If you watch and/or play football, you know that football can be a violent sport. One major blow to the head, and an athlete may go down with concussion symptoms. This is a scary reality that some football players experience during their career.
However, having a quality helmet that works properly in the way it was intended can prevent some of this from ever occurring. Concussions can’t be completely prevented by the use of helmets, but they can add major protection.
In today’s football landscape, it is more and more imperative for people to understand what the best football helmets actually are. Every football helmet review across the Internet today needs to be transparent about which ones prevent concussion and other injuries and which ones do not. Some of the questions that will be answered include:
With so many questions to answer, there are just as many types of helmets to choose, as well. So, let’s hop right into this guide to help you pick the best football helmet for you and your lifestyle.
Here are the 10 best football helmets 2021:
Schutt Vengeance Z10: Best Repair Options
The Schutt Vengeance Z10 is perfect for athletes with a smaller head size and even up to an X-large size. This option fits snug around the head and allows for great stability throughout all four quarters of a football game.
As a lightweight helmet option, this version from Schutt gives amazing protection and it also will not weigh you down because it is less than 5 pounds.
Additionally, with the price of this model under $500, you do not just get a helmet. You get a model that can be reconditioned and repaired whenever you need it to be fixed.
This is the perfect helmet for a varsity football player. Top-rated football helmet reviews definitely have this version of Schutt in the conversation.
Riddell SpeedFlex: Best for Quarterbacks
One of the most popular football helmets on the market today is the Riddell SpeedFlex. Football helmet reviews from all around the world have this version because of its durability and comfort.
Not only is this a great helmet for quarterbacks, but also for other skilled position players. High school, college, and professional athletes wear the Riddell SpeedFlex.
With Riddell’s patented Flex System, dangerous collisions are reduced at impact, and there is evidence to back this up. Riddell did a study that included over 2 million data points of impacts during a football game.
The technical features Riddell added to this helmet were in direct correlation to their data to help keep athletes safe. For around $400, you can get this model of helmet that is less than 5 pounds.
Riddell Speed: Best Youth Helmet
A top 10 football helmets’ list would be remiss if the Riddell Speed Helmet was not a part of the list. This is one of the highest-rated football helmets on the market today for a few reasons.
First, this helmet was created to have perfect balance when moving around the field. Secondly, the technology of the Riddle Speed moves the impact of a helmet-to-helmet crash across the whole helmet, limiting negative collision effects.
For example, if the helmet-to-helmet collision occurred at the front of the helmet, the impact will move to other areas of the helmet to protect the athlete.
Riddell conducted research of over 2,000 hours with the protection of their customers as priority #1. Being one of the best football helmets may be an understatement because a Virginia Tech University Study gave it a 5-star rating.
Schutt F7 Football Helmet: Best Bargain
This is one of the best Schutt football helmet options for athletes today. First launched in 2017, the Schutt F7 Football Helmet gained great acclaim from the Virginia Tech Helmet Rating System, an NFL study, and other ranking researchers. Even in a short amount of time, this new football helmet has seen positive reviews.
One of this helmet’s best features is the Three Dimensional System or 3DM. For people worried about scary rotational impact, the Schutt F7 is great for 11-year-old athletes all the way up to the professional ranks.
The Schutt F7 may seem like one of the most expensive football helmet choices at $649.99, but the truth of the matter is that football helmets can be a lot more expensive, as you will see in this review.
Ultimately, safety should be the main focus when buying the right football helmet, and Schutt definitely does not cut any corners for protection. If you like wearing what the pros wear, here is an option for you.
Vicis Zero1: Newest Model
One of the best football brands is Vicis. Vicis believes that even more important than the style, color, or comfort of the helmet should be protection of its athletes. For each Vicis model there is a four-layer system: the Lode Shell, the Vicis RFLX, the Arch Shell, and the Form Liner.
Over a 3-year period, Vicis spent $20 million to research the best football helmet sold in today’s day and age. The research was done with the help of engineers, neurosurgeons, and athletes to test the product. This model works, too, because in 2017 and 2018 the helmet was tested in an NFL laboratory and garnered a 5-star Virginia Tech rating.
Along with protection, the Zero1 gives players amazing peripheral vision. Normally, human beings can see 220 degrees. With the Zero1, you do not lose much because you still can see 212 degrees peripherally. So, if you are looking for a high-end football helmet, look no further than the Vicis Zero1.
Schutt Air XP Pro VTD II: Coolest Looking
Top 10 football helmets would be at a loss without this next option. The Schutt Air XP Pro VTD II is a great cool-looking design. With a plethora of colors to choose from, this is a great helmet for high school athletes. This helmet is great for wide receivers, for quarterbacks, and for running backs.
Cheap football helmets are hard to come by, but this price packs great quality, too. Statistics even prove this helmets success. Currently, 50% of NFL skill players wear an Schutt helmet.
Because of this statistic, you can imagine that it is one of the best high school football helmets too because high school students are observant of their professional heroes. In the end, they want to wear the same thing, too.
One other perk to having a Schutt Air XP Pro VTD II is that a lot of the padding can be taken out of the helmet and washed with other laundry.
Light LS1: Best Overall
You may not be familiar with the Light LS1 in other football helmet reviews, but Light Helmets bought out SG last year. The company’s goal, in 2021, is to be best youth football helmet to prevent concussions in the market.
Furthermore, they want to upgrade their already promising helmets like the Light LS1 Pro and LS1. The Light promise is that their helmet is the lightest in the entire world. From the inception of the company, in 1979, the technology for helmets started with Indy race car drivers. Currently, the helmets’ creation uses NASA technology for protection sake.
Heavy helmets can now be a thing of the past when using the Light LS1 series. Can you imagine what that could do for you in the 4th quarter? With the company expanding to football, the company resides in California, one of the football capitals of America.
Schutt Vengeance Pro: Best Budget
At around $300, the Schutt Vengeance Pro is the best value helmet on this review. From the STAR rating system, it is classified as “The Best Available” for football players today.
It all starts with the polycarbonate shell, which is stronger and bigger than older models that Schutt has sold. This technology can be found in all Schutt helmets for varsity players. With multiple sizing options, from small to x-large, Schutt really works hard for all its customers.
Also, if you are a fan of customization, Schutt works to create quality paint, decals, and add-ons, like chin straps, visors, replacement hardware, jaw pads, chin cup sleeve, and a helmet inflator pump, for a personalized experience. Additionally, there are 7 facemask options for all types of positional players.
Xenith EPIC+: Best for High School
Looking for the hottest football helmet in the varsity football market? Well, you have come to the right place with the Xenith EPIC+.
From Xenith’s own customer review page, regulars give these helmets 4.7 out of 5 stars. One reason that customers give this helmet such a high ranking is because of the fit band and fit lock, which conforms to whoever wears the product.
Also, there are 12 vents within this helmet for extra breathability. This allows for athletes to stay cool and allow the helmet to not get so dirty from sweat. It is because of these thoughts that the Xenith EPIC+ is on the list for top 10 football helmets.
Riddell Precision-FIT: Best Concussion Prevention Helmet
The most expensive football helmet on our list is the Riddell Precision-FIT model. There is no other kind of helmet creation process like it in the world today because it uses 3D technology.
Each individual’s head size is scanned, so the helmet meshes perfectly with the cranium of the person using it. A 7-step process keys in on every part of an individual’s head. This process has really revolutionized the football helmet industry.
By using Riddell Speed and SpeedFlex technology from the past, the exterior has stayed the same, but the interior has completed changed. Ultimately, this equipment gives athletes improved vision on the field and comfort surrounding the skull. The best Riddell football helmet is truly the Precision-FIT.
Top 5 Best Football Helmet Brands
Many believe that the best football helmets on the market are from Schutt. With versions like the Vengeance Pro, Custom Air XP Pro VTD II, and the Custom Vengeance Z10, customers can truly customize their football buying experience to fit them and their playing style.
Since 1929, Riddell has been around providing football helmets of highest quality. Some of their football helmets include the Speed Icon, Speed Classic Iron, Speed Youth Helmet, Victor-I Youth Helmet, Speedflex, and much, much more. These helmets range as some of the best cheap football helmets to some of the most expensive football helmets to purchase.
Many people are looking for the best concussion prevention football helmet, but they do not need to look to far when the name Xenith comes to the forefront. Their football helmet options include the Shadow Helmet, EPIC+, and the X2E+. The Xenith branding truly has the highest quality football helmets for you to choose from.
Another top football helmet brand is Vicis. With selections like Zero1, Zero1 Youth, and Edge Shield, Vicis uses testing from their military product to prepare every football player for battle. Each version Vicis sells is one of the hottest football helmets for sale in 2021.
Light Helmets, formally known as SG helmets, are looking to refurbish all older models. A unique trade procedure will occur in 2021, where old SG helmets can be upgraded for the new versions like the Light LS1 Pro, LS1, or the LS1 Youth, which is the best Light football helmet. Currently, Light helmets are the 5th largest producers of football helmets in the United States of America.
Different Types of Football Helmets
There are many ways football helmets can be different from one another. Different types of football helmets revolve around size, player type, style, face mask design, and position the individual plays. Let’s start with the size.
Sizing for helmets range from brand to brand, but most have a small, medium, large, and x-large. More will be discussed later, as to how sizing works to get the perfect fit.
The player type depends on the age and skill level of the player. If you are looking for 12-year-old helmets, the youth version is probably for you. For high school players, the varsity edition of most brands work for helmets. Lastly, there are collegiate and professional versions available for each brand.
The style really depends on the brandings decisions. This can include decals, colors, and equipment options. Facemask designs really depend on what position the individual plays. For example, there are different types of facemasks for offensive and defensive players.
Defensive players, especially linemen, need more covering over their face, while wide receivers need less of a mask to see the football thrown their way. Also, involving positional players, different helmets have different cushioning depending on where they play on the field.
How Much Does a Football Helmet Cost?
In 2017, the Washington Post came out with an article entitled “There’s a new ‘safest’ football helmet for sale. Now can anyone afford it?” It talked about the cost of football helmets in the 21st Century. Custom fit options have been well over a $1,000, but Vicis and other brands have worked hard to bring their prices down and quality the same.
Currently, youth helmets cost between $175 and $200. However, as the skill level of football players goes up, so does the cost. Brands like Riddell’s Speedflex and the Schutt Air XP Pro VTD II cost between $230 and just over $400. This range involves varsity football players primarily.
When college and professional ranks need helmets, the prices goes up even more, according to the Washington Post article. Nevertheless, the best college football helmets are made by the professionals of Riddell and Schutt. So, how much do football helmets cost? We hope you now know the answer to this question.
How to Size a Football Helmet?
Some might undervalue football helmet sizing, but sizing should definitely not be overlooked. No matter if you are looking for a new football helmet or an older edition, sizing is still the same.
Step 1: Football Helmet Sizing Should Begin by Preparing Your Helmets
Think of it as a fitting session for helmets. Gather all the helmets you are wanting to try, at a store or by gathering demos online. Look over and inspect the helmets for cleanliness and defect issues. If you are using helmets that have been used, make sure they have been conditioned.
Lastly, for the helmets to be classified as “safe,” the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) stamp needs to be placed on the helmet outside.
Step 2: Be Honest About Your Injury History
A lot of times, you will be working with trained professionals who can help with the sizing process. If you have had concussions before or a broken nose, that may change the type of helmet you can get, depending on the size.
However, remember that with so many types of football helmets and brands with special interests, you should do your homework and know what you are getting into.
Additionally, you should know a helmet’s history, just like a car’s history when you buy it. You will really be able to tell if there are abnormalities to the helmet’s physical structure.
Step 3: It Is Now Head Measurement Time
When looking how to size a football helmet, the head measurement is vital. Cloth tape can be used to measure the side of the head. Wrapping needs to happen just above the eyebrow and round the occipital lobe to find the circumference.
Below are the ranges of what the sizes are:
- Small is below 20 inches.
- Medium is between 20 and 22.5 inches.
- Large is between 21.5 and 23.25 inches.
- X-Large is between 23-25.5 inches.
Any head size bigger than 25.5 inches will need to have a custom fit from one of the main brands like Riddell or Schutt.
Step 4: Pick Your Helmet and the Fit You Want
From the information you have gathered in the first 3 steps, you can now pick a helmet that really works for you. You may still want to try a few helmets to pick the one that is most comfortable for you and your playing style.
Of course, it is essential that you follow the instructions from the manufacturer. This way, your helmet will protect you in the way it was intended.
To know that a helmet fits correctly, notice some of these things as you are trying on your helmet. The inflation cushion in the helmet should raise the frontal portion of the rim. This should be 1 inch right above your eyebrows. Additionally, the padding should lie comfortably on your head.
The last part of this step involves the jaw pads and the rear pads. The jaw pads should touch the jaw, but they should not touch the ears at all, while the rear pads should comfortably surround the head.
Step 5: Have a Chinstrap That Keeps the Helmet in Place
With different types of football helmets comes a different type of chinstrap to consider for your football helmet. Remember that a chinstrap’s only job is to keep the helmet from moving around on your head. The chinstrap’s job is not an adjustment to keep your helmet fitting.
For it to work properly, the center of the cup’s chinstrap should be bucked and maneuvered, first with the front and then to the back straps. Equal pressure should be exhibited all around the chin, so you will be comfortable in the long run.
Step 6: Check Out Your Helmet Fit for Best Results
There are three ways that you can test your helmet to make sure you are safe on the gridiron. First, you must check for crown pressure. By pulling the helmet down over your head, you will be able to feel if the pressure is distributed evenly around. Of course, the helmet should not come over your nose for any reason at all.
The next thing you should check is what is called the lateral grip. Test this by using your hands on both sides of the helmet. While keeping your head still, move the helmet side to side.
Make sure that the padding stays sound against the head, and notice if it slides over the face or not. Also, notice if your skin is bunching up in the helmet because this could really cause things to be uncomfortable in a hurry.
The last test you should try is the vertical grip check. Do this test by placing your hands on the helmet and keep your head still, similar to the last check. Try rolling the equipment forward and backward.
Your facial skin should move, just as the helmet moves, but the skin should be able to slip a little and catch on your eyebrow. Again, this test should never bring the helmet over the nose. If this is the case, you should get resized for a new helmet.
Step 7: Keep Your Helmet Examined Through Its Entire Use
From season to season, your helmet will need to be re-examined for best results. Certainly, if your helmet uses air bladders, they will need to be pumped up to keep the same consistency game after game.
Every week, you should examine your helmet to make sure it fits properly and that it is in the best of condition. Also, make sure your helmets passes the following tests, mentioned above, so you will know if your helmet is good to go or not.
If you do need to fill an air bladder, do not do it when the helmet is not on your head. The air bladder needs to be pumped when the helmet is on your head, so you can express if you need more or less air to protection and comfort sake.
Your facemask may be bent over time, so replace as you see fit. Also, helmets can begin to crack or chip. If the helmet begins to crack, you may need to look for a new helmet or go through a serious reconditioning.
Is your helmet chipping? Well, you may need to send your helmet in for reconditioning, but this process may take a few weeks to get done properly. Helmet hardware can begin to rust. Make sure to change out new screws to keep your facemask sturdy on the helmet.
Lastly, if there is an emergency and you need the facemask off quickly, rusted screws can really lengthen the process. So, have good upkeep with your helmet.
Step 8: It’s Time to Finish-up
Now that you have finished the fitting, make absolutely certain that you are comfortable with your helmet. Make sure to keep your measurements handy, just in case you need them again in the future. By going through each step with accuracy and efficiently, you will be able to find the right football helmet for you.
The trust you will have in your helmet will allow you to play at your best on the field. You will not worry about getting hurt on the gridiron, but rather focusing on your game. Being educated and aware will make you a jack-of-all-trades from equipment to strategy for football.
Why Is Picking the Right Helmet Important?
In this day and age, picking the right helmet has a lot more to do with safety than anything else. With concussion awareness on the rise in every level of football, helmets are at the pinnacle of this discussion.
Knowing the best youth football helmet to prevent concussions is a great place to start for the young ones. As the skill level gets better and better, different types of football helmets need to be researched because outgrowing a helmet and using it could really cause issues for an athlete.
At the end of the day, football helmets can be sleek, classy, and flashy, but what they really need to be is safe. No matter the types of football helmets you decide to look at, take your time and do your due diligence.
Just because a helmet is rated the best college football helmet does not mean you should pick it too when you are in high school. Even if your heroes are wearing that same brand, know that your safety matters more than anything else in football.
Happy searching and enjoy the process because football is fun and your shopping process should be, as well.