Field hockey may look like an adventurous sport, but it can actually put a lot of strain on players. If you decide to be a goalie, you better expect to get some abuse from other players. Imagine one ball after another aimed at you at high speeds. From this point of view, protection is a must.
Just like in ice hockey, goalies require lots of protection on their legs, body and arms, but at the same time, the head requires even more care. Padding helps, indeed, but there is more than that. This is when you realize how important it is to find the best field hockey helmet for a goalie.
Much like all the other protective gear for a goalkeeper, the helmet will easily affect your overall performance. Without a helmet, your instinct is to protect yourself, rather than the goal. Therefore, you would rather let the ball in than get hit on the head.
Now, how do you decide on the best field hockey helmet for a goalie? I played as a goalkeeper for quite a few years, so trust me, I have done my homework. Here is what you need to look for in a helmet, as well as the best-rated products on the market.
What to look for in a field hockey helmet for a goalie
Learning about helmets is like taking a tour of their main features. Obviously, I started with the basics and I believe you should do the same. I found two major categories, so I will split my options in two. At the same time, the same categories expand over the actual price of a field hockey helmet – expensive and inexpensive.
What is your budget?
If money is a problem for you, you should opt for the second category. So, what do you have? Basically, the least expensive models are some modified versions of classic ice hockey helmets. Many of them are not even manufactured by field hockey companies, but ice hockey companies trying to target a new market.
These helmets do not come with too many features, bells and whistles. However, you do have options in terms of sizing and adjustability. Most of them feature chin straps to stay secure, but they also provide the required protection. Sure, if you play in a professional league, you might need a top range helmet, but if you do it with friends, these models are just fine.
Cascade helmets represent another category. They are also inexpensive, but unlike the cheapest models on the market, they offer more visibility. They require less material to build, so they are lightweight and less likely to cover everything. Such helmets are mostly recommended to experienced players, as well as youngsters.
Other categories are quite similar to ice hockey helmets, so they come with lots of protection. Extra protection comes with two potential disadvantages – more weight or higher costs. The lighter the helmet is, the more it will cost. I actually considered these options because I have a feeling that I would hate getting hit in the face by a hockey ball.
Plus, I liked the overall construction. These helmets have a unique design that deflects the ball away. You may even find cat-eye style masks to add to your visibility on the field. You have a wide space between the steel framing, but not wide enough to let a ball go through. This design is probably the most popular one among professional players.
Now that you are aware of what you can find on the market, what is the best field hockey helmet for a goalie and why?
Top 4 Field Hockey Helmets For A Goalie
Bauer IMS 5.0 Helmet Combo
Bauer’s best field hockey helmet for a goalie comes in a classic design – no bells and whistles, but just proper protection. It is one of the first helmets I bought. It comes in more colours (I chose the red one), as well as three different sizes-small, medium and large.
Given its impressive adjustability, my partner also tried it on a few times and loved it. Size adjustment will not affect the shape of the helmet, but it will improve the fit. Adjusting it is fairly simple – no tools required for the operation. Other than that, it is CSA/HECC certified for safety and protection.
Although it looks basic, the helmet is quite sophisticated. It has the Bauer 2100 face mask, which is known for its visibility. It will not protect your head and face only, but also your ears. The integrated ear covers for safety is a great additional feature.
The helmet is considered to be an adult one, so it is not such a good choice for kids – unless you get a small size and your little one is larger than average. Also, while it protects the head, it does not offer too much protection for the neck.
- Proprietary face mask for great visibility
- Integrated ear protection
- Size adjustment
- More sizes and colours
- No middle sizes
OBO Robo PE Field Hockey Goalie Helmet
OBO’s best field hockey helmet for a goalie is available in two colours only – black and white. It comes in two sizes – medium and large. Luckily, it fit me perfectly, but there might be people who will not match it. It is still worth a try though, as this is one of the best helmets I have ever used.
Although it is similar to other helmets from OBO, it does represent the higher-end version of the brand. It comes in strong plastic that nothing can break. You might as well use it in ice hockey with this kind of protection. The cat-eye steel mark is just as solid and durable, but it also ensures visibility in any direction.
The helmet is CE certified. It is strong and rigid, but without actually feeling heavy. It can take ball speeds of 75MPH or less. In other words, it is excellent for both amateur and more advanced games. Chances are you will be safe. It has its own carry bag for too.
When it comes to the actual sizing, the medium size is recommended to those with a head circumference of 22.4-24.4 inches. The large size is recommended for a higher circumference.
- Extremely durable
- Can take some beating
- Surprisingly lightweight
- Great visibility in all directions
- Only available in two sizes
Schutt 2966 Air Maxx Catch Helmet (EA)
I used this helmet at my partner’s suggestion because it is supposed to take anything and still protect you. Basically, after some research, I found out that it is made with pretty much the same technology as football helmets.
It has a sleek design and provides some extra protection to your throat too. The carbon steel face mask allows great visibility in all directions. At the same time, it has a clear frontal view – nothing to worry about flying field hockey balls though.
Adjustability is not to be overlooked either. It can fit head sizes from 20 ¾ to 23 ½ inches in circumference. You have an adjustable harness for a great fit though. As for its design, it comes in over 20 different styles and colours.
There is nothing to worry about on the inside either – you will love the TPU cushioning. The helmet feels fit but still comfy.
- Professional cushioning
- Can last forever
- Wide field of vision
- Lightweight profile
- Not a good choice for those with really large heads
OBO Robo FG Field Hockey Goalie Helmet
If you want both looks and a lightweight profile, this is probably the best field hockey helmet for a goalie from OBO. It comes in a silver fibre design that will draw most of the attention. But then, the overall appearance is not everything.
I find it hard to pick a helmet lighter than this one, really. The shell is based on carbon fibre. It is mixed with all kinds of resins, as well as gel coating. It is so lightweight that you will barely feel it, but it also maintains high-quality standards in safety and protection.
The wire cage is based on carbon steel. The centre is double wired for more strength and safety. The vision is good and the wires will not interfere. On the inside, you have a foam liner for a comfortable experience.
The outside has angular shaping to deflect balls, while the read head panel is adjustable. The velcro sweatband is removable.
- Good looking
- Lots of adjustabilities
- Efficient in protection
- Not too many options in sizing
In the end, I find it hard to decide on the best field hockey helmet for a goalie. We have personally tried all the above-mentioned models and each of them has its own strengths. I guess it depends on what you truly want – adjustability, comfort, efficiency and so on.
Remember, safety comes first in a sport where you can get seriously injured. Therefore, no matter how good looking a helmet is, make sure it has a high level of protection before even trying it on. This is why you buy it in the first place, right?