior Alpha One Pro

The Warrior Alpha One Pro is an older helmet, debuting in 2019. But this is certainly it for those looking to budget while still looking for an outstanding helmet. 

The Warrior Alpha One Pro has a single-piece design that provides incredible protection and durability. They've designed the helmet with a strong plastic shell that can withstand a beating over time.

OmniShock technology, including unique Impax foam materials, has been integrated into this helmet. 

These materials effectively diffuse impact and reduce the chances of serious injury.

In addition to its durability, the helmet is also lightweight. This is excellent for ensuring you can be mobile and comfortable while playing hockey. AdaptFit 270 tech has been included in the design of this helmet which contributes to the comfort factor.

You can easily adjust the helmet's fit by using the dial provided on the rear. We liked how you could be laser specific about how tight you want the helmet to fit by adjusting the dial.

Awesome Features

  • Sweat-resistant liner pads
  • Comfortable AdaptFit 270 technology
  • OmniShock for enhanced protection
  • Now that it is older, it has come down in price, around $129.

Downsides

  • Some notice that the helmet is larger than expected and that they need a smaller size

Where To Buy?

Bauer RE-AKT 200

Best High Performance

Re-Akt 200

The Bauer RE-AKT 200 is another older modelled hockey helmet still worth owning in 2023.

In particular, we liked how they have incorporated an adjustment system that can be locked into place to provide your temples with even more protection while you're on the ice. If you are concerned about any lack of protection between the foam gaps, this helmet may be just what you're looking for. 

It has a greater amount of protection on the gaps. Furthermore, they have also managed to maintain a lot of airflow to ensure that it can circulate and keep you cool.

It's one of the best hockey helmets for concussions because it has been fitted with suspend-tech liner technology and an absorption upon-impact feature. These are effective at protecting your head if you experience any hard impacts. Strategically placed vents on the outer shell also allow for solid airflow.

Another feature they've used to improve impact absorption is a liner made out of VN foam. This is thick to protect you – making this one the safest hockey helmet in our lineup.

Awesome Features

  • Improved temple protection
  • More gap protection is included
  • Plenty of airflow to keep you cool

Downsides

  • The VN foam liner can make the helmet feel a little uncomfortable to begin with.
  • Adjusting this helmet may take some time. Break in time is long

Where to buy?

Bauer Re-Akt 75

Best for technology

Re-Akt 75

Notice a trend here? Bauer is extremely popular regarding hockey helmets and for good reason. They make excellent equipment. 

The Re-Akt 75 has been around for a long time, debuting in 2016. But it is still one of the best helmets on the market today regarding affordability.

The Bauer Re-Akt 75 helmet comes with Even+ technology foam and XRD foam materials. 

This technology effectively keeps you comfortable so you can focus on the game. The foam technology also helps to keep you protected from impact. Mult-density foam materials have been added to the inside of the helmet that works effectively to disperse impact.

In addition, a liner system has been included on the helmet's interior that adds to the comfort factor. Not to mention, MICROBAN technology has been added to the helmet, which has antimicrobial features to prevent odours.

Players have liked how this helmet's oval wire construction helps keep their vision clear. It has also been made with stainless steel materials For added protection.

You can adjust the helmet easily due to the tool-free adjustment feature. This is great when adjusting your helmet quickly during the game.

Awesome Features

  • Adjustments can be made without tools
  • Comfortable & protective foam technology
  • Clear vision

Downsides

  • A bit on the heavier side compared to newer models like the Hyperlite 

Where To Buy?

Warrior Covert PX+

Best for Wider Heads

Warrior Covert PX

The Warrior Covert PX is a fantastic option for finding a hockey helmet for wider heads.

They've designed this helmet specifically for comfort while also being able to protect more of your body. It can cover your entire head, as well as your neck.

We were surprised you could be incredibly specific with how you want this helmet to fit. 

This is a result of the dial adjustment that's available. This allows you to wear the helmet in a way that best fits your head's shape and size.

We liked how it has incredibly soft foam distributed evenly to keep you comfortable and balanced. VN and EPP foams have been used, both effective at providing layers of protection against impact.

A cage is available, providing better protection from any impact from the front. So, your face, head, and neck are all protected with this helmet.

Awesome Features

  • Even distribution of foam keeps you balanced
  • Easily adjustable for comfort
  • Cage available to keep your face protected

Downsides

  • This helmet is mainly for people with slightly wider heads 
  • Middle-of-the-line pricing, ranging from $140-$180

Where to buy?

CCM Super Tacks 210

Best for a Low-profile Aesthetic 

CCM Super Tacks

CCM's 210 helmet has been made with a low-profile design which is ideal for players who aren't too bothered about wearing a flashy helmet. The design has also been made to absorb impacts and protect your head.

We liked how both EVA and dual-density foam materials have been included with this helmet. These materials are excellent for keeping you comfortable while also helping with impact absorption.

Furthermore, no tools are required to make adjustments. Instead, you can quickly and easily adjust the back of the helmet to ensure that it fits you comfortably. A face mask is also included with this helmet which is a handy two-in-one feature.

It's very affordable, especially because of the cage being included. It will typically run you anywhere from $120-$150.

Awesome Features

  • Effectively absorbs impact
  • Comfortable foam materials
  • Easy adjustments

Downsides

  • Some players had issues installing the face mask

Where To Buy?

CCM Tacks 710

Best for Comfort

CCM Tacks 710

This helmet has been designed to provide a comfortable fit due to the I.Q. Shion liner. Players have mentioned that it doesn't pressure their forehead or temple. The new comfort liner also works effectively to keep you comfortable while ensuring the helmet fits well.

The helmet is designed with a high-density PE shell that provides excellent protection against impacts, and the multi-density foam liner helps to absorb and distribute impact forces.

This helmet has been designed to provide a comfortable fit due to the I.Q. Shion liner. Players have mentioned that it doesn't pressure their forehead or temple. The new comfort liner also works effectively to keep you comfortable while ensuring the helmet fits well.

The R.E.D. system is superb for providing you with ample protection. Furthermore, you can make quick and easy adjustments to the back of the helmet without any tools. This means that you can adjust the fit of the helmet at any time, which is convenient during your games. 


Awesome Features

  • R.E.D system for enhanced protection
  • I.Q. Shion liner is great for comfort 
  • Strong & aesthetic design 

Downsides

  • A little on the pricey side 

Where To Buy?

Bauer 4500

Best All-in-one Helmet & Face Mask 

Bauer 4500

This helmet is the cheapest on this list, but not cheap enough that it's a safety concern. The helmet has been around for nearly a decade. Although it doesn't have the best foam or the highest level of comfort, we acknowledge that for its price point, it is something a lot of people will look at, particularly new players.

We like how the Bauer 4500 features a helmet and face mask in one, as it's convenient. 

Bauer has designed this helmet to fit comfortably by including dense Cellflex foam inside. In addition to this, dual-density materials have been added to the chin cup. These foam materials are great for keeping you comfortable and helping manage excess moisture.

The ear covers have been made with a translucent and ergonomic design combined with floating ear loops. This means that you can wear the helmet and face mask comfortably. You're provided with plenty of visibility, too, as a result of the oval wire design.

Awesome Features

  • Dual-density foam materials for comfort
  • Moisture reducing materials
  • Great visibility
  • A very affordable $69.99

Downsides

  • A tool is needed to make adjustments
  • They are heavier and not as comfortable as some higher-level helmets

Where To Buy?

Bauer 5100

Best for Ventilation 

Bauer 5100

There is no question the Bauer 4500 is one of the more affordable helmets on this list. However, if you're willing to spend more, the 5100 has many more features. For one, it does not require a tool to be adjusted. This is one of the major downfalls of the 4500 because if you have to change it on the fly, it requires a trip back to the dressing room.

If you want a helmet that keeps you well-ventilated, the Bauer 5100 could be a great choice, especially for the price tag. 

This is because they've included ventilation ports allowing air to circulate through the helmet and keep you cool.

In addition to this, dual-density foam materials have been used for the liner. These materials work to keep you comfortable while absorbing excess moisture. If you've got the extra $30-$40, this one costs over 4500, and you'll find it worth it.

If we sum up the 5100 in a single sentence, it would be that it is an excellent helmet at its price point.

Awesome Features

  • Ventilation ports
  • Comfortable liner
  • Moisture absorbing materials

Downsides

  • Some have had issues with the sizing of the helmet

Where To Buy?

CCM Fitlite 3DS 

Best for Adjustability

CCM 3DS

Are you after a hockey helmet that can be easily adjusted? If so, the CCM Fitlite 3DS may be one to consider.

The 3DS feature is an easy-to-adjust system that leaves your ears with a lock over them. As a result, the helmet has more freedom to contract and get larger depending on the size of your head. This makes the helmet more comfortable and has a better chance of protecting your head.

A ventilation system has been built to keep you cool while you're playing. This allows for air to circulate throughout the helmet.

With a shell made out of ABS and PE materials, you can be sure that this helmet will last you for a long time. These materials are also incredibly effective at absorbing impact to prevent your head from taking hits.

Moreover, a layer of EPP materials is available, the last line of defence against impact. So, you have multiple layers of materials to keep you consistently protected.

Your temples are provided with more specific protection from the D30 foam. They have used different foam materials for the temples as they are more vulnerable to damage during impact.

Awesome Features

  • D30 foam for temple protection
  • Ventilation available
  • Durable ABS and PE materials were used to construct the inside
  • Easily adjustable and comfortable

Downsides

  • Not cheap

Where to buy? 

Bauer RE-AKT 95

Most Affordable high-level helmet

Bauer Re Akt 95

Bauer's RE-AKT 95 helmet is a more affordable choice than the Hyperlite, ensuring you have plenty of protection to keep yourself safe on the ice. The shell has been constructed using HDPE materials, providing a very lightweight feel. Some people prefer a lighter helmet as it feels more comfortable.

The helmet came out in 2018 and has become a much more affordable option for people looking to get a high-level helmet for cheap.

They have used removable ear guards to give you the choice to wear them. In addition, there is an adjustment feature that lets you alter the height of the helmet to ensure it fits you perfectly.

You have ample protection on your temples due to the PORON XRD. This has been made to absorb any impact you take on the temples to protect them.

We also liked how there is suspend-tech liner technology available. This means you have an additional layer of liner to make the helmet even more effective at absorbing impact.

Awesome Features

  • The PORON XRD foam protects your temples
  • Affordable price
  • Suspend-tech liner for another layer of protection
  • Lightweight design

Downsides

  • Some people forget to put the ear guards back in, which leaves them exposed
  • This helmet tends to fit people who have rounder heads better

Where to buy?

Bauer Re-Akt 100 Youth Hockey Helmet Combo

Best Youth Helmet

Re Akt Youth

If your child is playing hockey, you want them to have a top-notch helmet. However, you may not want to break the bank, considering they'll often grow out of it relatively quickly. The Re-Akt 100 Youth helmet is the perfect option.

Regardless of the size and shape of your child's head, you can adjust this one to fit them comfortably. 

Regarding protection, you're provided with Bauer's SUSPEND-TECH liner system, where you have layers of padding. It comes with a solid cage and a triple-density chin cup.

You can easily adjust this helmet, as it doesn't require any tools.

Awesome Features

  • High-quality helmet to keep your children safe
  • Very affordable
  • Adjustable to keep your child in it for longer

Downsides

  • Although the adjustment system works, it's relatively simplistic.

Where to buy?

Hockey Helmet Buyers Guide

So, that wraps up our reviews on what the best ice hockey helmets have to offer. You're now left with a better idea of the various features and benefits that they can provide you with.

However, before you make a final decision, it's a good idea to learn more about the best ways of picking the helmet that's best for your needs.

We have created this buyer's guide to provide you with more details to ensure you have all the information you need to pick the top helmet for you.

How to Size Your Helmet

One of the most important factors to consider is the size of your head. You want to find a helmet that fits you tight enough to stay balanced while not feeling like your head is under too much pressure.

Therefore, the adjustment features are essential and need to be considered. The adjustability features of a helmet will significantly impact how comfortable and secure it is.

We've included helmets in our review with more adjustability features than others – mainly the ability to make adjustments without using tools.

Helmet Certification

helmet certificates

All CSA and HECC-certified helmets have a sticker indicating their certification. Ensure it is still valid if you play in an official league.

Types of Foam Lining

There are a couple of different kinds of foam lining that are available that many of the top ice hockey helmets use. They include dual-density vinyl nitrile(VN) and expanded polypropylene (EPP).

VN is softer than EPP, which is why it's more prone to having indents made in it upon impact. However, VN is fantastic for providing another layer of protection while ensuring that the helmet feels more comfortable to wear.

EPP is tougher than VN, and it's a more expensive material. Due to it's added toughness, you can expect to experience more benefits as far as protection is concerned.

Visor vs Cage?

Using a helmet with either a visor, cage or nothing at the front highly depends on your playing style. Usually, younger players wear a full cage, and older players can wear a visor. Your league may have specific rules related to what you need to wear for your age.

hockey visor

The helmets that don't have a visor or cage shed some weight, making them feel lighter and more agile. Without having anything in front of your face, you can see more clearly, too, which will make it easier to see the puck and oncoming players.

Those benefits come at a higher risk of being injured as your face is unprotected and exposed to hits from players, sticks or the puck.

If you're a younger player, you'll want to go with a cage combo, and once you're more experienced or older, you can try out a visor. Visors provide an uninterrupted view while protecting your eyes and nose (different shape visors are more protective than others).

Visors do require more maintenance to prevent fogging and scratching. You'll want to protect your visor from scratches and regularly use an anti-fog spray and cleaning cloth before or during games for optimal vision.

Weight

A heavier helmet doesn't automatically make it more effective at protecting you from hard impacts. Wearing heavier helmets can impact how comfortable it feels to wear them.

If you're wearing one that's too heavy (or too tight), you'll likely start suffering from headaches and pain in your neck.

The lighter helmets may be the best way to go for some people. Although, you should still ensure that it has a lot of padding to offer ample protection. This is because some lighter options skimp out on the padding in favour of a lightweight design.

Padding

The padding that comes with these helmets will vary in their placement. They also have several different uses.

Padding is great for ensuring that you can wear your helmet and have it fit nicely and feel soft on your head. It also keeps your head protected by acting as a cushion upon impact.

Ensuring that you have padding on the temples is especially important as it's a sensitive area prone to more severe injuries.

There are ice hockey helmets with ear padding that can be removed. Some people remove this ear padding because it makes the helmet lighter and easier to hear. However, this is not recommended because it means you're leaving your ears exposed.

Chin Strap

Standard vs Cage Chin Strap

The primary function of the chin strap is to keep the helmet fitting securely on your head. However, it can also work effectively to act as another element of protection if you also use a cage with chin protection.

If you get hit particularly hard or fall on the ice, the chin strap on a cage works to keep your chin stable and protected.

Cheap vs Expensive

Best Hockey Helmet for Concussions

All modern hockey helmets with valid safety certification bought new will protect your head and lower your risk of concussion. The Bauer RE-AKT 200 is the highest-performing helmet on our review lineup when playing in high-impact, high-intensity games. The extra padding and custom fit make this our top pick.

FAQ

What helmet do most NHL players use?

According to GearGeek, CCM is the helmet most NHL players wear, with nearly 48% of the league using them. After that, Bauer sits in the 44% range, while only 8% of players use Warrior Helmets.

What helmet is better, Bauer or CCM?

Both are the two premier brands regarding helmets and hockey equipment in general. As for what helmet is better, they're virtually identical. They both have their high-end helmets and budget helmets, suiting the needs of any player.

What helmet did Wayne Gretzky wear?

Wayne Gretzky was well known for wearing his Jofa helmet throughout his NHL career. Jofa was a strong brand in the 80s and 90s, as very popular NHLers like Wayne Gretzky, Jaromir Jagr, Mario Lemieux, Peter Forsberg, Markus Naslund, and Teemu Selanne wore them.

How Long Do Helmets Last? 

A hockey helmet can last for up to 10 years. However, the CDC advises getting a new one after using it for five years. While the helmets can last for a decade, they will deteriorate over the years and become less effective at protecting you if you're using them frequently.

The 5-year guideline also may not apply to you. It's a general rule to go by. However, you may need to replace your helmet sooner than that. If you see any cracks or other signs of wear, we recommend that you replace it as soon as possible.

How Should You Maintain Your Helmet?

There's not much to the maintenance process for ice hockey helmets. Provided that you let it air out after games, that's pretty much it.

The only other form of maintenance will be if parts have come loose and need tightening.

Is It Okay to Buy a Used Helmet?

It's best to buy these new helmets because you can never be completely sure of how much wear and tear they have taken.

Although you may be getting a good deal for a brand new helmet, it's likely that it has taken a lot of damage that has weakened it.

How Can You Prevent Skin Irritation When Wearing a Helmet?

Many people find that their skin becomes irritated when they wear helmets. Moving around a lot and having the padding rubbing against your skin can lead to acne and rashes.

One of the most effective ways to remedy this issue is to make sure you buy one with a ventilation feature. This keeps the air flowing inside the helmet to keep it cool.

Some of the materials used to make the helmets on the inside could cause an allergic reaction. So, if you're experiencing skin problems, you may need to find a helmet free from certain materials.

Is the Cage Size the Same as the Helmet?

There's some confusion surrounding the size of the cage in regard to the helmet. The cage may not necessarily be the same size as the helmet. As a result, you'll want to try the helmet on and ensure the cage completely protects the upper part of your neck and chin before you get on the ice.

Can You Use Accessories With Ice Hockey Helmets?

Various helmets allow you to add accessories. For instance, if you have a helmet that doesn't have a cage or visor, there may be insertion points for you to add later on.

Dan Kent

About the author

Growing up in a hockey hotbed (Calgary, Alberta. And yes, I'm an Oiler fan), I decided to put my love and knowledge of the game to work. I started at five and am still playing today into my early 30s. By acquiring Brave Stick Hockey and rebranding it to Big Shot Hockey in 2023, I plan to teach people about this great game and educate them on the best equipment and history of the game. On a career level, I am in finance, running one of the largest financial websites in Canada, Stocktrades.ca.

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