Best Catchers Skull Caps in 2021 – Reviews and Buying Guide

Looking for the best catcher skull caps? Consider me as your friend. One who knows how brave one needs to be to squat down behind the home plate. Who is aware of the dangers foul-tipped balls and an occasional mis-swing of the bat pose to the catcher.

That isn’t to say that skull caps provide as much protection as helmets – they leave your ears and your face unprotected. Hence why a vast majority of youth leagues have mandated the use of helmets over catcher skull caps. Why then are skull caps still in vogue?

Some catchers prefer them because skull caps are easier to put on and take off in the heat of the battle. Others go for them due to their lightweight construction. Still others say they’re more ventilated and keep their heads cool, especially in summer conditions.

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Rawlings Pro Skull Cap

The Rawlings Pro Skull Cap offers multiple amazing features. Foremost among them is the strategic placement of vents. There are slivers on top of the cap, as well as on the sides, to let air pass through. You won’t thus have to worry about getting it too hot in there.

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Then comes its glossy black finish. It has been polished to reduce the chances of fingerprint smudges or stains showing themselves on the cap. That doesn’t mean that it won’t let air particles set in. But you can easily wipe them clean with a wet microfiber cloth.

Equally handy is the combo of the outer ABS shell and the inner head band. The former showcases its utility by dissipating the impact of blows to the cap. As for the inner head band, it absorbs whatever is left of the impact, while also keeping you comfortable. That is not all.

Most skull caps you see on the market belong to the one-size-fits-all category. The Rawlings Pro is different. It is available in 13 – yes, THIRTEEN – different sizes as well as two different colors. That means those of you whose favorite color isn’t black can opt in favor of scarlet.

PROS

  • Shiny finish
  • Fingerprint-resistant exterior
  • Headband offers extra comfort
  • Cool-flo type vents

CONS

  • None

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Wilson Old School Skull Cap

The Wilson Old School Skull cap is a must-have for traditionalists. The reason we’re saying that has to do with its design. One that is gradually lifted from the back – and sloped at the front – to provide as much protection to your back of the neck and the temple.

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Wilson has combined this skull cap’s dual-density padding with a moisture management fabric. This decision has done wonders for this cap and its ability to keep you comfortable. That’s because, while the padding would keep the cap steady, the fabric will ensure easy evaporation of moisture.

There’s nothing about this cap’s outer shell which could attract complaints. It looks and feel sturdy and has the ability to withstand blows as long as their number remains in double digits.  How can we be so sure? Because we know what ABS plastic can do.

To further sweeten the deal, Wilson has made this skull cap as lightweight as possible. It has also manufactured it in four colors – black, navy, royal, scarlet – and multiple sizes. You can this easily pick one according to the size of your head and your taste.

PROS

  • Available in four colors
  • Made of ABS plastic
  • Lightweight yet sturdy

CONS

  • Size runs large

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EASTON PRO X Skull Catchers & Coaches Protective Helmet Cap

What is it that sets apart this catchers’ skull cap from others we reviewed above? Start with its matte finish. It won’t be the shiniest in the field but would still possess all the attributes – fingerprint-resistance, ability to retain original color under sunlight – which most people look for.

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Next comes the ABS thermoplastic shell. It strikers the perfect balance between strength and rigidity on one end and flexibility on the other. ABS is also incredibly heat-resistant and offers excellent protection against dents. Which is why you can find car parts made of ABS.

Equally noteworthy is the combo of soft dual-density foam and BioDri fabric. The soft dual density foam will earn your praise by providing unparalleled comfort. Apart from doing exactly that, the BioDri fabric will move one step ahead in utility by absorbing sweat particles.

Not a fan of the ‘Easton Screamin’ E’ logo on its forehead? Easton gives you the option to either remove it – in case you like your caps blank – or customize it. And the final notable thing about this skull cap? It’s available in five colors and two sizes. What more can you ask for!

PROS

  • Can be worn backward or frontward
  • Available in five colors
  • BioDri fabric to absorb sweat

CONS

  • None

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Easton CCX Skull Cap

Here’s another skull cap from Easton whose asking price won’t blow a hole in your pocket. The CCX provides above-average protection with its ABS plastic shell. One that can withstand the impact of blows without breaking down or getting dented in the aftermath.

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Inside the ABS plastic shell is the dual-density foam padding. The reason why it’s known as ‘dual’ is because there are two layers. An outer, high-density layer sits next to the shell and dissipates the impact of blows. The inner, low-density layer, meanwhile, is responsible for keeping you comfortable.

Easton further sweetens the deal by offering this skull cap six different colors. They range from the ultra-conservative (white and navy) to the extremely chic (red and royal). Those of you who have a habit of taking the middle path can make do with black or purple.

Yet another feature of this skull cap that caught our attention is its vents. Two are close to your neck area, two are on top of your head and the final two are right where anyone’s receding hairline might be.  Easton has strategically placed all six of to ensure breathability.

PROS

  • Competitively priced
  • Incredibly protective shell
  • Rubberized matte finish

CONS

  • Size runs small

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EvoShield Pro-Srz Skull Cap

Who says old-school skull caps cannot provide new-age protection? The EvoShield Pro-Srz is proof that you can ensure your safety while remaining in a budget. It provides excellent protection with its durable ABS plastic and has a comfort foam padding for better fit and comfort.

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This skull cap’s semi-gloss finish offers the better of both words. On the one end, it provides that shine that will help this product stand out in the field. On the other, it keeps a lid on the glare, thereby making sure that your fellow teammates won’t complain you about the same.

The size range might cause some confusion and that’s why we’re going to explain it here. The EvoShield Pro-Srz’s small/medium sizes are for those with head sizes 7 ¼ (and below) and the large/XL size range is for all the others. That’s where the good news ends.

There are two areas where this skull cap could have done a bit better. First is its asking price which might put a considerable burden on your pocket. Then is the lack of vents in its outer shell. You’d thus have no choice but to regularly take it off to give some air to your head.

PROS

  • Semi-gloss finish
  • Comfortable foam padding
  • Long-lasting outer shell

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Has no vents

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Easton CCX Grip Catcher/Coach Skull Cap

Two features separate the Easton CCX Grip from the Easton CCX we saw above. We reached that conclusion by juxtaposing both these skull caps. The first factor using which you can distinguish the CCX grip is that it does a better job of encapsulating your head.

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That isn’t to say that the abovementioned CCX will come off without any notice. But it does mean that if we’re to wager our money on which of these two skull caps would stay on an extensively shaking head, we’d bet on the CCX Grip. Here’s why we’d do that.

This skull cap has an added layer of padding that you can see from one of its vents. Look closely at the sliver on top of the left ear and there you’d see white padding. That is what tells us that the grip has taken extra steps to ensure that it stays on your head in inclement circumstances.

Apart from these two features, not much is different between these two skull caps. Both have a rubberized matte finish, are made of a well-ventilated ABS shell and have packed their interior with the BioDri liner to manage moisture. And both are available in only two sizes only.

PROS

  • Extra padding for added comfort
  • Stays on head even during shaking
  • Well-ventilated ABS shell
  • Striking red color matte exterior

CONS

  • Heavy

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Rawlings Coolflo Matte Style Alpha Sized Base Coach Helmet

Here’s another high-quality skull cap from the world-renowned Rawlings brand. It is available in four colors, lets you pick from an equal number of sizes and weighs relatively less when compared to other skull caps on this review. That’s not all.

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Those of you who have bought helmets before might know what the term ‘Coolflo’ in this skull cap’s name means. It tells us that this product contains 15 vents to let the ingress and exit of air through it. Their sheer number alone should tell you how far the vents would go to keep your head cool.

You might find it useful to note that its exterior boasts rubberized matte paint finish. One that isn’t glossy to reflect sunlight into the eyes of your teammates. But still has that striking features and that polished look which will make it the center of the attention on the field.

One thing you might want to note about this skull cap is that its size runs small. That is to say that those of you who regularly wear a smaller sized helmet might want to order a medium or larger one here. Check out this product’s size chart to know more.

PROS

  • Coolflo Venting technology
  • 15 strategically placed vents
  • Glare-free polished exterior

CONS

  • Size may run small

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All-Star Baseball-and-Softball-Catcher-Helmets Catcher’s Skull Cap

Prepared to break the bank on an above-average skull cap? In that case you might prefer what the All-Star Skull Cap has to offer. It features a streamlined design with two vents running from the base of the helmet to that area on top of your head, thereby ensuring easy sweat handling.

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Also on offer is an ABS plastic shell with clear coat finish. The presence of ABS should give you confidence that this helmet won’t break on facing a mis-hit ball or a wild-swinging bat. As for the clear-coat finish, it resists fingerprint smudges as well as stains.

Yet another notable feature of this skull cap is its availability in eight different colors. That’s at least three more color options than what you get from the 2nd most versatile skull cap on this review. You’d thus have to have an extremely eclectic taste to not find a color in there that meets your taste.

PROS

  • Rugged exterior
  • Polished and streamlined design
  • Comfortable vents and padding

CONS

  • Won’t come cheap

Benefits of Catchers Skull Caps

Here’s why catchers skull caps are still in vogue:

  • Easier to put on and take off: One cannot deny the fact that skull caps fail to provide as much protection as helmets. But it’s equally true that while helmets are a pain in the backside to put on and take off, you can set aside your skull cap at a moment’s notice.

 

  • Stay in place despite head movements: Experts tell us that the reason why some catchers go for skull caps is because helmets, for all the protection they offer, move around when the catcher’s head moves. That isn’t the case with skull caps that stay in place come what may.

 

  • Don’t weigh as much as helmets: Ask catchers who don’t wear helmets and most of you would point to the damn thing’s weight. They are too heavy to allow easy head movement, some of them might carp. Skull caps don’t allow anyone make point this accusation at them.

 

  • Can be worn with a separate mask: Remember Dottie Hinson from “A League of Their Own”? Then you might also recall her wearing a skull cap backward and a separate metal cage in front of her chin, throat and the forehead. Only skull caps would let you mimic that look on the field.

 

  • Provide more ventilation to keep your head cool: The mention of summertime brings two memories to veteran baseball players – lots of play and a hot head. Catchers’ skull caps, with their well-ventilated holes, will take care of the latter.

Drawbacks of Catchers Skull Caps

Here’s why most youth leagues have outlawed skull caps:

  • Leave the side of the head and the ears exposed: Here’s the reason why we recommend that you don’t use skull caps in isolation. You should always use them alongside something that would protect your chin, your ears and the side of your forehead.

 

  • Vulnerable to a hitter’s backswing or foul balls: One of the main reasons why the majority of youth leagues have mandated the use of helmet style masks – in place of catchers skull caps – is because the latter leave the catcher dangerously exposed to mis-hit balls.

 

  • Require you to wear extra gear: According to NOCSAE rules, the skull cap and mask combination isn’t allowed on the field. The catcher is thus required to wear a throat protector – as well as a face protector – alongside a skull cap when they are in a crouch position.

How to choose catchers skull caps – Catchers Skull Caps Buying Guide

One of two types of baseball players will consult this article. The first are those who have been playing the game for years. They know everything about catchers skull caps, their drawbacks and shortcomings and are only here to find one with the best reviews.

Then there are those who don’t know what to look for when choosing catchers skull caps. They could therefore do with a helping hand, one which would direct their attention to the qualities that top-rated skull caps possess. It’s for them that this section is vital.

Following are the questions you need to ask yourself to get the best catchers skull caps:

Which material is the skull cap’s shell made?

Here are the materials you skull cap’s outer shell might be made of:

ABS Plastic

Let’s start with the basics. ABS plastic is a polymer which strikes the perfect balance between strength and rigidity on one end and flexibility on the other. It’s incredibly heat-resistant and offers excellent protection against dents. Which is why it’s even used in car parts.

That isn’t to say that ABS doesn’t have any downsides. Direct exposure to sunlight over an extended period causes it to degrade and lose its color. It’s also extremely heavy, especially when compared with carbon fiber, and would thus make its presence felt on your head.

PROS

  • High-impact resistant
  • Extremely strong and rigid
  • Has a shiny, scratch-resistant surface
  • Cab withstand high temperatures

CONS

  • Heavy

Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber helmets are 130 times stronger and 300% stiffer than their counterparts made with ABS plastic. They also weigh very little and are poor conductors of heat, which means you won’t feel like your head is on fire with them on top of it. That isn’t where the good news ends.

They are also perfect for inclement weather conditions and are punctuated with vents to remain wearable when it’s too hot out there. Throw into the mix their crack- and scratch-resistant exterior, and there aren’t many faults – expect their high asking price, that you can find with them.

PROS

  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Amazingly strong and stiff
  • Scratch- and crack-resistant exterior

CONS

  • Pricey

Polycarbonate

What is it that is common between bulletproof windows, eyeglass lenses and your upcoming catchers’ skull cap? Polycarbonate plastic is the primary ingredient in all of them. It offers high impact resistance, even higher than ABS, while also being transparent.

Hence the reason why the utility of polycarbonate isn’t limited to the products mentioned above. It’s also used in riot shields, phone cases, medical devices, luggage packs, and so on. And of course, some catchers’ skull caps are made of polycarbonate too.

PROS

  • Has higher impact resistance than ABS
  • Resistant to rain and sunlight
  • Can be colored or left transparent

CONS

  • Sensitive to scratches

Which material is the skull cap’s inner padding made of?

The padding inside your skull cap will determine how comfortably it fits. It is therefore imperative that you pay special attention to the foam. Otherwise you might end up with an inner cushioning that won’t do much besides blocking air.

EVA Foam

Ethylene and vinyl acetate foam offers many sought-after features. It’s extremely lightweight, has a soft, cushioning texture and is water-resistant. You can also rest easy with the knowledge that it’s non-toxic and can be wiped clean. And the best thing about EVA foam? Its anti-bacterial properties.

On the flip side, inner liners made of EVA foam tend to be pricey and have a similar effect on the asking price of the skull cap in which they’re attached. That is to say that you’d have to pay more for skull caps with an EVA foam inner liner. But its benefits justifies the increase in asking price.

PROS

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Moisture-wicking properties
  • Water-resistant characteristics

CONS

  • Pricey

Dual Density Foam

Inner liners made of dual density foam offer the best of both worlds. They have an outer high-density foam that disperses and dissipates the impact of the blow. And their inner, low-density side absorbs the impact. Both the layers make sure your head doesn’t feel the full impact of every blow.

Not everything is hunky dory about dual density foams, though. They provide you with an added layer of safety but require the trade-off of your comfort in return. As the presence of two layers make them more resistant to sweat absorption, especially when compared with EVA foam.

PROS

  • Outer layer dissipates the impact
  • Inner layer absorbs the blow
  • Has cushioning characteristics

CONS

  • Not that breathable

Leather headband

Some of the models you’d encounter in our reviews section have gone with a unique combo. They have wrapped up a leather headband in soft padding, before using the combo to fill the inside of the cap. This arrangement has provided those skull caps with two benefits.

Leather, as we all know from experience, tends to do a fine job of dissipating and absorbing blows. It also has a huge shelf life and can keep on going for years. Nobody can also raise any questions about leather’s ability to withstand exposure to environmental irritants.

PROS

  • Extremely soft texture
  • Possess natural elasticity
  • Incredibly easy to clean

CONS

  • Poor breathability

Which finish does the skull cap’s outer shell possess?

Most players pay little attention to their skull cap’s finish. All they care about is that the cap is available in their favorite color. You cannot argue with them as they aren’t wrong. Yet if you could spend a few extra seconds to choose between matte and glossy finish, you won’t end up with buyer’s remorse.

Glossy Finish

Here’s what you’d get if you decide to go for a glossy finish. You’d end up with bluer blues, redder reds, greener greens. That means that regardless of the color your helmet possesses, a glossy finish will end up making it extremely vivid. That is not all.

Glossy finishes also tend to be more vibrant, have the ability to highlight details (like vents) better and provide any surface on which they’re applied with a striking finish. They are also incredibly reflective, thereby giving a sparkling shine when exposed to sun.

That is also where their shortcoming lies. Since glossy finishes create a lot of glare, your teammates might start complaining to you how your helmet is distracting them on the field. Also, if you opt in favor of light matte finish, it might wear out upon extended exposure to sunlight.

PROS

  • Eye-catching
  • Vivid and vibrant
  • Highlight details better

CONS

  • Light matte finishes wear out upon exposure to sunlight

Matte Finish

Two words come to mind whenever we think of matte: flat and soft. That is to say that you cannot expect matte finishes to beat their glossy counterparts when it comes to vividness. To some people, it’s a deal-breaker. To others, it’s the reason why they prefer matte over gloss.

Provided you belong to the second camp, you might find it useful to note that matte’s ability to avoid fingerprint smudges is second to none. You won’t see any blotches on its surface even when your skull cap has gone through many hands. That’s not all.

Matte offers a flat finish which keeps reflections at bay. You can thus wear your skull cap under the sun without troubling the eyes of your teammates. Yet the biggest selling point of matte has to be its greater tonal range that provides it with an elegant and subtle look.

PROS

  • Keeps reflections at bay
  • Gives elegant and subtle looks
  • Resistant to fingerprint smudges

CONS

  • Not as vibrant or vivid as gloss

Which brand does the skull cap belong to?

Here are the most famous catchers’ skull cap brands:

  • Wilson Sporting Goods: Operating out of Illinois USA for over a century, Wilson Sporting Goods have been making surgical structures, tennis racket strings and of course catchers’ skull caps for many years with distinction.
  • Rawlings: Rawlings came into being in 1887 when two brothers, George and Alfred Rawlings, decided to set up a sporting goods store. The Missouri-owned brand was acquired by another party in 2017 but the quality of its products has remained steady.
  • Easton: Easton first made its name by making the most of aluminum – it made the world’s first ever aluminum arrow in 1939 and the first-ever aluminum bat 30 years later. Recent estimates put this US brand’s value at above $500million.

Must-Have Features

Following are the must-have features:

  • Strategically placed vents: Most helmets that you see on this review come with vents on top. Know why? The resulting flow of air would keep your head dry and help you keep your cool in the heat of the battle.

 

  • Moisture wicking liner: There’s a difference between an internal liner cushioning/foam. The former’s main job is to ensure easy evaporation of moisture, whereas the foam is only responsible for making the helmet comfortable to wear.
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Conclusion

Let’s end with the basics. You need to answer four questions to land the best catchers skull caps in 2021. They include what type of material you want the skull’s exterior to be made of, which type of foam padding you prefer, whether you like matte or glossy finish and the brand of the skull cap.

Regardless of your answers to these questions, there are two things that are a must-have. You should insist on having them in your skull cap while shopping. They include strategically placed vents (to ensure sweat handling) and a moisture wicking liner.

That’s what you got to do to land the best catchers’ skull cap. However, if you feel that it’s too much for your liking, forget what we said in the past two paragraphs. Just scroll back up and select your favorite skull cap from the reviewed seven. All of them possess all the attributes we mentioned here.

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