10 Best Youth & Adult Football Helmets for 2021 : Concussion Prevention

With SuperBowl fever every January (or early February), it is not uncommon for more and more kids to start falling in love with football. Children are gravitating towards football more and more and the dangers are also increasing.  Luckily, organizational bodies like the NFL, NCAA, and state high school programs already have a lot of precautions in place to help prevent these injuries.

Top Youth Football Helmet Comparison Chart

Concussions can be life-threatening and career-ending for some players and we have seen multiple times, how head injuries have forced players into early retirement. With the best youth football helmets, these can be avoided and safety will be more apparent.

We have decided to find the top youth helmets and evaluate them to see how they will benefit your children and help keep them safe, but safety is not the only issue that needs to be addressed. Before we look at the best helmets, you will need to know which features are important when it comes to buying these helmets and how you could get more value for your money.

Youth Football Helmet Buyer’s Guide

Key features to look for in the best youth helmets:

When it comes to safety and limiting head injuries, no cent can be spared and it might be more expensive, but they will offer much more protection. These features could make the difference between a long and prosperous career and serious head injuries like concussions.

Durable Outer Shell

Football hits are becoming more aggressive and not every coach is focusing on shoulder-first tackles. This could really impact the amount of force felt when going into head-to-head collisions. Having a harder and more durable outer shell will reduce the impact and you could stand up and continue playing. Most helmets are rated according to standard safety measures that are constantly changing and being improved.

Comfortable Inner Padding

While protection is important, comfort is next on the list. Having an abrasion-resistant helmet can make all the difference on the playing field and when you have comfortable soft cushioning, you should be able to play with more freedom and less frequent helmet adjustments.


Fitting goes hand in hand with comfort and the helmet should be the right size for your head and skull. If the helmet does not fit comfortably, you will have problems with adjustments on the field and this could break concentration and you will slip up. We recommend doing research on the fitting to ensure that it will be perfect for you.


The visor is not all that important, but it does add another element of protection to the helmet, The visor will protect your eyes and allow you to play freely without worrying about a handoff that could gouge your eye.


The weight is important when it comes to comfort and also has an impact on the fitting. Heavier helmets are more strenuous to carry and therefore, they might add to the fatigue. Lightweight helmets can also be secure and will also reduce the amount of fatigue from wearing the helmet.

By looking for these 5 features, you can be sure that you are buying a quality helmet and that it will provide adequate protection for your head. Neck pads can also be added to help with head protection and the trusted mouth guard has been proven to reduce the rate of concussions. But, these features can be pricey and we have searched for the best, but still affordable helmets for your young ones.

With that being said, let’s look at the top helmets for youth football players:

Best Youth Football Helmet Reviews


1.   Schutt Youth AiR XP Football Helmet without Faceguard

Built from durable ABS high-impact plastic, this helmet should be a great addition to your football kit. The helmet has been designed to resist impact from hard hits and you will have much more confidence on the playing field.

The helmet also features DNA jaw pads which will work with your mouth guard to help protect your teeth and also reduce the risk of concussions. The all new valve systems will allow you to regulate the air ports and also improve the ventilation of the helmet, thus giving you more ventilation on longer drives to help the sweat clear up.

Furthermore, the TPU cushioning system is great for absorbing impact and also giving you a more secure fit and the cushioning system can also be used to regulate the heat. The cushioning system can also be removed and washed after games to promote a better and more hygienic environment.

We highly recommend this helmet for youth players and because of the low price, you will get great value for your money. The helmet is also available in multiple colors and styles to better suit your clothing and the color of your team.

The only downside of the helmet is that the blatter only holds in a limited amount of air, but this should not be a problem for everyone.


  • Lightweight and affordable
  • Optimal ventilation
  • TPU cushioning for impact absorption
  • Impact-resistant plastic outer shell


  • Limited air holding capabilities to cool you down



2.   Schutt Sports 798004 Youth Recruit Hybrid Football Helmet (Faceguard Not Included)

The Sports 798004 youth recruit helmet is another one designed from shut to give you peace of mind on the playing field. The helmet is not only lightweight, but it has been constructed with a large standoff plastic shell to help with the impact absorption.

The Surefit airliner makes this helmet fit like a glove over your head and there will be no need for constant adjustments on the field. This inner lining is also abrasion resistant and you will be able to play more comfortable with less irritation to break your concentration.

Furthermore, the TPU enhanced inner cushioning is great for promoting comfort and also helps with the shock absorption, allowing you to take bigger hits and getting up from those head to head collisions. The helmet is perfectly compatible with Shutt DNA faceguard models, but unfortunately, they are sold separately and this could drive up the price of the full helmet.

Finally, the helmet also features built-in air vents to allow ventilation and you will be able to play with less heat and sweat dripping all over the place. The TPU cushioning can also be removed and washed and the helmet is available in a multitude of colors for you to choose from.

We highly recommend this helmet for high school football players to help reduce the risk of concussions and promote confidence on the field.


  • TPU enhanced cushioning for comfort and shock absorption
  • Durable standoff plastic shell for more durability
  • Perfectly placed air vents to help with ventilation
  • Removable cushioning can be easily washed


  • Faceguard not included



3.   Schutt Sports Vengeance A3 Youth Football Helmet

Featuring advanced padding, this helmet is great for newcomers to the games and will surely build confidence on the field. The helmet is lightweight and made from durable impact resistant padding and the DNA pads will greatly reduce the risk of concussion. A mouth guard is always recommended, but the helmet will allow you to take those head-on collisions and get up unscathed.  It features a re-designed overhaul from previous iterations of the Vengeance (which just means it has a slightly lower profile and it’s marginally lighter).

The non-inflatable comfort liners will be great for keeping your head perfectly in place, thus also making the helmet abrasion-resistant. This helmet is sure to give you a great and comfortable playing experience. Furthermore, the helmet features a patented twist release system for adjustments and the soft cup chin strap for added comfort.  It further offers players Inter-Link jaw pads that are mechanically attached to the helmet.

Finally, the faceguard has not been included, but the DNA faceguard from Shutts will fit snug on the helmet and should give you optimal protection to your face. We highly recommend this for high school football players to help reduce the risk of injury and have a more confident game.


  • Integrated jaw pads
  • Good price
  • Durable impact-resistant outer shell


  • No faceguard included



4.   Xenith Youth X2E+ Football Helmet With Mask

Featuring a moldable inner cushioning system, the Xenith X2E+ Youth helmet will be a great addition to any young football player’s gear bag. The helmet molds to the shape of your head (with FitBand silicone band technology) for more comfort and this should really help with the fitting and also allow you to have more confidence in the field.

A shock suspension system allows the helmet and shell to move independently, mitigating rotational forces, and the X2E+ shock absorber technology “adapts to the hit” providing the best, protective response to linear impacts.

The padding is also covered with antimicrobial materials to help promote better hygiene and the built-in vents have been perfectly placed for better ventilation throughout longer drives.

Furthermore, the shock absorption pads have been strategically placed to help reduce impact by using air that collapses. The added Shock Bonnet works as a suspension and this will allow the helmet to move independently in contact to help deflect impact and reduce the force on your head, neck, and spine.

We highly recommend this for older youth players and even though it might be expensive, it will greatly reduce the risk of concussions and trauma to the head. It’s specifically designed for youth and intermediate players.


  • Shock Bonnet aids in deflecting impact
  • Large chin strap for a better fit
  • Antimicrobial materials to help keep away foul odors
  • Perfect ventilation for longer drives


  • Not the cheapest of the pack



5.   Schutt Sports Youth AiR Standard V Football Helmet 

Constructed with durable standoff plastic, this helmet is great for resisting impact on the playing field and it is definitely recommended by most professional players and coaches. The helmet has added protection pads to create a gap between the players head and the helmet, thus making it better at deflecting and absorbing impact.

The added Air Maxx TPU jaw pads are great for comfort, but they also add a layer of protection to the jaw area. When combined with a durable mouthguard, the risk for concussions will be greatly reduced and you will have more confidence taking hard hits and having more patience on plays.

Furthermore, the helmet features a built-in comfort liner, which will give you a better fit and help with the absorption of moisture. The added air vents will also help with ventilation and you will be much cooler on the field.

The helmet, of course, meets NOCSAE Standards (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment).


  • Constructed from popular and durable standoff plastic
  • Added faceguard for more value
  • DNA jaw pads will promote comfort and reduce the risk of concussions
  • Shock-absorbing protection pads to help deflect impact


  • Sizing can be difficult to determine



6.   Rawlings Momentum Plus Youth Football Helmet

The Rawlings Momentum plus youth helmet is one of the cheaper helmets on the list and it has also been constructed from a high impact performance Abs shell to promote durability and help reduce the impact to the skull. The added facemask has been constructed from durable stainless steel and the color perfectly matches the helmet.

On the inside of the helmet, you will have a customizable inner liner and this could greatly improve the fit of the helmet. The liner has also been fitted with shock-absorbing pads to reduce the impact from shots to the head and it will also help in deflecting head on head collisions.

At the back of the helmet, you will also find an air hole, this could be used for pumping if needed, but that might only be required every few months. The larger chinstrap and added jaw will promote a more comfortable fit and also reduce the risk of concussions.

We highly recommend this helmet for the younger players. The helmet is really affordable and should be a great gift for someone looking to try out football.


  • Added cushioning for impact resistance
  • Customizable liner for a better fit
  • Really affordable
  • Larger chinstrap to help promote a better fit


  • Not durable enough for advanced use by high school players



7.   Rawlings NRG Force Youth Football Helmet

Featuring a simpler design, the Rawlings NRG Force youth helmet really promotes safety in football and the durable ABS plastic shell will help to reduce the impact felt on the head and spine, thus making it great for taking unsuspected hits. The helmet also features an advanced heat exchange system and this will help keep your head cool on the inside of the helmet and allow more ventilation.

Furthermore, the dual-density cushioning system really promotes comfort and with the added space between the head and the outer shell, the helmet will be perfect for deflecting impact and allowing you to have more patience while playing.

Unfortunately, the faceguard has not been included and this could drive up the price, but when you look at the separate prices of the helmet and faceguard, they culminate in the same average price for youth helmets.

Finally, we highly recommend this for younger football players and you will have a lot of durability from this helmet. This will be a long-term investment once your child’s head stops growing.


  • Really affordable
  • Durable ABS outer shell
  • Great for developing patience and deflecting impact
  • Advanced heat exchange to give you a cool head


  • Faceguard is not included



8.   Schutt Sports Youth AiR Standard V Football Helmet with Grey ROPO-SW-YF Faceguard

If you are looking for a modern and different helmet that will see you stand out from the crowd, the Schutt Sports Youth Air Standard V helmet will be perfect for you. Much like its predecessors, the helmet also features a durable standoff plastic construction. This has been preferred by most players and coaches

The helmet does, however, feature and advanced new cool green liner to help with the fit and to give you more flexibility to adjust the helmet. The liner will also help absorb the moisture and give you more ventilation. The added ventilation ports will also help promote the ventilation to keep you cooler on the field.

Finally, to save you some extra money, the helmet features an already attached faceguard. This should give you great value for the total cost of the helmet. We highly recommend this helmet as an upgrade to your current helmet and you can be sure that it will last an entire high school career.


  • A new and improved version of the Shutt Sports youth air helmets
  • Advanced and colorful green liner
  • Improved padding to reduce the impact
  • Includes a faceguard


  • Inner padding is relatively thin



9.   Riddell Youth SpeedFlex Football Helmet

The Riddell Youth SpeedFlex helmet is far and away our most expensive recommendation.  If budget is less of a concern, I’d say go for this helmet for SURE!  However, it didn’t make the top of our list since we do consider budget and affordability in the overall picture.  That said, this helmet performs like a pro helmet, no question!

It receives a 5-star rating from the respected Virginia Tech Helmet Rating system.   It scored top marks even among the best helmets on the market.  It’s built with features that go beyond a “decent” helmet, like proprietary side impact protection in addition to the Riddell flexibility engineering that’s built right into the shell and mask.  Adjustment is easier with the Ratchet-Loc retention system and it has a stainless steel HS4 facemask.


  • Durable plastic outer shell
  • 5-star Virginia Tech Helmet System rated
  • Thick jaw pads to improve the fit and protection
  • Customizable inner lining
  • Easy to adjust chin strap to get that perfect fit


  • Really expensive



10.   Schutt Sports Youth Recruit Hybrid Football Helmet

Finally, we look at another top youth helmet from Shutt. The Youth recruit hybrid football helmet has also been fitted with some of the advanced technology of their other helmets. The shell has been constructed from durable plastic to help reduce impact and to allow you to take those hard shots.

The thick cushioning is great for deflecting low impact shots and the airspace between the head and the cushions will help create this deflection. Furthermore, the soft interior lining will allow your head to fit comfortably and the air vents will ensure that you have optimal ventilation.

The helmet is also extremely lightweight and this will help reduce fatigue.  We highly recommend this helmet for more advanced players in high school and it is a little expensive, but with all these features, you can be sure that you will have value for your money.


  • Durable external shell for hard hits
  • Perfect ventilation
  • Soft and easy to adjust chin strap


  • The helmet is expensive for younger players and beginners



VERY COOL – The Future is Near – But Not Here Yet!


We would like to thank you for reading this article and we hope that you have a better understanding of how football helmets work. With a lot of emphasis placed on concussions, a perfect helmet can make a huge difference on the field and in your child’s future.

We would like to encourage you to let us know if you think we may have missed any helmets and also to tell us about your experiences with these football helmets for your children

Note: I am not a doctor or medical professional and nothing on this site constitutes as medical advance.  Also, we might suggest getting a professional opinion from a doctor, trainers, coaches and manufacturers to maximize your knowledge from every angle, and to make the most informed decision.




My name's Pete Stec and I'm one of the owners here at SportConsumer.com and Sport Consumer Family (YouTube). My family and I invite you to travel our journey of wellness for your kids and family through nutrition and exercise while we continue to provide the very best reviews on the sports gear you need for serious competition or for your leisure activity!

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