When it comes to protecting your head during a lacrosse game, having the right helmet is crucial. With so many options on the market, it can be tough to decide which lacrosse helmet is the best choice for you. That’s why we’ve done the research and compiled a list of the top men’s lacrosse helmets available in 2023.
Introduction to Men’s Lacrosse Helmets
Lacrosse is a fast-paced, high-impact sport. Those hard rubber balls can really fly, and stick checks can occasionally lead to contact. That’s why having a quality lacrosse helmet is so important. The helmet helps protect your head from any errant sticks, balls, and contact.
When shopping for a men’s lacrosse helmet, there are a few key factors to consider:
- Fit – The helmet should fit snugly all around your head without limiting visibility or comfort.
- Protection – Look for a helmet with strong protective padding on the crown, sides, and back.
- Ventilation – Breathable vent holes help keep you cool during intense play.
- Customization – Many lax helmets allow you to swap out visors and face masks.
- Certifications – Verify the helmet meets NOCSAE safety standards for lacrosse.
Many lacrosse players also opt for helmet accessories like face masks, specialty visors, and chin straps to help customize their protective gear. When worn properly, a good lacrosse helmet keeps your head safe without getting in the way on the field.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Men’s Lacrosse Helmets
Based on key criteria like protection, comfort, and adjustability, we’ve selected our top choices for the best men’s lacrosse helmets below:
1. Cascade S Lacrosse Helmet
The Cascade S lacrosse helmet is a consistent top performer when it comes to all-around quality and protection. The shell is made from a durable polycarbonate alloy, while Seven+TM padding lines the interior to absorb impacts. Strategically placed vents help control air flow and a pro-style face mask boosts safety.
We like the quick-release chin strap clips and the ratchet dial fit system that makes it easy to get a secure, custom fit. Multiple color options available too. The Cascade S is a solid choice for men’s high school and college lacrosse.
2. Warrior Evo Pro Lacrosse Helmet
Featuring advanced protection and a sleek, aggressive style, the Warrior Evo Pro is a popular choice across all levels of lacrosse. The high-tech Tricon 3 shell has an angular design to deflect impacts from all directions.
High-end features like the titanium face mask, RPET padding, and WarTech SL chin strap reinforce the Evo Pro as a premium helmet. Adjust the liner system for a true custom fit. With impressive tech and modern style, the Evo Pro helps you play with confidence.
3. STX Stallion 100 Lacrosse Helmet
The STX Stallion 100 provides high-end features at a reasonable price point, making it a top value pick. The lightweight STX shell has ventilation across seven zones to help you keep your cool. It also features a tool-free face mask and visor for easy adjustments.
STX’s Stallion Padded Liner (SPL) utilizes both soft and hard foams to form well to your head shape. Combine that with the ratchet dial fit system and you get a secure, comfortable fit. The Stallion 100 gives you pro-level protection without breaking the bank.
4. Maverik Max EKG Lacrosse Helmet
Maverik’s patented Hybrid shell technology combines the sturdiness of polycarbonate with the flexibility of titanium for superior protection. The Max EKG model takes it a step further with carbon fiber components too.
The lightweight construction features 16 large vents to help maximize air flow circulation. We like the easily adjustable Speed Dial fit system and the antimicrobial Ultrahyde 2.0 chin strap. With its fresh style and innovative protection, the Max EKG is built for today’s fastest players.
5. Bauer Re-Akt 150 Lacrosse Helmet
The Re-Akt 150 utilizes Bauer’s advanced Suspend-Tech liner system to provide comfort and top-tier protection. By connecting the helmet liner to the outer shell with cables, the helmet absorbs energy better.
VTX foam and Poron XRD padding enhance the protection as well. The antimicrobial liner also helps minimize odor after those grueling practices and games. For comfort, the Re-Akt 150 combines the best of Bauer’s skating and hockey helmet technologies.
Finding Your Perfect Lacrosse Helmet
All the helmets featured above represent the cutting edge in lacrosse head protection. But remember, the best men’s lacrosse helmet is the one that fits your head and needs perfectly.
Make sure to try on helmets in person when possible to ensure a comfortable fit. Move your head around and simulate field motions. The helmet padding should mold to your head without limiting your vision or mobility.
Keep an eye out for any new lacrosse helmet models that may come out as well. Brands are always pushing helmet technology forward with innovative new features. And don’t forget a good face mask to complement your new helmet.
With knowledge of the top lacrosse helmet options, let your individual needs and preferences guide you to the model that’s just right for you. A properly fitting helmet that you hardly notice on the field is the ultimate goal. Then you can focus on your game and take those fierce shots without fear. Just remember protection and comfort are key!
Key features to look for in a lacrosse helmet
If you’re in the market for a new lacrosse helmet, you’ll want to consider several key features to find the right protective headgear for you. As one of the fastest growing sports in North America, lacrosse requires top-notch safety equipment to prevent injuries during gameplay. Let’s explore some of the most important factors to evaluate when choosing your next lacrosse lid.
First and foremost, be sure any helmet you’re considering is certified by key safety organizations. In the United States, look for certification from NOCSAE, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. The NOCSAE seal indicates the helmet model has passed rigorous impact testing and meets safety standards for lacrosse. Other key certifications to look for include HECC (Hockey Equipment Certification Council) and CE (European testing standards). Reputable lacrosse helmet manufacturers will prominently display safety certifications to provide peace of mind.
Head coverage and fit
Since lacrosse helmets are designed to protect the head from errant sticks, balls, and contact, coverage is critical. Look for a helmet that extends all around your head with padding to cushion frontal, side, rear, and top impacts. The helmet should fit snugly but not too tight, with adjustable interior padding to customize the fit. Most helmets incorporate removable foam or inflatable air pads inside the lining to adapt to different head sizes and shapes. Ensure the helmet sits level on your head and doesn’t shift around easily for optimal protection.
A helmet’s face mask directly shields your face during play, so pay close attention to the mask design. Look for full coverage over your cheeks, nose, mouth, forehead and chin with sturdy yet lightweight steel or titanium construction. The spacing between mask bars should provide good visibility without large gaps where sticks or balls could penetrate. Some helmets allow you to swap cage styles for different levels of protection and vision. Consider a sport-specific lacrosse mask over adaptable gridiron football styles for enhanced performance and safety.
Chin strap and adjustment system
To keep your helmet securely in place, the chin strap and adjustment system are key components. Look for a sturdy nylon or polycarbonate strap with plenty of padding under the chin for comfort. The straps should connect to the helmet at multiple anchor points to distribute stabilizing forces. Helmets incorporate various adjustment mechanisms like dial/wheel systems, boa cords, Velcro or ratchet inserts to customize the fit around your head. Ensure the system is easy to adjust but stays locked in place during intense lacrosse activity.
Since lacrosse is a warm weather sport, sweat and heat management are important considerations for your helmet choice. Look for a model with multiple vents throughout the design to allow air circulation. Vent placement over major heat zones (forehead, sides, rear, etc.) ensures you stay cool when the game heats up. Some helmets also incorporate moisture-wicking anti-microbial liner padding to keep you dry and prevent odor buildup. Removable ear pads also help release heat without compromising safety.
While the helmet liner cushions impacts, the outer shell protects from penetration. Look for helmets with a tough polycarbonate shell reinforced in high impact zones. Some models incorporate advanced materials like Kevlar or carbon fiber for lightweight strength. The helmet shell should completely encompass the head with wrap-around coverage and extra reinforcement over vulnerable areas like temples and occipital region. Popular lacrosse-specific enhancements include enlarged chin and ear protections.
For sun glare protection, some lacrosse helmets feature adjustable visors. Look for full eye shield models that slide down over the face mask or small brim shields that snap onto the front of the helmet. Consider tinted polycarbonate or steel mesh visors to reduce glare during day games. Visors should feel secure in both up and down positions and allow easy up/down transitions as lighting conditions change.
Today’s lacrosse helmets often provide additional features beyond basic impact protection. Look for options like removable jaw pads for custom sizing, snap-in mouth guards for dental protection and clip-in face shields for max facial coverage. Some helmets offer accessories like inflatable liners for custom fit, snap-on GoPro mounts and removable ear pads. Consider which extra features would benefit your personal comfort, protection and performance preferences.
Lacrosse helmets span a wide range of price points from about $40 into the $200+ zone. In general, more expensive helmets offer premium materials, customizable fit systems and extra features. Beginner players can find solid, affordable options from brands like Cascade, STX and Warrior. Intermediate and advanced players may gain more benefit from higher-end helmets with advanced ventilation, materials and customizable options. Ultimately your budget, playing level and preferences should determine the right investment.
With these key considerations in mind, you’re ready to start shopping for the ideal lacrosse helmet. Be sure to try on different models for fit, comfort and visibility. Prioritize safety certifications and coverage above all else. With the right head protection, you can focus on excelling at the fastest game on two feet.
Cascade S men’s lacrosse helmet overview
When suiting up for lacrosse, your helmet is one of the most important pieces of protective gear. For players looking for a versatile, customizable and high-performing men’s lacrosse lid, the Cascade S is a top contender. This innovative helmet from industry leader Cascade offers the latest in safety technology and design enhancements for today’s fast-paced game.
Safety and protection
Safety is always the top priority for Cascade, and the S helmet delivers with its precision-engineered shell and shock absorbing liner system. The polycarbonate shell wraps fully around the head and reinforces vulnerable areas while remaining lightweight. Strategic ventilation ports enhance air flow without compromising structure. Inside, the helmet features SevenTech liner technology with Poron XRD foam for multi-impact protection from intense lacrosse collisions. The adjustable fit system includes inflatable AirFrame paddings to custom tailor the fit.
Vision and visibility
With its sleek shape andangular profile, the Cascade S enhances vision and visibility on the field. The low profile mask sits close to the face for a wide field of view in all directions. The compressed chin piece improves downward sight lines for handling and passing. The chrome cage comes in 2-bar or 3-bar varieties, both optimized for light obstruction versus stick and ball penetration resistance. Overall the helmet feels open, airy and unobstructed for superior vision.
Comfort and ventilation
In the heat of competition, comfort and temperature regulation are crucial. TheCascade S lacrosse helmet excels here with strategic vent placement and innovative liner materials. Airflow channels on the shell direct cooling breezes over the head fromback to front. The moisture-wicking, anti-microbialliner manages sweat and keeps players dry. Removable ear pads further circulate air while protecting this vulnerable impact zone. With its breathable, lightweight design, the S helmet remains comfortable even during intense, high tempo games.
Finding the ideal personal fit makes all the difference for comfort, protection and performance. The Cascade S lacrosse helmet offers multiple ways to tailor the fit for a dialed-in feel. The Ratchet Occipital Lock adjusts the fit around the rear and sides of the head. Lateral cinch straps fine tune the fit around the temples. Then AirFrame inflatable liners allow micro-adjustments for a truly custom, secure fit. Available pad thicknesses and removable ear pads further adapt the S helmet to nearly any head size and shape.
Face mask options
The Cascade S gives players a choice of face mask styles to match vision and protection preferences. The open vision 2-bar mask provides minimal obstruction with narrow steel bars spaced for quick stick and ball visibility. For a more protective cage, the 3-bar mask adds another horizontal bar while maintaining excellent sight lines. Both masks sit close to the face for max vision while shielding from frontal impacts. Swapping mask options takes just seconds thanks to the tool-less QuickRelease system.
Helmet accessories and customization
Part of what makes the Cascade Seyebrow-raising is the range of accessories and custom looks available. Beyond the mesh and bar face masks, players can add a clear or colored polycarbonate face shield for extra protection. Jaw pads, chin straps and visors all allow further fit adjustments. To showcase team spirit, the S helmet accommodates custom decals, wraps and paint jobs for a signature style. Quick-release clips even allow mounting a GoPro for in-game footage. With this level of accessorizing, each S helmet becomes a personalized lacrosse armor.
Sizing and price
The Cascade S lacrosse helmet is available in small to extra-large sizing to accommodate younger players up through adults. Strategic padding configurations adapt each size range for ideal stability, vision and protection. Retailing around $265, the S helmet delivers a professional-level feature set at a very competitive price point. Compared to similar high-tech lacrosse lids, the S hits a appealing balance of performance, customization and value.
Cascade lacrosse helmet legacy
Behind the S model lies Cascade’s decades-long legacy engineering innovative lacrosse helmets. Its R helmet brought a revolutionary adjustable liner system to the sport. The Pro7 heralded a new era of strategic venting for cooling airflow. As a leading brand trusted by elite players, Cascade brings its engineering expertise and player feedback into every new helmet design. The S model represents the state of the art in Cascade’s ongoing lacrosse equipment evolution.
For today’s lacrosse athletes seeking the latest in protection, vision, airflow and customization, the Cascade S stands out as a true performance helmet. With safety certifications, adjustable padding, face mask options and an array of custom accessories, the S gives players full confidence to compete at 100% every time they take the field.
Youth lacrosse helmet options from Cascade
When your young athlete is ready to take the field for lacrosse, having the right protective gear is a must. As a leading equipment brand trusted by players of all ages and levels, Cascade offers an array of helmet options tailored specifically for youth.
R Youth Helmet
The R helmet provides Cascade’s innovative custom fit system in a more affordable package for younger players. AirFrame padding inserts allow micro-adjustments for a secure, comfortable fit. The flat back improves compatibility with women’s lacrosse eyewear. Dial fit system, seven-pad liner, and NoShok temples optimize protection. Lightweight, low profile design enhances vision and mobility.
S Youth Helmet
Bringing Cascade’s premium technologies to youth players, the S youth model matches the adult version’s fit, vision and ventilation. AirFrame pads ensure a custom, stable fit as kids grow. Strategic cooling vents and moisture-wicking liner control sweat and heat. Polycarbonate shell reinforced in high impact zones for durability. Face mask options include 2-bar for max vision or 3-bar for added protection.
CS Youth Helmet
Sitting at an attractive price point, the CS combines key features for beginning lacrosse athletes. AirFrame fitting pads allow adjustable sizing as needed. Venting at the rear releases heat and humidity. Flat back facilitates women’s eyewear use. Durable polycarbonate shell withstands youth energy levels. Clear or colored shield options available for added facial protection.
CliQ Youth Helmet
cascade’s entry-level helmet offers solid protection for little investment. TruVent ventilation system directs airflow over the head for cooling. EVA foam liner cushions impacts while wicking moisture. Adjustable ratchet system customizes the fit around the occipital region. Value helmet at an easy-to-afford price point.
Extra small sizing
To safely fit smaller heads, Cascade lacrosse helmets are available in extra-small youth sizing. While adult helmets typically start around size small (53-56 cm), youth extra-small accommodates head sizes down to 49 cm. Ensuring a snug fit eliminates helmet shifting that could compromise protection. Extra-small models use the same shell shape as adult helmets for a proportional look.
Comfort and breathability
With youth athletes running almost non-stop on the field, comfort and ventilation are important. Cascade youth helmets use moisture-wicking anti-microbial liners and strategic venting zones to keep players cool and dry. Ratchet or inflatable fit systems create a secure fit without pinching. Lightweight materials reduce neck strain over the course of a game or practice. Removable ear and jaw pads further customize the fit.
All Cascade youth lacrosse helmets meet key safety standards for impact protection. NOCSAE and HECC certification confirms the helmets pass rigorous testing for withstand forces from checks, errant balls and contact. Cascade partners with key organizations to continually improve youth helmet safety through research and innovation. Parents can feel confident their child is protected.
Vision and visibility
With youth players still developing on-field awareness, the helmet’s design maximizes vision and visibility. Compressed profile with flexible face mask options allows a wide field of view. Enlarged vents and bright shell colors enhance visibility. Youth helmets avoid extra protrusions that could impede sight lines or head movement. Clear polycarbonate face shield options add facial protection without limiting vision.
Weight and balance
Since younger players have less neck strength, minimizing helmet weight helps avoid fatigue. Cascade youth helmets utilize lightweight materials like foam liners, polycarbonate shells and titanium face masks. Strategic venting decreases overall mass while maintaining protection. Careful weight distribution provides excellent stability with minimal strain on the neck and shoulders.
By leveraging its decades of experience crafting lacrosse helmets for all levels, Cascade offers a range of well-designed and protective options for youth athletes. From the budget-friendly CliQ to feature-packed S model, players can find the right fit for their needs and budget. With Cascade youth helmets, the next generation can play the fastest game on two feet in confidence and safety.
Adult lacrosse helmets for maximum protection
When you play lacrosse at the high school, college or competitive club level, having head protection designed specifically for the adult game is a must. Youth helmets often lack the full protection, vision and customized fit needed for the speed and intensity of higher-level play. Adult lacrosse helmets incorporate innovative materials, design features and adjustability to provide maximum safety for bigger, stronger athletes.
Advanced shell materials
Premium adult lacrosse helmets utilize advanced outer shell materials to disperse impact forces. Carbon fiber, Kevlar and woven fibers make shells lighter and stronger compared to basic polycarbonate. These exotic materials better withstand the checking collisions and high-speed shots seen in experienced play. Strategic reinforcement over vulnerable areas further enhances durability.
Adult helmets provide complete cranial coverage versus more open youth styles. The shell wraps fully around the head with padding extending down the sides and back of the neck. Enlarged temporal wings and occipital protection shield susceptible impact zones. This 360-degree coverage protects from contact at all angles during intense gameplay.
Advanced liner technologies
Within the shell, advanced foam liner systems manage high-energy impacts. Multi-stage foams compress progressively to absorb linear and rotational forces. Some liners utilize multiple densities tuned to different impact velocities. Removable, adjustable pads allow customized cushioning thickness in key zones. Advanced materials like shock-absorbing honeycomb grids offer increased protection.
Secure, adaptable fit system
Ensuring a well-fitted helmet is crucial for safety and performance. Adult lacrosse helmets utilize multiple anchor points and stabilizer straps for a locked-in fit. Ratchet adjusters, inflatable air bladders, and removable padding inserts enable custom tailoring the fit for any head size and shape. Chin straps often feature quick-release mechanisms for easy on/off while maintaining stability.
High-strength face masks
With elite-level shooting speeds, adult face masks utilize heavy-duty alloys for added protection. Aircraft-grade titanium or hardened steel alloys resist warping from ball or stick impacts. Closer grid spacing prevents penetration while maintaining visibility and ventilation. Masks anchor at multiple locations to the shell for stability when checked.
Optimized vision gives players an edge in reacting to fast game action. Adult helmets feature compressed profiles that allow expanded downward, lateral and rear sight lines. Size and spacing of vents, shell shape and mask design aim to minimize impediments to vision. Features like visors and face shields enhance vision in bright conditions.
Intense adult play generates loads of heat and sweat, making proper ventilation vital. Helmets incorporate venting channels specifically tuned to draw cooling airflows over heat zones. Breathable, moisture-wicking liner materials work in concert to evaporate sweat. Removable ear and jaw pads allow extra ventilation and heat release.
Lightweight balanced design
Minimizing helmet mass helps prevent neck strain during lengthy games. Premium adult helmets utilize lightweight alloys, exotic shell materials, strategic venting and minimal fasteners to cut weight. Carefully distributed padding places mass close to the head’s natural center of gravity for superior balance and maneuverability.
Adult lacrosse helmets often allow accessories for specialized needs. Tinted eye shields reduce glare while colored face masks limit vision obstruction versus black grids. Jaw pads cushion impacts while chin straps stabilize fit. Helmet cameras, strobe lights and custom paint/decals give players opportunities to accessorize.
Women’s lacrosse options
Many adult helmet models cater specifically to women’s lacrosse needs. Sizing accommodates smaller head dimensions with ponytail-friendly shell shapes. Liner pads adapt to a more rounded occipital region. Flatter helmet backs increase eyewear compatibility. Vents shapes avoid catching nets and masks during play.
lacrosse position-tuned options
Some brands offer helmets specialized for player positions. Defensemen receive expanded ear, jaw and occipital protections while goalies get extra reinforcement around the throat. Enlarged visors suit midfielders who shuttle up and down the field. Attackmen benefit from wide upward vision for shot spotting.
Today’s adult lacrosse helmet deliver the protection and performance demanded by bigger, faster athletes. Advanced materials, strategic design elements and customizability help experienced players compete confidently. With the constant intensity of higher-level lacrosse, deciding on the right adult helmet is a vital part of responsible play.
Different helmet styles and fits to consider
With so many lacrosse helmet models available, how do you choose what’s right for your head, playing style and budget? Beyond basic protection, factors like helmet shape, fit systems and liner pads all impact performance, vision, and comfort. Let’s explore some key variations to consider when selecting your lacrosse lid.
High profile vs low profile
Shell shapes fall into two main categories: high profile and low profile. High profile helmets extend higher up the forehead and rear of the head, providing more complete coverage for added protection. They also accommodate liner padding to help fine tune fit. Low profile shells sit closer to the head for a compressed, lightweight feel and enhanced mobility.
Pre-shaped vs adjustable Fit
Pre-shaped helmets are pre-formed to fit most head sizes and shapes out of the box. While they offer quick convenience, the fit is less customizable. Adjustable helmets utilize interior padding systems to micro-tailor the fit for your unique head dimensions. Inflatable bladders, foam inserts and ratchet adjusters allow you to dial in the snuggest, most stable fit.
Moisture wicking liners
Inside every helmet, the padded liner cushions your head while wicking away sweat and moisture. Basic liners use open-cell foam, while premium options incorporate anti-microbial treated fabrics. Removable/washable liners allow keeping pads fresh. Some liners also deliver targeted cushioning densities in different zones for optimized impact dispersion.
Occipital adjustment systems
Most helmets incorporate a ratchet or Boa dial fit system in the occipital region at the base of the skull. Tightening these adjusters tailors the fit for superior stability, comfort and protection. Look for a smooth operating dial or lever that provides micro-adjustment increments for really dialing in the perfect tension.
Removable ear pads
For hot weather play and added airflow, many lacrosse helmets offer removable ear pads. Taking out the pads doesn’t compromise safety, as the rigid shell still encloses this vulnerable impact zone. Just ensure the helmet still fits snugly after removing padding pieces from the equation.
Jaw pad options
Extra jaw pad inserts help stabilize the chin area while shielding your jawbone from checks and errant sticks. Thicker pads provide more protection and anchoring, while thinner inserts enhance breathability. Being able to swap pads gives players flexibility for different needs.
High wrap vs low wrap shell
Shell coverage around the side and rear head varies between models. High wrap shells curve further down the side and back of the head for expanded protection. Low wrap shells leave more of the temporal and occipital regions exposed for enhanced ventilation and weight savings.
Mask style variations
While masks universally protect the face, styles affect vision, ventilation and weight. Standard grids offer good visibility while protecting against sticks. Bars provide minimal visual obstruction but less spacing to stop balls. Hybrid masks merge bars and grids for combined protection and airflow.
Some manufacturers offer helmets tailored to player positions. Midfielders get extra ventilation for all-field coverage, defenders gain expanded side protections, and goalies benefit from increased throat protection. Evaluate options to pick features that match your on-field role.
Women’s lacrosse helmets
For female players, women’s-specific helmets cater to subtle anatomical differences. Slimmer jawlines get better coverage from sculpted chin pieces. Ponytail cutouts accommodate longer hair. Flatter helmet rears increase eyewear compatibility. Lighter overall weight relieves neck strain.
While all helmets aim to protect your head, the many variations can significantly impact performance, comfort and visibility. Try on different models and sizes to experience the fit and feel firsthand. Optimizing all helmet factors results in maximum confidence each time you take the field to play the fastest game on two feet.
Importance of NOCSAE certification for safety
When choosing protective gear for sports like lacrosse, one essential marking to look for is NOCSAE certification. This simple logo indicates the equipment meets rigorous safety standards designed and enforced by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment.
What is NOCSAE?
Formed in 1969, NOCSAE is an independent and nonprofit body focused on research and standards for athletic safety gear. Backed by sports and medical experts, NOCSAE pioneered initial helmet performance standards adopted across multiple contact sports. They continue leading safety innovation through expanded standards, updated testing and funding research grants.
NOCSAE helmet testing
Earning NOCSAE approval requires passing an array of stringent lab tests. Helmets undergo impacts from multiple angles using guided free-fall systems. Sensors measure acceleration/deceleration forces throughout the shell to ensure force attenuation meets requirements. Tests evaluate impacts from game conditions like errant stick checks or ball strikes.
Impact force thresholds
NOCSAE criteria establish force limits helmet shells and liners must stay under to minimize concussion risks. Severe impacts over 100 Gs entering the brain increase injury likelihood. NOCSAE helmets must maintain forces below these hazardous thresholds to receive certification.
Focus on reducing rotational forces
Since rotational accelerations most closely correlate with concussions, NOCSAE tests concentrate on limiting these forces. Their standards dictate specific rotational force maximums helmets must achieve. Testing rigs now induce both linear and rotational accelerations reflecting real-world impacts.
Ongoing standards updates
As new medical evidence and testing capabilities emerge, NOCSAE continually revises standards to enhance protection. Updates like the ND025 standard established rotational force thresholds based on medical research insights. NOCSAE standards evolve alongside helmet technologies and scientific understanding of head injuries.
NOCSAE helmet standards address position-specific needs. For example, goalie helmets undergo additional impacts to the facemask and throat regions compared to field helmets. Specific tests evaluate goalie-unique protection areas like the chest, collar and ears.
Any changes to a NOCSAE-certified helmet require recertification testing. Altering shell materials, liner pads, facemasks or ventilation systems means redoing safety validation. This ensures modifications don’t compromise protection versus the original model. NOCSAE approval applies only to an exact helmet configuration.
To combat fake NOCSAE branding on non-certified products, authentic certification seals now carry anti-counterfeiting features. Holographic foil, barcode verification and color-shifting ink validate legitimate NOCSAE labels. This prevents dangerous counterfeit helmets from being mistaken as legitimately approved.
Research funding into safety technologies
Part of NOCSAE’s mission includes providing research grants to spur development of improved athletic safety equipment. NOCSAE-backed studies focus on evaluating new materials, helmet sensor systems, injury biomarkers and advanced test methodologies. Research insights then feed back into evolving standards.
By demanding rigorous independent testing and continuous innovation, NOCSAE drives helmet manufacturers to deliver ever-higher levels of safety. For athletes seeking the most protective lacrosse gear, looking for the NOCSAE seal provides confidence in meeting the latest head protection standards.
Lacrosse helmet sizing guide for proper fit
A properly fitted lacrosse helmet is crucial for maximum protection and zero distractions on the field. Unlike other protective gear, small size variations can greatly impact safety, comfort and visibility. Follow this sizing guide to choose the helmet size offering the ideal personalized fit.
Measure your head
The starting point is accurately measuring the circumference of your head. Use a soft measuring tape placed around 1 inch above your eyebrows and ears for the widest portion of your head. For best results, have a partner take the measurement and record the length in inches or centimeters.
Consult sizing charts
Lacrosse helmet manufacturers provide sizing charts listing their size ranges. Measure your head circumference and match it to the brand’s chart to identify your ideal size. Sizes generally run from extra-small youth (49-52 cm) up to large adult (61-65 cm). Check a few brands as sizing varies slightly.
Try it on
Once you’ve determined your predicted size, always try on lacrosse helmets in person when possible. A true personalized fit evaluation can only occur when wearing the helmet. Move your head around to assess comfort, stability and vision obstruction.
Snug but not tight
The helmet should fit snugly all around your head without pinching or creating pressure points. If it shifts excessively or slips down over your eyes, the helmet is too large. Excessive forehead pressure indicates too small a size.
Use all fit adjusters
After donning the helmet, engage all available fit adjustment systems. Ratchet adjusters, removable padding, inflatable air cells and stabilizer straps fine tune the fit. Optimizing internal adjustments ensures the best custom fit.
Align with goggles/eyewear
For women’s lacrosse players who wear goggles, ensure the helmet rear accommodates your goggle strap. Too high a helmet wrap obstructs strap alignment resulting in poor vision. Find the lowest rear profile offering a flat alignment.
A proper lacrosse helmet fit allows clear upward, downward and peripheral vision. You should not feel the helmet restricting head movement or visibility. Try different face mask styles to optimize sight lines.
Gently shake your head side-to-side and up-and-down. There should be no excessive helmet shifting or rattling inside the shell. Some rotation is expected but the helmet should quickly stabilize.
Consider moisture-wicking liners
Since lacrosse is a warm weather sport, sweat management is key. Look for helmets with anti-microbial, moisture-wicking liner padding to keep your head cool and dry for maximum comfort.
Ensure NOCSAE certification
Only use helmets displaying the NOCSAE seal to confirm meeting or exceeding all lacrosse safety standards. Avoid any uncertified helmets for protecting your head.
Taking the time to properly fit your lacrosse helmet results in injury prevention, unobstructed vision and comfortable wear. Consult sizing guides but also try different models in person for the ideal size and fit. Your helmet should move and feel like an integrated extension of your head.
Comparison of helmet materials: ABS vs polycarbonate
The outer shell material that comprises a lacrosse helmet greatly impacts its protective capabilities, durability and weight. Two of the most common materials used are ABS plastic and polycarbonate. Let’s compare the properties of these helmet shell materials.
ABS, short for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is an inexpensive, lightweight and rigid thermoplastic polymer. ABS offers high strength and impact resistance combined with good flexibility and chemical resistance. Easy manufacturing makes ABS a frequent choice for entry-level helmet shells.
Polycarbonate is an extremely strong and impact-resistant thermoplastic. With outstanding strength-to-weight properties, polycarbonate also demonstrates high transparency and temperature resistance. Premium lacrosse helmets often utilize polycarbonate for its combination of strength, durability and reduced weight.
Both ABS and polycarbonate exhibit excellent impact absorption properties superior to many plastics. However, polycarbonate maintains integrity across a wider range of temperatures and upon repeated impacts versus ABS. This gives polycarbonate helmets the edge for resilient protection.
Polycarbonate ultimately demonstrates higher tensile and flexural strength over ABS, making it more resistant to cracking from high velocity ball strikes. This superior strength allows polycarbonate shells to be molded thinner while maintaining protection.
The resilient strength of polycarbonate also makes it more durable over years of use. ABS will slowly fatigue and become brittle with exposure to UV light, temperature swings and repetitive impacts. Polycarbonate better retains protective abilities over a helmet’s lifetime.
At equal thicknesses, polycarbonate is slightly denser than ABS plastic. However, the enhanced strength of polycarbonate means shells can be manufactured significantly thinner than ABS for reduced weight. So polycarbonate ultimately allows lighter helmet constructions.
ABS plastic is the more affordable option, keeping costs lower for recreational helmets. But polycarbonate delivers superior performance and durability per dollar, making it ideal for competitive play where safety matters most.
With excellent thermal properties, polycarbonate remains rigid at temperatures where ABS softens. This allows incorporating more ventilation openings into polycarbonate shells while maintaining protection.
While both offer advantages, polycarbonate ultimately provides the best blend of strength, impact resistance and lightweight construction crucial for lacrosse helmets. As helmet technology continues evolving, polycarbonate remains a go-to shell material for optimal protection.
Customizable lacrosse helmets with changeable decals
Beyond just protecting your head, today’s lacrosse helmets let players showcase their personal style. With changeable decals and wraps, you can customize your helmet graphics to match your team colors, number, position or just for looking slick on the field.
Most lacrosse helmet models accommodate peel-and-stick vinyl decals for custom looks. Kits often include team logo decals, numbers, your name or initials and design accents. Switching decals lets you update colors across seasons or reorder replacements as needed.
Changeable color wraps
For transforming the entire helmet, full-coverage wraps fit over the shell like a snug skin. Usually made from vinyl, wraps come in solid colors, fades or team patterns. Just peel off and replace wraps between games to match colors to uniforms.
Clear decal sheets allow applying a protective layer over painted or wrapped helmets. The decals shield underlying graphics from scuffs and wear while still showing through. Reapply clear coverings periodically to keep custom paint jobs pristine.
Paint pen designs
For quick DIY artwork, lacrosse helmet shells work as the perfect canvas for paint pens. Draw on team logos, numbers, nicknames or your own unique designs. Paint pens formulated for plastic won’t chip or fade with routine use.
Hydrographic film coatings
Applying hydrographic printed film creates stunning camouflage, carbon fiber or custom graphic effects. The process bonds printed film decals right to the helmet surface for durable, integrated art. Just peel off and replace films to transform looks.
Chrome plating kits
Looking for serious flash? Chrome plating kits electroplate polished metal onto helmet surfaces for a mirror-like finish. The plating process generates gleaming lacrosse lids that totally stand out on the field.
Colored face masks
Swapping standard black face masks for colored chrome lets you coordinate with team colors. Colored masks include red, blue, green, orange, yellow and more. Just ensure the sizing precisely fits your helmet model.
Custom jaw pads
Along with shell decals, customize the look with printed jaw pad wraps. Available wraps slip over pads to display names, numbers or fun graphics. Complement bold helmet graphics or just add personality down low.
With the wide range of customization options available today, your lacrosse helmet becomes an extension of personal style. Switch up decals, wraps and paint effects to match team uniforms or just stay fresh all season long.
Lacrosse helmet accessories like face masks and chin straps
Beyond the helmet shell and liner, additional accessories help optimize fit, vision, protection and style. Face masks, chin straps, visors and jaw pads represent some of the most crucial lacrosse helmet add-ons to consider.
Face mask styles
Face masks protect against frontal impacts while allowing visibility. Popular styles include vertical bars, horizontal/vertical grids and hybrid designs. Open barrels optimize sight lines while tight grids offer more protection. Materials like steel, titanium and thermoplastic polyurethane strike the ideal balance of strength, weight and flexibility.
Mask vision zones
Mask vision zones range from wide open to limited. Full cut-away designs remove all bars around the eyes for a complete field of view. Cat-eye styles open up peripheral vision while retaining some forehead/chin bars. Minimum vision masks utilize maximum barred protection across the face.
Face mask coatings enhance durability and visibility. Chrome or other reflective finishes reduce glare. Color coatings like black, red or blue help the mask blend into the helmet. Antifog treatments prevent vision obscuring mask fogging in wet conditions.
Securing the chin strap keeps your helmet firmly in place during play. Look for chin straps with adjustable lengths and ample padding under the chin for comfort. The cups should fit properly over the jawbone. Popular materials include nylon webbing, polyester and leather.
Quick-release chin straps
Many helmets today incorporate quick-release chin strap mechanisms for fast on/off capability. These systems allow easily detaching and reattaching the strap as needed between plays. Common designs use plastic snaps, buckles or magnets to enable quick releases.
Optional polycarbonate or steel mesh visors attach to the helmet front to shade eyes from sun glare. Tinted or mirrored visors reduce brightness while maintaining vision. Consider detachable visors to switch between clear and tinted as lighting conditions change.
Extra jaw pad inserts offer expanded protection and fit customization. Change pad thicknesses in the chin area to dial-in comfort and stability. Consider customizable wraps to design your own jaw pad graphics.
For recording in-game footage hands-free, some helmets accommodate removable head/helmet cameras like GoPro models. Look for clips, adhesive mounts or snap-in adapters to securely attach cameras.
Protect your lacrosse lid in transit with a helmet-specific bag. Models with side ventilation allow air circulation to remove odors. Carrying straps make transporting easy. Hard shells prevent crushing or deformation during travel.
Augmenting your lacrosse helmet with functional accessories enhances vision, stabilization, personalization and safety. Combine components like chin straps, jaw pads and cameras for a customized helmet setup.
New lacrosse helmet technology innovations
Advancements in materials, fit systems and impact absorption make today’s lacrosse helmets more protective than ever. Leading brands continue pushing development of new innovations to maximize safety on the field. Here are some of the latest hi-tech features to look for when choosing a cutting-edge lacrosse helmet.
Adaptive padding systems
Next-gen padding tunes itself in real time to provide optimal impact absorption. ThickenSmart technology uses shear-thickening polymers that firm up upon sudden impacts. Other systems utilize multiple integrated foam densities to adapt to impact forces.
Smart impact sensors
Integrated sensors measure and transmit impact data to connected apps, enabling tracking head impacts over time. The metrics help identify worrisome patterns and manage player safety. Some sensors even detect dangerous rotational accelerations.
Advanced shell materials
Space-age alloys borrowed from aerospace, auto racing and the military provide impenetrable shell strength. Materials like Dyneema composite fibers and carbon nanotubes build incredibly lightweight but energy-absorbing helmets.
Beyond passive vents, new systems utilize mini electrical fans to actively pull cooling air across heat zones. Thermostats engage the fans when internal temps rise during intense play. Other designs position Peltier cooling pads right on the head.
Electronics integrated into “smart helmets” enable features like impact sensing, active ventilation, Bluetooth connectivity and more. All while maintaining the helmet form factor and protective abilities.
Optical displays built into certain helmets project real-time info like game clocks or player positions right in your field of view. Advanced HUD options even overlay sensor data or situational analysis to enhance on-field awareness.
Enhanced fit systems
New liner materials like flexible foams or inflatable bladders enable more nuanced fitting around the head. Combined with multiple adjustment points, helmets can fine tune tension for unparalleled stability and comfort.
Molding polymer compounds directly into helmet shells adds strengthening and shock-absorbing capabilities. Hybrid polymer shells also allow flexibility for a fitted feel that moves with you.
Antimicrobial and antifungal pads
Liner pads treated with antimicrobial and antifungal compounds reduce odor and contamination. Silver ion treatments, activated carbon and other agents keep pads fresher for longer use.
Continual helmet innovation ensures lacrosse players always benefit from the latest materials and technology for maximizing safety. Advancements ultimately get incorporated into all brands and models at various price points over time.
Lacrosse helmet maintenance tips
Taking proper care of your lacrosse helmet ensures it delivers reliable protection through seasons of use. Simple maintenance tasks like regular cleaning, inspection and replacement of worn parts keeps your helmet in optimal shape.
Routine helmet cleaning
Clean the helmet shell and liner pads regularly using mild soap and water. Avoid harsh cleaners that could weaken materials. Clean off any stuck-on dirt, but don’t forcefully scrub the shell. Dry with a soft cloth and allow the liner to fully air dry before storage.
Disinfect liner pads periodically by washing in warm water with an antimicrobial sports equipment cleaner. This prevents buildup of bacteria from sweat that causes odor. Let pads fully dry before reinstalling in the helmet.
Replacement schedule for pads
Plan on replacing padded liner components about every 1-2 years. Pads compress and fatigue over time, reducing protective abilities. Follow manufacturer guidelines for replacement intervals for specific pads.
Inspecting for cracks
Frequently examine the outer shell for any cracks, chips or gouges that could compromise structure. Cracks around vents, masks and high impact zones demand immediate replacement. A damaged shell cannot provide full protection.
Face mask checks
Ensure face masks remain securely anchored to the helmet shell. Check that all adjustable fasteners stay tightly fixed to prevent mask shifting. Replace bent or damaged mask bars that obstruct vision.
Chin strap inspection
Always inspect chin strap hardware prior to use. Look for broken clips or snaps, bent adjustment slides and any loosening of strap attachments. Replace worn strap components that compromise the stability of the fit.
When not in use, store helmets in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Excessive heat and UV light can degrade shell materials over time. Avoid placing heavy objects on stored helmets that could cause cracks.
For transport to games or practice, keep the helmet protected in a helmet bag. Carrying bags guard against compression damage from other gear crammed in bags. They also provide ventilation to prevent odor buildup.
Recertifying after repairs
Any time you replace shell components, padding or structural elements, double check that the helmet still meets all required NOCSAE standards. Modified helmets must pass recertification testing for safety.
When to replace
Plan on replacing lacrosse helmets completely every 3-5 years or after any major direct impacts. As materials degrade with use and exposure, the helmet loses protective abilities. Don’t take chances with worn gear.
Taking care of your lacrosse headgear ensures it takes care of you. With routine cleaning, inspection and component replacement, a well-maintained helmet extends playing life while maintaining safety.
Where to buy mens lacrosse helmets online or in stores
With so many lacrosse helmet brands and models available, knowing the best places to find quality gear can help narrow the choices. Today’s options include buying helmets online through specialty retailers or in person at lacrosse shops and sporting goods stores.
Online lacrosse specialty shops
Websites dedicated to lacrosse equipment provide a huge selection of helmet brands and models. Expect deep inventories across price points from major names like Cascade, Warrior and STX. Specialty retailers also stock the newest helmets as soon as they are released.
Lacrosse brand websites
For direct from the source shopping, check out brand webstores like CascadeLacrosse.com and Warrior.com. You can purchase the latest helmets direct and learn about technologies specific to each brand. Some sites also allow custom graphics or team orders.
Amazon and general online retailers
Major online mega-stores like Amazon carry a wide range of lacrosse helmets from various brands. You can compare models by specs and user reviews. Check seller ratings carefully when buying through third party marketplace listings.
Pro shops at lacrosse arenas
For hands-on shopping, visit pro shops at indoor and outdoor lacrosse arenas and fields. On-site stores stock gear used and recommended at that facility. Trying helmets on for fit and comfort is recommended when buying in person.
Local lacrosse shops
In areas where lacrosse is popular, specialized lacrosse shops offer expert guidance in selecting gear. Smaller shops focus on stocking popular local brands and fits. Experienced staff can assess your needs and recommend ideal helmets to consider.
Sporting goods chains
Big box sporting goods stores typically carry entry-level and mid-range lacrosse helmets from major brands. While selection is smaller than specialty shops, sporting goods stores allow trying helmets on for fit before you buy.
Team sales events
For convenience, many youth lacrosse teams coordinate group helmet orders from select brands. Team families can try on helmets and order through the league at a group discount. Just ensure the available selection matches your needs.
Gently used lacrosse helmets can present affordable options, especially for growing young players. Check sites like SidelineSwap, PlayItAgainSports and Craigslist for deals. Just confirm any helmet meets current NOCSAE standards.
However you choose to shop, take time to consider the options and try helmets on before purchasing. Consulting lacrosse experts and players in person can help identify the best helmet for your particular needs and budget.
The best value lacrosse helmets to fit your budget
Finding an affordable yet fully protective lacrosse helmet often comes down to balancing price versus value. Cheaper helmets cut corners that compromise safety and durability. The right balance focuses your dollars on key protective features without overspending.
Cascade Junior helmet
The Cascade Junior model packs in core features like a dial fit system, interchangeable liners, and NOCSAE safety certification for under $50. The polycarbonate shell, steel cage and multiple size pads get younger players started.
Cascade CS helmet
Moving up to the CS model adds airflow vents and the more precise AirFit fit system while keeping the cost reasonable. A removable visor, facemask options and 360-degree shell coverage provide pro-level protection.
Warrior Regulator helmet
This Warrior helmet utilizes a hybrid shell material for strength and flexibility at an attractive price. The Regulator still includes an adjustable liner, chin strap, and facemask along with ample ventilation for comfort.
STX Stallion helmet
STX outfits the Stallion model with premium features like a ratcheting fit system, moisture-wicking pads and inflatable liners at a budget price. The low profile design improves vision while meeting NOCSAE standards.
Nike Vapor Elite helmet
Featuring Nike’s FlexFit adjustment system for customized comfort and fit, the Vapor Elite keeps cost down with an ABS shell while providing a titanium facemask and authentic styling.
Warrior Burn helmet
This entry-level Warrior model utilizes inflation pads for micro-adjustability and impact protection. A hard polycarbonate shell reinforced in key areas keeps weight down for speed.
Maverik Kinetic helmet
Maverik packs this helmet with premium features like FlexZone padding inserts, SevenTechnology liner, and optimal vent placement at a very reasonable price point for the value.
STX Shield 100 helmet
The Shield 100 combines a polycarbonate shell with STX’s lightweight comfort padding to deliver pro-level impact protection on a starter budget. The dial fit system allows customizing the fit.
Cascade S helmet
While pricier than other models mentioned, the S delivers a premium fit, excellent vision, and top-end features while still representing good value before entering premium price points.
Finding the right balance of key protective elements while minimizing cost determines the best value. Prioritize safety certifications, secure fit systems and breathability, then enhance with extra features as budget allows.