Edited for Spring 2020
Lacrosse Gear for 3/4 players
Players must have their own equipment: lacrosse stick, helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, mouth guard, and athletic protector cup. The club may have gear to loan.
The following websites offer a vast selection of gear with reliable customer service. Lax gear is typically sold at the manufacturer’s list price. As such, price differences do not typically exist, but the websites can have sales as they try to clear out last year’s inventory so it’s good thing to check.
www.sportstop.com, free shipping on orders greater than $49.
www.lacrosseunlimited.com, free shipping on orders greater than $75.
www.lacrossemonkey.com, free shipping on orders greater than $75.
www.lax.com, free shipping on orders greater than $75.
Cascade is the top-rated manufacturer of lacrosse helmets. Warrior introduced a youth helmet for the first time this year. Select a S/M size for the helmet. The main differences in the cost of the helmets are the type of protection and the ability to adjust the fit.
Best: Cascade S Youth, $240.
Any attack/middie complete stick will be fine, but the quality of the mesh and a better stringing pattern will make a remarkable difference. As such, it’s our recommendation to stay away from the most basic sticks, which typically cost less than $50. In addition, it is unnecessary to buy a pre-strung or unstrung head and match it with a shaft. The cost-benefit ratio does not compare to the price performance of the complete sticks.
Best: ECD CF5 Elite, $150.
Better: ECD Bravo 1, $100.
Good: StringKing Complete 2 Intermediate, $100.
3. Starter Kits
It’s our recommendation for new players to either buy a starter kit that only includes shoulder pads, arm pads, and gloves or to buy a starter kit that also includes your choice of helmet. Starter kits offer a better price performance compared to buying gear separately. The gear is not the best available gear, but it’s decent, provides good protection, and will last for a couple of years. Select 10” size gloves and small for the shoulder pads and arm pads, depending on the size of the child.
Good: Epoch ID Jr, $110.
Good: STX Stallion 200, $110.
Good: Under Armour Strategy, $80.
4. Individual Pads
Players may want to buy gear separately as their skills advance and as they grow. The gear is better quality and will provide better protection but cost a lot more. As such, the information provided below will offer examples of better gear than starter kits can provide.
a. Shoulder Pads
Most shoulder pads have shoulder caps and removable bicep pads, which provide good protection but can also limit mobility. As a player’s skill set improves, they will typically remove the bicep pads.
FYI, US Lacrosse passed a rule change (NOCAE ND200) related to reducing the risk of commotio cordis. All goalies must meet this standard by January, 2021, while field players must meet the standard by January, 2022. Currently, some manufacturers are providing shoulder pads that meet the requirements, especially for goalies, but the product offerings are minimal at this time.
Best: Maverik Max EKG, $140.
Better: STX Cell IV, $130.
Better: Warrior EVO Hitlyte, $100.
Good: TRUE Frequency 2.0, $120.
b. Arm Protection
Arm pads provide general elbow and arm protection while arm guards provide more protection for the bicep and forearm as they are longer. Arm pads offer full upper arm protection when combined with the bicep pads connected to the shoulder pads. Players typically wear arm guards with the bicep pads removed from the shoulder pads. In general, midfielders use arm pads while attackmen use arm guards. Players at the youth level typically use arm pads. Only consider arm pads and arm guards that have Velcro straps at the top and bottom and have a full Lycra sleeve as both will be beneficial for the fit. Another tip is to buy Velcro circles to affix to the pads to provide a tighter fit.
Best: Warrior Evo Arm Pads, $70.
Better: STX Cell IV Arm Pads, $80.
Good: Maverik Max Arm Pads, $75.
Best: Warrior Evo Arm Guards, $80.
Better: STX Cell IV Arm Guards, $100.
Good: Maverik Max Arm Guards, $90.
Gloves are the most important piece of protective gear after helmets. As such, gloves tend to be on the expensive side. Gloves should have a floating cuff as well as a flexible upper cuff.
Best: Maverik M4, $130.
Best: Warrior Evo, $130.
Better: STX Cell IV, $130.
Better: Under Armour Command Pro 2, $130.
For more information on protective gear sizing, please visit the US Lacrosse Equipment Fitting Guide.