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I am a new umpire (2nd season) and I need to buy a new mask for fall ball. I have been debating two different mask which I should get. 

1. Wilson Dyna-Lite Black ALUMINUM with black and grey “fonzie” pads. (Weighs 1.3 lbs)

2. Wilson Dyna-Lite STEEL with black and grey “fonzie” replacement pads. (Weighs 1.8 lbs)

The only problem is I don’t want to pay $150+ on a new mask because it’s only my second year. The steel costs less but is much heavier, while the aluminum is the total opposite. 

 

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Check out diamonddugout.com, they have some masks on closeout for $30.00. They are super light...about 20 ounces. They only have certain colors left, but they will do the job and save you some money.

 

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Spend the money on the better equipment.  You'll be thankful every time you work a plate game.  The price difference is less than a game fee.

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If the price difference is an issue I'd get the Aluminum Wilson with the black pads for $109. You can always change the pads later. I tried to wear the Wilson steel and it is just too heavy for me and I wound't consider buying one to save money for pads when the black memory foams are great. 

If you really want the grey pads another option is to get a +POS zero-g steel mask for $50 and order the Wilson pads you want. I love my POS steel masks and wear them more than anything else I have.

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2 hours ago, mwest5575 said:

If you really want the grey pads another option is to get a +POS zero-g steel mask for $50 and order the Wilson pads you want. I love my POS steel masks and wear them more than anything else I have.

If you do go this route, read up on this site regarding other people's experience with ordering from +POS. Some people get their stuff right away. Others wait for months and have to challenge the charge with their credit card.

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The only reason a Wilson Aluminum mask is priced at  $120+ is because they can. Did you know that the oh-so-popular Diamond DFM-iX3 Aluminum umpire mask increased in price by $20–$30 simply because the Wilson versions emerged on the scene at $100+?

Well, the Diamond iX3 has a for-catcher sibling, and it happens to be available on closeout pricing, as @Mad Mike indicated. $30 gets you a solid, lightweight aluminum mask with which you can do several games out to several seasons, and earn money with which to buy better or more gear. The advantage to aluminum is it won’t bend, and in the iX3-Pro (for catcher), it also has a double-wire eye port which really will be bend-resistant. If you have your heart set on the grey-and-black Fonzi pads, you can always get those separate or later. Or, I have a hunch that a company like All-Star will make grey pads available someday... maybe... please?

Other great values on masks include the +POS ZRO-G hollow steel masks, All-Star FM-25’s hollow steel iBar masks, and the Pro9 FBUM hollow steel umpire mask (found on eBay for $49). And speaking of eBay, you can find any number of good umpire masks at really good prices. Fitting things into a budget is important when you’re starting out.

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I use a Diamond iX3 with the team wendy pads. Pads were replaced after 3 games as they ripped apart. Great CS by Ump Attire.

I took a shot off a foul ball that sent my mask flying.

Did I feel the hit? Yes. Was it painful? No. However, the mask did its job and no broken bones, swollen cheek, etc.  Also, the mask had no visibile structural integrity issues.  

https://www.ump-attire.com/Baseball-Umpire-Equipment/Gear-Footwear/Masks/DFM-UMP_Diamond-iX3-Aluminum-Umpire-Mask-with-Quik-Dry?id=155

Edited by LVUmp34
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I use a Diamond iX3 with the team wendy pads. Pads were replaced after 3 games as they ripped apart. Great CS by Ump Attire.
I took a shot off a foul ball that sent my mask flying.
Did I feel the hit? Yes. Was it painful? No. However, the mask did its job and no broken bones, swollen cheek, etc.  Also, the mask had no visibile structural integrity issues.  
https://www.ump-attire.com/Baseball-Umpire-Equipment/Gear-Footwear/Masks/DFM-UMP_Diamond-iX3-Aluminum-Umpire-Mask-with-Quik-Dry?id=155

The steel is 8 ounces heavier!

Man up, I think you can handle the half pound


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Definitely. :) I wore a mask out of Kevlar for years when I was a hockey goalie but just can't get used to the style for umpiring.

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4 hours ago, Scotty_Ump said:

Grab this Diamond iX3 on closeout ($30!) and then swap the pads for black Team Wendy pads. That's money well spent.

I wouldn't recommend paying full-price for a brand-new Wilson Dyna-Lite mask in your second year. Diamond makes a quality affordable mask that doesn't skimp on protection.

I do believe this is the exact mask @MadMax tracked down recently.

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16 hours ago, Scotty_Ump said:

I wouldn't recommend paying full-price for a brand-new Wilson Dyna-Lite mask in your second year

Like many things in life, you get what you pay for.  I would recommend paying what you feel that your safety is worth.

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7 hours ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

Like many things in life, you get what you pay for.  I would recommend paying what you feel that your safety is worth.

I see what you mean here. Still, we tend to over-value things often because of the brand name. Kudos to good marketing and branding. I also don't believe "cheap" (in dollars) necessarily equals "less safe." Those $30 masks on closeout were probably selling for close to 2x that amount before. Diamond is likely unloading excess inventory at thinner margins.

But I'm also a guy who just purchased a Force3 V2 full-price at Ump-Attire because I believe it offers the best protection for the highest level of ball I call. I also have a Wlson Gold after I skimped in my early days on a cheap used Diamond soft-shell. Lesson learned there.

As far as any safety concerns with the Diamond mask, I've seen D1 and AA umpires wearing the iX3 facing 90+ mph pitching. I think that says something about getting what you pay for.

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