best hockey elbow pads

Hockey elbow pads offer protection from falls on the ice, shot pucks and contact with other players. In order to get the best ice hockey elbow pads, there are a few things you need to keep in mind while shopping. 

Read on, as we provide a comprehensive guide on what to look for when choosing new hockey elbow pads. We’ll also make some recommendations on the best hockey elbow pads for different types of players.

To see more options, check out our full selection of ice hockey elbow pads.

In this article, we’re covering:

List of the Best Ice Hockey Elbow Pads

1Bauer Supreme 3S Pro Hockey Elbow PadsBauer Supreme 3S Pro Hockey Elbow PadsBuy Now
2CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Elbow PadsCCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Elbow PadsBuy Now
3Warrior Alpha LX Pro Hockey Elbow PadsWarrior Alpha LX Pro Hockey Elbow PadsBuy Now
4Bauer Vapor 2X Hockey Elbow PadsBauer Vapor 2X Hockey Elbow PadsBuy Now
5True XC9 Hockey Elbow PadsTrue XC9 Hockey Elbow PadsBuy Now
6Sherwood Rekker Element 1 Hockey Elbow PadsSherwood Rekker Element 1 Hockey Elbow PadsBuy Now
7CCM Tacks 9080 Hockey Elbow PadsCCM Tacks 9080 Hockey Elbow PadsBuy Now
8Warrior Alpha DX3 Hockey Elbow PadsWarrior Alpha DX3 Hockey Elbow PadsBuy Now
9Bauer X Hockey Elbow PadsBauer X Hockey Elbow PadsBuy Now
10CCM JetSpeed LE Hockey Elbow PadsCCM JetSpeed LE Hockey Elbow PadsBuy Now

Overview: Designed to be comfortable and protective, Bauer Supreme 3S Pro hockey elbow pads are crafted with a full coverage anatomical split cap design for superior mobility with great protection. Independent 360 Forearm with anatomically molded protection provides comfort and ease of use. A THERMO MAX+liner is infused withananti-microbial and anti-odorsweat management system to keep you dry.

Key Features:

  • Independant bicep guard construction with molded PE insert
  • THERMOMAX+ Liner whisks away moisture to prevent bacteria growth
  • 360 Forearm with anatomically molded protection

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Overview: The CCM Super Tacks AS1 hockey elbow pads utilize a dual-layer bicep construction, compressed HD foam in the forearms and a JDP reinforced elbow cap to offer high-tech protection in all areas. The attention to detail in each section of these hockey elbow pads results in a comfortable yet snug fit ideal for elite and highly physical hockey players.

Key Features:

  • Length-adjustable forearm strap
  • Anatomical 360-degree fit
  • D30 Smart Material elbow cap construction

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Overview: Warrior has designed the Alpha LX Pro elbow pads to move more naturally with your arm and elbow while offering maximum protection. A 3-piece design feels less bulky and allows for natural arm movements and elbow dexterity. Warrior's Shell Skin Texture has been added into high-impact areas, like the forearms, to help disperse the force of direct impacts such as stick checks and pucks.

Key Features:

  • Molded plastic inserts in the forearm and bicep guards
  • Three-piece design
  • WarTech FNC Stretch Sleeve

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Overview: The Bauer Vapor 2X hockey elbow pads are a three-piece elbow pad crafted from lightweight materials designed for increased flexibility throughout. A comfort anchor strap system has been constructed out of high-quality materials to stay locked in place and resist wear and tear over time. The Thermo Max+ liner keeps players cool on the ice and adds to their comfortable fit.

Key Features:

  • HyperWeight HD foam molds to players arms
  • PR forearm insert for improved protection
  • Molded MD foam elbow cap

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Overview: True XC9 hockey elbow pads are constructed with strategically placed molded EVA foams for protection throughout the arm and elbow cap. Length adjustable bicep and forearm locking straps give players the ability to adjust snugness to fit their comfort level, and the three-piece design allows for comfort and mobility.

Key Features:

  • Moisture wicking interior liner
  • Compressed molded EVA foam throughout
  • Customizable fit locking straps

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Overview: The interior of the Sher-Wood Rekker Element 1 secures elbows in a soft-cushioned cradle. Ventilated forearm and biceps guards are constructed with anatomical PE inserts to disperse impacts from sticks and pucks. Molded MD foams provide protection and the PE end cap protects elbows from impacts with ice surfaces and the boards.

Key Features:

  • Antimicrobial moisture wicking liner
  • Three-strap locking closure system
  • Ventilated foams in the forearm and bicep

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Overview: CCM Tacks 9080 hockey elbow pads are made with lightweight pro-level materials to disperse impacts to the JDP reinforced elbow cap. The articulated bicep and forearm guard are constructed from molded to foam that offers high-level protection and lightweight comfort. A three-tiered locking system gives players a close and secure fit.

Key Features:

  • JDP reinforced elbow cap
  • Anatomical 360-degree fit
  • Molded PE foam construction

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Overview: A three-piece design gives players wearing Warrior Alpha DX3 hockey elbow pads freedom of movement with the protection they need. Ergonomically molded plastic inserts in the forearm and bicep offer superior protection without a reduction in mobility. A versatile strap locking system gives players a snug fit without sacrificing comfort.

Key Features:

  • Shell Skin Texture for shock dispersal
  • Three-piece construction
  • Anatomical fit

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Overview: Bauer’s X hockey elbow pads feature a molded elbow cap with an MD cover that absorbs impacts on the ice and against the boards. The bicep guard features a molded PE insert and independent construction for range of motion when shooting or stickhandling, and injection molded materials guard the forearm from slashes and shot pucks.

Key Features:

  • Two-piece tapered fit
  • Hydrophobic mesh liner
  • Elastic strapping system

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Overview: The construction and design of the CCM JetSpeed LE hockey elbow pads help give hockey players protection without forcing them to give up mobility and comfort. PE inserts in the bicep and an injected molded PE forearm cap offer a lightweight defense against impacts from sticks, pucks and the ice surface. The anatomically designed strapping system allows for a secure fit that doesn't sacrifice flexibility.

Key Features:

  • Two-piece design
  • Antimicrobial liner reduces drying time
  • PE protective construction

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How To Measure for Hockey Elbow Pads

Properly fitted ice hockey elbow pads should fit snugly without sliding back and forth or rotating around your arm when in use. 

An elbow pad that’s too large will be constantly in motion, creating performance issues and exposing players’ elbows to potential contact with the ice, pucks, sticks and the boards. 

Elbow pads that are too small may be too tight and restrict motion. They’ll provide inadequate coverage over the lower bicep and upper forearm. 

Looking for a step-by-step process on how to size hockey elbow pads? Follow this simple three-step guide:

Step 1: Extend your arm downwards towards the floor.  

Step 2: Measure the distance between the center of your bicep and center of your forearm.

Step 3: Use this measurement to determine your elbow pad length. 

You can use the length you’ve measured and this hockey elbow pad size chart to determine the appropriately sized elbow pads. 

Once you've found your size, it’s a good idea to put on your shoulder pads and gloves to ensure the size you’re going with will protect your lower bicep and upper forearm. If you're in between sizes, go with the size that provides the best adequate coverage without being too loose.

Hockey Elbow Pads Sizing Chart

Types of Elbow Pad Design and Construction

When it comes to ice hockey elbow pads, choosing the best option comes down to making a few choices based on budget, skill level and comfort. There are different types of shell designs, strap systems, liners and bicep and forearm coverage. Before you purchase your next hockey elbow pads, look closely into these different designs.

Exterior Soft Shell: 

There are three different ways that hockey elbow pad soft shells are constructed. They can either be one intact piece, consist of two pieces for increased flexibility or they can be composed of three separate parts that are attached for the best responsiveness and movement.

  • One-Piece: One-piece elbow pads are exactly as described, one continuous pad from the forearm guard all the way to the end of the bicep protector. These pads don't offer high-level mobility, but they are heavily relied on by casual players and a smart choice for youth hockey elbow pads.
  • Two-Piece: Two-piece elbow pads are solid from the forearm through the elbow, but the bicep guard includes a separate, extended component. This offers more flexibility between the elbow and upper arm and longer bicep protection.
  • Three-Piece: The three-piece ice hockey elbow pad provides the most protection and flexibility, but is heavier than the two-piece design. These high-end elbow pads offer more protection at the bottom of the elbow pad when blocking shots or engaging in contact against the boards.

Strap System 

Most ice hockey elbow pads have a two or three strap system for keeping the elbow pad secure. Beginners and younger hockey players use a two-strap system, with one strap on the bicep guard and one securing the forearm. The slower speed and reduced contact during play help limit the potential for pads shifting during game play. 

Higher-end ice hockey elbow pads generally employ a three strap system with straps on the bicep guard, forearm cover and elbow to give active players a secure fit during athletic and physical play.

Interior Liners 

Hockey elbow pads liners will vary from style to style. They’ll also contribute to the cost of your pads. Beginner and budget elbow pads will generally have a nylon liner that’ll be protective, yet comfortable. These liners are designed for a low-contact game and beginner players who are just learning the sport. Higher-end elbow pads contain engineered liners from composite materials. Many of them will whisk away moisture and prevent bacteria growth.

Forearm and Bicep Guards

Ice hockey elbow pads protect much more than just the elbow itself. Hockey elbow pads include forearm and bicep guards to reduce the risk of injury to the lower bicep and the part of the forearm not covered by your gloves. 

One-piece elbow pads will offer shorter bicep and forearm protection.

Two-piece elbow pads offer a longer bicep guard.

Best Hockey Elbow Pads by Category

Depending on what brands you prefer and your level of play, you’ll have a few different options when it comes to finding the best ice hockey elbow pads. Below is a list of suggestions for elbow pads in a few different categories.

Best Budget Hockey Elbow Pads (under $100)

CCM JetSpeed LE Hockey Elbow Pads: The two-piece design crafted for security while allowing players' arms to remain mobile makes the CCM JetSpeed LE our pick for best budget elbow pads. A re-engineered strap system offers a snug and anatomical fit, and PE inserts and foam offer impact protection. Finally, an antimicrobial liner helps these elbow pads dry after use and prevents bacterial growth.

Best Bauer Hockey Elbow Pads

Bauer Supreme 3S Pro Hockey Elbow Pads: The Bauer 3S Pros have all the features elite players look for when searching top-rated hockey elbow pads. Their 360 bicep that allows for better full motion mobility while staying lightweight and highly protective, and a 360 forearm design with anatomically molded protection protects the forearm area from impacts and slashes, without compromising mobility. A THERMOMAX+ Liner wicks moisture away from the arms, keeping players dry and comfortable throughout usage.

Best CCM Hockey Elbow Pads

CCM Super Tacks AS1 Hockey Elbow Pads: Dual-layer bicep foam, D30 Smart Material elbow cap construction and compressed molded HD foam in the forearm work together to give the CCM Super Tacks AS1s elite-level protection. Not only are they the most protective CCM hockey elbow pad, their pro-level construction provides the ultimate in comfort. Length-adjustable locking straps allow players to customize the tightness of the fit to individual preferences.

Best Warrior Hockey Elbow Pads

Warrior Alpha LX Pro Hockey Elbow Pads: Warrior’s Alpha LX Pro elbow pads feature a three-piece design to give professional protection and comfort. Compression molded IMPAX foam and lightweight molded slash/bicep guards give you maximum protection. The WarTech FNC Stretch Sleeve keeps your elbows pads in place during play.

Best Youth Hockey Elbow Pads

CCM Super Tacks AS1 Youth Hockey Elbow Pads: CCM has crafted their Super Tacks AS1 youth hockey elbow pads with the same engineering as their senior model to give young players enhanced protection and comfort. An adjustable single strap gives the ability to easily adjust snugness to ensure pads stay secured on smaller arms at all times.

Best Junior Hockey Elbow Pads

Bauer Vapor 2X Hockey Elbow Pads: Bauer has adapted their three-piece hockey elbow pad to fit the needs of junior hockey players. HyperLite foams give junior players the same feel as high-end lightweight ice hockey elbow pads, and HD foams, a PE forearm insert and a molded MD cap protects players from slashes, contact with the ice and shot pucks. The Thermo Max+ liner keeps players comfortable and dries quickly after use.

Best Senior Hockey Elbow Pads

True XC9 Hockey Elbow Pads: The True XC9 hockey elbow pads may be a newer entry on the market, but they don't disappoint when it comes to protection and security. Three-piece construction provides added mobility, and strategically placed EVA foams throughout these adult ice hockey elbow pads disperse impacts and shocks. The moisture wicking liner helps reduce weight and keep players dry, even during long games.

Find the Best Selection of Ice Hockey Elbow Pads at HockeyMonkey!

HockeyMonkey offers ice hockey elbow pads for every skill level and budget. Once you've decided what type of elbow pads are perfect for elevating your game, take some time to browse our full selection of ice hockey elbow pads. At HockeyMonkey, you’re sure to find the right comfort, fit and style pad!


This article was originally published on November 2, 2021, and has been updated with new information.