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Champion Sports Armor Style Chest Protector


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On 10/12/2018 at 12:17 AM, 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.

@BT_Blue there's one on eBay now... here's the link (and no, it's not  mine):

https://www.ebay.com/itm/POS-COBRA-Umpire-Chest-Protector-16-w-Adjustable-Neck-Pectoral-Harness/223337368176?hash=item33fff1ca70:g:fsEAAOSwcDdcRhUI:rk:1:pf:0

 

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9 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

Darn. If I bought another chest protector my wife would kill me. Especially since I just bought the AA from Charlie.

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I'll rival @MadMax for long post of the day :) :
I bought a +POS Cobra off facebook marketplace a few weeks ago. I've been wanting to try one for a while but was, like everyone else, afraid of how long it would take to arrive. I'm 6',2" and 190, so I need a protector for a tall and slender build.
In my 20+ years of umpiring, I've worn a 15" black Douglas (that I wish I had back), a Honigs K2, a Wilson Gold, a 15" All Star System 7, and a 15" Champion. I started with a ribbed Wilson, but that doesn't count!
As far as protection and comfort for my build, I'd rank them:
* All Star (Very underrated CP in my opinion. Never felt a shot. Breathes in hot weather. Has a bulky feel because of the large chest plate, and I know some don't like the neck opening.)
* Douglas (I loved the black Douglas, but was hit in the shoulder and it hurt! This was before Douglas would add protection, so I sold it cheap. Stupid.)
* Champion (I don't have anything bad to say, and suggest to any umpire just getting started on a budget to go with a Champion.)
* Wilson Gold (Good protection, but that thing didn't fit me. I was never comfortable in it. Hot, hot, hot. Even with a Delta Flex, I pulled and tugged all the time. Plus, the Gold needs to be about two inches longer for me)
* Honigs (The bulky shoulder protection looks like old videos of Hershel Walker carrying the football. I wore it a couple of years and gave it away. The guy is still wearing it.)
* Cobra (Untested other than making it fit. I've installed a Delta Flex harness and it feels pretty good so far. I expect it to go toward the top of this list.)

As was mentioned, I've spent a while with a heat gun on the shoulders of the Cobra. The neck is about the same width as the All Star, which works well for me but would be uncomfortable for some.
The outer plates on the Cobra are thick like the American-made CPs listed above, much thicker than the Champion.
The Cobra is low profile - not as much as the Champion - but there is a balance in protection/profile. 
I like it, and will wear it when our HS season starts in a couple of weeks. I don't think there will be any problem with protection. I'm wearing the 13" model, which has about 2" of padding at the bottom which is not covered with plastic, but the padding feels good, so I'm not worried about it. It has removable throat padding, which I'm still playing with.  I'll give an update whenever I take a direct hit to the chest or shoulder area.
I work a lot of high school and American Legion and a few crappy NAIA games where guys can throw harder than their catchers can catch.

It's too bad +POS has such a terrible reputation now for processing and shipping. I think they still have some quality products.
The bottom line on this CP for me is... I'm happy with it because I paid less than half what a new one costs. Not sure at this point if I'd pay $169 for this CP on a website that isn't always trustworthy. The jury is still out. Update soon.

I don't know anyone wearing a Schutt and haven't seen one in person. I'm intrigued, so it probably won't be long... :) 

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  • 2 months later...
8 minutes ago, AL-Ump said:

@mgford Any update?

Yes sir! 
The problem with the shoulder on the Cobra was the gap protection plate. It was riveted solidly to the underside of the shoulder plate and extended over the top of the shoulder cap. This wouldn't allow me to raise my arms enough to adjust my mask. I drilled out the rivets and reattached the plate on top with Chicago screws and a piece of vinyl strap. Our high school season wraps up after next week's state tournaments. After that, I plan to buy wide elastic straps to replace the vinyl straps I used.
As far as the irritation around the neck area, the padding is secured by velcro, so I moved the padding over and reattached it. 

I think the Cobra is a fine CP. I've heard the rivets rust, but I haven't seen anything yet. It provides good protection, but others do, too, without having to go to all the trouble I've done to make this one work.

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I love my Douglas now.  15" with gap coverage and t-hooks.   Only thing I'd change is add/change strap a little lower than where it currently sits, but I'm sure it's my stomach that's the real problem here.   The last 3" or so starts pushing out below where the t-hooks meet due to my gut... so I just put another elastric strap with a buckle around the outside of the CP and it works for me.   Slimmer profile and still hard-shell protection that I don't worry about. Yes, it's hot - but they all are - and I know this will hold up.

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