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redroofwoodworker

Champion Sports Armor Style Chest Protector

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Does anyone have experience with this CP?  I was doing some research for a new CP yesterday and came across a new web site, allamericansportsshop.net.  Is this brand the same as Champion?  I assume it is but with a new logo.  I have never seen this model before.  I may have just overlooked it. This looks like a much better CP than they have made in the past. Looks very solid.  I would like to see what the harness looks also.  I was about just about set on going with the Schutt XV HDX until I saw this.  They are the same price, but this looks a like it would fit the body a little better. Any suggestions?    

Champion Sports Armor Style Chest Protector

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Based on the info from this site, .......the Schutt XV HDX is a much better CP.  This Champion has MANY gaps

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This CP has been out for quite a while. It doesn't seem to sell very well.  I can't speak from experience, but I'd recommend a trusted name (i.e. Wilson, Douglas, Schutt) or one of the many CP's recommended on here before I spent money on one and then have either wish I hadn't spent it or need to upgrade in a year or two.

I know guys like the other Champion due to small size and thin profile, but those same guys will admit shoulder plates crack easily and need replaced.  Champion you get what you pay for - and not in a good way in my honest opinion.

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Okay guys, let’s clear up the confusion...

First, the “Champion” athletic company that you’re likely thinking of, famous for their jerseys and sweatshirts, is not the  same as this Champion Sports company, based in NJ, which is producing multi-sports equipment.

With that said, here is this Champion Sports’ webpage of umpire CP’s:

http://www.championsports.com/pc_combined_results.asp?search_cat=searchexact~pcpcm.parent_pc_id~2FCCFF7B38C8453F9AA189CEA0B21524&pc_id=2FCCFF7B38C8453F9AA189CEA0B21524

They’re known in the community for producing the P200/210/220 (17”/15”/13”) model line of CP’s. These use a laminate of modern foams, are quite slim and low weight & profile, and look awfully similar to the Wilson Gold CP, but at 1/3rd to 1/4th the price. How’s that possible, given that the Gold is sooooo popular and patented, too?

Because Champion is not a direct rival to Wilson on the corporate landscape, and doesn’t impinge on Wilson’s bottom line. It has its advantages over the Gold – certainly the price tag, and the foam is a much thinner laminate of several effective foams instead of a thick, bulky block of sofa-cushion foam. However, it does have its shortcomings, and this is most evident in durability. Since it’s made in China, the injection-molded ABS plastic is a shade thin, and can get brittle, leading to cracks. It’s less dense than “standard” ABS plastic because that added weight leads to higher shipping costs per unit. One’s experience will differ depending simply on which batch received.

Now, the model you, @redroofwoodworker, are asking about is the P230/235/240 (16”/14.5”/13”) model line. This differs from its sibling on two fronts: first, the plastic in this case is vinyl, not ABS, and second, it is even more segmented and articulated so as to wrap the torso cylindrically, instead of being this rather flat wall like the Wilsons end up acting like.

I’ll even admit, my beloved Schutt XV is a bit on the broad side. If you wear a medium or less in an umpire shirt, the Schutt is very difficult to wear without looking like a hulking linebacker, primarily because of how broad it is across the chest. The same can be said about the Gold, and a stock-standard Platinum (the Platinum can be narrowed, but only through custom work). Where the Schutt truly shines, though, is in lightweightness and ventilation. The advanced 3DO foam lends itself so well to being thin, lightweight, resilient, absorptive, and when teamed with those yawning 10mm holes in the carapace plates, extremely breathable.

So, like the +POS ZRO-G chest protector, Champion tried utilizing vinyl carapace plates on this model instead of ABS plastic to cut down on weight and improve flexibility. It just looks complicated, and so different than the intrinsically accepted Gold / Power / All-American -style, that it hasn’t really captured a market.

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13 minutes ago, redroofwoodworker said:

Thanks a lot guys.  Your information has been very helpful.  I'm going with the Schutt.

You won’t regret it. I bought a Schutt and loved it so much that I sold off all my other chest protectors. There is no better CP in my opinion.

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I have both the Champion P200 (my 1st CP) and the Schutt XV. Both have been great CPs...the Schutt is the clear winner when it comes to breath-ability and keeping me cooler...but both protect well. The P200 has more overall length coverage being its 17"...the Schutt has thus far done a better job of keeping me protected from the grazing side shots that I sometimes got caught with on the P200. The Schutt is the clear winner when it comes to the included harness (although it's not perfect by far and not as good as an F3, AllStar, Rayflex ect)...I upgraded to an F3 harness on the Champion immediately (the included setup was pretty terrible) and it completely transformed that P200.

 

Bottom line...the P200 or Schutt both are fine CPs...but I have gone with the Schutt as my everyday setup due to the ventilation advantages. As always...YMMV

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Well, @BT_Blue, is this Champion P230-40 protective enough for HS and College? Yes. And I'm even basing it off the 90-mph, center-mass, direct pitch that hit me during the Expedition League summer. Those are D1-D3 college kids. I've worn the +POS ZRO-G, and the P230-40 is very similar to it. Where I believe the P230-40 is appealing is to a narrow-framed guy or gal who is doing a variety of levels in one or both batsports (baseball and softball), wants 1 CP, and is in a typical budget.

Keep in mind that the way in which all the other CP's except the Douglas and Wilson models are providing protection is through modern foam laminates. Force3 goes one step further by using Kevlar weave within the laminate for force absorption. Then, for a hardshell, they are attaching carapace plates atop that foam vest. Both the Wilson and Douglas models are still using single-type open-cell foam (sofa cushion foam), topped with thick ABS carapace plates. This design hasn't changed in close to 20 years. Whereas Douglas's price is based on domestic production – therefore the plastic plates can be denser because they're not being shipped overseas – that excuse is lost on Wilson. Instead, Wilson's steep price is based on marketing, and having to maintain the MLB endorsement license they love to wrap themselves in, and to keep warding off Riddell and All-American, and prevent Douglas from doing any overhauls to their existing design.

The question is, though, would I buy a P230-40? No. The level of games that I do, in the quantities I do them, are only increasing for me. However, keep in mind that college and minor league umpires are (rightly so) very conscious and aware of their appearance. Many an umpire at this level has purchased and used the P200-20 because of its slim, trim, compact (i.e. non-bulky) profile, as well as its very appealing price tag that is half, if not a third, of a Douglas, Wilson Gold, or Wilson Platinum. College guys who are doing D1, in front of big crowds and cameras, would undoubtedly favor the All-Star CPU4000, or a TW-modified Gold, or commission a Douglas. Some might even spring for a Force3 UnEqual (V3 of course).

... but then there's that Schutt. I can tell you, hand on heart, I've taken it into MLB pitching and hitting environments and have not been concerned whatsoever. Its greatest asset is the ventilation, and I feel much better and less fatigued after 2-3 plate games wearing it than I would wearing a Wilson or a Douglas. So, what I've purchased is exactly what I've been most satisfied with.

Now my only concern, going into college wood bat and minor league environments is a broken bat clubbing or spearing me in the head, face, or neck, and my paltry insurance vacillating on covering it.

 

... and no, I'm not getting a HSM.

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3 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

I still want to get a +POS Cobra. But really dont want to have my money held up for a few months.

I've been curious about the Cobra for a while now also. The only reservation I have about it is the length. 16 inches is just too long for me. On the flip side, 13 inches is just right for me but the plastic plates don't run all the way down. So I know that some of my ribs wouldn't have the plastic plates covering them and that scares me a bit. 

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11 hours ago, grk17 said:

I've been curious about the Cobra for a while now also. The only reservation I have about it is the length. 16 inches is just too long for me. On the flip side, 13 inches is just right for me but the plastic plates don't run all the way down. So I know that some of my ribs wouldn't have the plastic plates covering them and that scares me a bit. 

The other thing is the reviews. Yes, there are some decent reviews. But EVERY ONE OF THEM IS 5 STAR? That is beyond improbable. 

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2 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

The other thing is the reviews. Yes, there are some decent reviews. But EVERY ONE OF THEM IS 5 STAR? That is beyond improbable. 

You do a review get a free shoe bag with your purchase.

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If only there was a place or a shop where you could get a "bespoke" chest protector. Go in, get measured, pick your foams and design etc. Kind of like a build a chest protector workshop if you will

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30 minutes ago, grk17 said:

If only there was a place or a shop where you could get a "bespoke" chest protector. Go in, get measured, pick your foams and design etc. Kind of like a build a chest protector workshop if you will

There was. He was located in Windomar, California and was Pacific Coast League Hall-of-Famer. Unfortunately, when he passed, his children didnt want to continue the family business.

 

But we still get to see them every so often... for instance this past weekend during the ALDS.

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6 minutes ago, BT_Blue said:

There was. He was located in Windomar, California and was Pacific Coast League Hall-of-Famer. Unfortunately, when he passed, his children didnt want to continue the family business.

 

But we still get to see them every so often... for instance this past weekend during the ALDS.

Are you referencing Carlucci and Ted Barrett’s chest protector? It would be awesome to get a custom shop started again with all of the modern foams and technologies 

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Just now, grk17 said:

Are you referencing Carlucci and Ted Barrett’s chest protector? It would be awesome to get a custom shop started again with all of the modern foams and technologies 

That I am. Cece was one of the most expensive phone calls I ever made. Lol

I was price checking protectors a decided to call him while i was visiting someone in Sydeny, Australia. That was almost a 2 hour conversation. 

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12 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

The other thing is the reviews.

I find @rjdakin's personal review of the +POS Cobra very informative and trustworthy. I'm just not in a position (yet, financially) to purchase a Cobra. Especially when we're still in the middle of blistering hot baseball, and my Schutt is the Bees' knees when it comes to ventilation.

 

... and for crying out loud, Arik, would it kill ya to spell Sydney correctly? :wacko:

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55 minutes ago, MadMax said:

I find @rjdakin's personal review of the +POS Cobra very informative and trustworthy. I'm just not in a position (yet, financially) to purchase a Cobra. Especially when we're still in the middle of blistering hot baseball, and my Schutt is the Bees' knees when it comes to ventilation.

 

... and for crying out loud, Arik, would it kill ya to spell Sydney correctly? :wacko:

I know it's been a while since I was last in the southwestern part of the country. But is it ever NOT blistering hot baseball season?

I'm just trying to think of possibilities of backups for my MaXV. I like the idea of having a duplicate of everything just in case and ths Cobra has really intrigued me since I was looking to replace my Wilson a few years back. The only reason I haven't been able to bring myself to jump on it is the wishy-washy reputation that has plagued +POS for over a decade now.

As for not being able to spell Sydney. I will have to go back and look what happened. All I know is that while I was writing that response I was in a conversation with my wife, dealing with a sobbing infant, and pla-pa-doo (playing with play-doh) with a 2 year old. Excuses I know... but still. Lol

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1 hour ago, MadMax said:

 .. and for crying out loud, Arik, would it kill ya to spell Sydney correctly? :wacko:

 

10 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

Sydeny, Australia.

Also, I have discovered, that for some reason the spell check on my phone decides to take some time off every so often and make me look silly.:shrug:

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