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2011 Sly Pro-Merc gear Front player Arm pads, Bounce Shirt, and Knee Pads

#1 User is offline   Pirate 

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 03:01 PM

So, I literally just unboxed these an hour ago. As such, this first post will be a preliminary review, based solely on construction and feel. I will update it later (next weekend?) after I actually play a game in them.

First thoughts:
Pro-Merc Bounce Shirt: I was never one for the padded undershirts. They always felt weird to me. Either really hot, difficult to move in, pointless (no real padding) or a combination thereof. As soon as I slipped on the Sly Pro-Merc Bounce shirt, I noticed it was different. I've worn padded shirts from Proto, Empire, and Dye. The problem I had with them is that the front padding is all one pad. The Sly shirt is different. There is the main chest pad and a smaller pad centered over the belly button (at least on me). This allows freer movement.

Pro-Merc Front Player Elbow Pads: I ordered the L/XL size (I ordered this size for all three items). I don't know if Sly makes Large and Extra Large sizes separately, because my gear all says 'XL', where ANSGear.com had the Large/XL size together. This is only an issue with the elbow pads for me though. Up until the elbow, the XL fits perfect. At the elbow, it seems a little big. Maybe that's just Sly telling me I need to be lifting more weights (which is true). Maybe that's just how it's supposed to be. Sly's design of putting multiple, smaller pads instead of one solid pad again allow for freer movement. My Eclipse and Empire pads always fought me when I would turn my wrist, they just didn't feel right. The Sly's have no problem. The padding is shaped to twist with your wrist as you move. I also like the Velcro strap at the top to keep them in place (combined with the thumb hole/half glove, these don't seem like they'll move too much).

Pro-Merc Knee Bounce Pad: This is the one that covers both your knee and your shin (since I wear a kilt, I wanted my legs covered). The padding placement seems a little odd. At the knee, most of the padding seems focused on the inside of the knee. I may try to switch them later and see if they can be worn on the opposite leg (yes, I do have them on right :P). I really like the dual Velcro bands, one above and one below the knee. My Empire pads (from 07 or 08) only had a small Velcro piece to tighten, and relied on a sticky gel band to hold it in place. That didn't usually work, and felt pretty awesome pulling down on my hair legs. The Sly's are superior here. The Velcro "Power Bands" are on the outside of the pad (both for the Elbow and Knee pads). These pads are also shaped to allow free and easier movement (which is Sly's main goal). They fit quite snugly (again, wearing the Large/XL size), where my Empire pads never did.

Based on first reactions, and experience with other companies pads, the Sly pads seem like a great investment ($49.95 per unit on ANSGear.com. The price is comparable to most other 2011 pads, even some of the 2010 pads still in stock. They also look really good. The run a Black and Grey color scheme which will match just about anyone's gear (if you are like me and your pads will be visible). I won't really recommend them until I play a few games and see the quality (which appears very good. Nice, tight stitching all around).

But so far, I can definitely say I recommend them.

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#2 User is offline   Eskimo 

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 03:07 PM

sweet. cant wait for the pictures.

edit: I wonder if SLY would do a purple version? Black/Purple

oh BTW i just purchased the Sly Profit mask, Awesome.

This post has been edited by Eskimo: 26 March 2011 - 04:10 PM

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 04:42 PM

Oh yeah, the Profit is a sweet mask. CptObvious has one, and I tried it on. If I get a new mask, it'll be that one (either all black or Ice Pick so I can paint it.
I'm thinking next year we might approach them for sponsorship. And I'll definitely ask. I'll have pictures up in a bit.

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#4 User is offline   Eskimo 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:04 PM

I have the all black, Ask sly if they will do one with the metallic purple on the hard platic parts. twould be sick. and to ask whats the worst they could say? no.
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#5 User is offline   Benaiah 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 03:07 PM

Have the profit and love it as well. Nice Review.
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#6 User is offline   Legato 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:49 PM

View PostPirate, on 27 March 2011 - 06:42 PM, said:

Oh yeah, the Profit is a sweet mask. CptObvious has one, and I tried it on. If I get a new mask, it'll be that one (either all black or Ice Pick so I can paint it.
I'm thinking next year we might approach them for sponsorship. And I'll definitely ask. I'll have pictures up in a bit.


I would LOVE an Ice Pick Sly Mask. They look SICK! Or the Tangerine, so i get the random bright Orange rim around the lens. I really like how Slys look, but i keep hearing complaints about people not being able to hear well in em. How well can Capt hear with em?
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#7 User is offline   Eskimo 

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 10:37 AM

You dont notice it at all. its a soft cushion on your ear, after 2 minutes you get used to it after 5 minutes you can hear everything fine.

its like wearing a pair of earbuds on a low setting, you dont notice how quiet it is until you look at the volume, then your like
"huh...could have sworn it was louder..."

people are like " I can't HEEEAR!" well no crap, turn your earbuds down to a resonable level and you self adjust after a minute.

This post has been edited by Eskimo: 29 March 2011 - 10:37 AM

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#8 User is offline   Pirate 

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:28 PM

Well, I finally got a chance to use and abuse these at EMR's Castle Conquest.

The Good.
I had no problem with them sliding around. Well, the arm pad would slide a little bit right after I put it on, but after that it stayed in place. I had no issues with the knee pads sliding around, which has always been an issue for me. They are also really light weight. Partially because you don't have the same amount of overall padding, but that's a nice touch when you're playing those long scenarios or any time you play when it's hot out.

The Bad.
That same padding that makes it lighter, also leaves you open to hitting the top of your shin on some rocks while assaulting wall 4 >.> Also, the spandex body isn't the greatest when you're cutting through the woods. Small twigs catch and pick at it. My arm pads have a few spots where this happened. Didn't really look at my knee pads much.

Final verdict? Meh.
They're great if you wear them UNDER your paintball pants and jersey I bet. I have a big ol' bruise/scrape right below my knee where the pads just didn't... have padding. In pants, it would have been okay, but with the kilt and these pads being my only knee/shin protection, they are lacking. They also were picked at easily by branches (I don't even think they were briars, just small twigs). I can't really say they're bad, because I'm 95% sure Sly never meant for them to be worn like I wear them (as an outer layer). They're definitely more comfortable than other pads I've worn, but I just can't say the same for their durability.


My job is to be an asshole. I excel at the position.
We put our glass to the sky and lift up. And live tonight 'cause you can't take it with ya. So raise a pint for the people that aren't with us. And live tonight 'cause you can't take it with ya...
Austin Michelle Cloyd, Forever in my heart. We love you, Ayesha! Rest in Peace Tyler Hackett
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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:13 AM

Another update.

After the second day of using them, one of the pads on my knee/shin has started to tear off and the picking at the material on both sets continues.

These definitely can't stand up to being work outside of gear, because I haven't even been playing as hard as usual. I would look elsewhere for pads, especially if you wear yours as an outside layer.

My job is to be an asshole. I excel at the position.
We put our glass to the sky and lift up. And live tonight 'cause you can't take it with ya. So raise a pint for the people that aren't with us. And live tonight 'cause you can't take it with ya...
Austin Michelle Cloyd, Forever in my heart. We love you, Ayesha! Rest in Peace Tyler Hackett
Rest in Peace, Dave Brockie! Cam Cam #83
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#10 User is offline   CptObvious 

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 02:41 PM

View PostLegato, on 29 March 2011 - 12:49 AM, said:

I would LOVE an Ice Pick Sly Mask. They look SICK! Or the Tangerine, so i get the random bright Orange rim around the lens. I really like how Slys look, but i keep hearing complaints about people not being able to hear well in em. How well can Capt hear with em?


The problem isn't hearing, at least you hearing other people. Because the Profit fits so snugly, people find it hard to hear or understand you even when you are yelling at the top of your lungs. I hope they redesign it in such a way that it still fits the way it does, but allows you to be heard.
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