I recently upgraded from my Itech 2500 with cats eye to the new 9961 with a pro double bar cat eye from Simmons. I opted to purchase the mask with the new chin sling instead of the traditional chin cup. When I first put the helmet on it felt funny with no chin cup or strap to hold the helmet in place. I played the first game and after about 10 minutes I never even realized the difference. I took 2 shots to the head that game. 1 was a glancing blow off of the right side of my head and the other was a slap shot from the hash marks right to the center of my forehead. Of course I felt the forehead hit, but it was not a bone jarring hit, i think in part to the carbon and kevlar construction & the padding on the inside is firm, but yet soft enough to cushion the impact. After each game I hang the helmet up and it is nice and dry by the next morning when I check it, and the padding inside remains soft. All in all I am completely happy with the mask and I got it at a good price from Simmons.