For catchers, Easton represents one of the more popular and most commonly used pieces of equipment. In fact I would venture to say that if you head to your local park, you’ll see numerous pieces of Easton gear like bats, gloves, and of course catcher’s equipment. If you watch professional baseball however, you’ll also notice that you rarely see any catchers using this gear.
>> Read More: Part 1 – Easton Full Sets
>> Read More: Part 2 – Easton Chest Protectors
>> Read More: Part 3 – Easton Leg Guards
>> Read More: Part 4 – Easton Masks
>> Read More: Part 5 – Easton Catchers Mitts
One of the main reasons for this is that Easton doesn’t actively sponsor professional players so it’s quite a rarity to see in the professional leagues. That being said for some of other larger amateur tournaments like the Little League World Series, you’ll see it used all over the place.
So what makes Easton so popular? You can always guarantee that when you receive an Easton product that you will be well protected, but still remain incredibly mobile so you can play the position in the best way possible. They also offer a wide variety of different models so you can almost always equip yourself for any type of player you are. For instance if you are a competitive player, they have a set like the Mako. On the other hand if you just want a nice set that doesn’t break the bank than the Easton M7 might be exactly what you are after.
This page outlines our favorite full sets, chest protectors, leg guards, masks, and mitts and has been updated in time for the 2017 baseball season.
In terms of full sets of gear, there are two that seem to stick out as head and shoulders above the rest in terms of both quality, and popularity: the Mako, and the M7.
Mako – For competitive catchers
The brand new Mako series promises to make you the best catcher possible. As you’ll see below, the Mako catchers gear sets have many advanced features such as a form fitting design and increased protection to cover more area than before.
- Pros: Better fit and increased protection
- Target: Competitive Catchers
- Sizes: Adult, Intermediate, and Youth
- Colors: Black, Navy, Royal, and Red
- Price: $300- $350
The Mako series has many features to make catchers excited. Starting with the helmet, you’ll enjoy the specialized ventilation ports that have been added for more comfort. For those who like to throw their masks off quickly, the rear cap has been improved to allow for a quicker removal.
For the leg guards, catchers will really like the conic knee cap that has been added. This knee cap contains extra padding and more comfort than you’ve worn before. With a better fit to surround the entire leg, you’ll barely feel these leg guards as you run to make plays and catch fly balls in foul territory.
Lastly, the Mako chest protector features a comfortable asymmetric design to allow you to perform your duties like catching, blocking, and throwing. This chest protector has also been newly designed to have a stretchable material to allow for incredible mobility.
M7 (Best bang for your buck)
The M7 is actually a brand new series introduced for the 2016 baseball season! It replaces the Natural series that was incredibly popular for so many years. If you are looking for an inexpensive set of gear but don’t trust the lower tier brand names, then the Easton M7 series might be exactly what you need. It is quite rare to find a quality set of gear from this company for under $150 but we believe that this one is a true steal.
- Pros: Inexpensive but from a high quality brand
- Target: Beginner to Intermediate
- Sizes: Adult, Intermediate, Youth, and Junior Youth
- Colors: Black, Navy, Royal, Red, Green and Silver
- Price: $130-$150
Although the M7 series isn’t as high quality as the Mako series, it is less than half the price in difference. But what do you get for this lower cost? First and foremost, the M7 helmet is quite a steal as it features a full ABS shell to keep your head protected at all times, and also has 18 vents to keep you cool throughout the entire game. After all nothing is worse than having sweat rolling down your face in critical situations.
The leg guards offered in the M7 set are also quite a find. They feature a triple knee design which is quite rare for a set costing this little. The triple knee design allows for a catcher to remain protected around the knee area at all times whether standing or in the regular crouch position. Finally, although not advanced, the M7 chest protector still offers numerous layers of protection aimed at reducing hard to reach rebounds, but still allowing the catcher to feel as comfortable as possible. Overall this is a great set for the amount you’ll pay.
Top Chest Protectors
As mentioned on our Chest Protectors there are several important things to look for in a chest protector including its fit, how much padding is included, and the overall mobility it still provides. After all as you can imagine, running around with extra weight on you isn’t that easy! In terms of Easton we feel that the Mako, and M10 make very strong choices.
Mako Chest Protector
The newest and greatest chest protector offered by Easton is the Mako series. Made for Adult, Youth and Intermediate sizes, this chest protector should blow you away with all of its advanced features.
As soon as you put this over your shoulders, you’ll quickly notice a nice tight snug fit that has been designed to fit your body perfectly. This enhances your ability to block, catch and throw out runners with never before seen arm movement. The shock absorbent foam that has been included is some of the best Easton has ever added and allows for baseball to essentially stop in place. Furthermore for additional comfort, newer ventilation holes have been added to keep your body cool under pressure.
- Availability: Adult (17 inches), Intermediate (15 inches), and Youth (13 inches)
- Colors: Black, Navy, Red, and Royal
M10 Chest Proector
For competitive catchers, nothing beats the quality and durability of the Easton M10 chest protector. The main feature of this particular Easton chest protector is the better ventilation system that has been added. Using multiple layers of sweat reducing foam you’ll be able to keep yourself dry as much as possible (even on those hotter summer days).
Another great aspect of the M10 series is the great rebound control it provides. Using newly designed memory foam in the abdomen area (called ZERO SHOCK by Easton), you should instantly notice an improvement in your capability to keep balls closer when they bounce against your chest. With over the shoulder protection and a 3-point adjustment system, a catcher can have a secure tight body-fitting chest protector allowing them to move with ease.
- Availability: Adult (16.5 inch), Intermediate (14.5 inch), and Youth (12.5 inch) sizes.
- Colors: Black, Black/Orange, Black/Silver, Green, Navy Blue, Navy Blue/Red, Red, Royal, Silver, Maroon or Purple.
Our next section takes a look at two sets of leg guards which both offer a high level of protection and stability to allow you to move around when needed. Let’s face it leg guards aren’t the easiest or most comfortable things in the world. Like the chest protectors above, the Mako and M10 series seem to be a step ahead of the other offerings.
Mako Shin Guards
One of the top choices for the 2017 season, Easton has put out the highly anticipated Mako catchers gear which includes a pair of high performance leg guards. Designed to match and mimic the shape of the human body, you’ll quickly notice that the Mako leg guards feature unparalleled comfort and mobility.
Protection wise, a brand new conic knee cap has been added which contains even more padding than other models to ensure your safety. Another great feature that has been added to the Mako shin guards is what Easton has called Sling Tech ventilation. This brand new ventilation system promises to provide more comfort and coolness throughout a game as strategically places channels have been added between the leg guards and your actual shin.
- Adult (17 inches), Intermediate (14 inches), and Youth (12.75 inches)
- Colors: Black, Navy, Red, and Royal
The M10 version of leg guards are a perfect choice for a catcher as they offer exceptional protection while providing a great fit. From the top of the knees all the way to the bottom of the toes, the design of the M10 series are perfect to help alleviate stress injuries.
These leg guards feature Easton’s brand new TRUBLOCK shaping that provide additional stability both in and out of the crouching position. On the interior, the M10 series features additional protection using memory foam for consistent comfort and superior protection. Although a bit pricey, they are perfect for competitive level catchers.
- Available in Adult (17 inch), Intermediate (14 inch), and Youth (12.75 inch) sizes
- Colors: Black/Silver, Navy/Silver, Royal/Silver, and Red/Silver.
For the next part of our Easton catchers gear reviews we look at arguably the most important piece to a catcher – the mask. As mentioned in our Helmets section, there are several things to think about when it comes to head protection including the amount of padding, if it has approval by some of the top governing bodies like NOCSAE, and how much your can see the field. After all, you can be very well protected but if you can’t see the field then you can’t be expected to make any great plays. For Easton selection, we think the Mako (once again) and the Stealth are the best options.
One of the more important skills a catcher can have is the ability to quickly pop off his mask in an instant to throw out a potential base theif. This is one feature that the Easton Mako catchers helmet excels at. Using a brand new designed rear cap, you’ll be able to get your helmet off quicker and easier than ever before.
Although that feature is quite incredible, there are several others that should be discussed. Protection wise, the cage has been designed to withstand just about anything. With the head area being so important, it is safe to say that this helmet will allow you to catch without fear of safety. Lastly to ensure you are comfortable at all times (especially in the summer heat), the Mako helmet comes with 18 strategically placed vents for moisture control and to allow cool air to enter and hot air to leave.
- Available in Large (7- 7-7/8″), and Small (6-1/8– 7″)
- Colors: Black, Navy, Red, and Royal
The premier helmet offered by Easton is the Stealth Speed series that meets all NOCSAE standards of compliance. With a full ventilated ABS shell, the Stealth Speed is almost certain to never break or crack and will protect your head better than most other masks out there.
On the interior of the mask, Easton has added removable padding throughout the head and chin area to provide even more comfort. With a lightweight full steel cage and a nice rubber finish, it is hard to beat! Another great feature that most catcher’s like is the amount of field vision it provides. No longer worry about missing that runner taking off for second!
- Available in only Adult (7″ – 7 3/4″) sizes
- Colors: Black, Navy, Red, and Royal
Last but certainly not least is a look at the various Easton catchers mitts that are available. To be completely honest, Easton does not really specialize in this area. Most catchers (and position players for that matter) prefer to go with gloves from Rawlings, or Wilson as they are more specialized in that area. That being said, Easton still offers are a couple of nice options if you want the full look. They include the ECG Core Series, and the EPG Pro Series.
Best Value – ECG Core Series
The Core series of mitts if one of the top choices made by Easton for 2017. This section specifically looks at the ECG 2 catcher’s mitt and how it will benefit those of you who station yourselves behind home plate. Made with professional grade USA-tanned steerhide, the Core series gloves are not only strong and durable, but are also as soft as any glove you may have ever worn.
The ECG 2 Core Series has done a great job of creating a pocket size that will win over any level of catcher (i.e. not too big and not too small). This 34.5” mitt also features an extended palm for an even greater level of protection. For even more durability, the laces (made from the same high grade leather) have been strength tested to ensure you are getting a glove that can meet the demands of the position.
Competitive Mitt – EPG Pro Series
Although more expensive that the Core Series, the Pro Series catcher’s mitt has a lot to offer for the more competitive catchers that are out there. The first great thing about this mitt is the high quality leather that is used. Using SETO leather, which is some of the best US steerhide made, the mitt is as strong and tough as it looks. Despite its strength, it also features professional grade cowhide lining to allow for unmatched softness but still withstand all the rigors that come with the position.
To ensure that you are convinced about how strong this mitt is, Easton has done quite a bit of advanced testing. Using a tensile strength of 100lbs, the EPG Pro Series withstood it proving that it not only looks great but is also one of the tougher professional level mitts available. With a strong backing like Easton offers, this mitt should be a true winner on the field!