For most of you, a helmet is merely a helmet. For the most part, that is true. However, a helmet is extremely important to the safety of a player.
After my old cage started breaking down, with straps and buttons breaking, as well as the need for a tetanus shot just to wear the rusty bucket, I opted to pick up a new one. Being the hockey player-on-a- bduget that I am, I picked up a new Bauer 4500 Hockey Helmet with Cage for $79.99.
There are a two things to consider while picking out a new helmet.
First, the size needs to be correct. Helmets have the ability to enlarge or compress within each of the size categories, which helps with proper fitting, but it is still highly recommended to follow the sizing steps of measuring your skull to get the right fit. A proper fit ensures your cranium is protected upon impact. If the helmet is too loose, it is going to hurt.
Second, make sure it is certified. The Bauer 4500 Helmet is CSA, HECC and CE certified. This ensures that the product you are getting will indeed protect you.
The Bauer 4500 Helmet has a dual-density Cellfex foam liner which as stated, is a “classic fit and feel”. What is so classic about the fit I do not know, but I chose this type of padding because it provides a snug fit throughout the whole helmet. My previous helmet which was nice, had smaller pads throughout, much like the Bauer 7500 Hockey Helmet with Cage. My preference is to stay away form such padding if you plan on having it for a while as the pads eventually start to come out, leaving you with the option to hold them in place while you put on your helmet or to apply some more glue. For a while I mean like 5+ years while. To say the higher end models will run into the same problems I doubt it. But if you plan on purchasing a lower end model with such features, you may run into it down the road.
Not all helmets come with cages, as some players do not prefer one. I on the other hand have all my teeth and straight ones at that, so I plan on keeping them intact. The choice is yours, but for a helmet and cage combo at this price point is pretty tough to beat.
Continuing with the cage, the cage is Bauer’s True Vision. True Vision is fancy for optimal color (grey) and a chin holder with the ability to slide up and down a bit instead of making your whole head go up and down. I’ve worn a cage my whole life except for a short stint with a clear shield, but I am able to see fine. Some may not like one, but I do agree with Bauer’s color selection as the color does blend in well for minimal distraction.
A helmet is a helmet, simple as that. Just make sure it fits properly and has the appropriate safety certifications and you’ll be pretty much set. From there, focus in on what looks good to you, what fits your budget, and few minor things such as padding and ventilation. I’ve been very satisfied with my purchase and would recommend it to another player. Could there be other options out there to your liking, indeed. But if you are looking for a helmet and cage combo for a good price, plus some good features throughout, this is the helmet for you.