Even the best of helmets start to deteriorate over time. But that’s where Reebok has set itself above the competition. While most helmets become impossible to adjust as they’re exposed to more and more moisture, the 11K helmet’s custom adjust system continues to perform well, which is great for a guy like me that passes equipment onto friends when I get new gear. There is also a special liner that molds to your head and, thankfully, doesn’t harden over time. It’s also available in every color combination available, which makes it a great helmet for teams that want to have the style of a true NHL team.
Why is this helmet the best? Because it has everything a player could want. Ergo Translucent ear covers, antibacterial protection, and a great cooling ventilation system. But the one thing that really sticks out with the 9900 is the way it feels. It features memory comfort foam that is very flexible and will adjust to a player’s head. But the best part is that Bauer has taken steps to assure the foam won’t harden over time, which is a constant problem with helmets. Add in the impact protection system which will dissipate up to 90 percent of the force of impact, and you have a helmet that is essential for any player that wants full protection in the most important place.
If you want a helmet that looks as great as it performs, then Easton has you covered. The E700 has a sleek poly carbonate shell that doesn’t lose its look after taking multiple impacts and being exposed to moisture for extended amounts of time. It also features a foam liner and Giro inspired fit system with plush padding that provides optimal comfort and a snug fit. It’s a little more expensive than some others, but it’s a great investment for highly active players in need of a helmet that will last and perform.
Warrior’s latest helmet feels very familiar, but not in a bad way. It reminds me a lot of the helmets I used to wear growing up. The only difference? This helmet continues to feel new over time, where the liners in the older helmets would begin to harden after a few months. It also feels a lot safer than the older helmets (thank goodness). The shell is split into four pieces, which helps air pass through and keeps it light. It should also help to prevent any long cracks from forming after big impacts.
CCM has set a great standard for offering everything a player could want in a helmet with the V10. The EPP foam liner offers some of the most reliable impact protection of any helmet on the market today. Mix that with the cooling ventilation system, and the sleek aerodynamic design, and the heat activated memory foam, and you have one of the most reliable and ergonomic helmets available. And yes, CCM has made sure to make this one of the lightest pieces of equipment money can buy, just like the rest of their products.
One of the greatest things about Bauer hockey masks is that they don’t need all that much attention to really last. And the new and approved liner in the Concept C1 will help to continue that trend. It’s quick drying, comfortable, and won’t harden over time. The window is standard, and will feel familiar to many goalies. They’re also customizable and can be ordered to the specifications of your favorite professional goaltender. There’s a reason top goalies like Henrik Lundqvist and Marc-Andre Fleury have always turned to Bauer over their long careers.
With players faster than ever, and shots that are even quicker, many goalies are adapting to masks with wider windows to see that much more of their surroundings. And as far as wide-windowed masks go, CCM has a leg up on the competition. It’s comfortable and snug, has a design similar to masks of the 90’s for veterans, and is fully adjustable without any tools. It comes standard with an old school titanium square cage, which is one of the few downfalls of this mask. But don’t let that stop you from getting one of the few elite masks that will help you catch players crashing the crease from any side.
One of the most intriguing things about this mask is the fact that Vaughn designed it so that impacts will disperse towards the back of the helmet, whereas most helmets just disperse near the point of impact. This will help to ensure that even the hardest of shots will not leave you rattled, which is something that even top helmets can’t protect against will the shot velocity of modern players. The window is also nice and wide, the cage is stainless steel and won’t rust easily, and there are no gaps on the inner protective liner (which is also removable for easy cleaning).
Bauer Profile Pro 961 Goalie Mask
First and foremost, this mask comes with ever popular cat-eye wire. As well as a sweat band and very nice carrying case. It is very similar to the Concept C1 in many ways except for its construction and shape. While the C1 is made for newer goalies that are aggressive and looking for a wider window, this mask is a little more traditional and will feel right at home classic butterfly goaltenders. It also features a very comfortable adjustable chin strap, and a lightweight liner that is very quick drying. Definitely for serious players that are looking for the feel of an old-school mask, with the protection of a modern one.
Eddy Custom LT Pro-Spec Goalie Mask
You may not have heard of Eddy Masks, but don’t let that stop you from giving the Custom LT Pro-Spec a look. To start, all of the edges are rounded which will prevent chipping and keep you from getting any surprise cuts when grabbing your mask after a game. It’s made with very light carbon fiber, and sits more comfortably along your forehead than almost any other mask. And although it’s less expensive than some of the other masks, the liner does not fall apart and harden over time. This mask is a great bargain and will serve any goalie well.