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Maltese GPS Combo


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There is probably already a thread for this and there are certainly other reviews out there, but I just got my new Maltese GPS Combo and thought I’d throw up a quick review.

Previous neck guards: In my very short goaltending career, I’ve gone through 3 Vaughn units - VPC 7000, VPC 8000, and XF Pro Carbon. Of the three, the XF was my go-to as it is the lightest and has the lowest collar height. The 8000 collar is soft and light but its mega-hot and was felt like it was choking me. The 7000 felt very similar to the XF but is taller and interfered with my head movement. Frankly, I could have stuck with the XF and been fine, but I read so many wonderful reviews of the Maltese unit and I wanted to give myself max protection in that area. Without belaboring the point, I have tried danglers and they won’t work for me. I may try adding one back in soon, but not until I at least lock in a mask/neck combo that I am happy with.

Specs and Ordering: My unit is pretty basic - black with white graphics, 14” neck size, 1.5” collar height. No custom options. The “dip” is not available at 1.5” overall height otherwise I would have gotten that. Even still, its a made-to-order product with a delivery estimate of 6-8 weeks. I knew this going in, so I wasn’t too surprised to get no emails or updates (even if you check the order status on their site it just says “Processing”) until I got an alert from UPS that a package was on its way from Maltese in the 7th week since I ordered. No complaints here - they delivered exactly what they said when they said they would (10/10).

Initial Impressions: I’m going to be perfectly honest here - when I first opened the package and pulled the unit out of plastic (very well-packaged by the way), I said “Shit.” I am a bit weight-obsessed and it felt extremely heavy to me in my hands. On the scale, my unit weighs 213 grams compared to 126 grams for the XF Pro Carbon. Much more on this below. In terms of other initial impressions, the build quality was simply perfect. I do a lot of DIY and sewing so I was really impressed with the build materials and workmanship. The surge stitching looks really solid. Good quality hook-and-loop, too, which no one should take for granted. I was also pleasantly surprised by the graphics, a small, simple sublimated “Maltese” in the lower corner, as opposed to a larger graphic in the center (pictures below). I prefer this understated look. No bulky over-sewn embroidery. Another thing I wasn’t expecting, the Maltese gel is perforated, I assume to improve the weight and ventilation. Tried to take a picture below with the light shining through so you all can see the small holes. They are in the clavicle piece and the collar. 

Performance: I expected to be disappointed with my first skate due to the weight difference. I could not have been more wrong. First of all, the Maltese unit, especially in the clavicle area, feels like to conforms to your body shape. In comparison to the XF Pro and the VPC 7000, those units feel like a piece of stiff cardboard floating on top of your chest and it feels like it actually requires your C/A unit to hold it down. The Maltese unit (perhaps due to the weight) feels more like a shirt that keeps itself in place perfectly. Even though the collar piece is slightly thicker than the XF Pro, it also feels like it conforms better to my neck (although I wear it somewhat loosely) and definitely does not choke me at all. No interference with my mask (Sportmask Mage RS; also tried with a CCM Pro).

Out on the ice my concerns about the weight completely disappeared. In fact (and I know this is cliche) the unit felt like it disappeared completely. Even though a bit heavier, I think the significant improvement in comfort is due to a combination of better fit, more flexible material, better ventilation, and the “cool touch” properties of the Maltese gel. As most of you know, the impact of weight is also relative to the location of the additional weight. 100 additional grams at your chest will have a completely different perceived effect than 100 additional grams in your hands or your feet. MOI at work. I can 100% honestly say I experienced no negative change from ther additional weight and due to all the other factors I mentioned, I experienced an overall performance improvement, all things considered (10/10).

Protection: So it has actually been several months since I took a shot to the neck/clavicle area. But as you all know, somehow the puck always finds that new piece of gear. My very first skate, I took two hard shots to the clavicle area. The first was a straight-away slap shot from the top of the circle that impacted the Maltese unit directly. The second was a harder snap shot from a better player on a weird play where is glanced off my blocker and deflected to my neck, striking almost exactly the spot where the C/A and the Maltese unit meet. On the first one, I felt a general impact similar to any other part of my C/A. No pain. Second one I heard it and felt enough to know where I got hit, but no pain at all. In all honesty I don’t have much to compare these to since the prior times I took pucks to the neck, I was wearing a dangler only and no neck guard. All I can say is that I have had some fear/hesitation with other units not knowing if I’d be protected, now I have none. (10/10)

Overall: Maltese delivered exactly what I ordered, when they said it would be delivered, and the fit/finish and performance exceeded my expectations, even having read all the positive reviews out there on various websites. At this point, I give it an overall 10/10 and would strongly encourage anyone in the market for a neck protector to consider this unit. If you can wait the 6-8 months and can take a leap of faith on the weight, you will be rewarded. I plan to continue to skate with this unit and update the thread with my experiences.

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Nice write up - this unit is on my radar for my son, he has never been hurt near the neck area but like a mask not a region you want take any chances!

unfortunalty not approved for Minot hockey need to figure out how to circumvent the rules!

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6 minutes ago, Big2 said:

Nice write up - this unit is on my radar for my son, he has never been hurt near the neck area but like a mask not a region you want take any chances!

unfortunalty not approved for Minot hockey need to figure out how to circumvent the rules!

Come on its a Neck guard.  Do the refs really go around looking at the neck guard of every child on the ice?

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Happened once and he was wearing his CCM my son was given a hard time by the ref - I had to go and explain that the unit he was wearing was legal and certified . Imagine a ref who was unable to make out the certificate stamped onto his unit!

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9 minutes ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

I used to wear a cut off turtleneck in high school to make the refs think I had a neck guard on.  I never even got an odd look from a ref.

The Felix Potvin look! LOL. I used to wear a black mock turtleneck under my Potvin jersey to emulate him as a kid.. haha

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23 hours ago, Big2 said:

Nice write up - this unit is on my radar for my son, he has never been hurt near the neck area but like a mask not a region you want take any chances!

unfortunalty not approved for Minot hockey need to figure out how to circumvent the rules!

Just got one of these:

https://www.aegisimpact.com/technology/interceptor-g/

Made with D30, and Canadian Hockey approved and alot cheaper then the Maltease

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23 hours ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

Come on its a Neck guard.  Do the refs really go around looking at the neck guard of every child on the ice?

In Canada Yes they do. The same reason they check helmets too. Hockey Canada is very strict with safety rules in minor hockey.

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8 minutes ago, Big2 said:

Snowman thank you very much - this is the reason I love this site!

I will ty to find a local dealer that has it in stock - its seems to be a Canadian product!!

Yeap they are based out of Hamilton,Ontario. If you can't find one, you can order off the site:

https://www.aegisimpact.com/product/interceptor-goalie/

I got mine the next day after I ordered it, I think free shipping is still on too. It's says Pre Order still but they told me they are ready to ship as I questioned it when I was ready to order. After being through 4 or 5 different brands I'm very happy with this one. Just have wait 2 weeks for hockey start up.

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1 hour ago, Snowman30 said:

Yeap they are based out of Hamilton,Ontario. If you can't find one, you can order off the site:

https://www.aegisimpact.com/product/interceptor-goalie/

I got mine the next day after I ordered it, I think free shipping is still on too. It's says Pre Order still but they told me they are ready to ship as I questioned it when I was ready to order. After being through 4 or 5 different brands I'm very happy with this one. Just have wait 2 weeks for hockey start up.

@Snowman30 are you able to weigh yours by any chance? I emailed Aegis asking for the weights of the two sizes for comparison purposes.

I had a pickup session this morning with my Maltese - more of the same, very happy with the fit and feel. No shots to that area to report though. One issue I did notice was that some exposed Velcro on my C/A around my shoulder area (my XF Pro Carbon C/A uses velcro to attach the back plate to the shoulder floaters) caused some scuffing of the shirt flap part. I’ll try to take a picture. Doesn’t look like its any significant issue, but I thought I’d note it.

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3 hours ago, Snowman30 said:

Just got one of these:

https://www.aegisimpact.com/technology/interceptor-g/

Made with D30, and Canadian Hockey approved and alot cheaper then the Maltease

Can you start a new thread on this and take some images of your actual unit? maybe even on?

The marketing photos you sent before left me with a bunch of questions. The company never contacted me 

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2 hours ago, TheGoalNet said:

Can you start a new thread on this and take some images of your actual unit? maybe even on?

The marketing photos you sent before left me with a bunch of questions. The company never contacted me 

Will do. I was waiting for hockey season to start and work to slow down. I got this a month ago and haven't even had the time to sit down and do this for you. I know you had asked me for one.

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19 hours ago, TheGoalNet said:

@Punisher Goalie - Does the neck portion stick to your neck and move with you or stay in place and your neck moves inside the unit?

I wear mine pretty loose (Velcro all the way to the end) so my experience may be different, but mine stays in place and my neck moves inside. I prefer it this way. The Vaughn VPC 8000 that I have has a soft foam that is meant to hug neck and I really didn’t like it.

Other thing is that my C/A with suspenders on top keeps the whole unit from moving very much at all.

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2 hours ago, Punisher Goalie said:

I wear mine pretty loose (Velcro all the way to the end) so my experience may be different, but mine stays in place and my neck moves inside. I prefer it this way. The Vaughn VPC 8000 that I have has a soft foam that is meant to hug neck and I really didn’t like it.

Other thing is that my C/A with suspenders on top keeps the whole unit from moving very much at all.

Do you think it could move with you?

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2 minutes ago, TheGoalNet said:

Do you think it could move with you?

If I understand what you mean then I think the answer is yes. The material surrounding the Maltese gel is all elastic and I think that if you wore the collar tighter to the neck (ie velcro pulled more) it would move with you like a turtle neck shirt collar.

Is that what you mean?

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32 minutes ago, Punisher Goalie said:

If I understand what you mean then I think the answer is yes. The material surrounding the Maltese gel is all elastic and I think that if you wore the collar tighter to the neck (ie velcro pulled more) it would move with you like a turtle neck shirt collar.

Is that what you mean?

Yes. I want the opposite of what you have going. I want to feel the unit securely against my neck and fit like a turtleneck. 

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