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JR Boucicaut

RBK 8k

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RBK 8k Pants

I got these in April from RBK. It was a long time since I skated in a "conventional" pant - I wore a girdle/shell setup for many years.

Fit - The RBK 8k is the first of its kind - a traditional pant, but with an independent girdle-style padding. What makes it great is that adjustments can be made to accommodate leg size. It has one belt that goes around the waist and one that goes around the kidney protection to bring it in closer. 10/10

Protection- The pant has no gaps in protection once the padding is set in the right places. The padding around the hips and tailbone is very solid, and the girdle padding is the same as a traditional pant. 10/10

Weight - Not light as a feather, but no slouch either.

Durability- The shell's material is very strong - high quality denier. It almost feels like a canvas bag. I haven't had any problems with the belts or loose stitching either. 10/10

What I Would Change - I have a couple of issues with the pant. One, I'd love to have the two-piece version (not available in North America due to patent issues) with two sets of buttons so that I can move the shell up. I had to move the girdle padding up but the shell still stays the same length, so it kind of sags down by the knees. Also, I would extend the velcro pad on the thigh pad so that I can get them tighter. The pad was shifting on me last time I skated and had to crank down on them to get them tighter. Also, I would put a velcro tab on the shell to keep the zippers closed - I'm not a fan of open zippered pants. Also, keep in mind that when you do put them on, you have to loosen the zippers and undo the thigh pads in order to get your legs through them.

Conclusion - Very well-constructed, protective and innovative pant. I see an MSH Product of the Year in RBK's future.

Overall Rating - 9.5/10

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Product: RBK 8k Hockey Pant

Reviewer Information

Level of Play: Midget Major AAA

Position: Center

On ice 5-7 times/week

Fit: Nice. Very adjustable, thus making the pant very easy to get comfortable in. Fool around with the straps on the pads for a few minutes when you first get them, and soon you have a nearly perfect fit. 9.5/10

Mobility: I had/have a slight issue here: the shell seems to almost narrow near the knee, cutting off some of my movement through the stride. This problem is avoidable by simply unzipping the thigh, which I would have prefered to keep closed, but I suppose I have to do what I have to do to make myself comfortable. 8/10

Protection: Outstanding. Everything is very well covered. The padding itself is not restrictive in any way and is easily adjusted in most areas for maximum comfort/mobility. 10/10

Weight: Somewhere in the middle of the road. I've worn lighter, but I've also worn much heavier. The shell does seem prone to taking-on water-weight, but nothing too dramatic. 8/10

Durability: No problems to speak of. No rips, tears or loose threading. Very well constructed.

Intangables: The pants can be a bitch to get on, as the floating thigh pads can sometimes shift and make it almost impossible to get into without actually stopping and moving things around with your hand. Nothing major, but it can become frustrating. The double-strap is a very nice feature, allowing for a more customized fit. I find that the inner strap has kept my jersey from becoming un-tucked as often as with previous pants. 8/10

Conclusion: Terrific pant; one of my favorites to date. I would suggest that anyone in the market give these some serious thought; I'm willing to bet that you will be impressed. 9/10

*edit* - Still wearing them. They're beginning to show their age (and the amount of abuse they've taken), but I'm determined to make them last as long as possible.

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