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:
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.
Hexagonal 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.
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.
In 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.
Mechanically 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.
New 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.
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.