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Could you imagine stepping between the pipes of a lacrosse goal with no helmet on? Yeah, I couldn’t either. There’s not enough gold in Fort Knox to put me in goal without a proper lacrosse helmet and throat protection.
If you have the moxy to step in goal, you should have the sense to invest in a quality helmet and throat protector (or “dangler”) to guard your money maker and the brains behind it.
This guide goes over the best lacrosse goalie helmets and throat protectors on the market so you have one less thing to stress about when in the cage.
Best Lacrosse Goalie Helmets
In lacrosse, any helmet that is legal for outfield players should be legal for goalies to use so long as they have a throat protector added. This rule (and the helmets that are legal) applies to the goalie helmet in the women’s game as well.
This section will cover the top goalie helmets available for men, women, and children. You can find the best throat protection options to accompany your helmet in the section after that.
Best lacrosse goalie helmets (click to jump to a section):
- Best Goalie Helmet for Adults (Men & Women): Cascade XRS
- #2 Best Goalie Helmet for Adults (Men & Women): Cascade S
- Budget Goalie Helmet for Adults: Cascade CPX-R
- Best Youth Goalie Helmet: Cascade S Youth
- Budget Youth Goalie Helmet: Cascade CPV-R
Best Goalie Helmet for Adults (Men & Women): Cascade XRS
Drip Level: 5/5
Cascade released its newest helmet just in time for the 2022 NCAA Tournament Championship Weekend. The XRS is Cascade's most protective and comfortable helmet to date and is currently our top-rated lacrosse helmet.
It features a tri-liner system to disperse different kinds of impacts while providing a better hit on your head. There is also a Double Jaw Deflection system that provides increased protection as compared to previous models and better ventilation to keep you cool.
Aside from the increased protection and comfort, the XRS also improves on the S (Cascade's previous model) by providing better visibility for players. The VISION system increases peripheral vision by 20% and the Power-Pressed Vision Bar reduces the size of the top part of the face mask without sacrificing rigidity.
Overall, the Cascade XRS is the cream of the crop when it comes to lacrosse helmets. If you are looking for a new helmet, the XRS should be at the top of your list.
#2 Best Goalie Helmet for Adults (Men & Women): Cascade S
Drip Level: 5/5
Though the S is no longer Cascade's newest helmet, it is still a great option for goalies.
Comfort comes in the form of an XFLO ventilation system that increases and recycles airflow around your head. Balance Point Technology and NV3 foam baked into the crown keep the helmet centered even in the most intense of movements and contact.
The S is customizable thanks to its HardTail SPRfit design that allows the user to micro-adjust the helmet to ensure the perfect fit.
It’s secure with its Supermono S Shell and employment of a tri-liner, SEVEN Technology system that disperses energy in key impact areas to lessen the effect of hard blows, including that shot that may miss your stick.
Even with all that tech, the Cascade S preserves clear sightlines with its Visionbar PowerPress Technology making this the perfect all-around helmet for a goalie.
Budget Goalie Helmet for Adults & Women: Cascade CPX-R
Drip Level: 4.6/5
If you’re not looking to break the bank, the Cascade CPX-R is a worthy alternative to the fully loaded S, packing a lot of the same punch for a bit less coin.
The R Series Shell is no slouch and works with the familiar SEVEN Technology lining to distribute and lessen the impact of blows. The same SPRfit HardTail from the S gives you the ability to perfectly adjust and customize the fit to securely contour to your dome.
The CPX-R is one of the most familiar helmets to see taking the field. Even if it is the “cheaper” option, it spares nothing in terms of Cascade’s usual construction that has made the brand one of the most trusted in the sport.
Best Youth Goalie Helmet: Cascade S Youth
Drip Level: 5/5
The Cascade S Youth shrinks all of the same protective and comfort elements of its adult version into the perfect helmet for any youth goalie.
It uses the same Supermono S Shell with tri-liner system to soften every blow, XFLO ventilation to keep your head cool, and the HardTail SPRfit and customizable jaw pads for the perfect fit.
The S Youth employs the same vision system as well with thinner wiring around the eyes to increase visibility—an invaluable asset when between the pipes.
Budget Youth Goalie Helmet: Cascade CPV-R
Drip Level: 4.6/5
The CPV-R is worthy of consideration for any parent who wants their young player protected without having to invest too much into a piece of equipment they will eventually grow out of.
The CPV-R employs the same R shell from its older sibling and the same liners to withstand contact. A FreeFlow system keeps the air circulating around the player’s head for maximum coolness and comfort.
When it comes to vision, the Chevron Mask provides increased downward clarity to let no shot go untended.
This is a great option for any young goalie and an opportunity to sensibly save money on equipment they likely won’t fit into in a few seasons.
Best Lacrosse Goalie Throat Protectors
Without a throat protector, a goalie’s helmet is no different than the dome piece of any other field player. This is great for helmet selection, but it doesn’t change the fact that goalies face down high-speed shots that send most other positions ducking for cover.
The added element of a throat guard covers up what the helmet cannot—your neck and throat—to give you some peace of mind in the “off-chance” a shot makes it past your stick.
We are going to run down a pair of throat protectors worthy of your consideration.
Best Lacrosse Goalie Throat Protector: Cascade TP-S Goalie Throat Protector
Drip Level: 5/5
The TP-S Throat Protector from Cascade is a sturdy, reliable dangler that covers a much wider area of your neck compared to other products on the market.
The actual material used is hidden in the same vault as the Colonel’s fried chicken recipe, but, based on goalie feedback, this is a durable piece of equipment that should hold up well no matter how many shots it takes.
How to Connect it to Helmet:
There are two methods to connecting this protector to your helmet: with strings/zip ties, or with screws.
The first option (strings/zip ties) is easy enough; the soft connector can be weaved through the pre-drilled holes in the protector and strung through the openings between the facemask and jaw shield.
The positives are this is less invasive to the helmet and the protector can be easily removed should you want to play outside of the goal.
The negatives are this puts the dangler nickname at the forefront, leaving the protector free to move with a mind of its own. You will likely get some clanking and slapping from the piece to your helmet and neck.
The second option (screws) is a bit more complicated.
To start, you will need to drill a hole through the middle “C” in the word CASCADE along the bottom of the chin piece using a 7/32” drill bit.
Using that same drill bit, you will then drill holes on either side of your helmet but the location varies depending upon the type of helmet you use. The hole will normally be at an angle from the bottom facemask mounting screw on each side.
The connection will require screws, bushings, and T-nuts to properly attach the throat piece to the chin piece. You should consult the accompanying manual (PDF link here) to properly fit your new dangler to your helmet.
Note that this second option provides a more secure hold of the neckpiece to the helmet to avoid any unwanted movement or clanking, but this is a more difficult installation process and takes a bit more work to remove and reapply.
Budget Lacrosse Goalie Throat Protector: Cascade TPC2 Throat Protector
Drip Level: 4.6/5
The TPC2 is another quality throat protector from Cascade but is a bit cheaper. It is a pretty straightforward protector with not many frills to go over other than its affordability compared to other options on the market.
The TPC2 is cheaper for a reason. Users note the flimsier material compared to its more expensive counterpart in addition to less coverage area.
Still, the TPC2 is better than going uncovered and worth the investment to avoid any potential of the dreaded throat shot for a goalie. You cannot put a price on that peace of mind.
How to Connect it to Helmet:
The TPC2 connects in a very similar manner to the TP-S, including the string/zip tie option versus screws. The costs and benefits of each method are identical to those previously stated for the TP-S.
The main difference, however, comes with the side holes. The TPC2 requires holes that are drilled a bit closer to the center of the chin piece; the actual distance depends upon your type of helmet.
Again, we suggest following the instructional guide provided with your neck protector or accessible through this linked PDF to make sure you appropriately mount the piece.
How We Rate Goalie Lacrosse Helmets
We take our ratings seriously and only recommend products that we would use ourselves.
To come up with our ratings for each product, we test the product ourselves whenever possible, review product specifications (weight, protection metrics, etc.), and read customer reviews/talk to lacrosse players we know that use the product.
When testing helmets, specifically, we mainly test them for comfort and fit with our staff and our staff's friends. We also only recommend products that meet the current NOCSAE standars.
When it's not possible to extensively test a product ourselves, we spend extra time talking to real customers who have used the product for a while themselves.
If you ever have any feedback for any of the products listed on this page or have a recommended addition, please contact us and let us know!
Our Other Goalie Resources
If you are interested in our other guides for goalie equipment, you can check them out here:
- Best Lacrosse Goaltender Gear
- Best Lacrosse Goalie Heads
- Best Lacrosse Goalie Shafts
- Best Lacrosse Goalie Chest Protectors
- Best Goalie Helmets & Throat Protectors
This Post Has 2 Comments
Have you seen any instructions on how to install a throat guard on an XRS helmet? I have contacted Cascade 2 times with no response and just sent a third email today. I notice a few people asking on YouTube. It seems to be a great helmet but right now it is useless if you are a goalie.
I haven’t seen any specific instructions on attaching the throat guard to the XRS helmet but I’ll dig around and see what I can find. If I can find something I’ll let you know and update this guide.