Bauer hockey helmets have been the most popular choice of NHL players for quite some time, thanks to the slick look, comfortable fit and superior protection offered by their buckets. The Bauer 9900 Hockey Helmet meets and exceeds the expectations and standards that have been set by the many players who turn to Bauer for all of their protective needs.
The Bauer 9500 Hockey Helmet was the predecessor to the 9900 and some players felt that the fit was a bit too shallow and failed to accommodate a wide variety of head shapes... That, and any other apparent shortcomings present with the 9500 have been resolved with the 9900. We'll take a closer look at some of the special features and technological improvements of the Bauer 9900 Helmet.
As previously stated, probably the biggest complaint about the 9500 helmet was that some players felt the helmet was too shallow and did not cover enough of the forehead, resting awkwardly on top of the head. Of course, for many players it offered a great fit, but there were many who had an issue with the fit. Well, Bauer went back to the drawing board and found a way to optimize the fit of the 9900 helmet by slightly reshaping the contours of the padding without having to restructure the outer shell of the helmet.
I've been wearing a Bauer 4000 helmet (now called 4500) for the last 11 years and I'm not likely to replace it any time soon. But I've tried every Bauer helmet from the 3500, to the 5100, 5500, 8500 and 9500, and I was one of the people who just couldn't get a comfortable fit out of the 9500. The features were incredible, but it just didn't sit right on my dome. When I tried on the 9900 there was an immediate and noticeable difference in the overall fit. It was snug, secure and rested comfortably on my head, offering perfectly centered, mid-profile forehead protection. In fact, everyone who I've spoken with who had an issue with the fit of the 9500 has attested to the definite improvement in the overall fit of the 9900.
With that issue addressed and out of the way, the Bauer 9900 helmet offers some impressive features that need to be highlighted. The first and perhaps most notable technological improvement that contributes to the superior protective quality of the 9900 is the use of a new type of lightweight, shock absorbing foam called Poron. The foam is incredibly effective at absorbing and more importantly, containing the shock of impact. Many foams are effective for their absorption properties but the ability of the Poron to contain rather than transfer the shock is unparalleled.
As shown in the image above, the Poron foam is sandwiched between high density FXPP foam and soft comfort foam, providing a dynamic combination of protective and comfort-fit foams. The FXPP foam, which was also used in the 9500, is an improvement upon the high impact EPP foam that is currently used in many other high quality hockey helmets and bike helmets. According to Bauer, the FXPP foam "dissipates 20% less energy during impact than same volume of traditional EPP foam".
Bauer firmly believes in the integrity of the 2 piece outer shell design that has been used for many years now. Adjusting the length of the 9900 helmet is as simple as flipping up the two side tabs with the Bauer logo on them and pulling the two shell pieces apart to the desired length, providing quick, tool-free adjustability. The occipital lock located on the back base of the helmet provides an even more customizable fit that secures the helmet in place with the adjustment of two dials that are moved back and forth individually. The dials control the position of the two internal pads located below the occipital lobe which can be tightened with just a couple quick clicks.
The helmet shell is constructed with dual-density materials which provide a combination of tough, rigid protection (glossy part of the shell) and self-adjusting flex zones (brushed, muted part of shell) for an extremely comfortable and protective fit. The two-tone design adds a slick look to the shell with 10+ options to choose from.
Without a doubt, the Bauer 9900 Helmet retains all of the best qualities offered by the 9500 and has been beefed up and enhanced in all of the areas that were previously lacking. Bauer helmets continue to be the most commonly worn in the NHL, and their reputation for consistently producing high-quality gear is furthered by the introduction of their most recent protective achievement, the Bauer 9900 Hockey Helmet.