Rank the hockey equipment manufacturers
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10-10-2012, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
Stuff I've used:
Helmets - Mission, Bauer, Cascade, Reebok
I think Cascade (M11) has the best fitting helmets out there as they wrap around your head. Most other companies are starting to go closer to this route but they are still the most comfortable.
Shoulders - Mission, TPS, Bauer, Reebok, Sherwood
For minimalist pads, nothing beats the Sherwoods, especially the 9950 which has better materials and construction than the 5030 for $5 more. I like Reebok for mid/high level pads as they have the most coverage and freedom of movement IMO.
Elbows - Mission, Easton, Bauer, JOFA
JOFA elbows are the best ever made, hands down. At retail I like Bauer's Supreme but most elbow pads are fairly similar in my experience.
Pants - Easton, Bauer, Tackla, Reebok
Tacklas are easily the best pants on the market due to protection and freedom of movement. At retail I like Reebok the most although all the pants are somewhat similar. I dislike the Vapor series pants though, not much protection.
Shins - Bauer, Reebok
I haven't come across the perfect shin pad yet. Bauer Supreme are the best fitting IMO yet the strapping system isn't great. Reeboks have the best protection and strapping system, but they fit kind of wide, especially near the skate. Never been a fan of Easton here.
Gloves - Easton, CCM, Bauer, Warrior, Eagle, TPS
I've used a ton of gloves and Warrior makes the best with Bauer close behind. Both companies offer multiple types of fit with multiple levels of glove. Warrior seems to focus more on a streamlined product with better materials, which gives them the edge. Eagle seems to make a great product but none of their gloves fit me at all and they have terribly cut palms which makes it nearly impossible to use. Seriously, my palm creases in the middle, why can't the gloves crease there as well?
Skates - Bauer, Graf
Graf offers the most comprehensive range of fits as well as best durability in construction, but Bauer has the best technology and several fits as well. My feet only fit in Grafs though so I can't really rank anyone else.
Sticks - Bauer, Easton, CCM, Reebok, Mission, Harrow, Base, Warrior, probably more
I think Bauer perfect the feel of sticks with the One95 and they have the best kicking sticks since the One95 and Vapor X:60 series. Warrior has some good ideas but they never seem to perform as well IMO and the durability is a question mark. Easton has fallen pretty far behind...they would do well to figure out how to re-make the Stealth CNT with a more durable blade.
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