Jump to content

Register or Sign In to remove these ads
MarkTDeNucciSr

Force3 V2 Ultimate Umpire Chest Protector

Recommended Posts

Has anyone used the Force3 V2 Ultimate Umpire Chest Protector? And if so, what is your opinion of it?

MTD, Sr.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Register or Sign In to remove these ads
22 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

Have it. Love it.

Any specific questions?

Ditto.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before @umpstu and @kylehutson give you their personal feedback, I'll give you my "technical" sentiments on it, @MarkTDeNucciSr. Let me preface, the primary reason I don't own or use an UnEqual V2 myself is cost and heat – my Schutt XV is approx. $70-$80, while the UnEqual is $280. The Schutt is exceptionally light and well-ventilated (hole-y!), while the UnEqual, because it utilizes neoprene and Kevlar, is rather dense and a bit... smothering. Can't be too bad, considering two of my good colleagues – @KenBAZ is one of them – use them in this stifling Arizona heat, but it's just not for me yet.

The UnEqual is a hybrid; neither a softpack nor a true hardshell. Hardshells are of course going to base their protection upon the plastic plates of their carapaces, then having the energy absorbed by the foam behind the plates, with body contact maintained by yet more foam. In the case of the Douglas* and the Wilson models, this backing foam is homogenous, comprised of nothing more than thick, cheap, open-cell upholstery foam. As you get into other models, such as those from All-Star, +POS, and Schutt, they are using a laminate sandwich of two or more foams so as to reap the benefits of better energy absorption, less necessary loft and thickness, and much improved moisture and heat management.

Force3 went an entirely different route. Instead of relying on a hard plastic carapace, the energy distribution and absorption was conceived to be handled by Kevlar. Unfortunately, Kevlar cannot be exposed to UV light, and as such, the outer layer needs to be neoprene. Now Kevlar has tremendous strength and elasticity, but while it absorbs the energy of a supersonic bullet, it catches it, denying penetration – there is still impact trauma. A baseball is much heavier than a bullet, with that mass overwhelming the Kevlar at times, and resulting in impact trauma (bruising and pain in some users). As such, Force3 infused plastic "blast" plates between the neoprene and the Kevlar in the V2, and this distributes the impacting force laterally, allowing more Kevlar to do the work of energy absorption rather than that localized to the impact point.

The V2 also sees an improved fit in the neck area specifically, and the addition of a Flex -style harness. Despite this, though, it isn't for everybody (yet). To be truly effective, contact needs to be maintained between the unit and the body it is protecting. Think of it like a shotgun – if the butt of the shotgun is held loosely against the shoulder, the violent recoil will impact against the body like a hammer blow, causing trauma and pain instead of being transferred thru the butt, the buttpad (where a bit is absorbed) and then to the body and its own muscles and mass. If there is a gap because of an improper fit, an impact will cause the UnEqual to impact the body with a further impact, more or less defeating or reducing the Kevlar's effectiveness as an absorption device. So, the V2 would work well for a good percentage of people, but there are some it won't.

* = to be fair, Douglas is made in the USA, and as such, the plastic can of better quality and denser – thus aiding in absorption and requiring less volume of backing foam – than the overseas-made Wilson models... which are trying to maximize profit (and do they ever).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MadMax said:

Before @umpstu and @kylehutson give you their personal feedback, I'll give you my "technical" sentiments on it, @MarkTDeNucciSr. Let me preface, the primary reason I don't own or use an UnEqual V2 myself is cost and heat – my Schutt XV is approx. $70-$80, while the UnEqual is $280. The Schutt is exceptionally light and well-ventilated (hole-y!), while the UnEqual, because it utilizes neoprene and Kevlar, is rather dense and a bit... smothering. Can't be too bad, considering two of my good colleagues – @KenBAZ is one of them – use them in this stifling Arizona heat, but it's just not for me yet.

The UnEqual is a hybrid; neither a softpack nor a true hardshell. Hardshells are of course going to base their protection upon the plastic plates of their carapaces, then having the energy absorbed by the foam behind the plates, with body contact maintained by yet more foam. In the case of the Douglas* and the Wilson models, this backing foam is homogenous, comprised of nothing more than thick, cheap, open-cell upholstery foam. As you get into other models, such as those from All-Star, +POS, and Schutt, they are using a laminate sandwich of two or more foams so as to reap the benefits of better energy absorption, less necessary loft and thickness, and much improved moisture and heat management.

Force3 went an entirely different route. Instead of relying on a hard plastic carapace, the energy distribution and absorption was conceived to be handled by Kevlar. Unfortunately, Kevlar cannot be exposed to UV light, and as such, the outer layer needs to be neoprene. Now Kevlar has tremendous strength and elasticity, but while it absorbs the energy of a supersonic bullet, it catches it, denying penetration – there is still impact trauma. A baseball is much heavier than a bullet, with that mass overwhelming the Kevlar at times, and resulting in impact trauma (bruising and pain in some users). As such, Force3 infused plastic "blast" plates between the neoprene and the Kevlar in the V2, and this distributes the impacting force laterally, allowing more Kevlar to do the work of energy absorption rather than that localized to the impact point.

The V2 also sees an improved fit in the neck area specifically, and the addition of a Flex -style harness. Despite this, though, it isn't for everybody (yet). To be truly effective, contact needs to be maintained between the unit and the body it is protecting. Think of it like a shotgun – if the butt of the shotgun is held loosely against the shoulder, the violent recoil will impact against the body like a hammer blow, causing trauma and pain instead of being transferred thru the butt, the buttpad (where a bit is absorbed) and then to the body and its own muscles and mass. If there is a gap because of an improper fit, an impact will cause the UnEqual to impact the body with a further impact, more or less defeating or reducing the Kevlar's effectiveness as an absorption device. So, the V2 would work well for a good percentage of people, but there are some it won't.

* = to be fair, Douglas is made in the USA, and as such, the plastic can of better quality and denser – thus aiding in absorption and requiring less volume of backing foam – than the overseas-made Wilson models... which are trying to maximize profit (and do they ever).

Love the tech reply Max and the shotgun analogy 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, MadMax said:

Before @umpstu and @kylehutson give you their personal feedback, I'll give you my "technical" sentiments on it, @MarkTDeNucciSr. Let me preface, the primary reason I don't own or use an UnEqual V2 myself is cost and heat – my Schutt XV is approx. $70-$80, while the UnEqual is $280. The Schutt is exceptionally light and well-ventilated (hole-y!), while the UnEqual, because it utilizes neoprene and Kevlar, is rather dense and a bit... smothering. Can't be too bad, considering two of my good colleagues – @KenBAZ is one of them – use them in this stifling Arizona heat, but it's just not for me yet.

The UnEqual is a hybrid; neither a softpack nor a true hardshell. Hardshells are of course going to base their protection upon the plastic plates of their carapaces, then having the energy absorbed by the foam behind the plates, with body contact maintained by yet more foam. In the case of the Douglas* and the Wilson models, this backing foam is homogenous, comprised of nothing more than thick, cheap, open-cell upholstery foam. As you get into other models, such as those from All-Star, +POS, and Schutt, they are using a laminate sandwich of two or more foams so as to reap the benefits of better energy absorption, less necessary loft and thickness, and much improved moisture and heat management.

Force3 went an entirely different route. Instead of relying on a hard plastic carapace, the energy distribution and absorption was conceived to be handled by Kevlar. Unfortunately, Kevlar cannot be exposed to UV light, and as such, the outer layer needs to be neoprene. Now Kevlar has tremendous strength and elasticity, but while it absorbs the energy of a supersonic bullet, it catches it, denying penetration – there is still impact trauma. A baseball is much heavier than a bullet, with that mass overwhelming the Kevlar at times, and resulting in impact trauma (bruising and pain in some users). As such, Force3 infused plastic "blast" plates between the neoprene and the Kevlar in the V2, and this distributes the impacting force laterally, allowing more Kevlar to do the work of energy absorption rather than that localized to the impact point.

The V2 also sees an improved fit in the neck area specifically, and the addition of a Flex -style harness. Despite this, though, it isn't for everybody (yet). To be truly effective, contact needs to be maintained between the unit and the body it is protecting. Think of it like a shotgun – if the butt of the shotgun is held loosely against the shoulder, the violent recoil will impact against the body like a hammer blow, causing trauma and pain instead of being transferred thru the butt, the buttpad (where a bit is absorbed) and then to the body and its own muscles and mass. If there is a gap because of an improper fit, an impact will cause the UnEqual to impact the body with a further impact, more or less defeating or reducing the Kevlar's effectiveness as an absorption device. So, the V2 would work well for a good percentage of people, but there are some it won't.

* = to be fair, Douglas is made in the USA, and as such, the plastic can of better quality and denser – thus aiding in absorption and requiring less volume of backing foam – than the overseas-made Wilson models... which are trying to maximize profit (and do they ever).

I work most of my games in the Palm Springs area, desert.  So I know the heat. It seems it doesn't matter where I work, I sweat profusely.  Even with scented Lysol that Force 3 does stink unless I hose it off really well. Luckily because of where I live it dries quickly.  I really like your posts, very informative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, umpstu said:

Even with scented Lysol that Force 3 does stink unless I hose it off really well.

Consider OdoBan (especially in Eucalyptus or Citrus) instead of the harshness and caustic-ness of Lysol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, MadMax said:

Consider OdoBan (especially in Eucalyptus or Citrus) instead of the harshness and caustic-ness of Lysol.

I'd rather consider not sweating so much.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MarkTDeNucciSr Welcome back I'm glad to see you here again! It's been a very long time.

Here's my review: 

 

I have the Force3 V2 Ultimate Umpire Chest Protector. At first I was not so sold on it and kept threatening myself to get something else. Primary reason I wasn't sold on it's protection. I took a foul from a 14 y/o I wouldn't have had any ill effect from with my WV Gold, but I felt it and it was more than it not feeling good, it hurt. Not blinding pain but I don't think a foul like that should have hurt so bad. I didn't trust it at the HS or college level.

Well time has passed and I've been wearing it for 2 years now for everything from kids to D-II, and I'm not going to be a cheerleader for it, but My thoughts have improved to some degree. I have taken a few fouls and uncaught pitches I feel them much more than I did with my Gold, but I don't think I'm 1 foul away from a trip to the ER. 

All of that said I am still wearing it. Will I be wearing it for 10 years like my Gold, probably not. Am I going to get a new one this year, no. I figure I'll keep this one a while and see what comes out in the future. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to thank everyone who resonded.  Mark, Jr., started using the Wilson Platnium for H.S. baseball and softball as well as college softball this past Spring.  We have both used the Diamond iX3 since he started umpiring 10 years ago and it is a great protector as far as we are concerned for lower lever baseball and softball, but we saw the Force3 V2 online and we were both wondering how a Kevlar protector stacked up against the other chest protectors on the market.

 

MTD, Sr.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, MarkTDeNucciSr said:

I would like to thank everyone who resonded.  Mark, Jr., started using the Wilson Platnium for H.S. baseball and softball as well as college softball this past Spring.  We have both used the Diamond iX3 since he started umpiring 10 years ago and it is a great protector as far as we are concerned for lower lever baseball and softball, but we saw the Force3 V2 online and we were both wondering how a Kevlar protector stacked up against the other chest protectors on the market.

 

MTD, Sr.

Big fan of the platinum here.  Have taken many shots and can honestly say only felt the effect of one as it caught on the edge of the plate.  More me than plate.  Have had more than one coach marvel that I did not have any ill effects from some shots.

Good stuff there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, MarkTDeNucciSr said:

Mark, Jr., started using the Wilson Platnium for H.S. baseball and softball as well as college softball this past Spring.  We have both used the Diamond iX3 since he started umpiring 10 years ago and it is a great protector as far as we are concerned for lower lever baseball and softball.

Get the young man a Flex-style harness – it will make a world of difference. A Force3 "NewFlex" harness will work, as will an All-Star DeltaFlex. The U-E darling, though, is the ULFH "RayFlex", made by @Razzer. PM or email him for details.

The Platinum is a very good CP, but the stock harness on it just cannot keep enough tension on it to prevent the shoulder arch plates from flattening out and the unit beginning to slide down. And there you are, having to hike it back up again on every pitch and looking like a hunchback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, MadMax said:

Get the young man a Flex-style harness – it will make a world of difference. A Force3 "NewFlex" harness will work, as will an All-Star DeltaFlex. The U-E darling, though, is the ULFH "RayFlex", made by @Razzer. PM or email him for details.

The Platinum is a very good CP, but the stock harness on it just cannot keep enough tension on it to prevent the shoulder arch plates from flattening out and the unit beginning to slide down. And there you are, having to hike it back up again on every pitch and looking like a hunchback.

^^^^  THIS ^^^^

Max is absolutely correct.  A Flex-style harness improved the fit of my platinum immeasurably.  A "must have" upgrade.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×