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Bauer NME 7 N/C Goalie Mask Review
- Updated: May 5, 2011
After spending a few inline hockey seasons playing forward for Team HockeyWorldBlog.com, I decided to go back to the position that is most like home: in goal. I recently upgraded some of my goalie gear and one of them was my mask. I was playing on another team when I saw the mask our goalie had. He had the Bauer NME 7 Mask and I took a few looks at it and figured that was the mask I needed to have. After purchasing the mask from our friends at Ice Warehouse, I decided to give the mask a few games of wear before writing any initial reviews. I purchased the helmet in black and it is a size 2.
As for general specifications, it features a lightweight composite fiber construction to make it strong and light. It also assists in keeping the head cool as it has multiple ventilation holes and a helmet-specific BAUER sweatband at the front of the helmet. The cage I have is the Non-Certified Cat Eye design, the same mark the professionals use for increased visibility. The cage is made from Non-Certified steel wire. The gaps in front of the eyes are big, but not big enough to allow a puck or stick to poke someone. I have already taken a couple shots to the head and did not feel a thing.
Inside the helmet, it has a thick but soft quad-density foam liner throughout the helmet, and it also features a softer red-colored foam padding that is gel-like at the pressure points of the head. Those are located at the top, cheekbone areas and across the back at the bottom of the back plate.
Out of the box, it looked really solid and it was easy to adjust the straps for my head. One of the things I noticed most is the adjustable chin cup. There is a Velcro strap on each side and they tighten simply by crossing each other into place. I also liked the five-point strap system across the back plate that is fully adjustable. The top and main intersection point is made of nylon while the four side straps are elastic. The side straps keep the helmet secure and snug without leaving marks on your skin.
I also like how the bottom of the shell appears to extend down than most other masks. I have played with an attached throat guard my entire life and I decided to play without it until I decide to purchase one and use it. I do keep my neck area protected with a bib style throat protector. This also allowed for a greater range of motion and doesn’t have the scratchy clang sound attached throat goards make. Another good feature it has is a vibration dampening system, which will reduce the impact when you take a shot to the head.
The sweat band also adds another nice touch. They include two, as you can keep the spare one inside the included helmet bag. The sweat band is black and features a moisture management system which will allow it to dry rather quickly. The helmet bag is padded and ventilated, which will protect it from scratches and gives it proper chance to air dry. It also has a pocket, which will allow you to keep the extra sweat band as well as any parts or accessories.
The only issue I have had with the helmet is the chin cup. It took a while and a lot of adjusting for it to comfortably fit against my chin without rubbing against the bottom of my gum line. It still isn’t the best fit, but I was able to soften the foam and mold it to my chin better. With that in mind, I give the helmet a 9/10 rating.
This 2011-model year helment can be yours for $349.99 from Inline Warehouse. Also with Inline Warehouse, you receive free two-day shipping, free handling, and a one-year return policy. In addition, you are able to purchase additional accessories like a Bauer Throat Protector, and an Under Armour Skull Cap.
The helmet I purchased was less than three months after the assembly date printed on the helmet. They currently have the helmet available in white and black as well as three helmet sizes. If your current helmet is a size small, I recommend the Size 1. If you are like me and have a medium sized dome, Size 2 would be ideal. If you need a larger sized mask, don’t worry because Size 3 would fit you. They also have a sizing guide on the same page as the helmet, so you can determine your correct size after measuring.