Getting the best youth ice hockey equipment such as hockey skates and hockey sticks for any young player is essential, but when your child is a goalie, equipment becomes an even bigger factor. Quality ice hockey goalie gear is not just a matter of good play—it’s a matter of safety.
Youth hockey goalies use their equipment for protection. The equipment needs to provide a barrier between your little one’s body and the pucks, sticks, and other items that will be hurled his or her way during practice or a game. Your primary concern needs to be keeping your child safe when he/she plays, and the right youth ice hockey goalie equipment can make this mission easier.
As any hockey parent knows, a child playing the game means there’s going to be some money invested in equipment. Hockey equipment is expensive and goalie ice hockey gear is going to cost you even more. To make hockey work in your family, you need to find goalie gear that’s high quality yet still affordable.
Finding the right gear requires some comparison shopping. You need to find the right size, the right quality, and the right equipment. Goalie gear that fits properly automatically provides more protection than ill-fitting equipment.
The best way to make sure your little goalie is equipped for play is to do a bit of research before you buy. So what exactly should you know about buying budget-friendly ice hockey goalie equipment?
Below we’ll break it down by each piece of equipment and give you our top budget friendly recommendations that are available on Amazon.
Leg pads protect the lower half of the thighs, the knees, and the tops of the shins. They need to be sized properly and offer enough padding to create a barrier between a player’s legs and the puck or stick headed their way. Sizes usually range from 26 to 34 inches in leg pads, so you’ll want to measure your little one’s leg from your ankle to the top of your kneecap, then from the middle of your kneecap to halfway up your thigh. Add these numbers together to get the right goalie leg pad size.
Our pick for budget-friendly leg pads for young ice hockey players is engineered to work well for beginner and intermediate goalies. They’re lightweight but still offer adequate protection.
- Lightweight EVA padding
- Adjustable straps
- Durable reinforced stitching
Chest pads protect the mid-section, which means they’re providing a barrier between flying objects and your child’s heart and other vital organs. The pads are usually made from nylon that is wrapped around thick layers of foam and hard padding. Many chest pads have extensions that also offer protection for shoulders, biceps, the clavicle, and even the back.
This is a full-coverage chest pad that offers the protection parents want for their children. It features:
- Adjustable laced on arms
- Molded plastic shoulder caps
- Full spine padding
- Reinforced sternum plate with an extended length
- Chest pad belly flap
You’ll need to buy each of the two different types of goalie gloves available. Blocker gloves are worn on the player’s stick hand and have a padded palm. They allow the player to hold the stick and have a wide blocker pad to deflect shots.
The catcher glove is like an oversized baseball glove worn by a first baseman. The glove is the one worn on the non-stick hand and features an oversized section for catching, a one-piece area for the thumb, and individual finger sections.
This is a beginner pad set that retails for a reasonable price. It gets high marks as a budget-friendly option, but don’t expect it to last for years and years—thought this is usually not a problem with a growing hockey player. This set actually includes both the blocker glove and the catcher glove in addition to leg pads that are fairly decent. Again, this is a great budget-friendly starter option but you should definitely consider upgrading as your kid’s hockey goalie passions evolve.
This set of kids’ goalie gloves is made from synthetic materials and offer high impact reinforced thumb and cuff block. They have an adjustable wrist strap and a full flex backhand pad for protection and comfort. These goalie gloves come in black and red or white and blue. They are considered high quality and a good value for the price point.
Please note that customers have complained about their large sizing despite being a youth product. These gloves do tend to run large so may not be suitable for children with smaller hands.
Ice Hockey Goalie Masks
Goalie masks are available in a variety of styles and, in many cases, the choice is just a matter of personal preference.
Some feature stainless steel or wire mesh that meets protection needs but also allows for better peripheral vision. The body of the mask should always be made from durable hard-shell plastic or a composite material that offers as much protection as possible. Some are adjustable to create a more customized fit.
This mask features molded high impact ultra lightweight plastic. It’s vented for cooling and it has a fully adjustable back plate with chrome-colored cage. It comes in three different designs and retails at a very reasonable price point on Amazon.
Ice Hockey Goalie Sticks
All hockey players need sticks, but goalies are allowed to use much larger and heavier weight sticks. They have a wider paddle face and wider blade. Goalies use their sticks in the same way as other players, but also for blocking and defending the net. Choosing the right stick length is important, and should be based on your child’s size.
This goalie stick is made of durable, high impact plastic and has a two-piece design with two screws. It’s one of the most budget-friendly options on the market and a decent option for a beginner.
This youth goalie stick features composite construction and a flat padded shape that improves rebound control. It’s made specifically for smaller players and comes with a 30-day warranty. It’s a pricier option but also higher quality.
We really like the EDGE20 by Raven Hockey because it’s a good choice for kids that fall between the smaller youth sticks and the full length junior sticks. With a lower flex at 20, It’s great for kids that are between 5-7 years old or less than 50 pounds. To learn more about the proper flex for you child, we suggest you read more about it here.