Hockey Cage Vs Visor: Pros & Cons Of Each


Whether you are new to hockey and you are contemplating what equipment you should purchase or you just want to ensure that you have the very best protection, this article will examine the benefits and the disadvantages or both hockey cages and hockey visors. 

If you are unsure whether you should be using a cage or a visor on your hockey helmet when playing it is important to know the differences. Each hockey player that steps onto the ice will have to make this decision. 

Hockey cages and visors are both popular with players but it largely depends on which level that you play the sport. Which offers clearer visibility when you are on the ice? Is a visor or cage safer and which is the better option for you? This guide will help you determine which is the best option for you. 

Hockey Cage Vs Visor

Hockey Cage Vs Visor

Both hockey cages and visors are installed on your helmet and both options have their benefits and disadvantages. Cages offer the player complete protection and will prevent any potential injuries to the face. However, the drawback of a cage is the limited visibility and many players find this distracting during games. 

Visors can be a lot more convenient than visors because they’re clear and allow you to reach your own face during the middle of the game. If you choose a half visor, your face will however only be partly protected and you may experience it fogging up.

Keep reading to find out which option is the best one for you by deciding whether your safety or convenience is more important. 

Why do players use visors and cages?

Hockey players of any level are required to use either a visor or a cage. The number one reason that players wear visors and cages is for their safety and to protect their faces. Hockey is a quick-paced and unpredictable game that involves a range of dangers and hazards. 

Without a visor or cage, a player’s face can be left unprotected from sticks and pucks that could potentially cause a serious injury. Both cages and visors protect the player’s face however, each offers a different amount of protection. 

Most college and youth hockey players are obligated by their leagues to use a full visor or a cage. In many professional hockey leagues such as the NHL, players are usually required to wear a visor. However, this is only a recent development. In recreational and casual men’s league players can play without any form of facial protection. 

What is the difference between a hockey cage and a visor?

Hockey cage

A hockey cage is a shield that connects to the player’s helmet. It is usually made of a thin wire of titanium or aluminum that follows the shape and form of the face. The hockey cage includes a chin- guard which sits comfortably at the player’s chin. 

The hockey cage is attached through screws to the player’s helmet and the chin-guard also has straps that attach it to the helmet’s sides. 

Hockey visor

A visor is a transparent face shield, allowing the player to easily see through it during the game. It is made out of protective polycarbonate material and secures to the player’s helmet. Visors come in two variations–either a half visor or a full visor. 

A half visor covers only half of the player’s face, usually down to the end of the player’s nose. A full-visor includes an extra piece of polycarbonate that prevents the bottom half of the player’s face from injury too. A full-visor also has a chin-guard. The half visor connects to the top of the player’s helmet on either the top or sides, whereas the full visor connects at the top of the helmet and is also secured by the chin guard’s straps at the sides. 

What are the benefits of wearing a hockey visor?

Many players choose to use a hockey visor for a range of reasons including convenience, style, performance, and adaptability.

1. Adaptability

Hockey visors are available in a range of sizes and different styles making them adaptable to different players and their needs. Players can usually choose whether they want to wear a full or a half visor.

Half-visors themselves come in different sizes, though many reach the base of the player’s nose. If the player does prefer a longer visor, they can choose one that reaches the mouth. Many visors allow the player to adjust them during gameplay. 

2. Protection

Many visors connect to the top and the helmet, meaning that there is no room to adjust the visor when necessary. Some visors, however, attach to just the helmet’s sides, which allows the player to adjust the placement and height of the visor at any time, even during the game. 

Some players might choose a full-visor which offers a greater level of protection. The upper part of the visor is the same as the half-visor however the lower half provides extra protection for the bottom part of the face as well as the player’s jaw. 

The full-visor offers complete protection of the player’s face, whereas the half-visor protects just the upper part of the face. 

3. Visibility

Some players pick a visor because of performance reasons. Because a visor is clear and transparent, it does not affect the player’s visibility on the ice and the game in front of them. The polycarbonate material that is used for visors is completely transparent. 

It often feels as if the player isn’t wearing any protection, which helps them to reach their potential on the ice as they are free of any distractions. Many players choose to move from a hockey cage to a hockey visor once they reach adult leagues or higher levels of the game. 

The change from a cage for a visor is often seen as an upgrade that is based on convenience and performance. The half visor is considered to be convenient as it enables simple access to the player’s own face during the game. 

4. Access

A visor enables the player to reach his/her own face during the play of the game. This enables them to wipe their face and makes drinking during a game or in half-time simple and easy. 

Visors are a lot more convenient than cages because of these reasons relating to convenience and easy access. The half-visor lets players to complete many movements without having to take off their helmet or unstrap and open their helmet’s cage. 

5. Style

The visor is also a common stylistic choice for many hockey players. The half-visor is arguably the most pleasing of the facial protection options to look at. It is more casual and also allows the player to reveal their individual personality on the field instead of having their entire face covered by a cage or even a full visor. 

All professional NHL hockey players choose to wear visors are they are regarded as a symbol of the professional game. Some players also choose to wear tinted visors which give them an even more flashy look. However, if you do choose a tinted visor in an amateur tournament, you may receive negative attention from your opponents. 

What are the disadvantages of a hockey visor?

The main issue with hockey visors is that they provide players with less protection and safety guarantee than if they were to choose to wear a cage. Full-visors do offer a lot more protection than a half-visor, and it is usually only half-visors that do cause any safety concerns. 

Half-visors offer the least amount of protection and are considered to be the riskiest choice for players bar wearing no facial protection. Players that choose to wear half-visors leave half of their face open to being hit by a stick or a puck, making them more likely to get injured. 

Not only is the lower part of their face open and unprotected, but a puck or a hockey stick can get beneath the visor and injure the top part of the player’s face too. 

Players that choose to wear just a half visor, are essentially just hoping that they will not get hit in their faces. However, hockey is a largely unpredictable and somewhat dangerous game and it is not usually a good idea to take this risk. 

A full visor or a cage will protect your face from being hit with a stick or a puck. However, a half-visor only offers protection to objects coming from a direct straight on or higher angle. And, while it is better than wearing no protection at all, wearing a half-visor leaves the lower part of your face unprotected. 

Usually, players will get enjoy several hockey games without experiencing any injuries, but in the case of being hit in the face by a stick or a puck, as a player can be left with a lifelong injury. 

It is recommended that you wear a full-visor or a cage to ensure that your entire face is protected. However, these options will not allow you to easily access your face during the play of the game as it will be strapped over your chin and your jaw. 

What are the benefits of wearing a hockey cage?

1. Complete protection

A cage offers a player with the guarantee that their entire face is protected from any chance of injury. A cage can ensure a player is confident that their whole face is protected including your chin and your jaw. 

2. Durability

The gaps that are in the cage are little enough to ensure that a puck or a stick will never get through it. They are also extremely strong and durable meaning that if you do get hit by a puck or a stick, you will be protected. 

What Are The Disadvantages of Wearing a Hockey Cage?

1. Visibility

When a player wears a hockey cage, their vision can be distorted and they can become distracted by the wire of the cage. A cage does not offer a clear view that a visor does. 

The cage is largely designed for practicality and does not have the style of a visor. However, it does offer a higher amount of protection.

2. Accessibility

When wearing a cage, the player needs to unstrap and lift their helmet during half time or when they want a drink during a game. This can often make it difficult for those that sweat a lot in games and, for those that do not own a squirty bottle that will fit through the gaps of the cage.

Is a hockey cage or a visor better?

When deciding whether a hockey cage or a visor is better, it is necessary to consider your own priorities when you are on the ice. When disregarding style and practicality, the cage and full-visor offer the most amount of protection to the player’s face from pucks and sticks, thus preventing the most amount of injuries. 

Without proper protection, many hockey players have been left with serious injuries and many lose their teeth when they do not wear proper protection. If you are worried about your safety on the ice, choose a cage or a full-visor. 

Cages are the most popular option among players. However, both take a bit of time to become used to. If you are looking for a higher level of protection, but you want to avoid fogging up, choose the cage instead of a visor.

If you are choosing face protection based on convenience and style, the half-visor is the one for you. It offers the lightest and most transparent option. However, remember the injury risks associated with a half-visor.

To sum up… 

When choosing a hockey cage or a visor, make sure to take into account your own priorities regarding safety, convenience, and style. A cage or a visor is usually the best option to ensure you are properly protected from any potential injuries when you are on the ice. Once you have made your choice, you can enjoy getting out onto the ice and reaching your full potential. 

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