Best Goalie Neck Guards + Throat Protectors

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As a hockey goalie, protecting your neck and throat is one of the most important things you’ll do. Yet, it’s one of the most common areas that we see goalies skip on both. At the professional level, goalies are doing everything they can to protect themselves from shots upwards of 100 miles per hour. Wearing a neck guard is similar to wearing knee protection. If you start using a neck guard earlier in your playing career, you’ll become used to wearing one and it won’t be a problem later on.

The importance of neck guards cannot be overstated. In October of 2023, much of the world read about the tragic passing of former NHL player Adam Johnson. Johnson died when a skate accidentally cut his neck. Neck guards not only offer improved protection to the clavicle area, they also help to protect against the chance of a skate hitting exposed skin in the neck area. We’ve had hundreds of goalie parents asking about neck guards we recommend, one of the top is the Aegis Pro series. More on that below.

Wearing neck and clavicle (collarbone) protection is something every goalie should do. If you haven’t yet taken a puck to the collarbone, chances are you will and if you’re one of those goalies who insists you do not need to wear a neck guard, chances are you’ll change your tune! Of course, the increased protection over open skin on a goalies neck is added comfort and confidence when goalies are in the crease in the butterfly trying to cover up loose pucks.

Before we jump into the meat and potatoes of this article, I want to answer a couple of quick questions to help clarify the difference between throat protectors and neck guards for hockey goalies. If you want to jump ahead to the best neck guards, click here!

Do hockey goalies have to wear neck guards?

No. Goalies do not have to wear neck guards, nor do they have to wear plastic throat protectors. In fact, at the NHL level, many do not wear either. With that being said, we always recommend checking with the league you’re playing in. In general, while goalies are not forced to wear neck guards, we strongly suggest to all of the goalies that we work with to consider wearing one. They’re an incredibly important piece of equipment in one of the most vulnerable areas of the body.

Do NHL goalies wear neck guards?

More NHL goalies wear neck guards than not, yes. With that being said, however, NHL goalies change their gear so frequently that it’s hard to identify a specific number of professional goalies that wear neck guards. At the NHL level, goalies are doing everything they can to give themselves more protection without impacting their mobility.

What’s the difference between neck guards for goalies and throat protectors?

Throat protectors, often incorrectly referred to as neck protectors, are built of plastic-like material called Lexan. Lexan is a high-impact plastic designed to withstand the impact of a hockey puck, up to the NHL level. Neck guards are built of high-density foam, or a combination of high-density foams. Goalie neck guards are often called clavicle protectors as they cover both the neck and clavicle area.

How do you put a neck guard on a goalie mask?

While the plastic shield on a goalie mask is often referred to as a neck guard, it’s actually called a throat protector. A throat protector is attached using three pieces of string. To attach this to your helmet the most effectively, start by tying the middle of the throat protector to the bottom of your wire cage. Then, with the entire helmet and shield laying flat on a table, attach a piece of each string to the right and left sides of the cage and a plastic throat protector.

In this article, we’re going to cover two different pieces of equipment. Both fundamentally do the same thing but are very different in their construction. 

If you’re not here for neck guards, often referred to as clavicle protectors, you’re looking for goalie throat protectors. We’ll cover those as we move along down this article.

First off, neck guards.

Here are the best goalie neck guards on the market. 

Highest Rated Goalie Neck Guards 2024

These are the most protective, most comfortable goalie neck guards on the market.
RankPad NameProduct ImageDescriptionPrice at GoalieMonkeyPrice at PureGoalie
#1Aegis Pro Series Photo shows a close up picture of the Aegis Pro Series neck guard More comfortable, more protection. D3O foam. Trimmable neck insert. GoalieMonkeyPureGoalie
#2Aegis G SeriesPhoto shows close up photo of the Aegis G Series neck guard for goaleisLess protection than the Pro Series, less than half the price.GoalieMonkeyPureGoalie
#3Warrior X4 Photo shows close up photo of the Warrior X4 Goalie Neck Guard Next best thing to Aegis Pro series.GoalieMonkeyPureGoalie

When it comes to using a neck guard, goalies want three things. First, overall protection. Second, overall comfort. Third, how intrusive is the neck guard? If the neck guard is bulky, bottom line is that it just will not get worn. When we reviewed the neck guards for this piece, these are the things we rated each product on. In the world of goalie equipment, neck protection is an after-thought for many. While it may be an after-thought, it shouldn’t be. There are countless situations each year on the hockey rink where a player is hit by a puck and it causes a big scare for all involved. For goalies, we’re at the epicenter of this. Opposing players have no regard for whether or not they shoot a puck at our head. When there’s a scrum for a puck in front of the net, our head and neck in the most vulnerable position for sticks / skates / and pucks to cause serious injury.

If you’re not wearing a neck guard and you’re a goalie, we hope this helps you change your mind. It’s one of the single most important pieces of equipment a goalie can wear.

Neck guard rating system for goalies:

  • Overall Protection – how protective is the neck guard? Is it Pro Level, or entry level?
  • Comfort – how comfortable is the product? The most popular neck guards are by default also the most comfortable.
  • Intrusiveness – is the neck guard bulky? If it negatively affects movement, it will not get used.
  • Total Score – adding each of the three rating categories up, we came up with a final score to determine what actually is the best neck guard on the market.


As of June 2018, Maltese is no longer making neck guards. Yes, we still cover them in this article. The reason for that is this, if you’re covering goalies and not mentioning Maltese, you cannot be taken seriously as actually understanding the products that goalies want in their bag.

To date, a large number of the professional goalies we train still use the Maltese neck guard. With that being said, there are products that compare to the Maltese on the market today. We’re actively testing several, and will update this article with up to date comparisons when we have enough data compiled.

Aegis Interceptor with D3O foam

The Aegis brand is one that’s relatively new to the hockey space, but they’ve got an unbelievable story (and product). The long and short of it is, they were able to begin using D3O foam after an Alberta hockey player died after taking a puck to the neck during play.

Aegis neck guards are better than anything else on the market for four reasons. While these are simply our opinion, it’s hard to argue with point number 1. The sleeve being machine washable is an added bonus. Keep your gear clean, anybody near you will appreciate it.

  1. They’re cut resistant
  2. The sleeve is machine washable
  3. All padding is removable
  4. Neck insert can be trimmed to best fit

There are two models of Aegis neck protectors that we’ve used and currently recommend. The first is the Aegis Interceptor Pro and the second is the G Series. When we have an opportunity to test more of their products, we will update this article accordingly.

Aegis Interceptor Pro – extended collarbone protection

The Pro series is built for goalies playing at a higher level. If you currently wear a neck guard and simply want to change it out with something better, we truly hope you consider the Aegis Pro. There is not a company currently that has done what Aegis has done (maybe Verbero) for unique protection systems for hockey players.

The Pro series is geared towards goalies playing at a level higher than youth hockey. The Pro series is a full neck and collarbone protection system that is far and away better than any other neck guard on the market, without question. The Pro series is the closest product to a Maltese goalie neck guard there currently is.

Aegis Interceptor Pro Sizing Guide:

  • S/M: neck of 10″ to 14″ around
  • L/XL: neck of 13.5″ to 17″
Aegis Pro Series

Without question the #1 goalie neck guard on the market. Cut resistant, machine washable and the main neck component can be trimmed to fit.

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We’ve had a few parents tell us that the Aegis Pro Series neck guard comes in and out of stock at both Pure Goalie and Goalie Monkey. If that’s the case, consider checking their Amazon listing.

Aegis G Series – less collarbone protection

The G Series is geared towards youth and goalies playing at a lower level.

The G Series is quite a bit different than the Pro series when it comes to additional clavicle protection. The G Series (as you can see from the attached photos) is missing the extended collarbone protection that’s offered in the Pro series. If you’ve got a youth goalie, the G Series is going to get them used to wearing a neck guard (and it’s a less than half the price of the Pro series) and if they continue to play the position, they can upgrade in a year or two.

Aegis G Series Sizing Guide:

  • S/M: neck of 10″ to 14″ around
  • L/XL: neck of 13.5″ to 17″
Aegis G Series

Slightly less protection than the Aegis Pro Series, still a tremendous option with cut resistant fabric.

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Warrior X4 Pro Neck Guard

Until we had an opportunity to actually use the Aegis Pro and Aegis G series neck guards, the Warrior X3 was the neck guard we recommended to most of our goalies. While the X3 is hard to find, it’s been replaced by the Warrior X4. Warrior has done more for younger goalies in recent years than any other brand on the market and their neck guards are no different. While it’s still a tremendous neck guard, after wearing the X4 side by side with the Aegis Pro, we’ve knocked it down a step. With that being said, this neck guard fits similar to the older, Maltese style of neck guards, and it comes in two different models.

The model we prefer and recommend is the Warrior X4 Pro. If you’re looking for a cheaper version, the Warrior X4 base model is 1/3 of the price.

Here’s the thing about neck guards. Not every goalie wears them. Most are intrusive and not comfortable. With their X3, Warrior proved they were willing to invest into an area of gear that most companies will not. If you’re going to pick one of these, we recommend any of the top three.

Warrior X4 Neck Guard

An extension of the Warrior X3, the X4 is the latest and greatest from Warrior.

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Bauer Pro Neck Guard

If you simply cannot spend the money on the Aegis Pro series and are looking for a run of the mill, more affordable option look at the Bauer Pro neck guard. We’ve tested this one over multiple skates and can say that it is quite comfortable. Neck guard testing is a little challenging, however, as we’re not asking shooters to aim for the neck. With that in mind, we look for comfort and feel for protection. The Bauer Pro neck guard is very comfortable, more so than the CCM Shirt, hence it’s ranking here.

Bauer Pro Neck Guard

The Bauer Pro Neck Guard scored at 28/30 in our final neck guard rankings this year, just one point behind the Warrior X3.

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CCM BNQ Shirt / No Shirt Style Neck Guard

This is one of our most recommended neck guards for goalies — but it comes with a caveat. It’s also a shirt. So, if you’re a goalie who values minimal clothing on under your gear, I would stay away.

The CCM BNQ comes in both a shirt and a standalone neck guard unit. See our photo of just the neck guard below.

Option number one the CCM BNQ Shirt senior and youth sizing. Available at both Pure Goalie and Goalie Monkey.

Option number two the CCM BNQ Neck Guard, in junior sizing. Available at both Pure Goalie and at Goalie Monkey.

The reason we list this as our number one most recommended neck guard for goalies is simply because of it’s versatility. It’s not often that you find a high quality product built for youth goalies AND higher level goalies with the only difference being size.

For youth goalies, a shirt style neck guard helps keep the protective equipment centered and in the right place. For those of you reading who are playing in your teens and beyond, the shirt simply offers more consistent protection.

We tested this neck guard extensively during the summer of 2020.

CCM BNQ Shirt Style Neck Guard Review. Wash this shirt a bunch. The biggest advantage of this system is that it’s a shirt. The biggest downside is that, it’s a shirt. If you’re not planning on keeping up on maintaining this neck protection system, don’t bother. The material of the shirt is mesh and with repeated use without proper care, it becomes crusty and VERY uncomfortable.

Check the price of the CCM BNQ Shirt at Pure Goalie.

Check the price of it at Goalie Monkey.

Maltese Neck Guard 

Up until they went out of business, the Maltese Neck Guard was bar none the single best piece of neck protection on the market. Maltese used a unique foam that was used and LOVED by goalies up to the NHL level. The brand had a near cult like following for good reason, the product was underpromised and over-delivered.

Seriously, if you owned a Maltese, you’re most likely not looking to buy a different neck guard. Unless on the off chance you wore that neck guard out. If you’re one of those goalies who had one previously and simply want the next best thing, look at the brand Aegis who we’ve covered extensively here. Maltese foam was an unbelievable product trusted by many professionals, but there’s a reason CCM markets D3O foam so aggressively – it’s a super protective product. Aegis neck guards are built using D3O and we fully believe that there is no better neck guard on the market.

Aegis Pro Series

Without question the #1 goalie neck guard on the market. Cut resistant, machine washable and the main neck component can be trimmed to fit.

Pure Goalie Price Goalie Monkey Price
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Enough about neck guards, let’s transition into the throat protectors.

Here are the best goalie throat protectors available to the public. 

Best Goalie Throat Protectors

Throat protectors are similar to kneck guards in the fact that they are designed to protect your neck, but a throat protector hangs in front of your helmet.

While a goalie specific neck guard offers more beneficial protection to the clavicle (collarbone) area, a throat guard, commonly called a “dangler for goalies”, is an important piece of impact protection to pucks that may otherwise strike the neck and throat area of the athlete.

In recent years, we’ve seen a noticable uptick in NHL goalies that wear throat guards, for good reason. While goalie masks are designed with a longer chin to help protect the neck and throat area, they are not perfect and it’s possible that pucks can still strike this vulnerable area. Of course, a puck shot with any velocity is more than enough to cause dangerous damage to an athletes throat.

Buy goalie dangler throat protectors at Goalie Monkey or Pure Goalie.

There are multiple different manufacturers that make throat guards for goalies. CCM and Bauer are the two most commonly in stock at both Goalie Monkey or Pure Goalie, they can seem expensive (especially that they may crack the first practice), but they’re one of the biggest peace of mind investments a goalie can make. While I was still playing, I always wore a lexan throat guard.

Ask any goalie, wearing a plastic throat shield is worth the adjustment in getting used to. Not only do they help shield against pucks, they offer additional protection from sticks and skates.