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Looking for a new chest protector because my old one is a soft shell. Any recommendations on what I should and should not get and where can I get a good deal on one? Any advice helps thanks!

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Sorry to respond like this because I know it's not what you want to hear, but .............  please go to the equipment forum and in the upper right do a SEARCH on "this forum only " .... you'll have SO MUCH stuff to read, you'll fall asleep!!!  It's incredible how much info is on this site!  Good luck, and enjoy!

I wear an original West Vest Douglas, ...that's my "go to" ....doesn't get any better FOR ME.   If you're confused, or you wind up narrowing it down to a few, ....post again ON THIS POST and ask what you're stuck between! :nod: 

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You're going to get a lot of "the best is.........". 

Fit is often overlooked, and shouldn't be. What fits me like a glove, may fit you like a shoe one size too small. Hence, it's best to try them on before you buy. 

Me, I like the following:

All Star System 7. IMO, the best protection on the market. It has removable, washable pads, that you can get a spare set for, and switch out easily. It's always nasty to put on a sweaty chest protector on your second plate of the day. Great harness, and it dips down to cover my lower ribs on both side. 

The Champion P2xx is the best for the money. Three different sizes. Swap in a newer harness, and you have solid protection. If you can get the model with a velcro pad set, instead of riveted in ones, that's a bonus. 

The Douglas, WV Gold and Platinum are great choices. Again, update those harnesses, unless you get the latest Wilson. There's a new Diamond that looks promising. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

Sorry to respond like this because I know it's not what you want to hear, but .............  please go to the equipment forum and in the upper right do a SEARCH on "this forum only " .... you'll have SO MUCH stuff to read, you'll fall asleep!!!  It's incredible how much info is on this site!  Good luck, and enjoy!

I wear an original West Vest Douglas, ...that's my "go to" ....doesn't get any better FOR ME.   If you're confused, or you wind up narrowing it down to a few, ....post again ON THIS POST and ask what you're stuck between! :nod: 

Thank you for the links! My bad I am new to the forum. I think I narrowed it down to the All star system 7 or the west vest.

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Thank you for the links! My bad I am new to the forum. I think I narrowed it down to the All star system 7 or the west vest.
No apologies necessary......wanted to guide you to good resources!

Keep in mind the Douglas also!!

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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25 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

No apologies necessary......wanted to guide you to good resources!

Keep in mind the Douglas also!!

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

I wore the West Vest Gold for about 15 years, switched to the new Schutt/Adams this year.  Try it, you'll love it.

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On 7/27/2019 at 5:18 PM, RC2004 said:

Thank you for the links! My bad I am new to the forum. I think I narrowed it down to the All star system 7 or the west vest.

There is a 15" All Star S7 for sale in the "For Sale" section at a banging price! It even has the Greyhawk Mod for the shoulder caps!

I can personally offer up a Schutt MaXV if my current guy falls though.

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On 7/27/2019 at 8:18 PM, RC2004 said:

Thank you for the links! My bad I am new to the forum. I think I narrowed it down to the All star system 7 or the west vest.

No need to apologize...

As has been said you'll get a million different answers on the best. The good thing is if you buy any of the leading chest protectors, they generally, hold their value really well so do some homework and try it out for a season and see. If you don't like it sell it and try something new. 

But I would give it at least the better part of a season. Most CPs will take a little while to form to you. So don't get overly discouraged if you don't think it fits well initially wear it a few games and  see what you think later. 

I'm partial to the

  • WV gold- Exceptional protection
  • Force3 - great protection less bulky

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Ive worn pretty much everything in the past...Wilson Gold, Wilson Platinum, the black Wilson chest protector that came with bicep guards (can't remember what it was called and its not being made anymore I don't think), a black Douglas, and the current gray Douglas.  

I couldn't be happier with the current version of the Douglas with the All Star delta flex harness.  I like the idea of supporting an American and small company like Douglas and like the idea that I can easily have it customized and/or send it back for refurbishment.

I can also vouch for Warren's comments about good CPs generally holding their value.  Ive bought and sold so many that I can't even remember anymore.

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11 minutes ago, FranklinT said:

small company like Douglas

Not sure how "small" Douglas is. I mean, they arent Wilson. But they also arent super small. Let's not forget they have a ton of stuff in football, lacrosse, and other sports.

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What CP is best?  This is like asking which girl is the hottest?  So much depends on personal preference - for beauty is in the eye of the beholder! That said, you've already been given many opinions and good tips for selecting a good CP.

I've tried them all and my body type may be different than yours, but here is what I have found to be my favorites thus far.  For reference, I'm 5'11" and weigh around 235 most of the time.  I'm XL in shirts, 38 waist in most pants (40 in suit and umpire pants for more room in the thighs) and I wear a 48 jacket.  Sometimes I think it's important to understand the person's size doing the referring as what works on a 150-175 pound man will probably not offer me enough coverage... also, what works for me and covers all my ribs won't provide great coverage on a 6'4" man most likely.

Here are my favorites.  I did not list them in the order of personal favoritism because I'd be hard-pressed to have to say that one really stands out above the others in the top 5.  Any of these CP's I feel would be excellent CP's for the majority of umpires today.

  1. Schutt/Adams HDX XV  $69+        Pros: cost affordable, much cooler than other CP's, lightweight, hard-shell, upgraded harness on Adams .            Cons: flimsy velcro holding all in place, plastic is thin and may crack over time, with a couple of mods that are easy to do, this is a great CP.
  2. Douglas with T-hooks and Gap Protection  $225+        Pros: great fit, slim profile, great protection, American company.            Cons: Expensive! with the mods I mention, well over $225!  Stock harness needs replaced immediately.
  3. All Star CPU4000 aka System Seven     $150+            Pros: great protection, American company, replaceable/washable padding, Flex harness is standard, fit doesn't make you look huge               Cons: a little pricey at $150+, would recommend one mod for most guys to keep shoulder caps from moving.
  4. Wilson Gold L/XL  $135+           Pros: Solid protection, great coverage, lasts forever, t-hooks are standard                    Cons:  need new harness right off the bat, these can be hot as sofa foam isn't cooling, honestly you may not like Wilson, but you can't knock this product other than harness & padding needs updated.
  5. Wilson Platinum 13" $115+   (see above as it's basically same as Gold, but I prefer Gold personally over the Platinum - also hard to find the longer 13" version now)

 

You'll notice I left out Champion, All American, V-Sport hard-shell protectors.  They just don't offer the right fit and coverage for a bigger guy like me. I know smaller guys love them and I love the look of the AA, but I just can't get them to fit me right.

I'm trying to frankenstein a CP now after seeing Ray's F3/Unequal V1 with Gold front plates and Schutt shoulders - I may try to use a Schutt front for a little more coverage - but it's @Razzer's idea so he gets the credit.   My personal goal is to reduce my profile without sacrificing coverage and protection either.

My personal opinion is that there is no perfect CP.  You will have to find one that fits you best and in which you feel comfortable/safe.   Then, fit it to you or make mods to fix the things about it you don't like.

Happy Hunting!

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On 7/29/2019 at 2:45 PM, BT_Blue said:

Not sure how "small" Douglas is. I mean, they arent Wilson. But they also arent super small. Let's not forget they have a ton of stuff in football, lacrosse, and other sports.

To each their own.  I feel supporting a company like Douglas is like shopping at a local, family owned store where as buying Wilson is like shopping at a Wal Mart.  To each their own.

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14 minutes ago, FranklinT said:

To each their own.  I feel supporting a company like Douglas is like shopping at a local, family owned store where as buying Wilson is like shopping at a Wal Mart.  To each their own.

Not at all. I'm all for shopping from Douglas if I could afford it. I have become a disciple of the Church of @MadMax and stayed away from purchasing Wilson if at all possible. 

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If you're anywhere close to the 5'10"=5'11" range like I am, the All Star System Seven is outstanding!  Superior collar bone protection.  I will say with a thicker neck, it may be problematic, but fits me like a glove!

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21 minutes ago, humanbackstop19 said:

If you're anywhere close to the 5'10"=5'11" range like I am, the All Star System Seven is outstanding!  Superior collar bone protection.  I will say with a thicker neck, it may be problematic, but fits me like a glove!

The reports of the System 7 having a smaller neck hole was one of the final decision making factors for me in picking the Force 3 over the System 7 when I got my last CP. I have an 18.5 inch neck and expect CPs to be tight around my neck but when I read about this I knew it wouldn't work for me.

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10 hours ago, Umpire in Chief said:

The reports of the System 7 having a smaller neck hole was one of the final decision making factors for me in picking the Force 3 over the System 7 when I got my last CP. I have an 18.5 inch neck and expect CPs to be tight around my neck but when I read about this I knew it wouldn't work for me.

That scared me off too - really wanted to get it, but I have an 18 inch neck and it just sounded like it would be too tight.  I'm very happy with my HDX-XV - I just wish the plastic and padding were both a touch thicker.

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I must agree that I did really like my System 7, but the neck was an issue which made it feel bulky - even though it wasn't (if that makes sense)!?!?

So, ...if I understand all of this correctly,.... does this mean that if the Sys 7 CP had a larger/better fitting overall neck, it would sell better?

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2 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

does this mean that if the Sys 7 CP had a larger/better fitting overall neck, it would sell better?

Potentially. I was basically at a coin toss b/t the System 7 and Force3. If anything leaning towards the System7 because Brad Jurga's relationship to UE, but the reports of the tight neck scared me away.

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3 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

I must agree that I did really like my System 7, but the neck was an issue which made it feel bulky - even though it wasn't (if that makes sense)!?!?

So, ...if I understand all of this correctly,.... does this mean that if the Sys 7 CP had a larger/better fitting overall neck, it would sell better?

 

1 minute ago, Umpire in Chief said:

Potentially. I was basically at a coin toss b/t the System 7 and Force3. If anything leaning towards the System7 because Brad Jurga's relationship to UE, but the reports of the tight neck scared me away.

100% agree. When I was trying to find a less bulky replacement for my Gold, I was up in the air between the S7 and the Schutt. I really wanted the S7 to be the one. It looks just as protective. But less bulky and cooler temp wise. It ALSO is a sweet looking rig in general! BUT THAT NECK AREA!!! So I went with the Schutt.

I dont think a larger neck area would help now. It is out on the market for a few years and has gained the reputation of having a small neck area. If they did decide to widen it, the should market it as the 2nd version with maybe an improved harness or something. Not just "hey... look what we have done to the original."

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To all of those having issues with the S7 neck area, you can form/train the CP successfully with a mold and some heat. It gives you as tight of a fit as you want, which doesn't sacrifice any protection around the neck/collarbone. I have a 17.5 inch neck and had some rubbing at first. I put a ball into the neck hole and left it in my hot garage for a week or so, then it was fine. I'm sure you can do the same with a hair dryer on warm in a fraction of the time. 

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On 8/5/2019 at 7:05 AM, Umpire in Chief said:

The reports of the System 7 having a smaller neck hole was one of the final decision making factors for me in picking the Force 3 over the System 7 when I got my last CP. I have an 18.5 inch neck and expect CPs to be tight around my neck but when I read about this I knew it wouldn't work for me.

I've got the big neck syndrome as well and wore a System 7 for 19 innings twice within a month.  Neck was raw and actually bleeding at the end of both.  Have to admit, other than the neck issue, I love the System 7 and am seriously thinking about getting another one.

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