The Best Goalie Masks for 2023 (with Reviews)
Undoubtedly, the goalie mask is the most recognizable piece of equipment for the position. It keeps the goalie safe, yet also provides a canvas of expression like you see on nearly every professional goalie. The mask is designed to protect both the head and much of the neck of the goalie, allowing them to feel confident and safe in facing even the most difficult of shots. Today’s masks have come a long way from the masks of year’s past. The masks you’ll find on the market today are made most commonly of high-end composites (fiberglass, carbon fiber, aramid/Kevlar) or polycarbonate, and have a vast range of shapes, sizes, and prices. Be sure to check out our full selection of goalie masks.
In this article, we’ll cover:
Overview: Simply put, the Bauer 960 is a legend. From its humble beginnings as a Jerry Wright design and later brought under the Itech name, the 960’s classic styling has inspired generations of goalie masks and designers and yet the 960 still stands today as the premier mask in Bauer’s lineup. The latest 960 model features a Smacwrap composite shell and upgraded Poron XRD padding compared to previous models.
- Smacwrap composite shell
- Poron XRD and IX Foam liner
- Certified straight bar cage
Overview: The CCM Axis Pro Senior mask is the premier mask in CCM’s lineup, featuring pro-level construction with a modern CCM design. The shell is constructed of Pro Carbon fiber with Sigmatex, creating a lightweight and protective shell. D3O smart foam is used extensively through the liner to absorb energy with I.Q.Shion Gel placed strategically for increased comfort on long ice sessions.
- Pro Carbon Fiber shell with Sigmatex
- D3O Smart Foam liner with I.Q.Shion Gel for comfort
- Pod Matrix fluid gel pods strategically placed for shock absorption
Overview: Presented as Warrior’s first dip into the goalie mask segment, Warrior has spent many years of development creating a pro-level mask to compete with the best. A slick, modern designed shell features a lightweight and strong Minimus Carbon G1200 structure. Warrior has created their OMNIshock+ liner system, combining multiple advanced foams for both great comfort and excellent protection.
- Minimus Carbon G1200 shell
- OMNIshock+ foam system featuring X Foam and IMPAX foam
- Invisible backplate strap system
Overview: The Bauer NME ONE is Bauer’s latest pro-level NME line mask. The ONE is packed with technology, includingAdvanced Carbon Layering for the shell, Poron XRD in the cheeks and a Defense Cloud Tech foam liner. ACL material wraps from the top of the head down to the chin to help reduce chipping but is strategically reinforced for evern more protection. The liner features extensive use of Poron XRD foam in the cheeks and a DCT Liner, protection and comfort have perfectly intersected in the Bauer NME ONE helmet.
- Advanced Carbon Layering
- Poron XRD and Defense Cloud Tech liner
- Non-Certified Cat Eye stainless steel cage with SAW hardware
Overview: The CCM Axis A1.9 mask is based on the shell design of the Axis Pro but in a more affordable mid-level construction. The shell is composed of fiberglass with carbon fiber reinforcements in the high impact areas of the forehead and chin. D3O smart material and I.Q.Shion Gel is retained in the liner for maximum comfort and shot dampening.
- D3O and I.Q.Shion Gel featured in foam liner
- Fiberglass shell with carbon fiber reinforcements
- Triple density chin cup with D3O
Overview: With the same sleek, modern design of the Ritual R/F1 Pro, the R/F1 Senior+ mask offers the same styling at a more affordable mid-level cost. The shell is constructed of Minumus Carbon G1000 and retains the OMNIshock+ liner system with IMPAX foam for excellent comfort.
- Minimus Carbon G1000 shell construction
- OMNIshock+ liner system with IMPAX foam strategically placed throughout
- Certified straight bar cage
Overview: The Warrior Ritual R/F1 Senior goalie mask utilizes the same shell shape as the R/F1 Pro and Senior+ masks, offering optimized chin mobility and vision. This polycarbonate shell mask is designed for the beginner-intermediate goalie and takes the OMNIshock system and IMPAX foam to improve protection.
- OMNIshock foam system
- IMPAX foam in key areas
- Polycarbonate shell
Overview: Based around the same shell design as the CCM Axis Pro mask, the A1.5 mask features a polycarbonate shell and multi-layered vinyl nitrile foams in a more budget friendly option for the beginner to intermediate goalies.
- Multi-layered vinyl nitrile foams for comfort
- Stainless steel certified straight cage
- Polycarbonate shell
Overview: Using the same aggressive styling as the NME series masks, the Bauer 930 goalie offers a budget alternative to higher-end masks. Featuring a Lexan EXL shell and a comfort foam liner, the Bauer 930 mask is well suited for beginner and intermediate goalies.
- Lexan EXL shell
- Comfort foam liner
- Enhanced Puck View certified cage
Shell: The shell is the most critical part of the mask and is what distinguishes higher end masks from budget alternatives. Pro level masks frequently feature proprietary carbon fiber, aramid fiber, and fiberglass blends to create the ideal combination of weight, strength, and durability. Lower end budget friendly masks generally are constructed of polycarbonate or similar material and while they retain durability, they lack the greater rigidity that composite constructed masks offer.
Cage: There are three main types of cage: Non-certified cat eye, Certified Cat eye, and straight bar. Both Certified straight bar and Certified cat eye cages are one of many criteria that allow masks to pass CSA and HECC certifications for leagues that require such. Non-certified cat eye cages have wider eye openings to allow for better visibility, but do not pass the CSA and HECC requirements. Most masks are offered in a non-certified cage as well as a certified straight bar cage.
Padding: Mask manufacturers have made significant developments in recent years in mask foam technology. Many high-end masks feature proprietary or exclusive foam and gel types that add additional layers of protection, dampening, and comfort to the mask shell.
Straps: All masks utilize elastic straps for the rear harness. A select few feature a “floating” backplate where each of the straps is individual, rather than the traditional 5 point harness that is sewn together.
When fitting a goalie mask, it is important that the mask fits snugly with no visible room between the forehead or cheeks. The chin cup should be adjusted so that it fits snugly on the goalie’s chin and limits any up/down movement of the mask. The backplate “harness” straps should be adjusted snugly so that the mask doesn’t shift out of place during sudden jolts of movement. Each manufacturer provides mask sizing guidelines based on hat size for each of their models, ranging from Youth to Senior sizes in many models of masks. These diagrams are available in the “size chart” tab of the GoalieMonkey product listing. To learn more, check out our complete guide on goalie mask sizing.
Check out our complete selection of:
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite masks on the market today. Check them out!
Best Overall Goalie Mask
CCM Axis Pro: CCM has brought their best to the game. Rigid, lightweight construction with revolutionary D3O and I.Q.Shion gel pods in the liner check all the boxes for light weight, pro-level construction and superior comfort.
Best Looking Goalie Mask
Bauer 960/950/940: We’re a sucker for a classic. There’s a reason why the 960 design features have been replicated, cloned, and copied for so many years. Its sharp lines and chiseled features stand out among the rest and make for a menacing look on the ice. This design has been around since the early 1990’s and it’s not going away any time soon.
Best Value Goalie Mask
Warrior Ritual R/F1: The Warrior Ritual R/F1 uses an excellent foam liner construction similar to that found on the high-end pro masks for the goalie looking for the budget friendly option.
Best Goalie Mask for a Wide Head
CCM Axis Pro: The XL size of CCM’s helmet shape runs rather large when compared to other models within the Large or Fit 3 range. While the chin seems short, the width at the temple and cheek accommodates larger head diameters.
Best Beginner/Youth Goalie Mask
Warrior Ritual R/F1 Junior+: One of just two masks currently on the market offering a composite shell in Junior sizing, the R/F1 Junior+ offers the greater protection of a composite shell, while scaling the mask in key areas to accommodate smaller goalies and preventing restriction of movement.
Best NHL/Pro Goalie Mask
Bauer 960 Senior: The Bauer 960 is a timeless classic worn by NHL goalies for many decades. Many of the top names in the NHL still wear this mask today. The 960 offers classic styling, great comfort, and excellent protection in a high-level mask. Bauer has taken the next step and loaded it with revolutionary composite materials to make a classic even better.
GoalieMonkey has the best selection of goalie masks on the market today from the top brands to get you on the ice and keep you protected. From pro-level masks to budget friendly beginner and junior masks, we have a full selection of models, styles, and options to help you find the perfect fit to the most important piece of equipment.
Hailing from the days of Itech, Bauer goalie masks have a legendary reputation for their classic styling and great performance. Today, Bauer packs each of their masks with their latest in material technology, from the composite shell to the inner foam liner. Bauer offers the Profile and NME lines of masks so each goalie can find their perfect mask.
CCM has been working hard to continually refine their masks for peak performance and continue to pack loads of technology in each. NHL goalies have found a love for CCM masks that offer a snug, profiled fit and excellent comfort. Offering a full line of Axis masks, there is a CCM mask for every goalie.
Coveted is a small mask manufacturer, hand building each of their masks in Canada. Despite their lack of size compared to larger gear manufacturers, Coveted focuses strictly in goalie masks, directing all their attention to building high-quality masks with sharp design features.
Warrior began offering their Ritual line of goal masks in 2020, showing the world they can provide thoughtful and revolutionary design to gear that doesn’t see frequent change or innovation. Their full line of Ritual masks were developed over years of design and research, with Warrior’s top material technology representing the final product. If one thing is clear: Warrior is here to stay.
Find the Best Selection of Hockey Goalie Masks at GoalieMonkey!
The goalie mask represents everything a goalie plays for. The menacing look not only intimidates opponents, but gives the goalie the confidence to put their body on the line to make one save after another. A mask is a critical component to the goalie’s gear setup, protecting their most valuable asset both on and off the ice. GoalieMonkey has a full selection of the latest and best goalie masks on the market so you can be sure you are getting the right equipment to get you or your goalie set up right. Be sure to check out all the options offered by GoalieMonkey, including the full selection of hockey goalie masks today.
This article was originally published on September 9, 2021, and has been updated with new information.