I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but I LOVE my chest protector. It’s the lower end of the Wilson hard shell line, known as the Wilson Charcoal (although its more of a battleship than charcoal color). I bought it used on Craigslist for $40, and I’ve used it 100’s of times. Really comfortable and very protective. I recetly bought a used Wilson Gold that I use occassionally, but I feel very protected in my Charcoal and it’s much more comfortable.
The CP is advertised as being suitable for “up to varsity level” – the Gold and the Platinum are known as the ones the pro’s use. Someone recently published the chart below over on umpire-empire, and it shows that 5 Major League umpires use my little Wilson Charcoal as their primary CP. I have a whole new level of respect, and now will REALLY recommend it to any ump just starting out!
And no, I don’t wear the bicep pads.