One of the toughest positions in baseball is the catcher. This is true even in youth baseball. In this position, you have to worry about foul tips, errant baseball bats, and players aggressively sliding to home plate. This is a lot of physical abuse to take, which means you need certain protections. The concept of backstop players not wearing the best catchers gear is foreign these days. In the past, they sometimes only wore a simple catchers mitt, rather than the padded gloves you see them wearing today.
No team or league today would have their catchers standing behind the plate without one. The first person to wear protective paddings was Roger Bresnahan, who was also a Hall of Famer. He was actually ridiculed for wearing it because it was wimpy and unmanly.
Thankfully, he didn’t stop wearing it and the trend soon spread to other players and teams. Now, players are protected from fastballs that could deliver a powerful blow. On that note, let’s get into the benefits of ordering catchers gear sets.
Benefits of Purchasing Full Catchers Gear
- Economical. One of the reasons buying a full set is optimal is because it’s cheaper. You don’t have to worry about purchasing everything separately. The shipping costs will also be lower.
- Convenience. Since you don’t have to buy the pieces separately, you can get them all from one location. This is more convenient for you since you don’t have to do a lot of shopping around.
- Better Rewards. Some sellers offer incentives for the gear sets they sell. Take advantage of this to get even more out of the deal.
- Matching Sets. Since the catchers gear matches, it looks aesthetically appealing. You can even find colors that match the team colors. Wearing catchers gear will ensure you don’t get hit and injured while playing your position. A full gear set offers better protection since it covers all the important areas. It reduces your chances of serious injury.
What to Look for in Catchers Gear Sets
Before you purchase a full set, you need to understand what it is you’re looking for. For starters, make sure your child’s team doesn’t already have one. In most cases, little league teams have all the uniforms and gear necessary for its players.
Next, you want to ensure the set you do purchase is made with great quality. It should also fit perfectly so that it operates properly. Keep in mind that catchers oftentimes have to remove and put on their gear fast in between innings. This is especially true if they’re also a batter. You want your child to be comfortable wearing the gear and putting it on, so there are no delays or issues.
Let’s review some of the models of the best catchers gear on the market.
5 Best Catchers Gear Sets of 2017
Here are Dugout Debate’s top picks for best catchers gear for this year.
This gear set provides the best of both worlds – quality and a great price. It can be customized to fit your child, using the double back adjustment located on the chest protector. Adjusting this allows your child to make the gear fit better. Doing this will also help improve the mobility of your child while playing.
Other great features are the chest plate and ABD shell, which is layered inside of the foam padding. This helps protect your children from the impact. It’s a good idea to go with a steel mask, which provides a wide-ranging view. The heat levels are also minimal, which is important for hot days at the ballpark.
This is a replacement for the Easton Natural set. The two are similar in various ways, however, the M7 does come with improvements. For instance, it comes with a chest protector that has layers of lightweight foam.
Its purpose is to offer protection, as well as to dampen rebounds off your chest. This prevents it from shooting off into another direction. There are also various holes for ventilation, which are in the chest area. It also comes with the same double back adjustment as the older model.
This set is a lot like the Easton Natural catchers gear. It’s designed for youth players and comes with adjustable shoulder pads. It even comes complete with full upper body protection. You can find foam inserts in the shoulders, sternum, and throat, providing additional protection. It also gives your child a more customized fit.
An AEGIS Microbe Shield offers more comfort, plus it helps defend against moisture and bacterial build up. So in a sense, it cleanses itself. Inside the helmet, there’s the protective ABS shell and I-BAR VISION mask. This offers a great field of view. Overall, it’s lightweight, affordable, and mobile.
This set is designed for players between five and nine years old. It’s an affordable option for protection your little one needs. It’s also perfect for the first-time catcher. Like with most youth gear sets, it comes with Velcro straps, rather than the regular clips or buckles.
Do note that the straps aren’t that durable because of this. It’s possible for it to loosen while playing. To prevent this, you can use Junior uses clips to secure the leg and chest guard. The good news is the gear can be adjusted to fit your child as they grow older.
This best catchers gear set is designed for intermediate catchers. It’s popular because of its blend of price, comfort, durability and quality. The chest protection is well built and offers good rebound control, given its various foam layers.
Then there’s the precision pad design it uses to make the chest protector feel as though it’s connected to your body. But without much effort on your part. It sure beats having clunky gear. It comes with leg guards that have been redesigned to better fit the human body. It no longer feels stiff and rigid, but still offers great protection and comfort.