Product Review: Brian’s Alite Chest & Arm Protector
My first chest protector back in squirt hockey was a two-pice unit from the 1970s that the association I played for provided similar to the one pictured. As I grew I upgraded. I don’t remember the brand of my chest protector when I got to college, I think it may have been a Ferland. I know I had one of those at one point, but don’t remember if that’s the one I had prior to buying my current Brian’s chest protector.
My sophomore year of college one of the other goalies on the team returned from summer break with a Brian’s Alite Chest and Arm unit. I quickly took notice of it as I was in the market for a new chest protector. I was getting a lot of stingers in the shoulder and elbow areas with the one I had at the time. This was also at the time guys like Jean-Sébastien Giguère had these giant floaters that made them look huge. I didn’t like those models as I found they impeded my style of play.
I really liked the size of the Alite unit. The floaters offered sizable coverage, but seemed to hug the shoulders, not extend up towards the ears. There was also a good amount of padding around the elbows I really liked. My teammate let me wear his chest protector for a mid day skate to test it out. I knew right away this was my next purchase. The next day I placed my order through the team.
Once my unit arrived I began to really discover they things I liked about the unit. I used to wear a neck protector under my chest protector. This unit had a bit of extended neck protection that came up as high as the neck protector I was wearing. This allowed me to ditch that neck protector which was integrated into a shirt that tended to get quite hot. I also liked the elbow protection. The unit has a hard player-like elbow pad on the back side of the elbow, and plenty of padding on the front side of the arm.
The closest I came to a modification to the unit is adding a skate lace through the little loops that hold the belly flap in place. I wrap the lace around me to keep the unit close to my body, then attach it to my hockey pants (breezers for us Minnesotans), to keep it tucks inside the pants.
This unit has held up remarkably well over the years. As I look to replace my pads, gloves, pants, and have replaced my nut cup and helmet in the last year I’ve not once thought about replacing this unit. I haven’t even had to have it repaired. If the time comes where I do need to replace it, I might just reach out to Brian’s to see if they’d make a clone of this one.
Categories: Product Review