Vaughn Adds Kevlar to V6 Velocity Chest Protector
“The new 2014 Vaughn V6 Velocity is all about innovation, and nowhere have we used more of it than in the new 2200 chest-and-arm protector. In addition to the use of carbon fiber as a new material that we debuted through InGoal Magazine in the V6 2000 and 2200 pads and gloves to finally help goalies instead of always hurting them with player sticks, we took things a step further in this new chest protector by adding Kevlar!
“That’s right, the same ballistic protection used in bulletproof vests is now in the new Vaughn V6 2200 chest-and-arm, but the advancements go well beyond that. New molding processes allowed us to create more protective components out of high-density foams, while also reducing the weight by eliminating the need for heavier plastic inserts into the arm protection.
“And best of all, we’ve taken the mobility Vaughn chest protectors have always been known for to an entirely new level, creating a mix of protection, weight savings, flexibility and out-of-the-box break-in that has even the stingiest NHL goalies finally switching out of older Vaughn units.
“As goalies ourselves, we know you need a certain amount of security, and as guys like Cam Ward tried this new V6 Velocity 2200 chest protector, they were amazed at how we combined that into such a lightweight, extremely mobile package. And yet nobody felt naked in it.
“It really is a game changer when guys see the weight savings and comfort level and flexibility and protection – and it was all achieved through new technology, including some ideas I’ve been toying with for years. Some of them are pretty radical departures from the norm because we couldn’t use conventional construction methods. Every single piece, right down to the binding and thread, was chosen to get that balance just right.
“It’s so different we needed to create an entirely new line. The V6 2200 chest and arm may have some Velocity heritage in it as a little more tapered and streamlined unit, but we got real innovative with the technology used to make it because we know goalies demand and deserve nothing less.”
~ Mike Vaughn, President of Vaughn Custom Sports, The Goalie Company
The New Vaughn Velocity V6 2200 Chest Protector
Vaughn improved everything in its new V6 Velocity line for 2014 with the addition of carbon fiber, cutting weight and improving durability in the pads and gloves of both the V6 2000 and 2200 models.
They took things a step further with the new V6 Velocity chest-and-arm units, especially the totally rebuilt V6 2200 upper body.
In addition to including the Carbon Enhanced Performance features already outlined in earlier InGoal previews for the V6 2200 pads and gloves, and V6 2000 pads and gloves, Vaughn added the ballistic properties of Kevlar to the new V6 2200 chest protector.
That’s right, the same material used in bulletproof vests is in the new Vaughn chest protector. But unlike the bulletproof vests used in law enforcement, the V6 Velocity 2200 won’t leave bruises behind.
“We pushed the limits on material technology and design to get aggressive in creating a new product that has a complete new concept in how it provides protection,” Mike Vaughn said.
There is no plastic in protective areas of this entirely new model.
Vaughn is using new carbon fiber plates that are covered by thinner, ultra high-density foams in the protective blocks on the front of the new chest-and-arm unit, reducing weight and increasing protection while also thinning out the traditional blocks every goalie is familiar with. But they didn’t stop there, adding layers of Kevlar as well as varying protective and cushioning foams into the core of the chest pad behind those blocks to further reduce impact penetration.
This “ballistic package” is about one-third of what would be used to make a bulletproof vest, and consists of three layers of Kevlar sewn together into a layer of foam. Behind that combination is another layer of foam specially designed to absorb impact, and then another layer of “air foam” designed to hold an air gap for increased protection and comfort. Add it all up in the V6 2200 and you have what Vaughn calls “the most unique and protective chest pad they have ever built.”
Perhaps best of all for goalies everywhere, all this protection weighs in a full pound lighter than other chest protectors, but that 18 to 20 per cent reduction in weight actually feels a lot lighter than that.
“It’s a pound lighter, which is a lot on a unit that doesn’t weigh a lot to start with, but it’s more than that,” said Vaughn. “It’s how the weight is distributed that makes it feels like it is several pounds lighter.”
The lighter weight comes not only from thinner blocks on the chest, but in having no plastic anywhere but the back buckles – the first and only Vaughn chest-and-arm unit to make that claim. In addition to the use of carbon fiber in the chest, the arms blocks and elbow floaters are made of specially molded high-density foams, rather than the old combination of lower density foams with heavier plastic inserts.
“Take two ounces out of the forearm and you’ll notice it more than four ounces our of bicep or back pad,” Vaughn said. “The farther away weight is from your shoulders, the heavier it feels. We used new technology to keep the center of gravity up on shoulders.”
For the goalies selected to model the new V6 Velocity 2200 chest protector for InGoal Magazine’s photo shoots, the dramatically reduced weight provided an immediate “wow” factor. But their first impression also included a lot of praise for new the flex and feel out of the box, and a range of motion that promised reactive mobility.
Part of that ease of movement comes from arms encased in a mesh-based sleeve, which also cuts weight and increases ventilation.
The arms feature ultra high-density molded caps for more coverage and protection, with an extra layer of the same “zote” foam as the chest liner for more impact absorption. The bicep caps have added high-density components on the edges for even more coverage and protection, while the forearm cap is tapered down to the wrist.
The shoulder floaters on the V6 Velocity 2200 chest-and-arm unit are actually reminiscent of the V3 shoulders that remain popular in the NHL, with a segmented design instead of a solid block, but the size has been increased to more coverage. There is a removable layer of cushioning air foam that sits just behind the shoulder floaters, but with a layer of carbon fiber added to this section for more impact dispersal, it’s attached with Velcro so it can be adjusted, not removed.
“It could come out, and some goalies may take it out, but we set it up to be moveable so you can center it in the area you get hit the most based on the angle of your stance and crouch,” Vaughn said. “If we put all those layers of foams and carbon fiber into one package, it wouldn’t have provided the same level of impact dispersion and protection. The air gap helps increase the ‘duration of the event,’ which means it takes longer to travel through to the goalie and more kinetic energy is lost. It’s almost like a crumple zone in a car.”
The flap that extends out from under the shoulder floaters for more protection over the upper ribs is also easily moved (or removed) through a simple but sturdy Velcro attachment to the chest.
“Height and arm spans are pretty fixed in terms of proportions of the human body,” Vaughn said. “But body mass can vary widely, so this allows goalies of different shapes to adjust the protective flap.”
The large sternum plate also includes a carbon fiber layer, meaning two in total over the sternum – one in the base and another in the floating sternum plate – for additional impact dispersal.
The shoulders and floaters are easily adjusted with multiple Velcro attachments in the back, and the sides have been extended to both add protection and provide a slot for lower plastic buckles, ensuring they aren’t exposed to breakage caused by shot impact.
The elbow pads, which again are all high-density foam construction to save weight, also have four point adjustments for a precise fit. And the lower chest pad features a belly section that flexes forward easily when goalies drop and arch forward. Add it all up, and the V6 Velocity 2200 is not only an entirely new design, it provides an entirely new combination of protection, coverage and flexibility that had the InGoal models raving about the mobility right out of the box.
“Break-in is instant,” Vaughn said. “Goalies pick it up and go.”
Vaughn Velocity V6 2000 Chest Protector
It may feel a little stale in comparison to the technological advances just outlined for the all-new 2200, but the updated Velocity V6 2000 chest-and-arm provides a level of comfort and familiarity for longtime fans of Velocity chest protectors – plus a couple new advances.
Essentially a continuation of the immensely popular V5 Velocity 7800 unit in terms of fit and feel, the V6 Velocity 2000 uses a more traditional construction, with a series of laminated high- and low-density foams and thicker blocks on the chest pad.
The ballistic properties of carbon fiber are added in the sternum plate of the new V6 2000, and the elbows in the V6 2000 are the same as the V6 2200, using molded high-density foams instead of the old low-density foam and plastic insert combination. It provides significant weight savings that are noticeable so far down the arms.
Vaughn added special systems to mold the foams at the factory.
“When you mold HD material, to get it to where maximizes denseness you have to shock cool it inside the mold,” he said. “It makes the HD incredibly hard but with weight of foam rather than heavier plastic.”
Unlike the V6 2200 with its mesh-based sleeves, the V6 2000 chest protector has a quilted nylon sleeve that some goalies prefer.
“A nylon sleeve is a little firmer, with everything sewn in and anchored to it,” Vaughn said. “A lot of people like the feeling of that sleeve.”
Like the V6 2200, the V6 2000 forearms are tapered at the bottom, though unlike the 2000 they are made with plastic components.
“It narrows like a funnel, which allows it to bend and form around the goalie’s wrist, so it tapers into gloves,” Vaughn said.
Like the V6 2200, there are easily removable and adjustable flaps both under the shoulder floaters and atop the rib cage:
As well as the extended sides with protection for both goalie and the buckles at the bottom, ensuring neither breaks with puck impact:
And like every Velocity chest-and-arm before it, the V6 Velocity 2000 is carefully sized to ensure a precise fit, perfect balance and great feel designed to move ergonomically – and easily – with your body.
Below are more photos of both units, and don’t forget you can enter to win your choice of either in our Vaughn V6 contest here.
Vaughn Velocity V6 2200
Vaughn Velocity V6 2000 Chest Protector