Hockey Helmet Sizing Guide for Proven Protection on the Ice

The helmet is perhaps the most important piece of hockey equipment. Hockey can be a dangerous sport, with athletes moving at fast speeds and hard objects flying all around. The head is particularly vulnerable, with concussions being one of the most common injuries in hockey.

According to a study published in the Journal of Athletic Training, “Inadequate helmet fit resulted in greater odds of sustaining a concussion when comparing concussed and uninjured players.” And concussions are just one of the injuries that a properly fitting helmet can help you avoid.

To help you or your child find the right helmet, we’ve compiled a hockey helmet sizing guide that you can use during the shopping process.

4 Steps for Finding the Right Hockey Helmet Size

hockey helmet sizing guide
Image by Ross Bonander is licenser with Unsplash License

Finding the right-sized hockey helmet is pretty easy. To do this, all you’ll need is a measuring tape. Once you have one, follow these steps:

  1. Place the start of the measuring tape in the center of your forehead, about 1/4″ above your eyebrows.
  2. Wrap the measuring tape around your head until it meets back at the center of your forehead.
  3. Pull the tape measurer tight and ensure it’s level across your forehead.
  4. Read the number where the measuring tape reaches the start of the tape to find the circumference of your head.

When measuring the circumference of your head, you may find it useful to ask someone else for help. If you’re doing it on your own, a mirror can help you ensure the measuring tape is level across your head and that you’ve pulled it tight.

Lastly, if you don’t have a measuring tape that easily wraps around your head, try using a piece of string. Wrap it around your head like you would the measuring tape, marking where you start and end. Then, line the string up with a measuring tool, like a ruler, to determine the circumference of your head.

Hockey Helmet Sizing Chart

Once you have the circumference of your head, you can then use a hockey helmet sizing chart to determine which size you need. However, each brand differs in how it sizes its helmets. This means you’ll want to look up a specific sizing chart for the hockey helmet brand you’re considering. Below are a few example hockey helmet sizing charts to demonstrate this:

Bauer RE-AKT Hockey Helmet Sizing Chart
Helmet SizeHead Circumference
Small20.4 – 22.4″52 – 57 cm
Medium22.2 – 23.6″56.5 – 60 cm
Large23.6 – 25.2″60 – 64 cm

Making Sure Your Hockey Helmet Fits Properly

After you find the right size, it’s still a good idea to try the helmet on and ensure a proper fit. While wearing the helmet, it should fit snugly all around. You don’t want any spaces between the helmet’s padding and the head. A good way to check this is by gently shifting the helmet left-to-right and up-and-down. When doing so, the skin on the forehead should move along with it. However, it should fit comfortably, too. If the person wearing the helmet feels pain or discomfort because it’s too tight, try going a half-size up.

Besides the tightness, there are a few other things to check. For one, the rim of the helmet should be about one finger width above the eyebrow. It should also rest flat on top of your head.

For helmets with a face mask or cage, this protective layer shouldn’t be more than an inch away from the face. In addition, a chin cup should be centered under your chin and have a snug fit. When adjusting the chin straps, try opening your mouth wide and ensure the helmet moves down your forehead. If it doesn’t make the straps tighter.

Lastly, make sure you can see well out of your helmet. You should be able to see straight forward out of the helmet, and side-to-side. A helmet that blocks your vision is a safety hazard and needs to be adjusted.

Taking Care of Your Helmet

A well-fitting helmet will only protect you if you take good care of it. Proper helmet maintenance and care will not only provide you with the best protection but also extend the life of your helmet. Here are a few helmet maintenance tips you can use:

  • Keep your helmet clean. Regularly wash both the interior and exterior of your helmet with warm water and a mild detergent. This can help remove bacteria that may cause the helmet to wear down faster.
  • Store your helmet in a safe place. Don’t leave your helmet in a car or outside, where temperatures can become extreme. Always store it in a dry place near room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
  • Perform regular inspections. Before you use your helmet, check for signs of damage. Cracks, missing parts, or loose materials also make your helmet less safe. In many cases, you can repair the damage rather than replacing the helmet, but only if you catch the problem early.
  • Let experts handle the repairs. Fixing a hockey helmet is a process called reconditioning. An expert needs to handle jobs like repairing cracks or replacing missing parts so that it meets safety standards.

When To Replace Your Hockey Helmet

Finally, for the best protection, it’s essential to know when you replace your hockey helmet. A few signs that indicate it’s time for a replacement include:

  • Cracks or other damage to the helmet
  • Worn down padding inside the helmet
  • Broken or malfunctioning cages, visors, or chinstraps

In addition, it’s recommended that you don’t use a hockey helmet beyond 10 years of its manufacturing date. Many helmets need replacing sooner than this due to wear and tear over time, but even if yours looks like it’s in good condition, if it’s more than 10 years old, it’s time for a replacement.