7 Best Football Helmets Compared & Reviewed

Last Updated: 07.12.19

 

Best Football Helmet Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide

 

If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands to prospect the market, in this short paragraph you will find what the best football helmets are. After extensive research, we have come to the conclusion that the model you should consider is the Riddell SpeedFlex Adult Football Helmet. It is a high-quality product designed with durability and protection in mind and it utilizes a shell constructed of polycarbonate material. The Patented Side Impact Protection or PISP will reduce force from side impacts while the Flex System will provide overall protection to keep you safe at all times. The interior is also of high-quality and the proprietary Flexliner will improve helmet stability and provide users with superior comfort. In the event that you can’t find our first choice available for purchase but you’re determined to get a new football helmet, we recommend the Schutt Sports Vengeance VTD II Football Helmet.

 

 

Comparison Table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

7 Best Football Helmets (Updated Reviews) in 2019

 

 

We know that it can be very difficult to find the best football helmet, but with the help of our list of top-rated models, you’ll be able to select the unit that matches your needs. Take a look below and see for yourself if you won’t find the perfect product for you.

 

 

1. Riddell SpeedFlex Adult Football Helmet

 

If you’re looking for dependable adult football helmets, this model offers excellent quality and it can fit many different head shapes to provide exceptional comfort and protection. It is rated with 5 stars according to the Virginia Tech Helmet Rating which situates this model among the safest helmets currently available on the market.

This model is a bit on the heavy side since it weighs 4.55 lbs. but that isn’t a problem since for adult players that are over 100 lbs. this option has the perfect weight. The model comes with the proprietary Flexliner material that improves the stability of the helmet and provides superior comfort.

This premium liner will protect your skin so that even after a long day of practice, the skin on your forehead won’t get irritated. The unit features 5 inflation locations to provide you with a comfortable fit that will keep the helmet properly secured to your head.

We also can’t forget about the aesthetics this model provides since Riddell always excels at designing its products not only to perform great on the field but also to look good. Add to that the wealth of available colors and sizes, and it is easier than ever to get a personalized helmet that will match your style. 

 

Pros

This model comes with Valve locks on the flex helmet which is a great feature to have since it removes frustration and it provides you with a better fit.

It has the new Flex System which makes the shell, facemask, and clip flexible to reduce impact forces and keep you protected on the field.

The inside pads offer excellent stability and comfort, and they can be easily replaced.

There’s a wide selection of colors and sizes to choose from, and that will ensure that you’ll be able to find the right model that fits you or your team’s style.

According to the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings, this is one of the safest football helmets available on the market. 

 

Cons

The facemask won’t always fit on the helmet properly so make sure to check this detail before the 30-day return window expires.

It is one of the most expensive models you can find on the market.

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2. Schutt Sports Vengeance VTD II Football Helmet

 

If you’re in the market for college football helmets, this choice is great since it features groundbreaking helmet technology which helps the product handle even the most demanding conditions. It is also available in a wide range of eye-popping colors.

This model offers elite performance thanks to the blend of comfort and protection from both high-velocity and low-velocity impacts. It has a premium design that has earned it a 5-star rating from Virginia Tech’s safety rating testing. It has also managed to outperform other much more expensive models in this same test.

The VTD in the name of this product is an acronym for Variable Thickness & Durometer and it means that this unit features a variable-thickness TPU cushioning system that is designed to absorb and disperse impacts efficiently.

At the front of the helmet, the TPU layer is doubled so that the unit can handle hard front-facing hits. This design choice also allows the body of the unit to be lighter since the rest of the helmet only features a single layer TPU that provides high performance without weighing you down.

The lightweight construction allows this model to be used by youth, middle school, and high school players alike.

 

Pros

The TPU lining is fused to the shell of the helmet mechanically and that helps it achieve superior security.

Comfort is not forgotten since this model features the SUREFIT Air Liner which will create a comfortable and soft cushion between the TPU lining and the player’s head.

This model has garnered excellent customer reviews with most of the buyers praising the great-looking design, comfortable interior and its performance on the field.

It is a versatile and lightweight helmet that is recommended for youth, middle school, high school, college, and professional players.

It is available in a wide variety of sizes and eye-catching glossy colors that will make it easier than ever to get a product that meets your personal style. 

 

Cons

The product picture is misleading since the unit does not come with a faceguard and we feel like it is very easy for potential buyers to think that it does because of it.

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3. Schutt Sports Vengeance A3 Youth Football Helmet

 

The Vengeance A3 is part of the Schutt youth football helmets line and it puts a big emphasis on protection and comfort since these are two of the main aspects that a football player should learn from a young age. It has a lower profile shell design and that helps cut down a lot of the weight, making the helmet more comfortable to use by young players.

Protection is achieved by the high-quality TPU outer skin which can protect the wearer from high-velocity impacts to the head. The interior of the helmet feels very comfortable thanks to the use of high-quality lining that is also breathable and it can wick away moisture to leave your scalp and forehead skin cool and dry.

This is also one of the most affordable football helmets that you can get right now and even if we would have appreciated the inclusion of a facemask, we do understand that a few compromises had to be made in order to keep the price so low. However, this helmet is compatible with most facemasks, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the right option.

There is also a very large selection of sizes to choose from so you won’t have to worry that the helmet won’t fit you snugly. 

 

Pros

Schutt is a brand renowned for the quality and affordability of its products and this is not an exception since it is reasonably priced for intermediate players.

The materials used are of high-quality and they can provide exceptional comfort, protection, and durability so that the helmet can last you for many years.

The combination of single and double layer TPU allows this unit to remain lightweight which is a must for young players.

You can find a large selection of different colors to choose from, and with the help of the size chart, you’ll find the perfect size for your head in no time. 

 

Cons

Schutt has decided not to include a facemask with this option and while this is a bit disappointing, it does help keep the price of the unit low.

The packaging offers very little protection and while the helmet won’t dent, it may arrive with small scratches.

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4. Schutt Vengeance Pro Adult Football Helmet

 

The Vengeance Pro is one of the most popular mens football helmets and it has been constructed durably to provide players with excellent protection and performance at an affordable price point. While it may not be the cheapest option on our list, it does include a facemask and that gives it an advantage since it provides better value for money.

You get a lot of head protection with this model since it features a durable construction that uses single-layer TPU to cut down on weight and increase impact absorption on all types of hits. Furthermore, thanks to the light construction, this model is very comfortable to wear for extended periods.

It has a 5-star rating from The Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings and it is ranked among the safest NFL football helmets. Furthermore, the unit has a series of openings in the padding which will help air flow in and out easily so that your head can stay cool when playing in hot weather.

Another notable benefit of this model is that it offers a very nice fit, especially since you can choose between three different sizes. It also includes a hard cup chinstrap and jaw pads which will contribute to a customized fit. 

 

Pros

It features a series of openings in the padding and side vents that will help you keep cool during hot days without compromising the structural integrity of the helmet.

It has a low profile which makes it light enough to promote ease of movement, especially during long and tiring games.

This model is fairly priced and it includes a facemask so that you can start using the helmet without having to purchase extra accessories.

The proprietary Air Maxx TPU jaw pads will promote a proper fit and they are firmly held in place with screws. 

 

Cons

It tends to run a bit small so if you want to get the best possible fit, it might be advisable to get one size larger than what you would normally wear.

It is not the most stylish helmet out there and the color variety is smaller when compared to the other models on our list.

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5. Schutt Sports Vengeance A3+ Youth Football Helmet

 

If you’re looking for cheap football helmets for youth, this model offers great protection and comfort for a low price. This model has a high-quality liner inside that feels just as soft as the company claims and it will support your head securely so that the helmet won’t wobble when running, jumping, or falling.

Seeing as this model is designed specifically for youth, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is very light. There is no need to worry about its durability since the helmet remains sturdy enough to protect the wearer on the field. It’s a perfect choice for small players or for anyone who doesn’t like heavy helmets.

The raised brow design will deflect and disperse the force from the impacts near the front of the helmet and the included black soft cup chin strap will ensure a proper fit.

While the helmet can’t provide the same protection as the products that older players wear, it is more than enough to stand up to any kind of impact that is taken during youth games. We’ve found that most parents are very satisfied with this option since it offers adequate protection and excellent comfort at an affordable price. 

 

Pros

It is protected by TPU cushioning and this material is known for its excellent performance at absorbing impacts across a wide variety of temperatures.

Protection is very important, especially for youth helmets and this model is made of sturdy materials and it features a raised brow design that will disperse impacts near the front of the helmet.

This model is very light which makes it perfect for small players or those who don’t like to wear heavy helmets.

You can choose between 16 different colors to customize your helmet so that it fits well with the rest of your gear. 

 

Cons

The primary issue with this model is the lack of a facemask, even if you can easily purchase one since the unit is compatible with most models available on the market.

It runs a bit small which makes the size chart unreliable and it can be a bit tricky to find the size that will fit your head perfectly.

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6. Riddell Victor Youth Helmet

 

This model is manufactured by Riddel which is known for designing some of the coolest football helmets on the market that are used today by professional players. The unit is slightly heavier than the standard youth helmets but it manages to provide a level of protection and durability similar to what you would usually find in professional NFL helmets.

It comes with a facemask out of the box which will save you money and time since you won’t have to go looking for a compatible option. Furthermore, there’s also a sturdy yet comfortable chin strap that will keep the helmet secure on your head even when running, jumping, or falling.

Many youth helmets on the market don’t offer a lot of protection, but the Riddel Victor stands out thanks to its patented side impact protection which will reduce forces from side impacts on the jaw. It also has inflatable jaw pads and side liner and side shell extensions which add extra protection and comfort.

Thus, if you’re looking for real football helmets that can enhance your performance on the field while also keeping you safe and comfortable, this is a product that is well worth the price. You get plenty of sizes to choose from which guarantees you’ll get the right fit. 

 

Pros

One big advantage of this option is the removable, moisture-resistant liner which has antimicrobial properties to minimize bacteria growth and foul odors.

The materials used are also breathable and will dry fast to extend the life of the helmet.

It has a fitted interior liner system which provides users with more comfort, a secure fit, and shock absorption.

The patented side impact protection will reduce forces from side impacts to keep you protected in any situation.

If you’re looking for cool football helmets, you will appreciate the minimalistic design of this choice which has garnered a lot of positive feedback. 

 

Cons

Unfortunately, this model is only available in one color which makes it very difficult to customize it so that it matches your gear or the color of your team’s apparel.

It is a bit on the pricey side which means that it is marketed at professional players who want to excel at this sport.

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7. Schutt Sports Youth AiR Standard V Football Helmet

 

As the name suggests, this option is designed for young players and as such it puts a big emphasis on protection and comfort. It is part of the new football helmets line from Schutt which is a brand that is known for delivering high-end products at an affordable price.

The level of protection that players get with this option is quite impressive since it is clear that the brand has invested a lot of resources and time to make this helmet as safe and comfortable as possible. It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel; instead, it uses the same classic design with small yet notable improvements.

It uses high-quality materials with an ABS plastic helmet shell, EPPA and EVA foam liner system and comfortable Air Maxx TPU jaw pads. These features add more protection than you’d think is possible in a classic design and all without compromising the comfort that the player gets or adding too much weight.

We couldn’t end the football helmets review without mentioning the great looking design of this model that can make any player feel proud when wearing it. You can also choose between eight different colors so that you can get the one that works best for you. 

 

Pros

It is a premium helmet that won’t cost you a fortune and it comes with one of the most comfortable interiors you’ll be able to find in youth helmets.

It comes with Air Maxx TPU jaw pads that make this model very comfortable to wear for extended periods.

The space between the helmet shell and the player’s head is just enough to ensure a comfortable fit, but the helmet remains tight enough to offer protection and support.

This model also comes with a faceguard which is a very good thing since you will no longer have to spend more time looking for one that is compatible with your helmet. 

 

Cons

The padding isn’t the softest out there and people who prefer a very soft interior might not be happy with this choice.

Despite the large selection of sizes to choose from, it might not fit those who need a big helmet.

Click to see the price on Amazon!

 

 

 

Our Comprehensive Buying Guide

 

Finding the right model among the plethora of different types of football helmets that are available for sale right now is not an easy task, especially for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience. Researching football helmets reviews and specialized articles can help you understand what the key features to consider when purchasing this type of product are.

We understand the difficult position that you find yourself in, which is why we have compiled the in-depth buyer’s guide below. Here you will find all the features and factors you will need to consider whether you’re looking for cheap adult football helmets or you have the budget for more expensive models.

 

 

What you need to know about the shell

The outer component of a football helmet is known as the shell and it is a very important factor to consider since this component is the barrier that protects you against impacts. It should be strong and made of durable materials.

Typically manufacturers will use polycarbonate alloy or ABS plastic, as both of these materials are very good. Ventilation is also very important since you don’t want the helmet to get too uncomfortable if you wear it for extended periods. You can notice if a shell offers proper ventilation by looking if it has small ventilation holes along the outer shell.

When you’re practicing or playing for hours on end, if your helmet lacks ventilation, then heat management and comfort will become a problem since without proper airflow your skin will quickly begin to sweat to prevent you from overheating.

Furthermore, some models may have an air system on the shell that assists in tightening the helmet pads so that they can conform to your head’s specific shape. This is a very useful feature to have since it provides the user with a custom fit.

 

The padding and the proper fit

The padding is the material that is used to cushion the interior of your helmet’s shell and there are two types of padding used, pre-sized or inflatable. A helmet may include thicker or thinner pads to allow the users to adjust the fit according to the shape and size of their heads.

This is where inflatable pads have the advantage since they can be adjusted easily to the size that you desire. You will need a proper padding pump to inflate them which can make this option more expensive.

It is also important to note that there should be very little space between the helmet and the temple of your head or between the helmet and your jaw. A helmet that fits well should not move or shift when worn since otherwise, not only will it be uncomfortable, but it won’t be able to keep you protected.

There are two types of materials used for the padding and they both have different advantages. There’s TPU foam which can absorb a large amount of shock upon impact and it does not require a break-in period such as is the case with regular foam.

Then there’s the vinyl nitrile foam which does require a break-in period so that it doesn’t sit too tight against the head but it is very efficient at absorbing shocks. It is also much more comfortable once the break-in period is over.

 

Weight and facemask

The weight of the helmet affects not only the comfort of the player but also the performance it can give on the field. Young players, in particular, should stay away from heavy models since they can wear the player down quite fast. Adults may use a heavier helmet but even there most users still prefer a lighter product.

Thanks to the latest advancement in helmet manufacturing, modern lightweight helmets are still very secure, provide a lot of protection and perform very well on the field. A model that is light will help minimize fatigue so that you have more energy to spend on your best game.

Another important factor to consider when purchasing a football helmet is the facemask. This component can be purchased with your helmet or you may have to purchase it separately. We recommend getting a model that comes with a facemask since this way you can save time since not every facemask will be compatible with your helmet.

The best facemasks are made of stainless steel or carbon steel since these two materials offer long-lasting performance and protection without being too heavy.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q: What are football helmets made of?

While some manufacturers may decide to use proprietary materials, most of the top-rated models are made of standardized materials. It is in the design where the main differences start to appear. For the shell of the helmet, ABS plastic is the most popular choice but there are plenty of helmets made of polycarbonate alloy.

Then there’s also the padding of the helmet and there are two main types of foam that are used: Thermoplastic Urethane foam which is better known as TPU, and vinyl nitrile foam. For the facemask, most manufacturers use carbon steel or stainless steel thanks to their durable yet lightweight construction.

 

 

Q: Are football helmets getting safer?

With each passing year manufacturers discover new ways of improving football helmets by making them more affordable, more stylish and safer. The only thing that’s difficult is to make a product that is affordable, stylish, and safe in a single package since function, form, and safety don’t always mesh well together.

Finding the perfect football helmet is still a difficult task to this day but if we’re comparing today’s top-rated helmets to those from the past few years, there is a bigger emphasis on safety with the newer products. The difference may not be huge, but as far as safety is concerned, lots of improvements have been made in the last couple of years.

 

Q: When did football helmets become mandatory?

In 1888 when the college football officials voted to allow players to tackle other players below the waist, protective gear became a requirement but helmets, however, were still considered optional. It wasn’t until 1939 that they became mandatory pieces of equipment for college gridiron. They were not made mandatory for the NFL until 1940.

While the first football helmets were made of leather, in the 1940s the first plastic helmet was introduced by a Chicago manufacturer and it included a chin strap which made it much more secure on the head. By the 1950s, helmets were no longer made of leather, and they used polymers as the material of choice.

 

 

 

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