5 Best Lacrosse Chest Protectors For Goalies In 2022

Chest protectors are must-have for boys and girls lacrosse goalies. They provide abundant protection around the chest, sternum, stomach, and heart. In 2021, USA lacrosse announced that all boys and girls lacrosse goalies are required to wear a NOCSAE approved lacrosse chest protector. This new rule holds equipment manufacturers to a higher standard in order to ensure safer equipment is being worn by all goalies. With that being said, we’ve curated a list of the best lacrosse chest protectors for all goalies – all of which are NOCSAE approved. So whether you are just starting out as a goalie or simply looking to upgrade your current chest pads, let’s dive in 👇.

What Is The Best Lacrosse Chest Protector For Goalies?

  1. Warrior Nemesis ProBest Overall & Best For Youth
  2. STX Shield 600Best For Girl’s Lacrosse
  3. STX Shield 400Extra Shoulder Protection
  4. STX Shield 200Budget-Friendly
  5. Maverik Max EKGGreat For U12 players

Our Pick

new nocsae standard chest protection

Warrior Nemesis Pro

Built to absorb high impact shots, the Warrior Nemesis Pro comes with a foam chest plate with added inserts that help bolster protection. The 3-piece pad construction allows goalies to build up or break down the belly pad setup and either opt for more protection, more mobility, or a hybrid of the two.

Highlights

  • NOCSAE approved
  • Adjustable 3-piece pad construction
  • Excellent protection
  • Superior mobility

Price

Higher end price point

Bottom Line

The Warrior Nemesis Pro is widely accepted as the best overall chest protector on the market. It is lightweight, comfortable, and provides elite protection, preventing you from getting bruises in the morning. The adjustability component is favored by goalies because it allows you to velcro extra padding inserts and rearrange them to fit your comfort & protection preference. Although this chest protector comes it at a higher price point, it’s worth it. The Warrior Nemesis Pro will last for multiple years to come and remain in great condition. One coach reported that their U14-U13 boy’s team wore a large and their U12-U11 team wore a medium.

STX Shield 600

nocsae nd200 goalie chest protection

Overview

An upgrade from previous generations of STX chest protectors, the STX Shield 600 is a common choice for college and pro level goalkeepers. It includes a floating chest plate that offers a dual layer of protection. It also includes flex points within the floating plate, which is intended to increase range of motion and make it easier for goalies to make off-stick saves.

Highlights

  • NOCSAE approved
  • Floating chest plate for flexibility & mobility
  • Worn by college and pro level goalies
  • Removable stomach pad for optional added coverage

Price

Higher end price point

Bottom Line

Although the STX Shield 600 is worn by college and pro level men’s players, it is by far the favorite chest protector of women’s and girl’s lacrosse goalies. Unlike the Warrior Nemesis Pro (where some girls complain it does not offer enough protection in key areas), the STX Shield 600 provides wider protection around the upper chest areas. Compared to its predecessor (the STX Shield 400), this chest protector is less bulky and more lightweight.

STX Shield 400

goalie pads with shoulder pads

Overview

Ideal for boys and girls youth goalies, the STX Shield 400 incorporates a floating chest plate, adjustable shoulder caps, and removable stomach pads that be customized to suit your style of play.

Highlights

  • NOCSAE approved
  • Floating chest plate for flexibility & mobility
  • Adjustable shoulder caps
  • Removable stomach pad for optional added coverage

Price

Mid-range price point

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for more protection around the shoulder areas, the STX Shield 400 is a great pickup. The adjustable shoulder caps can be added or removed depending on your preference. Many goalkeepers prefer to go without shoulder protection to improve their range of motion. However, some athletes appreciate the added protection because it gives them more confidence and assurance to step in front of shots in net.

STX Shield 200

chest protection with shoulder pads

Overview

Designed for the beginner-level goalie, the STX Shield 200 is constructed with a hard plastic chest plate and shoulder caps. It includes multiple hinges to allow for unrestricted mobility.

Highlights

  • NOCSAE approved
  • Hard plastic through chest plate and shoulder caps
  • Unrestricted mobility
  • Optional stomach pad for additional coverage
  • Adjustable straps

Price

Budget-friendly

Bottom Line

The STX Shield 200 is the best budget-friendly chest protector for beginner-level goalies. If your youngster is a U12 player just starting out in the goalkeeper position, the STX Shield 200 great option worn by thousands of youth boys and girls players across the country.

Maverik Max EKG

nocsae standard nd200 pads

Overview

The Maverik Max EKG lacrosse goalie chest pad offers a progressive design optimized for movement and reducing “bunching” when making dynamic cross-body saves. The external kardiac guard (EKG) is an added layer of protection on the chest intended to further prevent incidents of commotio cordis (blunt trauma to the heart).

Highlights

  • NOCSAE approved
  • External Kardiac Guard (EKG)
  • Adjustable straps
  • Anaform chest plates for increased mobility
  • Wicks moisture away from skin, keeping you cool

Price

Higher end price point

Bottom Line

The Maverik Max EKG is a high quality, high end goalie chest pad that offers excellent protection and mobility to keepers standing between the pipes. It is unique in that it provides an External Kardiac Guard (EKG), which is an extra layer of padding specifically designed for dispersing impact away from the heart. The Maverik Max EKG also includes an extra-small option for players under 90 lbs. Bottom line – if you are willing to invest in a higher end chest protector for a budding youth goalie, this is the chest protector for you.

What To Look For When Choosing A Lacrosse Chest Protector?

legal goalie gear & pads

NOCSAE Approval

According to the new lacrosse chest protector rules, as of January 2022, all boys’ and girls’ lacrosse goalie chest protectors must meet the new NOCSAE ND200 standard. The new NOCSAE standard is intended to ensure safer equipment is being worn by goalies to decrease the risk of cardiac arrest induced by impact. Don’t worry, all chest protectors in this article are NOCSAE approved. However, if you are wearing an older chest protector, or a product not on this list, you could be at risk of wearing equipment that is not NOCSAE approved.

Areas Of Protection

Lacrosse chest protectors can favor certain areas of protection. For example, most come with removable belly pads for added protection in the stomach region and strong protection around the chest. However, the STX Shield 600 offers wider protection across the chest than the Warrior Nemesis Pro. Also, the STX Shield 400 includes removable shoulder pads while others don’t. Depending on how much protection you’d like in certain areas, your chest protector of choice could vary.

Mobility

Quick reflexes. It’s how goalies make their money. But having a bulky chest protector that gets in the way of your movement can be detrimental to your game. The best chest protectors solve for this by ensuring a superior range of motion than others. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and “flex” in certain areas so that you can reach across your body unimpeded.

FAQ

Do lacrosse goalies wear chest protectors?

Yes. All boys and girls lacrosse goalies are required to wear lacrosse chest protectors that meet the NOCSAE ND200 standard.

What does a lacrosse goalie wear?

Lacrosse goalies are required to wear the following gear:

Wrap Up

nocsae standard certified gear

Overall, lacrosse goalie chest protectors come in varying levels of comfort, protection, and size. Most importantly, all of the chest pads in this article are NOCSAE approved, meaning they meet the equipment safety standards of USA lacrosse. Equipment manufacturers are held to this standard in order to better protect goalies from commotio cordis and promote cardiac safety. Commotio cordis is a rare but serious medical condition that is caused by low-impact trauma to the chest that can change the rhythm of the heart. As a result, NOCSAE funded groundbreaking research around how to protect against commotio cordis, and USA Lacrosse adopted the standard for our all lacrosse goalies.

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