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:
Schutt Ion 4D
  • The Schutt Ion 4D incorporates multiple breakthrough technologies that push the limits of football helmets in the modern game.  It uses a Thermoplastic Urethane (aka TPU) Cushioning System that’s been proven superior to traditional foam padding in game-like conditions.  It provides better impact absorption, better heat management, and won’t break down (even after thousands of impacts).

Riddell Revolution Speed
  • The Riddell Revolution Speed (aka the Revo Speed) is a popular game-changing football helmet that is designed to reduce the risk of concussions by 31% when compared with a traditional helmet.  It is made with Riddell Concussion Reduction Technology (CRT), which includes an increased shell offset, extended mandibles and energy managing liner extensions, which “were the result of a four-year project using the NFL and Biokenetics’ research as the backbone for development.”
  • Ranked as the #1 Football Helmet according to a Virginia Tech research study.
  • See the Riddell Revolution Speed Adult Football Helmet and the Riddell Revolution Speed Youth Football Helmet.
  • Adult version is made with a polycarbonate shell, while the youth version is made with an ABS plastic shell.

Schutt DNA Pro+
  • The Schutt DNA Pro+ features the same TPU Cushioning System as the Schutt ION 4D, which offers superior padding for impact absorption.  Also  like the Ion 4D, it features a SUREFIT Air Liner for a comfortable, custom fit.
  • See the Schutt DNA Pro+ Adult Football Helmet and the Schutt DNA Pro+ Youth Football Helmet.
  • Adult version is made with a polycarbonate shell, while the youth version is made with an ABS plastic shell.

For help deciding on which football helmet is right for you and your budget, call 1-800-693-6368, and ask to speak with one of our football experts.

NOTE: These beliefs are completely subjective and do not reflect the beliefs of Sports Unlimited.  They are simply an opinion and should be treated as such.

See all youth football helmets.

See all adult football helmets.

94 thoughts on “Best Football Helmets”

      1. thats a good thing!
        you want to keep players safe xeniths might test well in labs, but not on the football field

  1. I was going to order a DNA pro plus adult elite but it does not have the color Maroon. Can I order that color?

    1. Cam,

      The “Schutt DNA Pro Plus Elite – Adult” in maroon is currently unavailable online for order, but if you call us at 1-800-693-6368, we should be able to order it for you. I hope this helps.

  2. Are there any youth football helmets that come in interchangeable sizes? For example, I would like to have a helmet that my 6th grader can use for the next 3 years as he gets bigger. Any suggestions?

  3. Steven- I’m just now seeing your comment. What are you basing your opinion of Xenith helmets on? I purchased one in July and my son has been using it since. This is “hands down” the best helmet he has ever used in his young youth career of four years. For $100 bucks I don’t see anything comparable to the X2 that he has.

  4. i have an 8th grader who got a concussion this year in football. Does either of these top brand sell the helmet liner I could use for the snowboard helmet we have for skiiing? I realize I may have to make some modifications to it.

    1. Kelly,

      Thank you for your comment, and first off, our sympathies to your 8th grader. We hope he’s ok, and recovered. Sports injuries, especially concussions, are scary things for everyone.

      As far as your question is concerned, yes both Schutt and Riddell offer their removable, inflated helmet liners as separate items, and we’d be more than happy to make that happen for you, or get you more information on them, if you’d like to call Sports Unlimited at 1-800-693-6368. However, these liners are typically designed to merely improve the fit of the helmet, not dramatically reduce concussions or protect the head. Helmet cushioning, like TPU, is the central impact absorbing element of a football helmet, while the liner creates a more secure, comfortable, and safe fit, with its adjustable inflation areas in the sides and crown. If you’d like the snowboard helmet to fit better and more securely, these liners might work for you, with some modifications. But if you are looking to improve the safety and concussion protection offered by your snowboard helmet, I’m not certain these liners will suffice.

      We do offer a full range of youth snowboard helmets that are highly rated for safety and comfort, and will soon be receiving the 2012 RED Mutiny snowboard helmet, which has consistently received high safety ratings, and has been improved this year. Unlike football helmets though, most snowboard helmets are not designed to hold up to repeated impacts, since head injuries are less common on the mountain then they are on the grid iron. A good snowboard helmet will protect him from a serious fall or tumble, but should be replaced soon after.

      I hope this information helps, and please let me know if we can help further, or find a snowboard helmet or liner that would meet your son’s needs. Thanks again for your question!

      -Sports Unlimited

  5. Hi I am a quarterback and linebacker and I am in middle school football and I have suffered 2 concussions and I am deciding between the Schutt ion 4d and the Riddell revo speed. I need a helmet that is best based on protection, comfort and vision? What do you think would be the best between the 2.

    1. Stuart,

      We’re sorry to hear about your concussions, and hope that whichever helmet you choose, it keeps you safe in the game from here on out! That being said, it’s difficult to say definitively which helmet, the Schutt ION 4D or Riddell Revolution Speed, is better for you. Both are top-of-the-line youth helmets, loaded with well-researched, well-developed safety, comfort, and performance features. Your choice should be based on personal preference and budget, but here is a quick breakdown of the features of each helmet, to help you in your decision:

      Protection: The ION 4D has become popular amongst youth and adult players because of the advanced TPU cushioning, for its impact-absorbing qualities, comfort, and durability. The ION also utilizes the revolutionary energy wedge faceguard system, which turns the facemask into a shock absorber, redirecting 15% more impact energy away from the jaw, face, and head. The Riddell Revolution Speed is equally popular with youth players for its comfort, safety, and playability. With concussion reduction technology and a tough ABS shell, the Revo Speed has been proven to reduce the risk of concussions to players by 31%, according to Neurosurgery, February 2006, Vol 58, No.2.

      Comfort: The ION 4D features an air liner system inside the helmet, to cushion the head, as well as TPU jaw pads for additional 360 degree impact protection . The Riddell Revo Speed uses an inflatable overliner and inflatable jaw pads, allowing you to inflate each for a completely custom and secure fit.

      Visibility: At Sports Unlimited, we offer the Revolution Speed Youth helmet with a variety of attached facemasks, to give you plenty of options, and out-of-the-box playability. Since you play both quarterback and linebacker positions, it might be smart to pick up an additional facemask to suit your changing positions. The Speed has a quick facemask release system, making fast changes easy. The Schutt ION 4D does not come with a facemask, but Schutt makes, and we carry, a huge selection of compatible Schutt ION 4D youth facemasks that meet any need, and give you a range of visibilities and coverages.

      Stuart, we sincerely hope this helps, and please give us a call at 1-800-693-6368 if you have any more questions, or would like more help picking one of these great helmets. Good luck and be safe out there!

  6. my son suffered a level 4 concussion this past season, he was unconscious for 4 minutes, and confused for 2 days. He will continue to play, he loves the game. Going into high school, I want to provide him with the best head protection available, I know the numbers I’ve read all of your information, based on what you know which helmet the ION or the RIDDELL SPEED OR 360 would you put your child in if they had already suffered a severe conscussion? And no it’s not based on personal preference, it’s based on safety and the bottom line of those who test these items and advise parents and players. which one?

    1. Tara,

      Let me start by saying how sorry I am to hear about your son’s serious concussion. That’s an incredibly scary situation, and one that is not to be taken lightly. I hope he has recovered, and is free of any lingering effects. I also truly understand his love for the game, and celebrate his determination to continue playing.

      Answering your direct question, as to which helmet is safer, is rather difficult though. Not because I’m unwilling to be decisive on a single helmet, but because I wouldn’t want to mislead you, your son, or any of our other readers. At the end of the day, and as you’ll read in large print on any helmet in football, no helmet can prevent serious head or neck injuries one might receive while playing football. If I were to say that I’d choose the Schutt Ion 4D over the Riddell Revolution Speed, that would suggest one was “more safe” than the other, which has yet to be determined by any test, and would feel like a lie. From everything that I’ve read and learned about helmets and modern concussion protection, a more comfortable and snugger fitting helmet is inherently a safer one. So although “personal preference” may have been a broad term, the fact is that everyone’s head is uniquely shaped, and different helmets fit differently, even with advanced adjustable liners and inflatable jaw pads. The Ion 4D and the Revolution Speed are the highest-rated helmets in the game, and both are used by pros throughout the NFL, and trusted for their impact protection and energy absorption qualities. But if one could “prevent concussions” through impact protection and fit markedly better than the other, then that would be the helmet of choice for every pro in the game. The reason one helmet hasn’t risen to the forefront and been deemed “safest” is simply a matter of preference and fit. From what I know through experience with helmets, like you, I would have to choose between these two for their impact protection. But if it were my son, and he got wider visibility, and his head fit better and felt more comfortable in the Ion 4D, then I’d have to say that helmet would be safer for him. If that were the case with the Revo Speed, then I would have to go with that helmet instead. As far as the Riddell 360, or the new Schutt Vengeance, I’ve had no direct experience with them, since we don’t have them in stock yet, and can’t honestly speak to them, or say more about them than you’d find on Riddell’s or Schutt’s websites. What I can suggest is that if you really want your son to have the best possible protection for his high school season, have him try on these top-rated helmets. If he gets a better, snugger fit in one over the other, then he will be safer in it.

  7. Should I wait for the Vengence to come out,or purchase the Ion 4d? idont really need one at the moment, but i have a few camps coming up, teh school has the Ion, and im pretty sure that it was the worst helmet ive worn< i have a feeling it was just that helmet though, as it lacked the TPU cushioning.

    1. Ted,

      Choosing which helmet to purchase is definitely a matter of personal preference, needs, and budget, but if you are trying to decide between the Schutt Ion 4D and Vengeance, it’s really hard to go wrong. Both are incredible helmets, and deliver top-of-the-line protection and comfort. I’d also agree with you; the problem with the Ion you wore was most likely specific to that helmet, since I’ve had nothing but positive personal experience, and have heard nothing but positive reviews of the helmet.

      But, if you are not pressed at the moment to buy a new helmet, my recommendation is to go with the Schutt Vengeance. The price difference between the Ion and Vengeance is small, and you can pre-order the Vengeance now right here, and get it in July. I’ve seen them, and the dual compression TPU, new shell design, and innovative facemask system are really something else. By looks alone, it flat out rules, not to mention all the safety and comfort systems they’ve built in. Definitely do you own research before buying a new helmet, but that’s just my recommendation. Thanks for the comment!

    1. Both helmets are incredibly protective and high performing, while utilizing different technologies to help absorb impacts. The popular Schutt ION 4D is built with the advanced TPU cushioning system, that won’t break down, compress, disintegrate, or grow mold. It also uses a unique facemask attachment to integrate it directly into the helmet, turning the facemask essentially into a shock absorber. Overall, these and more technologies make for an incredibly safe, high performing, although somewhat heavier helmet.

      The new Riddell 360 is a next generation helmet loaded with new technologies, and focused on reducing concussions by adding protection to the mandible / jaw area. It’s updated shell, facemask system, and comfortable liners help to absorb impact while offering a snug fit and mold-breaking performance. It’ fairly lightweight, similar to the Revo Speed, and features an aggressive design and updated Riddell Concussion Reduction Technologies.

      It’s hard to say which helmet is “better” than the other, since both offer incredibly high levels of protection and performance, and helmet choice really has a lot to do with preference, fit, and comfort. However, if you were to give me some more information as to your position, playing style, body type, etc., I could give you a better idea of which helmet would fit you.

      1. I am 5 foot nine and about 160 pounds and I like to Hit anything in my Path. I play Inside Linebacker, Fullback, and Guard. I had 2 concussions last year and couldn’t play in our championship game. I have a big head. I need the most comfortable and safe helmet.

        1. Austin,

          I’m incredibly sorry to hear about your two concussions. It’s a shame you had to miss the championship game, but I hope things have cleared up and you’re feeling 100%. With the general information you provided, I can suggest a few helmets that may improve your overall safety and comfort on the field, but please keep in mind that if you play physically, like you say you do, no helmet out there is going to completely protect you from concussions, especially in helmet to helmet impacts.

          First off, how big is your head actually? If you’re in need of a 2XL size, for comfort and fit, I’d immediately suggest the Schutt Air Varsity Commander. It’s a simply designed helmet from Schutt with solid protection, not as advanced as some others out there, but it’s exclusively designed for oversized heads.

          If you comfortably fit into an XL helmet, there are plenty of options that may work for you. The modern, next-generation Schutt Vengeance helmet has received great test ratings, and is designed to absorb both high impact and more frequent low impact hits with Dual Compression TPU. The facemask is also completely new, and gives you greater coverage. Riddell’s next-gen helmet, the Riddell 360, is another highly rated, great modern helmet. It combines many new concussion reduction technologies to absorb impacts and protect the mandible area. Its facemask is also designed to flex and absorb shock to reduce force transferred to your head. We offer both of these helmets in XL sizes, and both feature adjustable inflatable liners for a better, more comfortable fit. Of course, there are the Schutt ION 4D, Riddell Revolution Speed, and Schutt DNA Pro + which are always great choices for advanced performance and protection. Again, we have these in XL sizes that should hopefully fit you comfortably. All of these helmets have been tested on the field, and received high STAR ratings by Virginia Tech.

          Let me know if you have any specific questions or concerns about any helmet out there you may be considering, and I’d be happy to answer them! Thanks for the comment

        1. I personally think the 360 is pretty comfortable. It gives you that snug fit you need, and the new hex-pad lining feels really good around the back and top of the head. The jaw pads don’t have as much give as other helmets (a purpose-built safety feature that protects the mandibles), but honestly, that doesn’t affect the comfort level too much. It’s definitely heavier than the Revo Speed though, so if weight is an issue, I would look at something lighter. Although they’re on the heavier side as well, the ION 4D and Vengeance are also really comfortable, and their improved internal lining and moisture wicking forehead really do the trick. But if you’re leaning towards the 360, I think you’d be very comfortable in it.

  8. I know this is not about helmets but I am also in the market for shoulder pads I think I’m gunna go with the riddell spx 50 but I don’t know what size to get. My shoulders are 19 inches and my chest is 40 inches?

    1. The Riddell SPX 50 is a great choice for shoulder pads, especially if you’re more of an agile back. With your measurements, I’d suggest going with a Medium. You’re going to have a bit more room in the chest, but that’s a lot easier to adjust and fit with the belt system. You may also grow into it over time. It’s more important that the pads fit on your shoulders properly, so you get the most coverage and protection.

      1. Oh Does that mean there not good for hitting, and if not what are some hitter pads for inside linebacker?

        1. No, the SPX 50 is definitely great for hitting! In fact, it’s one of the highest-end, high-impact rated shoulder pads on the market! The reason it’s priced higher than most other shoulder pads is because of its high-impact, elite-level liner padding, which is designed to absorb impacts at NCAA and NFL levels and speeds. The padding uses a layer of semi-sealed air chambers that slowly release air after an impact, spreading and absorbing energy from a hit over a large volume of air, all at a controlled rate. The reason it’s lighter, is because the padding is more efficient, without being too thick and heavy. Over this advanced liner is an IntelliArch shell that’s light without sacrificing toughness and stiffness, and a composite sub-arch for improved cushioning and stability. NFL and NCAA linebackers trust the SPX 50, and it should be more than able to protect you when you go in for the big hits.

      2. Sounds like my kind of pads! I also need neck protection and I was wondering If it is possible to attach the mueller butterfly restrictor?? Or if you have any other suggestions for stinger or burner protection. Besides keeping my head up.

        1. The Meuller football collar should attach easily to the SPX 50, no problem. The McDavid cowboy collar is another great choice, outside of just keeping your head up, since it engages the sides and back of the helmet, instead of just the bottom of it, to prevent stingers and burners. It’s also pretty lightweight and fairly easy to install, so it stays in place all game long.

          If you’re looking to get all of these items together, you should definitely give our customer service department a call at 800-693-6368. They’ll help you place your order, and can also answer questions, if any come up.

      1. The SPX line of Riddell shoulder pads is basically the “stock” version of the Custom Power Extreme (CPX) shoulder pads. They both utilize the same elite-level technologies and features, except the CPX is available in a wide variety of color liners and bindings to make a unique-looking shoulder pad. The CPX 40 and SPX 50 differ slightly in features though. The 40 features extended length arches, 1.5″ belts, and 1.5″ elastic straps, while the SPX 50 features regular length arches, 1″ belts, and no elastic straps. Other than that, they both use a hitter STAC shoulder pad impact system and deltoid pads that are specifically designed for linebackers and fullbacks. Right now we have the SPX 50 in stock in almost every size, but if you’re interested in the customization of the CPX, we can definitely special order you one from Riddell, if you’d like to call a customer service representative at 800-693-6368.

      1. Can I get an XL and still be safe?? Because you guys dont have a Large navy blue in stock, but you do have an XL. Then could I grow into it?

        1. Since your head size is right on the edge between a Large and XL, I definitely think you could fit into an XL and still be safe, as long as you properly inflate the crown and lateral liners. These will give you a custom, snug fit, so even in the XL, you’ll be comfortable and safe. Plus, if you’re still growing, you’ll have plenty of room to grow into it. With a large helmet, you’re right, and may not have as much room to grow into.

          Sorry for the late response Austin, I was out of the office and away from Internet access this weekend.

      2. Also I need a linebacker facemask. Can I order one with the helmet? And how long does it take to deliver a helmet?

        1. The adult 360 comes with a standard grey, lightweight 360-SBD facemask. You can buy a linebacker facemask separately, for better position-specific protection, and more color options. I’d suggest the 2BDC-LW Riddell 360 Facemask. It’s specially designed to fit the 360, and its configuration is perfect for linebackers and fullbacks. We carry it in Black, Navy, Scarlet, White, and Grey. Since both the helmet and facemask are in stock, they’d ship out of our warehouse either the day of, or the business day after your order. I’m not sure where you’re located, but I’d imagine you’d get the helmet and facemask within a few days.

      3. Just ordered an XL Riddell 360, Riddell SPX50, and a Mueller Butterfly collar today! thanks so much for your help will be buying from you guys again.

        Thanks so much,

        Austin Williams #52

  9. I am looking for a helmet for my 9 year old son, he plays QB and corner. I am looking at the Schutt XP, since it is light weight. i don’t want to way him down more than necessary. That being said can you post the average weights for the different youth helmets. I’d like to consider the revo speed or DNA but they are the large offset helmets which i assume are heavier

    1. Chris,

      The average weights of football helmets aren’t readily available from Schutt and Riddell, so I weighed the Large version of six popular youth helmets we stock, to give you a general idea of where they fall. Keep in mind, these are weights only for large youth helmets, and Schutt helmets are weighed without the facemask, which can be a major contributor to weight. If you’re looking to keep the helmet as light as possible, I’d suggest purchasing a Titanium facemask separately, since they’re almost 60% lighter than a standard carbon steel facemask.

      Helmet weights:

      Schutt AiR XP Youth – 2 lbs 7 ounces
      Schutt Recruit Hybrid + Youth – 2 lbs 9 ounces
      Schutt DNA Pro + Youth – 2 lbs 8 ounces
      Schutt ION 4D Youth – 3 lbs 2 ounces
      Riddell Revolution Speed Youth – 3 lbs 8 ounces (with facemask)
      Riddell 360 Youth – 4 lbs 2 ounces (with facemask)

      Let me know if this helps, and if I missed a particular helmet you had an interest in.

      1. Thanks you have been a big help – one last question.. I can’t afford the titanium face mask, but I saw that the Air Xp offered stainless steal which is lighter than the carbon steel, but i don’t see that option for the DNA pro +, is there a stainless steal option for a youth large on the DNA pro +

        1. Schutt used to produce a stainless steel facemask for the DNA Pro +, but they were discontinued. So unfortunately, we only have titanium and carbon steel facemasks for that helmet. Thankfully though, the DNA is on the lighter side, especially for such an advanced helmet with TPU, and the carbon steel facemask shouldn’t hold him back on the field. Most youth players use a carbon steel facemask easily and comfortably.

      2. Thanks for your help – I have placed my order for a youth DNA pro plus – Navy Large, what kind of processing time is there on these?

  10. How much space can the air fill in the Schutt youth XP or DNA. My son’s head measures at 21.5 inches which would indicate he needs a medium, but if I get the medium he would only be able to use it for one year. Since the large starts at 22″ could i get away with getting him the large and then inflating the air chambers more.

    1. I always suggest, that if on the upper end of a size, and especially for youth players who are still growing, to size up and use the air liner to fill in the gap. Most air helmets with lateral air liners and jaw pads should be more than capable of filling in that half inch as he grows into the Large helmet.

  11. I am looking for the biggest helmet possible! I have a 9th grader whose head does not even fit into any of my Riddell XL helmets. Does anyone know of any manufacturer who either makes a helmet larger than an XL, OR whose helmet has a wider opening at the bottom?

    1. Schutt is still producing the ION4D, it is not discontinued. The Schutt Vengeance is the next-generation football helmet, and delivers more specialized protection with its Dual Compression TPU. The ION4D is still priced at $289.95, while the Vengeance is actually cheaper, although more highly rated, at $254.95.

        1. No we don’t stock that particular color facemask, but we are stocking the entire line of carbon steel Vengeance facemasks in Navy and Royal blue. If either of those colors don’t work for you, we can definitely special order you a Seattle Blue Vengeance facemask directly from Schutt. Just call in, at 800-693-6368, and one of our football experts will find the right facemask for your position, and get the exact color you need.

    1. Brian,

      Before the Vengeance, I could honestly say that the ION 4D was one of the most technologically advanced, and most impact-absorbing helmets out there. That was, again, before the Vengeance. The latest helmet combines the best elements from Schutt’s ION 4D and AiR XP, with the additional benefits of dual-compression TPU and a new facemask design. So if you’re on the fence, I’d suggest leaning towards the Vengeance. You’ll get everything you’d have with the ION (TPU padding, SUREFIT Air Liner, TPU jaw pads), outside of the facemask energy wedge, plus you’ll have more advanced TPU, a stronger shell, an equally impact-absorbing facemask system, and a more intimidating look. The fit is similar, as is the weight of the helmets. The price difference is also pretty negligible. So again, I’d suggest going with the latest technology, in the Schutt Vengeance.

  12. I am a sophmore in high school and I’m really stuck on what to get, a riddell 360, or a schutt vengeance with a titanium facemask. basically what matters to me is which is phisically more comfortable to wear and will last 3 years

    1. As far as their durability and reliability goes, you really can’t go wrong with either helmet here. Both should last you years, and both feature a 5 year warranty under Schutt and Riddell, so you’re covered as long as you maintain the helmets according to the stipulations of the warranty. When it comes to their physical comfort, that’s a matter of personal preference. I’ve found the 360 to provide a stiffer, more snug fit than the Vengeance. It also cradles the head with a hexagonal foam liner, which I really like. This does a great job of absorbing impact and preventing injury, but the feel may not be for everyone. On the other hand, the Vengeance feels a little heavier and has a larger offset than the 360. This is going to feel different than a more streamlined, traditional offset helmet. It also uses the SUREFIT Air Liner, along with a layer of high-impact foam, to give you a custom fit similar to what you’d get with the ION 4D or AiR XP. Obviously trying them on yourself is a sure fire way of seeing which one is best for you, but short of that, I’d go based on passed experience. If you’ve worn Riddell helmets in the past, and have found them comfortable, I’d say the 360 will provide a similar feel. If you’ve preferred the feeling of Schutt helmets like the ION or Air XP, I would lean towards the Vengeance.

  13. My son measures a 7 1/2 in. head size. Which would you recommend in the Vengeance L or Xl? He is going to be a junior in 2013 and stands now at 6′ as a off. lineman.

  14. I am deciding between the ion 4d and the vengeance but i dont know which to get and i play runningback and cornerback and can u put a visor on a vengeance?

    1. Tristan,

      I received a similar question last week, from a reader trying to decide between the Vengeance and the ION 4D as well, and I’m happy to give you the same suggestions I gave him. Before the Vengeance came out, I would say without hesitation, to look at the ION 4D. But honestly, the Vengeance has simply out-did the ION on all fronts. It’s still a great helmet, and its technology is still far and away beyond that of most other helmets. But the Vengeance has combined the best elements from the ION 4D and AiR XP, and incorporated the additional benefits of dual-compression TPU and a new facemask design. So if you go with the Vengeance, you’ll not only be getting everything you would have with the ION 4D (except the energy wedge faceguard system), but you’ll also have more advanced, safer TPU cushioning, a stronger shell, and an equally impact-absorbing facemask. Plus, let’s be honest here…the Vengeance just looks awesome. Like I told Brian last week, between the two helmets, the fit is similar, as is the weight of the helmets, and generally, the price difference is pretty negligible. So obviously, you have to lean towards personal preference, but if I had to suggest a helmet, I’d suggest going with the latest technology, in the Schutt Vengeance.

      Also, yes, a visor should fit on the Vengeance.

    1. Typically, most kids upgrade to an adult helmet sometime around 7th or 8th grade. You should definitely upgrade to an Adult helmet before starting in a high school league. However, your school or township’s league may have rules regarding what helmets the players can wear. For instance, a youth league may forbid wearing an adult polycarbonate helmet, since the material is harder and can actually cause injury to other players who are only wearing ABS plastic shells. Be sure you know your leagues rules before upgrading to an adult helmet.

    1. Good to hear Tristan! I’m sure you’ll really dig the Vengeance helmet when you get it. We’re looking forward to your order, and please let me know how it works out for you. As far as the Vengeance facemasks are concerned, there are a few really great options for running backs…and thankfully they all look really cool, in addition to protecting you and giving you great field visibility. I would definitely check out the Vengeance ROPO-AB Carbon Steel Facemask or the Vengeance EGOP Carbon Steel Facemask first. They are newly styled and specially designed for the Vengeance. If you’re interested in more traditionally styled running back facemasks, Schutt also offers the Vengeance ROPO-DW Traditional carbon steel facemask and Vengeance EGOP Traditional carbon steel facemask. Obviously, if you have the funds and want to upgrade to a titanium facemask, for lighter weight performance, we offer all of these Vengeance facemasks in titanium as well.

    1. A visor will definitely fit on the helmet with every facemask offered. You may have to remove the new twist-off facemask bumper and replace it with traditional loops, to get the visor on though. However, all of these parts come with the Vengeance helmet, so you won’t need to buy anything extra.

  15. Im 33 and play semi pro. I am interested in purchasing a vengence adult helmet my head size Is 23 (7 5/8 Hat size) I’m wondering what size helmet should I get L or XL? I’m looking to add your big grill 2.0 aqua tech face mask (5 horizon 12 diagonal) depending on the Large or XL respectively, is this possible?

    1. I would go with a size Large Vengeance. I think an XL would give you too much excess room inside the helmet, which may reduce its effectiveness on the field. The helmets fit pretty true to size, so you should be comfortable in a Large. As far as the Big Grill 2.0 aqua tech facemask is concerned, you’d be fine to order the traditional size facemask, but be sure to order the Big Grill 2.0 DNA. The Super Pro version (unless its an XL) will not fit on the Vengeance. You’re going to have to drill holes in the Vengeance shell to fit the DNA facemask, but the spots for the holes are marked clearly on the helmet itself, and doing so does not void the warranty, so you should be good to go!

  16. I am 16, play in high school. i was wondering out of the Revolution Speed, Ion 4d, Or Vengeance, which one do you prefer the most, i want the ultimate comfort and protection.

    1. Hi Anthony! That’s a great question, but one that’s tough to answer without knowing you. I can say though, that if you’re really interested in getting the top helmet in the game, with the ultimate comfort and protection, I’d suggest changing your helmet list a little bit. Unless you’re dead-set on the Speed or ION 4D (which is fine since they’re both amazing helmets), or have budget limitations (and let’s be honest, we all do these days), I would definitely narrow your search to the Schutt Vengeance and the Riddell 360. I say that, because not only are they the top two helmets from the top two helmet manufacturers on the planet, but they also incorporate and improve upon a lot of the performance, protection, and comfort features that you’d find in those other helmets like the Speed and ION. For instance, the Vengeance uses the latest Dual Compression TPU, which provides better impact protection that the original TPU found in the ION 4D. The 360, as well, uses a new padded liner that is more comfortable and absorbs more impact energy than the liner found in the Revo Speed. That being said though, a lot of players still prefer the Revo Speed for it’s lightweight comfort and shell design, and others still love the ION 4D for its unique protection system and facemask design. So if those features appeal to you, go with either of them, because they are still great all-around helmets!

      But, if you do end up narrowing down your search to these two next-generation helmets, I would take a few things into account to help decide between them; the Riddell 360 offers a hexagonal, moisture wicking liner with a soft, wicking forehead pad for complete comfort. The Vengeance uses a padded liner system made of cushioned wedges inside a durable coating. Both are incredibly breathable, but feel very different. Protection wise, the Vengeance uses two layers of TPU cushioning and a newly developed facemask system to absorb greater impact, while the 360 uses more traditional Riddell cushioning, with an upgraded shell and flexible facemask clips to reduce impact around the head and to the jaw area. Both do a great job of absorbing impact, but do it in different ways. So basically, I can’t tell you which is the “better helmet” because at the end of the day, the performance and comfort of a helmet is based on both technology and personal preference. But I can say that if you’re really looking for the best there is, these are the two helmets to look at.

  17. Hi I recently went to go look at the ion 4d and the vengence but I don’t know which one I should get I like the ion4d but it looks like the vengence has more padding on the inside.any suggestions on which one would be better?

    1. Thanks for the great question Brandon. This is definitely something a lot of players are asking about, and I’ll give you the same advice I have given others in the past. The Vengeance is the latest and greatest helmet from Schutt, and actually incorporates and improves upon, a lot of the technologies you’ll find in the ION 4D. For instance, the ION offers TPU cushioning, while the Vengeance delivers the first Dual Compression TPU (two types of TPU cushioning, designed to absorb different levels of impact force). They both use a large offset shell design to absorb more impact force, but the Vengeance is designed with an aggressive Mohawk offset shell, adding more cushioning and room to absorb force in the high-impact areas, like your forehead and back of the head. The facemask system is definitely the biggest difference between the two, and a big reason why a lot of players still choose the ION 4D. The energy wedge facemask innovation on the ION is the only one of its kind, and incorporates the facemask into the helmet, turning it into a shock absorber. The unique raised eyebrow facemask on the Vengeance attempts to create the same amount of impact absorption, but with more a traditional facemask attachment system (this also gives you a wider variety of facemask selection than you’d get with the ION 4D). So really, it’s a question of personal preference. Although the Vengeance is clearly more advanced than the ION 4D in a lot of ways, both are still great choices, and are used and trusted across the country by serious and professional players. If you’re looking for more padding specifically, I’d say go with the Vengeance simply because the DCT is a truly impressive cushioning system. But if facemask design and frontal protection is more of a determining factor, check out the ION and its energy wedge system. Either way though, you’re not going to go wrong!

  18. I have been looking everywhere for a navy blue Schutt Big Grill 2.0 DNA XL. I have found a large navy blue but I need a xl. Is there anywhere I find one.

    1. Kyle,
      We have a few Navy Big Grill 2.0 DNA XL facemasks on order with Schutt now, and are waiting for the order to be filled. I’ve looked into it, but cannot get an expected ship date or tracking information right now, so unfortunately, I can’t give you a time frame as to when we’ll be getting them in stock. What I can do, is if you give me your email address, I can send you an email as soon as we get them in stock! Sorry for the bad news, but I hope we can help.

  19. Looking to get a vengeamce for my son his head measures 21 7/8 ths should i get him the adult med or large. Also can you get a red titanium facemask? thanks

    1. I believe the Medium would be his best bet. You need a snug fit to get the most protection out of a helmet, and the adult Large would probably be too loose on his head, even with the inflatable air liners. As far as the facemask is concerned, we don’t stock titanium Vengeance facemasks in red, but if you wanted to call us at 800-693-6368, our customer service representatives can custom order you one directly from Schutt!

        1. Hi Josh, I would recommend that you go with the Large helmet size. If you right at 22″, I would suggest that you ‘size-up’ because with the inflatable liner that the Vengeance is equipped with, you can get a snug comfortable fit.

  20. Does any one know what my next option is if my son’s head is too small for a xxs football helmet??? Thanks

    1. Hi Mindy, we can’t recommend that any player play football without a proper fitting and protective helmet. Have you measured your son’s head using the proper technique? If his head is simply too small to fit right in a helmet, I would have to suggest that you wait until he grows enough for a properly fitted helmet. Remember also that with many helmets there are inflatable liners that help provide a more snug fit when pumped with air. I’m sure this is not the answer you were hoping for, but that is definitely a tough situation to be in. – Isaac

  21. I have a website x2 that I just got a concussion in. I’m probably going to but the new riddell speed flex. What hav u heard about it

    1. We are very sorry to hear about your concussion. To answer your question, we will be getting the Riddell Speedflex in March.

  22. My 14 year old 9th grader is 6’2′ and 260lbs. He is using a XL Riddell Speed football helmet with the inflatable jaw and head pads. In order to fit the helmet, comfortably, they had to take all the air out of the pads. He suffered a mild-moderate concussion during 2-a-days. Could the pads being completely deflated be the cause for the concussion? Or are the pads strictly for comfort and not any part of the protection?
    What helmet do you suggest for such a large kid?

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