Batting Helmets for Baseball

Top Rated Batting Helmets for Baseball: Best Batting Helmet Review

In today’s game, the batter is separated from the pitcher by a distance of sixty feet, six inches.  The pitcher stands on a mound, so he is, in effect, throwing the ball down at the batter.

Pitching speeds of ninety miles an hour and up are not uncommon, and several pitchers routinely break the one hundred MPH barrier.

Let’s look at what this means in terms of time for the batter.  For each pitch, the batter must determine the type of pitch, identify whether it will be a ball or a strike, comprehend the speed of the ball, begin his swing, stride, put his front foot down, and attempt to hit the ball.

Our Personal Best Choice

Best Value

DeMarini Paradox Protege Pro Batting Helmet

Best Honorable Mention

Rawlings Coolflo Youth T-ball Batting Helmet

Best Overall Model

MACH Matte Batting Helmets with Extension Flap

Given the speeds above, all this has to happen within .4 seconds.  Think about that number – .4 seconds. Now imagine a ball coming toward the head of a batter and the potential damage it could do.  This becomes a perfect lead-in to our review of ten batting helmets.

Comparison Table

In this section, we’ll do a high-level review of each helmet, assembled in table form, so you can easily see the best features of the helmet, the cost, and the overall rating and number of reviews.  Many of these helmets will have various prices based on color and size, so we’ve tried to put in the range of prices covered.  Both the ratings and prices are based on the Amazon.com site, and are current as of this writing, but are subject to change.

As far as the table, the helmets here will be displayed based on their ratings at Amazon.  The ratings are based on a scale from one-star to five-stars.  If insufficient information is available at Amazon, we will also use data from other web sites, including that of the manufacturer.

At the end of this review, we’ll give you our thoughts on some of the “best of” helmets from this review.

Product Best Features Rating (Number of Reviews) Price Range View on Amazon

Rawlings Coolflo Youth T-ball Batting Helmet

Rawlings Coolflo

  • dual-density foam,
  • meets NOCSAE standards,
  • ABS plastic,
  • pre-drilled for faceguard

4.9 out of 5
(336)

$

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DeMarini Paradox Protege Pro Batting Helmet

DeMarini Paradox Protege Pro

  • available in youth and adult sizes,
  • vented for good airflow,
  • sizing based on standard hat sizes

4.7 out of 5
(153)

$

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MACH Matte Batting Helmets with Extension Flap

MACH Matte

  • made by Rawlings,
  • available in adult or youth size,
  • face extension flap,
  • multiple colors

4.7 out of 5
(85)

$$$$

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Under Armour Converge Batting Helmet

Under Armour Converge

  • youth and adult sizes,
  • NOCSAE and SEI certified,
  • anti-microbial foam liner,
  • dual padded ear protection

4.6 out of 5
(15)

$$$

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Easton Z5 Grip 2Tone Batters Helmet

Easton Z5 Grip 2Tone

  • adult sizes,
  • two-tone coloring,
  • ABS plastic shell,
  • dual-density foam,
  • NOCSAE approved

4.4 out of 5
(85)

$$$$

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Schutt Sports AiR 5.6 Baseball Batter's Helmet

Schutt Sports AiR 5.6

  • available in up to six sizes,
  • 38 colors,
  • pre-drilled for mask and chin strap,
  • multiple vents

4.4 out of 5
(33)

$$$

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Easton Z5 Solid Baseball Batting Helmet

Easton Z5

  • for youth and adults,
  • dual-density foam,
  • high-impact ABS,
  • NOCSAE approved

4.3 out of 5
(195)

$

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Under Armour Classic Solid Molded Batting Helmet

Under Armour Classic

  • SEI, NOCSAE certified,
  • ABS shell with 12 vents,
  • youth and adult size,
  • nine colors

4.2 out of 5
(40)

$$

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Rawlings R16 Series Metallic Baseball Batting Helmet

Rawlings R16

  • attractive metallic finish in 11 colors,
  • padded jaw pads for comfort,
  • multiple vents for air circulation

4.1 out of 5
(100)

$$

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Under Armour Classic Digi Camo Batting Helmet

Under Armour Classic Digi Camo

  • same as Classic helmet but in red or tan camo design,
  • ABS shell with 12 vents,
  • youth and adult size,
  • SEI, NOCSAE approved

3.8 out of 5
(55)

$$$

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Brief History of Baseball Batting Helmets Creation

Before we switch to the next section, let’s look at a brief history of batting helmets in the major leagues.

Baseball has a long and storied history in America, dating back to the mid-1800s.  While the fundamentals of the game have remained essentially unchanged since the origin of the sport, the equipment used in the game has seen considerable evolution.  As an example, look at the position of catcher.  Initially, the catcher was completely unprotected, catching the ball with bare hands, no glove, no padding, no mask, no helmet.  As the game expanded, so did the protection for this key position.

The driver for the equipment changes for catchers was personal protection.  Early catchers suffered through many bruises and broken fingers, being hit by errant pitches or batted balls, or run down at the plate by aggressive runners.  So, for there protection, protective equipment developed to end in the current state of equipment.

Much the same trend, although at a much slower pace, can be seen looking at physical protection for the batter in baseball.

best baseball batting helmets

The first version of a helmet appeared in a 1905 patent application and was basically an air-filled balloon wrapped around the head.  A second version came out two years later and was a rubber pillow used on the side of the head of the batter facing the pitcher.  Neither caught on at a professional level.

In 1920, a major leaguer named Ray Chapman was hit in the head by a pitch from Carl Mays, and killed by the force of the impact.  Even this event did not bring radical changes to batter protection, although more and more individuals tried various solutions.  In the early 1940s, baseball’s president Ford Frick has a helmet designed that he hoped would become used in the major leagues, and in 1941, the Brooklyn Dodgers became the first team to have players wearing batting helmets.

Protective headgear became mandatory in the National League in 1956, followed shortly after by the American League in 1958.

From there, developments included flaps to cover the ears (mandatory 1983), and making all base coaches were helmets (2007).  Rawlings introduced the S100 helmet in 2009, designed to withstand pitches up to 100 MPH.  One of the latest developments has a jaw protector added to the side of the helmet facing the pitcher.  You can see a picture of this helmet below, compared to a “safety cap” from 1939.

Baseball helmets

So, given that history of the batting helmet, let’s take a closer look at what you need to know before purchasing a batting helmet.

Buying Guide

The purpose of this section is to give you some more detailed information on various features, characteristics, and specifications relevant to batting helmets.  While, on paper, many of these helmets may seem virtually identical, there may be design or specification items that make one superior to another.  Our goal here is to help you identify those factors, understand them, and allow you to make a more informed buying decision.

We won’t go into a lot of detail in this section, but rather try to give you an overview of what is important when looking at these batting helmets.  While in many cases price will be a major factor in your selection, for the most part, the prices are in a relatively tight range among these ten helmets.  So, rather than price, we recommend a value-driven buying decision, one based on the combination of features and price that makes the most sense for your individual needs.

Sizes

Sizes

You’ll note a variation in the way these helmets are marketed and sold relative to size.  Some are sold in a “one size fits all” configuration to youth and adults.  Others are sold in standard small, medium, and large sizes, occasionally with extra-small or extra-large available.  Still, others equate their size charts based on standard hat sizes.  The most important thing in sizing a batting helmet is to make sure there is a secure, comfortable fit.  Without a proper fit, many of the safety characteristics of the helmet could be reduced in effectiveness.

Vents

Vents

Each of these helmets will have some number of vent holes to permit airflow within the helmet and keep the wearer cool and comfortable.  The size and location of these vents will determine how much airflow is enabled.  There are a few of these helmets with an additional vent hole cut in the back of the helmet to accommodate a ponytail for the longer-haired batters.Baseball helmet vents

Safety Testing and Certification

Safety Testing and Certification

Batting helmets SAFETY TESTING AND CERTIFICATIONBatting helmets, after all, are a self-protection safety device and should be able to perform as such.  There are two agencies primarily used to validate the protective ratings of these batting helmets.  The first is the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).  The other major testing institute is the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI).  You should look for either NOCSAE or SEI certifications on any helmet you may choose to purchase.

Padding/Foam

Padding/Foam

While the plastic shell of the batting helmet provides the initial layer of protection to the batter, it is the foam and padding inside the shell that absorbs the energy from the ball and protects the user.  The better helmets should have a dual-density foam padding to provide an acceptable level of protection.  The high-density foam provides shock absorption, and the low-density foam is for the comfort of wear.  These paddings will typically be made of polyurethane or polypropylene.  You will also run across specialty foams with added protection by way of micro bacterial agents to protect against bacteria and others that absorb odors, usually in the form of a liner above the foam.

Baseball helmet's foam

Pre-Drilled Helmets

Pre-Drilled Helmets

Most of these helmets do not come standard with the additional jaw protection (see the picture below).  If you feel this protection is needed in addition to the basic helmet protection, you can look for a helmet pre-drilled to accept the jaw protection and purchase the insert separately.  Many of these helmets are also pre-drilled to accept a chin strap.  The chin strap will provide one extra level of security to make sure the helmet stays on while batting or running the bases.

Pre-Drilled Baseball Helmet

Material of Construction

Material of Construction

The vast majority of baseball batting helmets will have an ABS plastic shell.  ABS is an engineered plastic, designed for high impact protection, lightweight, and minimal cracking and breakage due to impact.  It’s very widely used, and you’ll find it in everything from computer keyboards to LEGO bricks.

Left-Hand/Right-Hand

Left-Hand/Right-Hand

Based on the design of the helmet, it may be important to consider whether the batter is normally batting left-handed or right-handed.  Some helmets will have additional protection on the side of the helmet that will face the pitcher, so choosing the correct design is important.  This is also a consideration for those batting helmets pre-drilled to accept jaw and facial protection inserts.

Left hand or right hand Pre-Drilled Baseball Helmet

Best Baseball Batting Helmets Review

Rawlings Coolflo Youth T-ball Batting Helmet – Best Honorable Mention

Listed as a t-ball helmet, it has several comments stating it can be used for older players also.  It has full safety approvals and is pre-drilled to support adding a face mask and chin strap.  It’s available in five different colors, but with a pretty steep price increase from basic black.  One size fits all for a stated hat size range.

Rawlings Coolflo

Youth T-ball

Batting Helmet

Features and specifications:

- coolflo technology offers multiple vents for good airflow

- rawlings is the official batting helmet of Major League Baseball, so a good pedigree for this helmet

- NOCSAE approved, with pre-drilled features for adding face mask and/or chin strap

- dual-density foam for comfort and protection

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Pros

Pros
  • Good starter helmet for young players; #1 bestseller at Amazon
  • Budget-priced, especially in basic black (lowest cost of the ten reviewed here)
  • 9 rating for durability, value, and comfort

Cons

Cons
  • Price for colors is almost double the price of the base model black helmet

DeMarini Paradox Protege Pro Batting Helmet – Best Value

This low-profile, gloss finish helmet is quite attractive yet fully functional.  It’s available in a youth size, and two larger sizes for older children and adults.  The dual-density padding is custom fit within these size parameters.  Available in six colors, all priced in a reasonably close range.

DeMarini Paradox

Protege Pro

Batting Helmet

Features and specifications:

- NOCSAE and SEI approved in all sizes

- multiple vents for improved cooling and ventilation

- #11 bestseller at Amazon

Check Price!

Pros

Pros
  • Lightweight helmet, available in sizes up to 7-5/8”
  • Eight ratings for comfort and value
  • Well-padded ear flaps

Cons

Cons
  • Some complaints about the condition on receipt. Maybe poor packaging or helmet previously returned?

MACH Matte Batting Helmets with Extension Flap – Best Overall

This helmet, made by Rawlings, is available for both youth and adults and comes with a standard faceguard extension piece.  The high-performance padding absorbs and disperses any impact, and the helmet is NOCSAE approved.

MACH Matte

Batting Helmets

with Extension Flap

Features and specifications:

- available in nine colors

- must order for a right-handed or left-handed batter

- large and well-placed ventilation holes

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Pros

Pros
  • #3 best seller on Amazon
  • Rawlings name and reputation
  • Improved facial protection

Cons

Cons
  • Base price is the most expensive of the ten reviewed here
  • Chinstrap can’t be added without drilling extra holes

Under Armour Converge Batting Helmet

Known originally for their athletic clothing, Under Armour has recently branched out into sporting equipment.  This is a one size fits all helmet for players over twelve to adults.  It comes in five colors and meets all safety standards.  Special Charged foam cushioning is designed to reduce impact, much like the liners in footwear.

Under Armour Converge

Batting Helmet

Features and specifications:

- anti-microbial treatment of foam to eliminate odors and bacteria

- extra padding around ears

- raised side ribs to disperse impact

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Pros

Pros
  • Special impact absorbing and dispersing foam cushioning
  • Several good comments on sizing, fit, and durability

Cons

Cons
  • Only 15 customer reviews are Found only one more review on two different web sites.

Easton Z5 Grip 2Tone Batters Helmet

This helmet is available in four different sharp-looking two-tone finishes (one of which is almost double the price of the others).  This model is an adult helmet and is built from high-impact resistant ABS plastic.  It meets all safety standards, and the extra ear padding makes this helmet very durable.

Easton Z5 Grip

2Tone Batters Helmet

Features and specifications:

- dual-density foam for shock absorption and comfort

- wicks away moisture with Bio-Dry liner

- adaptable to any Easton softball or baseball cage accessory

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Pros

Pros
  • Solid helmet, works well for players of any age or experience
  • Dual-density foam with wicking liner increase comfort of the helmet

Cons

Cons
  • Fairly steep price premium over the base one-color helmet (reviewed later)

Schutt Sports AiR 5.6 Baseball Batter’s Helmet

This high-tech helmet bears a close resemblance to football helmet protection, not unexpected, as Schutt is a major producer of football helmets.  A special patented polymer foam locks together to absorb impact efficiently and provides improved protection over standard foam padding.

Schutt Sports AiR 5.6

Baseball Batter's Helmet

Features and specifications:

- the medium-priced helmet comes in 38 different colors

- 14 vent holes for optimal ventilation and aeration

- the helmet is produced using ABS plastic for maximum impact resistance

- pre-drilled holes for softball guard or chin strap

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Pros

Pros
  • Extra protection for the player because of the polymer foam padding
  • #15 best-selling helmet on Amazon
  • Huge selection of available color combinations

Cons

Cons
  • limited number of reviews (33), 66% are 5-star

Easton Z5 Solid Baseball Batting Helmet

This is virtually the same Easton helmet as reviewed above, but in four solid colors rather than the two-tone finish offered on the other helmet.  If you can skip the two-tone fashion, this helmet has the same features for half the price.  It has the same performance characteristics and comes in senior and junior sizes.  It meets the NOCSAE standards for baseball helmets.

Easton Z5 Solid

Baseball Batting Helmet

Features and specifications:

- dual-density foam padding for comfort and impact resistance

- bio-dri liner to wick away sweat

- ABS plastic shell for impact resistance

Check Price!

Pros

Pros
  • About half the price of the two-tone helmet
  • Rated for up to 80MPH impact
  • #10 best-selling helmet on Amazon

Cons

Cons
  • Complaints about helmet finish (glossy received vs. matte as shown)
  • The durability of inside padding a concern

Under Armour Classic Solid Molded Batting Helmet

This classic helmet comes in nine solid colors, with both youth and adult sizes available, and has an outer shell designed for maximum ventilation.  Meeting all NOCSAE standards, it features double density foam for comfort and protection.  It’s adaptable for a face cage or chin strap.

Under Armour Classic

Solid Molded

Batting Helmet

Features and specifications:

- dual-density foam padding for comfort and impact resistance

- ponytail channel cut into the rear of the helmet

- twelve vents provide good airflow and ventilation

- one size fits all for adults and youth

Check Price!

Pros

Pros
  • Dual-density foam liner for protection and comfort
  • Budget-priced helmet

Cons

Cons
  • Only 68% of ratings are 5-star (40 total ratings)
  • Complaints about the sizing of the helmet

Rawlings R16 Series Metallic Baseball Batting Helmet

This is the last of the Rawlings helmets in this review.  Like the others, it’s MLB approved and comes in eleven colors with a metallic finish.  The shell is ABS and has multiple vents to support good airflow.  It is all set to add a face cage and meets all safety standards.

Rawlings R16 Series

Metallic Baseball

Batting Helmet

Features and specifications:

- wrapped and padded cheek pads for extra facial protection

- available in senior and junior sizes

- multiple large, well-placed air vents for comfort

Check Price!

Pros

Pros
  • Budget-priced, ranging from $19 – $30
  • Positive comments about fit, overall quality, and protection

Cons

Cons
  • Many complaints about the metallic finish, especially in orange color. It looks like a flat finish.

Under Armour Classic Digi Camo Batting Helmet

This helmet, designed for players age 12 and up, is the upper end of the three Under Armour helmets reviewed here.  It has a one size fits all dual-density foam liner, and is made of ABS plastic.  It’s available in red and a tan camo designs and meets all NOCSAE standards.

Under Armour

Classic Digi Camo

Batting Helmet

Features and specifications:

- the helmet has extended coverage over cheekbones

- pre-drilled for cage and chin strap

- ponytail channel in the back of the helmet

Check Price!

Pros

Pros
  • Many positive comments around design and fit
  • Good safety features in the basic model, and face guard available at extra cost

Cons

Cons
  • The lowest rating of the ten helmets, with second-highest price

FAQ

If I don’t like any of the batting helmets featured here, what type of price range could I expect elsewhere?

The price ranges here are typical of entry-level youth helmets, up to academic level players.  Helmets designed for professional-level baseball players may run over $150.

Is a jaw guard accessory really needed?

Needed?  Depending on the level of competition, maybe yes, maybe no.  It’s not likely ball speeds in the t-ball level would reach the speed needed to do serious damage.  However, one trip to the dentist will likely well exceed the cost of the accessory.  So, bottom line, we would recommend adding jaw and face protection at any level.  It’s also easier to adjust to the presence of jaw protection at a younger age than starting to wear one later in your development.

I’ve seen helmets with a faceguard cage, similar to that of a football helmet. Would these be good for use in standard baseball?

We would never say no to enhanced safety.  The cage type guards are typically seen in softball games.  The circumference of a softball is larger than that of a standard baseball and cannot fit through the opening left around the cage.  A baseball, being smaller, may be able to get through that opening.  If you do elect to try this size helmet, make sure it is appropriate for the size of the ball in the game.

Can these baseball batting helmets be worn with glasses?

In most cases, they can be worn with glasses.  However, it would be wise to check the fit based on the cut and lines of the particular helmet.  You should make sure that the glasses are entirely maintained within the confines of the helmet.  The glasses themselves should also be suitable for playing baseball.

I want to add some accessories to my helmet, such as a chin strap, replacement padding, etc. Do I need to buy from the manufacturer, or can I purchase some of the “one size fits all” after-market pieces?

In most cases, the after-market pieces will fit various helmets.  A good example might be chin straps, where the size and length would be fairly standard.  We would, however, recommend taking a look at the manufacturer’s direct replacement equipment.  You will likely get a better fit, and enhanced safety, by purchasing original equipment.

Conclusion

As we noted earlier, we’ve compiled our picks for some of the “best of” helmets from this list.  Let’s summarize them below:

Best Value

DeMarini Paradox Protege Pro Batting Helmet

Best Honorable Mention

Rawlings Coolflo Youth T-ball Batting Helmet

Best Overall Model

MACH Matte Batting Helmets with Extension Flap

I struggled a little bit choosing between the DeMarini Paradox, the Rawlings Coolflo, and the Easton Z5 Solid.  In the end, I passed on the Rawlings helmet, only because it is only available in small youth sizes.  It is a great value, though, and certainly warrants the honorable mention.  The DeMarini has a higher rating than the other two and has comparable pricing to the Easton, so on that basis, gets the best value award.

Batting helmets are all about safety, and having the standard extension flap to enhance player safety was a game clincher. MACH is admittedly a little pricier than the others but brings in a very solid 4.7 rating.

So, that wraps up this review and discussion on the best baseball batting helmets.  Hopefully, the information here will be helpful to you in making your own purchase.  Happy hitting!

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