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Official Reviews: Force3 Defender Umpire Mask


JimKirk
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I have the previous edition, but wish the clamps for the spring system would stay in place.  Mine slide all over the place.  I've tried putting some electrical tape or some brass shims, and it unfortunately doesn't stay in place long enough to fix it.  Any idea if they've fixed that?

I like the pads, though i wish the 'top' one was lower profile for the skullcap.  It ends up pulling the mask 'upwards' more than I wish, so I end up having to man-handle it around more than I wish I had to.

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On 4/10/2023 at 9:12 AM, 834k3r said:

Kinda wish they'd develop a pad like the AS and TW pads.

They have. I’ve dissected one. It’s more advanced than you realize – 

force3_kevdef_1.jpg.5ff203338713d8baa651173154b43003.jpg

force3_kevdef_4.jpg.5cd14355c6cf24ec41cd4e76470a3da0.jpg
 

So it’s laminated, of four different layers, when it doesn’t need to be (because the springs and shocks do most of the kinetic work). Wilson still doesn’t come close. 

But if you’re asking, more specifically about “why not fabric, instead of leather?”, I can only guess that it has to do with durability. It can’t be a homogeneous-only thing, because Rawlings constructs their mask pads in a pleather outer, fabric face contact arrangement. If the whole point is to virtually anchor the Force3 Defender to your face, for maximum effectiveness in the suspension, then dammit, I want something comfy… and leather ain’t comfy. 

On 4/10/2023 at 9:42 AM, ErichKeane said:

 

I have the previous edition, but wish the clamps for the spring system would stay in place.  Mine slide all over the place. 

 

Known problem. I use heat shrink. 

 

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On 4/10/2023 at 12:42 PM, ErichKeane said:

I have the previous edition, but wish the clamps for the spring system would stay in place.  Mine slide all over the place.  I've tried putting some electrical tape or some brass shims, and it unfortunately doesn't stay in place long enough to fix it.  Any idea if they've fixed that?

I like the pads, though i wish the 'top' one was lower profile for the skullcap.  It ends up pulling the mask 'upwards' more than I wish, so I end up having to man-handle it around more than I wish I had to.

And those are the two reasons I won't wear it any longer.

1. As it ages or gets impacted, those bottom clamps get loose and then it moves too much.

2. I hate how it fits on the skull cap... I don't dislike it, I hate it. 

I love the idea behind this technology (springs) and I love the shin-guards, but I have issues with the CP (why do your hard plates poke holes in the neoprene? - need a V4 already with rounded plate corners or something).  

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8 hours ago, MadMax said:

If the whole point is to virtually anchor the Force3 Defender to your face, for maximum effectiveness in the suspension, then dammit, I want something comfy… and leather ain’t comfy.

Precisely.

I exclusively wore my v1 F3 mask until I got my Rawlings Ti/TW/UL mask setup; now the F3 is relegated to backup status. Part of that is mask weight (seriously thinking about getting the v3 F3 mask), but a lot of it is the TW pads are just so much more comfortable than the leather.

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On 4/10/2023 at 9:42 AM, ErichKeane said:

I like the pads, though i wish the 'top' one was lower profile for the skullcap. 

Funny. Ironic. We collectively bemoan how minuscule the top pad is on the All-Star LUC-Mags, and question the lack of the hard distributor plate infused in the jaw pad, but then realize that All-Star is a “catcher’s company”, and all catchers wear a skullcap anyway, and making a larger, more reinforced forehead pad would be redundant and would affect the meld with the skullcap… 

… and then we try the Force3 Defender. 

:shrug: 
No one cares about umpires. 

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7 hours ago, 834k3r said:

Precisely.

I exclusively wore my v1 F3 mask until I got my Rawlings Ti/TW/UL mask setup; now the F3 is relegated to backup status. Part of that is mask weight (seriously thinking about getting the v3 F3 mask), but a lot of it is the TW pads are just so much more comfortable than the leather.

Despite its failings, the fact that between the F3 and the skully, every ball I've had off the mask has hurt my ears, but not my head has made the discomfort/weight worth it.  The weight doesn't really bother me, I just wish it could sit a little lower on the brim.

I suspect I'll end up buying the V3 above (or perhaps V4 if it makes it that long!) to replace this one someday.  I'd love some better material for the inside of the pads, though I prefer the leather.  I find that my facial hair gets caught in any of the cloth ones I try, and eventually tugs/tears at it.  If you do a clean shave before each game, you probably haven't seen this, but I'm lazy 😕

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14 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

And those are the two reasons I won't wear it any longer.

1. As it ages or gets impacted, those bottom clamps get loose and then it moves too much.

2. I hate how it fits on the skull cap... I don't dislike it, I hate it. 

I love the idea behind this technology (springs) and I love the shin-guards, but I have issues with the CP (why do your hard plates poke holes in the neoprene? - need a V4 already with rounded plate corners or something).  

They poked holes in my protector.

 

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1 hour ago, ErichKeane said:

Despite its failings, the fact that between the F3 and the skully, every ball I've had off the mask has hurt my ears, but not my head has made the discomfort/weight worth it.  The weight doesn't really bother me, I just wish it could sit a little lower on the brim.

I suspect I'll end up buying the V3 above (or perhaps V4 if it makes it that long!) to replace this one someday.  I'd love some better material for the inside of the pads, though I prefer the leather.  I find that my facial hair gets caught in any of the cloth ones I try, and eventually tugs/tears at it.  If you do a clean shave before each game, you probably haven't seen this, but I'm lazy 😕

I much rather like leather pads.  Always have.

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