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ROAR Headgear Review for BJJ and Wrestling

ROAR headgear is a pretty popular option for softer headgear made specifically for Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). However, since it comes at a more affordable price does it mean it lacks quality?

In this post we will provide our full review after testing the ROAR head gear on the mat as well as how it compares to other headgear for bjj and wrestling.

Key Takeaway: ROAR Headgear is a decent option for softer headgear at an affordable price. It uses velcro straps, is easy to adjust, and provides decent protection. Plus it’s velcro chin strap is a bit more comfortable than other similar softer headgear. However, it doesn’t offer as much protection as the harder headgear options like those from Cliff Keen or Adidas.

Our Review

me with the ROAR headgear at a recent nogi class
+ Pros / – Cons
+ Very affordable
+ Pretty comfortable to use in bjj
+ Comes in different designs
+ Easy to adjust
– May move in certain positions
– Slightly difficult to get velcro chin trap through connecting strap
– Doesn’t provide as much protection as “harder” headgear
– Chin strap can dig into neck (but is still more comfortable than other softer options*)

My Personal Experience: First off, for me personally, I find any headgear that uses a chin strap uncomfortable. Unfortunately, most soft headgear like this one from ROAR doesn’t offer a chin cup. However, among all the softer head gear that I’ve tried (including Matman, Gold BJJ), I found the ROAR velcro chin strap slightly more comfortable than others. So if you want headgear for bjj this is a decent option

For wrestling, the ROAR headgear is really not recommend. Since it’s made specifically for Brazilian jiu jitsu, it just doesn’t offer the same protection and durability as headgear made for wrestling.

Comparing It Against Other Brands

Vs Cliff Keen

What does Cliff Keen headgear have the ROAR headgear does not?:

  • Cliff Keen can use a chin strap which is way more comfortable (but chin cup has to be bought separately)
  • It offers more protection
  • It is more durable
  • However, the Signature Cliff Keen headgear may be more uncomfortable to train with in BJJ

Overall Takeaway: Cliff Keen Signature headgear offers more protection and can be used with a chin cup which is way more comfortable than a chin strap. It also offers more protection, but due to the bulkiness and harder foam shells, ROAR headgear is still more recommended for Brazilian jiu jitsu.

Vs Matman

What does the Roar have that Matman headgear does not?:

  • More protection
  • More durability (good option for wrestling)
  • However – Matman is more expensive, and I found the velcro chin strap slightly more uncomfortable than the ROAR chinstrap

Overall Takeaway: Matman is another softer headgear option that’s specifically made for wrestling that can be used for bjj as well. I found it offering more protection and being slightly more comfortable to wear. Matman is a good option if you want more protection and don’t mind paying a little more money.

Harder vs Softer Headgear for Brazilian jiu jitsu?

Softer headgear is usually more common in Brazilian jiu jitsu while Harder head gear is used more often in wrestling (like those from Cliff Keen). While softer head gear may offer slightly less protection, they are still strongly preferred for jiu jitsu. Generally, softer headgear is more comfortable, in my opinion, for both you and your training partner in bjj.

FeatureHard Headgear (like Cliff Keen)Soft Headgear (like Matman)
MaterialHard plastic outer shellSoft, flexible materials
ProtectionHigh impact resistanceCushions against impacts
AdjustabilityAdjustable straps for fitElastic material for snug fit and velcro straps
ComfortMay feel bulkierGenerally more comfortable
Ear ProtectionRigid protection for earsSoft cushioning for ears
Usage in BJJLess common due to rigidity but still sometimes usedMore common, less restrictive
IBJJF ComplianceTypically not allowedAlso not allowed
DurabilityVery durableMay be less durable than harder headgear
AestheticsMore noticeable, bulkier lookSleeker, less noticeable

Final Thoughts on ROAR Headgear

ROAR headgear is an affordable option for a soft headgear than comes in different designs. Again, I also found the velcro chin strap slightly more comfortable than other comparable softer headgear.

However, it may lack durability over time and doesn’t offer the same amount of protection as other headgear models. If you want more protection but still want a softer headgear, we recommend going with Matman.

If you want the most amount of protection then you can’t beat harder models like those from Cliff Keen or Adidas.

For Brazilian jiu jitsu, it’s a good, cheap options, but for wrestling you may want to consider harder models or models that offer more durability and protection.

Thanks for reading and catch you in the next one! – Zack