For years we swear by the DMZ roughneck gorget because it’s nice to wear, easy to clean, and was the best for mobility. The problem was that it was the bare minimum of protection. If you want anything more than that, you trade off everything else you liked about the DMZ roughneck gorget. Now we have Vytis. If you want a nice video review, the almighty Matt Easton has a 21 minute video review for you. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16_t1vntwys). If you rather do a “short” read, keep reading. I’ve broken down the full kit review to three parts, see below:
Gorget – A must buy (9.5/10)
Fitting/Breaking in: This is a one size fits all. Normally that’s bad, but in this instance you can expand it with a heat gun. I would advise not going crazy on the heat because the foam padding may melt. Once you expand enough that you can snap it on and not feel any pressure on your neck, you’re good to go. You might have to look up and down a few times to break in the foam. Most of our normal size guys didn’t have a problem with wearing it out of the box.
Mobility: It’s lighter than most gorgets and you probably won’t notice it around your neck if you have the fit right.
Durability: So far the plastic and fittings are holding up with no signs of wear. Out of the 6 we ordered, only Julian is seeing some wear on the foam from the plastic digging into the foam. At least it’s not digging into the skin. We’re going to abuse it some more to see how the foam holds up. Follow up review to come.
Cleaning: Wipe with a soapy cloth or spray with some kind of sanitizer
Protection: This is the most important part. The plastic is thicker and a much denser material than other non-metal gorgets. I did stab Julian’s neck a few times on the front and sides when we first got it. It’s safe to say he’s breathing and unbruised (and we totally didn’t replace him with a dummy). It covers more angles than most gorgets that don’t have flaps. I don’t like flaps due to mobility issues but they are hard to get the tip under.
Nape – nice to have but not required for most events (6/10)
Fitting: They thought ahead for sizing issues and it’s much appreciated. It comes with 2 sizing clips which are easy to swap out. I don’t use it too often because it’s also easy to pull off during practice and you would have to wear it tighter to really keep it on (but I am lazy). I would still wear it for events because accidents happens.
Protection/Coverage: I’ll make the disclaimer, do not rely on a piece of plastic to save your spine. It helps, but we’re doing a full contact sport here. Now that’s out of the way, back to the review. The plate design is slightly offset and below the neck. It’s meant to cover past where most mask overlays end, but I don’t trust all back of the head covers to end the same and not move around. I would like it better if it also covers the neck too. I’ll admit that might be tricky to do with this design.
Clavicle – great if you're skinny but I got curves (7/10)
Fitting: This is really easy to put on. You can wear it under or over your gorget. It’s made flat due to how they made it. You could take a heat gun to make it curve but it’s tricky to find a mold to curve it on. When we wear it, the tip of the “V” will pop up or if you press it down the sides will pop up. It’s kinda awkward. Most of our smaller or skinnier folks have no problem with it and loves it. This seems to be a big person problem. I love the idea and we really need it. Light jackets can’t really put padding around the collar bone and you have to trust the bib of your mask for that padding there. Assuming it covers.
Protection/Coverage: Aside from the fitting issue, it sits right over the collar bone and it’s flexible side to side.
We acknowledge that The Historical Combat Collective operates on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Kwikwetlem, Sto:lo and Songhees First Nations Peoples. We are grateful to have the opportunity to gather, work, and train on this land.