Your helmet is an essential piece of gear when you are playing hockey. Since hockey is a contact sport, hitting your head is a real risk and protecting your head is necessary.
But not just any hockey helmet works well for protection and not every helmet works for every player. We asked Hockey Pursuits to share their tips with us on how to choose from the best hockey helmets to find the perfect one for you, and this is their advice.
The first consideration when shopping for a hockey helmet is the fit. This is true with not just hockey helmets, but any helmet. If a helmet does not fit your head snugly, it will not stay in place if you hit your head, making it less effective for protection.
To make sure that a hockey helmet is the right size, you might need to try one on. If you are trying one on, expand the helmet’s settings to as big as it can go and then put it on your head. You then should slowly tighten the helmet to the point that it is snug. Snug means it should be tight and not able to move around your head if you shake your head, but also not be uncomfortable or painful. If your helmet is uncomfortable when you put it on, the size might be too small. Likewise, if you cannot tighten it to the point of snugness, the helmet is likely too big.
Cages and Visors
Not all helmets come with cages or visors, but depending on where you are playing, you might need to have one. Just like the fit of the helmet, your helmet cage needs to fit correctly in order to offer full protection. The cage should close all the way to your chin, with the chin cup sitting securely on your chin. This will ensure that the helmet and cage don’t shift if you are hit in the face.
Something important to remember is that even if your helmet is one size, your cage might not be the same size. Even if you are buying a combo helmet, the helmet might fit you, but the cage does not. The cage also has to be smaller than the helmet’s size, not bigger. So you could have a large helmet with a medium or small cage, but can never have a small helmet with a large cage.
What’s the Deal on Combo Helmets?
NHL players might often not wear cages, but really that is because they are not required to. Your league might require you to do so. If that is the case, you will come across the option of buying a combo helmet that has both the cage and the helmet together as a set.
There are not many brands that have combo helmets. It comes down to Bauer and Avision brands, both of which can offer the safety that you need on the ice. Bauer is the best-known brand as far as hockey gear goes and many players will opt for it because of the name. Nonetheless, Avision can still give you the choices and fit that you need.
Lifespan of a Helmet
Hockey helmets will not last forever. In fact, hockey helmets have an expiration date that could be anywhere from six to ten years depending on the brand. You can and should have your helmet inspected ever so often to make sure that there are not any cracks or missing parts. If it does, it should be repaired or replaced.
Your head and brain are far too important to not be given all of the protection possible. Make sure your hockey helmet is safe and fits well before you get on the ice.