29 December 2017, by Hockey Dawg Staff
Your player comes home from practice, and tells you the coach said the helmet is too small.
Time to head to the hockey store.
You’ve read about all the concern for concussions, and head out.
In the store, you see a wall of helmets–different sizes, different brands, a rainbow of colors–all shiny and new. But which one will protect your player’s nugget the best?
There is a poster, next to the display, which highlights the virtues of each model. You ask for some clarification from the sales person, only to find out he is parroting the poster. Not much help.
Now, there is a report that rates and ranks hockey helmets based on a predefined criteria. Virginia Tech has developed a methodology to rate hockey helmets. You can access the findings here. It is based on there successful criteria for football helmets, and is the only independent study we are aware of. If you are into the science behind the study, here is the detailed methodology.
When we became aware of the study, a couple of years ago, there were no helmets rated above 3-Stars. Football, by comparison, had several helmets–currently 16, to be exact–achieving the highest rating of 5-Stars. Clearly, hockey manufacturers had some serious work to do.
We are happy to announce the major equipment companies have answered the call.
Summary: the Best of the Best
The following is a list of the helmets rated 3-Stars and above. We are merely reporting Virginia Tech’s research and findings, for your information and convenience. As we talk to parents, players and coaches, it never ceases to amaze us how few are aware of this study. Please pass this information along! It shouldn’t be a secret. The information is too valuable.
When we first examined the study, there were three helmets rated 3-STAR.
- Warrior Krown 360 (STAR Value: 4.05) $79.98
- Bauer Re-Akt 75 (STAR Value: 4.38) $119.99
- Warrior Covert PX-Plus (STAR Value: 4.62) $179.99
4-STARS (Very Good)
In May 2016, Bauer released the Re-Akt 200. It was the first hockey helmet to achieve a STAR rating higher then three.
- Bauer Re-Akt 200 (STAR Value: 3.30) $299.99
5-STARS (Best Available)
Now, hockey players have their first 5-STAR choice. CCM recently released their newest helmet. It is the first–and currently the only–hockey helmet to earn the highest rating from Virginia Tech. With a price tag $100 less than Bauer’s highest-rated competitor, it provides both protection and value.
- CCM FL500 (STAR Value: 1.67) $199.99
Although $200 may seem like a hefty amount, especially with so many options under $100, is a helmet really where you want to cut corners?
Virginia Tech has rated and ranked 38 hockey helmets to date. Of the 38 helmets, only the CCM FL500 earned the 5-STAR rating.
No helmet can provide absolute protection from concussions. Hockey is a fast-moving, collision sport, but the right helmet can help reduce–but will not eliminate–the risk of concussion. All helmets must be properly fitted, and adjusted for each player. Take the time, and invest the money to give your player the best brain protection you can. Your player is worth it!
We will update this post, as necessary.
Do you wear one of the helmets listed? Let us know what you think. Leave your thoughts in the comments section.