In regards to hockey equipement a lot of what gear is the best always comes down to personal preference. All the major manufacturers are doing a great job at offering the different level price point pads, and making good equipment. However, especially on youtube many people ask for our opinion on what equipment is better (side note: we definitely appreciate all of the input and contributions on our youtube, facebook, and message board…if you contribute, thank you, and keep it up).
So based on this, I plan to post some blogs based strictly on personal opinion and let you guys know what equipment I or whoever is posting is excited about.
Starting it off, let’s talk about shoulder pads. I have been really impressed with the progression of shoulder pads. There are several companies that are doing excellent job on offering great protection without limiting mobility. Mobility has always been a key issue for me when selecting shoulder pads. This is probably the biggest selling point for me, and the first thing I look at. So there is no surprise that the pads I have selected are all pads that offer great mobility and still an advanced level of protection.
Easton earlier this year came out with the S19 shoulder pads. The S19 have a very lightweight feel that does not feel binding at all. I particularly like the three panel design with the perforated thin outer panels. Easton has also given the S19 shoulder pads a good size cut out between the arm and sternum. This allows for improved mobility especially crossing your arms across your body which happens often when stick handling.
Next up is the Warrior Projekt Shoulder pads. Warrior introduced the Projekt line a little while ago and I have been impressed by this line. I think it was a great contribution to the Warrior protective line. The Projekt has focused on the use of Zote foam to make the pads very light, and the Projekt Shoulder pads has done just that. The Zote foam works great for hockey equipment becuase it is light absorbs a ton of energy and in my opinion best of all it is not rigid. Warrior has used almost a mesh like vest with their top of the line liner on the inside as the base of this pad with the protective pieces attached. This base has given the pad a light airy feel. I also really like it when shoulder pads feature segmented bicep guards. This pad like all of the other pads I have chosen have segmented biceps, which allows for better arm movement and does not compromise protection.
Finally, maybe my number one pick is the Bauer Vapor X60 shoulder pad. In my opinion there is a huge jump from the X40 to the X60 shoulder pad. The X60 offers exceptional mobility but definitely offers an advanced to pro level protection. It has a significant size and pad coverage leading one to think it will feel bulky or heavy. Although, once you put it on you almost feel foolish for expecting that of this pad. Bauer has used several segmented panels that are allowed to over lap and move past each other ensuring great mobility and protection. A couple of the unique design features are the elastic lacing system inside the pad to determine how tight the chest panels are. This allows one to make the pad a little looser yet having the side fastened, which I prefer. Another unique feature is the design of the shoulder cap and clavicle. Similar to the bicep guard they are designed to allow them to overlap allowing for arm movement without pushing the clavicle guard into your neck.
So there it is. I hope if you were looking on an opinion on shoulder pads you have what you need. Be sure to check out the rest of the shoulder pads on IceWarehouse.com. There are plenty more excellent pads that did not make the list today, but might make yours.