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BT_Blue

Looking for CP opinion

20 posts in this topic

Ok, so not looking for opinions on the company itself. What I am looking for is if anyone has experience with the +POS Cobra CP. It looks nicely low profile but as protective as a more expensive hard shell. And the $50 difference from the Douglas and $100 difference from the F3v2 is enticing.

http://www.pluspos.com/baseball-umpire-equipment/cobra?limit=100

If anyone can help, it would be a great help?

NOTE: I am not looking for opinions on other chest protectors unless it pertains to opinions on the CP in question. I have done research on the other two protectors I have mentioned. But this one has my curiosity peaked.

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Oh... Also, does anyone know where else I could buy something like this from? I know UA used to carry +POS stuff for a very short time. And we all know the constant connection issues people have had directly with +POS.

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I've never used this. I had the ZROG and it was so bulky. Not sure how much I would have trusted a hard shot on it. This looks thinner and sturdier though.

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7 hours ago, Tksjewelry said:

I like my f3v2 but that is enticing.@madmax is pretty up on the +POS products.

Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk

Yeh, I have read his posts and he does seem to be in the know.

6 hours ago, udbrky said:

I've never used this. I had the ZROG and it was so bulky. Not sure how much I would have trusted a hard shot on it. This looks thinner and sturdier though.

That's my thought. And at a lower price point than the other protectors I have been looking at.

4 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

@BT_Blue ....  I thought @panda76 had one of these ?!

I was pretty sure someone did. Just was not sure who. If @panda76would be willing to chime in with his thoughts, hhat would be really nice.

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I have no experience with this one, but from just looking at it, I would be concerned about the flexibility and (lack of) movement where the shell pieces look like they are riveted together. 

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Quite the contrary, @Mister B, this unit has flexibility in mind.

To understand +POS's product ethos, @BT_Blue, one has to understand Dan's (+POS's founder) place in the gear development community. He is a bonafide engineer. There is no coincidence that the ZRO-G mask looks so similar to the Nike and Wilson (catcher, with arrowhead struts) masks, or that the ZRO-G shinguards look alot like All-Star shinguards of a few years ago, or that the ZRO-G CP resembles a Douglas CP (or, more appropriately, a Douglas resembles it? Hmm?). 

At one time, Dan had a "Samurai"-esque CP, with interlinked scales in lieu of plates. This addressed what umpires wanted most – flexibility and protection. However, umpires tend to be a lazy lot, and that CP proved to be too complex – in appearance, maintenance and production cost – to really captivate purchasers. The ZRO-G CP is Dan's rendition of what the Douglas is – a full, comprehensive, ultra-protective hardshell. Big plates, strategically placed joints, pre-curved and low-profile shoulder pauldrons and ailettes, five layers of foam sandwiched, again, strategically to maximize protection but minimize bulk (reading this, Wilson?)... so what's the problem? Why didn't this take off and become a runaway bestseller? Two reasons come to mind... the lack of the MLB endorsement, and +POS's shoddy customer service track record. You can ask "Well, Mad Max, why didn't you buy one?" I would have... but I could (and did) buy a Schutt XV for half of what the ZRO-G was going for (originally). And the Schutt XV goes the route of my next point.

The debut of the Force3 UnEqual heralded a gamechanger (as far as CP's go); now here was a design that went ultra-minimalist and relied on the protective material itself – Kevlar – in a slim, trim, can-barely-tell-it's-there vest. Granted, it wasn't quite right yet and had some shortcomings (lack of plastic blast-plates was a biggie), but the buzz it generated rippled through the umpire community did not go unnoticed. At the same time, other CP's arrived on the scene to challenge Wilson's dominance, each addressing a shortcoming of the WestVests (again, I point out, why have two different designs that challenge each other rather than take the engineering step and incorporate the two into one ideal solution? Hmm?). All-Star's CPU4000 was the most prominent and worthy challenger, sporting strategically placed padding (with ventilation channels! brilliant!), body-contoured plates that were joined in much more flexible shapes than the Wilsons (or the Honig's, especially), and this new, super-handy harness called a DeltaFlex. The CP stayed right where it was supposed to, and the wearer didn't look like a hulking brute. Why didn't this take off and become a runaway bestseller? One reason comes to mind... the lack of the MLB endorsement. You can ask "Well, Mad Max, why didn't you buy one?" I would have... but I could (and did) buy a Schutt XV for a third of what the CPU4000 was going for (originally). I've tried a CPU4000 on. I really really like it. I can easily see it as the ideal solution for a great number of umpires, especially those that point out the lack of abdomen coverage the Wilsons are infamous for (the All-Star is taller), those that point out the bulk and cumbersomeness of the Wilsons (all plates on the All-Star are pre-curved), those that wear their CP like a shop apron (the DeltaFlex keeps the CP locked in place, and the CP itself has outstanding clavicle protection), and those that swelter and suffocate under a big pillow of sofa cushion foam (the All-Star has, for example, a centerline heat chimney).

Now, I said all that to tell you... the +POS Cobra is Dan's rendition of a modern CP, blending cues of the All-Star CPU4000, the Schutt XV and the UnEqual. The plates and shell joints are much more in keeping with the CPU4000, while the use of a modern, technically-advanced foam sandwich – open cell and closed cell "jell" foam – is akin to Schutt's use of TPU-EVA foam bricks. The shape is much more tailored, akin to the Schutt and UnEqual.

Its price point is quite appealing. $135 for a modern, forward-thinking hardshell CP? That's outstanding! If I had $135 of liquid capital, I'd buy one in a heartbeat, just to try it out. I have no doubt that it would perform admirably. I spoke with Dan at length about it just as he was releasing it. Up until its debut, I had told myself there was only one other CP I'd want to buy – the (eventual) UnEqual V2. Now, here's another I would want to own. So why isn't the Cobra taking off as a runaway bestseller?

I'll give you a chance to answer that yourself – watch the video. Then watch it again. If you can stomach it*, watch it a third time. You'll pick up on the "why", and then when you factor in the lack of a MLB endorsement and +POS's woeful customer service, you'll figure it out. The conclusion I draw is that if you were to take that CP and stamp any other brand on it, it would easily challenge, compete and likely surpass the WestVests in sales and use. Then again, I could say that about several other CP's.

 

* - I worked for three of the top retailers in the world as an in-store expert salesperson. I gave classes not only on gear use, but also on how to sell it. Watching that video grated on my nerves.

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That video IS pretty woeful! He does a horrible job of selling the product and the look (your hat turned around like some Limp Bizkit roadie) is beyond bad.

Still wish I could find someone that actually has used this CP! Supposedly here are two on here that have owned it. But don't know if they are still active. The afore mentioned Panda76 and @D62 blue. Hopefully they can chime in with real world experiences. I also have some feelers out in other places. But who knows.

Also just saw on eBay there is a +POS ZROG CP someone is selling. It currently sits at around $32 with no bids.

I had tried the All Star System7 CP at home. Never in live action. But was not a fan of the feel and allowing my wife to punch me in the chest (which we all know she probably enjoyed to much), I did not like the feeling I got from the contact. So here I was sticking with my Gold.

Now that I sold my current backup a few weeks ago. I am in need of a replacement. As I would like to take my current Gold and move it out of current service.

So I am left with trying the All Star again. Or I take a swing at the Douglas. Which I would have to send to Douglas to get the shoulder caps on to cover that gap (serious... What the heck is that gap there for) which increases the price. I can go full bore and get the Force3. But that price point! Or I can check out the CP from +POS and hope I can get it before the end of next season (I would order it before the start of the season.)

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5 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

what video are you guys referring to?

Just remember, Jeff. You did it to yourself!

 

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1 minute ago, BT_Blue said:

Just remember, Jeff. You did it to yourself!

 

good flipping grief! 

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Yeh. Pretty tough. That is why I am looking for real world experience with this. If I went off of the video and the description on the site. I would have passed a long time ago. But call me stubborn and not much to do right now.

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I say if you can find a diamond pro CP like I did I say get that one. I have had it and used the same one for the last 3 seasons and I love it. its very comfortable, feels like kevlar but no way as hot or heavy at all. it was only 45 bucks with shipping buy it in the off season like I did cause the normal price is like 75-85 bucks. I paid 37 and 8 bucks shipping. it was NOT USED either. I got it brand new from Epic sports.com

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7 hours ago, Matt Hoey said:

I say if you can find a diamond pro CP like I did I say get that one. I have had it and used the same one for the last 3 seasons and I love it. its very comfortable, feels like kevlar but no way as hot or heavy at all. it was only 45 bucks with shipping buy it in the off season like I did cause the normal price is like 75-85 bucks. I paid 37 and 8 bucks shipping. it was NOT USED either. I got it brand new from Epic sports.com

My apologies for that last post. My computer WIGGED THE HECK OUT. And the only way to clear it was to hit send.

Anyways... @Matt Hoey, do you have a photo of this CP you are talking about? I am not aware of a hard shell protector that Diamond makes. And I REFUSE to take my chances with a soft shell protector. Especially when there are hard shell ones at the same price point.

As for the original CP in question. Is it sad that the best group of photos to give an idea of what the CP can do is on a Japanese officiating site called Go-Stop-Call.com? Now if only I could figure out how to get my tablet to translate from Japanese to English.

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My apologies for that last post. My computer WIGGED THE HECK OUT. And the only way to clear it was to hit send.

Anyways... @Matt Hoey, do you have a photo of this CP you are talking about? I am not aware of a hard shell protector that Diamond makes. And I REFUSE to take my chances with a soft shell protector. Especially when there are hard shell ones at the same price point.

As for the original CP in question. Is it sad that the best group of photos to give an idea of what the CP can do is on a Japanese officiating site called Go-Stop-Call.com? Now if only I could figure out how to get my tablet to translate from Japanese to English.

Google chrome should automatically translate it for you!

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1 minute ago, amb1995 said:

Google chrome should automatically translate it for you!

Thanks. I'm actually on an Amazon Fire tablet. So I don't know if that is an option. 

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Wow. Leave it to the Japanese to produce better photos ("Godzilla!" *click click click*) of a product than the actual manufacturers (Wilson, Champro, Douglas, et.al.). That site is a delight, @BT_Blue, because it not only has the brands (most of them) arranged unilaterally – meaning without bias – but it has such investigative photos. We see the inside of a Belgard, we see the backside of an All-Star... all in great detail. It begs the question, with how technology -savvy and inquisitive the Japanese are, do they buy Wilson WestVests en masse like blind sheep, strictly on the presence of the MLB logo... like we do?

Hmm... 

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No my doing on the website @MadMax. All credit has to go to @tpatience on this one. It is where he found his Mizuno TG.

Now if only I could figure out howntonget the Kindle Fire, that I use for just about everything, to translate from Japanese to English. Right now it is all pretty pictures and jibberish to me.

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