Best Football Chin Straps – Top 5

Even the most casual football fans know the importance of a safe and protective helmet when engaged in competition. With the force and speed of the game, it is essential players equip themselves with a quality helmet. But one piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked, even by the most seasoned players, it’s that of the chin strap. Previously only seen as a way of securing the helmet to the head, the role of the football chin strap has transformed into playing a pivotal part in protecting players.

Helmet manufacturers and sports equipment companies alike have all seen the chin strap as an opportunity to provide players another line of protection from the impacts on the football field. Using the latest technology and protective materials, each has developed a product that will not only be more comfortable, but far more valuable in offering another layer of defense. We’re going to take a look at our Top 5 Football Chin Straps, giving you some insight on gearing up for next season.

  1. Schutt Elite Hard Cup

As one of the leading helmet manufacturers, it’s of no surprising that they have also developed a high quality chin strap. The Elite Hard Cup from Schutt is everything you would expect in an upgraded chinstrap. The hard plastic shell offers an excellent shield against the big hits. The foam uni-cup design uses an integrated splitter for extra strength, as well as providing a comfortable custom fit. Available in both Youth and Adult sizes, the Schutt Elite Hard Cup is a great choice when improving your protection.

  1. Under Armour Gameday Armour Pro

Few brands in sports do style and protection as well as Under Armour, and the Gameday Armour Pro chin strap exceeds expectations on both fronts. Designed to perform as good as it looks, the anodized finish sets the bar very high. But the Armour Flex outer shell is incredible durable and withstands the rigors of a tough football season. Also featuring an internal pad that is removable and washable, and a perforated design that improves breathability. This Under Armour Football Chin Strap offers the protection you need with the look you desire.

  1. SportsStar GX-4 Hard Cup

SportStar may be a brand that is unfamiliar to many. But when it comes to chin strap protection, very few can compete. Specializing in the production of chin staps, SportStar has taken a science first approach, looking to make the chinstap as advanced as modern day helmets. Rated as one of the safest chin straps on the market, the GX-4 is constructed from 4 different pieces to help absorb blows and prevent concussions. The patented GelPad disperse energy and offers a custom fit for every player. Also featuring a high density EVA foam and a NASA engineered plastic shell, GX-4 is not short on technological designs. Even with all the protective measures, the SportStar chinstrap is also a stand out in appearance. The GX-4 is fully customizable, allowing you to perfectly match your team’s colors.

  1. Riddell TCP

Like Schutt, Riddell is the maker of the helmets most trusted by the game’s elite. The TCP chin strap is the top level of protection offered by Riddell, making it a serious contender for our top rated chinstrap. Like the other chin straps on this list, The TCP features a hard outer shell constructed from a durable polycarbonate. Also featuring breathable ventilation and soft padding inside that provides incredible comfort. The TCP chinstrap is also available with the Rachet-Loc attachments, allowing you to wear it with the highly rated Riddell SpeedFlex helmet. The Riddell TCP Chin strap is seen every weekend of the fall on the best players in the world for a reason.

  1. SportStar Evolution

When you’ve spent the time and effort in designing a piece of sporting equipment like SportStar has, being seen as the best is the expectation. The Evolution chin strap showcases an advanced design that with layers of protection. Beginning with a hard outer shell and an non-slip EVA foam that is anatomically molded to absorb impacts. Also featuring the GelPad at the base of the chin, to offer a great custom fit. Once you put on a SportStar chin star, you’ll see exactly why more and more professional players are turning to them. Its unmatched level of protection has made the SportStar Evolution our top ranked football chin strap.

Written By Dylan Hamilton, Sports Unlimited

Mariota’s 808 Facemask

He gained fame at Oregon, rose to the Heisman podium and will be drafted in the NFL this year. Marcus Mariota is a stud, but he had to come from somewhere and that somewhere is Honolulu, Hawaii. Cool, right? Well, Mariota thinks it’s cool and that’s why he represents Honolulu, wearing his signature 808 facemask that happens to be the area code of his hometown.

It may be somewhat subtle, but Marcus Mariota’s facemask uses a bar configuration that forms the numbers 808 right on the front of the mask. We’ve highlighted it in this graphic so you can sound cool when you point out the 808 to your friends.

Marcus Mariota 808 Facemask

 

This facemask is built for the immensely popular Riddell Revo Speed Helmet (and fits the Revo Speed, Revolution Speed Classic in both youth and adult, Revolution Edge, Revolution Attack-i, and Revolution Attack). These are a limited run design and will be hard to come by, so if you want to get your hands on one, now is the time.


The Riddell SpeedFlex

It’s here. I repeat. It’s here. Holy smokes does this helmet look and feel incredible. As people obsessed with football gear, we have been impatiently awaiting the arrival of the Riddell SpeedFlex Helmet because it’s the most exciting helmet release in recent history. With new protective tech and design aspects we’ve never seen before, Riddell has built a game-changer.

Riddell SpeedFlex Helmet Images

If you’re looking for the nitty-gritty details, features, and specs, head on over to our SpeedFlex page for more specific information on the Flex System, Composite Energy Management, new Ratchet-Loc retention system, and other crazy cool tech. We will be getting in all sorts of colors (including matte colors) and sizes so that you’ll be able to find the exact helmet you want and need. We actually stock these helmets right in our warehouse so that they can ship out the same day if ordered before 3 PM ET because when you buy a SpeedFlex, you get it quickly.

One of the coolest new features about the SpeedFlex is the new Ratchet-Loc retention system that helps you adjust your chinstrap quickly and easily. With ridges in the straps that lock into place with proprietary tech from Riddell, you can just tug on the strap until it is in the proper position and keep moving. This helps with getting the helmet to fit right on your head and comfort in the chin. Safety is by far the most important aspect of the game in our eyes and getting your chin strap in the proper position consistently helps make your helmet safer for you.

Additionally, this helmet passed “The Test” and by that we mean the Virginia Tech Helmet Study. SpeedFlex got a 5-star rating, and although the VA Tech Ratings system has its flaws, it is sure as heck better to score 5-stars than not.

We can’t wait to see these out on football fields all over the world this spring, summer, and right into the season this fall.


2013 Sports Unlimited Football Equipment Draft – Top 10 Picks

Let's Get Started!Welcome to the 2013 Sports Unlimited Football Equipment Draft. With all of our minds on the upcoming NFL Draft, we decided to present our own style of draft that features the best of the best football equipment that you can find at SportsUnlimited.com because we want to equip you with what you need to make 2013 the most memorable season of your life.

We have randomly generated a draft order for some of our expert compatriots at SU and I will be documenting the draft so that you can stay informed with the top-of-the-line, most advanced products in the industry.  Here are the top ten picks!

1.  Schutt Titanium Big Grill 2.0 Super Pro XL Football FacemaskTitaniumBG2.0XL

With the luck of the draw, the coveted first overall pick in our draft goes to Andre from the Customer Service department. With every product still on the board, Andre selects the Schutt Titanium Big Grill 2.0 Football Facemask. Lighter and stronger than steel, this facemask brings the performance of a No.1 pick.  Peak performance with the most intimidating and wicked design on the market make the Titanium Big Grill 2.0 one fearsome mask only available at Sports Unlimited.

Quarterback and Wide Receiver Shoulder Pads

2.  Schutt AiR Maxx Flex Adult Football Shoulder Pads – QB / WR

With so many incredible products remaining, Jason felt the pressure when he was on the clock and let it get down to 00:01 before deciding that the Schutt AiR Maxx Flex Adult Football Shoulder Pads – QB / WR were worthy of the 2nd pick. I have to agree with him because the Quarterback to Wide Receiver connection can put six points on the board on any given play. Ultimate protection with strategically placed TPU and superb range of motion give these pads the best draft rating in the biz. Drafting performance and protection for some of the most important positions on the field is always an excellent choice.

3.  Cutters X40 C-Tack Revolution Adult Football Receiver GlovesBest Football Gloves on the market!

In an early shock, Steve from our Web Team is going deep with the Cutters X40 C-Tack Revolution Adult Football Receiver Gloves. Equipped with a self-restoring C-Tack grip and available in an array of colors, these gloves make plays. Steve knows that fumbles and drops can cost dearly on the gridiron and he wasn’t afraid to snag an elite pair of ‘hands’ this high in the draft. Great pick!

Mean looking helmet with superb protection with Dual Compression TPU lining4.  Schutt Vengeance DCT Adult Football Helmet

The fourth pick belongs to our wise leader and President, Don who makes the most popular pick of the draft with the Schutt Vengeance DCT Adult and Youth Helmets. Don goes with the numbers here because he knows this popular helmet lives up to the hype and “has been our number one selling helmet this year”! The TPU in the DCT is the same material used in United States Armed Forces fighter pilot and paratrooper helmets. Combined with a re-imagined shell design, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see this go first overall!

5.  Riddell 360 Adult Football HelmetThis may be the best football helmet in the world!

Having had head and jaw injuries in the past, I knew from the start that I needed to draft a great helmet. With Don having taken the Schutt Vengeance DCT off the board, my decision became a lot easier because my internal argument was between the former and the Riddell 360 Adult Football Helmet. With Concussion Reduction Technology, Flex Face Guard, and Riddell’s Hexagonal Liner System, I may have just picked up the best helmet in the world.

Vision on the field6.  Oakley Football Eyeshield

Web Team is here with another pick, and Steph, with an understanding of how important vision is on the field, dashes to our imaginary podium to select the Oakley Football Eyeshield. Steph trusts the Plutonite construction and HDO (High Definition Optics) technology from Oakley because wherever you are on the field, your decision-making relies on vision. The value here is playing smart and Steph’s team is going to be built on great vision and smart decisions.

7.  Schutt Vengeance DCT Hybrid+ Youth Football HelmetDual Compression TPU Padding

At the seventh pick, Doug, the feared Web Team Manager, picks up the product at the top of his draft board, the Schutt Vengeance DCT Hybrid+ Youth Football Helmet. “I like the combination of all the latest protection technologies and the value you get versus the Youth Vengeance DCT.” The innovative combination of Dual Compression TPU and traditional vinyl nitrile padding makes this youth helmet high in protection and low in price. This could be the steal of the draft!

New Balance Men's Football Lacrosse Cleats8.  New Balance 993 Mid Mens Lacrosse / Football Cleats

Michele, one of our Customer Service Supervisors, has the football knowledge and competitive spirit to know that winning on the gridiron takes great footwork and her strategy is speed, speed, speed.  She’s getting some traction with the New Balance 993 Mid Mens Lacrosse / Football Cleats.  These cleats were designed to have the versatility, durability, and lightness to make a player dangerous.  Speed with stability can go a long way.

9.  Wilson TDS Leather High School Football Approved for High School Play

We have back to back Customer Service Supervisor picks and this one belongs to Jamie.  One of the friendliest people around, he cares about our products and our customers, which is why he is going with the Wilson TDS Leather High School Football.  Without a ball, you can’t play and this beauty is approved by NFHS for high school play.  Practice your skills with the ball or play some catch out back because a tight spiral just looks better with an official ball. You can see and feel the quality with 899 full-grain leather.

All Purpose for any player on the field!10.  Schutt Y Flex All Purpose Youth Football Shoulder Pads

Ryan received the tenth and last pick in the draft, but with the expertise he has as a Buyer and Customer Service Manager, he can draft in any position and come out with a winner. He calls the Schutt Y Flex All Purpose Youth Football Shoulder Pads, “great youth shoulder pads that our customers love for all positions. Value is excellent.” Ryan picks for strength and versatility with these youth shoulder pads that feature Air Flex tech and vapor holes to maintain protection with great comfort. Safety is paramount whether you are developing football skills or playing at an elite level.

There you have it, our inaugural Sports Unlimited Football Equipment Draft is complete. I’d like to thank the participants for lending their expertise. I’ll declare the draft a success due to my personal happiness with my pick and I know you all were rooting for me. This draft could have gone any which way because the top ten draft picks were only a tiny sample of what SportsUnlimited.com has to offer!

Good luck this season folks!

By Isaac Clark
Isaac is a writer at Sports Unlimited.

New Big Grill Facemask For Revo Speed

Finally there is a Big Grill facemask for the Riddell Revo Speed!

Revo Speed Big Grill FacemaskYou asked for it, and now it’s here! The original Big Grill custom facemask, made famous by a certain New York Giants defensive end, has finally been designed for the Riddell Revo Speed! With the same bar configuration as the original Schutt model, this new Big Grill is manufactured by Riddell, and built exclusively for the popular Revolution Speed helmet, giving Riddell wearers that customized, aggressive look they’ve been begging for!

Improving on the first version, the new Revo Speed Big Grill facemask is actually lighter than the carbon steel Schutt model, giving you greater speed, agility, and overall performance with the facemask. While not quite as light as titanium, the Lightweight Riddell Facemask design is still almost 25% lighter than standard carbon steel, while still retaining the strength and durability of this strong metal.

Built to fit on an Adult or Youth Riddell Revolution Speed helmet, the Revo Speed Big Grill Facemask brings the ultimate in aggressive style and protection to one of the most popular helmets on the grid iron.

By Brandon Porter.

Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

Today’s Best Football Helmets: Riddell 360 vs. Schutt Vengeance

Compare the design and features of the Riddell 360 and Schutt Vengeance football helmets, to decide which is the best football helmet today!

A lot of people have been asking, lately, what is the best football helmet; the Riddell 360 or the Schutt Vengeance, and I’ve found it a really tough question to answer!

Both of these helmets are the absolute pinnacle of performance and protection, from two companies at the top of their game. Schutt and Riddell have spent decades dominating the football equipment industry, and each of their next-generation football helmets are the end result of vast experience, endless experimentation, advanced research and development, and countless hours of on-field testing and hit-analysis. They both not only protect the player better, but with the latest facemask and shell designs, create a more aggressive look than ever before. And while it’s hard to say which the best football helmet is, what I can say is that both are really impressive!

To give you a better idea of what each football helmet offers, and help you decide which the best football helmet is for you, we’ll delve deep into each new helmet, investigate their advanced features and technologies, and review their designs. So without further ado, I give you the Schutt Vengeance vs Riddell 360:

Riddell 360Riddell 360

In a Nut Shell:

After analyzing over 1.4 million helmet collisions with their HITS impact-severity recording devices, Riddell concluded that many of the impacts that result in concussions are caused by massive forces to the front of the head. So with major re-designs and improvements to the traditional helmet, the 360 utilizes new features and technologies to not only protect the entire head, but shifts the focus of protection to the front of the helmet and the jaw area.

Most Interesting New Features:

Flex Impact System: To improve frontal protection, Riddell’s new Flex Face Guard, combined with new facemask hinge clips, absorbs more impact force, reducing the shock felt by the player and the force transferred to his head.

Enhanced Facial Frame: Expanded to protect more of the front and jaw areas, Riddell improved the face frame of the polycarbonate shell, reducing impact force from side hits.

360 Hexagon LinerHexagonal Liner System: One of the most noticeable new features of the 360, the unique hexagonal helmet liner not only looks cool, but is made of energy-managing foam that absorbs more impact force, while improving and securing helmet fit, and delivering comfort and stability to the helmet. This liner is extended around the sides of the football helmet and the jaw areas, adding even more protection to the front of the head.

Occipital Lock: Placed in the back base of the helmet, this new feature cradles the back of the head, creating a more secure fit, and improving comfort and helmet stability. It also helps protect the head in the case of backward falls and tackles.

All-Points Quick Release Facemask System: You saw the Quick-Release face guard system in the Revo Speed. Now the 360 steps it up a notch, giving you quick-releases at each of the four facemask attachment points, letting you remove the new facemask faster and more easily than ever before.

Our Impressions:

This is a serious helmet for serious players. If you liked the Revo Speed, you are going to love the 360. It is definitely heavier than the Revo Speed, but the new liner and frontal protection, along with the lightweight facemask make up for the added weight. It delivers a stiffer, more secure fit inside as well, so you’ll feel almost indestructible. The increased shell offset and more aggressive shell detailing are really impressive too, and give you a great look on the field. Because of its price and weight, I’d suggest it to high school, college, and pro-level players, although it also comes in a lighter-weight youth 360 version, which is great for really serious younger, middle school players.

Schutt Vengeance

Schutt Vengeance Adult HelmetIn A Nut Shell:

Three words; Dual Compression TPU! Years of clinical and on-field research showed that football concussions can result from consistent low-impact collisions, as well as less-frequent high-impact, violent collisions. So Schutt went about improving the popular TPU cushioning system, found in the ION 4D and DNA, to protect the player from both levels of impact force. DCT adds a second layer of less-dense TPU, on top of the traditional stiff TPU cushioning, designed to protect you from both the typical, low-impact hits, and the infrequent hard, high-force collisions, changing helmet protection forever!

Most Interesting New Features:

Two-Layer TPU: An outer layer of stiffer, harder TPU cushioning, and an inner layer of softer, less-dense TPU, protects the player from every type of impact on the field. TPU never compresses, cannot be cracked, won’t break down, and resists heat, mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Vengeance Mechanical Cushioning AttachmentsMechanically Attached Padding: Different than any football helmet before it, the Vengeance TPU cushioning system is now attached directly to the helmet shell with screws instead of Velcro. These mechanical attachments stabilize the TPU cushioning and keep it exactly where it needs to be, even after hard hits.

Aggressive Mohawk Shell: With the largest shell offset of any Schutt football helmet, the Vengeance packs more Dual Compression TPU in, for enhanced protection without a significant weight or profile increase. The aggressive shell also features a new Flexural Resistant Shelf, which makes for a stronger, more impact-resistant back-of-the-head.

Vengeance FacemasksNew Vengeance Facemask: In a radical move, Schutt completely re-designed the traditional football facemask, creating one of the most innovative, high-performing, and aggressive-looking facemasks ever seen. Its larger offset, flexible design and arched brow take the place of the popular Energy Wedge system, and absorb even more impact force than before, while also providing an incredibly wide field of view. Also, by not using the energy wedges, Schutt lets you use existing DNA and XP XL facemasks on the Vengeance as well as the specially designed face guards.

Fit Liner System: High-impact foam inside the football helmet’s liner increases impact protection to the front and crown, helping to improve force-absorption in critical and vulnerable hitting areas.

Our Impressions:

The Vengeance is a bold, aggressive, and unique looking helmet, that delivers inside and out. The new two-layer TPU is incredibly cool and seems to really absorb a wide variety of impact forces, while the new liner and foam system cradle the head and feels secure and comfortable. The new facemask takes some getting used to, but it looks sick, definitely absorbs more force, and gives you crisp and wide field visibility. Overall, it’s a heavier helmet, but with the aggressive new look and vastly improved protection features, absolutely perfect for upper-end high school, college, and pro players.

There you have it, my review of the top two helmets in football today. I hope this has helped you gain a greater understanding of what these helmets have to offer, and maybe answered the question for you, which is the best football helmet.

By Brandon Porter.Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

 

How to Fit Football Shoulder Pads

Learn how to properly fit football shoulder pads to get the most coverage, performance, and safety from yours! Measuring shoulder pads is easy, once you know how to do it.

You spend a lot of money suiting yourself, or your child, up for the game. Helmets, chin straps, pads, cleats…they all help protect you on the field, but unfortunately, together they can all cost an arm and a leg! So to make sure you’re getting the most for your money, it’s incredibly important to find the right gear for your size. Improperly fitting football equipment, no matter how high-end and advanced, isn’t worth the box they put it in if it doesn’t fit you! This is why football shoulder pad sizing is so important.

Let me take a few minutes and run down the best way to measure and fit football shoulder pads, so you know you’re getting the most coverage and performance out of yours. Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be in good shape:

  1. Grab a friend or a parent. Measuring yourself can be awkward, and may lead to inaccurate readouts and ill-fitting shoulder pads.Shoulder Pad Chest Fitting
  2. Measure your chest. Standing up straight, have someone wrap a flexible measuring tape around your upper torso and record the measurements. Think about wearing a tight fitting shirt to get the most accurate, next-to-skin measurements possible.
  3. Measure your shoulder width.   Again, standing up straight, stretch Shoulder Pad Shoulder Fittingthe tape over the contour of your shoulders, between the AC joints (those are the joints between the tops of your shoulders), and record the measurements.
  4. Weigh yourself. Typically, youth shoulder pads are sized by weight class, so to properly fit youth shoulder pads, it’s important to know your exact weight.

Once you have these numbers written down, you can start shopping for new football shoulder pads. SU has a huge selection of youth and adult shoulder pads for every position, age range, and budget, from the top brands like Schutt, Riddell, Douglas, and Bike…just saying.

When you find the shoulder pads for you, simply consult the size chart found on the product page, and use your shoulder pad measurements to know which size to select.

Now, once you receive them, it’s important to know how to put on football shoulder pads. You should also make sure they fit properly, and deliver the coverage and mobility you need before using them. When you get your pads, make sure to:

  1. Bring the pads down over your head. Align the shoulder pads carefully, and be sure not to scratch your eyes or nose when putting them on.
  2. Secure all straps and laces. Each shoulder pad front connector and strap system is different, depending on brand and position, but no matter what the configuration, make sure to properly connect the front and back of your pads. Then tightly buckle all belts and straps Shoulder Pad Fitto get a snug, comfortable fit against the chest and back.
  3. Check the fit. Once everything is secure, ensure the shoulder pads fit properly. The padding shouldn’t be pinching your collar, and should sit comfortably on your shoulders. Typically, about 1″ of padding should extend from your shoulders.
  4. Check coverage in the front and back. The shoulder pads should fully cover your sternum and upper shoulders, as well as your scapula and rhomboid. Confirm this full coverage by extending your hands above your head. Properly fitting and measured shoulder pads should still cover these areas when lifted up.
  5. Move around and double check the fit. Perform some on-field
    actions in the new pads Shoulder Pad Movement(even if it looks a little weird), to double check comfort, fit, and coverage in game-like situations.

Follow these steps, and you’ll get the absolute best coverage, performance, and comfort from your shoulder pads, no matter how much you spend on them.

And remember, if you have any further questions or concerns regarding your pads, or any other football gear for that matter, you can always consult Sports Unlimited’s Shoulder Pad Buyer’s Guide, or our huge library of football gear buyer’s guides, that cover every aspect of everything football from football helmets to thigh pads.

By Brandon Porter.Brandon is a product specialist at Sports Unlimited.

Best Football Helmets

Over the last couple of years, safety concerns regarding football helmets and concussions have become a most pressing issue.  Safety issues in football are now ubiquitous, ranging from increased safety measures in the NFL to academics rating the best football helmets.  And now legislation is spreading across America aimed at treating student-athletes with concussions.

Football helmet manufacturers are very aware of this, which is why they have created the most innovative and advanced helmets the sport has ever seen.  Helmets have radically transformed over the last 10 years into engineering marvels.

To try and clear some things up, we at Sports Unlimited have compiled a list of what we believe are the best football helmets available on the market today. This includes both adult football helmets and youth football helmets, and it should come to no surprise that we believe the best youth football helmets are just the youth versions of the best adult football helmets. The adult and youth versions of these football helmets are nearly identical, with only slight differences in their make and/or build.  Enough though.  The best football helmets are…

The Best Football Helmets: Continue reading “Best Football Helmets”