Hi all, first equipment review here so please go easy on me =)
Thanks to Rod at TGC for answering so many of my questions and handling my many annoying phone calls.
I'm using the Reebok 18k TGC price spec full set in all white.
I came from a set of Vaughn 9400 pads + blocker and 7480 glove.
Here is a pic for reference.
The rest of my gear is as follows for reference:
Reebok 9k C/A
Reebok 11k pants
Reebok 6k Fleury Stick (27")
Bauer One80LE Skates
Bauer knee pads and jock
Simmons (Fusion) 9961 Mask
I have had this set for 2 weeks now, and used about 10 ice sessions. I have had 3 adult league games, 2 lessons, and the rest in stick sessions. As such I feel quite comfortable making a review of them.
After today (05/31/12) I have downgraded protection to 7.(Explanation on page 2)
Important and detailed information about protection here:
Durability: 7 (06/20/12) see link for comprehensive durability assessment
WOW! This is by far my favorite piece. It is a 590 model with the 60 degree break. It appears that TGC 18k's have an offset T placement. When I put on a non-offset 18k at my LHC and compared the closure, the offset T felt much more natural.
The closure of the glove came out of the box excellent, but I broke it in with the hot water method just to make sure it closes perfectly (and it does). Closure when put on the ice is great, although some pressure needs to be put on the glove to make the material stay tight to the ice.
The front thumb plastic piece is a big improvement over the Vaughn 7480 glove. It is concave so that any puck that hits that area is redirected into the pocket, whereas on the 7480, the convex angle of the front thumb plastic caused shots to bounce out of the glove.
Pop-outs are rare, I'm able to make catches I didn't think was possible. The only down-side of this glove is the protection level. It is slightly less than the 7480 (which I have suspicions are close to pro-palm level protection). The 7480 was a tank and I never felt a stinger. In the first game out in the 18k I got 2 stingers in warm-ups, but now as I have adjusted my catching a little bit, it seems to have gotten better.
The workmanship and stitching is good. It is a nice nylon chord that they used to lace together the glove, so I don't see it breaking on the outer edge of the glove after repeated uses along the ice. One thing to note, it appears that on the backside of the 1-piece cuff board, there is a slight depression in the foam that is probably from the injection mold used to create this foam piece. It doesn't affect performance or durability in any way I can tell.
Protection: 10 (As far as can tell)
Durability: 8.5 (06/20/12) see link for comprehensive durability review
Blocker is a blocker. NOT! I initially hesitated in trying Reebok blockers because I thought the side board was undersized compared to my 9400 (check out the side board on that thing!) When I got the blocker, I was pleasantly surprised - the side board on the 18k is actually quite large. In fact, it is perhaps bigger than the 9400 blocker side board.
The board curve is not quite as extreme as on the 9400, the 18k board is rather smooth curve instead of the kink in the 9400. This helped me a heck of a lot in rebound control.
The blocker is very protective. It has a velcro-ed in side pillow that protects the side of the hand and the thumb. There is an extra piece of index protection on the side that does not interfere with the stick. The front of the hand protection is standard. I have not taken a puck to the side of my index finger yet so I cannot comment, but the above mentioned protection seem sufficient.
Downside (also on catch glove): the material seem to have tiny pin prick holes on its surface, which I suspect to be made when the material was cut or moved around during assembly. They don't affect performance at all, but is a slight deduction in the workmanship department.
If I was to get a custom glove, I would move the board down the hand by an inch. I have had some pucks slip by, hitting me in the finger protection and just missing the board. This is probably because I use a 27" paddle on my stick.
Pad reviews continued...