The 10 Best Baseball Helmets Fully Reviewed
Fortunately, baseball realized this some time ago and thus has its own line of helmets to provide the necessary protection for its players. Baseball helmets are quite a bit different from helmets of other types, whether they be construction, motorcycle, or even the helmets of other sports like football. And today, we’re going to count down the 10 best of the best baseball helmets. Which ones were the best made, the most functional, or simply the most stylish on the entire market.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
While we said it was in no particular order, the most important, and obvious, a choice must go first. Indeed, can’t be much of a helmet if it cracks at the first sign of trouble, can it? Luckily, this is pretty much a non-issue, so it wasn’t that important a factor for this list. Baseball has been around for a very long time, so we’ve gotten very good at making sure no one gets hurt 99% of the time. Baseball helmets are made from high-grade plastics such as ASB plastic, which is one of the most durable plastic blends you can find out there. Even so, it is something vital to consider for a baseball helmet, so of course, it gets on the criteria list.
Whether it’s just on top of your head or wrapped around most of your head and some of your face, either way, you still need to find a baseball helmet that’s actually comfortable to wear. You’re going to be wearing this helmet for a long time, as each inning can last several minutes, and even hours at a time. So, it stands to reason that making sure that your helmet is actually comfy to wear is a big priority with manufacturers. As such, the interior of a baseball helmet is often lined with such materials as foam or various fabrics. But these days, the most common form is foam. As to what types of foam are used, the most common one is dual density EVA foam.
There’s also normal EVA foam, which does the job just fine, but dual density foam is the one most people are after. This is all thanks to the fact that dual density foam absorbs sweat and keeps it off of you while you play. And on top of all of that, dual density foam isn’t all that pricey for a manufacturer to buy or make, and you have a foam that quickly becomes the business’ darling.
If you want a walkthrough of what a baseball player goes through standing in the middle of the stadium with their helmet on their head, here’s a good experiment to give you an idea:
First, you need to wait for the hottest day of the year, the upper nineties at least. Then put a bucket on your head and stand out in the yard with a stopwatch. When you can’t take it anymore, come back in and see how long you lasted.
It likely wasn’t very long, was it? That’s because there was very little room for the air inside to escape, so of course, it got hotter. That’s what baseball players deal with all the time in every game. Even on cool days, the heat will start to build up just from how much of a sweat you’re building up alone.
So how do you make a helmet meant to protect your skull breathe without poking a bunch of holes in it and ruining the structural integrity? Simple: vents! By strategically placing special ventilation duct-esque holes across the helmet, manufacturers have managed to find a way to get cool air to the player’s head, without risking the holes posing an actual threat to the structural integrity of the helmet itself. So how well these vents were implemented became what got what on this list.
Breadth of protection
What do we mean by this? Well, it’s all well and good for a helmet to protect the cranium, and with it, the brain, of course, you want to keep safe literally the only reason any of us are alive. However, this tends to leave the rest of your head unprotected, and even if you’re all the way out in the outfield, you’re still not safe. Again, baseballs in a pro game are basically flying projectiles that can, and have, done quite a spot of damage to players over the years. If a baseball hits your jaw, say goodnight to talking ever again.
So of course, you’d rather that not happen. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of options. This was one of the higher priority criteria for this list, so the effectiveness by which they protect your face was a big determining factor.
Batting helmets, young or old, do not tend to cost nearly as much as other baseball equipment. This is because of one simple fact: unlike other things such as bats or balls, helmets are not provided by default to the team you join. The BPBA provides many things, but generally speaking, what helmet you choose is up to you to decide. This is in stark contrast to, say, baseball bats, which are provided by default, while still leaving you able to pick out your own. But, of course, this makes the bats on the market much more valuable.
Meanwhile, helmets, which are required to play, but are not provided for free, are cheaper.
Top 10 Picks
1. Markwort C-Flap
Kicking off our list, we have the Markwort C-Flap Helmet. Sometimes when you use a helmet, you need a little bit more out of it than just something to protect your cranium when you hit the ground. For those who need that extra little bit of protection, there’s the Markwort C-Flap.
The C-flap is the big reason why this helmet is on this list. When we fall on the hard, unforgiving ground that comprises a baseball field, the helmet may protect our brains and keep us conscious, but the rest our face tends to get messed up, which will impair vision as well as performance. Which is why this helmet comes with its eponymous C-Flap, which helps to better protect the face from damage without actively getting in your way.
Just like with your shirt, your glove, and every other part of your uniform, you’re going to be stuck out in the midday heat in the dead of summer in that helmet. If it doesn’t breathe at all, then you’re in for a world of sweat. Which is why this helmet makes sure to find the right balance between breathability and hardiness.
Cost and Value
Like a lot of hats on this list, you’ll find this one for a variety of different prices depending on the price. With that said, however, you’ll actually find this one priced very well. In fact, the lower points of this helmet have some of the lowest prices on this list in general.
2. Easton Junior Z5
In our 2nd place spot, we have a very familiar face when it comes to baseball products in general. Yes, it’s Easton, bringing us their Junior Z5 Helmet. If you’re at all familiar with Easton, then you know what to expect with this helmet. For those who don’t, well, let’s take a look.
The interior of this helmet isn’t your average, everyday foam liner. Instead, it’s a special kind of liner known as BioDri Foam, a sort of dual density foam that not only does what foam does best, absorbing the brunt of the shock taken from outside impacts, but it also has another purpose. Even if a helmet does breathe, you’re bound to sweat a little from the workout you’re doing, and that sweat can build up in the helmet. BioDri absorbs at least some of the higher degrees of sweat, keeping you dry and preventing sweat buildup.
When you’re running to catch a high fly ball, you want as little weighing you down as possible. Which is why this helmet is not only incredibly durable, but also very lightweight. Meaning that this helmet will not get in your way whatsoever when you’re going for that outfield fly ball.
Cost and Value
While nowhere near as cheap as the previous entry, the Easton Junior Z5 is still very affordable compared to others on this list. This likely has to do with the fact that this helmet is actually meant for younger people, hence the junior in the title. But nonetheless, if you need a good, cheap helmet, this is the pick for you.
3. Demarini Paradox Protege
Finishing up our top 3 picks, we have the Demarini Paradox Protege baseball helmet. Much like Easton, Demarini has been making baseball accessories for a very long time now and have thus gotten very good at it. And what’s agreed to be one of their finest works ever is the Demarini Paradox Protege Baseball Helmet.
Breathability is tricky with a helmet like this. Obviously, there can’t be any big holes in the helmet, as that would compromise its integrity. So instead, this helmet comes with a series of small ventilation canals that let the air in without risking any damage to you. All the while making sure your head stays dry and cool.
You would think that these vents would at least somewhat compromise the integrity of the helmet, but it’s actually quite the contrary. For one, this helmet is made of some pretty sturdy stuff. Secondly, the vents themselves are strategically placed throughout the helmet, so as to pose as little a threat to you as possible.
Cost and Value
Like the #1 slot, this helmet comes in a wide variety of different sizes and with those sizes come different prices. In smaller sizes, the prices of these helmets are very low and affordable. However, if you start going higher, then you’ll see the price really start to climb into pricier territory.
4. Rawlings Coolflo
In the 7th place spot, we return to our friends at Rawlings for the Coolflo Batting Helmet. Meant more for much younger players than those likely reading this list in the first place, this is about as good as you can get for a baseball helmet for your kids. If your son or daughter is really into baseball and want to actually join a little league team, you can do a lot worse than starting them off with this helmet.
EVA Foam Liner
You must be thinking that the only foam worth using these days must be dual density. While dual density is one of the best, EVA foam, an offshoot of normal dual density, is also a very good alternative. While it doesn’t handle sweat like normal dual density, it’s a lot comfier to wear, which is paramount with a little league helmet.
Optional face guard
It’s one thing if an adult’s face gets severely injured, but when a child’s face gets severely messed up, it’s much more of a long-term problem. As such, the more overprotective parents among us may feel the need to give them a face guard just in case. Well, while this helmet doesn’t come with one, it has built-in holes for when you buy one and need to screw it in.
Cost and Value
Being meant for kids, this is, of course, a much cheaper helmet than the ones that came before it. It isn’t the cheapest, no helmet worth having dips below double digits, but it’s easily one of the most affordable little league helmets out there.
5. Rawlings R16 Matte
Kicking off our final 3 entries, we have the Rawlings R16 Matte helmet. Like before, this may share a name, coming from the same subcategory as the metallic helmet, but it is a very different helmet from the one previously mentioned.
Heat exchange vents
One of the main reasons it gets so much hotter when wearing a baseball helmet during a hot day as opposed to going bald is that a helmet without vents keeps the hot air you’re giving off inside, heating you up even further. Which is why this helmet has what is known as heat exchange vents. These vents not only let cold air in, but they also push warmer air out for it to be replaced, making the process even faster.
Of course, being a Rawlings, this helmet’s interior is lined with dual density foam liner. But on top of that, this helmet adds in small cushions to add to the shock absorption as well as the comfort of wearing the helmet. Which you will be thankful for when you hit the third inning, and everything in the world is seemingly trying to beat down your endurance.
Cost and Value
The main problem with this item is the price of its latter sizes. Of course, like most of Rawlings’ material, this helmet comes in various sizes, and thus different prices. However, the latter prices of this helmet are some of the most expensive prices on this list, if not the most expensive.
6. Rawlings R16 Metallic
In the #5 segment, we have a personal favorite of many athletes, the R16 series from Rawlings. And this entry, the R16 Metallic Batting Helmet, is definitely considered to be one of the all-time greats. So, what is it that makes it so great? Well, let’s take a look.
Cools and heats
But not all baseball games take place during a hot summer day. A lot of them take place in the dead of winter, where it gets as cold as those summer days get hot. As such, you need a helmet that can keep the cold inside, because the sweat you’ll be working up via playing the game won’t always cut it, especially when you’re in the outfield sitting there stock still. Which is why the vents in this are made with CoolFlo XVI technology, which helps to exchange heat and cold whenever you need either one.
We’ve seen a helmet that wraps itself around the ears, and that’s all well and good. But the jaw is of equal importance. If your jaw breaks, it’s almost impossible to heal it back up exactly the same way as you would with an arm or leg. So, you want to make sure it stays as solid as possible for as long in your life as possible. Fortunately, to help with those nasty falls, this helmet wraps almost completely around your jaw. It doesn’t cover up the chin, though, so you should still be careful.
Cost and Value
Like before, this helmet also comes at varying sizes and prices. The prices, in this case, range from very affordable, to some of the most expensive prices we’ve seen on this list thus far. Though that mostly has to do with the number of sizes this helmet comes in being legitimately impressive. So, it makes sense that the latter sizes would be high.
7. Easton Senior Z5 2Tone
In our #4 slot, we have the direct counterpart to our previous entry, the Easton Senior Z5 2Tone Helmet. As the direct counterpart to the Z5 Junior, there are of course a lot of similarities. The Senior still uses plenty of strategically placed ventilation to keep your head cool and dry, like the junior, but as we will soon see, there are plenty of differences.
One weakness that a lot of other baseball helmets face is the fact that your ears are often left exposed. Mind you, enough damage to your ears can permanently damage your hearing and even lead to actual brain damage. So, it’s a godsend, then, that this helmet comes equipped with wraps for your ears, keeping them safe and in so doing, keeping the helmet on more securely.
As always, the interior of this helmet is made from dual density foam, as is standard for a high-quality baseball helmet. However, that still leaves the exterior. Thankfully, this is not a problem either, as the exterior is made from a top-quality plastic known as ABS plastic. ABS is a very good plastic for dealing with high impact scenarios.
Cost and Value
While still affordable, by all means, it’s still a tad bit more expensive than the previous entry. Which is to be expected, as this is meant for much older players, compared to the previous entry.
8. Mizuno MVP
In our second to final entry, we come upon one of the other major players in baseball gear at last, with Mizuno, and their MVP Batter’s Helmet. This is what you would be looking for when you want just a good, sturdy, no frills or fancy gimmicks, simple baseball helmet. And this helmet is pretty much the best possible version of that.
Like before, this helmet is made with an interior lined with EVA foam. But unlike other options that use this liner, this one gets around the lining’s issues with moisture. The lining is itself coated with something known as drylite. This material absorbs moisture, as well as carries with it a lot of traction, keeping the helmet secure in the position you put it on in.
Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a helmet if the exterior was weaker than the interior, and this product's ABS plastic build is more than up to the challenge.
Cost and Value
The price range on this is much fairer than before, but that likely has to do with there not being as many sizes as before.
9. Under Armour Classic
In our final entry, we have the #10 pick, Under Armour Classic Batting Helmet. Under Armour doesn’t usually make baseball equipment, and when they do, it’s usually overshadowed by the larger game in town. But this helmet is of incredibly high quality, more than enough to stand among the ten best in the market.
UA HeatGear Fabric Liner
The interior of this, rather than being made from dual density foam, is instead made from a special liner known as UA HeatGear Fabric. This fabric absorbs the body heat that you give off when under intense physical stress. Keeping you not only dry but cooler for longer.
AEGIS Microbe Shield
One thing germaphobes never want to touch in baseball is the uniform after being taken off after a game. Even when it absorbs the sweat, one shudders to think what it picked up along the way. Sweat is saltwater, and saltwater is a regular petri dish for bacteria. Luckily, the fabric lining of this helmet is covered in AEGIS microbe shield, which efficiently kills any and all bacteria.
Cost and Value
Like before, the price range of this is tight, but the cost is actually rather expensive. But then, with what they’re giving you in exchange, the price is seen by many as being very much worth it.
10. Easton Senior Z5 Grip
In the #6 spot, we seemingly catch a case of deja vu with the Easton Senior Z5 Grip Batters Helmet. Now you may be thinking that we’re pulling a fast one you, but rest assured, this is a completely different helmet than the predecessor. While it, of course, shares multiple similarities, being from the same line, there is more to this model than meets the eye.
Aesthetics and practicality should always be married concepts in sportswear, and the Z5 Grip understands this better than anyone. Every color that this helmet comes in (which is a lot) is bright and easily discernible from a distance, even the green ones. So, your teammates always know where you are. And the helmet is made with a grip near the bottom, making it very easy to remove, while also adding to the slick appearance. Style and substance combined.
The interior of this helmet is lined with dual density foam. Making it not only more shock absorbent but also able to absorb sweat and pull it away from your body when you take it off. Leaving your head cooler and dryer as a result.
Cost and Value
This helmet only comes in one size, and thus one price. And the price, while not as high as the larger sizes of the previous entry, is still pretty expensive.