Somehow, my freshman catcher has outgrown the $370 All-Star Intermediate that I bought him 7 months ago.  (Guess I should be happy he's grown that much since the summer? But, I'm a little steamed that he needs new gear so soon after we went for the last set.)

When he was 9 and 10, he had an Easton set. I would never do that again. I didn't like the quality.  From 11 to 12, he used Mizuno Samurai.  I thought that was a great set for a kid. The last couple of years, it's been All-Star gear for the most part, head to toe. Sometimes he used a Rawlings 950x chest protector instead of the All-Star.  But, lately, it's been 100% All-Star.

Now, he says he wants to try something else. I think he's leaning towards Wilson, for some reason.  

Personally, my main concern is head gear. I want the best protection possible there.  From 13 to 15, he was going two-piece. But, lately, he seems to be going back to hockey style.

For a chest protector, he wants something that is really going to deaden the ball. I think that is why he stopped using the 950x. It's very hard and the ball will sometimes ricochet.

Shins are important too. We found the Rawlings to be crap. All-star was much better.

Anyone have some recommendations here that they are willing to share, either on something to consider or avoid?

Original Post

No doubt in my mind that the All-star gear is quality.

I know Nike has cornered the MLB market for branding purposes and they don't retail their gear. But, knowing that All-star and UA are the same, they are the brand that's 2nd only to Nike in the bigs. 

But, for some reason, he's considering moving away from it.

Son was in Mizuno till 13U, then Wilson in 14U, and is now in All-Star Series 7. He prefers it over the others by quite a lot. Says the knees are outstanding compared to the last two sets, and finds the helmet more comfortable and lighter. He says it’s not fair to compre chests as the velo is much higher now, but he does think the All-Star does a great job. 

YSMMV. 

Matt13 posted:
Francis7 posted:

From 13 to 15, he was going two-piece. But, lately, he seems to be going back to hockey style.

Umm...the only models allowed in HS now all happen to be hockey-style. 

He's using hockey style more often now. He used two piece in MS all the time and they follow HS rules. Basically, the umpires don't call you on it. He had heard it's the same in HS. Sincerely, it was once in 30 games in MS that an umpire made him switch to the hockey mask.

In any event, he hasn't touched his two piece combo in a long time. So, I guess he's off that for now.

Senna posted:

Son was in Mizuno till 13U, then Wilson in 14U, and is now in All-Star Series 7. He prefers it over the others by quite a lot. Says the knees are outstanding compared to the last two sets, and finds the helmet more comfortable and lighter. He says it’s not fair to compre chests as the velo is much higher now, but he does think the All-Star does a great job. 

YSMMV. 

I would say that the all-star shins are the best I've seen. And, the masks have gotten lighter compared to where they were 10 years ago. The only thing on all-star is that the chest protectors are short. Same as UA which is allstar rebranded.

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Francis7 posted:
Senna posted:

Son was in Mizuno till 13U, then Wilson in 14U, and is now in All-Star Series 7. He prefers it over the others by quite a lot. Says the knees are outstanding compared to the last two sets, and finds the helmet more comfortable and lighter. He says it’s not fair to compre chests as the velo is much higher now, but he does think the All-Star does a great job. 

YSMMV. 

I would say that the all-star shins are the best I've seen. 

About the only direct advice I can give is on the shins. I switched from the System 7 to the Force3 last year--they are light-years better.

Yeah, I'm thinking Force 3 might be in his future.

We ended up getting him an Adult size All-star NOCSAE chest protector today. Holy cow...the chest part on that feels like it would stop a missile. Hard and thick. He'll have to get used to it since it's the rule for HS next year.

2022NYC posted:

My son is 5'10 and 175 lbs and his AS S7 intermediate fits well. How big is your boy? I dont want to buy him new gear until he finds out if he made his HS team.

Assuming this is at me: he’s 6’, 153. But he swapped into this back in Oct, when he was about 5’ 10.5 and 155 (he lost 8 lbs swimming from Oct-Jan,slowly getting it back on).

That said, his legs are quite long, with a 33” inseam.  Now that I think of it, he was wearing a mixed Wilson kit for spring. Adult legs & helmet, intermediate chest. 

My guess is the adult chest & helmet for the S7 will fit fine, knees will depend on his leg length. 

2022NYC posted:

My son is 5'10 and 175 lbs and his AS S7 intermediate fits well. How big is your boy? I dont want to buy him new gear until he finds out if he made his HS team.

Five nine and 160.  His intermediate mask and shins fit fine. It's just that his intermediate chest was running short. FWIW, he wears the chest snug with no gaps or play in it. With the new adult, we adjusted all the straps to as far as they can go to get it snug on him.

Photos are the adult in the store before we adjusted the straps.

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