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White47

F3 mask

7 posts in this topic

Anyone got any opinions about the F3 mask. I've been wanting one for a while, but I'm super cheap. I've decide to pull the trigger. Before I do any thought? Weight? Fit? Do you like it? Etc?

Thanks, any help is appreciated!

 

 

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The F3 is the second mask I bought, three years after wearing a Diamond ix3 with TW pads. I've worn it in a few JV games and the thing is built like a tank but extremely heavy compared to my diamond frame. If you plan on wearing it on weekends to work tournaments it's not for you, it'll destroy your neck. If you're looking for something tough and safety is your number one concern then buy the F3. It's just tough for me to get used to the different weight and view it gives me.

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Like Panther32 said, these masks are built like tanks. The weight hasn't been an issue for me, but it is worth considering as these are heavier than traditional masks. F3 masks are designed to be wore snug on your head, so that may be something you need to get used to if you wear your current mask loose. The field of view is good and the bars are a shade slimmer than bars on other masks like the Wilson Dyna-Lites. I like the mask enough that I am purchasing one as a backup to my current one. If all else fails, buy it through ump-attire.com and return it within 60 days if you don't like it. 

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It very well might be the last mask you buy (at least to use as a primary, gamer mask; one-off collector's pieces, like what @JoHart10 does with masks, is a different story). It would take an overwhelming whallop combined with a failure of the springs to see that frame bend, thus affecting the aesthetics of the mask. Even if it does bend, it's not as if that much-less-obtuse bend is going to spell the end of the mask. Since it is still comprised of hollow-tube steel, its strength isn't compromised merely be being bent.

Keep the travel on the springs clean and free of corrosion and any impacts should be absorbed by them. Perhaps Force3 can be convinced to do a technical fabric pad set instead of leather (is it real leather or faux leather?) pads, but it's not a dealbreaker. These will be only pads this thing will ever accept because of the unique layout of the dual frames and the spring assemblies connecting the two.

The Defender TM V2 is likely overkill for anything younger than 14 year old baseball. Once you get into HS baseball and older, in the amateur arenas, then it becomes an equation between cost-per-replacement vs. one-time-purchase cost. Using myself as an example, I have 4 masks in active use, not counting my Nike Steel that is currently down for being repaired after taking an 85+ to the eye slot. I can virtually forgo having so many active masks and the costs of repairing & repainting them with a single Force3 Defender TM V2. Once into Professional -level baseball (and, shall we say, "aspiring pros" - upper echelon collegiate ball), it is almost imperative to have a quality mask like this. You have to remember, only the Major League umpires get their gear provided to them complementary, and the frequency of mask impacts is reduced further still. 

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3 hours ago, JoHart10 said:

I am confused @MadMax, what do I do with masks?

You collect them, wheel & deal them. You're often acquiring new ones, showing off the ones you've got, and selling the ones you don't actively use anymore. Anyone who doesn't admire that is a fool.

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Sometimes I feel like a fool for it. That's usually when the sales start. Keep your eyes peeled. 

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