Have you ever had trouble deciding on what arm protection to purchase? Or maybe just confused about all the different names and options? No worries, I have you covered with all the hottest lacrosse arm protection, including arm guards, arm pads, and elbow caps for those who like minimal protection and optimal movement.
First things first, let’s quickly break down the three categories of arm protection:
Arm Guards are typically bulkier pads that cover the majority of the arm. These will often offer the most protection of the three categories, therefore catering to attack and sometimes offensive midfielders. These are also a favorite in the box game to soak up all the checks. Because these are the largest of the three pads, they do often cut down on mobility, which is why you rarely see anyone outside of attack wearing them.
Arm Pads vary in size a bit but most commonly cover a bit less of the arm and feature less protection or at least reduced protection in certain areas when compared to the guards. These tend to be the favorite of offensive midfielders but also occasionally show up at attack and defense. These are the one-stop-shop-type pad in the sense that you realistically could play anywhere with them.
Arm / Elbow Caps are the smallest and least protective of the three options but do offer by far the most mobility and full range of motion. These are common for many defensive midfielders now and long poles as they need less protection generally when compared to attack. If you want the most mobility and don’t need as much protection, these are a great bet for you!
Congrats, you’ve now earned your degree in lacrosse arm protection categories! Let me break down the top options from each category to make your shopping experience easier.
Each of these options has been assigned a protection rating from 1-5. The most protective pads will feature a 5, while the least protective will feature a 1. This isn’t a knock on the quality of the product, it’s simply a scale to help you decide what will fit your protection style and playing needs the best. I repeat, this score is not meant to evaluate the quality of the product – it’s merely to measure how protective you can expect the arm protection to be when you’re playing lacrosse.
Lacrosse Arm Protection Buyers Guide 2021-22
STX Cell 5 Arm Guard – Protection Rating 4
The new lacrosse arm guards in the legendary STX Cell line of protection bring both quality and protection. Featuring softer upper and lower protection for flexibility and a hard shell floating elbow cup, these will be a more flexible option for arm guards.
They rank in at a 4 on the protection scale simply because they are made of a majority of a softer protective material, meaning they will absorb most of the impact but you may still feel a bit. I personally have used many of the STX Cell arm guards in my life and loved every generation. A great option for a player looking for protection without sacrificing too much flexibility!
Maverik Max Arm Guard – Protection Rating 5
These things rock. As someone who plays attack in field and forward in box, I love what these pads offer on the protection side. With a harder foam protection system surrounding this pad known as Anaform, this will be one of the most protective pads on this list while still being very light weight. Maverik has been a leader in protection for quite a bit of time and doesn’t disappoint with these elbow guards at all. Highly suggest these looking for great protection!
True Zerolyte Arm Guards – Protection Rating 4
I’ve been rocking these arm guards from True Temper Lacrosse for a few months now and love the protection I’ve been getting out of them. Most of the pad is made up of a softer protective material with key impact areas being reinforced with a harder protective material known as Hexashield. These also feature a floating protective elbow cap to ensure protection from any checks to the elbow.
These rank at a 4 on the protective scale because of softer protective material through most the pads, making them quite a bit more flexible and comfortable. If you’re an offensive player looking for the right amount of protection when dodging, I suggest giving these a look!
Nike Vapor Elite Arm Pads 2021 – Protection Rating 3.5
A surprise contender coming in hot from Nike! The Vapor Elite 2021 pads not only feature some sick Nike designs but also have a great protective padding system in place. A harder shock absorbent foam encapsulates most of the upper and lower padding areas with a flatter-style floating cap to deflect checks. One can also love the two-strap system placed at the top and bottom of each pad, as we know arm protection can slide all over the place while playing lacrosse. These are a great option for someone looking for a less restrictive design with quite a bit of protection!
Maverik Max Arm Pad – Protection Rating 4
The arm pad version of the Maverik Max protective line brings together a lot of desired features, including a longer arm sleeve to ensure comfort and less pad sliding as well as hard foam protection placed around the pad in impact areas. If you’re looking for a comfortable pad that won’t break down, this could be a very good option for you. I’m personally a big fan of the Anaform padding around this pad as it’s very flexible and lightweight, allowing the player to play protected without any restriction to their mobility.
STX Cell 5 Arm Pad – Protection Rating 3.5
The Cell 5 line brings some great offerings to the arm pad protection market with these, from the 360+ Strap lock system ensuring your pads stay locked in place to the GeoFlex II protection surrounding the pad for comfort and protection.
These pads get a bit of a lower protection score simply because they don’t have a hard, protective elbow cap and are made primarily of softer protective padding. These are a great option for a two-way midfielder or any player looking for lots of comfort and flexibility!
STX Cell 5 Elbow Pad – Protection Rating 3
Big fan of these as far as elbow pads go. A lot of times with elbow caps, pads get overlooked from a design perspective as they are looked at as the most minimal of arm protection, but that’s simply not the case with these. These beauties feature a tight-fitting Lycra sleeve to reduce slipping along with the foam padding to absorb shock. If you’re a defender or LSM looking for elbow protection and comfort, these are the way to go!
Maverik Max Elbow Pad – Protection Rating 2
Much like the rest of the Maverik Max arm protective line, these elbow pads have everything you could possibly need. These feature an elongated sleeve in order to fully grip your arm and keep the elbow cap/pad in the right area, along with a well-placed bicep strap that – believe it or not – a lot of elbow pads don’t have. These simple yet strategic design elements go a long way. Solid purchase option right here!
Warrior Burn Pro Elbow Pad – Protection Rating 2
This simple yet effective pad gets the job done and looks good doing so. The smaller size of this pad covers just the elbow and allows for full mobility while playing. I can see this being a big, mean long pole’s dream of an elbow pad. Give this a look if you want a clean looking and effective elbow pad!
Need More Help with Your 2021-22 Gear?
We have specialized buyers guides for the 2021-22 season coming your way the next few weeks, from mesh to helmets and more. Everything you need will be covered in our guides. Take a look at what we have prepared for you!