Protective Clothing Reviews

This information is provided as a service to assist fencers when purchasing equipment. The views expressed represent the personal opinions of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Excalibur Community Fencing Club itself. Fencers are advised to research equipment purchases as widely as possible in order to make an informed choice.

Jackets

Leon Paul ‘Club’ 350N Jacket

This is a well-made jacket that has washed well and has been durable over the 15 months I have had it.  The main issue I have had with this jacket is the design of the cotton lining.  The lining is not secured into the hem of the sleeve, which means that epee bodywires tend to get tangled up in the lining.  The lining also takes longer to dry than the jacket itself.  Note that this jacket does not have a blade catcher in the collar.  Overall, this is a perfectly serviceable jacket, but the design of the lining is a source of irritation. – Anne

Leon Paul ‘Spartan’ 350N Jacket

This is a budget-level jacket, but good quality and has the additional extra added bonus of a double layer of fabric on the sword arm. There are no stretch panels in this jacket. The cuffs are fully-elasticised, and could be a bit annoying when using a bodywire. On the other hand, if the sleeves are a bit long the cuffs do stay in place so it doesn’t matter so much if the jacket is a bit big. Overall, this is an excellent value-for-money jacket and I would particularly recommend it to parents seeking a quality jacket for their child at a reasonable price. – Anne

Allstar ‘Lyon’ Jacket (Girls)

We purchased these for our young daughters. The jackets have proved durable and most satisfactory.  However, if you are considering this jacket, do check the size charts carefully as the jackets are a fitted style and there is not a lot of room for error.  We also found that despite our daughters being slim, the neck of the jacket was a little tight.  This is a good jacket for slim fencers seeking a streamlined style, and available in extra small sizes for children from around the age of six. – Anne

Plastrons

Leon Paul Economy FIE Plastron

This plastron has a double-layer of thick fabric and is fairly bulky.  However the thickness does seem to give added cushioning against bruises.  The sleeves are a bit longer than on some other plastrons.  – Anne.

I found that the stiffness and roughness of this plastron tended to rub my skin raw when I made the mistake of not wearing a T-shirt under it. – Steve.

Leon Paul Lightweight FIE Plastron

This plastron has an outside layer of kevlar-style fabric and an inner cotton lining. It is light and comfortable, and I am happy to recommend spending the extra for this product over the economy version. The cotton lining takes a while to dry. – Steve.

Allstar ‘Ecoline’ 350N Plastron

This is a good, basic plastron.  The adjustable neck strap is a very useful feature, especially for growing kids.  – Anne

Breeches

Leon Paul 350N Trackpants

I purchased these because I was fed up with leg bruises and could not see myself wearing breeches.  These are a well-made, good quality piece of kit.  The fabric is stretchy and lined with a comfortable lining.  Although they were expensive, they have been better value for me for me than breeches since I use the trackpants a lot more.  The trackpants offer significantly more protection than normal trackpants or fencing socks.  The downside is that the thick fabric makes the trackpants quite heavy and in the warmer months I tend to wear them only for epee.  If you are after leg protection, especially for epee, and don’t fancy wearing breeches, this product is worth considering. – Anne

Gloves

Leon Paul Intermediate Glove (G121)

This glove has artifical leather on the palms and back of hand, a decent amount of padding on the back of the hand, and stretchy fabric between and on the back of the fingers. The fabric is comfortable and more flexible, but less protective, than the leather. There is a special notch for a bodywire. This glove is good for growing kids as the stretchy fabric gives a bit of growing room. Having said that, you could get two basic Chinese-made gloves for the price of one of these! – Anne

Leon Paul Advanced Glove (G126)

This is a good quality all round artificial leather glove with a good compromise between comfort, flexibility and protection. – Steve

Leon Paul Advanced Sabre Glove (GS126)

As above, but with a cuff of lightweight lame. – Steve

Leon Paul Advanced HDF Glove (G128)

As the G126, but with a denser type of foam. This moves the compromise more towards protection, making it particularly suitable for sabre training. However, I prefer the G126 for foil and epee use. – Steve

Other

Leon Paul Men’s Chest Protector

After suffering a torn muscle in a foil competition, I invested in one of these and now wear it for both foil and epee. It felt a little awkward at first, but when properly adjusted it does not restrict my movement. I certainly notice the difference in discomfort and bruising levels if I forget to wear it, even at foil with three layers of 800N clothing. It has absorbed the impact of a broken blade from a full-blooded simultaneous lunge/fleche without me feeling any discomfort at all. – Steve

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