Catcher's sets contain all required catcher's gear in one complete package. They are a great choice - especially for younger catchers - in need of brand new or replacement gear.
Keep scrolling to learn more about our top picks...
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The Best Youth Catchers Gear Set of 2023
Catchers have a few pieces of required gear, which we detail in our catcher's gear 101 article.
To recap, the key, required pieces of gear are the following:
- Catcher's Helmet (or Mask and Skull Cap)
- Chest Protector
- Leg Guards
- Catcher's Mitt
You can pick and choose individual pieces of gear if you want. Or, you can buy the complete set of the required gear (please note: sets do not include catcher's mitts).
Those brand new to the position are typically the best candidates to get a complete set rather than buy their catcher's gear as individual pieces.
While there are a lot of solid sets on the market, only a small handful really stand out to us.
What we will do in this post is identify and review those top sets so that we can help you can make an informed buying decision.
Before we get into it, though, please note that you will need to understand some basic information on sizing for pieces of catcher's gear. You can read more in our individual posts (links are below), but a quick summary is as follows:
- Catcher's Helmet: Size is 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 youth catcher's helmets here.
- Chest Protector: Length is determined by measuring from the bottom of the throat to the navel. See our post on youth chest protectors here.
- Leg Guards: Measure between the the middle of your knee to the bend in your foot to determine the right size. See our post on youth leg guards here.
Alright, let's bring on the reviews!
In short, our top picks for youth catchers gear sets are:
- All-Star System 7 Axis (best for youth Baseball)
- Jen Schro The Very Best (top pick for youth Softball)
- Wilson EZ Gear (best for T-ball)
We'll start by taking a look at our top pick for youth Baseball catchers - the All-Star System 7 Axis set.
Top Pick for Baseball: All-Star System 7 Axis
Our Pick for the Best Youth Catcher's Gear Set for Baseball Catchers
All Star’s System 7 (S7) Axis lineup is among the most technology laden, premium level, highest quality catcher’s gear currently on the market.
This set comes with the S7 (MVP2510) catcher's helmet, the Axis chest protector, (CP912S7X), and Axis leg guards (LG912S7X).
You can purchase this particular set in one of two sizes: 1 set for 12 - 16 year olds; and 1 set for 9 - 12 year olds. The gear in each set is the same, other than the size differences. Please note that sizes of each piece of gear will be posted on the webpage of the retailer.
The catcher's helmet is made out of a resin shell, which does a good job of protecting the wearer.
It also has an I-Bar Vision™ frame, which is a unique, proprietary design that strengthens the cage and increases the range of view beyond your typical catcher's helmet.
The Axis chest protector comes with added protective plates (made out of a strong material called polyethylene) inserted into the portion of the chest protector covering the sternum and collarbone area.
Additionally, the chest protector has a proprietary harness system called DeltaFlex™ which helps get it adjusted for a near perfect fit.
Lastly, the Axis Leg Guards are breathable, strong - yet lightweight, and they don't shift around like a lot of other leg guards do. You can tell they are very high quality right out of the box.
As an added bonus, this set comes in a many different color combinations for you to choose from, including one with an American flag (red, white and blue) color theme.
Made by an elite and well respected brand
Axis is All Star's premium and most technology packed gear
The helmet, chest protector and leg guards provide excellent protection, yet are lightweight
This gear is designed not to shift around as abruptly as others
The set is available in multiple colors and different sizes
It is All Star's premium catcher's set, so the cost is higher than others. You are really paying for quality here.
Brief Video Overview of the Axis Leg Guards
Top Pick for Softball: Jen Schro The Very Best, by Easton
Our choice as the best overall catcher's set for youth 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 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 take a moment and measure your athlete prior to purchasing a set.
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 a 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. That's particularly 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 Fastpitch Softball leg guards that 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 – you simply will not find a better set for Fastpitch Softball players on the market.
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
As a premium set, it is on the expensive side
Brief Video Overview of Jen Schro The Very Best Set
Top Pick for T-Ball: Wilson EZ Gear
Our pick for the best catcher's gear set for T Ball players
We believe that Wilson EZ Gear is the best catcher's gear set for tee ball catchers. The set comes with a catcher's helmet, chest protector and leg guards.
The catcher's helmet is made out of a strong, ABS plastic shell with a glossy finish on the outside. It is lightweight and well ventilated.
The chest protector and leg guards have Wilson’s QuickChange™ system, which allows parents to adjust the gear on their kids once, then it stays at that level of adjustment without further tweaking needed.
In short, it is a great choice for very young kids just starting out at the position who are in need of a new set of catcher’s gear.
Strong, lightweight catcher's helmet
Good chest protector connection that stays in place well
Comes with removable shoulder caps
Available in multiple colors
The leg guards have velcro straps as connectors, which tend not to hold up as well as a traditional buckle or clip connection system
Closer View of the Equipment in the Wilson EZ Gear Set
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do youth kits come with throat guards? Do I even need one of these to play in my league?
Of the kits on our list, only the All Star product contains a throat guard. The rest do not. Rules about whether a throat guard is required to play behind the dish can vary. To learn more about the topic, check out our article on throat guards for catchers.
If I'm starting from scratch with zero catcher's gear, what else besides this kit should I buy so that I can start catching?
As mentioned above, these catcher's sets do not come with catcher's mitts. You must of course have a mitt in order to play catcher. That is all you truly need in addition to the gear that comes in the kit. Although we would strongly recommend you also get a catcher's cup, regardless of your age. Most are cheap and they go a long way in protecting a critical part of the body.
These kits are too pricey for my budget. What other options do I have?
The kits on our list are the best on the market, but that means they can have a high price tag. Thankfully, there are other, cheaper youth catcher's gear sets on the market, many of which are still great products. Generally, if the set is NOCSAE-approved and it's coming from a quality brand (e.g., Mizuno, Rawlings, Easton, All Star), it's probably a great product to consider buying. A good example is Jen Schro's The Fundamental set, which is a tier below "The Very Best" set but still good quality at a more attractive price point.
Thank You for Reading!
We hope that this review was helpful to you. If you have any questions for us - whether about youth catcher's 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.
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