If you play catcher in an adult baseball league, you want to be sure that you have the best catcher’s gear possible to ensure that you are both comfortable behind the plate (you will be staying crouched for quite some time, after all) and protected from any pitch that comes your way. Most catchers will need to have a catcher’s mask, a chest protector, and leg guards to ensure the maximum amount of comfort and safety. But buying each of these items separately could run you quite the lengthy tab.
This is where a quality catcher’s gear package can come into play, so that you can have a great playing experience and also avoid spending an arm and a leg. In this review, we will specifically look at the Easton M7 Adult Catcher’s Gear Package, examining its features and comparing them to other catcher’s gear packages on the market.
Breaking Down the Product
Available in black, red, navy blue, and royal blue, the M7 Adult Catcher’s Gear Package includes equipment that is touted by Easton as being both lightweight and ergonomically designed.
When breaking down the gear package, we will look at each item included in the package (mask, chest protector, and leg guards) and also briefly analyze cost and customer reviews. It is important to note that any of the specific design specifications of the equipment in the Easton M7 package or any of the competitors’ packages mentioned in this review are primarily based on the information provided by the manufacturers and have not been tested or confirmed by us.
For players that have hat sizes ranging from 7 1/8 to 7 7/8, the M7 catcher’s mask provides an extremely snug and secure fit thanks to its streamlined profile. For added durability and protection, the ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) shell is as top-notch of a polymer structure as you can get.
To ensure that the catcher is not sweating or uncomfortable behind the mask, which is approved by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOSCAE), it comes equipped with 18 vents for increased breathability. The dual density foam padding is also a nice added touch.
With multi-layer foam specifically constructed to protect the chest area and minimize ball rebound, the M7 chest protector in this package has a 17” measurement. It also includes vents for cooling capabilities as well as a removable Velcro shoulder cap.
Specifically built for maximum durability, these leg guards are sized at about 16”. Their triple knee protection allows for extra mobility and security, and the Inner Knee Protection touted by Easton includes memory foam for added comfort and stability. Each guard also has a removable liner that is machine washable.
If you get each piece of Easton’s M7 catcher’s equipment separately, this could run up a tab of well over $200. As a package, you can purchase everything you need for about $190.
Reviews for the M7 package were generally positive, with the majority of reviews being five stars or four stars. Favorable reviews praised the catcher’s set for its comfort, quality, and style.
The few customers that did have negative reviews specifically complained about the fit and quality of the helmet.
Breaking Down 4 Adult Catcher’s Gear Packages from Competitors
There are a number of different adult catcher’s gear packages on the market, but to give you just a sense of some of the other products out there, here are just four packages that are offered by competitors.
1. All-Star Adult System 7 Axis Pro Catcher’s Set
With a whopping $500 price tag, this catcher’s set includes a helmet for hat sizes between 7- 7 1/2 and a chest protector and leg guards that are both 16.5”. The helmet comes equipped with an I-Bar Vision steel cage as well as a high-impact resistant ABS polycarbonate shell for added durability. As far as comfort is concerned, the helmet also offers a breathable 3D mesh padding liner.
The set’s chest protector, on the other hand, is equipped with a form-fitting Delta Flex harness to give catchers that secure fit. The back of the protector is lined with diamond vents for breathability and weight reduction. The improved break points also create a flatter surface on the protector for blocking and superior control.
If you are looking for greater mobility, All-Star touts its leg guards’ LINQ hinge system, which is supposed to allow for greater movement and flexibility. Diamond vents are also included for comfort. The leg guards are also supposed to have top-of-the-line knee protection. The strap system is designed to keep knees extra secure and the wider and smoother knee, as well as the repositionable knee padding, is ideal for greater protection and easier movement.
With more than a dozen colors to choose from, the All-Star System 7 set generally received positive reviews from customers.
2. Diamond iX5 Adult Baseball Catcher’s Package
If you are looking for your catcher’s gear to have a sleek, camouflage aesthetic, then this may be the package for you. Available in Scarlet Camo, White Camo, Navy Blue Camo, and Royal Blue Camo, this set (which also comes with a drawstring storage bag) includes a hockey style catcher’s helmet for helmet sizes between 7 1/8 and 7 1/2 as well as 16 1/2” leg guards and an 18 1/2” chest protector.
The iX5 helmet has a durable impact-resistant shell and a light frame with bars for improved vision. When it comes to comfort, the helmet also includes a multi-layer foam padding liner, a soft, adjustable chin pad, and a four-way adjustable back cap.
Diamond touts that the leg guards included in this set are primed for stability and comfort, with ventilated wrap around shin guards, triple knee protection, breathable padding, compressed knee comfort, and impact-resistant plastic.
As far as the chest protector is concerned, the triple layer vented padding keeps catchers protected while the comfort harness with four-way stretch, the padded neck roll, and molded shoulder caps are for added comfort.
At a cost of around $350 (though it can go for as little as $250 used), the Diamond iX5 catcher’s set received rave reviews.
3. ProGear Force3 Catcher’s Gear Full Set
Available in red, black, and blue, this catcher’s gear set is offered in both youth and adult sizes. For the adult set, the hockey style catcher’s mask is for hat sizes between 7 1/8 and 7 1/2.
Along with the standard leg guards that come with removable toe guards, ProGear also gives you the option to purchase pro knee savers for an additional $20. A one-size-fits-all add-on that connects with the leg guard straps, these knee savers are made from high-density foam, providing added support for your knees and reducing joint and cartilage wear and tear for when you are in the crouched position.
Ranging in price from $350 to $400, the Force3 set did not have enough online reviews to determine customer opinion.
4. Rawlings Adult Velo Catcher Set
With a sleek two-tone design that comes in either black/graphite or silver/white, this Rawlings set includes an adjustable hockey-style catcher’s helmet that is ideal for hat sizes between 7 1/8 and 7 ¾ and has a durable, impact resistance cage as well as an ABS plastic shell. The interior padding is equipped with moisture-wicking technology for optimal comfort, and Rawlings also ensures that your head will stay properly cooled during play thanks to the helmet’s 15 vents.
The size 17” chest protector has a flexible design and includes impact absorbing foam as well as heat exchange foam in the shoulder and rib regions for better airflow. It also offers adjustable and removable shoulder caps with extended left shoulder protection and an adjustable back harness to ensure the best possible fit.
With absorbing foam in the knee and foam side flaps for increased airflow, the lightweight leg guards come in size 16.5”. The triple-knee design offers additional protection, while the patented Supertoe design is meant to provide instep stability.
The set also comes with a spacious catcher’s bag and Rawlings gives you the option of purchasing knee relievers for an additional $23. Ranging in price from $285 to $360, this set received generally favorable customer reviews.
What to Consider Before Purchasing a Catcher’s Gear Package
Before you go out and buy a catcher’s gear package, you should take several factors into consideration first.
For one, you want to pay special attention to the sizing options, since most adult catcher’s sets are for ages 15 and older. You want to make sure you get the proper head, chest, and leg measurements to guarantee that you are both comfortable and well-protected behind the plate.
It is also important to take your budget into account. While it is generally less expensive to get a set than the helmet, chest protector, and leg guards all separately, catcher’s packages are not cheap. With that in mind, you also want to take the type of league you are in into account. If it is a competitive league with plenty of games per season, you should probably invest in a more expensive set with a number of comfort-based and protective features.
Finally, do not put too much stock in branding. Of course, it is always tempting to get that recognizable name brand set. And sometimes, it may be the best option. But you may also find that a lesser known brand could offer a catcher’s set that is just as serviceable. That is why it is always important to do your due diligence and research different packages on the market before making that ultimate purchase.
The Bottom Line on the Easton M7 Adult Catcher’s Gear Package
If you have a low budget and do not need all the added features of a more expensive catcher’s set, then the Easton M7 catcher’s gear package might be perfect for you.
But, if you are in a super competitive league and expect your catcher’s gear to experience plenty of wear and tear, then you may want to spend the extra money on a set that offers those additional design features. On the off chance that you are absolutely committed to getting an Easton gear set, Easton does offer several more expensive catcher’s set options for purchase that can offer you more in design and comfort.