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Passau Chest & Arm

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Me: 35 yo male, 5'9 235lbs. Playing in Div 5 beer league and Div 4/5 pickup.

C/A History: Bauer Reactor 4000

Usage: 2 years

Background: I was a new goalie and was wearing a Bauer Reactor 4000 C/A because it was the most comfortable off the shelf C/A that was in my price point. Unfortunately I'm not a tall guy, so the arms were too short. I actually ended up using a speedy stitcher to take up about 2" in the shoulders to make the arms shorter. I also would get stingers if a puck got me in an unexpected area, specifically anything in the armpit/rib area. 

I decided to go with Passau based on recommendations on GGSU, and the fact that I could get arms that were a different length. Custom colors was nice also, but not a dealbreaker.

Initial Impressions: BIG. That's all I could think of when I first tried it on. Oh my god it was big. I was not used to having so much padding all around my body. It was an odd feeling not being able to touch the inside of my biceps directly to the sides of my torso. It was a bulk that I was definitely not used to. That said, I knew I would need some breaking-in time. It was quite a bit heavier than the Bauer, but that was no surprise at all considering how much beefier it was. I actually put the Bauer on a few months later and kind of laughed at how tiny it was. 

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Construction was great, including stitching. I was unsure about the velcro for the side enclosures but that ended up being a really nice feature. No more buckles to break! I was also unsure about not using velcro on the cuffs. That ended up being a good thing as I don't have to worry about the velcro getting "gummed up". 

Fit: I measured and based on their sizing chart I was a L body with M arms. The rep I was working with insisted that I should go with L body and L arms based on my measurements and profile. As it turned out, he was wrong and I should have actually gone with the L body and M arms that the sizing chart suggested. The rep seemed extremely hesitant to even consider an exchange (due to the bespoke nature of the chest protector) so I tried to make it work. I ended up messing with the strapping on the arms to get the elbow up where it needs to be and it's worked well for me. In fact, I barely even tighten the cuffs anymore because I just don't need to. The next C/A will definitely be L/M though.

My Bauer chest protector was a bit short, and I kind of liked it that way so that's how I ordered the Passau. However because of the shape of the bottom of the front of the C/A, it would get caught on the top of my pants. I ordered a 2" extension that laced in and that issue went away. I wear the chest on the outside of my pants and it touches my thighs in my stance. I'm happy with the way it fits now. 7/10

Protection: This thing is a tank. I definitely did not need the pro pack. That said, at first I kind of wished I'd gotten the maltese heart guard just to deaden rebounds a bit. But I've gotten pretty good at getting the gloves up to cradle pucks so I don't really care anymore. I definitely do occasionally get stingers if I get hit in JUST the wrong place. Usually armpit/bicep area. I look at the arm of the C/A and can't fathom how I get a stinger there, but it happens. I got a heck of a bruise from SummerJam. 9/10

Mobility: During the break-in period it was extremely hard to move in. After a few months of use though, it became extremely mobile and have no complaints for the most part. However, I actually still have a bit of a difficult time reaching behind my head and putting a baseball cap on if I have my C/A on is difficult. I haven't really had any on-ice situation that I felt hindered in though. (8/10)

Intangibles: I found it odd that the logos on the stock C/A from Passau were gold, but the logos on their knee pads was silver. The rep told me I was actually the only person to ever mention it. Since the logo on the collar (which you might actually see) was gold, I wanted to change that. They said they'd change it for I think $20 and full custom colors for $40. I figured I might as well go full custom for the difference. If the logos had been silver instead of gold then honestly I wouldn't have bothered at all. 

I also bought it in my "generic" colors of black, silver, white which I had on my pads and mask at that point. Turns out this was a mistake because a month after I got it I joined a team that wore red. It really doesn't matter since I was covering it up anyway of course, but if I was going to pay for custom colors it definitely sucks that I ended up changing colors. Going forward I think the next C/A I'd buy will just be plain black.

Final Score: 24/30

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