Brian's G-NETiK Chest & Arm Protector Review
March 12, 2014 // BY Mike Bruins
There's so much going on with the Brian's G-NETiK Pro Chest & Arm Protector, that the best way for you to start with this post is to watch the detailed product video below. That way, you'll learn about all of the features of this great unit and we can focus on the highlights, which we'll go through soon.
Are you done watching? Good - let's get going.
According to Brian's, the fit of their chest guards is in line with Reebok & Warrior, but longer than a Vaughn (LT90). We agree completely with the Reebok comparison, and we found the fit of the G-NETiK to be comparable to each of the brands and models listed below in the following ways (NOTE: The model in the shot is wearing size MED versions of each chest guard, and he is 5'8", 180 lbs):
Reebok/CCM: Fits very similarly in belly when compared to both the CCM A/B Pro and the Reebok P4 Pro models, though you'll see in this shot that the G-NETiK is slightly shorter in the arms when compared to the CCM 500. The extended neck pad of the G-NETiK covers a bit more space on the sternum area when compared to both units.
Warrior: We found that the arm lengths on the G-NETiK to be nearly identical to the Ritual Pro, but the belly padding of the G-NETiK is longer than the belly pad on the Ritual Pro. In the shot on right above, the Ritual Pro belly adjustment system is in it's "out of the box" position and has not been adjusted.
Vaughn: Compared to the LT90 Ventus (not pictured), the G-NETiK is longer in both the arms and the belly. When compared to the 7800 (pictured above), we found the G-NETiK to be equal in the arms but slightly longer in the belly. NOTE: The new Vaughn 2000 V6 will fit the same as the 7800 V5 pictured here.
Bauer: With the Adjustable Belly System in the unit at it's stock, out of the box setting, we found that the belly of the G-NETiK is about the same as the belly of the Reactor 6000. As the arms go, we found the G-NETiK arms to be slightly longer than those on the Reactor.
Personally, I'm 5'7" with a wingspan (fingertip to fingertip) of 67". Based on the sizing chart (which you can find on the G-NETiK guard product page), I ordered a medium which is made to fit goalies ranging in height from 5'6" - 5'9". Right out of the box, the belly pad ended about 1" below my belt line, and the arms ended just slightly beyond my wrist. Using the chest/belly height adjustment straps at the back of the unit, I was able to get the belly to fit perfectly in a short amount of time. Also, I quickly adjusted the arm lacing to get a good fit on the arms, though I did have to use a pretty "high" setting on the lacing tab to accomplish this.
There are several things that we like about the G-NETiK Pro chest guard, not the least of which is the ability to customize it. I went with Royal Blue with black trim and yellow accents, with no construction modifications. I couldn't be happier with the way that this unit turned out.
One feature that we really like about the G-NETiK Pro is the velcro width adjustment strap that sits under the sternum protector. This strap connects the two shoulder floaters together, and goalies can use it to allow the floaters to sit either very wide (covering more of the 6 and 7 holes) or very narrow (covering more chest but increasing arm mobility across the body). Regardless of which option that you choose, the floating sternum protector is wide enough to span the gap between the floaters at any setting.
Underneath each piece of the arm floater panels sits this velcro adjustment strap, which controls the fit of the panel to the arm. Though we didn't notice too much of a difference by "loosening" the side panel straps, loosening the top panel strap made a world of difference. Even by moving the attachment point just slightly higher up the strap, we noticed a significant improvement in the ability to flex the arm. I ended up going with the most "loose" strap setting to give my arm as much flexibility as I could.
The belly flap on the G-NETiK pro is sewn into the chest padding at the top of the pad only. This allows it to flex beyond 90 degrees, so you get a bunch of mobility here when you bend forward. I typically tuck my chest guard in, but found that I could just tuck the sides in and leave the belly pad out. This gave me the best combination of protection and mobility while allowing me to keep the same tucked in feeling that I prefer. Goalies who don't tuck will still appreciate the extra mobility offered by this design.
As you see in this shot and in the video above, the lat protection on this unit is very tall. On me, this pad ends just below my armpit, and I will admit that this took a skate or two to get used to. Though the pad is tall, the padding itself wasn't thick enough to hinder mobility in any direction and in the end I appreciated having some extra protection here.
As you can tell by watching the product video, the protection in most of the front facing areas of the unit is layered. As you'll see in the shot on the left above, HD floating panels that cover more HD foam blocks on the arm padding, and in the shot on the right you'll see the foam blocks sit underneath the sternum protector and the arm floaters . Though the belly padding only has one layer of protection, we found that this area is either covered (if you tuck) or buffeted (if you don't tuck) by the belly flap on your pants, so you end up getting double coverage by default. I have taken quite a few hard shots to the midsection and I've felt very well protected every time.
Though the profile of the G-NETiK Pro chest guard isn't as wide as the Sub Zero Pro 2 unit, the G-NETiK is a bit more bulky in both the chest and the arms due to the thick, layered padding. But - don't confuse the word bulky with the word immobile, because that isn't the case at all. Many of the features on the G-NETiK are designed with mobility in mind, and we found the unit to have a great balance of protection and flexibility.
If you have sizing questions, or just more general questions about this unit, please feel free to contact us at any time.
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