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As much as we love lacrosse, there is no denying that coming to the sport for the first time is daunting with all the equipment you need to play.
Luckily, there are lacrosse starter kits that simplify the experience of filling out your gear bag.
A starter kit is an equipment set that almost always includes the necessary pads (shoulder, arm and gloves) and sometimes comes with a helmet and/or complete stick as well. A starter kit tends to be cheaper than buying equipment individually and takes out the initial confusion of figuring out which gear to buy when just starting out.
This guide will break down the best youth lacrosse starter kits for you or your young player to take that exciting first step into the sport.
Best Youth Lacrosse Starter Kits
As explained above, all lacrosse starter kits are not the same. The type and amount of gear included in each set differs.
Your best option will primarily depend on what you need and how much you are willing to spend. Some teams may provide you with a helmet or gloves, or you may be one of those lucky folks with a friend or sibling that’s passing along some gear.
To play in most leagues, you will need a helmet, shoulder pads, arm guards, gloves, and a stick. There are a variety of options below that include different combinations of that essential gear.
Under Armour Strategy Youth Lacrosse Set (CPV-R Helmet)
Starting off is the Under Armour Youth Lacrosse Set: the perfect complete kit for a young player.
The set includes every piece of gear you need to take the field with some quality highlights.
The Cascade CPV-R helmet alone makes this kit standout. By itself, this helmet retails for over half the price of the kit so there’s no better way to get your hands on a respected, game-ready helmet.
The stick and pads are all quality, making this a great set to start playing with. As you grow into the game and your style, this set provides you with the opportunity to mix and match with newer gear as the black color scheme fits with most team colors.
You should get your hands on this set quickly though as Under Armour recently made moves to exit the equipment market so the availability of this set may be finite going forward.
Under Armour Strategy Youth Lacrosse Sets (4 Options)
This isn’t just one set, rather 4 different sets with different combinations of equipment depending on what you need.
The full set includes everything you need to start out: a complete stick, helmet, and all the pads. The no stick set includes everything listed previously minus the complete stick. Both of these sets skew smaller in sizing so they are perfect for a younger player.
The full and no stick sets are an easy and cheap way to get your hands on a helmet, but it’s worth noting that the CS-R helmet is a step down from the CPV-R included in the first listing, in our opinion.
The no helmet set includes a complete stick and pads. This is better for a growing child/pre-teen looking to enter the sport as these sets include larger sizes. This set is the best value as the complete stick is a cheap addition to the pad only set. If your team provides a helmet for players, this set is the way to go if you still need a stick.
The pad only set is the cheapest option of the 4. The larger sizing is again better for an older child looking to get into lacrosse.
As with the first listing, these starter sets are high quality and include newer models of Under Armour’s lacrosse equipment. These options make it easy to find the amount of equipment that fits your individual needs.
STX Boys Lacrosse Junior Starter Set
Even in the starter kit game, STX lives up to its name and spares nothing in terms of quality. The Junior Starter Set is perfect for an older aspiring player (up through Junior High) to start out with.
The kit includes a great complete stick made up of the Stallion 200 head with an STX 6000 series alloy handle. This is the kind of stick that you can continue to use and will last beyond your youth leagues, into high school thanks to its durability.
The protective gear—including the Stallion 200 shoulder pads, arm pads, and gloves—meets regulatory standards making this a safe option for younger players that will last as they grow.
Given the quality, this set is extremely affordable and gives you the best bang for your buck. I highly recommend this for a slightly older or bigger child entering the game.
STX Boys Lacrosse Youth Starter Set
This is a smaller version of the STX Junior Set listed above, with sizes meant for the youngest players just starting out in the game.
The kit includes a Stallion 50 Youth Complete Stick. Its smaller body allows for greater control in a younger player’s hands, helping them develop the comfort and confidence in their fundamentals that will pay dividends as they grow.
The protective gear—including Stallion 75 series shoulder pads, arm pads, and gloves—meets protective standards and provides maximum coverage to a smaller player.
Although the stick that comes with this set isn’t legal for high school play, the set, in general, is a great entry point to the game and relatively affordable.
It also is a great way to gain exposure to STX gear—one of the most respected brands in the game.
STX Lacrosse Exult Starter Set (Girls)
STX makes our list of the best starter sets again—this time for the girls’ game.
The Exult Starter Set is a perfect introductory kit to the game for your young child and includes everything needed to get started playing girls lacrosse.
The STX Exult 200 complete stick meets competitive standards with a length of 43 inches. It is specifically designed to be ultra-lightweight for easy ball handling for your first-time player.
The STX 4Sight+ goggle is high quality with a sweat-resistant design that also meets ASTM F3077 requirements for women’s lacrosse goggles.
To bring it all together, STX throws in a bag that your child can continue to use even after they grow beyond the stick and goggles.
Lacrosse Starter Kit Buying Guide
Now that you know the best starter kits on the market, you may be wondering which one to pick for you or your child. Well, we have you covered with some things to consider when choosing which set to go with.
1) What Equipment You Need
Always keep in mind what gear is essential to making it out onto the field: a helmet, shoulder pads, arm guards, gloves and a stick. If you don’t have any of these items, you won’t be playing in most leagues.
If you are joining a new team, keep in mind that they may provide you with some of this gear. Most competitive teams will provide a helmet and potentially gloves for your use as part of their uniform. Before buying a set, check with your team to see what (if anything) is provided.
Depending upon what you’re provided, you may want to adjust your kit choice for what you still need from the essentials in order to play.
We cannot overstate the importance of finding the correct, comfortable fit for your young player’s equipment. A proper pad and helmet fit promotes the mobility and—more importantly—safety of your child.
Most of the products listed in this post include a size guide so that you can find the best fit for your child. We suggest going with a different set if your desired kit does not include the appropriate size.
Most of the sets listed above include a complete stick, however, all are not equal in quality or skill level. Some sticks on this list feature a shorter, lighter build that helps with easier ball handling for beginners. Other options include sturdier handles and high school-legal heads that are durable enough to survive higher, more physical tiers of competitive lacrosse.
The difference between the STX Junior and Youth sets highlights the difference between kits. The Junior kit comes with an STX 6000 series handle that is easily the highest quality shaft on this list and a head with a narrower face that caters to more advanced players. The Youth set’s Stallion 50 is a shorter beginner stick with a lighter frame that would not hold up (or be legal) at the high school level.
It can help to read reviews of the complete stick, or even the individual head and shaft included, to get a better idea of the quality of it and who each is good for.
As you are exposed more and more to the game, you will develop a comfort level and preference when it comes to something like the weight of your equipment. As with all things, the lighter the weight, the more vulnerable it or you are to breaking.
Lighter sticks give the user more control, but the right check or fall could easily send you back to the market for a new shaft or head. Heavier sticks, on the other hand, may be hard for youth players to control, possibly limiting their development.
It’s important that you strike an appropriate balance depending upon your age, size, position, and style of play.
For example, defensive players often prefer heavier sticks so they can check other players without having to worry about them breaking. A midfielder may want to go light on his shaft with a sturdier head to withstand the pressure of face-offs or the inevitable ground ball scrum between the boxes. An attackman may value an all-around lighter stick for quick releases at the crease.
5) Customer Reviews
Read customer reviews (like we’ve done to create this guide) to get a better idea of the quality of the sets you are considering.
Who better to learn from than the people who already bought the product? Reviews can be invaluable in finding information that may not be included in the product listing.
Things like fit, comfort, and safety all often are mentioned in customer reviews. Does the stick break easily? Do the gloves fit a little tightly? Do the arm guards often slide down?
If any issues like these arise, it’s likely that someone wrote about them in the customer reviews.
This article started by stating how daunting the entry to lacrosse can be. Beyond the gear confusion, the cost is definitely another shock to many new lax parents.
For a younger player starting out, it is best to budget for your child according to their initial interest in the sport. If this is just a trial run, maybe it’s better to go with a cheaper kit.
However, always keep in mind that the cheaper the set, the shorter the life expectancy of your equipment. It may cost you more, in the long run, to have to upgrade or replace your cheaper gear as you continue your lacrosse journey.
Other Products to Consider
There are many great lacrosse products that can help improve your or your child’s game. Here are some guides that go over our top picks:
- Best Lacrosse Backpacks
- Best Lacrosse Gloves
- Best Lacrosse Arm Pads
- Best Lacrosse Shoulder Pads
- Where to Buy Cheap Lacrosse Balls
- Best Lacrosse Goals
- Best Portable Lacrosse Goals
- Best Lacrosse Rebounders
- Best Complete Lacrosse Sticks
- Best Lacrosse Heads
- Best Lacrosse Shafts
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