Protection is very important in football, and the helmet is the most important piece of protection of all.
Not only should it provide protection from collisions, it needs to fit comfortably and not obstruct vision or get in the way of play.
That’s why I’ve created this list to help you choose the best youth football helmet.
Our Top Picks
8 Best Youth Football Helmets 2019 Reviewed
1. Schutt Sports Vengeance A3+ Youth Football Helmet
Finding a good youth helmet can be hard. There are plenty of good helmets, of course, but you have to find one that’s right for a younger player. This means finding something that’s not just good for protection, but that’s relatively comfortable. Fortunately, one such helmet exists in the Schutt Sports Vengeance.
The helmet itself is definitely very comfortable. It’s got a great liner inside, one that does feel as soft as the company claims. The real benefit you get here, though, is in the weigh. This is a very light helmet, albeit one that’s still sturdy enough to protect you on the field. Player won’t forget that they’re wearing a helmet with this one, but they will get the next best thing. If you’ve got a player who doesn’t like heavy helmets, this might be the best fit for him or her.
What most parents are concerned with, of course, is protection. The good news is that this is a football helmet that will keep a child safe on the field. It doesn’t have any particularly special safety features, though, and it’s not going to be as good at preventing CTE as some of the helmets that older players are starting to wear. Fortunately, it’s more than enough to stand up to the kind of impact that is taken during a youth game and most players will be thankful for the protection that this helmet gives to them.
2. SpeedFlex Youth Helmet
A good helmet is among the most important tools a young football player can have. While there’s a lot of fancy marketing that can go into the world of helmets, the truth is that what most kids need is something that fits and that will protect them on the field. That’s what the SpeedFlex Youth Helmet brings to the table, substituting flash for substance.
Most of what you get when looking at this helmet is protection. It’s not because there’s anything high-tech here, of course. It’s the same kind of helmet players have been using for years, but that’s actually a great deal of protection at a youth level. You’re not going to have to worry much about injuries here, mostly because of how the helmet fits. Though there are a few helmets that do a better job of protecting young players, they certainly don’t do so without sacrificing the other major benefit of this helmet.
The other great feature of this helmet is the level of comfort. A lot of that comes from fitting well, but the helmet itself is really good for those players who aren’t quite used to wearing a helmet in their games. They’ll eventually move on to more complex helmets that have to deal with higher levels of impact, but for now, it’s good to start them off with something that will get them used to wearing the right gear on the field. This is a great starter helmet, especially if you have a younger player who you have to force to wear protective gear.
3. Schutt Sports Youth Recruit Hybrid Football Helmet
Schutt Sports has a reputation for making solid youth helmets. They might not always be the fanciest out there, but they always do a great job of keeping younger players protected. This hybrid helmet is a step above what you see from the company most of the time, though, embracing a few new features to create a much better helmet. If you’re looking for something that’s a little more high-tech, you’ll like what you find here.
The hybrid nature of the helmet refers to the higher-tech cushioning used in the gear. This cushioning helps to absorb impact better than traditional padding, which in turn makes it much safer for kids to be on the field. This is the type of helmet that’s perfect for those parents who are worried about the possibility of CTE but who still want to give their kids a chance to play football. It doesn’t hurt that the design also embraces some traditional concepts that have always gone a long way towards making football a bit safer for younger players.
The good news is that this helmet is also fairly comfortable. It does eschew a few comfort features in favor of safety, but it’s still easy to wear. This means fewer children trying to adjust their helmets on the fly and even fewer injuries on the field. This is absolutely one of the best helmets you’re going to find if you’re worried about your child being safe on the field.
4. Rawlings Youth Quantum Football Helmet
There’s something to be said for an old-school football helmet design. While we know now that it’s not necessarily the best protection, it does look great. Rawlings has managed to take that old-school design and marry to some fantastic new technology, which lets players look great on the field without having to worry about the after-effects of a strong impact. This is one helmet that really can do it all.
Most of what you’re going to like from this helmet come from how it handles impacts. It uses new technology to soften blows to the head, which can, in turn, prevent concussions and lessen the chance of traumatic brain injuries. Rawlings has managed to pull this off without really changing the way that the helmet looks, though, so you’ll still be left with something that looks and feels much like helmets did over a decade ago. Rawlings is one of the few companies that has managed to blend form and function particularly well without sacrificing either.
The helmet is also quite comfortable, which is a big plus in a youth helmet. While older players might understand the importance of wearing any helmet the right way, younger players are more apt to play around with a helmet that isn’t comfortable. Fortunately, this is one helmet that not only fits well, but that won’t both even the most sensitive players. Consider this a great fit for anyone on the field.
5. Schutt Sports 798004 Youth Recruit Hybrid Football Helmet
Schutt’s Hybrid Helmets are really something special. It’s not just that they provide better impact protection, but that they do so without making any sacrifices to either aesthetics or to comfort. That means that players not only get a great helmet that will look cool on the field, but they’ll be much safer than they would otherwise. This is a win-win for most players and parents.
The Hybrid design is really the standout here, of course. By using an advanced form of cushioning, the helmet becomes more impact resistant and players are given a little extra protection. While one shouldn’t expect huge hits in youth play, the fact that this helmet goes above and beyond should be enough to excite most parents. Coupled with the good exterior design, the Hybrid solution allows players to feel safer and to walk off the field with few after-effects even if they suffer what could be a much more problematic hit.
The helmet is also fairly comfortable, which matters quite a bit in youth play. It’s not something that gives players more of an advantage on the field, of course, but it teaches players to get used to wearing a helmet when they play. This will help most players to wear their helmets correctly and will thus help them to avoid the problems that come from bad helmet adjustments. If you care about player safety, you have to pay attention to the comfort of the helmets that the younger players wear.
6. Schutt Sports Recruit Football Helmet
At this point, Schutt Sports is one of the bigger names in football helmets. The reason why should be obvious – not only does it make a fairly significant number of the helmets that are used by youth players, but it does so in a way that really puts player safety first. Schutt’s Recruit line isn’t necessarily their most advanced, but it does a great job of showing exactly how the company has made its reputation as one of the best brands out there.
A good deal of what makes these helmets work comes down to the basic design. Between a strong exterior and good padding, you get the kind of helmet that will keep a younger player safe. It reduces not only the amount of force that comes from an impact but helps to cushion the blow so that what force does get through is more evenly distributed. This means fewer injuries and fewer long-term consequences for younger players.
It doesn’t hurt that the helmet also looks good. It’s a classic design that makes sense at every level of play. It’s also very close to what players will wear when they get older, so they’ll quickly get used to the kind of gear that they’ll need to wear in the future. This is a good all-around helmet for any youth player who is serious about playing the game for years to come.
7. Schutt Sports Youth AiR Standard V Football Helmet
Schutt Sports is a great brand that usually delivers high-end products. Though it’s got the same problem with attaching fancy names to baseline helmets that infects the rest of the market, the truth is that you can usually depend upon whatever you buy from the company. The Youth AiR Standard V might have a marketing-friendly name, but the reality is that it’s a very player-friendly football helmet.
You’ll probably start with looks on this one, which is normal. This is a good-looking helmet, though looks will only take you so far. What you’ve really got is the same kind of helmet that players have been wearing for years, with a few new little touches that are meant to make it more competitive. Though it’s hard to say that this helmet really will give you an edge, it certainly does make many players feel like they’re wearing something special.
What’s more important about this helmet is the level of protection that players get. Schutt Sports has clearly invested some time in making their helmets safer and this helmet, in particular, is a good example of how hard work pays off. It does offer more protection than you’d think you’d get in a classic design, all without requiring players to be uncomfortable or adding excess weight. This is honestly one of the best helmets you’re going to get from the company as well as one of the best that you’re going to find in youth sizes.
8. Rawlings Momentum Plus Youth Football Helmet
Customization is key for football helmets. Young players don’t always fit into the usual sizes, and those who don’t are definitely at more risk of suffering head injuries than their peers. While there have been many attempts to solve this issue, it feels like Rawlings took the most logical route. Instead of making one size fit all, the company has made it so that any player can customize his or her fit.
The customization options are done here not through special fittings, but rather through the use of a rear inflation port. By using this new feature, players can make sure that the helmet fits their head exactly as it should. This, in turn, means that players are going to have fewer problems with their helmets and that they will generally be safer on the field. As a bonus, this also helps the player to see more clearly on the field and can lead to a slight performance boost.
It’s nice to see that the new tech doesn’t really make the helmet look different than the other models on the field. This is very close to what you see at higher levels of play, so kids can feel like they’re wearing the same equipment as their heroes. There’s really something to be said for aspirational design when it comes to football gear, something that Rawlings must see as important when the company has put as much effort as it has into making such a great design.
Youth Football Helmet Buying Guide
It’s absolutely critical that you find the right youth football helmets for young players, especially in today’s climate where we understand so much about how dangerous the game can be.
Today’s modern helmets are designed to protect athletes as much as possible, especially at the youth level. With everything we now know about concussions and the damage they can cause both in the short and long-term it’s essential that the youth football helmets your investing in are as well-made as possible – but that they are also perfect fits for the young athletes that will be using them.
Here’s how to make sure now that you are investing in are a smart choice.
Safety is Everything
It should go without saying that the number one priority and certainly the number one focus you should have when shopping for youth football helmets is to find options that are as safe and as protective as possible.
Top-quality options are going to include a certification seal from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. These helmets have been certified to be well-made, safe, use construction materials that can be trusted, and aren’t going to fall apart or become compromised during normal play.
Different designs can also help minimize the risk of injury and concussion. These options are well worth looking into as well.
Sizing is Key
The second most important thing you can do when shopping for youth football helmets is to guarantee that they are perfectly sized for the individual athlete that is going to be wearing them.
Traditionally, an athletic trainer is going to go around and measure each football player for their helmets. The circumference of the head is going to be measured (just above the eyebrows) and from there the trainer will work with the athlete to fine-tune the padding and the overall fit of the helmet further.
If you’re going to be purchasing the youth football helmet for your athlete you want to do the exact same thing. There are a couple of YouTube videos online that will show you exactly how to perfectly measure a young athlete’s head for a football helmet, and you’ll want to start there.
Consider the Facemask Configuration
Another key consideration when purchasing youth football helmets has to be the facemask configuration you’re going to move forward with.
In the youth levels, protection is of the utmost importance but you also want to make sure that visibility is high as well. Different cage styles will allow you to hit this perfect balance, and as long as you are providing plenty of extra protection your young athletes can probably choose a cage that suits their preference.
DO NOT Buy Used Helmets Unless They are Certified Reconditioned
Finally, and maybe most importantly – especially with how pricey some youth football helmets can get – it’s important for you understand just how dangerous it is to purchase ANY used football helmets that haven’t been fully certified as reconditioned by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment.
Helmets that have been sent out to a licensed reconditioner and going through from top to bottom are going to include a recertification seal inside of the helmet. These helmets can be trusted to be just as good as brand-new (with a less expensive price tag) – but it’s vitally important that they carry this certification.
Any helmet that hasn’t been recertified may not be safe for play and you run the risk of your young athlete getting hurt or injured with a helmet that isn’t up to par.
Take advantage of the tips and tricks we included above and you’ll have no trouble purchasing football helmets for young athletes from here on out!
Last update on 2019-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. cfbmatrix.com is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.