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New Mask Dilemma


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12 year old (moving up to Bantam AA travel-is in need of a new mask. I know fit is hugely important, but protection is #1 in my books. 

He currently has a MM Bandit Jr.

Jury is out -few dingers to the head and knees crashing into his dome, etc. A couple of ear ringing moments and headaches after the fact.

I'm not willing to skimp on the cost, but want thee best mask for the money. Trying to keep it under $1000.00.

And I will pose an additional question as well. Why do the majority of NHL tenders wear Bauer or CCM. Are most of them rebranded custom masks? 

With that being said...(pro level on the retail masks)

5 options--Bauer, CCM, Otny/Sportsmask, MM or Warwick--possibly Warrior as well

Any insight and experience would help greatly. 

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I know there are members here that are far more knowledgeable on the components of masks that contribute to their overall protection, but overall fit is a major contributor to any helmet offering it's best protection. 

Your price range covers essentially everything but pure custom, so, any of the top level helmets available will cover the protection criteria you're after, with some having stronger showings in specific aspects than others,

But

If the helmet doesn't fit properly, then any of those protective metrics from the actual materials is essentially thrown out the window. 

Your absolute best bet is to head down to any pro shop that has ample amount of helmets available to try on and have him try on every model and size and see which he finds the most comfortable and which, at the discretion of the experts on site, fits him the strongest. 

I've tried on almost every helmet available and only the Bauer NME/VTX lines and the new Warriors are one's that I'd possible consider to fit my head. The rest all have areas where they're too loose or too tight where my comfort and general fit aren't right and it leaves my head protection compromised accordingly. 

Everyone has their recommendations, but honestly, find the one that fits your kid best. That's the correct helmet. 

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Posted (edited)

Is he still in the JR size or is his head fitting in SR sizes? Does the mask need to be HECC certified? Or CSA certified?

The Sportmask T3 is the higher end version of the X8, and according to the Sportmask website, both are available in (presumably SR) XS, S, M, L and XL sizes.

But the HECC (assuming you're in the US) says that only the S, M and L sizes are certified.

Not many quality options for high-end protection at JR size.

Coveted Masks has JR-sized options (906 and A5) and they are not plastic.

Bauer and CCM won't have as nice masks as the smaller manufacturers in terms of materials used at the JR size. Sportmask/Coveted/OTNY will have fiberglass/Kevlar/maybe CF builds.

Edited by ZeroGravitas
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He is now into SR sizes. And yes needs to be fully certified. Unfortunately, I live in a city (SE states) that has pretty much zero options for fitting different makes. 

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2 hours ago, Kotes66 said:

12 year old (moving up to Bantam AA travel-is in need of a new mask. I know fit is hugely important, but protection is #1 in my books. 

He currently has a MM Bandit Jr.

Jury is out -few dingers to the head and knees crashing into his dome, etc. A couple of ear ringing moments and headaches after the fact.

I'm not willing to skimp on the cost, but want thee best mask for the money. Trying to keep it under $1000.00.

And I will pose an additional question as well. Why do the majority of NHL tenders wear Bauer or CCM. Are most of them rebranded custom masks? 

With that being said...(pro level on the retail masks)

5 options--Bauer, CCM, Otny/Sportsmask, MM or Warwick--possibly Warrior as well

Any insight and experience would help greatly. 

Having owned an Otny CC, I'd put it up there with almost anything else out there.

4 out of the 7 brands listed in your post actually source their shells from the same manufacturer (Otny) - the only difference is who's padding it.

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29 minutes ago, Kotes66 said:

He is now into SR sizes. And yes needs to be fully certified. Unfortunately, I live in a city (SE states) that has pretty much zero options for fitting different makes. 

Warwick would be disqualified from the running if you need a certified mask - I don't see it listed at HECC.org

At the top price point, almost everything should be a decent product, just have to make sure its the right fit.

Personally, I would stay away from the Bauer NME VTXs. They've just been replaced with the new Bauer NME One, but I used to see VTXs with cracked chins all the time in my store awaiting warranty. Per Bauer, the NME One is supposed to have fixed that, but it still seems pretty flimsy. Shell felt kinda soft in my hands.

If I were to go with something off the shell for my (hypothetical) son, I'd give the Bauer 960 a good look.

If  you have a credit card with a high enough limit, you could conceivably buy all of the top-end masks in whatever sizes and try them on at home, then ship back the ones that didn't fit. Do it fast enough and the refunds should hit before the credit card statement is finalized and you'd only be out of pocket the mask you kept and some shipping fees.  I think Pure Hockey is pretty generous in providing a free return shipping label, but I've never purchased from them so I cannot say for sure.

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