TheGoalNet Posted June 13, 2017 Share Posted June 13, 2017 Vaughn V6 2200 C&A - Jimmy Howard Game Worn Pro Stock Pros: Lightweight Flexibility Low Profile fit Protection (Pro Stock) Cons: Fit (May be specific to me) Attached arms Durability of Air Mesh arms I have never been more torn on a piece of equipment in my life. I can also safely say this unit is awesome and fully recommended. I understand why this is 1 of, if not the most popular, unit in the show. Although the V6 is not new, this review is relevant right now because a Pro Stock V6 2200 should be fairly close / kinda sorta similar to the new V7 XF unit available at retail. The upgrades to the V7 from the V6 are beefed up padding, while maintaining the lightweight. Those would be the main differences between retail V6 and a pro stock V6. I initially considered the V6 2200 a couple years ago when I was looking at a C&A. I ended up choosing a GNetik for 2 main reasons. I was more comfortable in the GNetik’s more traditional fit coming from a 590 and I had heard such a mixed bag about the arm padding in the standard retail 2200. After seeimg how many pros are in the V6 2200 or V7 XF, I knew the beefed up version of the unit was something worth trying. About 80% of the pros wearing a Vaughn C&A are in the V6 2200 or V7 XF. Given that Vaughn’s C&A market share is around 50% in the pros, this might be the most popular unit in professional hockey. The specs on the Howard unit are pretty basic. 2200 base model with XL Body with M Arms. The only mods are pro beef up kits in the shoulder floaters, elbow floaters, and arms. So why am I torn? The first time I put my Howard unit on with all of my gear, I was amazed at how light it felt on my body and the low profile fit. I felt like I wasn’t wearing anything. I was also amazed at how great the sightlines were with the 2200. The shoulder floaters are very low profile and it’s very easy to look down and see your feet, arms, etc during use. Although I am an old dog and my practice times are limited these days, I am constantly trying to work on head tracking as much as possible. The increased visibility with the 2200 has helped with this while tracking pucks into my pads or pants. I had absolutely no complaints about the sight lines my GNetik before using this unit, but wearing the Vaughn has completely opened my eyes to what’s possible. When someone asked me my initial thoughts on this unit, I equated this unit to working out in a UA style shirt for the first time. I never realized how uncomfortable and poorly functioning cotton was until I tried UA for the first time. Now the thought of wearing a cotton shirt for a run, under my hockey equipment, or golfing when its 90 degrees seems crazy to me. However, as much as I am obsessed with the weight and feel of this unit, I can never get it to stick to my body consistently during use. It just never quite stays where I want it to sit or it won’t stay in place at all. It’s sort of tough for me to knock the unit too much for this because it’s probably an issue unique to me, but I am reviewing my experience with the unit. That’s why I mention it. I tuck, use suspenders over the floaters, and use the loop on the C&A to anchor the unit to my pants. I like my C&A to be as snug as possible to my chest and stomach. On previous units, I have added a 3rd strap in the chest area or had the elastic stomach straps replaced with the nylon to get a more secure fit. To minimize the issues with the sliding, I experimented with a skate lace around the chest on this unit and that greatly improved my concern. The drawback of this trick is that it’s a pain to do before the skate and not a permanent solution. I noticed Jake Allen has a belt woven thru the stomach of his unit. I would assume this mod is done to keep the unit more snug to his body. One item that I am firm about not liking on this unit is the 1 piece arms. There are many times that I am moving in this unit or fully extend my arm to make a save and can feel my arm pull the body of the unit. This contributes to the body of unit not quite sitting where I like for long periods of time. This might sound sort of abstract, so let me put it into context. I got left out to dry the other night with a shooter in the slot and a another opposing player below the circles. I made a save off my right pad, the player below the circle grabbed the rebound, and took a step or two the post. Coming from the butterfly position, I lunged out and ended up in a Jonathan Quick like position for the 2nd shot. My stomach slid down toward the ice while my leg and arm really extended out toward the post. I made my best save of the night and robbed the shooter with my blocker. When I got up, the unit had slid out of place. I tried to fix it between whistles, but I could not get the unit back into place for the rest of the game. It was not so out of place that I had exposed body parts or anything. It just gets out of place and then slides around in my pants throughout the rest of the skate. This is the one draw back of the engineered thinner padding and low profile design. Again, this might be a unique experience to how my body is shaped in conjunction with how tight I like the torso portion of my C&A, but it’s part of my experience. I have tried on a standard XL V7 a couple times at Total Hockey and the long arms do semi reduce this issue, but it still doesn’t go away. If I simulate extending my arm quickly, it still tugs at the torso. While we are on the arms, the air mesh is also something that does not seem to hold up well long term. My unit arrived with about 8 rips in the air mesh arms. I don’t know the age of the unit or many hours of pucks this has logged, so I can’t speak to the durability of a new unit and how long it was last. This is still clearly something to watch and care for if you buy one. Fortunately, this was an easy fix and I sewed it myself. One of the biggest general concerns among the detractors with the 2200 has been the arm and bicep protection. With this prostock unit having pro beef up kit, I have never had that issue. I regularly skate with shooters from Junior, D1, D3, and Ex Minor Pros. I have taken some good shots and never gotten bad stinger or anything to complain about. The weightless feel and amazing flexibility in the arms of this unit is setting a new industry standard. It really feels like there is nothing on my arms during play and it’s awesome. The 2200 is definitely less beefy than my GNetik, but I haven’t felt major sacrifice in the protection. I can safely recommend the pro stock version of the V6 / V7 to anyone at any level. In summary, I believe this unit will be remembered as a turning point for C&A design and materials, like the Smart Strap was strapping. Vaughn put their competitors on notice by combining a new level of flexibility, weight reduction, and protection that has not been seen in combination before. I cannot say it’s perfect for me because of my fit issues, but I can definitely recommend this unit. I think if you like to wear your unit any looser than I wear mine or you go over your pants, you will love this. This unit meets my new seal of approval - #NetWorthy Moving forward, I am still not sure not sure if I am keeping this or sticking my with GNetik. Please don't get the misconception the GNetik is a dog, because it's far from it!!! As you may have noticed on social media, I think that Brian’s make the most underrated C&As in the industry. If you want over the top protection, a traditional feel, and very mobile arms, the GNetik is your best bet at retail. The decision for me is just preference on the design philosophy of the unit. As I mentioned earlier, I am extremely torn right now. I am a big believer in not replacing gear for the sake of it and this Vaughn unit is not perfect for me. . . But I just love the weightless feeling I have in it. I would call the V6 2200 Pro Stock the first truly “Next Gen” C&A on the market. I cannot decide if I want to mod the shit out this and try to make it work or just acknowledge that this is an awesome unit, but it’s just not quite for me. Disclaimer: If anyone is secretly wondering if I want to make this Vaughn unit work because I got it for free, think again! I paid for this with my own money to create website content. I had no idea I would love the unit this much. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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