Lacrosse is the game of kings. The clashing of sticks, the strategic positions and the fast play makes lacrosse a noble sport. However, the game’s fun intensity can get just that: a little too intense.
Regardless of age or gender, lacrosse can get pretty rowdy. If you or your children aren’t prepared, players can get seriously hurt. Luckily, thanks to protective gear, the risk of injuries these days has decreased immensely.
That being said, choosing the right protective gear is still very important for safety. Plus, a number of different factors need to be considered when choosing the right gear. Especially when it comes to the most important piece of equipment: your helmet.
With big leaps in concussion research, it’s become clearer these days just how important head protection really is. Fortunately, modern lacrosse helmet designs are taking this into account.
These days, finding the best ones to fit your needs can be tricky. Luckily, we’ll tell you what you will need to know to make sure your lacrosse playing experience remains fun and safe.
The Importance of Lacrosse Helmets
As previously mentioned, head protection is extremely important in lacrosse. This means that the helmet is the most important piece of safety gear a player wears.
Lacrosse can be a high impact sport, which is exactly why padding and helmets are designed to keep players safe from body impacts and more. Wearing high-grade helmets can make the difference between a charming smile and a crooked one post-incident.
Helmets protect the face, head and neck from possible abrasions and injuries. Good helmets can keep players in the game with little-to-no harm after high impact collisions.
How It’s Designed
Any good lacrosse helmet is designed for full cranial protection. Meaning that every inch of your head is both supported and protected. All hard shots and high checks that have the potential to cause both spinal and cranial damage is protected against.
The helmet consists of different parts:
The Hard Outer Shell
This is the outer encasing of the helmet, which is often made from a polycarbonate or lightweight plastic. They’re designed to be impact resistant while simultaneously being light and burden-reducing.
Located over the top of the face, visors are typically integrated within the shell piece to provide rigidity. They’re meant for blocking out the sun while also not being in the way of a player’s vision.
Also integrated within the shell to provide rigidity, chin bars protect the chin while providing players with ventilation and ample ability to communicate to others. Being made from injection mold and even fiberglass, the chin bar’s durability can manage high-velocity impacts.
Soft Internal Padding
Foam makes slipping on the helmet comfortable. Simultaneously, it disperses impact energy and supports the cranium. It also prevents chafing and all-around uncomfortable play.
Located in front of the face, the grid pattern allows for protection. At the same, it allows for maximum visibility, with high-grade masks having wider areas to increase a player’s field of vision. They’re typically made from lightweight materials such as steel or tungsten.
Chin straps allow for rigid mobility by improving fit and keeping the chin bar in place.
Factors to Consider
Now that you understand the basics of lacrosse helmets, there a couple of important factors that you need to keep in mind when purchasing one. Safety is an important factor for sure, but so are comfort and design.
The most important factor is probably the most obvious: fit. Whether your helmet actually fits not only affects whether the helmet will actually protect. In fact, it can also affect visibility, comfort and overall performance.
You want an optimal fit, as a too tight helmet can produce sweat build up and irritation when playing. On the other hand, too loose and the helmet can’t absorb impacts properly. Try on multiple sizes and brands to find that sweet spot.
It’s important that you take a look at the helmet company’s measuring charts so you can find out exactly which size is most appropriate. Don’t buy a helmet expecting you’ll grow into them, this defeats the purpose. If the helmet doesn’t fit, it can’t properly protect you.
Helmets also tend to be pricey, as modern helmets have a ton of research and money poured into it. They’re often the most expensive piece of equipment in the sport, so preparing to spend a bit is a must. But again, helmets are also the most important piece of equipment in lacrosse.
Keeping Your Helmet in Top Shape
When it comes to helmet care, all it requires is some love and consistency. Constant visual inspection and routine cleaning will keep your helmet optimally functional. Cleaning is simple, all you really need is some warm water, soap and elbow grease.
Start by cleaning the inside of the helmet, making sure to be gentle with the foam. Then, start cleaning the outside. This should be done after every time it’s used or at the end of every day at most.
Checking for dents and cracks is extra important, as they could compromise the effectiveness of your helmet. Having your helmet break mid-game could be potentially disastrous.
That is why if you do see any fractures, visit a specialist right away. If the damage is beyond repair, you’ll need to consider replacing it.
Carefully inspect the straps and buckles as well, as any tears and such could be detrimental to the helmet’s security during a game. Replace them as soon as you can.
HelmetHunts’s 5 Best Lacrosse Helmets
Cascade CPX-R Helmet
- Features Seven Technology, a ground-breaking impact attenuation system to more effectively manage energy transfer from direct impact.
- Includes white chin strap.
- One size fits most.
- Seven Technology liner system compresses to laterally displace energy and within seconds, completely reset to ready for the next impact.
If you’re looking for smooth looks, this helmet does the job. This white lacrosse helmet comes equipped with a sleek-looking design and an aerodynamic look. It contains a chrome mask and claims to have a one size that fits all.
This helmet comes equipped with Seven Technology. This more effectively dampens the kinetic energy from major impacts multiple times throughout a game. This helmet has good durability and definitely looks pretty cool.
However, it’s a bit on the pricey end and doesn’t have multiple options for sizes or designs. Still, you get your money’s worth when it comes to providing your head with protection on the field, thanks to its innovative Seven Technology.
• One size fits most heads
• A white chin strap is included
• Seven Technology
• May not be as durable
Cascade LX Women’s Lacrosse Headgear
- Poron XRD offers the maximum comfort with the ability to dissipate impacts
- The LX steel mask is designed with open sight lines and an ergonomic shape
- An Integrated goggle system relieves the facial pressure experienced by a separate goggle
- A rear adjustable strap, dual hair slots and interchangeable cheek pads allow the Cascade LX the perfect fit adjustable to every player
- Large air vents allow for maximum breathability keeping players cool and comfortable.
Although helmets aren’t as strictly implemented in women’s games, that doesn’t mean they don’t get dangerous. Any smart lacrosse player, regardless of gender, wears a helmet and the Cascade LX does its job pretty well.
It has a comfortable design and supporting foams using Poron XRD technology to effectively dissipate impacts. It also has large air vents to properly facilitate good airflow and ventilation. The LX steel mask allows for perfect ergonomics and sight line visibility.
You can also choose from 6 different customizable designs and colors. This helmet certainly has multiple features, including adjustability of both the cheek pads and rear straps. As a result, it is perfect for fitting any person.
However, these features come at the cost of maximum durable effectiveness and a hefty fee. There are multiple size options though, which is the most important aspect of any helmet purchase.
• Comfortable to use
• Lightweight but sturdy
• Different color options and sizes
• Quite pricey
STX Stallion 575 Adult Lacrosse Helmet
- New Forward Tilt Design
- D30 is a patented, lightweight material with a unique molecular structure allowing it to remain soft and flexible in its natural state.
- Upon impact, however, the molecules in D30 lock together to absorb and disperse impact energy, before returning to its soft, natural state.
- The ABS material used in the Stallion 600 incorporates impact modifiers within the plastic for added strength.
- The SUREFIT AiR Liner is adjustable (pump included) and provides a more dynamic fit by placing the technology in the rear of the helmet. This allows it to form better to the contours of your head.
If wide sidelines are a must in your lacrosse games, then the STX Stallion 575 is the best helmet for the job. Along with providing breathability, this helmet is perfect for a hot summer day.
The masks are especially wide so that a player can have a better view of the entire field. This allows players to tap into their peripheral senses. The mask is made from your typical impact resistant material.
Not only that, it has plenty of vents to allow ventilation and reduce sweat-induced irritation. The padding is also standard and fairly comfortable to wear. However, the mask space does compromise cranial protection and might not be the safest.
Also, this helmet doesn’t offer anything too extraordinary. However, it has a pretty low price while still being able to get the job done. Your wallet will thank you for this helmet.
• Does the job well
• Customizable fit
• May be too simple for some
Cascade CS Junior Lacrosse Helmet
- Specifically designed for players under 12
- Super-light single piece shell, chin and visor
- Mask is engineered for improved vision
- CS Fit System allows the helmet to grow with the player
- The rear third of the liner pivots to grasp the head, ensuring a secure, adjustable fit
It’s not uncommon to develop a fiery passion for this sport at a young age and this helmet is perfect to be your kid’s first. The helmet offers some of the best designs regarding head safety and concussion prevention for youth under the age of 12.
The Gen3 EPP liner foam exceeds standards by far and allows for a great ergonomic feel and comfort while playing on the field. It also meets NOCSAE Standards. The material is extremely lightweight and reduces fatigue during games.
But again, something very important to note: the product doesn’t allow for much variability when it comes to sizes. However, the helmet comes equipped with multiple adjustment options and is very reasonably priced.
• One size fits most kids
• May not fit everyone
STX Lacrosse Stallion 500 Helmet
- The stallion 500 helmet features revolutionary d3o material that remains soft and flexible in its natural state but locks together upon impact for superior impact dispersion
- The stallion 500 includes an ABS shell with impact modifiers for added strength
- The stallion 500 helmet includes surfeit Air liner that includes an Air pump for Adjustability which allows the helmet to form better to your head
- The stallion 500 helmet employs adjustable EVA jaw pads with TPU cushioning for impact Absorption
This beauty provides a lovely balance between ergonomics and safety. The STX Stallion 500 features revolutionary d3o material. This remains soft and flexible in its natural state, but immediately stiffens for protection when it experiences a high-velocity collision.
An ABS shell makes this helmet all the more durable. It also has airliner technology, which includes an air pump for adjustability. This allows the helmet to both adjust to your head and allow proper air ventilation.
However, all these features come at a cost, as this product can be rather pricey.
• Soft and flexible
• Absorbs impact well
• Not budget-friendly
Whether you play casually or intensely, the helmet is essential in order to play for long periods of time while ensuring safety. Again, the helmet is the most important piece of equipment when it comes to playing lacrosse. That is why you must take some time and care in choosing your helmet.