The quality of your catching gear goes a long way in determining your success on the diamond. Select low-quality catcher’s gear and you will find blocking baseballs behind the plate to be quite difficult and possibly even painful. This is not to say you should shell out thousands of dollars for brand new catcher’s gear from the top names in the business.
Rather, you should find a happy medium between price and quality, choosing catcher’s gear that will keep you well-protected and set the stage for you to maximize your potential behind the plate.
Let’s take a look at the best catcher’s sets of 2021 along with other important details that will help you play to the best of your ability in the season ahead.
The Best Catcher's Sets of 2021
If you or your parent, coach or other go-to source for baseball knowledge swear by Easton products, you will likely find this catcher’s set more than satisfactory. Built similar to the Easton Natural catchers equipment, the Under Armour Victory Catcher’s Set is designed with youth players in mind.
The set is highlighted by shoulder pads that can be adjusted to the size of the catcher in question. In fact, the set even has comprehensive upper body protection to boot. Take a close look at the gear and you will find foam protective inserts within the shoulders, throat and sternum areas, ensuring you or your little one can crouch behind home plate in full confidence.
Add in the fact that this gear provides a customized fit and it is even more appealing. Give the AEGIS Microbe Shield a try and you will find it combats the buildup of moisture and bacteria while simultaneously enhancing comfort. This is precisely what you need to avoid a situation down the line where you hesitate to don your catchers gear due to the harsh smell.
If that weren’t enough, the gear set is highlighted by a protective ABS style shell within the helmet along with a state of the art I-BAR Vision mask, providing an expansive view of the diamond highlighted by extensive peripheral vision. Give the gear set a try for yourself and you will agree it is worthy of high marks as it facilitate mobility, doesn’t bust your budget and is lightweight enough to keep you cool and comfy behind the plate.
- For kids age 7-9
- This includes protective helmet, chest protector, shin guards, and throat guard
- SEI certified chest protector and meets the NOCSAE Commotion Cordis Standard
- SEI certified protective helmet and meeting NOCSAE helmet standard
- Shin guards have additional knee and shin padding for comfort
This gear set is the perfect blend between affordability and quality. The set can be custom fit for yourself or the youth player in your family. This customization is possible thanks to the chest protector’s back adjustment. Adjust this feature as necessary and you will find the chest protector fits both the smallest and largest players on your team. The alternative is to move forward with non-customizable catchers gear that inevitably flaps around while moving, ultimately inhibiting catcher movement. Additional merits of this catcher’s gear set include:
- Sturdy ABD shell and chest plate, layered along the interior with protective foam padding. This padding really does prevent considerable pain resulting from a wild pitch.
- Catchers far and wide praise the gear’s venting system, designed to keep them cool when behind the plate during the dog days of summer.
- The steel mask is uber-strong and designed to stand the test of time
All-Star is revered as one of the top names in the baseball equipment industry. Give this catcher’s set a try and you will agree All-Star is worthy of the praise. This is a high-quality catcher’s gear set as evidenced by its comparably high cost. Whether you are looking for a youth, intermediate or adult catcher’s set, All-Star has got you covered.
This adult set features a chest protector, leg guards and helmet. The NOCSAE approved helmet fits heads that measure 7-7.5 hat sizes. Furthermore, the mask looks uber-cool as it is hockey style. As long as you are 16 years of age or older, you will find this mask is suitable.
The light weight and ergonomically proper design really does make it that much easier to crouch behind home plate for extended periods of time. In fact, some MLB players wear this exact same gear.
Strap on the mask for yourself and you will find the I Bar Vision steel cage provides an expansive view range that ultimately make it that much easier to track down fly balls.
The chest piece is expansive yet light in weight and breathable. The knee pads and shin pads are as ergonomic as it gets. To top it all off, the gear sets is highlighted by internal moldable plates that protect the sternum, collarbone and throat.
- The System 7 catcher's kit include a catcher's mask, shin guards and a chest protector.
- The helmet has an I-BAR VISION steel cage, an impact resistant ABS plastic shell with increased forehead thickness, a backplate designed to keep the snaps on, and a breathable 3D mesh padding liner.
- The System 7 chest protector is the only one that has wedge shaped abs, which helps knock a ball straight down when blocking.
The Easton Elite X Series is widely regarded as a welcome step up from the revered Easton M10 that has been popular for years. The Easton Elite X series catchers equipment set is ideal for catchers who play at a competitive level. Highlighted by a series of advanced features, the gear is often considered the best made by Easton. Ask anyone who uses the Elite X series about its merits and you will be inundated with praise. This catchers gear has been carefully designed to be light in weight and stand the test of time.
Strap on the gear for yourself, chase down some foul balls and you will find mobility is easier than expected. The chest protector features a form fitting construction that permits extensive mobility, and no interference with your throwing arm. The ab area features additional memory foam with enhanced rebound control to stop baseballs from getting too far away. The set’s helmet has a flat bar in the middle for enhanced visibility.
This is a NOCSAE approved helmet with multiple vents sure to keep you nice and comfy even on those blazing hot summer days.
Add in the fact that the gear feels comfortable and you have all the more reason to buy it for yourself or the baseball player in your family. Of particular importance is the comfort of the knee portion of the leg guard. This part is particularly wide to permit extensive blocking while also empowering catchers to make explosive movements.
- Includes protective Helmet, knee and shin guards and a chest protector
This junior catcher’s set is widely praised as one of the best on the market. If you have a baseball player in your family between the ages of six and eight, opt for this set and you will not be disappointed.
Furthermore, there is also a youth model created with those between the ages of nine and twelve in mind. The set’s helmet is hockey style. There is an ABS shell for maximum protection. The helmet’s internal liner is comprised of dual-density foam for the optimal fit and ample shock absorption. This way, if a baseball hits your child’s head while he is playing catcher, they will be safe and sound. Furthermore, the set’s helmet adheres to the NOCSAE standard.
The set’s chest protector is comprised of a comprehensive foam padding system that safeguards players against the impact of baseballs and softballs. Complete with Velcro closures that permit quick and easy removal of the chest protector, the equipment can be adjusted with a basic mechanism, ensuring your little baseball player can obtain a comfy fit right away.
The set’s leg guards have a PE shin plate along with a nifty double-knee design that has garnered praise from those at the MLB level. Furthermore, the leg guards are built with a quick and easy on/off system to facilitate use. In short, this set rivals those sold by industry titans such as Rawlings and Wilson.
- Perfect for the youth or beginner catcher.
- Includes a Hockey style ABS shell helmet with steel cage and dual-density foam
- Chest protector with foam padding for protection
- Leg guards with double knee protection
If you play the position of catcher at a competitive adult level, you will find the All Star Pro Custom series exceeds your expectations. This is a remarkably light set that provides ample protection along with the option of size customization. This way, you can share your gear with fellow catchers on your team or in your family. Go ahead and adjust the different components of the set with your unique comfort preference in mind and you will find it fits exactly as you desire.
Add in the fact that the set features niceties such as chest protector wraparound sides and you have all the more reason to use it while behind the plate. The set’s chest protector is wedge style in the front, deadening baseballs and softballs at the point of impact. This is the perfect design for those who struggle to control rebounds on inaccurate pitches.
The set’s helmet is the MVP2400. This is hands-down one of the strongest helmets around. Aside from a sturdy build, this helmet also provides an extensive field of vision to boot. The legs are protected by the LG21WPRO shin protectors, highlighted by superior ventilation. While many other leg guards render catchers slightly exposed when crouching, this set’s leg guards guarantee comprehensive protection at all times.
- High quality baseball and softball catching equipment
- Comfortable and durable
- Streamlined design
If you are in the market for affordable catching equipment for a youth baseball player between the ages of six and eight, the Wilson EZ Gear Kit is certainly worthy of consideration. Though this kit is not exactly new, it is quite popular. Featuring ample padding to protect Little League players, this equipment gives the youth baseball/softball catcher in your family the confidence necessary to play this demanding position.
Players love the kit’s EZ QuickChange technology complete with hooks and straps that facilitate rapid equipment changes. Adjust the equipment to your preferred fit and it will maintain this shape. The only thing you have to do is clip it on or off as necessary. This design is convenient, especially for newbie catchers who don’t have experience putting catchers gear on and subsequently removing it to bat.
The helmet adheres to NOCSAE standards, largely because of its glossy ABS shell. Furthermore, the helmet’s ventilated design keeps the head area quite cool. Add in the fact that the chest guard is designed with shoulder caps that can be removed as desired and you have all the more reason to don this catching gear while behind the plate.
- Built with QuickChange technology for easy on-and-off in ten seconds or less.
- It comes complete with a helmet, chest protector and leg guards.
- This kit is perfect for the youth ball player.
If you are on the prowl for youth catcher’s gear for a player who is comparably large, look no further than the Mizuno Samurai set. Mizuno’s baseball gloves are revered yet the company also deserves credit for making strides in its catching gear. Featuring a straightforward and delightfully simple design, this catcher’s set is receiving rave reviews.
In particular, catchers heap on the praise for the Mizuno Samurai’s comfort and performance. The helmet features three-layer EVA foam padding that safeguards the head without sacrificing comfort. The equipment’s designers positioned ventilation openings in just the right positions to optimize airflow. The rigid steel mask is sure to hold steady against foul tips.
The set’s shin guards are highlighted by the Triple Knee Cup design as well as Mizuno’s patented K-Pad for optimal comfort and mobility. The chest protector features Low Rebound Foam padding that minimizes the impact of wild pitches and foul balls. This padding has been carefully textured to ensure the ball does not bounce far away from the catcher. This catching equipment set is available in your choice of eight colors, one of which is sure to match your team’s colors.
- Made with high-quality materials and full of innovative design details
- Samurai gear is highly durable and made for high-performance and protection without compromising comfort
- The Samurai Chest Protector is constructed with a Low Rebound Foam with a specially designed grippy surface to help keep balls in front of you.
- Shin Guards feature Mizuno's patented K-Pad and a Triple Knee Cup construction for superior comfort and knee protection.
- The Samurai Catcher's helmet is designed with a strategic ventilation system, 3-layer EVA foam padding, and a strong steel mask.
When it comes to sporting goods, few names carry as much weight as Wilson. Wilson gear is revered far and wide for its reliability and value. Give the company’s C1K catcher’s gear a try and you will agree it is nearly flawless. Each component of the kit has a glossy, eye-catching finish. The set’s helmet has a chin pad that absorbs moisture, helping to prevent sweat that interferes with vision and performance.
High-density, uber-thick foam padding is used within the leg and chest protectors, making it that much easier to absorb impact. Such protection is quite strong yet is built to be light in weight to maximize catcher mobility. You will have no complaints with these washable and removable knee pads.
- The C1K™ Catcher's Gear is designed for durability and sturdiness, but built with MLB® Pro style and feel in mind.
- Kit Includes: Catcher's Helmet, Chest Protector and Leg Guards
- Chest Protector: High-density foam padding for ultimate comfort and protection; Removable shoulder caps for increased mobility; Over-the-shoulder adjustable harness; Precision, angled pad design to help block the ball straight down.
- Leg Guards: Inner knee pad protects knees, removable for washing; Overlapping thigh pieces for maximum protection; Lightweight premium grade ABS plastic; Adjustable metal buckles for easy on/off and snug fit
When it comes to affordable catching equipment, few sets compare to the Rawlings Renegade 2.0. This economical set is used by catchers of varying skill levels. The gear is well-built, designed to hold strong amidst demanding play behind the plate. The Renegade chest protector is created with Arc Reactor Core technology that greatly enhances catcher protection. Highlighted by an arched plate build along with memory foam that proves impact resistant, this protector will keep you nice and safe while catching fastballs behind the plate.
The Renegade helmet’s glossy exterior ensures you look nice and crisp while playing the most important position on the diamond. Add in the fact that the helmet has a chin pad that controls moisture and you have all the more reason to choose this catcher’s gear set.
- Features a CoolFlo hockey-style catcher's helmet, lightweight leg guards, and a redesigned chest protector for unmatched protection and comfort.
- CoolFlo catcher's helmet provides optimal ventilation to help keep you cool behind the plate.
- High strength, impact resistant cage keeps you protected from even the hardest of pitches
- Comes with a 17" redesigned chest protector, which is engineered with our Arc Reactor Core technology. This revolutionary tech is patent-pending, and is comprised of an arched polymer plate with impact absorbing memory foam padding to disperse forceful impacts and dampen ball rebounds.
What to Look for in Catcher’s Gear Sets
Do not purchase an entire catcher’s gear set until you are absolutely certain it is the right size, price point and safe . In general, catchers gear sets are available as either intermediate level sets, adult level sets or youth level sets. The youth level catchers gear set is ideal for catchers younger than the age of 10. The adult level set is ideal for players age 15 on up. The intermediate level set is typically designed for players between the ages of 10 and 15.
Even if your Little League team or other squad has a catcher’s gear set, you should still buy your own. After all, most used Little League catcher’s equipment is old, odorous, uncomfortable and cheaply-made. You need and deserve your own high-quality catcher’s gear set.
The set you select should be highlighted by easy adjustability. You should be able to put on and remove the catcher’s gear without extensive delay. This way, when it is your turn to bat, you won’t have to spend an egregiously long amount of time taking off the catching gear nor will you have to take up a considerable amount of time putting the gear back on when it is time to resume your position behind the plate. Truly elite catchers gear sets are designed with such ease of use squarely in mind, ensuring a near seamless transition between catching and batting.
Components of Catcher’s Gear
The basic components of catching gear are as follows: Helmet, chest protector, mitt and leg guards. However, there is also some optional gear. Some catchers prefer a mask as opposed to a helmet. Certain catchers add a skull cap to their mask. Don’t forget about the all-important cup. You should wear a cup every single time you catch, regardless of whether it is a baseball game or a fastpitch softball game.
How to Size Yourself or Your Child for Catcher’s Gear
Sizing for catcher’s gear is easier than most anticipate. Whether you are planning on catching in a traditional baseball game or a fastpitch softball game, you will need properly sized equipment. Your unique size ultimately dictates the model and version of catching gear that is optimal for you. In terms of leg guards, size has the potential to make the difference between a deep bruise or broken bone and ample protection that helps you remain unharmed while playing behind the plate for an entire season.
You can determine the leg guard size you need by measuring from the top of your ankle to the middle part of your knee. Match this measurement length in inches to the models available. As an example, leg guards are commonly sized in single unit increments such as 13 or 14. Furthermore, the mask size is particularly important. After all, the majority of the game will be spent crouched behind the dish. If your mask is too large or uncomfortable in another manner, it will lead to neck stiffness. Furthermore, there is even the chance that the helmet you select will lead to significant injuries as the season progresses. Use measuring tape to gauge the circumference of your head. This measurement should take place above the ears. Alternatively, you can use the size of your fitted baseball cap. Use this length to find the corresponding size of a catcher’s mask. However, it is worth noting that sizing might differ between regular head gear for catchers and goalie style catching masks.
In terms of chest protector sizing, measurement is in inches. The number of inches indicates the space between the belly button and the bottom of the throat. Pinpointing the perfect size for you or your child can be done with basic measuring tape. Most kids who play tee ball are typically sized for a 10-inch or 11-inch chest protector. The average adult catcher requires a chest protector with 15-inch or 16-inch sizing.
The catching chest protector and helmet you select should be approved by the NOCSAE. NOCSAE is an acronym that is short for the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. In fact, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) made NOCSAE approval a requirement earlier this year. Every single high school baseball catcher is required to wear a NOCSAE approved helmet and chest protector. Double-check the catcher’s gear you have in mind prior to forking over your hard-earned money to ensure it has the NOCSAE stamp of approval.
Perform your due diligence, check out the top catcher’s gear for yourself and get a sense of the many different options on the market. Once you have seen these items for yourself and possibly even tried a few on, you will be able to make a well-educated decision as to which catcher’s gear is best for you. Do not stop searching until you find a catcher’s mitt and protective gear that provide extensive protection while empowering you to be mobile. Find catcher’s gear with the perfect balance between mobility, protection and functionality and you will be well-prepared for a full season behind the plate.