I imagine some players out there feel the same way as I do; I would love to skate with just a helmet on (no cage, visor, etc.), but I don’t want to sacrifice my face. Most cages provide plenty of protection, but either obstruct my vision or create some glare. I have been trying to find the best (clear) cage that provides clarity, optimum field of vision, scratch resistance, and -most importantly- fog resistance. I’m still working on that search, but it think I’ve found the best for what every company out there offers.
Just to preface, I’ve tried just about every cage I’ve ever seen any player wear, and different colors, too. I started with a wire cage. White first, then black, and finally silver/chrome. Those weren’t cutting it for me, so I tried the Bauer/Itech Concept II clear full cage. That was okay, it fogged up after 10 minutes or so of play (without any anti-fog solution), and my peripheral vision was somewhat limited. I started searching the web and came across the Bauer ReCon X200 clear full cage. I found someone selling theirs online, so I got a decent deal on it.
Bauer ReCon X200
Right off the bat, the Recon fogged up pretty badly. I tried using Rain-x, shampoo, and Murphy’s Oil Soap, and Oakley anti-fog spray, but that still didn’t help. Finally, I decided to drill some (angled) holes in the visor part of the cage. I didn’t feel too bad about this, because—one awesome thing about this cage—the visor is completely replaceable. This helped, but not that much. I think, due to the fish-bowl-like shape of the cage, it somehow traps moisture. I am no expert though. Another cool thing (besides the replaceable visor) about this helmet is you look like Shedder from Ninja Turtles when you take the visor off of the cage. This was one sure way to prevent anything from fogging. However, it kind of defeated the purpose of having the eye protection of the visor. Not to mention, I felt like an NFL kicker.
Recently I purchased a Bauer 920 Combo Deluxe full cage. Even without applying any anti-fog solutions, the cage didn’t fog up that much. Don’t get me wrong, the cage still covered an egg-sized space in front of my mouth/nose with fog, but compared to the rest of the cages it has been the strong front-runner. The second time I used it I tried using a homemade anti-fog solution. This helped a little bit, but I noticed that the moisture would collect at the top of the cage and slowly drip down the whole time I was playing. Needless to say, this annoyed me. I finally bit the bullet and tried some Oakley anti-fog solution and that worked the best.
One other cool thing I didn’t realize before purchasing the Bauer combo cage was that the lower part of the cage detaches from the visor, so… in the event I want to try using just a visor it is as simple as removing four screws.
So far the Bauer 920 combo cage worked the best. However, there are still a couple I haven’t tried. For example, I’d be curious to see how the Itech FX50 Optech System (or any other clear/combo cage) compares to the ones I’ve tried.