Wilson MLB West Vest Gold Umpire Chest Protector
The Official 2-Minute Review: Wilson MLB West Vest Umpire Chest Protector
ACC & SEC Umpire Scott Kennedy gives an inside look at Wilson's most popular umpire chest protector.
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The most efficient and effective chest protector I have ever used. I will never use another style or brand. After taking a 90 mph fast ball off an inside fast ball that was fouled off and feeling nothing made me a true believer.
La Grande, OR
Very comfortable to wear. Lightweight. Worth the price I paid.
Great little piece of hardware. Cool, comfortable, protects very well but not too bulky. Snowden Grove Umpire Family!
Saint John, Canada
Still the best vest on the market. I have used the same model for years and recently purchased a new one when my old one was 'lifted' from my car as the result of a break in. Take time to adjust this vest correctly and ensure the straps are tight. Adjust it so it sits above your collar bone and tighten the straps accordingly. You will find it will not move. At all. I believe the reason why this vest remains #1 is a testament to the perfect fit it provides, once properly adjusted, combined with the great protective features it incorporates. As a result, many have tried to mimic it however, the design itself has really never been altered as it was designed correctly the very first time. If you are serious about umpiring at a competitive level, make the investment.
La Puente , CA
This is my first umpire chest protector and I bought it last year 2016 for my first season of high school and adult league baseball. I took some serious shots from 80 to 94 mph and I didn't get hurt. The chest protector does slide up and down and because of that I was hit in my lower throat and shoulder so I'd say just get a good harness. I'm a big guy 6.1" 275lbs and I'm protected pretty good. I do wish it was a bit longer because my belly is exposed but it's all good. It is a bit bulky but safety is the key and I'm able to move around the field just fine. I battle tested this chest protector and I give it double thumbs up!!
Upgraded to the West Vest Gold after two seasons with the Champro hard shell chest protector and I'm more than happy. I was concerned that the side rib pads would get in the way (like the Champro always having to be adjusted) but they didn't move. No wonder this is so well-loved, I should have bought it to begin with. I knew the harness was questionable from prior reviews so I bought an alternative harness and the chest protector never moved during 27 innings of plate work yesterday. Couldn't be happier.
First time using this chest protector was on March 18, 2017 for my opening season of baseball at my park. This is a very good product, lightweight, and very comfortable to wear. I had a few foul pitches that bounced right off, but no issues of protection whatsoever. This replaced an old thin protector that I had been using for many years, and this upgrade was long overdue. It is very easy to wear, no problems putting on my umpire shirt. You can actually breathe comfortably with no problems, and the protection on the inside and out is well worth the money I spent on this product. While the length may be smaller going down towards the bottom of my stomach, that area very seldom has baseballs or wild pitches affecting that part of my body. This area of coverage with this protector is where I always get hit by wild pitches and foul balls. This was a great investment and after my first day on the field, I knew I made the right decision to buy this product.
If you want the broad shoulder look with great protection, this is for you. I am 6' 190lbs and I purchased the medium. I feel like I might have been okay with a small. The bottom hits me between my sternum and belly button. Adjustable straps give you ample wiggle room for a tighter or looser fit. I did lose some mobility compared to the Champro Chest Protector I was previously using, however this issue could possibly go away the more it gets broken in. Well worth the expense.
The Real JV
San Jose, CA
Very bulky Chest Protector. Hard to fit my shirt over. I am sure it is a great CP but it makes me look like a line backer. I'm going to try to go with something a little more sleek.
Love the WV Gold Chest Protector! After taking a 60 mph (LL) fastball straight off my shoulder using a 'soft' CP, I decided to purchase a hard plate. I went back and forth between the Gold and Platinum version and couldn't be happier with my Gold choice. Already took one off the shoulder and didn't feel it at all. I even had an email exchange with Joe West himself regarding the addition of bicep pads to this CP (I am prone to getting hit anywhere there's not protection, so I opted to add some extra 'coverage' for my arm). All in all, a great product and highly recommended!
Fairl Lawn , NJ
Top notch. Have taken many balls that slam loudly into the protector making parents and players gasp. I simply reach in to my ball bag to throw another one back into play. It looks good when you can do that! Realize this protector stops right below your ribs. If you are taller and don't get low to call balls and strikes you will get hit in the stomach. Realize the level you work and how you work in picking out the umpire chest protector that works best for you. You will never feel a thing when you get hit.
I bought this umpire chest protector based on the reviews, the fact that several MLB umpires use this and my small to average body size. Once it was fitted to my body, I couldn't have been more pleased with my purchase. It fits great and it took a lot of fear away from making the transition from Little League to High School ball. I would recommend this chest protector to anyone looking for serious protection behind the plate.
El Cajon, CA
Gets the job done without fear. Excellent flexibility in positioning.
Phenomenal umpire chest protector! My first day wearing it, I took a high 60's(mph) softball to the sternum area and the West Vest logo is now imprinted on the inside of my shirt and will not come out, but never felt a thing! Overall fit is well. Perfect for anyone with a big neck. I wear a size 19 in the neck of a dress shirt and do not have a problem with this product rubbing my neck area.
Oak Hill, VA
There is a reason this is called the West Vest "Gold". It is the gold standard against which all other chest protectors are judged. I've had mine for years and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It has excellent padding, thick shell, fits well, and has a high degree of flexibility. It isn't as long as others but I have only taken one shot below the protector. I agree it would be worth upgrading the harness. This protector is not cheap but it is worth the money.
This has been my favorite chest protector. I would recommend cutting the additional flaps that cover the outer chest/arm pit region for extra mobility as well as removing the strap and ordering an All Star system 7. These two small modifications make this chest protector the best on the market. Also, if you have a higher budget, get this fitted with Team Wendy pads. You will not be unhappy with this product or any of the suggested modifications.
Great umpire chest protector! I use it at all levels (Little League thru semi-pro) and I never worry about my protection. The one thing that would make this 5 stars out of the box would be the harness. I tried and tried, but the Wilson harness doesn't do it for me. I bought the All-Star Delta Flex and it's made this the best umpire chest protector ever!
By far the best umpire chest protector on the market!
Best umpire chest protector I've ever worn. I've been hit with a foul ball off of a 85-90 MPH fastball and felt absolutely nothing. Worth every penny.
New Port Richey, FL
Purchased the 13" model a few months ago and it is the best equipment purchase I've made. I was worried about it being too short for me as I'm a large guy, but it hasn't been an issue at all. I have taken several shots off the chest and shoulders since using it, and don't feel a thing from it. Very well built and very comfortable to wear.
I love this chest protector. I have used it for a year now after using the WV Platinum. I work games from 12-13 yr olds on up to college. I love the hard shell designs and this is by far the best I have used. 90+ mph fastballs off the chest are a non-issue.
This is a fantastic chest protector. I bought it in the small-medium size after discussing it's fit with Rob Drake, MLB umpire, and with Jim Kirk before ordering. Jim assured me that if it didn't fit they would exchange it, no problem. It did a fantastic job. You won't get stomach coverage with it but the chest and shoulder protection, lightweight feel and freedom of movement and relative coolness versus chest protectors with more coverage is worth it to me. No break in time required for fit other than adjusting harness to make sure you have collarbone coverage and snugness against torso. I recommend taping the straps after you get a good fit. The pads are removable and washable. It is simply a great protector for the highest levels of baseball. 100% confidence in this piece of equipment. Bought mine in 2007. Still going strong.
Do multiple levels of baseball- college club level down to 9 y.o. rec ball. Provides great protect, hardly feel a square on hit. Only down side is it is short at the waist. I prefer to use it when I do games with better level catchers.
This is the best chest protector I have worn. I went ahead and paid a little more for the gold series to get the extra padding around the chest. I have taken several shots to the chest and never felt a thing. Highly recommended.
This is the Chest Protector, that ALL umps should purchase. Previous to the Gold, had the Platinum, big mistake on my part, should have gone GOLD to begin with. Fits like a glove
Just purchased the Wilson Gold and I am extremely happy with the protector. I had an older model + Pos which was 15 inches long. I thought I may have trouble with protection with the Gold because it was shorter. I'm 6'2 so I was expecting to be exposed in the lower rib area. The Gold fit much more snug than my old model so it doesn't move around and I really don't feel uncomfortable with the length. Great product.
Belle Plaine, MN
I bought the West Vest gold this year, I've already taken several shots to the chest and shoulder area and have not felt a single one, it's worth the price.
I love this chest protector. To address that the shoulder pads don't fit over the shoulders, I would prefer that they didn't and faced the ball, exactly what they do. The only complaint that I have is that the harness has a few comfort issues, so I added the All-Star delta flex harness.
I have been umpiring for several years and I have tried several brands of chest protectors but always fall back to the Wilson Gold. This is the BEST protector you can have. Do not skimp out on protection to save money. Buy the best gear you can. The Wilson Gold is the Best
I am a bit overweight but I found that this protector to be excellent especially in my stomach area. A Great product
Wow...what a product! If first ordered the Champro Plus-Plate and really like it except for the wide neck opening. So I spent the extra money to get the West Gold and it fits like a glove! The neck line is snug and completely covers the collar bone and all the shoulder plates are attached solidly so you don't get any rattling or movement. After a few strap adjustments the entire vest contours snugly to my entire frame. An added bonus to this vest is the clean professional look it gives under the shirt. I believe that the more professional an umpire looks, at any level, will bring about more respect from coaches and players. The kids try to look like professional ballplayers, we as umpires should do the same for them. This vest is a winner on all levels!
Clark, South Dakota
Awesome protection. I have taken at least 10 foul balls off of it, and you feel literally nothing. Catchers have asked me how it doesn't hurt, and I tell them I have a good chest protector. Is it a little bulky, yes, but worth it. This model is definitely tailored to the larger umpires. If you are of a smaller frame, the platinum is for you. I tried on both, and the platinum didn't cover as much real estate.
While the Wilson Gold offers plenty of protection, the shoulder pads are embarrassingly large. I am 6' and 170lbs and this chest protector is not made for average sized people. The sizing picture is misleading, as the vest does not fit tight on your shoulders but instead hangs over and covers your underarm. After doing several games to make up the cost of the protector, it has been retired to storage. Do not buy this if you are of a slender build, it will make you look ridiculous.
Logan, W. Virginia
I purchased the Gold last May to replace a ChampPro Plus; the fit is great, much better than what I had; while the padding is not near as thick as the ChampPro, the protection seems to be better. I took several foul tips and they didn't phase me - even right over my heart and my collarbone. I am 5'8" and about 200 lbs and the M-L fits great. I have and will continue to recommend this product the all my colleagues. On another note, the customer service was wonderful; I could not have asked for anything better.
The West Vest has been great for me as I officiate plate games in the CIF league. I have been hit by a couple solid foul tips straight in the chest and did not feel anything! You get what you pay for and the West Vest is well worth the cost.
will not go on the field without this chest protector. It gives me a feeling of being safe and confident. I've been hit over my heart by a flying bat and didn't wince thanks to my West Vest.
I've been using this chest protector for over a year and love it. When fitted properly even the hardest of foul tips are no problem. The hard shell removable plates are a positive when it comes time to give the chest padding a thorough cleaning. After a couple hundred games, I had one of the velcro straps that hold one of the plates rip off (for some unknown reason) during a game, but it was somewhat easy enough to sew back on. I am 6'6" and wish it was a couple inches longer but aside from that I feel that the protection I receive from this product is unparalleled.
The Gold is worth its weight in gold.
Received my Gold chest protector and West top line shin guards last Friday. Worked 13 innings behind the dish today and I am absolutely blown away by this gear. I had been using Honigs top shin guards and West platinum but decided to treat myself when it was time for replacement. Wish I'd made the change years ago. I've never felt more secure and had gear that fit so well. This stuff just doesn't move around once it's on. Glad I spent the extra bucks.
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WARNING: Participants in any sports activity assume risk of injury. This equipment may be used to help aid in preventing or reducing the extent of injury. No equipment can guarantee umpire or player safety from injury during participation, and use of this equipment carries no such guarantee. Do not use any umpire equipment that is damaged in any way.