irst of all, why the heck do you need a lacrosse helmet? Is it mandatory to wear? And how it can make or break your game? Well, lacrosse is a game that’s becoming more prevalent in high schools across the country. In the last few years alone, the number of varsity lacrosse teams has doubled. As with any contact sport, head injuries are a very real risk. According to studies published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine[1
], roughly 21.9 percent of all injuries among male youth lacrosse players were concussions. For females, that figure jumps up to 22.7 percent. Those statistics are for high school players only. When you factor in injuries from professional leagues, the risks are too high to ignore.
Your first line of defense against head injuries is the best lacrosse helmet that money can buy. Lacrosse helmets have gone through many changes throughout the sport’s history. While they’re not a requirement in some lacrosse games, it doesn’t hurt to have that added layer of protection.
If you’re on the hunt for a new lacrosse helmet, we have you covered. We’ve done the research to find some of the best lacrosse helmets on the market. Check out our recommended picks below.
Comparison Chart: Best Lacrosse Helmets 2020
Lacrosse Helmet Reviews (Top Picks)
Now let’s read in-depth analysis of each product to get a better idea of our likes, dislikes and final verdict.
Another excellent youth’s lacrosse helmet from Cascade is the CS Junior. It’s purpose-built for lacrosse enthusiasts up to 12 years old. Because young players are still growing, the helmet is capable of adjusting as your child gets bigger. There are two distinct fit systems. The first is on the rear. Thicker padding on the back hugs your child’s head. On the front, the CS fit system adjusts to the width of your kid’s noggin.
The shell provides plenty of protection against checks and ball impacts. For face coverage, there’s a tough metal mask. It has horizontal bars that are spaced close enough to prevent the ball from getting through. However, there’s also enough space to decrease visibility issues, which is great for budding lacrosse players who are learning the ropes.
- Only weighs 2 pounds
- Temple-mounted fit system
- Curved mask
- Adjustable fit on rear
- Chin coverage and chin strap
- Not suitable for players older than 12
- May provide unwanted pressure on temples
With this helmet, you can expose your kid to the wonderful world of lacrosse without all of the worries. It’s more than capable of protecting your kid’s head. So, you can rest easy as you watch from the sidelines.
If you have a child who’s just getting into the game of lacrosse, consider this helmet from Cascade. It may be on the heavier side for smaller kids. However, the helmet has some great features that let your young player grow with the gear. For example, it has an efficient adjustment strap to get the perfect fit. The inside is also contoured to match the shape of a player’s head, which helps to improve comfort significantly.
Like some of Cascade’s other helmets, this model uses the Seven Technology liner. It’s a fast-reacting foam that does a great job of dispersing impact energy. One thing we like about this lacrosse helmet is the mast. It takes on a chevron pattern and wraps around the eyes. As a result, it gives players a good sightline and doesn’t have too many obstructions.
- Great visibility
- Seven Technology liner
- Chin strap
- Heavier than some other options
The youth’s lacrosse helmet does very well across the board. It offers solid protection and will, without a doubt, get your kid excited about the games to come.
From STX comes the Stallion 600 lacrosse helmet. This gear has some cool features that make it a great option for anyone. Inside, you’ll find two separate liners. The first is made out of TPU foam. It’s great for impact absorption and comfort. The second is an air-filled liner. It can be inflated with the included pump to get a personalized fit that feels secure and comfortable.
The shell of the helmet offers a bit more protection than some other options. That’s because it’s made out of polycarbonate plastic. This is the same stuff that’s used on motorcycle helmets, so you know that it’ll keep you safe during a rowdy game. Additional safety features include a built-in chin strap and a curved face mask.
- Tough polycarbonate shell
- Adjustable inner liner
- TPU foam is used inside
- Chin strap included
- Weighs 3.5 pounds
- Heavy interior padding may be uncomfortable for some
Don’t let the simple appearance of this helmet fool you. It’s hiding some great features inside. With the inflatable liner, it’s an excellent piece of equipment that can be used by just about anyone.
Another great option from Cascade is this LX women’s helmet. Currently, helmets are only required for female players in one state. However, Cascade has implemented some great design features to accommodate the eventual adoption of helmets for women’s leagues across the nation.
First, it has a unique design that’s catered to the needs of women. The mask only covers the eyes and is shaped to provide room for regulation goggles. There are also interior pads, a rear strap that you can adjust, and two hair slots for comfort. When it comes to protection, Poron XRD foam is used. This foam is a popular choice among safety gear manufacturers because it offers superior levels of impact protection.
- Integrated goggles that meet ASTM standards
- Lightweight build
- Built-in hair slots
- Adjustable rear strap
- Poron XRD foam
- Doesn’t cover chin
- Interior pads may cause some discomfort
This helmet is one of the best options for female players. Even if lacrosse helmets aren’t required in your state, this gear will provide you with all the protection you need to stay safe as you play.
One look at this lacrosse helmet from Cascade and you can tell that it’s built with solid protection in mind. The helmet covers the entire head and stretches down to provide some chin protection. For extra peace of mind, there’s a chin strap included as well. Overall, the helmet only weighs about 3 pounds. Thanks to the ventilation holes, it feels nice and light on your head.
Inside the helmet, there’s Cascade’s Seven Technology. Essentially, the foam liner compresses upon impact to spread the force laterally. Then, it almost immediately bounces back to prepare for another blow. As for face protection, you’re completely covered with the chrome-covered mask. It’s made of metal and features horizontal bars to catch stray balls. The entire mask wraps around the face to improve visibility from all angles.
- Utilizes Seven Technology
- Built-in chin strap
- Good visibility
- One size fits most design
- Ventilation holes
- Has some vulnerable points
There’s no doubt that this product is one of the best lacrosse helmets that you can buy. It has a lot to offer in terms of protection. Plus, it looks great and can help you stand out on the field.
Lacrosse Helmets Buying Guide: Choosing the Best
Whether you’re looking for youth lacrosse helmets or gear made for adults, it’s important to consider every aspect of your purchase. While there’s no way to get 100 percent protection from concussions, helmets absorb the force of impact during a check or fall to reduce those risks significantly. Needless to say, the quality of your purchase is more important than ever. Here are some things to look out for.
Most Important Features to Consider When Getting a Lacrosse Helmet
1. Shell Material
The shell refers to the outermost material. It’s going to the layer that’s exposed to hits. So, this material needs to be tough enough to withstand some wear and tear while providing you with ample protection. There’s a fine line between choosing a material that’s too heavy and one that offers optimum protection.
These days, most lacrosse helmets are made out of injection-molded ABS. It’s lightweight, yet fully capable of dissipating impact energy. Whether you get checked by a lacrosse stick or you fall to the ground, the ABS plastic will act as a sacrificial layer. It spreads the impact forces, minimizing the effects on your head.
Lacrosse balls can travel over 90 MPH during a shot. To protect your face, lacrosse helmets feature a mask. You can find a few different designs. However, vertical or horizontal bars are the most common.
The spacing between these bars will affect your comfort and safety. Most regulation balls have a diameter of around 8 inches. At the very least, the spacing should be less than this to ensure that it provides adequate protection. Keep in mind that bars add weight to the overall mask and can affect your vision.
An additional chin strap is a must-have for any lacrosse helmets. These pieces extend the coverage of the helmet a bit to make sure that your entire face is adequately protected. Consider the thickness of the chin cover. Some are made out of thin rubber. While it’s more comfortable to wear, it won’t do much to keep you protected during a hit. On the other hand, there are reinforced chin straps. They can be a bit stiff and cumbersome on the field.
Earlier, we mentioned that the shell of the helmet is the first layer that’s affected by the impact. The forces from that impact continue to travel into the helmet. The best lacrosse helmets feature a thick liner that will absorb the rest of that shock.
High-quality materials like EPS foam are ideal. The foam is able to compress and decompress in an instant, which creates a solid layer of protection between outside forces and your head.
When you’re choosing a lacrosse helmet, you need to think about how its weight will affect your game. While those few extra pounds on your head might not seem like a huge deal at first, it can weigh you down as the game progresses. This puts undue stress on your neck and shoulders.
If you’re looking for a lightweight option, go for one that has vents. Small ventilation grills in the shell of the helmet cut down the weight of the gear without sacrificing any of its protective qualities. Plus, the vents improve air circulation as you play.
An ill-fitting helmet will do you more harm than good. There should be very minimal space inside the helmet. Otherwise, you run the risk of ratting during an impact. If your head has room to move around inside the helmet, you could easily experience more injuries than you originally would have.
The best options are those that conform to the shape of your head when you put it on. Alternatively, you can get lacrosse helmets with adjustable straps that can provide you with a snug fit.
You need to be able to see your surroundings to reach your full potential on the field! Unfortunately, low-quality helmets can block out a lot of your peripheral vision. This makes it hard to see where your teammates and opponents are as you move. If you’re a goalie, a lack of visibility can make it nearly impossible to play your part.
Visibility is directly affected by the shape of the shell and the arrangement of the mask. Fewer bars on the mask will improve your visibility quite a bit. You can also find some wide-angle helmets. These models have a curved mask. It stretches across your entire face to minimize obstruction and keep your vision clear.
While protection should always be your top priority, don’t forget to think about your comfort on the field. A cheap lacrosse helmet without any comfort features will just feel like a drag as you play. Poor helmets can weigh you down, cause discomfort in your neck, and cause rashes on the side of your face.
Take a look at how the helmet fits. Does it have adjustable straps or a conforming liner? Is the shell too heavy for you to wear for long periods of time? Does the mask cause an uneven weight distribution? The answers to all of those questions make all the difference.
Of course, safety is paramount with any piece of protective gear. Depending on the type of game you play, you may be exposed to constant checking and body contact. Your lacrosse helmet should be able to keep you safe from all the potential injuries that you’re at risk for.
To make things easier, you can look out for proper safety certifications. The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, or NOCSAE, is responsible for setting safety guidelines for sports gear. Many manufacturers design their lacrosse helmets to meet these guidelines. Look out for certification if you want some peace of mind.
Lacrosse games can get very intense. The best lacrosse helmet will keep you safe from all of those unexpected hits, bumps, and falls. It’s important to take some time in choosing the right piece of gear for your needs. The quality of your protective gear can mean the difference between walking off a hit and having to take a trip to the emergency room.
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