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bluetick48

Is this an older Platinum Model?

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This is a Wilson Charcoal. It was supposed to be a step down from the Gold and Platinum.  However, the guys I've worked with who use this, seems like it worked just fine for ball above high school. 

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Here's the funny part about the Wilson "Charcoal" CP... If you kinda twist your head, and look at it, what do you see? Then, if you separate the foam vest from the carapace plates, and "erase" the velcro anchor tabs... what do you have?

Huh. It's an original Douglas/Wilson WestVest, wouldjalookatyat.

Really. The Wilson Charcoal is an outgrowth of the Douglas/Wilson WestVest. That planform did progress into the Gold (which is, itself, a variant of the same planform behind the Riddell Power, All-American CP, Schutt AF/XV, and Champion P2xx), but whoever – someone at Wilson, someone at Douglas – didn't bother to throw away the old blueprints, and just continued the design into another planform... this one. So while it carried the same MLB Licensing Endorsement that Wilson "enjoys", it wasn't part of the WestVest family, thus – it didn't carry the patent application and C&D letter which killed off the Power and AACP. It became the "forgotten brother" of the Gold and Platinum, stuck at a slightly less but still reasonable price point than the WestVests, but... here's the key... offering no less or no more protection or special features or materials. 

The only thing that made the WestVests more... popular(?)... celebrated(?)... distinguished(?)... was that Joe West's name was on them. That's it.

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You can steal one of these from Ump-Attire right now for $64.99 (9 in stock as of right now).  Oh, and did the others mention this is a true 13" length as well? 

 

https://www.ump-attire.com/Baseball-Umpire-Equipment/Featured/Specials/A3217-CHA13_Wilson-MLB-Charcoal-Umpire-Chest-Protector

 

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3 hours ago, MadMax said:

Here's the funny part about the Wilson "Charcoal" CP... If you kinda twist your head, and look at it, what do you see? Then, if you separate the foam vest from the carapace plates, and "erase" the velcro anchor tabs... what do you have?

Huh. It's an original Douglas/Wilson WestVest, wouldjalookatyat.

Really. The Wilson Charcoal is an outgrowth of the Douglas/Wilson WestVest. That planform did progress into the Gold (which is, itself, a variant of the same planform behind the Riddell Power, All-American CP, Schutt AF/XV, and Champion P2xx), but whoever – someone at Wilson, someone at Douglas – didn't bother to throw away the old blueprints, and just continued the design into another planform... this one. So while it carried the same MLB Licensing Endorsement that Wilson "enjoys", it wasn't part of the WestVest family, thus – it didn't carry the patent application and C&D letter which killed off the Power and AACP. It became the "forgotten brother" of the Gold and Platinum, stuck at a slightly less but still reasonable price point than the WestVests, but... here's the key... offering no less or no more protection or special features or materials. 

The only thing that made the WestVests more... popular(?)... celebrated(?)... distinguished(?)... was that Joe West's name was on them. That's it.

Well ........ hang on now ....... The center carapace is similar on the Charcoal and the Douglas yes.... similar but not the same but I can see your draw to compare.  However, the Douglas West Vest, the original looks nothing like this. :nod:   The 3 piece center carapace makes this little gem (The WestVest by Douglas [the original]) THE one! ;) 

image.png

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4 hours ago, GerryB said:

And the WV plastic is so much more solid.

Are you talking that 3-piece breastplate WestVest? Of course the plastic is more solid – it was cast and made here in the USA! When you don't have a targeted, weight-shaving limit that you're trying to achieve so as to minimize your Chinese production and overseas shipping costs, heck, sky's the limit. Douglas (and Wilson, following on) could afford to make the carapace plates as dense as they wished.

Also, when you have an admittedly better anchoring method – velcro tabs through slots in the carapace – why would you still have the 3-piece, "floating" chestplate? The three piece did allow a user to customize the width, and to some extent the "solar plexus" and "kidney" plates. But that customization and positioning works against the velcro tabs' purpose, no?

Everything else is pretty much identical. Look at the shoulder pauldrons, the solar-plexus and kidney plates, shoulder arch plates, the foam vest... all the same. Only difference is the center chest plate and the Charcoal's additional ailettes. These gear "designers" don't spend alot of effort in reinventing anything.

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9 hours ago, MadMax said:

Are you talking that 3-piece breastplate WestVest? Of course the plastic is more solid – it was cast and made here in the USA! When you don't have a targeted, weight-shaving limit that you're trying to achieve so as to minimize your Chinese production and overseas shipping costs, heck, sky's the limit. Douglas (and Wilson, following on) could afford to make the carapace plates as dense as they wished.

Also, when you have an admittedly better anchoring method – velcro tabs through slots in the carapace – why would you still have the 3-piece, "floating" chestplate? The three piece did allow a user to customize the width, and to some extent the "solar plexus" and "kidney" plates. But that customization and positioning works against the velcro tabs' purpose, no?

Everything else is pretty much identical. Look at the shoulder pauldrons, the solar-plexus and kidney plates, shoulder arch plates, the foam vest... all the same. Only difference is the center chest plate and the Charcoal's additional ailettes. These gear "designers" don't spend alot of effort in reinventing anything.

Does anyone else browse the forum, see a post (longer typically) from @MadMax and want to grab a coffee and enjoy the read? :lol:    Anyhow, ... thanks for your insight as always Max!

That 3 piece center breast plate on the Original West Vest by Douglas (FOR ME) is the best because I'm not a 'narrow' guy up top and this allows a nice customized fit to feel protected.  Personally I never liked the velcro tabs through the slots method.  I had one of the 'tabbed' Champions, and for some reason, I never really liked it much.  Hey, to each their own. 

I remember when I was researching umpiring when I was getting ready to 'come back'.  I had old Plus Pos early 90's stuff so I needed to upgrade and one of the first recommendations I had was the Wilson Charcoal!  @bluetick48 .... Many guys have/use that CP and are happy with it.  @MadMax probably knows better than most, but I don't think the padding on the Charcoal is as bulky as the Gold or Platinum.  

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I'll just throw it out there because we had a similar conversation a while back where I showed some interest in the Wilson Charcoal. My original interest was peaked when I was looking into a Douglas and then saw the Charcoal and thought, just as @MadMax pointed out, "Hey that looks a lot like the Douglas! And it comes with Gap protection already put on." So at that time I bought the Charcoal to try it out. Two days after ordering it, I found an original Douglas West Vest on ebay for a steal of a price so I bought it as well. When they both arrived I stole my wife's big mirror and tried them both on with the rest of my gear and uniform. I was very pleased with both chest protectors. The Charcoal was not nearly as bulky as a brand new Gold or Platinum. It doesn't come with the little wings that the gold has, it's just simple and straight forward. The bottom plate that is separated into 3 sections to can wrap around the body was a little stiff, but with some time working it in, I think it would be great. Even out of the box, I still had really good range of motion and the CP wasn't stretching my shirt to the point of no return like the Gold or Platinum did when I tried those ones on new. The only area that the Charcoal did not fit my liking was the thickness. They are not as thick as the Gold but it is thicker than the Douglas, so I went with the Douglas. The thickness is a big deal to me because, like my name says, I am pretty short and have the neck to go with it. So since the charcoal was thicker it ate into how much of my neck was visible which isn't good for my appearance. However, if I had just stuck with the Charcoal and taken it out for a few weekends of Travel ball, where I could sweat in it a bit and get it broken in, it may have eventually ended up being a tie in that category as well, but I needed it quick and didn't have time to break it in so I stuck with the Douglas. The only other difference I noticed was that the Charcoal felt a little longer in the torso, which wasn't to my disliking, just an observation. Even the sturdiness of the plates seemed similar to me. The plates on the Charcoal were plenty dense. So I would say that if anyone is torn between the two, go with the Charcoal unless you can find a Douglas for a really good price, which is hard to beat 65 bucks brand new from Ump-Attire for the Charcoal, especially since you won't have to send it in to add gap protection, which is just added costs in the product and shipping. So youre adding at least 50 bucks to the purchase price of a douglas just to add what the Charcoal already comes with. In fact I've thought about just buying a charcoal to have on hand since it's at such a good price right now. 

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Wilson doesn’t make this anymore, and I bought one about 5 years ago and wore it for a few months, but this was the successor to the Wilson original “west vest” protector.  It was relatively low profile, not nearly as protective as a gold or platinum, and was a step up from the above referenced Wilson Gray/Charcoal CP.

245EFBAA-5064-42CF-A267-1091C32ACD15.jpeg

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On 4/20/2020 at 1:39 AM, FranklinT said:

Wilson doesn’t make this anymore, and I bought one about 5 years ago and wore it for a few months, but this was the successor to the Wilson original “west vest” protector.  It was relatively low profile, not nearly as protective as a gold or platinum, and was a step up from the above referenced Wilson Gray/Charcoal CP.

245EFBAA-5064-42CF-A267-1091C32ACD15.jpeg

Does anyone use the bicep padding??? :smachhead:

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1 hour ago, JaxRolo said:

Does anyone use the bicep padding??? :smachhead:

Not me!

fitness working out GIF by SuperEd86

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5 hours ago, JaxRolo said:

Does anyone use the bicep padding??? :smachhead:

They were clumsy and awkward (I never used them or even considered using them).  Think I put them on once when I got the CP in the mail in my house and thought "nooooo way."  It wasn't a bad protector I compared it with a veteran guy in our association who had one of the original Wilson West Vests from 25 years ago its pretty similar.

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23 hours ago, JaxRolo said:

Does anyone use the bicep padding??? :smachhead:

Would that I did....

1FBE6BC7-DF27-488A-8DD6-ED75CD7EEADD.jpeg

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7 minutes ago, LMSANS said:

Would that I did....

Dang. I've had some good ones, but that one hurts just to look at.

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4 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

Dang. I've had some good ones, but that one hurts just to look at.

90+ lefty F2 on the outside, untouched between F1 fingers and my bicep. First pitch of the game. :censored2:

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1 hour ago, LMSANS said:

90+ lefty F2 on the outside, untouched between F1 fingers and my bicep. First pitch of the game. :censored2:

Ugh... there ought to be a law against lefty F2's.

 

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On 4/30/2020 at 10:42 AM, LMSANS said:

Would that I did....

1FBE6BC7-DF27-488A-8DD6-ED75CD7EEADD.jpeg

Just take it like a man!! :clap:

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On 4/29/2020 at 4:52 PM, FranklinT said:

They were clumsy and awkward (I never used them or even considered using them).  Think I put them on once when I got the CP in the mail in my house and thought "nooooo way."  It wasn't a bad protector I compared it with a veteran guy in our association who had one of the original Wilson West Vests from 25 years ago its pretty similar.

Only person ive seen wearing one is a guy at cooperstown

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On 4/16/2020 at 7:30 AM, wolfe_man said:

You can steal one of these from Ump-Attire right now for $64.99 (9 in stock as of right now).  Oh, and did the others mention this is a true 13" length as well? 

 

https://www.ump-attire.com/Baseball-Umpire-Equipment/Featured/Specials/A3217-CHA13_Wilson-MLB-Charcoal-Umpire-Chest-Protector

 

Wilson has discontinued this model...but you probably figured that out.

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Back in the day, when I wore a Rawlings CP it came with (and I guess still does) bicep pads that aren't danglers. They slid up your arm seperately.

Kept them long after I dumped the CP because I could use them to protect sore arm bruises.

Biceps.png

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