Football is one of the most intense and physically demanding sports there is. Needless to say, you’re going to get a beating every time you step on the field, that’s why a lot of safety precautions are put into place to protect all of the players involved, and picking the best football helmet is a must.
Safety gears like paddings and helmets are imperative to lessen the impact of such a grueling sport. These gears won’t only protect you from harm but will help in prolonging one’s career should you be a professional. So choosing the best football helmet is very important.
That’s why we’ve gathered some of the best football helmets that will dominate in 2021. You can avail of so you get the necessary protection each time you bang bodies on the field. It’s game time!
Why Is Picking the Right Helmet Important?
We’re going to discuss how to pick the right football helmet in a later section. But for now, we want to put emphasis first as to why YOU NEED to pick the RIGHT HELMET before we go to our product reviews.
Reduce the risk of any head injury
As they say, always err on the side of caution. Helmets are your best bet as an additional layer of protection when it comes to oftentimes life-threatening head injuries.
We’re talking about injuries such as concussions, facial fractures, or even facial lacerations. While we’re not saying that helmets will prevent them but they will for sure given that you wear a reliable one can tremendously help lessen the damage.
With the right helmet for the right activity, you are assured of having that level of protection like no other and for sports, it can greatly enhance performance so you are always on top of your game and will produce desirable results.
Comfort and Style
Helmets aren’t only for protection, they also bring about a certain level of comfort to athletes especially in football. For pros, it’s where headsets are installed in for proper communication between a team.
Proper constructed, fitted, and made helmets are the best when it comes to adding that layer of comfort that athletes need. It is also to ensure that even casual gamers (even backyard or park football games) are protected and comfortable no matter the intensity of the pickup game.
Helmets are also always used as the bearer of a team’s emblem and style. It’s almost an extension of a team’s battle cry to enhance their confidence. It is where the team’s logo and what makes them iconic are designed into so it would be memorable and leave an imprint on their opponent and the audiences’ minds.
So always be sure to wear a helmet no matter what you do that might put you in harm’s way.
Best Football Helmet Product Review That Will Dominate in 2021
1. Schutt Sports Vengeance A3+ Youth Football Helmet
- SUREFIT inflatable crown plus lateral liners
- TPU Front Cushion (A3 & A3+)
- Vengeance faceguards made of carbon steel
- TPU front liner (Enhanced)
- Raised brow design
- Interlinked jaw pads
- Comes with a black soft cup chin strap
The first entry on our best football helmet list is none other than Schutt Sports’ Vengeance A3+ Youth Football Helmet. Protection is imperative especially for the youth as they start taking interest in a sport like football. That’s why a leading brand like Schutt is sure to be your best bet when it comes to creating some of the best football helmets for youth.
The A3 helmet just got upgraded in a lot of aspects. It is now sleeker aesthetics wise, has a low profile shell but ultimately lighter which is quite beneficial for younger players. The upgrade’s bread and butter are the SUREFIT airliners right at the back, its sides, and the crown.
This ensures that the helmet fits really well so you’d get not just utmost protection but comfort as well. The helmet also comes with inter-link jaw pads that are mechanically attached to it. This model carries over the coveted TPU cushion and has a wide variety of position-specific carbon steel Vengeance faceguards.
The enhanced TPU front liner promises to be very comfortable to wear and easy to fit. The Schutt Sports Vengeance series is one of the best models you can find for your young footballer for both of you to feel confident as they take on the field.
- Lightweight design
- Very nice fit overall
- One of the most comfortable youth helmet on our list
- Durable helmet ready to take on a beating
- Sleek colors
- Does not come with a facemask
2. Riddell NCAA Revolution Speed Pro Line Helmet
- Aggressive shell design
- Internal padding and a 4 point chin strap
- Weighs 3 pounds
- Speed classic design for the padding
- Team decals and colors
Our second entry is the first from one of the industry’s largest football helmet manufacturers the Riddell NCAA Revolution Speed Pro Line Helmet. Now, this is a helmet that’s worn by both amateurs and most especially pros.
It’s one of the best concussion prevention football helmets on our list due to its high-quality construction. Given the massive brand, there’s no doubt that this model is a bestseller and worn by a lot of athletes.
This Revolution Speed Pro series is characterized by a large size aggressive shell design plus a facemask that fits it nicely. It also features the much appreciated 4 point chin strap design to make sure that the helmet will then be easy to adjust on the fly.
Internal padding is then reflective of the series’ Speed classic design to make sure that it won’t just fit nicely but comfortably as well. This helmet can take on even the most massive impact and will definitely protect you from any head injury.
Pros utilized it for a reason and that reason is reliability. This is one of the most popular football helmets on our list.
- Can take on massive amounts of impact
- Reliable construction
- Comfortable and easy to adjust
- Relatively lightweight
- Chinstrap latches on nicely
- Does not have a matte finish that most people want
3. Schutt Sports Vengeance VTD II Football Helmet
- Latest and patented TPU cushioning
- SUREFIT Airliner
- Flexural Resistance Back Shelf Design
- Offset eyebrow design
- Twist release system
- 7/8 inches Inter-Link Air Maxx TPU jaw pads
- Schutt hard cup black or white chin strap
Speaking of upgrades what we have next is another enhanced model from its own line of series, presenting Schutt’s Sports Vengeance VTD II Football Helmet.
Cushioning is the name of the game for this football helmet. Armed with the newest and signature Schutt TPU cushioning system this helmet is meant to absorb massive amounts of impact in a football game.
Right underneath its widely known Vengeance outer shell is a padding system tweaked to take on a lot of impacts. And oh, this helmet scored 0.180 in Virginia Tech’s super high STAR evaluation.
The SUREFIT TPU liner provides a soft almost pillow-like feel to the helmets to make sure the wearer is super comfortable. The dual-layer of TPU cushioning at the front, back, and crown of this helmets makes sure it fits nicely as well.
Weighs at only 2.95 pounds this helmet is super lightweight and not only has a high powered shell but comes with a dynamic faceguard that increases the impact that it can absorb too.
Great helmet model from a great brand, you’ll see more of Schutt’s products in this review as a testament of their dominance in this category.
- Absorbs impact like a champ
- Super comfortable to wear
- Perfect fit for a lot of head sizes and dimensions
- Super lightweight
- TPU cushioning is top-notch
- Can get a bit pricey
- Signature side impact protection
- Flex system
- The shell is made out of polycarbonate material
- Weighs 4.55 pounds
The next best football helmet that we want to discuss is the Riddell SpeedFlex Adult Football Helmet. And yes, there’s going to be quite a trend here on this list, it’s going to be almost a Schutt’s and Riddell battle.
This one ranked 0.193 on Virginia Tech’s STAR evaluation as is one of the highest rated ever. This model’s bread and butter are its PSIP or its Patented Side Impact Protection system which is a mandible protection design to minimize impacts coming from the side.
This tech is reinforced by side shell extensions infused with side liner extensions that help reduce rotational and linear acceleration or what causes snapping of the neck that oftentimes happens during concussion inducing injuries.
This is one main reason why this is one of the best concussion prevention football helmets there is. As for comfort, top quality internal lining is utilized as well as for added stability. The SpeedFlex technology in the meantime is what guarantees that this helmet will be a great fit.
It also comes with a Ratchet-loc chin strap for quick adjustments and easy removal and fastening of the helmet. This helmet has great all-around features that any player at any level would surely appreciate.
- Impact protection at its finest
- Easy to wear and remove
- Super comfortable fit and lining system
- Great for concussion prevention
- Superb fit
- Super expensive
5. Schutt Sports Youth AiR Standard V Football Helmet
- EPP foam padding infused
- Sized liner system
- Air Maxx TPU jaw pads
- TPU cushioning
- Carbon steel facemask
- Soft cup white chin strap
Let’s take one step back and talk about one of the best football helmets for youth, Schutt’s Sports Youth AiR Standard V Football Helmet.
This helmet takes pride in its EPP or expanded polypropylene foam padding feature that’s not only lightweight but also superb at impact absorption. This also makes it highly durable and enables it to handle even the most rigorous demands of the game of football.
The EVA foam combined with the sized liner system works together to provide comfort and breathability that’s very much-needed for high-intensity games. This is then followed by the coveted Air Maxx TPU vinyl jaw padding for another layer of premium protection.
Lastly, it comes with a white chin strap that’s a soft cup and a carbon steel facemask that is specifically designed for younger players. The right weight, comfort, and durability of this helmet make it the perfect model for beginners to get their groove on when out in the field.
After all, we only want the best level of protection we can give for the younger generation of future stars.
- Reliable impact protection
- Comfortable padding
- Easy to handle chin strap
- Great value for money
- Multi-layer protection
- Sizes run small so better watch out for it when you order
- X2E+ shock absorber
- Shock suspension system
- ABS plastic shell
- Comfort pads of dual density
- Signature Shock Matric technology
Continuing on our list is another one of the best football helmets for youth with Xenith’s Youth X2E+ White Football Helmet. While it may say for the youth, its quality is made for professional players as well.
It boasts an industry first polymer shell for increased energy absorption plus durability. The signature Shock Matrix further reinforces this said durability as it moves independently of the polymer shell.
That’s not all in this regard, this helmet has an enhanced shell arrangement as well as tuned shocks for greater protection from a multitude of impacts when out in the field.
As for the fit, it’s got an integrated occipital plus jaw components that conform to the wearer’s head shape. Further custom fitting is accomplished with the chin strap with the adaptive fit technology. And the 3DX feature for the chin cup ensures a secure fit with a silicone liner.
This helmet is also super comfortable thanks to the upgraded ventilation system for airflow and breathability. The streamlined shocked matrix plus internal padding makes sure that the wearer may put it on and take it off rather easily. Plus, on-field communication should be easier with the slightly larger ear holes.
As for the overall feel, the adaptive design of the helmet stands out above the football helmet for the youth crowd. You’ll get the right room for movement when you need it and protection when required as well.
The last couple of features that we want to emphasize are the recessed clips that reduce catch point and the balanced weight distribution that gives this helmet a feeling for agility and weightlessness. Definitely a top 2 helmet for your future champ from our list.
- Adaptive design is superb
- Comfortable to wear and easy to take on and off
- Breathable helmet
- Secure fit
- Top of the line impact protection
- Can be a bit pricey for a youth helmet
- Polycarbonate shell
- Soft cup chin strap
- TPU cushioning
- SUREFIT airliner
- Inter-link jaw pads
- Mechanically attached TPU
- Twist release system
- Valve attachment system
We’ve reviewed pretty great football helmets so far but none of them is as good an investment as the Schutt AiR XP Pro VTD II Adult Football Helmet. This helmet is feature packed and with the newest technologies but still comes at a good price for a professionally utilized headgear.
This 5-star helmet is bolstered by its state-of-the-art TPU cushioning system packed in a classic helmet shell. It’s got superb impact absorption and a dynamic fit that makes it versatile. It is not only responsive but also lightweight tailored-fit for the modern athlete.
It’s reinforced by a single layer of SUREFIT airliner ad TPU. Then for extra security inter-link jaws are utilized. The twist release system and the soft cup chin strap makes sure that it’s adjustable and easy to take off and wear at the same time.
It should be a great investment whether you are just starting out or already in the pro leagues. After all, protection out in the field should be a top priority.
- Top-notch impact absorption and protection
- One of the best at preventing concussion
- Comfortable and easy fit helmet
- Lightweight and responsive
- Great value for money and comes with a facemask
- Has some sizing inconsistencies
- PSIP or Patented Side Impact Protection
- Fitted liner system
- Removable over liner
- S-jaw pads are inflatable
- Offset shell design
We’re nearing the end of our best football helmet review and we bring you Riddell’s entry for the youth category with their Victor Youth Helmet.
This model is one of their latest for the youth and is definitely deemed as one of the best football helmets for youth. This one is definitely an upgrade from their Attack series.
It’s got the same shell as the Revo speed with the patented impact side protection feature. That’s further reinforced by a set of extended jaw flaps at the side. The interior liner then extends to the mandible area for increased energy attenuation.
The offset shell design then makes sure that the helmet handles a lot of impact types. The over liner itself is moisture resistant and removable so it would be sanitary. Is includes a soft cup chin strap and a vinyl front pad for added comfort.
This one is perfect for a lot of positions like the quarterback, running back, and other positions.
- Versatile helmet
- Armed with the latest technology at a great price point
- Decent impact protection
- Weighs at only 2.05 pounds
- Comfortable wear
- The foam padding inside can wear out prematurely
- Optimized RHEON shocks
- Adaptive Fit technology
- Signature polymer shell
- RHEON cells with integrated RHEON jaw shocks
- Large vents at the front and its rear
Our penultimate entry is another youth helmet from Xenith with their Shadow XR Youth Black Football Helmet. Xenith is definitely top 5 when it comes to helmet manufacturing for football and they’ve long been an advocate for the youth’s development which is why they also stand out in this category.
This one is armed with RHEON technology. The RHEON shock system is the one responsible for impact protection on these helmets. This works when RHEON cells compress to form a solid line of defense to absorb linear impact.
The cell design is with re-entrant geometry that concentrates more on the material on the impacted area to slow down any hit. The single stage shocks make sure to make it adaptive for a multitude of hits.
This is all encapsulated with a superior outer shell made of the brand’s signature polymer shell which is actually 10% lighter. With the adaptive fit, you won’t have any issues with comfort at all.
Lastly, this model has large vents right at the front and at its rear to allow air to flow right over the head and also allows hot air to escape.
Now, if that’s not one of the best combinations for durability and comfort then we don’t know what is. Truly one of the best football helmets for youth.
- Very comfortable and even lightweight
- Durability not compromised
- Impact absorption is pro-level
- Sleek design and color
- One of the rather breathable helmets on our list
- This is one expensive football helmet for the youth
10. Rawlings Momentum Plus Youth Football Helmet
- Signature heat exchange technology
- Customizable fit liner
- Rear inflation port
- NGR and Neuro Responsive Gear
Our last entry for the best football helmet review is once again from the youth category. Presenting Rawlings’ Momentum Plus Youth Football Helmet.
While an underdog this brand and this model has a lot of potentials and is already proving its worth against the giants in the industry.
Its best feature is the brand’s patented heat exchange technology. This features strategically situated vents so there would be constant airflow along with the crown. That’s a constant flow of cool air coming in and hot air going out.
The design for this helmet is also adaptive fit-wise. The C3 inflation liner is customizable so it would fit you nicely. Another patented design for the brand is what we call the NGR or the Neuro Responsive Gear. This makes sure that you get the best level of protection as it absorbs even a large amount of impact that you’d sustain in a game.
This helmet comes at a good price point too that’s certainly going to be a great return on your investment. It’s not that expensive that you’d think twice and it will provide all the protection your beginner athlete needs.
- Maximum airflow for superb breathability
- Great fit
- Superb protection plus shock absorption
- Great value for money
- Comfortable and stable support
- No face mask
- Can run small in size
Different Types of Football Helmets
There are a few types of football helmets and knowing which one you need can go a long way for your protection as well as comfort and style.
We can’t talk about football helmets without talking about the biggest brands that manufacture them. There’s no doubt about it as listed above, Schutt and Riddell are two of the biggest brands that will dominate in 2021.
This is especially true for professional football. Riddell has been the NFL’s partner for helmets since the late 80’s up until the conclusion of the 2013 season. While that partnership may have ended, Riddell is still one of the industry’s leading brands in terms of the safest football helmets there us topping a lot of tests conducted.
Currently, A Seattle based brand has been stealing the show named Vicis. Their Vicis Zero1 helmet is widely used for NFL players and teams today as well as in the amateur ranks both high school and college. Xenith is also quite a popular brand and is definitely top 5. All of these brands are considered the best football helmet for youth.
Football Helmets for Concussion Prevention
Not all helmets are made equal or there is no one type of helmet for all of your needs. That’s why certain manufacturers are trusted to create helmets that are best for football only.
Football has a lot of safety requirements and of course, you only want what’s best for everyone pros or not alike. Given that in football, players are at high risk of head injuries then manufacturers create helmets that can protect from concussions. If you run a team then you’d only want the best concussion prevention football helmet for your players.
These are helmets that find the sweet spot between support, padding, and protection. Oftentimes though, football helmets that are best when it comes to concussion protection are a bit uncomfortable. To be honest, it’s such a fair trade to keep you out of harm’s way.
Innovative Football Helmets
Sports are ever changing, the dynamics of the game change through time and so you should expect the same with the protective gear. Helmet manufacturers innovate from time to time to keep up with this demand.
Some of the innovative designs for football helmets include very dense padding as well as cushion to protect one’s head against impact. Some brands like Xenith produces helmets with specialized air cells that will expand and collapse relative to the amount of pressure applied to it.
There are even helmets especially the ones made by Riddell that features onboard wireless software that has the function to record the velocity of the hits you incur during playtime.
Youth vs Adult Football Helmets
Some of the best football helmets for youth are usually made of ABS plastic for they are both durable and lightweight. These helmets should be made so younger players can handle its weight and still perform accordingly.
As expected, football helmets for adults are what we generally know of and are heavier but more durable as it is expected to take on much more impact.
More about the different aspects of a football helmet you need to know in a later section.
The History and Anatomy of a Football Helmet
Let’s get to know the football helmet better, how they differ from other helmets, and some types of helmets for other activities so you’d appreciate this piece of headwear even better.
It’s important to take note that the first ever inter-collegiate game of football was played in 1869. But helmets were not introduced until 30 years later. From 1890 onwards, players and organizations alike started experimenting on the vastly used headgear today.
At first look, these football helmets may all look like the usual plastic headgear we are familiar with. But through time, the innovation of what’s underneath the said helmet has since evolved tremendously.
To date, the parts of a modern football helmet have always been the hard outer shell followed by multiple layers of padding, face mask, and then the chin strap. Brands or organizations will feature different varieties of these parts but the core concept generally stays the same.
It is important to take note that the design of which to reinforce or modify for a football helmet differs on the player’s (or wearer’s) position.
The part that you see from the outside, the outer shell which is the hardest part of a football helmet is usually made of molded polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a very hard shell meant for protection and for football helmets it is usually about 3.35mm thick.
Polycarbonate is the material of choice for it’s not only enough to take on even the most massive impact for football but at the same time, it is lightweight so it’s comfortable to wear.
Brands though are exploring the possibility of using softer top layers that are successful enough to absorb energy even better.
Of the vital parts of a football helmet or helmet in general, the padding is not only the most complex but has the most number of layers overall. We’ll quickly scan through them.
Polyurethane, polypropylene, and nitrile foams are what’s commonly used for this layer. These layers and materials are usually lightweight, elastic, as well as durable enough to withstand the brunt of hits during a football game.
Usually, a vinyl nitryl foam which is a very stiff form of foam for protection is right underneath your outer shell. Then followed by a layer of polypropylene, then a soft spongy foam liner for comfort, an inflation port to inflate the airliner, an airliner which is an inflatable rubber for additional comfort, and then followed by a jaw pad and a front pad.
The latter parts promote good fit as well as comfort for the user.
These intricate layers of padding are designed to direct hits players incur normally in a game of football that would otherwise be catastrophic for the user.
Face Mask and the Chin Strap
The earlier versions of face masks when it was added for football helmets only consisted of a single bar that’s usually made of plastic, metal, or with the earlier versions leather.
(Earlier versions of helmets too were made of leather)
Today, the NFL implements the use of multiple bars for face masks that are made of better materials such as carbon steel, stainless steel, and titanium.
Chin straps are then meant to keep the helmet on your head. It can be made of Velcro or a buckle so choose whatever fits your style and what you’re going to use the helmet for, in short, the intensity of your games.
Visors are some of the latest installment for a football helmet. They have a simple but very useful function, to block out the sun or any sort of visual distraction for the player.
They can be tinted too however the NCAA and the NFL deemed that visors may only be clear so injuries underneath the helmet will be noticed right away.
Football Helmets Buyer’s Guide
Let’s watch a video to know more
Knowing what to look for in a football helmet ensures that you are well protected on the field. Whether it’s just some casual game or pro-jousting, you need to make sure that you are 100% confident that what you wear won’t let you down.
Durability, Fit, and Weight
You already know which materials make a helmet durable based on our discussion above. Most of the time, when you say football helmet durability then it has to be the outer shell first.
Sometimes even badly fitted can cause discomfort and in extreme cases facial injuries. So the helmet you choose must fit you perfectly.
The usual way to measure for a helmet is to wrap your head about 1 inch above your eyebrows with a measuring tape and list down the circumference for a great helmet fit.
Weight is compromised because of durability sometimes but with current innovations that are starting to be a thing of the past. Due to the vast array of materials that can be utilized for football helmets, you can often get a good lightweight one with reliable durability for the right price.
Price and Brand
Safety should always be our priority and not just in football. Generally, football helmets are reasonably priced and if you know that the brand is worth it then the price should make you think twice and you should invest in it if you can.
We’ve listed helmets from some of the most trusted brands arguably top 3 so they should be worth it.
Other features to consider
If you can, get a helmet with known great features. Features with TPU cushioning that are practically indestructible, Helmet stabilization system for added protection from head to head impact, airliners for improved fit, easy to detach ones with great facemask material and design to fit your facial features.
You must take time to choose the right helmet and match all the specifics to you or your team’s needs so you’d all perform better and be out of harm’s way.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to take good care of your football helmets?
As per NAERA or the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association, a good quality football helmet has an integrity run of about 10 years. But if you can’t buy a new one just yet then you may recondition your helmet every 2 years. But for safety purposes, it is recommended that you get a new one every year.
If your helmet has some hairline cracks or significant damages on the internal parts especially the padding then a replacement may be due.
Cleaning your helmet should not be that complicated. You should just use a rag, warm water, and a mild detergent for it. Just remove all the accessorial parts and then use your soapy solution to clean accordingly.
Is pumping air necessary for football helmets?
Not generally. The only time that you need to pump air into the helmet is if it is actually required. Some helmets have airliners and inflatable jaw pads.
Can football helmets assure 100% concussion protection?
No, not entirely but they would otherwise protect you from devastating head injuries. This is as long as your helmet fits all the right parameters like fit, weight, and support. Most of the time, helmets especially the ones utilized in football are shed in a bad light because of the user themselves not knowing the right helmet for them.
So be sure to follow our comprehensive guide and get the right helmet for you.
If there’s any risk of a head injury, no matter what you do, you wear a helmet. We can’t emphasize enough how a helmet can even mean life and death in a lot of instances.
Accidents can happen anytime, how much more in a football field where you are expected to bang bodies, bones, and heads with 6 plus footers that are superimposing physically.
Only the best football helmets can help add that layer of protection that you can still function, elevate your game, and be confident at all times.
So read our list twice or thrice and make sure to find that perfect helmet for you and your team. Play with style, comfort, and confidence all the time!
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