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    Force3 V2 Ultimate Umpire Chest Protector

       (1 review)

    Umpire in Chief

    Force3 V2 Ultimate Umpire Chest Protector.jpegDESCRIPTION
    Driven by the success of the first generation of Force3 Unequal umpire chest protectors, Force3 is proud to introduce the newest addition to their protective equipment line: The Force3 V2 Ultimate Umpire Chest Protector.

    Building off all the feedback received from the first generation Force3 UNEQUAL™ Umpire Chest Protector, the V2 offers the same great features of the V! and adds several following substantial improvements:

    SECOND GENERATION FEATURES

    • Improved "No Feel" Blast Shield
      • Reduces impact with an additional layer of hard shell outer layer just under the neoprene cover
    • Redesigned Comfort Harness
      • Keeps the chest protector snug to the body
    • Updated Padding Behind Shoulders
      • Provides additional protection where umpires often need most
    • New logos
      • For an updated look

    MORE FEATURES (STILL INTEGRATED FROM THE FIRST GENERATION)

    • 100% Customizable
    • Custom fit all components to properly fit your body to provide an unprecedented level of protection no matter your body size or type.
    • Virtually Invisible Under-the-Uniform
    • At less than 1/2' thick, the UNEQUAL EXO system is made with DuPont™ Kevlar®, thus providing the best combination of low-profile protection. (Don’t be surprised if someone tells you that you forgot to put your chest protector on when you walk out onto the field.)
    • Durable, Breathable, Hand Washable Neoprene Cover
    • High-grade Space Airflow System Fabric Backing
    • Allows for maximum comfort and airflow in warmer weather.
    • Optional Bicep Extension
    • Connectors attach (or easily detach) at the end of the shoulders
    • Additional Extensions
    • For throat, abdomen and extra wide chests with removable/adjustable wings
    • One Size Fits All
    • Adjustable from 12” to 16.5" and is 14” to 19” wide

    MORE
    UNEQUAL’s patented composite made with military grade DuPont Kevlar® handles the blunt force trauma from a 90+ mph fastball or a foul ball. Kevlar® has been used by law enforcement and the military for decades. Protective gear incorporating UNEQUAL’s patented composite made with Kevlar® is currently being worn to protect professional and amateur athletes including NFL and NHL players. This protector was fully designed, in conjunction with UNEQUAL Technologies, by umpires for umpires. No corners were cut and the highest grade materials are used for every part of the protector.


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    Umpire in Chief

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       1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

    I wanted to like this chest protector; I really really did. I wanted this to become my long-term replacement for my Wilson West Vest Gold which I wore for 8+ years. But sadly, it will not be.

    I bought this in April of this year and wanted to wait and give it a full workout before posting a review on it. I've probably worn it for 30+ plate assignments. 

    Pros:

    • Lightweight
    • Comfortable overall
    • Low profile
    • Looks good
    • Removable - chest lower extension piece
    • Minimal metal to rust
    • Highly adjustable for a great fit
    • Comes with a delta-style harness

    Cons:

    • Serious concerns about long-term durability
    • Cost - probably the most expensive chest protector on the market

    Here's where the Force3 lives up to its reputation. It's fit, it's weight,  it's low profile and it's comfort. In these areas with one exception it is heads and shoulders above the crowd. In terms of being cooler which it touts, I will agree. But don't expect a massive difference. 

    I really like the lower profile of the Force3 chest protector. I'm not the leanest of umpires and extra bulky chest protectors don't help me look the part any better. This chest protector is probably the lowest profile available that you can feel comfortable taking on to a field at the high school level and above. For those of you who are a little more svelte than myself, this also looks really sharp. I have a friend who wears one who is quite possibly half my size and he looks really sharp wearing it If you didn't know how thin he already was  you wouldn't even know he was wearing one. 

    The next great feature of the Force3 is how adjustable the chest protector is. It has a detachable extension. I do not use but could come in handy in youth rec games or if you are taller. It also is adjustable at the neck by moving the neck piece with the velcro attachment. 

    As for protection, I can't speak to how well it protects from a harsh shot as over the 30+ games I haven't taken a really bad hit. I've been grazed by a couple of 59' pitches, a couple of fouls, a pitch off the catchers glove. But no uncaught fastballs or horrendous fouls. However, when I've been hit it has protected me well. 

    I also like that it has minimal metal to rust. I liked my West Vest Gold, however after 8 years all the metal has rusted, which is very disappointing. 

    Here's what I don't like...

    One of the primary differences between V1 & V2, and the one that made me want to purchase this over it's predecessor, was the addition of plastic plates inside of the chest protector. They call this the "Blast Shield." For me, this ended up being a huge disappointment. 

    My Force3 arrived with the large center plastic piece being concave vs convex or even flat. This is the crux of my problem with the Force3 chest protector. Here is why:

    1. All 4 corners of this center plate protrude outward. I believe this will drastically shorten the life of my chest protector. The constant rubbing and abrasion of this plastic against the neoprene will undoubtedly wear out the neoprene.
    2. Being convex drastically reduces the comfort level of of this chest protector. Even with this issue it is still one of the most comfortable chest protectors, but is is a constant push in a single spot which does become uncomfortable. 
    3. I have serious concern about if/when I take a harsh hit in this area being convex, rather than dispersing the impact, it will focus the impact. 
    4. It also diminishes the low profile look sticking out the way it does. 

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    Now, one of the reasons I've waited so long to post this review is that I hoped with wear I could "break it in" and have it conform better. After consulting with multiple people I was advised this would be the best route. But even after the many games it has not conformed to any noticeable degree.

    I also tried manually fitting it myself by heating it up with a heating pad underneath and using a hair dryer on the top. Once it got warmed up after a few minutes, I then placed a folded pair of socks under the chest protector and placed up to 4, gallon sized baggies of hot water on top of it to attempt to form it to a concave shape. After multiple attempts there was still no difference. 

    I also grabbed and attempted to bend the corners back, which resulted in a cracking sound, so I immediately stopped that.

    Yes, most likely I was the unlucky sole who received one with a manufacturer's defect. But that doesn't make me feel any better especially that this would get through and to a customer. I expect a chest proctor to treat me well for many years as long as I care for it properly. While there are no visible signs of wear yet, I can only imagine that it is only going to be a matter of time before one of the corners on the plastic plate rub through rendering the chest protector useless. I severely doubt this will last the 8 years and multiple hundreds of games of my previous chest protector. 

    So given all of the above along with the highest price point in the market, I simply cannot recommend this chest protector. 

     

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