Vaughn Velocity V4 7600 goalie chest protector review
Now that I’ve had my Vaughn Velocity V4 7600 chest protector out on the ice for a few sessions, I thought I’d post a review of it.
I had been using a Vaughn Epic 8600 chest protector, similar to the current model Epic 8606 chest protector, for about two and a half years. It worked reasonably well, and it was priced right. Among other things, it offered excellent mobility. The downside was that the mobility came at the expense of protection. I was never seriously injured, but I felt shots in the chest more than I would have liked, and I got a few stingers on my upper arms and on my torso near my armpits. After yet another such stinger, I decided it was time for an upgrade.
When looking for a replacement, I knew I wanted more protection than I had on my old chesty. I was willing to give up some mobility, too, so long as I could still do things like touch my nose and reach the back of my head. In addition to the eventual winner, the V4 7600, I had a few other C/As on my short list:
- Bauer Pro Goalie Chest and Arm
- Warrior Swagger Senior Chest and Arm
- Vaughn Vision 9500 Pro Chest and Arm
I really wanted to step up to a pro level of protection, so the inclusion of the Warrior Swagger might seem a bit odd. The reason why it made the list is because Warrior has proven to be one of the more innovative hockey companies in recent years, and I was curious about what their first entry into the goalie chest/arm market would look like.
I went to a store that had all four chesties in stock and tried them all on. Critically, I also put on a pair of goalie pants in the store to see how the various pads interacted. Notice that I’m wearing my Vaughn Velocity V4 7600 goalie pants in the photos on this post, too. I’m a “chest protector over the pants” goalie instead of a “tuck it in the pants” goalie, so I had to make sure that the belly pads wouldn’t hang up on or otherwise interfere with my goalie pants.
I’ll save you long reviews of the other chest protectors, but the long and short of it is that three of the four felt like they would have worked fine for me. The Swagger is the odd one out; I think it would have been fine for the level of hockey I played, but the protection didn’t seem like much of a step up from what I already had. In the end, I chose to go with the Velocity because it had the features I wanted, the protection I desired, and a fit that worked on my body. It also helped that I’ve had good experiences with Vaughn’s Velocity line in the past — my pants, pads, and gloves are also Velocity.
I’ve had it on the ice for about six hours now, and that’s been enough to start to see some of this chest protector’s benefits.
- Great protection in the chest. I’ve taken slappers in the chest that would have left me winded with my old Epic C/A, but with this one I simply feel them.
- Great protection in the arms and armpits. Shots to the arms feel fine. No stingers or bruises. Also, the little orange flaps help to seal the hole under my arm by my armpit.
- Smooth interaction with my pants. This Velocity chest protector’s belly flap slides smoothly over the outside of my goalie pants. I haven’t had any problems with the interface between the two.
- Good interaction with my gloves. No problems at the glove-C/A interface, either. I have a full range of motion without sacrificing protection.
- Decent feel of the puck. Even though the padding is thick, I can still feel the puck, which helps with rebound control.
- Highly adjustable. I like how everything can be adjusted and tweaked with Velcro and straps. That said, I haven’t found a need to change much yet.
- Looks cool! Yeah, yeah. I’m vain like that.
A few things have emerged as minor annoyances over the past few ice times:
- It’s hot. Seems to trap heat to a much greater extent than my old Epic chesty.
- The Velcro everywhere can be noisy. Especially noticeable when I’m packing it in my gear bag or putting on my sweater.
- The straps that adjust the positions of the shoulder floaters can stick up. You can see this in some of the photos, where the outer strap on my left shoulder is standing up. Seems to be purely cosmetic, as I haven’t had anything come loose.
The Vaughn Velocity V4 7600 C/A is a tank of a chest protector, but it still allows a full range of movement. If you can handle the heat from the thickness of the padding and the impact on your wallet, it’s a great choice.