What Are Hockey Breezers? (Explained for Beginners)

Have you ever heard the term hockey breezers?

Maybe you’ve heard it passed around at practice, at a game, or an online forum.

What exactly are hockey breezers?

And what do they have to do with hockey pants? Are they related? Are they different?

In this article, we’ll let you know what hockey breezers are and why they’re important.

Let’s begin.

Here’s What Hockey Breezers Are:

Hockey breezers are another term for hockey pants. Typically, the term “breezers” is used instead of “hockey pants” in some upper midwestern states. It’s most popular in Minnesota. However, some people refer to hockey pants as breezers in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Hockey Pants vs. Breezers

So, which term is more popular–hockey pants or breezers?

Overall, the majority of hockey players and fans refer to them as hockey pants.

The term “breezers” is most popular in Minnesota.

Oftentimes, if you use the term “hockey pants” in Minnesota, you may get some strange looks.

Vice versa, if you use the term “breezers” anywhere outside of Minnesota (or the upper midwest), you’ll get even more strange looks.

Why Are They Called Breezers in Hockey?

Most hockey players know them as hockey pants.

So, why do people in Minnesota and other areas of the upper midwest refer to them as “breezers”?

Where did the term come from?

Well, the term originated from an early hockey gear manufacturer who referred to a new model of hockey pants as “Breezers”. 

You could think about it like “Cooperalls”. This was another piece of protective hockey equipment where the manufacturer—Cooper—put the brand name into the name of the new piece of gear.

This manufacturer of “Breezers” was based in Minnesota and sold its gear to the surrounding region. However, their hockey gear wasn’t sold too far east or outside the region.

This is why the term “breezers” is only really used in Minnesota (and some surrounding states).

Another reason they’re referred to as breezers is due to the feeling you can get if you’ve ever forgotten your jock or jill and don’t have anything under there to keep you warm. You’ll quickly find that it feels really breezy down under.

What Do You Wear Under Hockey Breezers?

Underneath your hockey breezers—or hockey pants—you’ll want to wear two things: a jock or jill and a base layer.

Typically, most people will put on their jockstrap and then a base layer like mesh shorts, compression shorts, or compression pants.

Sometimes, people will use a jock / short combo. A lot of players will wear compression pants, compression shorts, or loose shorts that have a jock built right into the material.

How Do You Wear Hockey Breezers?

Here’s how you should wear your hockey breezers.

Remember, you’ll want to put some of your other gear on before you focus on your breezers.

1. Put your jock or jill on.

2. Put your base layer over top (mesh shorts, compression shorts, compression pants). Or, put your base layer/jock combination on—i.e. compression shorts with a built in jock.

3. Put your shin guards on.

4. Put your socks overtop of your shin guards.

5.Loosen the belt of the breezers.

6. Step into the breezers so the belt matches the beltline on your base layer (shorts or pants).

7. Tighten the belt.

8. Make sure there is no gap between the pants and shin guards.

How Do You Size Hockey Breezers?

So, how do you fit your hockey breezers properly?

How do you get the right size that’s comfortable and protective?

Here are a few tips:

  • Measure your waist (not the hips)
  • Measure the length of your pant (so they end at the center of your knee cap)
  • Make sure the kidney collar on your pants is protecting your vital organs
  • Make sure each protective area of your breezers protect your body when you’re upright and while you’re bending your knees
  • There shouldn’t be a gap between the breezers and your shin guards. Your leg should be completely protected so there are no holes or you could leave your leg vulnerable.

This video is a good example of showing you how to properly fit your breezers:


How Do You Clean Hockey Breezers?

Like most hockey gear, your breezers can get really nasty smelling. 

You need to make sure you’re consistent with washing your breezers or they can develop bacteria in them, which can be a distraction for you and your teammates when you’re playing hockey.

Here’s how to properly clean your hockey breezers:

1. If your pads are removable, take them out of your breezers.

2. Put your breezers and pads into your washing machine. Set it to “gentle cycle” with the “hot water” setting. Use bleach-free laundry detergent.

3. Once it’s done, hang your breezers up to dry on a clothing line outside (if the weather permits). Otherwise, just hang them up on a hockey gear drying rack. The only exception is your pads (from your breezers). Lay them flat on top of a dry towel. After a few hours, you can flip them over to let them fully dry.

4. Optional: spray down your hockey breezers and removable pads with sports disinfectant spray if they still have an odor after you’ve washed and air-dried them.

Remember to hang-dry your hockey breezers in between skating sessions so extra bacteria doesn’t grow inside your gear. 

You should always take your removable pads out (if you have them) in between practices or games and lay them flat to dry. 

If you do choose to hang them outside, make sure they’re in the shade and not direct sunlight, as UV rays will wear down the fabric on the pants.

You should also spray sports disinfectant spray on your hockey breezers and removable pads after each game as well. This will help you get a handle on the smell of your hockey bag.

After you’ve used disinfectant spray on your breezers in between games, you could also use dryer sheets in them (once they’re dry). This will also help keep odors out.

Always remember to check the manufacturer’s information on your pants to see what materials they’re made out of and any warning labels when it comes to cleaning them as each brand and model are different.

Want some more tips on the basics of hockey gear? Check out our popular blog posts: What Is a Hockey Jock and Jill, What to Do If Your Hockey Skates Are Too Big, and How Many Times Can You Sharpen Hockey Skates, and Hockey & Neck Guards.




Recent Posts