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2 likesThe XV is the best of the sub-$100 chest protectors, and can very much wade into the same waters as the more expensive hardshells. It is the 3rd iteration in Schutt's AiR Flex line, using the same carapace pieces as its two predecessors, this time in jet black, with a better fitting layout (the shoulder arches are angled differently to create a larger neck opening, the ailettes are positioned more strategically, etc.). The major change is the padding vest, this time using Schutt's D3O foam, an advanced TPU-EVA foam, as hole-y bricks arranged with tactful thought. If you thought the AiR Flex I's and II's were well-ventilated, this padding has more holes in it than a Swiss Cheese Contest. Let me assuage your concerns though, these holes do not compromise protection... in the slightest... at all. In fact, the D3O bricks are nearly twice as thick as the Brock Bead tubes of the AiR Flex II, while being around 3/4th's the weight. The foam is _that_ good. And just like the AiR Flex II, there is an abdomen extension included. Ventilation and weight-less-ness of the XV are its real key strengths, allowing for less heat fatigue than the suffocating WestVests, especially when doing multiple-game tournaments. The only negative of this entire rig, and the only reason I withhold that 5th star, is the harness. It is terrible. I am known locally and here on U-E for removing the harness completely and retrofitting XV's to use Flex-style harnesses, whether they be the UmpLife RayFlex, the DeltaFlex, or Force3 Flex. This is the only way to really get that optimum, effective, conforming fit you need so as to take this CP into the same territory (game level) as the WestVests, UnEquals, and System7's. I've had my XV for two years now, and I've done MSBL, NABA, NAIA, High School, Showcase and will soon be doing College and hopefully Minor League -level ball with the XV, with no consideration of switching to anything else any time soon.