The chinstrap does a lot more than the name implies. Besides protecting the chin, a quality chin strap ensures a safe helmet fit.
You should invest in a hard cup chinstrap because the basic chinstrap that comes with most helmets is flimsy, thin, and unreliable.
It is enough to snap onto a helmet, but if you get hit in the jaw wearing the basic chinstrap, you better hope you have good dental insurance.
You don’t see anything but hard cup chinstraps in the NCAA and NFL. There is a reason for that.
With the money circulating within these entities, they can afford to supply their players with safe, top-quality equipment.
If the basic chinstrap were to be considered the safest piece of equipment, these players would be wearing that instead. But that’s simply not the case.
You’re going to get hit hard in football. A lot of times it could be helmet to helmet; with chances of getting hit on the chin.
Wearing a chinstrap with a plastic hard cup will decrease the chances of jaw and chin injuries tremendously.
Features to look for in a Chin Strap
An effective chin strap is one with hard material, to defend the chin.
There are plenty of times, especially at the high school or middle school level, where people end up breaking their jaw because they are wearing the basic soft cup chinstrap, which only helps secure the helmet to the head.
When looking for a chinstrap that serves its purpose, you want a hard cup for protection, and some sort of padding on the inside that makes it comfortable to wear. This padding could consist of foam, gel, or sometimes even both.
In addition to padding, breathability is significant when considering a chinstrap because of sweat build-up, which will result in acne. Let’s face it, you’re bound to sweat participating in any sport; particularly football.
With that being said, something to consider is ventilation throughout your skin so that you decrease the amount of acne you get due to sweat build up.
The ideal chinstrap that will protect you while keeping you feeling secure and comfortable should start off by having a hard plastic cup where the chin should be.
A good cup should contain air holes to keep the chin dry with open pores. Furthermore, you want the interior of the plastic cup to be something soft that will stay dry while keeping you safe from impact.
In addition to the chin protection, you will want straps that are durable and strong. They are the key to adjusting the chinstrap to the fit that is best for you.
Since you use the metal snap pieces to connect the chinstrap to the helmet, it is extremely important to make sure you adjust the chinstrap correctly to your fit.
If the product is adjusted too tight or too loose, you run the chance of getting hurt on the field.
The 5 Best Chin Strap Reviews
Note: Since I don’t believe that the standard vinyl soft cup chinstraps are safe or effective, I’m going to only rate hard cup chin straps. However, at the end of this list, I have included two soft chin strap covers, which are meant to be used in conjunction with another hard chin strap.
With 4 colors and a 4.6 out of 5.0 rating on Amazon, the SportStar makes it to the top of our list for this year. It fits a high, medium or low hook up and it is one of the absolute MOST impact absorbent chinstraps in the world!
That’s a tall claim, but the quality seems to back it up. Evolution gel gives you a hydraulic custom fit for comfort and ultimate protection. It also offers anti-microbial protection so it won’t stink and rot (so much!).
The gel has a mesh over it but it really doesn’t bother your skin much, plus the gel offers a cooling element during an otherwise hot and sweaty scenario.
The T-Rex foam effectively wicks sweat away from that part of your face as well! And, other than the Xenith helmet, the SportStar can be used with all football helmets.
However, it does need an adaptor (SportStar Flex) for use with the Riddell SpeedFlex helmet.
- Claims to be the most impact-resistant/absorbent chin strap on planet Earth!
- Gel interior offers cooling, protection, and custom fit
- Anti-microbial qualities
- Won’t fit Riddell Speedflex helmets without an added adaptor
- More expensive than most other chin straps
Those who have reviewed this chinstrap have claimed that it is very comfortable and extremely durable. The UA Gameday chinstrap cup is made with special material called “Armour flex”, which is very durable.
It’s very unlikely that the plastic will break despite the hardest hits. So if you’re a physical player who is always such as a lineman or linebacker, you may want to take a look at this product.
Also, the inside liner looks like it’s made of comfortable material that wouldn’t scrape or hurt your chin.
When it comes to Under Armour, they are well known for producing top-quality material. The Gameday chin strap is no exception. If you want something secure with excellent quality and protection, go for this chin strap.
- Armour flex material is very durable, so no matter how hard you hit, you will be protected
- Thick interior material won’t scrape your chin
- Some have reported that this unit sometimes can unclip from helmet
The Shock Doctor brand is primarily known for its superior mouth guards, so it is news to me that they also produce chin straps. The Shock Doctor chinstrap looks just a reliable as their mouth guards.
The hard cup exterior makes it easier to take helmet hits to the chin. In addition, the interior seems to have the same durable material as the mouth guards, so expect this to last for a long time.
The element of this chin strap that intrigues me the most is its affordability. Starting at just $11 USD, this chinstrap is the best product to buy for the price.
The leather straps look very strong and durable so it is unlikely that your helmet will be wobbly while using this product.
- Very Affordable
- Interior is made of top quality material which is proven to absorb impact well
- VERY adequate protection
- Less comfortable than expected by some
The Schutt hard cup chinstrap is good for someone looking for color variety since it is available in up to 12 different colors.
If you were to choose a color other than white, the chin strap cup and straps would be your color of choice while the foam padding on the inside would be white.
Besides that, this chinstrap passes the tests of an effective chin strap. Similar to the Riddell chinstrap, the Schutt product has a hard cup secured with two screws, four ventilation holes, and four straps to attach to the helmet.
Using this chin strap, you’ll get chin protection, ventilation to prevent acne, and strong vinyl straps for security. The only negative I would mention is that the straps do not look like they support a helmet with high snaps.
- Sturdy hard cup secured with two screws
- Four ventilation holes for maximum airflow
- Plenty of color options
- Looks like this product only supports helmets with low snaps
The second Shock Doctor product on the list, this chin strap seems to have potential. The internal foam pad is removable, so you can keep it clean and prevent acne.
The inside also has a gel component to it for extra comfort and impact absorption. The hard cup sports the Under Armour logo directly in the middle and lacks air holes so it would be a good idea to take advantage of the removable interior.
Besides the lack of ventilation, I’m not the biggest supporter of this chin strap because of the low structured straps.
From the looks of it, it seems as though this chin strap only supports helmets with low snaps, while most, if not all helmets have 3 snaps on each side.
This product comes in red/white, black, and solid white on Amazon.
- Design looks unique
- Interior pads are removable
- Special ArmourFuse technology absorbs impact well
- Looks like it only supports lower level snaps
- No “true” air openings
- Vinyl straps have the potential to build up dirt and sweat, resulting in skin irritation
You want a quality chin strap to protect your chin. You also want something other than the standard because you are more likely to be extremely comfortable and less likely to get hurt or acquire acne.
Based on this list, I would go with the top 3: Riddell, Under Armour, and Shock Doctor. All three of these brands have proved to be reliable manufacturers time and time again, so I would go with these off the bat.
On top of that, the hard cup, ventilation, and quality aspect of these chinstraps all pass the test of the most effective chin straps.
By buying a chin strap with a hard cup and good material, you get to look good, feel good, and minimize the chances of you possibly breaking your jaw or causing significant damage to your chin.