Questions to Ask When Selecting Hockey Pants
Mobility - If mobility is your major factor in buying ice pants then you will have to give some on the protection side. The more padding and features that are added to the pant the less mobile it can become. Generally the least expensive pants will offer the most interior room and the greatest mobility. Top level pant designs are allowing for more mobility then in previous years, however, they will still carry more bulk than the least expensive pants.
Padding - The pads which you want to focus on when looking at ice pants are the thighs, tailbone, kidneys and spine. The thigh pads should be preformed so they fit around the thigh and not stick out which can restrict your movement. The tailbone should have a preformed PE insert to protect you from nasty falls. The kidney pads should be preformed also so they wrap around your waist to keep the pant close. The spinal protection will protect you from crosschecks and awkward collisions with the boards.
Features - Additional features that you will want to look for are; a padded belt, a double belt system, zippers on the inner thigh, and segmented thigh pads. The belt is an important factor in the fit and comfort of the pant. Some ice pants come with a double belt system which holds the pant in place better. You will also want to look at getting a pant with a padded belt. The area where the belt wraps does not have much padding so adding some padding around that same area will give you some added protection. The zippers allow you to put your skates on first then your pants. Segmented thigh pads allow for a wider range of motion and less restriction.
Liner - The most important factor with the liner in an ice pant is the type of material. There is no protection factor in the liner so you want one that offers comfort. Higher end ice pants will offer a more durable better feeling material. Some manufactures also use a silicon grip print to lock the pant in place and help stop it from twisting. Antimicrobial liners are becoming more widely used. These liners are treated to stop the growth of bacteria which cause that awful smell and cause skin irritations.
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