How good is Louisville gear?

Louisville, the company who produces arguably the most well known baseball bat in the Slugger, is also responsible for the TPX catchers gear line. Built for all levels of catcher from youth to adult, Louisville has used their great brand presence to provide great gear at an affordable price. Many catchers will often opt for the more popular brands like All Star, Easton and Mizuno but you shouldn’t underestimate what you will receive when going with Louisville.

>> Read More: Part 1 – Louisville TPX Full Sets
>> Read More: Part 2 – Louisville Chest Protectors
>> Read More: Part 3 – Louisville Leg Guards
>> Read More: Part 4 – Louisville Masks

The Louisville brand has been in existence for over 120 years and according to their website they have produced well over 100,000,000 bats which is absolutely crazy. Although they were known only for their wooden bats for many years, over more recent years they have begun to create equipment outside of their bats including the aforementioned catchers gear, helmet and batting gloves. Although they are still developing and refining their equipment, their line of catcher’s equipment seem to be getting better and better. Their Series 5 & 7 lines (as shown in the next sections) are quite popular and are huge improvements from their early models.

Full Sets

We’ll start our look at Louisville gear by taking a closer look at the full sets they offer. After all, it is much easier to just pick up a full set than an individual piece of gear. Plus most manufacturers offer a discount when you pick up all the equipment needed at once. The sets we take a look at include the Series 5 and 7 along with the older TPX Omaha series.

Series 5 and 7

If Louisville is your favorite brand, or if you are intrigued but what they offer, the top set available for the 2017 baseball season will more than likely be the Series 7 for adult sizes, or Series 5 intermediate and youth sizes. Although these sets are quite similar, there is a couple of additional differences bettwen the Series 5 and 7 but we’ve combined them into one for the purpose of this review. These sets come in many different colors and pack incredible value for the price you pay. Based on durability alone, you should be able to use this equipment for many seasons making back your money and more.

tpx catchers gear

Quick Hits:

  • Pros: Better priced than most, durable
  • Target: Intermediate / Almost competitive
  • Sizes: Adult (Series 7), Intermediate (Series 5), and Youth (Series 5)
  • Colors: Black/Grey, Black/Orange, Black/Scarlet, Dark Green/Black, Navy/Scarlet, Royal/Grey, or Scarlet/Grey
  • Price: $140 – $250

There are many different things to get excited about when looking at either the Series 5 or 7. Although the adult set is slightly more expensive at $250, the Intermediate and Youth Series 5 sets can be had for under $160 at most locations. When you look at the helmet first, one of the coolest features it has is the moisture controlling chin pad that has been built in. As you know, playing catcher can be difficult and cause quite a bit of sweat. Having an advanced chin pad to assist in this moisture management is a huge asset. There is only a slight difference between the Series 7 and 5 masks. The Series 7 set for adults features a matte finish, while the Series 5 set uses a glossy finish. To be honest…this is more of an aesthetic feature.

The leg guards themselves have been built to anatomically match the shape of your leg and shin area. This fit essentially allows you to move around without even noticing the leg guards holding you back. So when you have to chase down fly balls, cover the bases or anything else that requires running, you shouldn’t even notice that this protection surrounding your legs. The main different between the Series 7 and Series 5 is that the Series 7 includes a triple knee design for increased protection, while the Series 5 uses a double knee design. The double knee design is quite common.

Finally, the chest protector is an over the shoulder design that provides an exceptional fit and better mobility. In the case of the Series 7 chest protector, the use of memory foam padding has been added to the interior to provide better blocking capabilities. Although not as great as the memory foam, the Series 5 chest protector also includes high density foam for tremendous protection.

TPX Omaha

The easiest way to get all you need for behind the plate is with a complete set of TPX Gear. Consistently positively reviewed by catchers worldwide, the Omaha TPX provides highly protective and comfortable head gear, chest protections, and leg guards. One of the main advantages you have as a consumer is that when you add up what it costs to buy each piece of equipment individually, it will more than likely be higher than the price offered for a full set.

louisville catchers gear

Quick Hits:

  • Pros: Comfortable, Lower Cost
  • Target: Recreational to somewhat Competitive
  • Sizes: Intermediate and Youth
  • Colors: Black, Navy, Scarlet, and Royal
  • Price: $130- $150

It is quite difficult to find a full catcher set for under $150, but that is exactly what the Louisville TPX Omaha series provides. Many people often decide to forget about Louisville when looking for new sets, but if you are looking to spend a little less this summer then you should give a closer look into the Omaha. It certainly won’t blow you away with advanced features, but it is great functional gear that should be all that most regular catchers will need.

Obviously the two most important items to anything a catcher wears is how much protection it provides and how well it allows you to perform. For the price, I think the Omaha does a great job at this.

The mask itself has many of the same features you’d find in more expensive equipment. It meets all NOCSAE standards and provides a great view of the entire field. After all one of the more important things related to being a catcher is the ability to watch over the entire field at all times so you don’t miss any important defensive shifts, or runners leading off too much.

The traditional pro-styled chest protector and leg guards promise to keep you well protected and comfortable as well. The leg guards themselves feature a double knee design which is quite standard in for most good equipment you’ll find. This double knee design does a great job of covering the knee area while keeping you mobile and comfortable while in the crouch position. Lastly, the chest protector itself includes multiple layers of lightweight foam and can provide a custom fit with the velcro straps and removable shoulder and groin attachments.

  • Adult Sizes: Mask (7″ – 7 5/8″), Chest Protector (17″), Leg Guards (16″)
  • Intermediate Sizes: Mask (6 1/4″ – 7″), Chest Protector (15″), Leg Guards (14″)
  • Youth Sizes: Mask (6 1/4″ – 7″), Chest Protector (13″), Leg Guards (13″)

As you can see from above, Louisville TPX Catchers gear is perfect for those looking for a medium to high level of quality but at a fantastic price.

Chest Protector

Although there are not many options, what we have noticed so far is that a Louisville chest protector should represent a nice blend of quality and affordability to meet a catcher’s needs. Although many other brands have more advanced equipment, if you need something that is efficient without over spending then the options we present below might be perfect for you. For instance the regular Omaha chest protector below can be acquired for under $50 (in some places even cheaper). In contrast, most other brands start at upwards of $80 for a single sized adult protection. Louisville itself has been around baseball circles for a long time and has a great idea of what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to player safety, performance and comfort. For chest protection we present the Omaha and the Pulse as the top options.

Omaha

For less than a $50 dollar bill, a catcher can own the Omaha chest protector which is available in a wide variety of colors. This chest protector is built using solid foam to provide a sufficient amount of protection, but still remains lightweight and easy to move around when wearing it.

louisville chest protector

This is extremely important when you have to chase down fly balls! To provide an even better fit and comfort level, the TPX Omaha OCP features adjustable shoulder caps which coincidentally can also be removed if required. It also uses a side adjustable Velcro strap to further ensure it stays in place and blocks the full body area at all times.

  • Availability: Adult (17 inches), and Intermediate (15 inches) sizes.
  • Colors:Black, Navy, Royal, Silver, and Scarlet.

TPX Pulse

One of the more popular version of chest protection made by Louisville over the past few years was the Pulse series. This series had been upgraded quite a bit in the newer TPX Pulse version. Drawing inspiration from many top level college and MLB catchers, there is quite a lot to like about this one considering it too is quite inexpensive at around $65.




The TPX Pulse has been upgraded from the regular Pulse to include newer thicker memory foam style padding on the interior. This memory foam promises to excel at providing top level protection while keeping the gear lightweight so you can remain mobile. It also is much better than its predecessor when you need to block a wild pitch from escaping. From the specification sheet, it is mentioned that the ball is absorbed into your chest and in turn making sure that you the catcher is in control.
In terms of comfort and fit, the TPX Pulse uses an over the shoulder harness which offers a small level of custom fitting.

  • Availability: Adult (17 inches), and Intermediate (15 inches) sizes.
  • Colors: Black, Navy, Royal, Silver, and Scarlet.

If you are on a budget or are simply catcher who plays sparingly then we absolutely recommend any of the models above. We are not going to lie and say the quality is just as good as one made by Easton, but we do feel that any of these choices would make for a suitable alternative for those looking for good protection with some money left over.

Leg Guards

Similar to the reviews we provided in the chest protection section, we feel that the Omaha and TPX Pulse are the top choices when it comes to leg guards as well. To be honest, there are not many individual pieces to choose from as Louisville has put most of their resources into their Series 5 and 7 sets.

TPX Pulse

I’ll be honest when I look at the TPX Pulse leg guards, they screm quality. As you can see in the image to the left, they have a unique design that includes a tapered shin area. Although this sounds quite minor, it should provide for a much better fit which in turn then provides you with more mobility behind the plate. After all if you’ve ever worn clunky and thick feeling leg guards, you’ll grow an appreciation when you try on ones that fit perfectly and make it feel like they don’t even exist.

louisville leg guards

Most leg guards that you’ll find feature a double knee design. This is good as it provides more protection for when your legs are more exposed in the crouch position. The TPX Pulse model has gone a step further and includes a triple knee design. As you can imagine this should provide you with even better protection than you’ve ever had with a double-knee design.
Last but not least, the TPX Pulse legs include extra shin and knee cap padding so that highly used area grab the most focus for protection.

  • Available in Adult (16 inch), and Intermediate (14 inch) sizes
  • Colors: Black, Grey, Navy Blue, Royal Blue, and Scarlet Red.

Omaha

The Omaha series of leg guards were developed specifically to provide the right fit for the left and right legs. As opposed to making both legs look the same, the Omaha series provides a few additional curves to match the shape of your legs. What this does is provide a better fit, and allow you to feel more mobile. The Omaha leg guards also use highly resistant material made from plastic to surround the full shin area for increased protection. Although this isn’t the strongest plastic you’ll use, it does provide enough for most levels of catching.

louisville leg guards

This allows them to have reduced weight and maintain mobility without losing any protection. The OSG guards also have double knees, and a sandwich mesh padding to increase breath-ability. The high impact areas (shin and kneecap) are well covered with extra padding and cushions.

  • Available in Adult (16 inch), and Intermediate (14 inch) sizes
  • Colors: Black, Grey, Navy Blue, Royal Blue, and Scarlet Red.

Masks

Unfortunately there are no options currently available when it comes to Louisville masks other than those presented in the Series 5 and 7 above. However, should this change, this section will become filled with your options.

We hope you have enjoyed our look at the top options that Louisville offers to catchers. As we mentioned earlier they aren’t the most advanced but still offer a reliable product at a much lower price than others. We certainly wouldn’t have any hesitation using this gear.