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Force 3 V3 Chest Protector

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Interesting.  Oddly enough, F3 website doesn't mention it.

 

From UA:

Description

Building off feedback from the 2nd generation Force3 Ultimate Umpire Chest Protector, the V3 offers the same great low-profile and customizable features of the V2 plus two new features to reduce impact at higher velocity.

3rd GENERATION FEATURES

  • Improved "No Feel" Blast Shield
    Now 3 mm thick, an additional layer of hard shell plastic just under the neoprene cover
  • Added Special Absorption Foam Layer
    A hard density layer under the Blast Shield
  • New Logos
    Harness and protective neck piece feature current Force3 logos

MORE FEATURES (STILL INTEGRATED FROM THE 1st & 2nd 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
    Just over 1/2” thick, the UNEQUAL EXO system is made with DuPont™ Kevlar®, thus providing the best combination of low-profile protection
  • Durable, Breathable, Hand Washable Neoprene Cover
  • High-grade Space Airflow System Fabric Backing
    Allows for maximum comfort and airflow in warmer weather.
  • Comfort Harness
    3 center layers of air flow fabric, open cell foam and neoprene plus stronger elastic keeps the chest protector snug to the body and in place
  • Padding Behind Shoulders
    Provides additional protection where umpires often need most
  • Adjustable in Neck Area
    For added comfort
  • Optional Bicep Extension
    Connectors attach (or easily detach) at the end of the shoulders
  • Additional Extensions
    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
  • Weight
    3 pounds 10 ounces

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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Sometimes, webmasters are a bit tardy in updating. Consider, too, that Force3 may be trying to sell off the UnEqual V2 stock on hand, and doesn’t want to confuse customers.

If the V3 is sporting a new logo on the high chest, then I did see one in person. My partner last week was wearing his “brand new” UnEqual.

Either way, from the read of the description, the sternum blast plate was thickened, there’s an additional layer of EVA foam to supplement the Kevlar, and the custom fit options have been optimized.

Note that the neoprene outer skin is there for two purposes: 1) to seal and protect the Kevlar from UV light (which would cause it to decay) and 2) to reduce damage to your shirts and jackets when an impact does happen.

All this updating spells one thing for me –bring on the Big Leagues!! 

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We're doing a product review for the V3 next week & you can see it up close, IF you don't have the V2. 

We will be featuring the key points of the blast shield, the foam layer and showing you what the new logos on the V3 look like.

Hopefully up on our YouTube channel (or the UE forum for our videos) by Tuesday morning. I've got a late afternoon game and won't be back into KY until 9a or 10a.

I'd say Tuesday is more likely.

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I still wish I could see a cut away of what the inside of what the V2 and V3 look like. 

But I also understand why that hasn' happened.

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This might make me spring for it. But $300 is a lot to spend to try something 

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I saw Force3 V3 CP in a local store the other day. 

Please see attached pictures of the front and back.  You can see the green "Hart" padding in the places they deem as critical.

The plastic inserts ("Blast Shield,) seems to be stiffer and thicker.  That is going to spread the force of a baseball out much more.

But, I couldn't find or see any difference in the shoulders.  It is well designed and thought out.

 

It is MY OPINION, that they should eliminate the rubber cover and kevlar, double the thickness and perforate the foams and "Blast Shields," to make the CP more breathable.  It is MY ENGINEERING JUDGEMENT that kevlar is not being used in the properly, in this application.  Kevlar is meant to stop bullets, not baseballs.  I think the foam is still too thin.

F3 V3 CP 1.jpg

F3 V3 CP 2.jpg

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My original contention still remains. If you need a hard plastic cover for your collar bone and shoulders, when don't you need one for your heart? There's no logic in that design. 

 

Yeah, they updated it by putting hard plastic inside, but why can't they do that all over? 

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I'm confident in the protection it provides all over.

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On 6/30/2018 at 7:23 AM, kylejt said:

My original contention still remains. If you need a hard plastic cover for your collar bone and shoulders, when don't you need one for your heart? There's no logic in that design. 

 

Yeah, they updated it by putting hard plastic inside, but why can't they do that all over? 

 They got plastic in all the critical places, basically the entire frontal area

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On 6/29/2018 at 10:03 PM, Concrete Panda said:

It is MY OPINION, that they should eliminate the rubber cover and kevlar,

Completely to the contrary, the Force3 UnEqual is an ideal product to employ Kevlar in; it's just that, until the UnEqual V2, the Kevlar was underserved and lacking in critical support from other materials.

That isn't a rubber outer skin at all; instead, it is neoprene, and its presence performs two roles (as I've mentioned before): 1) to seal and protect the Kevlar from UV light (which would cause it to decay) and 2) to reduce damage to your shirts and jackets when an impact does happen.

On 6/29/2018 at 10:03 PM, Concrete Panda said:

It is MY ENGINEERING JUDGEMENT that kevlar is not being used in the properly, in this application.  Kevlar is meant to stop bullets, not baseballs.

There is a misunderstanding as to what role the Kevlar is serving. No, the Kevlar is not meant to stop baseballs, in much the same way that Kevlar is not meant to stop bullets. Kevlar catches bullets, and prevents penetration by taking all that assailing energy in and behind the bullet and distributing it laterally throughout its woven fibers. Of course, for best performance and durability, Kevlar fabric should be (and is) teamed with hard-cast ceramic plates – often called trauma plates – that are arranged in critical locations and present a reinforced facet to a bullet or shrapnel that will be impacting at an acute (or perpendicular) angle. The bullet or shrapnel strikes the plate, retarding it, and the Kevlar absorbs the accompanying energy, as well as catching or arresting any remaining bullet fragments that may have overwhelmed or compromised the plate.

The chief problem with hard plates of metal or ceramic in body armor is that of weight and thickness (mass). In order to prevent penetration of a bullet, unaided by an energy-absorbing material, a plate has to be inordinately thick and dense. With metals and most ceramics, as soon as you introduce rigidity, you lose elasticity or flexibility. Sure, that's great in a one-size / one-shape fits all world, but when the soft, squishy human that the item is protecting possesses such a wide-ranging variety of sizes and shapes, you'll exhaust yourself trying to accommodate them all!

We know that baseballs are not bullets. They travel at considerably lower speeds (relative), but they carry considerably greater mass. Thus, there's a whole lotta energy in an impacting baseball. So, surely we can use hard-plastic plates to begin to distribute that energy into a lateral force, but that force wants to become a compressive force, and without compressive resistance in that hard-plastic plate, it will carry the plate along with it to impact on the squishy human behind it! So what is used to create that stand-off distance – that volume – while still remaining low in density and weight, and (reasonably) resistant (or recoverable) to compression? Open-cell foam!

Common open-cell foam is only able to resist compression relative to its volume (I'm not including rigid open cell foam in this discussion, like styrofoam). Why are sofa cushions so thick? Because they are of a volume so as to prevent (most) seated humans from compressing beyond a "comfortable" boundary and feeling the hard surface beneath. Change the mass load, and you have to increase the volume. Worse yet, change the force (the velocity with which the mass is applied) load, and you have to increase the volume too! Or, you have to have something teamed with it so as to distribute the force, laterally, so as to engage the entire volume of the existing open cell foam cushion. 

I just described a Wilson WestVest and a Douglas CP.

Closed-cell foams cut down the required volume considerably, since by trapping air/gas within the cells of the foam, the resistance to compression can be controlled, as can be the density. Memory foams are blends of the two – open cell and closed cell – by using synthetic compounds that themselves have closed-cell matrices (microcells) but are arranged into open-cell structures in a controlled manner. These advanced memory foams, though, need something to contain or define them. A skin of sorts! Also, that skin should be strong enough to distribute the energy laterally, else the baseball will merely impact the memory foam in the localized spot, compressing it, and not engaging enough foam to dissipate the force!

On 6/29/2018 at 10:03 PM, Concrete Panda said:

That is going to spread the force of a baseball out much more.

Exactly. You said it. The presence of hard-cast plastic plates is to distribute (as you said "spread out") the force laterally.

Know what else does that tremendously well? Kevlar.

The problem is that Force3 didn't consider the inclusion and combination of hard plastic plates with its Kevlar when it debuted the UnEqual V1. Force3 thought that neoprene could provide that outer skin and general structure – like a wetsuit – for the Kevlar fabric and hybrid foam to work beneath. It couldn't, and Force3 has been "paying for it" ever since in the reviews, opinions, and perspectives of users like @kylejt.

Kyle, I'm not picking on you; you've just been one of the more vocal opponents of the UnEqual line on the forum, and your arguments against it are valid and well-articulated. I just want to present that those arguments and concerns of yours and other users have been addressed... just not in an easily distinguishable way.

To explain this, we need to look at Force3's Ultimate shin guards, which I will defend to the hilt are the best shinguards on the market (and many other users here will agree). If we examine them, we'll see a hard-plastic shell, backed by a vinyl-encased, rather (and remarkably) thin body, and then completed with a removable "sponge" liner on the inside that contacts to your leg. Obviously, the pre-formed shell is there to provide the structure and shape, and to distribute the impacting force. So where's the Kevlar? It's in that vinyl & mesh -encased thin body! It is doing nearly all the energy distribution and absorption. Lastly, the mesh-encased removable foam liner acts as a "sizing layer" to provide comfortable contact between the body of the shinguard and your leg. It's making contact only in critical, necessary spots, promoting airflow and keeping bulk and weight to a minimum. Because legs are cylindrical, and don't have the wide-ranging variances of size and shape like torsos do, the pre-formed shell shapes don't have to be as varied.

Consider, though, what's one of the drawbacks of hardshell shinguards? Yup, you get "burns" or "bruises" on your umpire pants from impacting baseballs! This is the result of the extreme abrasion of the baseball leather ricocheting off the hard plastic of the shin guard and the polywool / polyester material caught between them!

Heck, I get those marks on my DriFIT golf pants if/when I kneel on concrete or hardwood floors! Ugh!

That's why putting the plastic plates inside of neoprene makes so much sense to Force3! The neoprene has to be there, regardless, to protect the Kevlar from UV light, and it gives some structure, especially when it comes to accommodating the variety of torso shapes and sizes that will be wearing it. The abrasion reduction is an added benefit!

Do understand though, the Kevlar and the hard plastic plates are working togetherThere is a hard-plastic "blast" plate over your heart! In fact, each of those body segments has a plastic plate in it. I'm hopeful that they're perforated, too, because they certainly don't need to be solid, or that dense actually, when the Kevlar is there to do most of the energy absorption.

On 6/30/2018 at 9:23 AM, kylejt said:

If you need a hard plastic cover for your collar bone and shoulders, when don't you need one for your heart? There's no logic in that design. Yeah, they updated it by putting hard plastic inside, but why can't they do that all over? 

Shoulders, like knees, are generally shaped the same from one human to another. They're also best protected by a dome or spheroid shape – something rather difficult to define by fabric and neoprene. Furthermore, those domes are problematic to encase in neoprene, so what's the point? So, just leave it as uncovered plastic on the shoulders. Kevlar is still within it, just like on the shinguards. What you, Kyle, are fixated on are those clavicle pieces flanking the neck. Obviously, to accommodate the arch of the shoulders, there needs to be a gap or seam (before any of you jokers point out that the WestVest Platinum doesn't have this seam-gap, I'll counter that the WestVest Gold still does, and the one-piece nature of the Platinum, sold or shipped flat, inhibits users from wearing it correctly!). That "naked" plastic plate acts as as a simple bridge or shield for that gap. There are hard plastic plates throughout the UnEqual V2 and V3!

Now, having said all that, someone could easily and justifiably ask, "Well MadMax, why don't you have an UnEqual??". Simple. While I completely endorse and admire Force3 for their products... A) I didn't have the $200+ to invest in a product that I saw being revised and improved in a short timeframe, and B) I now live and work in an extremely hot baseball environment where lightweight-ness and ventilation is an almost vital necessity. Thus, the CP on the market that satisfies both factors A and B, and is just as forward-thinking and innovative in its protection as the UnEqual... 

... is a Schutt XV. 

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1 hour ago, MadMax said:

Completely to the contrary, the Force3 UnEqual is an ideal product to employ Kevlar in; it's just that, until the UnEqual V2, the Kevlar was underserved and lacking in critical support from other materials.

That isn't a rubber outer skin at all; instead, it is neoprene, and its presence performs two roles (as I've mentioned before): 1) to seal and protect the Kevlar from UV light (which would cause it to decay) and 2) to reduce damage to your shirts and jackets when an impact does happen.

There is a misunderstanding as to what role the Kevlar is serving. No, the Kevlar is not meant to stop baseballs, in much the same way that Kevlar is not meant to stop bullets. Kevlar catches bullets, and prevents penetration by taking all that assailing energy in and behind the bullet and distributing it laterally throughout its woven fibers. Of course, for best performance and durability, Kevlar fabric should be (and is) teamed with hard-cast ceramic plates – often called trauma plates – that are arranged in critical locations and present a reinforced facet to a bullet or shrapnel that will be impacting at an acute (or perpendicular) angle. The bullet or shrapnel strikes the plate, retarding it, and the Kevlar absorbs the accompanying energy, as well as catching or arresting any remaining bullet fragments that may have overwhelmed or compromised the plate.

The chief problem with hard plates of metal or ceramic in body armor is that of weight and thickness (mass). In order to prevent penetration of a bullet, unaided by an energy-absorbing material, a plate has to be inordinately thick and dense. With metals and most ceramics, as soon as you introduce rigidity, you lose elasticity or flexibility. Sure, that's great in a one-size / one-shape fits all world, but when the soft, squishy human that the item is protecting possesses such a wide-ranging variety of sizes and shapes, you'll exhaust yourself trying to accommodate them all!

We know that baseballs are not bullets. They travel at considerably lower speeds (relative), but they carry considerably greater mass. Thus, there's a whole lotta energy in an impacting baseball. So, surely we can use hard-plastic plates to begin to distribute that energy into a lateral force, but that force wants to become a compressive force, and without compressive resistance in that hard-plastic plate, it will carry the plate along with it to impact on the squishy human behind it! So what is used to create that stand-off distance – that volume – while still remaining low in density and weight, and (reasonably) resistant (or recoverable) to compression? Open-cell foam!

Common open-cell foam is only able to resist compression relative to its volume (I'm not including rigid open cell foam in this discussion, like styrofoam). Why are sofa cushions so thick? Because they are of a volume so as to prevent (most) seated humans from compressing beyond a "comfortable" boundary and feeling the hard surface beneath. Change the mass load, and you have to increase the volume. Worse yet, change the force (the velocity with which the mass is applied) load, and you have to increase the volume too! Or, you have to have something teamed with it so as to distribute the force, laterally, so as to engage the entire volume of the existing open cell foam cushion. 

I just described a Wilson WestVest and a Douglas CP.

Closed-cell foams cut down the required volume considerably, since by trapping air/gas within the cells of the foam, the resistance to compression can be controlled, as can be the density. Memory foams are blends of the two – open cell and closed cell – by using synthetic compounds that themselves have closed-cell matrices (microcells) but are arranged into open-cell structures in a controlled manner. These advanced memory foams, though, need something to contain or define them. A skin of sorts! Also, that skin should be strong enough to distribute the energy laterally, else the baseball will merely impact the memory foam in the localized spot, compressing it, and not engaging enough foam to dissipate the force!

Exactly. You said it. The presence of hard-cast plastic plates is to distribute (as you said "spread out") the force laterally.

Know what else does that tremendously well? Kevlar.

The problem is that Force3 didn't consider the inclusion and combination of hard plastic plates with its Kevlar when it debuted the UnEqual V1. Force3 thought that neoprene could provide that outer skin and general structure – like a wetsuit – for the Kevlar fabric and hybrid foam to work beneath. It couldn't, and Force3 has been "paying for it" ever since in the reviews, opinions, and perspectives of users like @kylejt.

Kyle, I'm not picking on you; you've just been one of the more vocal opponents of the UnEqual line on the forum, and your arguments against it are valid and well-articulated. I just want to present that those arguments and concerns of yours and other users have been addressed... just not in an easily distinguishable way.

To explain this, we need to look at Force3's Ultimate shin guards, which I will defend to the hilt are the best shinguards on the market (and many other users here will agree). If we examine them, we'll see a hard-plastic shell, backed by a vinyl-encased, rather (and remarkably) thin body, and then completed with a removable "sponge" liner on the inside that contacts to your leg. Obviously, the pre-formed shell is there to provide the structure and shape, and to distribute the impacting force. So where's the Kevlar? It's in that vinyl & mesh -encased thin body! It is doing nearly all the energy distribution and absorption. Lastly, the mesh-encased removable foam liner acts as a "sizing layer" to provide comfortable contact between the body of the shinguard and your leg. It's making contact only in critical, necessary spots, promoting airflow and keeping bulk and weight to a minimum. Because legs are cylindrical, and don't have the wide-ranging variances of size and shape like torsos do, the pre-formed shell shapes don't have to be as varied.

Consider, though, what's one of the drawbacks of hardshell shinguards? Yup, you get "burns" or "bruises" on your umpire pants from impacting baseballs! This is the result of the extreme abrasion of the baseball leather ricocheting off the hard plastic of the shin guard and the polywool / polyester material caught between them!

Heck, I get those marks on my DriFIT golf pants if/when I kneel on concrete or hardwood floors! Ugh!

That's why putting the plastic plates inside of neoprene makes so much sense to Force3! The neoprene has to be there, regardless, to protect the Kevlar from UV light, and it gives some structure, especially when it comes to accommodating the variety of torso shapes and sizes that will be wearing it. The abrasion reduction is an added benefit!

Do understand though, the Kevlar and the hard plastic plates are working togetherThere is a hard-plastic "blast" plate over your heart! In fact, each of those body segments has a plastic plate in it. I'm hopeful that they're perforated, too, because they certainly don't need to be solid, or that dense actually, when the Kevlar is there to do most of the energy absorption.

Shoulders, like knees, are generally shaped the same from one human to another. They're also best protected by a dome or spheroid shape – something rather difficult to define by fabric and neoprene. Furthermore, those domes are problematic to encase in neoprene, so what's the point? So, just leave it as uncovered plastic on the shoulders. Kevlar is still within it, just like on the shinguards. What you, Kyle, are fixated on are those clavicle pieces flanking the neck. Obviously, to accommodate the arch of the shoulders, there needs to be a gap or seam (before any of you jokers point out that the WestVest Platinum doesn't have this seam-gap, I'll counter that the WestVest Gold still does, and the one-piece nature of the Platinum, sold or shipped flat, inhibits users from wearing it correctly!). That "naked" plastic plate acts as as a simple bridge or shield for that gap. There are hard plastic plates throughout the UnEqual V2 and V3!

Now, having said all that, someone could easily and justifiably ask, "Well MadMax, why don't you have an UnEqual??". Simple. While I completely endorse and admire Force3 for their products... A) I didn't have the $200+ to invest in a product that I saw being revised and improved in a short timeframe, and B) I now live and work in an extremely hot baseball environment where lightweight-ness and ventilation is an almost vital necessity. Thus, the CP on the market that satisfies both factors A and B, and is just as forward-thinking and innovative in its protection as the UnEqual... 

... is a Schutt XV. 

Thanks

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On 7/2/2018 at 6:48 PM, MadMax said:

That isn't a rubber outer skin at all; instead, it is neoprene, and its presence performs two roles (as I've mentioned before): 1) to seal and protect the Kevlar from UV light (which would cause it to decay) and 2) to reduce damage to your shirts and jackets when an impact does happen.

There is a misunderstanding as to what role the Kevlar is serving. No, the Kevlar is not meant to stop baseballs, in much the same way that Kevlar is not meant to stop bullets. Kevlar catches bullets, and prevents penetration by taking all that assailing energy in and behind the bullet and distributing it laterally throughout its woven fibers. Of course, for best performance and durability, Kevlar fabric should be (and is) teamed with hard-cast ceramic plates – often called trauma plates – that are arranged in critical locations and present a reinforced facet to a bullet or shrapnel that will be impacting at an acute (or perpendicular) angle. The bullet or shrapnel strikes the plate, retarding it, and the Kevlar absorbs the accompanying energy, as well as catching or arresting any remaining bullet fragments that may have overwhelmed or compromised the plate.

Well said, I used the term rubber to describe to material loosely.  You missed a 3rd reason for the neoprene, is also helps distribute the force of the ball.

My main beef with the use of neoprene, lack of ventilation.  And as I said, thee use of kevlar is not the proper material for the intended use of distributing the force.

Regarding the use of kevlar in bullet proof vests, the soft vest used for most patrol officers use kevlar exclusively to stop virtually all pistol calibers.  It will not stop a rifle rounds nor a knife.  The trauma plates worn by SWAT and soldiers are there to stop the rifle rounds and prevent the "wind" from being knock out of someone, reduce the chance of broken ribs, or organ bruising.  Just as an aside, the soft Level II and III vests must be replaced every 5 years or so, as the fibers breakdown/get brittle.  That is not helpful for an umpire, as many of my colleagues have had their uppers for years.

Regarding open vs. close cell foam and trying to make the padding thinner.  Two products, either Poron or D3O. The Hart foam by UnEqual must be a similar type material. These two high tech (and expensive) foams will do the job, be much thinner, but the margins for the manufacturer's would be smaller or the upper would will cost more, like the Force3.   I would love to see a perforated D3O or Poron retrofit for the Schutt VX.

Based on my inspection of the upper shown above, I did not feel any holes in the plastic, but I'm not surprised as the neoprene cover would prevent evaporation.

I guess Schutt could place some sort of low friction material over over the plastic to reduce damage to shirts as they could also use chicago type screws to allow separation of the padding from the hard shell.  It just a matter of the final retail price and the number of units they anticipate to sell.

Team Wendy had retrofits for the West Vest and I'm sure got out of the business do to low margins, low volumes, or price resistance.

 

On 7/2/2018 at 6:48 PM, MadMax said:

Do understand though, the Kevlar and the hard plastic plates are working togetherThere is a hard-plastic "blast" plate over your heart! In fact, each of those body segments has a plastic plate in it. I'm hopeful that they're perforated, too, because they certainly don't need to be solid, or that dense actually, when the Kevlar is there to do most of the energy absorption.

I think the neoprene cover and blast plate for more to absorb the energy than the kevlar.  Kevlar needs to be "anchored", "stretched", and have significant displacement to be effective.  Moving a 1/8" to 1/4" may not be enough. 

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3 hours ago, Concrete Panda said:

 I would love to see a perforated D3O or Poron retrofit for the Schutt VX.

The Schutt XV doesn’t need a D3O retrofit. It already uses it. Schutt was the first US -based sports equipment manufacturer to incorporate D3O into their products. Where first? Football helmets. From there, it was deployed into shoulder pads, and then into CPs for both catchers (the Scorpion) and umpires (the XV).

3 hours ago, Concrete Panda said:

Schutt could place some sort of low friction material over over the plastic to reduce damage to shirts as they could also use chicago type screws to allow separation of the padding from the hard shell.

They could, but they are currently joining the hard shell carapace to the D3O padding vest via adhesive-faced velcro. It’s not the greatest, but it’s effective. Unfortunately, like All-American, Douglas, and Riddell, Schutt cannot do the Velcro-tab loops that Wilson has patented.

4 hours ago, Concrete Panda said:

Team Wendy had retrofits for the West Vest and I'm sure got out of the business do to low margins, low volumes, or price resistance.

Team Wendy never had a retrofit for Wilson WestVests, they made a retrofit of a CP on a case-by-case, per-unit basis. They preferred doing WestVests and Douglas units, but they also did Riddell Powers and All-Americans because they all had similar, straightforward attachment methods (Velcro tab loops). In any case, they outlined that the unit had to be sent in to be processed.

Team Wendy’s quality, good fortune and boon brought them a huge US Military contract, such that they could no longer logistically support the custom retrofit process. They needed to dedicate their staff and resources wholly to the S&R and Military obligations they now were in high demand for.

5 hours ago, Concrete Panda said:

These two high tech (and expensive) foams will do the job, be much thinner, but the margins for the manufacturer's would be smaller

You’re right, these modern, advanced foams aren’t cheap. Douglas won’t improve from using Qualux (open cell upholstery foam) because they can’t justify the investment, especially when their products are still made in the USA. As said, Schutt’s use of D3O in their baseball products is subsidized by highly lucrative football dividends.

What irritates the s#!t out of me is Wilson could (and should) be contracting with an advanced foam supplier, like Team Wendy or Poron, to overhaul and progress the WestVest line. But they don’t! Why? Because they sunk all their money in maintaining their “Exclusive MLB Supplier License” for all these years!!

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Mad Max, 

I haven’t seen any info from Schutt that specifies the use of D3O on the VX.  

Mine is on order from Hibbetts and will be here in a week, so I will be able to see one up close and personal. 

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On 7/5/2018 at 1:52 AM, MadMax said:

The Schutt XV doesn’t need a D3O retrofit. It already uses it. Schutt was the first US -based sports equipment manufacturer to incorporate D3O into their products. Where first? Football helmets. From there, it was deployed into shoulder pads, and then into CPs for both catchers (the Scorpion) and umpires (the XV).

They could, but they are currently joining the hard shell carapace to the D3O padding vest via adhesive-faced velcro. It’s not the greatest, but it’s effective. Unfortunately, like All-American, Douglas, and Riddell, Schutt cannot do the Velcro-tab loops that Wilson has patented.

Team Wendy never had a retrofit for Wilson WestVests, they made a retrofit of a CP on a case-by-case, per-unit basis. They preferred doing WestVests and Douglas units, but they also did Riddell Powers and All-Americans because they all had similar, straightforward attachment methods (Velcro tab loops). In any case, they outlined that the unit had to be sent in to be processed.

Team Wendy’s quality, good fortune and boon brought them a huge US Military contract, such that they could no longer logistically support the custom retrofit process. They needed to dedicate their staff and resources wholly to the S&R and Military obligations they now were in high demand for.

You’re right, these modern, advanced foams aren’t cheap. Douglas won’t improve from using Qualux (open cell upholstery foam) because they can’t justify the investment, especially when their products are still made in the USA. As said, Schutt’s use of D3O in their baseball products is subsidized by highly lucrative football dividends.

What irritates the s#!t out of me is Wilson could (and should) be contracting with an advanced foam supplier, like Team Wendy or Poron, to overhaul and progress the WestVest line. But they don’t! Why? Because they sunk all their money in maintaining their “Exclusive MLB Supplier License” for all these years!!

I don’t see why they don’t do that then place the new model at the price point of the F3 or something like that. West Vest Pro model. Allow you to have upgraded padding and a Razzer like harness. They customize everything now in their bat and glove line... 

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