The most physically demanding position on the field belongs to catchers. They have a tough job, and there is risk in playing the position.
Which is why protecting a catcher's head and face is so important. Having a high quality catcher's helmet is critical to be able to play the position safely, effectively and for the long term.
Our top catcher's helmet pick for baseball players is a quality choice that should withstand multiple seasons behind the dish. Keep scrolling to learn more...
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Best Baseball Catchers Helmets
Taking a Closer Look
As you can imagine, helmets are quite possibly the most important piece of protective equipment for catchers.
The need to protect the head, face, jaw and neck from foul tips, bats and baseballs traveling at incredibly high speeds is so important.
This means that investing in a high quality helmet with a reputation for its ability to protect a catcher is imperative.
Some Quick Background on These Helmets
Interestingly, catcher's helmets are a relatively new piece of equipment, first popularized (at the MLB level) in 1996 by Charlie O’Brien with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Prior to that period, catchers exclusively used masks with separate helmets - and even earlier than that, masks with a baseball hat (or no hat at all!).
In a relatively short amount of time, baseball catchers helmets have become more and more popular, and an increasing number of catchers across the big leagues have begun to wear them.
They are now widespread across the MLB, at the minor league, college and high school levels, and down through youth baseball leagues and tee ball.
The design and construction of Baseball catcher's helmets provides excellent protection for the catcher and can deflect balls better than a mask alone. (As an example, see below for a brief overview by All Star on catcher's helmet design and testing).
Many also provide better protection for the jaw, the ears, and the side and back of the head than a typical mask does.
Though the mask and helmet are still used (and arguments exist as to the effectiveness of both types), we recommend that most catchers use a catcher's helmet, recognizing of course that the choice is a personal decision for many.
How to Measure for a Catcher's Helmet
Most baseball catchers helmets on the market are offered in two sizes - youth and adult.
Each size typically encompasses a range of hat sizes that it will fit. For example, the youth version of the Mizuno Samurai catcher’s helmet will fit hat sizes 6-½ - 7-¼.
If you are not sure what your hat size is, don’t worry. You can easily find it out at home.
Simply take something like a cloth tape measure and measure the circumference of your head (in inches) right above your ears.
Boom - now you know your hat size!
On to our Top Picks!
All of the major equipment brands for baseball manufacture catcher's helmets, yet not all helmets are created equal.
So we embarked on a thorough review to uncover what we've determined to be the best baseball catcher's helmets from a protection, quality and comfort standpoint.
Here are our results.
The best catchers helmets currently on the baseball market are:
- All Star System 7 (top overall pick)
- Easton Elite X (second place)
- Force3 Defender (third place)
- Mizuno G4 Samurai (honorable mention)
Keep reading to learn more about each of our top picks.
*Note: All catcher's helmets we recommend meet NOCSAE standards.
#1. All Star System 7
Catchers Home's pick for the best overall catcher's helmet on the market
Our first pick for best catcher's helmet on the market today is the All Star System 7 helmet.
It has a great design and it is known for providing excellent protection while maintaining a comfortable fit. Despite being a premium quality helmet, it is priced competitively and it won’t break the bank to purchase it.
It is built with an I-BAR VISION steel cage, which is a patented design that utilizes flattened bars to strengthen the cage while increasing the catcher's line of site. You will immediately notice that the cage is strong, but not overly heavy.
The helmet also comes with a "dual density foam liner" internal to the helmet called ULTRA COOL™. This liner increases protection and it helps to keep the catcher cooler while wearing it.
This is the catcher's helmet that you will see many high level Baseball players wearing, as the brand is incredibly popular among catchers - including at the professional level!
Polycarbonate shell (made of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, also known as ABS)
Provides excellent protection and visibility via the I-BAR VISION design
Has removable padding that can be washed
Replacement padding is available
Very reasonable cost-to-quality ratio
Should be a dependable, long term helmet for you or your loved one
Nothing major that we can see!
Brief Video Review of the System 7 Catcher's Helmet
#2. Easton Elite X
Our runner up pick for the best catcher's helmet on the market
Easton makes very good equipment and this catcher's helmet is no exception.
The Elite X is one of the newer releases from Easton. While not our #1 pick, this is a solid choice for catchers seeking a good looking and safe catchers helmet made by a well known brand.
It has good quality features that we like, such as moisture wicking padding, strategically placed vents for increased air flow, and chin and forehead pads that can be easily removed and washed.
However, what we like the most is simply the look of this helmet with its slim profile, wide field of vision and its matte style paint job.
Has a sleek and streamlined profile
Provides a snug fit
Rear cap design allows for rapid removal
Breathable; it has good ventilation
Does not contain as many "innovate features" as some other helmets
The steel cage portion comes only in black
The Back of the Elite X Catcher's Helmet
#3. Force3 Defender
A strong choice to round out our top 3
We are big fans of this helmet.
Though the Force3 brand may not be as well known as the more traditional baseball equipment brands out there, don't let that deter you - this is one excellent helmet.
The company claims this is the safest catcher's helmet ever developed. Their argument is supported by the Defender's unique, proprietary design combined with rigorous testing of the helmet, demonstrating its durability.
Its design features strategically placed springs and four memory foam pads to absorb the shock of a ball impacting the cage. The chin pad is made of leather, and it features an exceptional liner made by the safety-focused brand Unequal Technologies.
This helmet's outstanding protective qualities really makes it stand out, and we have chosen the Defender as one of our top catcher's helmet picks in the baseball market.
However, for the specific purpose of helping to prevent concussions, we feel it is - hands down - the best catcher's helmet on the market for this purpose.
(Please note: There is a big difference between helping to "prevent concussions" and being "concussion proof". There is no such catcher's helmet or mask that is concussion proof. Playing this position always comes with risk.)
Unique spring and cushion assembly
Designed specifically to absorb high velocity impact and assist in the prevention of concussions
Currently used by an ever increasing number of big league catchers
Provides good visibility
Has a genuine leather chin pad
Costs a bit more than your standard catcher's helmet (though it's still a very good quality to cost ratio)
Supply of the helmet is limited at retailers other than Force3
Brief Video Overview of the Defender Catcher's Helmet
Want to learn more about Force3? Then check out our comprehensive Force3 catcher's gear guide.
Honorable Mention: Mizuno G4 Samurai
The Mizuno G4 Samurai is a great helmet made by a reputable baseball brand. Its design is excellent and it looks great on the field.
It has three internal foam layers that were designed to provide cushion for the head while protecting it from impact.
The Mizuno Samurai is also known for having a design that allows for good visibility to its users, and it particularly stands out for its really good ventilation. We like that it is relatively lightweight while still feeling sturdy.
Additionally, the cost of the helmet is very reasonable for the level of quality you are getting.
Nonetheless, it's not perfect. Some relatively common issues with this helmet that we know of include the snap connectors in the back coming off quite easily and the internal foam padding coming loose after heavy use.
Made by a top rated brand in Mizuno
Excellent ventilation and visibility
Has a very attractive look (and is available in multiple colors)
Comes with an adjustable jaw pad
Has a lighter weight than some other helmets
Very competitive price - it's budget friendly
Snap connection in the back can come off easily
Slight risk of internal foam padding coming loose after heavy use
Thank You for Reading!
We hope you found what you needed and that this review was helpful to you.
If you have any questions for us - whether it's about a baseball catchers helmet, or catching in general - then don't hesitate to reach out by heading over to the Contact Us page or by sending an email to scott [at] catchershome [dot] com.