Reducing impact for football players, one hit at a time

The Guardian Cap is the leading soft shell helmet cover engineered for impact reduction. It brings a padded, soft-shell layer to the outside of the decades old hard-shell football helmet and reduces impact up to 33%.




Team Pricing


The Guardian Cap was created in 2010 to address the clear need to advance the standard football helmet, which has changed little since the 1960’s.  Erin and Lee Hanson, owners of The Hanson Group LLC, utilized their 20+ years in the material science business to engineer, patent, and manufacture the Guardian Cap.

They began the process consulting with another company on a fully encompassed soft-shelled helmet.  They presented the helmet to football executives but did not get the buy in.  Erin and Lee realized that changing the look and sound of the game was a big “no” for a lot of football players, fans, and coaches.  They decided to take to market the affordable Guardian Cap that could be easily attached to the helmet during practices and taken off during games.  Reducing impact in practice was more than nothing.

Guardian continues to push the importance reducing impacts in youth – pro practices.


Physics say that an outer “soft” material of the proper density, stiffness and energy absorbing properties reduces the initial severity of the impact. The hard shell then has lower forces transmitted to it, and in turn conveys lower forces to the interior soft helmet padding and then lower forces to the head. Very similar to a NASCAR driver and the soft wall technology that tracks have adopted or even automobiles and the soft bumpers and airbags that are now required. The Guardian Cap serves the same purpose for an athlete’s head—a soft shell barrier between it and impact.


Interested in seeing some of our test data?

You can email us for all of our testing data, we’re happy to share. The Guardian team is always open to more research on the Guardian Cap to further build on the current base of research and continue to bridge the gap that exists between biomechanical testing to the end injuries. Until the gap is bridged, claims will be held only to what has been empirically proven.


The Guardian Cap brings a padded, soft-shell layer worn on the outside of the decades old hard-shell football helmet and:

  • Guardian XT reduces impact up to 33%
  • Guardian NXT (NFL version) reduces impact an average of 10%
  • Addresses the impact severity of blows for OL, DL, LB, TE
  • Pads blows to knees, hands, abdomen, etc. during Inside Run and position drills
  • Protects helmet/decal wear and tear
  • Reduces radiant heat up to 20°


In 2017, Guardian won the NFL HeadHealth TECH Challenge.  In 2020, the Guardian Cap was seen on multiple NFL teams for practices and after a year of data collection and lab testing that showed a “statistically significant” improvement over bare helmets alone, the NFL permitted Guardian Caps in the 2021 season. In early 2022, the NFL owners announced that the League would be mandating the use of Guardian Caps during the early part of 2022 training camp for all OL, DL, TEs, and LBs.  In 2023,The NFL expanded the mandate of Guardian Caps with expanded use that includes all practices preseason, regular season, and post season that include contact.  They have also added Running Backs and Fullbacks to the list of positions mandated to wear Caps which now include: OL, DL, LB, TE, RB, FB.


  • Reduces Impace

    Reduces impact of daily blows.

  • One size fits all

    Fits all football helmets youth-adult.

  • preserves helmet

    Less wear and tear on helmet paint, decals, and flex panels.

  • Easy on, Easy Off

    Attaches to itself with snaps and Velcro. Does not alter the helmet.

  • Slick

    Surface friction less than painted helmet shells.

  • Quiet

    Dampens soundwaves and vibrations removing loud "crack" of helmet.

  • Insulates

    Reduces radiant heat up to 20°

  • Moves Independently

    Four elastic straps allow shifting at impact, redirecting energy


Guardian Caps are worn by 300,000+ athletes nationwide to reduce impact during practice.

Worn by 275+ colleges, 3000+ high schools, 750+ youth programs, 32 NFL Teams, and 9 CFL Teams

Mandated by the NFL & CFL for 2023 contact practices.