Just arrived this afternoon:
Yup, that’s a Diamond DFM-iX3-Pro. For catchers. In aluminum.
It weighs nothing.
I gotta say, the pads on this thing, as simple as they are, are better than the default pads on the Umpire version (not the DFM-UMP-BL)! In any case, it’s strong, light, and offers a rather generous eyeport. It won’t bend.
The only reason this didn’t really gain traction with catchers is because it’s not an All-Star or UnderArmour, or Nike, or Easton (who all use titanium or steel), and the NFHS codes prohibit them. Without them carried on retail shelves, they’re only order-able online, where they get undercut by insanely cheap steel masks (Rawlings, Wilsons and MacGregors) or overlooked in favor of the name-brand starlets (Easton, UnderArmour, All-Star).
I ordered this mask in for one of my fellow umpires who is using an old TAG -brand steel, bent like a coat hanger would be to be used as a TV antenna. I have a black harness for it, and we’ll be teaming this up with +POS tan leather pads... which should be arriving any day now.
Oh yeah, the price? Ordered direct from Diamond, $30.
I have been seeing more guys in the pros wearing the All-Star FM4000. I have heard many good things i.e lightweight, durable, comfortable to wear. However, I have also heard many negative things about the mask i.e sparks fly when you get hit, the upper bar does not extend far enough out leaving umpires vulnerable. I know I have seen some guys wearing a matte skull cap with it. I like many of the positives but am concerned about some of the negatives.
I am interested to hear what everyone's thoughts are about the mask
Have you found anything that backs up or disputes the cons of the mask?
By Mister B
While cleaning up some old gear for our league, I came across a bunch of old masks. Not the best, but they work. But most of them had the old plastic belt harness. So In order to make them usable again, I discovered that Honig's is selling their Red harness for $1. Yes, it's red, but it's a dollar. So if you are a league looking to make some gear usable, this might not be a bad alternative.
Probably not the look everyone is looking for, but it's a much better harness than what we had.