Several weeks ago, the folks over at Elite Hockey sent Hockey World Blog basically their entire catalogue of base layer clothing, which includes a variety of compression and loose-fit shirts, pants and shorts in several different styles. The members of Hockey World Blog split up the clothing, choosing each a top and a bottom to review. This review will cover the Elite Hockey Compression Jock Pant.
Product: Compression Jock Pant
Design and Construction:
What makes Elite Hockey base layer products unique is the combination of charcoal bamboo fibers that are interknit with polyester and spandex to enhance strength, durability and stability even after numerous wash cycles. According to Elite Hockey, the bamboo component is a natural eco-sustainable resource that is thermo regulating, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-odor and hypo-allergenic. These characteristics of bamboo are permanent; they remain far after the competitors fabrications with wicking treatment are washed off
Like most of their clothing, the Compression Jock Pant comes in two different color styles: goldenrod/black and black/black. Loving the look and the contrast of the goldenrod/black combo, and to match my shirt from Elite, I stuck with the goldenrod/black color scheme. While there are hints of goldenrod along the waistband and down the side of the hip, I hate that Elite switched the color scheme and threw in areas of light gray along the inseam and to spell out the word “Elite” on the back right leg. As far as I can tell, there’s no reason for the color switch, and in my eyes it makes the design look a little clumsy.
The Compression Jock Pants feature true body fit construction and four-way flexibility to help the equipment form to the contours of your body, along with flatlock seam construction for reduced chafing and anti-snag sock tabs to help keep your hockey socks in place. The pants also come equipped with a pro-fit cup, which has cooling vents and flex sides for comfort.
In the past, I’ve typically not been a fan of compression-style clothing, mostly because I find it too tight and too cumbersome to wear. I can never find that happy medium where I’m comfortable in the clothes. I don’t find that to be true with the Elite Compression Jock Pants, however. The true body fit construction and the four-way flexibility help the pants fit better and form better to your shape. When I get out on the rink, I hardly notice that I’m wearing base layer pants because they aren’t intrusive or bulky in the least. It’s gotten to the point that I feel weird if I’m not wearing the pants while playing.
I was initially worried that the pants might be too tight, and thought about going a size larger just in case. But to really test the clothing, I decided to go by the manufacturer’s specifications. I’m glad I did. While I don’t think the larger size would have necessarily been too big, I find that the pants that were recommended for my size by Elite on their website fit really nicely. The best thing is that the pants aren’t too tight, so I don’t have to exert all of my pre-game energy fighting with the pants as I attempt to put them on. Instead, they actually go on and come off pretty easily – although it’s a little tougher to get them off after games when they are heavy with sweat.
Most guys will absolutely love the pro-fit cup because it’s huge, but that makes it more of a nuisance than anything. The cup feels way too big around, and with the tighter fit of the compression pants holding it tightly against your body, the cup just ends up getting in the way. I could never get it to “sit” properly and found myself constantly having to adjust it. The cup offers great protection and the cooling vents help keep the area from getting uncomfortably warm, but the overall size of the cup became such a nuisance that I had to remove it from the pants. For roller hockey, I ended up putting the cup into my girdle, which is a little bit better because it gets it from sitting so tightly against my body.
I’m really happy with the performance of the pants. Again, in the past I’ve never really been sold by compression clothing, but whenever I pull these off my legs are completely dry thanks to the sweat-wicking component of the pants. I can’t really attest if the pants help increase circulation, but I can tell you that my legs feel good both while I’m skating and afterward. After a long shift or a hard shift, my legs recover well so I’m ready for another shift when the time comes.
The incorporation of bamboo into the clothing is supposed to help enhance its anti-odor capabilities. On my Elite base layer shirt this worked great, but not nearly as well on my pants. After playing a game or working out in my shirt, I could hardly tell that I had just exercised based on the smell of the shirt. But the Compression Jock Pants definitely hold onto smell to a greater degree, making it the first thing that I pull out of my bag after a game so that I can throw it in to be washed.
The bamboo is also intended to help thermo-regulate your body temperature and keep you from getting too hot. This is another area where the pants excel. Again, I hardly notice that I’m wearing base layer pants when I’m playing because they don’t trap heat at all and help keep my leg temperature stable, even though I’m wearing layers of pads.
I don’t recommend wearing the pants out in the cold as a base layer, however. Just to test them out, I wore the pants as a base layer underneath my jeans while I was shoveling snow one day. My legs were noticeably colder wearing the pants than if I had just been wearing jeans. I think this is a testament to their ability to keep you cool, but also serves as a warning that these pants are not heat gear intended to be worn to help keep you warm.
When it comes down to it, these pants excel where they need to. Most of my issues are superficial, like the color scheme of the design and the fact that the cup was so uncomfortable that I just ended up taking it out of the pants. However, the pants are a great sweat-wicking tool and will definitely help keep your legs cool even underneath layers of equipment. The anti odor capabilities aren’t as strong as some of Elite’s other products, but the pants fit nicely and move well with your body. For the most part, I don’t even notice that I’m wearing compression pants when I’m skating, which is a positive for me as someone who typically doesn’t like compression-fit clothing.