When you are playing ice hockey, it is important to have the right equipment. The best way to protect yourself from injury and still enjoy the game is with a good pair of pants. But where do you start when choosing hockey pants? There are many choices on the market today, but not all of them will be comfortable or protective enough for your needs.
To help you make the right choice here at IceGators we’ve put together this guide to help you know what you’re looking for when choosing your next pair. We’ve also reviewed what we think are the best hockey pants on the market in 2021 that will meet your protection needs while being stylish as well!
Quick Answer: The Best Pants for Hockey
How to Choose Hockey Pants: A First Time Buyer’s Guide
Hockey Pants Components
High-quality hockey pants feature four components: kidney pads, quadriceps pads, hip pads, and a tailbone pad. Every piece has a different purpose, but each one of them is equally important to your safety on the ice.
The level of protection offered varies from brand to brand and depends on the hockey pants’ price. In general, the pricier the pants, the higher the level of protection they offer.
- Kidney and tailbone pads: These pads collectively sit just above your hips and extend through the entirety of the hockey pants. Some pants also have additional padding extending higher up on the lower back.
- Hip pads: The hip pads are different from the kidney and tailbone pads. These extend downwards below the waist and cover your entire hip bone.
- Upper leg/quadriceps pads: The quadriceps pads protect both your quad and hamstring muscles. Most of the padding will cover your quads and not your hamstrings since most of the impacts occur on the quadriceps.
Hockey Pant Sizing
Like all other hockey gear, hockey pants also come in three different sizes: Senior, Junior, and Youth.
Senior Hockey Pants
The Senior Hockey Pants are meant for adults and come in various sizes, ranging from Small, Medium, and Large to Extra-Large. The table below will enable you to find hockey pants in the right size quickly.
|Senior Hockey Pants Sizing Guide|
|Size||Height (inches)||Waist (inches)|
|Small||5’4” – 5’9”||28” – 32”|
|Medium||5’7” – 5’10”||32” – 36”|
|Large||5’9” – 6’1”||34” – 36”|
|Extra-Large||6’1” +||36” – 40”|
It’s important to note that some brands have a different sizing system, and this sizing guide isn’t universal.
It’s also important to keep in mind that hockey pants may not align with your body in the same way that regular pants do. If the size you regularly wear does not fit you well, try out a bigger or smaller size depending on how the pants feel.
Junior Hockey Pants
These also come in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and Extra-Large.
Junior hockey pants are meant for players aged 7 – 12, and finding the right hockey pants can be tricky for players in this age range.
However, with the sizing guide table below, finding the right-sized hockey pants should be a breeze.
|Junior Hockey Pants Sizing Guide|
|Size||Height (inches)||Waist (inches)|
|Small||4’3” – 4’8”||23” – 25”|
|Medium||4’7” – 5’1”||24” – 27”|
|Large||5’0” – 5’5”||26” – 28”|
|Extra-Large||5’4” – 5’9”||27” – 29”|
Since you’re buying the hockey pants for a growing player, you will need to check and ensure that the pants fit correctly every season. You don’t want the pants to be too uncomfortable and take away from the player’s ability to perform well on the ice.
Youth Hockey Pants
Youth hockey pants are meant for players aged below 7. Like the other two sizing categories, these pants also come in four sizes.
Figuring out the perfect size for your youngster should be easier with the sizing guide below.
|Youth Hockey Pants Sizing Guide|
|Size||Height (inches)||Waist (inches)|
|Small||3’3” – 3’7”||20” – 22”|
|Medium||3’7” – 4’3”||20” – 22”|
|Large||3’10” – 4’6”||22” – 24”|
|Extra-Large||4’2” – 4’7”||22” – 24”|
You will need to be extra careful when buying youth hockey pants since the category boasts the largest height range of the three. Buying the wrong size and getting longer or shorter pants than your youngster needs will hinder their ability to play.
Fitting Hockey Pants (Snug, Mid, and Wide)
Taking your height and waist size into consideration is not enough when buying hockey pants. You will also need to consider what fit you want. Different brands offer different fits, but most have snug, mid, and wide fits.
The fits differ in terms of comfort and protection levels, so you must pick carefully.
The snug fit is also called the anatomical fit and offers superior mobility and flexibility.
On the other hand, the wide fit (also called the traditional fit) is designed to offer the player the best protection possible.
Hockey pants featuring the mid fit strike a delicate balance between protection and comfort.
The best way to find out which of the three fits suit you best is to try every one of them on. However, if you prefer protection over mobility (or vice versa), your options are pretty straightforward.
Taking a few moments to think about your natural style of play is the best way to figure out which fit will suit you best.
Figuring out what length is best for you can be a little tricky. However, the easiest way to do it is to look at the charts above and try on the hockey pants in the recommended size.
If the padding doesn’t fall on the right spots – it’s too high or too low from the intended part, then you must get a longer or a shorter pair of pants, respectively.
Some brands also offer pants that have adjustable heights. If you’re purchasing hockey pants for a growing player, these are well worth the investment since they will last the player for years.
Adjustable hockey pants are also worth looking into if you are unable to find pants in the right length.
Measuring your waist size using a measuring tape and using the sizing charts above is the easiest way to find the perfect hockey pants.
The pants should feel tight in the waist area, but not too tight and uncomfortable. If the pants feel even a little too tight, don’t hesitate to try on a larger size.
Several brands in the market offer hockey pants, but not all the pants are worth your money.
CCM, Bauer, and Warrior are the most popular brands that offer hockey pants, and for good reason. They offer high-quality products that offer excellent protection and serve players for years.
What’s the difference between hockey pants and hockey girdles?
If you’ve never heard of a “girdle,” don’t worry; you aren’t missing out on much. Girdles are hockey pants that fit the player snugly around the waist and the thighs.
Regular hockey pants, on the other hand, feature a comparatively looser fit.
If you’ve tried out snug-fit hockey pants and liked how they feel, trying out girdle pants is an excellent idea.
How tight should hockey pants be?
Hockey pants must be loose enough to feel comfortable but tight enough to not slip off your waist in the middle of a game.
You must make sure that your pants aren’t too tight – besides the general discomfort, it may also cause rashes.
How long should hockey pants be?
The only way to figure out if a pair of hockey pants are the right size is to put them on. If the pants’ ends reach the top or middle of your kneecaps when you stand straight, the pants are perfect for you.
Some hockey pants boast adjustable lengths and even offer extended spine protection. As long as you follow the aforementioned rule of thumb and ensure that the pants don’t restrict your movement, you won’t have anything to worry about in the middle of a game.
How do you wash hockey pants?
You can’t wash your hockey pants like they’re a regular pair of pants – you must follow the set of instructions as mentioned by the manufacturer.
Most hockey pants can be cleaned in a washing machine on a gentle cycle with hot water. However, you must remember not to use bleach-free detergent.
The best way to ensure that your pants don’t get damaged in the laundry is to use a washing machine that doesn’t have an agitator.
Best Rated Hockey Pant Reviews
#1. CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Pants
The CCM Super Tacks AS1 are the most expensive ice hockey pants on this list. However, they also offer an enticing set of features that makes them worth every cent.
The anatomical fit of the pants makes it a lot more comfortable than many other products in the market. But what’s more impressive is the use of D30 smart material – the material provides pro-level protection while remaining lightweight.
CCM also incorporates enhanced back protection to the AS1, allowing the player to adjust the protective piece for maximum personal comfort.
The AS1 has a lot more to offer than just that. The molded caps provide excellent protection to your knees, thighs, and kidneys.
But perhaps the best feature of the Super Tacks AS1 is that it is made from the pro 400D nylon material. The material reduces the pants’ overall weight and ensures that the pants last you for several seasons.
All of these features, coupled with the ultra-adjustable belting system, make the Super Tacks AS1 one of the best hockey pants available.
#2. CCM Jetspeed FT1 Hockey Pants
The Jetspeed FT1 pants are marginally less expensive than the Super Tacks AS1, but the pants boast the quality and features that put it on par with the AS1.
The company incorporates 400D polyester fabric, ensuring that the pants are both lightweight and durable.
What makes the FT1 even more impressive is the fact that HD and PE foam are used for thigh and kidney protection, respectively.
The FT1 ice hockey pants are just as comfortable as they are protective. They feature the Dryfoam Technology, which absorbs and dissipates sweat quickly, keeping the player cool and comfortable and the pants light in weight throughout the game.
Just like the Super Tacks AS1, the Jetspeed FT1 pants are adjustable. They feature the same adjustable belt system as the former, allowing every player to get a personalized fit.
All in all, the Jetspeed FT1 is an excellent option to consider if you’re looking for a moisture-wicking pair of pants that makes no compromises on protection.
#3. Bauer Supreme 2S Pro Hockey Pants
Finding a quality pair of hockey pants can be challenging on low budgets. However, the Supreme 2S Pro boasts an excellent set of features that puts it on par with more expensive options.
The pants feature a classic fit, which means they are explicitly designed to offer maximum protection.
The pro-level 840D nylon shell used keeps you protected on the ice while also ensuring maximum mobility.
Furthermore, the affordable 2S Pro pants come with an independent spine, making for increased protection.
But the feature that players like the most is the Thermo Max+ liner. While the Supreme 2S Pro pants cost a lot less than the CCM Super Tacks AS1, the pants manage to keep players just as comfortable on the ice.
The liner wicks away moisture quickly, maximizing comfort and minimizing weight.
Another impressive feature of the pants is the adjustability. The one-inch extensions allow you to customize the fit to your liking.
If you visit the rink several times a week and are looking for pants that offer excellent protection at a lower price, you cannot go wrong with the Bauer Supreme 2S Pro.
#4. CCM Tacks 9080 Hockey Pants
The Tacks 9080 pants by CCM cost just as much as the aforementioned Supreme 2S Pro pants. While the two products share a lot of similarities, they are meant for completely different players.
The CCM Tacks 9080 pants feature an anatomical fit, which implicitly makes the pants more flexible.
However, no compromises are made to the protection offered to the player. The pants feature a D30 smart material, making for superior impact absorption.
The 400D nylon material used makes the pants both durable and comfortable. The pants also come with molded PE caps that protect the kidneys from damage.
Additionally, the thigh guard also comes with a PE cap, allowing the pants to strike the right balance between protection and comfort.
The 1-inch extensions allow players to customize the fit of the pants as they like.
The company’s direction with the Tacks 9080 is pretty straightforward – it’s a flexible and durable pair of ice hockey pants that comes in at an affordable price.
#5. Warrior Covert QRE Pro Hockey Pants
As mentioned earlier, girdles are also hockey pants, but they fit a lot more snugly than regular ice hockey pants.
The Warrior Covert QRE Pro girdle attempts to marry the characteristics of excellent protection and superior mobility by offering a bold girdle design.
Other than the tailored pro design and superior fit, the girdle offers a lot to like.
The integrated AxyFlex spine and kidney protection in the girdle doesn’t stay stationary – it moves with you, keeping you protected from hits regardless of what you’re doing on the ice.
It also offers premium protection for the legs by placing hard plastic in critical areas of the legs. You don’t have to worry about durability, either, since the premium nylon weaves used virtually guarantees long life.
All of the protection is fortified by the Minimus outer shell, and the Polygiene-powered liner works to keep you just as comfortable as you are protected.
#6. Bauer Vapor X900 Lite Hockey Pants
If you’re looking for a high-quality option that doesn’t break the bank, the Bauer Vapor X900 Lite pants are worth taking a look at.
While the pants are affordable, they offer some excellent protection. One of its best features is the free-flex independent spine that’s made with Hyperlite foam.
The kidney protection in the pants also uses the Hyperlite HD foam, which, with its flared-out design, makes movement a lot less restrictive.
The hip pads feature a tapered design and are made from PE inserts, and the thigh guards feature the same construction and have a hook and loop opening.
The inner lock belt system is fortified with the dual-density cover, ensuring that it serves the player for seasons.
But perhaps what’s most impressive about the ice hockey pants is the use of 840D nylon. Couple the highly durable fiber with the Thermo Max tech, and you have one of the best hockey pants the market has to offer.
#7. Bauer Supreme S29 Hockey Pants
The Bauer Supreme S29 pants are some of the most affordable hockey pants on this list. However, the features the pants offer makes them an excellent option for beginners that play regularly.
The classic design ensures maximum coverage and protection, which is advantageous for beginners.
The S29 pants also feature a 400D nylon shell, making the pants both lightweight and durable.
But perhaps the most impressive feature of the pants is the independent spine. For the price, the inclusion of the independent spine makes the pants the best value for money option on this list.
Furthermore, the Thermo Max liner adds to the comfort that the high-quality nylon offers.
All of these features, coupled with the one-inch extensions, make the Bauer Supreme S29 one of the best ice hockey pants money can buy.
#8. Bauer Vapor 1X Lite Hockey Pants
The Vapor 1X Lite pants are among some of the most popular pants in the market and for good reason.
The pants strike the right balance between affordability, protection, and comfort.
The Curv composite used in the spine gives the players lightweight and reliable lower back protection, which counts for a lot on the ice.
The company’s proprietary Hyperlite HD foam is used to protect the kidneys and the thighs from heavy hits. The pieces of foam are molded to contour the body, maximizing the comfort and protection they offer.
The Aerolite 2.0 hip pads also boast a tapered design, and the stretchable leg gusset makes the thigh guards easy to adjust.
The 840D nylon and the moisture-wicking liner make it an excellent option for beginners and elite players alike.
#9. Bauer Supreme 1S Hockey Pants
The excellent set of features makes the Bauer Supreme 1S an excellent low-cost option.
It comes with the company’s PowerLite technology, which, coupled with the FleXorb smart foam and the Curv composite makes it one of the most protective pants out there.
The Supreme 1S also boasts an extension fit system, making it the perfect option for players that just can’t find the ideal fit.
#10. Bauer NSX Hockey Pants
The NSX ice hockey pants by Bauer are the most affordable pants on this list. However, the level of protection the pants offer makes them perfect for use by beginners.
The molded PE protection protects the thighs and hips from injury, and the ergonomically molded kidney pad adds to the protection offered.
The 400D nylon used coupled with the hydrophobic liner makes it super comfortable to wear, and the integrated spine protection leaves you nothing to worry about during a game.
The NSX pants are the perfect buy for players looking for an affordable option that offers excellent protection and comfort.
So Which ones Should you Buy?
With our guide and recommendations handy, finding the best hockey pants in 2021 should be a breeze.
However, if we were to recommend one option out of the bunch, we’d recommend the CCM Super Tacks AS1.
The fit, the high-quality material, world-class protection, and second-to-none comfort make it the best pants available in the market.
Only a handful of other products offer the same level of comfort and protection as the AS1, making it hard not to recommend.