A catcher is responsible for catching all pitches thrown by his team’s pitchers since he crouches directly behind the home plate.
However, as they play such an important defensive role, their safety is constantly at risk. They must cover themselves from head to toe throughout every game to protect their body from fastballs, wild pitches, powerful swings, and foul tips.
Therefore, every catcher needs a high-quality and durable catcher’s gear set so he can confidently field his position well. Baseball catcher’s gears come in different sizes, specifications, dimensions, and with unique features. You have to choose according to your requirements and personal preferences.
But if you’re not sure which one will work best for you, this article includes a detailed review of the top Catcher’s gear sets as well as a buying guide to help you find the right one.
The 5 Best Catchers Gears for Adults
Here is a detailed review of Best Catcher’s gear set Available for adult and intermediate players.
Mizuno’s classic Samurai gear is crafted from high-quality materials and includes modern design elements.
The helmet in this set features a soft rubberized matt feel with three layers of EVA foam padding for enhanced comfort and protection. To control moisture and airflow, it has a smart ventilation system and dry light moisture management technology. The leather material used on the jaw pad adds to the helmet’s protection and durability.
The chest protector comes with 2 Adjustable shoulder pads so that you can easily take one of them off if you want a more asymmetrical look. The Chest Protector’s Low Rebound Foam is paired with a specially developed grippe surface to help you hold balls right in front of you. The neck guard can be adjusted using Velcro straps.
Mizuno’s leg protectors also provide great coverage and offer a five-strap system for a secure fit. These shin guards include a detachable K-Pad and a Triple Knee Cup structure for improved comfort and knee protection.
Mizuno’s Samurai Gear Set comes in 15 different color schemes and is available in adult, intermediate, and youth sizes. It will surely prevent all possible injuries a catcher is at risk of.
The All-Star System7 Axis Catcher’s Set complies with NOCSAE safety regulations and offers exceptional mobility and protection behind the plate. This set includes a NOCSAE-approved chest protector, leg guards, neck protector, equipment bag, and wristbands.
The Hockey style catcher’s helmet is made with a high-impact ABS plastic shell and a sturdy I-BAR steel mask for greater visibility and protection. A detachable and washable inner liner provides long-lasting comfort, while a rear plate strap offers a personalized fit and keeps the helmet in place.
The NOCSAE-approved chest protector has DeltaFlex harness foam and diamond vents on the back for a lighter, more breathable feel and to enhance breakpoints for better blocking and control. To provide optimum protection, it’s made with stainless steel hardware and internal PE protecting plates.
Leg guards have a LINQ pivoting hinge system for enhanced mobility.
It incorporates dual knee protector straps for extra stability, as well as a wider and smoother repositionable central knee pad that makes turning and sliding simpler for catchers.
The All-Star S7 Axis is considered as one of the top catcher’s sets season after season due to its exceptionally protective chest, leg, and helmet gear. This intermediate set is recommended for players between the ages of 12 and 16.
The C1K Catcher’s Gear kit is based on Wilson Pro Stock Catcher’s Gear and is designed to provide greater durability and sturdiness.
The NOCSAE standard helmet comes with a shiny finish and a replaceable moisture-wicking chin pad to keep you cool and dry while playing. It provides a broader field of view and allows you to read pitches effectively. The adjustable straps provide a comfortable fit during games and practices.
The chest protector has high-density foam padding to ensure ultimate comfort and protection while the angled pad design over-the-shoulder adjustable harness helps block the ball straight down. To improve mobility, the shoulder caps can also be removed.
The premium-grade ABS plastic leg guard is lightweight and allows you to move freely while protecting your legs from impacts. Adjustable metal buckles are also included, for a secure fit and quick on and off function. Inner protective knee pads are also detachable, allowing you to easily wash away sweat and dirt to maintain hygiene.
The C1K Catcher’s Set will keep you safe throughout the season, whether you’re an adult or an intermediate player. Also, there are seven different colors to choose from to match the color of your squad.
The Easton Elite X Catcher’s Gear Series is a more advanced version of the Easton M10 and Stealth Catcher’s Gear Series since it incorporates various high-level characteristics that make it perfect for professional catchers.
The helmet contains a number of vents to keep you cool during the game. If you’ve ever played during summer’s heat, you understand how important this feature is.
The Easton Elite X leg guards are quite comfortable to wear. The extra-wide knee was designed to give additional blocking and explosiveness during motions. This will improve your performance while also giving you greater freedom to move around.
The Elite X chest protector provides incredible flexibility thanks to its form-fitting design. To improve rebound control and restrict baseballs from going too far, more memory foam has been added to the abdomen area.
The Elite X series has been designed to be lighter and more efficient than its predecessors since catching requires a high level of agility. This allows you to move around more easily, gather foul balls, and, ideally, pop up to catch base stealers.
This Easton Elite X gear set is expected to be the finest series Easton has ever created. It’s not only light and comfortable, but it also offers the maximum protection a Catcher need behind the plate.
The All-Star Classic Pro Catcher’s Set is designed to give all professional baseball catchers the best protection possible. A NOCSAE standard helmet with one of the hardest ABS plastic shells is included in this gear set to give excellent impact protection.
As a catcher, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times, thus this helmet incorporates an I-BAR steel cage to guarantee exceptional field vision. A breathable 3D mesh lining improves airflow and comfort.
The NOCSAE-certified chest protector’s wedge-shaped abs protect the chest from high-speed ball hits. The dual-density foam inside provides comfort and impact protection, while strap retention bridges on the backplate ensure a snug fit.
Internal moldable protection plates are implanted into vulnerable locations such as the collarbone, sternum, and neck to keep these parts protected.
The leg guards provide increased shin protection while the Ultracool technology allows heat to escape, keeping you cool and dry as you play. The Ripple knee design provides additional protection and flexibility.
The All-Star adult pro catcher set, although being one of the lightest on the market, features the most extensive protection and custom-sizing mechanisms. With its revolutionary features, you’ll be able to take your game to the next level right away. This adult set is recommended for players 16 years old or above.
The 5 Best Youth Catchers Gear
Youth catchers require high-quality equipment to keep them safe behind the plate since the last thing they want to worry about is equipment failure at a key moment.
For a new baseball catcher, the youth catcher sets are great options. They include everything your child needs to play securely and save you a lot of time and effort looking for three different components.
Additionally, they are less expensive than purchasing each item separately. Here is a list of the best youth catcher set you can get for your child.
Wilson’s EZ Gear Catcher’s equipment is made with the latest cutting-edge materials and technology to keep the younger player safe behind the plate.
This gear set’s helmet consists of a high-quality ABS shell that provides complete head protection. The helmet’s strategically placed vents allow air to circulate freely to keep the player cool while playing.
With the QuickChange one-time adjustable system, players can adjust their protective gear once and forget about it. Because it’s so simple to put on and take off, the youngsters can do it themselves in no time, and the straps stay in place without any effort.
The chest guard protects and shields the chest from potentially fatal chest injuries that can be caused by a high-speed ball strike.
The sturdy shin guards of this Wilson EZ set, cover the entire leg from the thighs to the foot. This ensures that no part of the leg is at risk of injury while playing. The leg guard’s adjustable non-tangle Velcro straps provide the correct fit and function, so you don’t have to worry about the kid’s ability to move around behind the plate.
Catchers’ equipment should be both comfortable and safe because they have to spend so much time on the field. Wilson designed this high-quality, performance-tested EZ gear catcher’s protection kit with this in mind. Children aged 5-7 can wear small and medium sizes, while children aged 7 to 12 can wear Large and X-Large sizes.
Easton’s second-generation Black Magic gear set is perfect for young or junior catchers. It has a lightweight ABS shell helmet with a steel cage for increased visibility and a dual-density foam lining for improved shock absorption and a secure fit.
A foam-padded chest shield protects against the impact of a fast-hit ball. It also has a Velcro closing attachment system that makes it simple to put on and take off. The double-back adjustment mechanism provides a custom fit to make it ideal for young players.
Leg guards with a double knee design and protective PE shin plates are included in this catcher’s set to protect the legs from severe impact. It also has a Lock-down closing system that makes putting it on and taking it off a breeze.
Easton’s Black Magic 2.0 youth gear set is great for protecting your little catcher’s body. Because it provides a comfortable and snug fit, this gear set is an excellent choice for young-level catchers ages 9-12.
Rawlings Renegade Youth Catcher’s Set surpassed its competitors with its NOCSAE certified gear. A high-strength impact-resistant helmet is included to keep players safe behind the plate while also maximizing visibility.
A chest protector with patent-pending Arc Reactor Core technology combines the shock-absorbing polyurethane foam with an arch-constructed polymer plate to disperse powerful impact. The chest protector has a Velcro strap adjustment system and breaks in the pad system for a comfortable fit and unrestricted motion. It also meets the commotio cordis criteria of the NOCSAE.
Leg protection is provided by the lightweight Leg Guards. For further coverage and protection, the knees are reinforced with a triple knee structure.
Rawlings Renegade Series NOCSAE Youth Catcher’s Set is designed to provide a perfect fit for baseball players under the age of 12.
UA Pro 4 series catcher’s gear set includes an impact-resistant ABS plastic helmet. The vision system of this helmet provides a greater field of view since its steel cage has flattened I-bars instead of round ones.
The helmet has breathable and removable padding so you can easily wash all the inner padding to get rid of sweat and stink. This feature is very useful for teams who share helmets.
The Chest Protector of this Series meets the NOCSAE Chest Protector Standard. It comes with a fully adjustable shoulder cap that provides complete shoulder protection. The professional-grade fabrics provide optimal protection while being lightweight and breathable.
Plastic inserts in the neck, sternum, and shoulders effectively dispersed impact energy and the AEGIS Shield Kills Odors. A flat chest design controls ball rebound direction, and a four-point adjustable Harness provides a unique fit.
The UA Pro 4 Series Leg Guards contain high-impact PE plastic components in high-use areas with extra thick material to improve protection. The AEGIS Shield and large vent holes in the shin promote ventilation and comfort.
Shin and knee pads are repositionable and machine washable, and the Neoprene straps ensure a superb fit.
UA Pro 4 youth catchers set is designed for young catchers between the ages of 9 and 12.
The Easton Gametime Catcher’s Set has everything a top-tier catcher needs, including a streamlined catcher’s mask for a solid, locked-in fit. This helmet has an ABS plastic shell that complies with NOCSAE standards at all levels of play. It also comes with a steel face mask that provides decent protection without obstructing your vision.
The Gametime Elite chest protector is created with multi-layers of advanced foams that can handle rebounds and shield the entire chest region for the best protection. The carefully placed vents on the chest protector increased comfort and breathability.
The triple knee design of the Gametime Elite leg guards protects the knees both in and out of a squat.
The Gametime series is ideal for catchers of all levels since it is less expensive than some of the more costly sets, allowing parents of young catchers to get a high-quality set of equipment for their child at a fair price.
Catchers Gear Buying Guide
A catcher gear set includes a helmet, leg guards, and chest protectors. To buy the right gear set, it is necessary to know about the quality, sizing, and protection the gear will provide. To make things easier for you, we’ve described what you should look for when purchasing a complete set for catching.
The first step toward safety as a catcher is to choose a helmet that is right for you. A baseball helmet should completely protect your face, scalp, and back of your neck, as well as a section of your throat.
An excellent baseball catcher’s helmet has internal padding around the forehead, jaw, and temples, ventilation holes in the shell, and a sturdy face mask that protects the face without obstructing visibility.
Baseball helmets come in two styles: traditional 2-piece helmets and modern hockey-style helmets. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and which style is ideal for you will be determined by your preferences as well as your league’s regulations.
Traditional helmet is a basic helmet with padding on the forehead and around the jaw area. In most higher-level competitions, many seasoned pro catchers choose these helmets because they provide a better field of view and more ventilation. It also allows players to quickly remove the mask to chase down a fly foul ball because it is light and easy to throw. They are more affordable too.
However, traditional masks only cover and protect the head and face to a limited extent. They are not as protective as hockey masks.
Hockey-style catcher’s helmets, on the other hand, give full cranial coverage, with greater protection around the face, ears, and eyes. They also extend past the jaw, offering neck and throat protection. The nicest part about these masks is that they remain in place very well and do not slide around when you need to spring up quickly or make fast moves.
But they do have some disadvantages too. They tend to limit a catcher’s peripheral vision and might be difficult to remove quickly when attempting to grab a foul ball. Because of the complex technology and materials utilized, they are more expensive than traditional helmets.
Most youth baseball leagues now require players to wear a hockey-style helmet. These top-of-the-line catcher’s helmets offer additional protection for a young player’s head against potential injuries.
For advanced catchers, however, these technology and design components may be unneeded.
Size and Fit
Although some manufacturers also provide big and small sizes, the baseball helmet is normally offered in two sizes: one for adult catcher’s gear and one for youth catcher’s gear. Small is for players under the age of 12, while big is for players age 13 or above.
Catching is one of the most dangerous positions in baseball and catchers are at high risk of having a chest injury. To completely cover and protect the upper body from strong collisions at the plate, chest protectors are necessary. Chest protectors can protect many sensitive areas, including the collarbones, ribs, and most importantly, the heart.
When choosing chest protection for catchers, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, it must be lightweight and capable of absorbing the energy delivered by a hitting ball.
Secondly, the baseball chest protector comes with removable groin protectors that are attached with Velcro straps or snaps and can easily be added or removed. These groin protectors are not required for high school or higher-level baseball players, and they can instead use a cup. However, most youth leagues require the use of a groin protector.
The wings or shoulder pads are attached to the main chest protector through Velcro straps or snaps and are usually detachable and adjustable to provide the greatest possible protection. If you don’t have this added protection, a foul tip can impact your shoulder and cause significant muscle or bone injury.
Extra padding on the throat, collarbones, and shoulders is another ideal characteristic to look for in a chest protector, as it provides more protection and coverage in these sensitive areas.
According to a 2020 rule change for NOCSAE Catcher’s Gear Certification, high school or college players are obliged to wear NOCSAE certified chest protectors to play at a catcher’s position. It ensures that chest protectors have excellent quality and capacity to limit the danger of commotio cordis, deadly heart injury produced by a forceful strike to the heart area, which the catchers are vulnerable to. NOCSAE approved chest protectors include a substantial amount of cushioning in the upper center of the chest protector to absorb and disperse impact to different parts of the chest protector away from the heart.
For youth and little league catcher’s equipment, NOCSAE certification is not essential.
Size and Fit
The chest protectors are available in three sizes: youth, intermediate, and adult.
The youth category includes children aged 9 to 12, the intermediate category includes children aged 12 to 15, and the adult category includes players aged 16 and above.
Leg guards protect a baseball catcher’s knees, shins, legs, and ankles from missed pitches, plate hits, and abrasions.
For greater protection and a snug fit, higher-end shin guards offer lightweight, moisture-wicking, breathable, and impact-absorbing interior padding, as well as sturdy, durable, and matte-fiber exteriors.
Furthermore, knee savers are soft foams affixed to the backs of your shins that help to relieve stress on your knees when crunching. Knee savers are highly useful for athletes recovering from knee problems. It’s also a good idea to get a pair with additional foot and ankle support.
Size and Fit
The leg guard comes in three sizes: youth (for ages 9 to 12), intermediate (for ages 12 to 15), and adult (for ages 16 or above).
Baseball leg guards are available with different measurements for both children and adults, but they all include adjustable straps that wrap around the backs of the legs to keep them in place and offer a secure fit.
While trying them on, make fast movements to check that the guards don’t slip and stay in place comfortably. They should be snug around your legs but not too tight.
How to figure out what size of catcher’s gear you need?
The most critical aspect of purchasing catcher’s equipment is to ensure that it fits properly. You have to carefully measure your body parts to acquire the correct size of every piece of equipment.
To get the correct size for your catcher’s helmet, just measure the circumference of your head using a cotton measuring tape.
- Chest protector
To choose the length for a chest protector, measure the distance right from your collar bone to your navel (or wherever you want your chest protection to end) to determine your optimal size. A chest protector’s length is measured in inches.
- Leg Guards
To make sure you get the right size of your shin guards, you’ll need to measure your leg size from the middle of your knee to the ankle bone.
Furthermore, manufacturers also provide sizing charts and recommendations that contain the range of ages appropriate for each size, which is helpful if you need extra assistance deciding your size, so look at these charts and recommendations as well.
A catcher is one of the most important players in baseball, yet he is also the most vulnerable to injury due to the fast-moving baseballs. Investing in the proper catcher’s gear set is always a wise move.
The right catcher’s gear not only protects the player but also assisting them with their tasks behind the plate.
We hope that this article will help you choose the best catcher’s equipment for your next game.