Today, in this article, we’re going to be taking a look at cheap vs. expensive Hockey helmets. The idea behind this video is to highlight the differences between the low-end and the high-end cost helmets to show you what you’re getting and to answer a little bit of a trick question of is it more protective.
For example, a 300 helmet versus a 50 helmet, it’s a bit of a sensitive subject. But bear with me as I do my best to be able to share some insight into how this works.
Let’s get into it and see what we can find out. Hopefully, we can help you identify if the helmet that you have is a good fit. And if you’re considering getting another one or a new one what you should be looking at purchasing next.
What’re the different features between a cheap and expensive helmet?
When you’re looking at a cheap versus expensive helmet, some of the things that change that are quite noticeable is going to be on the inside of the helmet.
- Layering inside the helmet
The first one is probably going to be the layering or the number of layers of material and foams that are used inside the helmet. When you’re looking at a helmet that costs, for example, 50, some of them, depending on what manufacturer they’re from, might have just a single layer—for example, EPP foams inside the helmet.
As you go up in price points and you spend more money, they might be a different array of layers of materials inside the helmet to help manage some of the impacts that you might sustain on the ice.
From there, the number of layers of foams and materials inside the helmet. It’s also the types of materials that are used. As you go up in price point, you can find that I guess you could call them more premium materials might be used inside the helmet and, in some instances, depending on the manufacturer, they’ll also be the addition of I like to call them very exotic materials.
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- The adjustment options
Something else that you’ll notice will change as you go up in price points. It’s also going to be, for example, the adjustment options on the helmet. You might have a lot more tallest adjustment options to be able to help the helmet better fit the shape of your head because of course, no two heads are the same.
So as you go up in price point, you might find that the helmet has a lot more options to be able to help the helmet fit your head shape much better than another.
You might also find the addition of an occipital lock for the rear of the head to help better the helmet fit the shape of your head and fit you more securely. At the end of the day, a helmet that fits your head much more securely will better protect you on the ice event, a helmet that doesn’t fit your head is secure.
- The appearance
And last but not least is also the appearance. In some cases, with different price points. The appearance of the helmet might also change. We all know that the way a helmet looks can also be super important in the decision-making process when you’re trying to figure out which one you want to go for.
With all of these changes, all of these features added to the helmet, all of these premium materials, are they more protective?
Which one is more protective?
Now, this is the I guess you could say the million-dollar question. But it’s also a trick question.
To figure out how this works, we need to look at the certification stickers on the backs of the helmets. Typically from any of the major manufacturers, they’ll be two- one from the HECC, one from the CSA.
These are North American organizations that are there to essentially ensure that the equipment that we’re using, not just hockey equipment is up to scratch for the sport that we’re playing.
This involves looking at the materials and the construction of the helmet as well as performing their tests to ensure that in their eyes, the helmet is up to scratch for the game.
Of course, if you look at a 50 helmet and a 300 helmet, both of these helmets have the same stickers.
So in the eyes of the organizations or entities, that is there to ensure that our gear is up to scratch for the game that we play.
The 50 helmets and the 300 helmets have the same certification on the back of them. So how do you know spending more money on a helmet is going to be benefiting you on the ice?
In some way aside from having premium materials extra features that are going to help the helmet fit, your head more securely and enhances your comfort.
But aside from that, there isn’t really an indication of if these extra materials, this extra price point is offering us any more protection on the ice.
Of course, it’s super important to say that a lot of the features like suspended foams inside the helmet or some of the exotic materials that are featured in a helmet have great properties at impact displacement and various other things.
But saying that, you’ll notice the way that the manufacturers announce releases of new helmets that feature the new technology.
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The new technologies inside a helmet
If you read the wording associated with the new technologies inside a helmet, manufacturers will never claim that it is more protective. Though use words such as help manage impacts on the ice.
Various other words or terminology to help describe what these additions are doing for years of in the ice, but it’s important to mention that nowhere do they say that they are more protective.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t more protective, but it is an incredibly slippery slope to be able to state that.
For more detail on this, I’d like to reference Virginia tech. If you’re unsure of what or who they are, they’re a research institution. Recently, Virginia tech carried out their tests on 48 helmets to determine their ability to reduce linear and rotational accelerations of the head.
These can result from a range of head impacts that hockey players might sustain on the ice.
The way they’re rating system works is nice and easy; the more stars a helmet has, the better its ability to reduce linear and rotational accelerations of the head.
What’s incredibly interesting about this list is a helmet’s ability to reduce linear and rotational accelerations of the head is not completely based on the price of that helmet, which is surprising to explain this.
Top 3 Hockey helmets
I wanted to take a quick look at the three helmets on the top.
- The only helmet that scored five stars was the CCM FL500.
- In second place was the Bauer RE-AKT 200.
- And in third place, surprisingly, was the Warrior Krown 360.
In other words, helmets with more stars in Virginia tech’s opinion have a reduced risk of concussion versus helmets with fewer stars. So what Virginia tech’s research and testing show us is the price really doesn’t determine the helmets ability to be able to manage or reduce those two specific things that they tested, which was linear and rotational accelerations of the head, which for me, was really interesting to find out and one of the reasons why I wanted to make this sharing.
The biggest takeaway from this video is if you’re trying to figure out, which is the most protective helmet out of the 48 that they tested, of course, the links will be down below. If you want to see, the full list is the CCM FL500.
It’s actually really interesting because if you work your way through the list of the different stars, the different helmets have picked up during Virginia tech’s testing.
You’ll notice that their position and how many stars they have and how high up the list that they are, have nothing to do with the price of the helmets.
These helmets are almost at the bottom of the list that cost two hundred and 59$ and has helmets that only cost 89$ way above them on that list.
It’s really interesting going through it to see which particular helmets scored how many stars. It might actually be really interesting for you to look up your own helmet on this list and see where it falls under the testing the Virginia tech has done.
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What does all of this information mean?
I think the biggest takeaway from this is you’re trying to figure out “which is the most protective helmet in hockey?”. If you’re specifically looking at linear and rotational accelerations of the head, it’s the CCM FL500.
But if you’re trying to figure out where that leaves you in terms of what helmet you should get. I think the biggest takeaway from this is perhaps to use Virginia tech’s research in their list, to be able to determine which helmet is going to be the best option for yourselves to pick up.
But pretty much any of the helmets in the top five, you really can’t go wrong with. So if you’re trying to determine which helmet is going to be the most suitable for you, of course, it being able to fit your head constable and you being able to have access to it at the end of the day.
Our heads are the most vital part of our bodies and anything that we can do any information that we can gather that helps us to protect them better. While we’re on the ice, plain hockey is always going to be a recommended thing to do so.
Hopefully, this sharing has been able to share a bit of insight into the world of hockey helmets and maybe highlight which ones that you should consider getting if you are looking at picking up a new one.
Of course, all of the links to anything that I’ve referenced will be down below in the description, and if you’ve got any questions that I might be able to answer, please leave them down below in the comment section.
Puck Drawn Hockey enjoyed sharing experiences and finding out the ins and outs of the way the world of helmets works as I said. It is very sensitive. But hopefully, I’ve been able to share a bit of insight, and you guys enjoyed reading this. Thank you and take care!