“It makes me feel uncomfortable. It messes up my hair. I’m only playing for a short time.” These are just some of the excuses that players give for not wearing batting helmets. But according to one study, there are absolutely no valid reasons to not strap on this piece of protective gear.
One of the main causes of brain trauma is a heavy blow or impact, and it can lead to a concussion or open skull fracture. Even if you’ve suffered a mild head injury that doesn’t lead to loss of consciousness, it can cause permanent cognitive problems like inability to focus, memory loss and sleep disorders.
Fortunately, you can prevent all this by investing in the right batting helmet. Studies have revealed that wearing a helmet significantly minimizes the risk of brain injuries and death. Whether you’re playing baseball or soccer, the best batting helmet can absorb the impact energy caused by a foul ball or misdirected hit.
The Best Batting Helmets
Baseball players should never step up to the plate without wearing any protective headgear. This is particularly so in youth leagues where pitchers can be very aggressive and lose control. Luckily, a batting helmet is designed to absorb any kind of impact while still helping you to stay comfortable.
So here my list of The 7 Best Batting Helmets.
1. Under Armour Classic Solid Batting Helmet
Under Armour is not a very well-known brand in the baseball equipment space. However, their latest offering of the Classic Solid batting helmet certainly makes them stand out.
One of the things you’ll love about this sporting helmet is its interior. This consists of a dense foam liner designed to wick away moisture; thus, keeping you cool, dry and comfortable.
The exterior is made of durable ABS plastic, and it features 12 vent holes that are strategically placed to provide breathability. This batting helmet also boasts extended coverage to protect your cheek bones.
The Classic Solid that’s available in 10 colors meets NOCSAE standards for both softball and baseball. Plus, it comes in youth and adult sizes.
2. Schutt Sports AiR 5.6 Baseball Batter’s Helmet
The Schutt Air 5.6 is the perfect example of a batting helmet that blends innovative technology and superior performance.
Its key highlight is the Air-XE shell, which is uniquely designed to provide a good fit and optimal ventilation thanks to the inclusion of 14 separate vent holes. Like the Classic Solid, this one also has an ABS plastic exterior for maximum durability.
This batting helmet also employs D30 impact protection, creating a soft and flexible shock-absorbent material. This way, you know that it’s protective. Also, it’s available in tons of colors and sizes ranging from XX-small to extra-large.
3. RIP-IT Vision Pro Softball Helmet
If you’re looking for a batting helmet that gives you a clear vision while still offering you the much needed protection, the RIP-IT Vision Pro helmet is your best bet. This helmet provides unhindered peripheral vision and a wide field of view. The bars on this helmet contain a coating of Blackout technology, which helps to reduce the sun’s glare.
Furthermore, this softball helmet consist of 21 air vents, which are strategically positioned to guarantee optimal circulation of air. The RIP-IT helmet has two layers of padding that help it fit snugly on a player’s head.
4. Mizuno MVP Batter’s
Some players shy away from buying batting helmets because they make them feel sweaty. Luckily, this is one thing you don’t have to worry about with Mizuno MVP helmet. It’s fitted with a drylite liner that helps to absorb moisture.
Available in a wide range of colors, the helmet is made up of an ABS plastic shell, which adds to its durability. It also has an EVA foam liner and pre-drilled holes for the facemask.
5. Easton Senior Z5 Grip 2Tone
Are you looking for a batting helmet that offers versatility? If you are, the Easton Senior Z5 is a great helmet ideal for any sport. It comes with ABS plastic shell capable of withstanding high impact. The wrapped ears also make the helmet pretty durable.
Plus, it has a dual density foam, which helps to absorb any sweat; thus, keeping you comfortable while playing. The Easton Z5 helmet is NOCSAE approved for softball batting and baseball.
6. DeMarini Paradox Protege
For the style-conscious player, the DeMarinin batting helmet that boasts a glossy finish, is an excellent option to consider. The helmet, which is recommended for youth baseball, comes in a wide range of colors including white, black, charcoal, navy, red and blue, meaning that you will find one that matches your taste.
Another highlight of this helmet is its dual density padding, which helps to keep your dome protected. It also has a venting system, which keeps you cool while you play.
7. Rawlings Coolflo Molded Baseball Batting Helmet
If you’re not looking to spend too much on a batting helmet, the Rawlings Coolflo is one of the most affordably-priced helmets. With this helmet, you’ll be able to put your best skills at work thanks to the Pro Dri Plus interior that soaks up all the sweat.
This helmet also boasts a good thickness that can withstand a two-seamer while still being very light. Also, the helmet has been designed in accordance with NOCSAE standards.
Batting Helmets Buying Guide
What Is A Batting Helmet?
This is a tough plastic hat common among baseball players. Although its name suggests that it’s only worn by batters, the batting helmet is worn by any offensive player, and at any stage; be it on the deck or in the batter’s box.
Surprisingly, the concept of a batting helmet did not come into be until late in the history of baseball. The risk of being hit by a misdirected baseball was still common back then. Similarly, catcher’s masks, shin guards and chest protectors were also very popular gear dating back up to the 1890s. However, batting helmets were developed about half a century after that.
The first recognized application of batting helmets in the majors was by the 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers. Two of the team’s players – Pee Reese and Joe Medwick- had sustained severe head injuries, so the general manager, Larry MacPhil instructed every player to wear a protective helmet. These helmets looked very similar to jockeys’ helmets, although they were nothing more than the usual baseball caps reinforced with a hard liner.
It was not until 1971 that the Major League Baseball made helmets a compulsory protective gear. Despite this new law, a few veterans carried on wearing cloth caps that had liners under a grandfather clause. These included players like Tony Taylor and Bob Montgomery.
In 1983, another regulation was put in place, and this necessitated every player to wear a helmet that had flaps extending downward from the crown so as to protect the ears. Nonetheless, players who had been wearing flapless helmets were permitted to continue wearing them. Tim Raines Sr. is recognized as the last player to ever wear a flapless helmet. This invention started in the 1960s when Tony Oliva and Earl Battey experimented the concept of a flapless helmet. Tony Gonzalez is was the first person to ever wear a helmet that had flaps, back in 1964.
In 2013, the Major League Baseball launched another design of helmets that were made by Rawlings. They called this helmet the S100 Pro Comp. According to reports, this helmet was capable of withstanding the impact of a fastball moving at 100 mph. The previous iterations could only withstand 68 mph. Made of a carbon fiber composite, the S100 helmet was made compulsory across all major leagues. This initiative was part of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Presently, players are permitted to wear helmets that offer better protection than the standard helmets. Occasionally, batters will wear helmets equipped with cheek protectors, which help to protect against face injuries. Safety advocates have also recommended the use of helmets with full facemasks. These are very similar to the ones worn by cricket batsmen.
How to Buy a Batting Helmet for Baseball Season
Although the benefits of wearing a batting helmet are evident, picking one can be a daunting task. This is why we’ve compiled a list of the features to look for so you can find a batting helmet that meets your needs.
Apart from the majors, nearly all other baseball leagues, starting from youth to college-level, require batters to wear protective helmets that have flaps covering the ears. The flaps offer protection to players before, during and after they get into the plate. Even though it will be tricky hearing with both of your ears covered, this is a tiny price to pay for your protection.
For players in teams that don’t have all these rules and regulations, you can opt for the one-flap batting helmet. However, ensure the flap that covers the ear is one facing the pitcher.
Although this is not a feature that you’ll find in every batting helmet, some manufacturers make helmets with faceguard to provide extra protection. Surprisingly, a majority of players don’t like masks as they hinder the player’s vision. In case you buy a helmet then decide to get a faceguard later on, ensure you purchase one made by the same manufacturer as your helmet’s.
If you’re looking for additional protection, look for a helmet that has chin straps. And just like your faceguard, ensure the straps are designed by the same manufacturer as your helmet’s so that they fit nicely.
The main function of batting helmets is to protect batters from pitches that go beyond 90 mph, so it’s not unusual for them to wear out overtime. One key aspect that contributes to this helmet’s deterioration is a player’s tendency to throw it down in dugouts. To prevent this, always place your helmet on a rack or bench until you’re on the deck.
You also shouldn’t expose it to the sun as this will cause the interior padding to harden and ultimately, crack. Keep your helmets away from the sun and inspect with each use.
Batting helmets come in a range of various sizes. Manufacturers use different measurements when making these helmets, although the differences in sizing are negligible. The secret is to shop for your batting helmet the same way you would if you were buying a hat. More specifically, find the circumference of your head and look for a helmet with the closest size possible.
The best way to know whether your batting helmet is the right fit is by using the shake test. This involves placing your helmet on your head then giving it a couple of shakes. If it wobbles too much, look for a smaller size. Alternatively, you can purchase an extra padding kit to help it fit more nicely.
Another way to check whether the helmet is the right fit is to check its position. If it’s sitting about an inch above your eyebrows, then it’s the perfect fit. But if it’s slightly tilted up, you’re likely to get hit on the forehead. It shouldn’t be tilted too forward either as this puts you at a risk of exposing the back of your head.
It’s also important to ensure that your helmet’s design meets the standards set by your specific league. Keep in mind that most baseball organizations and leagues require batters to wear helmets solely for protection. Baseball is one of the most exciting sports. However, players should always wear protective gear to prevent fatal injuries.
Why is there only one ear covering?
There are a couple of reasons why most basketball helmets have just one ear flap. The best way to explain this is to go back to the roots of this helmet’s invention. Originally, players never had to wear helmets with ear flaps. When these ear flaps were introduced, players had a difficult time using them, which is why they wore them very few times.
One of the reasons why players didn’t like the double flapped helmets is because they were too tight. Another reason could be because they were difficult to remove and made players a little sweaty. Sometime, the helmets made the players so uncomfortable that they threw them off their game.
The only way around this was to start designing helmets with just one ear flap. Usually, the ear flap is on the side that faces the pitcher so as to minimize the risk of the batter getting hurt. After a hit, most players will just throw away their helmets so that they can run freely.
Another perk of a helmet with just one ear flap is that it’s easier to remove than one that has two ear flaps. When removing a double flapped batting helmet, you have to reach all the way up with your hands, then slide it over your head. In the process, the helmet may get stuck or end up pinching your ears. If you’re trying to run first base after a hit, this will distract you from the game. In contrast, a helmet with just one ear flap is much easier to remove.
Furthermore, players find that helmets with one ear flap provide more comfort in wearing than the double-flapped ones. They pinch less and they’re not too tight around the head. Overall, players are able to concentrate better on the game when they’re wearing single-flapped helmets.
Despite the benefits of single-flapped batting helmets, the most common among leagues are the double-flapped ones. There are several reasons for this. For one, they are cheaper for small leagues. Secondly, you wouldn’t need to buy helmets with different sizes of ear flaps. All you’d need to do is buy several helmets and you’re guaranteed that they will work for different people. But once a player joins a league that has the power or resources to buy their own helmet, he or she may decide to switch back to one ear flap helmet.
It is more comfortable
As stated earlier, players never used to wear helmets in the past. To provide the players with protection and make them feel comfortable at the same time, one flapped helmets were introduced. But presently, such helmets are only common in majors because the more recent players grow up using double-flapped helmets.
Why Do Batting Helmets Look Burnt?
Most baseball and softball fans often question the design and look of batting helmets. You have probably wondered why these helmets look burnt at some point too. The simple reason why they have this look is because expert ball players usually rub pine tar on their bats, hold these bats multiple times and then use the same hands to adjust the position of their helmets. A few players even rub the tar on their helmets to serve as backup. By the end of the game or season, their helmets will be looking burnt and faded.
When purchasing a batting helmet, the first step is to familiarize yourself with the different helmets available on the market. Next, find one that fits you snugly and one that has a design you like. When it comes to batting helmets, you will always get the value of what you pay for. To put it simply; the higher the price of the helmet, the higher the quality of the helmet. For players in high school and college, the best helmet is one that has high-density foam, as it can withstand the toughest impact.
Batting helmets are the best protective headgear, not just for baseball players but also for softball players. Their primary function is protect the head of the batter against wild pitches. Without these helmets, the impact and speed of a misdirected hit can cause severe injuries to the batter.