Best Fastpitch Softball Catchers Gear Sets [Updated for the 2021 Season!]

Looking for a new catcher's gear set for the Fastpitch Softball season? Then you've come to the right place.

We looked far and wide to identify the best catcher's gear set for Fastpitch Softball catchers. This post identifies our top picks, with reviews and photos of each pick. 

Scroll on to learn more... 

best fastpitch softball catchers gear, set for softball catchers

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The Best Fastpitch Softball Catchers Gear Sets of 2021

As we detailed in our catcher's gear 101 article, catchers have a few pieces of required equipment.

These include:

  • Catcher's Helmet
  • Chest Protector
  • Leg Guards
  • Catcher's Mitt

You can pick out each piece of gear if you want to (check out our top Fastpitch Softball picks by category, HERE!).

However, many people choose to instead buy a complete set of catcher's gear rather than get each piece individually. Doing so takes the stress out of manually finding and tracking down matching equipment, making separate orders with multiple shipments, etc. 

Knowing that many catchers - as well as parents of catchers - prefer this approach, most major brands now sell complete sets, also referred to as catcher's gear kits or boxed sets.

Like anything else though, some sets are better than others.

Due to this, we set out to investigate and to better understand the marketplace for adult Fastpitch Softball catcher's gear sets.

After a good deal of research we've identified our top picks based on a combination of quality, cost, and protection related benefits. 

Note on Sizing

Before we go any further, you will need to first understand some basic information related to sizing for catcher's gear. A brief summary of this information is as follows:

  • Catcher's Helmet: Size is determined based on the hat size of the wearer. A good infographic detailing how to take your hat size is at this link. (You can read our post on the best Fastpitch catcher's helmets here.) 
  • Chest Protector: To determine length, measure from the bottom of the throat to the navel. See our related post here.  
  • Leg Guards: To find the right leg guard size, measure from the the center of your knee to the bend in your foot. See our related post here

 

What are the Best Fastpitch Softball Catchers Gear Sets?

Of the numerous Fastpitch Softball catchers gear sets we reviewed, we believe the best is the All Star Vela Pro. It is high quality and contains the best of what All Star offers.

All of our top picks are as follows:

  1. All Star Vela Pro (best overall)
  2. Jen Schro The Very Best (runner-up pick)
  3. Wilson CK1 (third place pick)

 

Please note: The first two picks below are catchers gear sets for adults, with adult generally being defined as ages 15/16 + (though measurement should always take precedence over age).

If you're interested specifically in catcher's gear sets for youth catchers, please read our review on youth sets.

 

Top Overall Pick: All Star Vela Pro

Vela gear out of stock? Check out All-Star's other set, the AFX catcher's gear set.

 

Our Pick for the Best Fastpitch Softball Catcher's Gear Set on the Market

All Star makes some of the highest quality catcher's gear currently available, and their Vela gear is All Star's premium lineup for Fastpitch Softball catchers.

The catcher's helmet in this set has a sleek design and is known for providing excellent protection and a comfortable fit.

It is built with something called an I-BAR VISION steel cage, which is a patented design that uses flattened bars to strengthen the cage and increase the catcher's line of sight.

The chest protector has a female-specific fit with tremendously strong polyethylene (i.e., PE) plates added for protecting the areas near the throat, sternum and collar bone.

The leg guards are very lightweight and comfortable. They feature All Star's D30® "Patella Plus" knee pads, which are gel-based layers over the knee designed to protect and to absorb shock without causing much discomfort.

In terms of sizing, the catcher's helmet fits a hat size of between 7 - 7 1/2, while both the chest protector and leg guards measure 14.5 inches.

This set is about as high-quality as it gets, and it comes with our full recommendation.  

Pros

Made by a leading, well respected brand

Vela is one of All Star's most feature-packed set of Fastpitch Softball gear

All gear in this set has a reputation for being durable and providing top tier protection

Chest protector and leg guards come with the DeltaFlex harness system, which prevents the equipment from excess movement/shifting

Available in a handful of different colors

Cons

The price tag is above average

 

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Picture of Vela Catcher's Gear in Action

This picture shows the set's two-tone color design in action.

 

Runner up Pick: Jen Schro The Very Best, by Easton

Our Runner up Choice for Fastpitch Softball Catchers

Jen Schro’s The Very Best is Easton's newest line of Fastpitch Softball catcher's gear, and it is impressive due to its superior quality and distinctive features.

The Very Best set was designed specifically for female catchers and includes a catcher's helmet, chest protector, and leg guards.

The set is available in three sizes: small, medium or large. Small is intended for girls aged 9 – 12, medium for ages 12 – 15, and large for ages 15 and older.

Please note: These are general size ranges, so we encourage you to measure yourself or your athlete prior to purchasing a certain size.

This very unique and very high quality gear stands out for a number of reasons.

First is the chest protector. It has two straps that connect at the front, allowing for much easier and custom adjustment than other chest protectors on the market. It’s a really cool and useful feature.

The chest protector also features motivational phrases from Jen Schro on its inside lining. It’s unique and a nice touch.

The second area that stands out is the leg guards. They were design in such a way as to wrap around a large portion of the legs.

Additionally, the leg guards include more knee padding than any other Softball leg guards we’ve seen, which helps the wearer do a better job at blocking and throwing from the knees.

Lastly, the catcher’s helmet stands out for its solid ABS shell, its steel cage, and its moisture wicking and anti-microbial lining. All of the gear in this set meets NOCSAE standards.

This catcher’s gear set lives up to its name. With the possible exception of the Vela set, you will not find a better catcher's gear set on the market for Fastpitch Softball catchers than Jen Schro's gear.

Pros

Easton is a top brand, especially among Fastpitch Softball catchers

This set is packed with unique, high-quality features

The chest protector comes with two adjustable straps connecting in the front

Additional padding in the leg guard is strategically placed over the knee

The catcher's helmet has anti-sweat and anti-microbial lining

Cons

As a premium set, it is on the expensive side

 

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Brief Video Overview of Jen Schro The Very Best Set

 

Third Place Pick: Wilson C1K

wilson catchers gear set, black color

Another good catcher's gear set option for Fastpitch Softball catchers

This is the primary catcher's gear set made by Wilson, and is one of their top sellers.

It's currently sold to both Fastpitch Softball and Baseball catchers, and will fit both (based, of course, on your own unique measurements).

Included in this set is a Wilson catcher's helmet, chest protector and leg guards.

The catcher's helmet is well ventilated, with multi layered padding on the inside and a steel cage to protect the face from injury.

The chest protector scores high marks for comfort. It is noticeably lightweight, and it comes with two removable shoulder caps.

The leg guards are lightweight and made of ABS plastic. It's inner padding is removable and can be washed.

Regarding size ranges, for the adult size, the catcher's helmet can comfortably fit hat sizes of 7 1/8 - 7 1/2; the chest protector is 15 inches; and the leg guards are 15.5 inches.

For the intermediate size, the catcher's helmet can fit hat sizes of 6 3/8 - 7 1/8; the chest protector is 13.5 inches; and the leg guards are 14 inches.

Another feature that we like is the two tone design of this set. In short, it's definitely worth a closer look.

Pros

Wilson's primary catcher's set for Fastpitch Softball and Baseball

Available in both adult and intermediate sizes

All components in this set stand out for being lightweight and well ventilated

Two tone color design pops and looks great on the field

Cons

The gear in this kit tends to run narrow

Not marketed as having a "female specific" fit

 

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Picture of Wilson C1K Catcher's Gear in Action

softball catcher wilson gear

(Photo from Ohio State Athletics).

 

Let's Talk About Catcher's Mitts

Wait a second... These sets don't come with catcher's mitts?

Yep, that's right.

We don't know of any reputable catcher's gear sets for Fastpitch Softball players that come with a catcher's mitt included in the set. 

If you're in need of a new mitt, our top pick for Fastpitch Softball catchers is the 2019 Wilson A2000 Super Skin, which you can find at the below links.

 

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New Wilson A2000 fastpitch catchers mitt

To read our overview of this (and other) great Fastpitch Softball catcher's mitts, click HERE!

Thank You for Reading!

Thanks for reading this post. We hope you enjoyed it, and found it helpful.

If you have any questions for us - whether about Fastpitch Softball gear or catching in general - then don't hesitate to reach out by heading over to the Contact Us page or by sending an email to scott [at] catchershome [dot] com.