2018 Top Ranked Football Helmet For High School Teams

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Photo By:  Virginia Tech Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics

There’s a new “king of the hill” when it comes to the top rated football helmet. The VICIS ZERO1 was the top rated helmet on both the 2018  Virginia Tech independent laboratory tests, and the NFL/NFLPA laboratory tests. In this article we’ll share what that means for high school players across the country, and dispel some rumors about affordability for teams and individuals.

Va Tech Top 10 Helmets For 2018

Click photo to see complete Virginia Tech Ratings 2018

Before We Begin, A Little Editorial Etiquette….

A couple weeks ago I wrote an article called “football and concussions, and what you need to know.” The purpose of the article was to spark a real honest to goodness conversation about this convergence of sports, science and technology that is taking place, and protecting players. But someone on our social media mentioned the article turned into an infomercial for VICIS ZERO1 real quick, or something like that.  Seven paragraphs in we mentioned the VICIS ZERO1 helmet, and here’s why. 

1.  I have a son that plays football and I want to put him in the best football helmet possible (period).

2.  I love our Texas football family…and I want you (parents and players) to know the truth about what’s available to you so you can make educated decisions.  

3.  I played this game at every level. I honestly feel a deep-seated moral obligation to do whatever I can to make this game safer for the athletes that play it, and their loved ones.  It just so happens that the good Lord put me here at TexasHSFootball.com, and in a position to share what I know with a lot of people.  

4.  As I stated clearly in the article mentioned above VICIS is an advertising partner because we know how important protecting the head and neck from injury is. We worked hard to make sure this partnership happened to bring you more information about the top ranked football helmet in the world. For what it’s worth, this is me sharing what I know, and what I think.

The Top Ranked Football Helmets

There are two main laboratory tests that take place, the NFL/NFLPA laboratory tests, and the Virginia Tech Laboratory tests. The VICIS ZERO1 was the top-ranked helmet on both lab tests.  Lets take a quick look at both tests.

NFL/NFLPA Laboratory test

The NFL states clearly, The laboratory test conditions are intended to represent potentially concussive head impacts in the NFL. The results of this study should not be extrapolated to collegiate, high school, or youth football.  In my opinion, this is the NFL and NFLPA’s way of saying they in no way want to be responsible for any injuries that happen at the youth, high school or college football levels. However, I can tell you from personal experience that the speed of the game, and the intensity of the hits in the NFL is greater than the D1 college level, and far greater than any hit experienced in high school or youth football level. To summarize my opinion—if the VICIS ZERO1 is the #1 rated helmet on this test it carries a lot of weight for me when considering my son who plays middle school football.

Banned Helmets

Six helmet models have been banned immediately by the NFL, while four others can still be used by players who wore them last year. However, they cannot be worn by new players. Here’s a list of the 10 banned helmets per the NFL/NFLPA’s 2018 test results.

VA TECH, The Ultimate Test

The Virginia Tech Helmet Lab specializes in the field of injury biomechanics with particular emphasis on investigating head tolerance to impact loading. For more information on their football helmet testing protocols click here.

2018 was VICIS ZERO1’s first year entering this test and they ranked #1.  In my opinion the Virginia Tech Laboratory test is the ultimate test for football helmets. Not only is it a “third party” independent test, but now, like the NFL/NFLPA test, their impact tests evaluate a helmet’s ability to reduce linear and rotational acceleration of the head resulting from a range of head impacts a football player might see on the field. In other words, this isn’t a simple “drop test.” This testing procedure is replicating hits from every angle more closely resembling what actually happens on the football field.


Why Is This Important To Know?

Although all helmets being sold satisfy “minimum requirements” for safety required by standards organizations, they are not all created equally. Before the Virginia Tech helmet ratings, coaches and parents had no way of knowing which helmets were better than others.  At the end of the day these are our boys…our teams, and this information is too important not to know.


A few months ago I asked a small group of high school coaches and parents of high school players what they knew about the new VICIS ZERO1 football helmet.  Everyone that was familiar with the VICIS helmet mentioned how great it was, but also thought there was no way they could afford it. I was hearing comments from these folks that they thought the helmet cost anywhere from $1,500 – $2,500.  This simply isn’t true.  The VICIS ZERO1 helmet costs $950, which is good sum of money for a lot of people. The VICIS mission is to protect players, so they went to work on making the ZERO1 affordable for everyone. (For Individuals we’re talking as low as $30 per month).  They even set up a digital fundraising platform for teams or schools through a program that’s called Snap-Raise, which is a simple platform that helps you leverage the reach of your on-line network. They also work with financing companies that can allow schools to outfit their entire roster and make payments over time.

More Information About Purchasing Options

INDIVIDUAL PURCHASE OPTIONS – For more information on individual purchases and paying over time click here.

TEAM FINANCING – For more information on “Team-Level” financing to help equip your program with the top ranked VICIS ZERO1 click here.

“SNAP-RAISE”, DIGITALLY FUNDRAISE FOR YOUR SCHOOL OR TEAM – For information on how to “Digitally Fundraise” for your school or team click here.


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