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New Easton Catchers Gear for Fastpitch Softball
Easton introduced their newest line of Fastpitch Softball catchers gear, called Prowess™, in September 2017.
This is the newest line of Softball catchers gear to hit the market from any of the major manufacturers, so far as we can tell (as of the date of publication).
The Prowess line of gear is broken down into three different types, or categories, which are:
- Prowess P2
- Prowess QwikFit
In this post we will look more closely at each of these categories, describing the individual pieces of equipment and understanding what sets each apart from the other.
Our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive picture of the Prowess lineup so that you can make an informed purchasing decision!
(Note: above banner from Easton) The Prowess set of catchers gear is now the premier Fastpitch gear made by Easton. In fact, it's an improvement on Easton's older lines of catchers gear, such as Mako and M7.
Each product in the Prowess lineup has a female-specific fit. So Fastpitch Catchers won't encounter any uncomfortable, loose-fitting gear here.
To be honest, you can really tell that the people who designed it took the time to listen to feedback from actual Fastpitch Catchers. This is really good gear, as we're sure you'll notice in the below video.
For reference, the Prowess line is available in two sizes only - adult and intermediate - and most retailers have an assortment of five different colors you can choose from (black, charcoal, red, navy blue, royal blue). This particular category of Prowess gear is sold individually, and is not currently sold as a box set/catcher's kit.
Now, let's take a look at each product in the Prowess lineup.
Prowess Catchers Helmet
The Prowess helmet has a few key features that we want to highlight. First, the helmet is not bulky, but has a conforming, "streamlined" fit. It's constructed with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene type (ABS) plastic, which is a very strong, yet fairly standard material used for other catchers helmets.
The ABS shell is well ventilated, so the helmet is comfortable when playing in hot conditions.
It comes with internal EVA foam which helps to reduce impact. This helmet meets all NOCSAE safety standards.
The Prowess Helmet does not have a super glossy type of paint, but instead looks more like a "matte" paint style. As mentioned above, it is available at most retailers (including in our links above) in five colors, and comes in two sizes: small (hat sizes 6 1/8 - 7) and large (hat sizes 7 - 7 7/8).
Close-Ups of the Prowess Catchers Helmet
Prowess Chest Protector
The Prowess Chest Protector might just be the neatest piece of the entire lineup.
One thing you might notice right off the bat is the solid colored line about midway up the Chest Protector. That is essentially the dividing line for what Easton calls its Torso Flex™ Two-Piece Torso Fit™ System. Which is to say, separate upper and lower torso sections, which is a feature that definitely helps with blocking the ball.
It's built with a four-piece harness system which helps ensure a snug, yet adjustable fit. Additionally, it has a "Biodri™" liner which helps the user stay cool and dry.
Also, we think it just looks pretty cool, especially with two-tone, charcoal gray accent. It is sold in two sizes, Adult (15.5 inches) and Intermediate (14 inches).
Close-Ups of the Prowess Chest Protector
Prowess Leg Guards
Prowess Leg Guards come in two sizes – adult (15.5 inches) and intermediate (14 inches). They have a two-piece shin design which is a type of construction that wraps around your legs and calves more closely than many other Leg Guards.
Probably one of the biggest selling points about these Leg Guards is its excellent knee protection, which is a critical feature for Catchers (especially Fastpitch Catchers!). It has a generous amount of memory foam-type padding around the knee, behind the patella cap.
While they are strong and do a good job of providing protection, they are actually pretty lightweight and comfortable. The quality is definitely there.
Close-Ups of Prowess Leg Guards
The Prowess P2 line of catchers gear is a bit different from the regular Prowess line.
How is it different? In two primary ways.
First, it is made exclusively for Fastpitch Softball Catchers between the ages of 11 - 13. There is no adult version of this gear.
Secondly, it is currently only sold as a box set/catcher's kit, not as individual pieces of gear.
There are, of course, other smaller differences between the Prowess P2 and the Prowess line, which we will talk about in a minute.
It is interesting that Easton purposefully developed this gear just for the 11 - 13 age range since traditionally, they argue, most catchers gear sizes were either too big and bulky or too small for girls at this age. You can learn more in the short video below.
In regards to the gear's features and functionalities... Well, from as best as we can tell, the Catchers Helmet, Chest Protector, and Leg Guards sold under the P2 lineup don't differ all that much from the regular Prowess line, except in the following ways:
- The Leg Guard connections/strap system: The Leg Guards feature Easton's proprietary QwikFit™ system, which has clip-based connectors, making it super simple and quick to get these Leg Guards on.
- Sizing: Since it is for the 11 - 13 year old range, all products come in one size. The helmet fits a 6 1/8 - 7 1/2 hat size, the Chest Protector is 14 inches, and the Leg Guards are 14 inches.
- Design/appearance: Slight design differences from the Prowess line, such as having no solid line in the middle of the Chest Protector, the helmet is solid color and not two-tone, and the Chest Protector has one shoulder pad instead of two.
- Colors: The P2 box set is available (from most retailers) in four colors only. Those colors are black, red, navy blue and royal blue.
In short, we think the P2 box set is a really good option for Softball Catchers specifically in this age range.
You can take a closer look at the Prowess P2 box set and the features of the P2 lineup by clicking either of the links below.
Like the Prowess P2, the Prowess QwikFit line of catchers gear is designed for a specific age range (ages 9 - 12) and is currently sold in a box set/catcher's kit only.
The primary differentiator for the QwikFit line is that it is designed for Catchers to able to get their gear on themselves quickly and simply, without the help of coaches or parents.
The Leg Guards have the QwikFit clip connection system, just like the P2 Leg Guards. The Chest Protector has a unique pully design that allows the wearer to adjust on their own, as needed. And the Catchers Helmet has a pully system on the back of the helmet, providing as snug of a fit as you want.
The video below explains this well.
Being that the Prowess Qwikfit was developed for youth Softball Catchers between the ages of 9 - 12, the gear in the box set comes in specific sizes. They are 6 1/8 - 7 for the Catchers Helmet, and 13.5 inches for both the Chest Protector and Leg Guards. This box set comes in the same four colors as the P2 box set.
We believe that the Prowess Qwikfit box set is a solid choice for younger Catchers between 9 and 10 years of age, or even larger 7 - 8 year olds (assuming they fit the gear).
However, the Prowess P2 set has a leg up on the Qwikfit, in our opinion, for Fastpitch Catchers between ages 11 - 13.
You can take a closer look at the Prowess QwikFit box set and the features of all the gear in the QwikFit lineup by clicking either of the two links below.
Wrapping it up
Easton Prowess catchers gear is still very new, as it hasn't been on the market for a year yet (as of date of publication).
However, we are impressed by this new lineup and can attest to the fact that it's high-quality and has lots of relevant technology and features added in.
Therefore, we believe that a decision to purchase Prowess gear would be a wise choice, indeed.
We will be interested to hear and read of feedback from Prowess users as time goes on, especially as spring and summer seasons begin. As we learn more, we'll update this post!
We hope this review was helpful to you. If you have any questions for us, don't hesitate to reach out by heading over to the Contact Us page.
Thanks for reading!