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You may not think having the best hockey neck guard is necessary, but it could save your life—just ask goalie Clint Malarchuk. During a game in 1989, an opponent skated into him, sliced his jugular artery, and he nearly bled to death on the ice. This is the quintessential reason every ice hockey player needs a neck guard. Check out our hockey neck guard reviews and ratings below.
Wearing a neck guards, sometimes known as bibs, is just as important as wearing hockey shoulder pads or hockey gloves. There are a lot of different neck guards out there, and it can be difficult to find the right one for you. Knowing this, we’ve looked at as many neck guards as we could find to bring you a selection of only the best ones. Here are the top five best hockey neck guards.
In This Article
The CCM RBZ 100 Hockey Neck Guard for Youths is the best hockey neck guard because it uses an ultra-soft inner liner that won’t irritate your child’s neck or cause chafing while they play.
The CCM RBZ 100 Neck Guard’s design helps prevent cuts and reduces neck injuries. It has a soft inner liner that is comfortable and does not cause any irritation of the skin. Its contoured style follows the natural curve of the neck, and it has an adjustable Velcro strap to fit it securely around a child’s neck with the proper diameter.
The materials used to make it are foam covered by polyester fabric. It is approved for junior hockey players by the Bureau of Normalization of Québec (BNQ). If you need basic protection for your child’s neck, this is a decent choice in the category of the best hockey neck guard; however, it is not big enough to fit on an adult. There are other CCM models for adults.
- Easily affordable
- Inner liner won’t cause rashes or chafing
- Velcro adjustable strap helps customize the fit
- This model is not available for adults
The Shock Doctor Ultra Hockey Neck Guard in Black is the best hockey neck guard because it comes in three sizes to fit hockey player of all ages, and it’s made from cut-resistant fabric.
The Shock Doctor Ultra Neck Guard is lightweight, comfortable, and flexible. There is a nice contour of its shape that fits snugly around the neck. It comes in three sizes: one for youth, one for juniors, and one for seniors. The adjustable Velcro strap allows placement of the guard around the neck at the desired diameter for a secure and comfortable fit.
I like the durability of the materials, which are cut-resistant fibers. It also has a reinforced core, which helps give it more strength. The outer material is durable, and the inner lining is soft against the neck. This neck guard also has certification by the Bureau of Normalization of Québec (BNQ).
- Ergonomic and comfortable design
- Available in many sizes
- Made from special cut-resistant fibers
- Not strong enough to protect from any puck’s impact
The A&R Neck Guard for Hocky and Sports is the best hockey neck guard because it’s a great low-cost option that is made from ballistic nylon, which is cut and tear-resistant.
This A&R Sports Hockey Neck Guard is great for hockey players on a budget. It provides minimal protection from cuts only. The fabric material is ballistic nylon, which was invented during World War II to use for flak jackets. Ballistic nylon was supposed to provide some protection against shrapnel, bullets, and other ballistic projectiles. This material was the precursor to Kevlar, which was invented later for use in making bullet-proof vests.
Ballistic nylon is tear-resistant in any direction but is not strong enough to stop a bullet. Nevertheless, ballistic nylon is thick and strong. It is difficult to cut this material, so it does provide some protection for cuts on the neck from skate blades or hockey sticks. It comes in three sizes: child, junior, and senior. Each guard has an adjustable Velcro strap for an easy fit.
- Best price for a neck guard
- Easy to put on
- Available in three sizes
- Only protects against cuts
The Bauer Youth NG NLP7 Core Neck Guard Collar is the best hockey neck guard because it uses Thermo Max+ material on the inner lining that keeps your neck dry from sweat by helping it evaporate quickly.
The Bauer HockeyYouth NG NLP7 Core Neck Guard Collar uses special materials to be more comfortable. The interior material is Thermo Max+, and it keeps the neck area drier by absorbing moisture and then evaporating it outwards. Covering this Thermo Max+ material is strong, reinforced nylon that is resistant to cuts. This neck guard is soft and padded for comfort.
It is lightweight, and the material used to make it is thin. The guard is adjustable using the Velcro strap on the back. This neck guard has a certification by the Bureau of Normalization of Québec (BNQ) and CE. The CE certification method is for countries in the European Economic Area (EEA). CE certification is for health, safety, and environmental protection standards, so you can be confident you’re receiving a quality product.
- Can be adjusted as needed
- Inner lining wicks away moisture
- Gives good coverage to youth-sized necks
- Only youth sizes available
The Proguard Youth Hockey and Sport Neck Protector is the best hockey neck guard because it uses a terry-cloth inner lining that is soft against the neck and has reinforced stitching for extra strength.
The Proguard Youth Neck Protector has a design for easy fit and comfort. On the exterior side, it has ballistic nylon that is tough and resistant to blade cuts. On the inside portion is a soft, terry-cloth material that is gentle on the skin. That makes this guard very comfortable to wear. This is a youth-sized guard that has a unique loop fastener with a Velcro closure. This makes it easily adjustable.
I like the closure because it is secure, plus because it adjusts, this allows the guard to be in use for years as a child grows up and gets bigger. The sewing on this guard is nice, and the seams are very strong. This type of neck guard will last many years if taken care of properly.
- Sewing is very strong and the materials are high quality
- Inner terry-cloth lining is very soft to the touch
- Velcro loop closure is easy to adjust to the correct size
- Only available in youth sizes
Features to Consider for the Best Hockey Neck Guard
Neck guards are one piece of important gear for hockey, and they should be considered just as essential as hockey elbow pads are. Reading hockey neck guard reviews is helpful, but you also need to consider the different features each guard has. Important features to consider when choosing a neck guard include size, materials, neck coverage, and comfort.
There are two dimensions to think about when considering the proper size for a neck guard. One is the adjustable diameter of the neck guard so that it fits snugly in place without creating the feeling of choking the person. The neck guard should not move around so that is causing an abrasion, and it should not interfere with turning the head easily. Wearing one should not make the player feel like they have a stiff neck or make the neck sore. Neck guards are overall quite small, so they can easily be packed into a hockey equipment bag without taking up much space.
For materials choices, you want to choose the best hockey neck guard that has a very tough exterior and a soft material on the interior. Material such as ballistic nylon is very difficult to cut so it is a good choice to consider for the exterior that provides the protection. Softer materials on the inside, such as terry-cloth, that may rub against the neck are very desirable to make a neck guard feel better when wearing it. Some materials can wick away the moisture that otherwise might collect under the neck guard against the skin. This type of high-tech material makes the guard stay drier and feel nicer to the wearer.
While a neck guard is one of the most essential skate accessories and hockey apparel, it is less useful if it leaves a large portion of the neck area exposed. Some people have a short neck, so a taller neck guard is less suitable for them. Others have a tall neck, and the problem with a short neck guard is that it can deflect an angled slice to the edge of the guard and still allow a cut to happen in an unprotected area. That defeats the entire purpose of wearing a neck guard. A perfectly-fitted neck guard will extend down to the collarbone and up to just below the chin.
You will quickly realize how important comfort is for your choice when you try to get a kid to wear a neck guard. They all take some getting used to, but an uncomfortable neck guard will frequently be left in the sports bag by a younger player who refuses to wear it. If a neck guard makes you feel like you are choking, then, nobody is going to want to put it on. The most comfortable ones feel like wearing a heavy scarf on a cold winter’s day. That is the pleasant feeling you are trying to achieve with your choice of a neck guard.
Benefits of Using Hockey Neck Guards
Unless you like the idea of bleeding from a gash across your neck, the benefits of wearing the best hockey neck guard should be obvious. If you have any thought of being a goalie, you must wear neck protection and other protection, such as a special goalie helmet, as well. Even the regular players need to wear a neck guard. Hockey skates have blades that can potentially do damage under the right circumstances, and the blade of a hockey stick can cut your neck as well. Youth players need to be cared for, so they do not get seriously hurt.
One other benefit of wearing the best hockey neck guard is that it will give you some added protection if you get into a fight. Fights are a risk in hockey, and if you ever throw down with an opposing team’s enforcer, a neck guard can be extremely useful for protecting yourself. You can think of wearing a hockey guard as extra protection if an opponent tries to clobber you with their stick. I don’t encourage you to get into fights, but if you ever find yourself in one, extra protection is always a good thing.
Precautions of Using Hockey Neck Guards
Don’t be led into a false sense of security when wearing a neck guard. Even the best hockey neck guard in this category will only provide some protection against cuts. It will do very little to stop a puck from breaking your larynx if you take a full-frontal hit in the throat from a puck.
That is what happened to Malcolm Subban when he played as goalie for the Providence Bruins in 2016. A puck at top speed travels at up to 100 miles per hour. When Subban took a hit in the neck, he was not able to speak for two months while he was in intensive recovery. Even the best hockey neck guard in this category will not be able to protect you from breaking your neck if you fall, either. Only hope that the best hockey neck guard reduces the chances of being cut by skates or the blade of a hockey stick and you will have the correct attitude about the value of this protection.
My choice for the best hockey neck guard is the CCM RBZ 100 Hockey Neck Guard for Youths. I needed to get one for my nephew who is only ten years old and just starting to play the sport. I have a CCM model that is sized for an adult senior, so I was already familiar with the brand.
Besides its ability to prevent cuts, it feels very comfortable when wearing it. I was really happy to have my CCM guard on when one time I was hit across the neck with the edge of a hockey blade that got knocked towards me by another player. I was so happy when I realized that it saved me from getting a bad cut across my neck. This is why I insist that my young nephew wear one. He is very happy to wear the same brand as I do.
I hope these hockey neck guard reviews have helped you!