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Building off of 2017’s Alpha QX protective line, Warrior aims to continue their ascension up the hockey equipment ladder with the new Alpha DX Protective lineup. In designing the Alpha DX equipment, Warrior prioritized improving the fit that was offered by the previous generation Alpha protective gear, while also focusing on making the new equipment lighter without sacrificing any protection. The result is a lineup that is as unique as it is proficient, which should continue to build appreciation for Warrior protective equipment. Without further ado, let’s get right into Warrior’s newest innovations.
Alpha DX Shoulder Pads
The Alpha DX shoulder pads are our first introduction into Warrior’s focus on creating a lightweight, protective product with superior fit. Built with what Warrior dubs their Dynamic Strike fit, the DX shoulder pads are quite low-profile in terms of how they fit to the body. A lot of this is achieved through the dynamic caps: shoulder caps that have been slimmed down from the previous generation Alpha QX in order to reduce weight and improve mobility, all the while still providing elite protection.
Meanwhile, the sternum of the shoulder pads features a two-piece construction. Warrior has implemented a ventilated jacket on the inside so as to provide quality airflow, keeping the pad cool and light, while the outside of the sternum features compression molded EVA foam and Warrior’s newest technology, DX Shell. DX Shell is made up of the compressed EVA foam found in the middle of the sternum as well as Warrior’s new SHELL SKIN TEXTURE, providing the cool-looking scaly appearance seen near the ribs and on the two-piece biceps of the pads. DX Shell adds increased, high-end protection to the pad, but still keeps it incredibly lightweight. This is a big improvement on what was seen in the Alpha QX shoulders, which were a lot heavier in utilizing VPS foam.
Ever get annoyed with your jersey getting caught on the straps of your equipment? Yeah, most of us have dealt with that at some point or another. Fortunately, Warrior has worked to fix this common, yet always overlooked, issue with the straps on all of the Alpha DX protective gear, which are built to lay entirely flat. In addition to this, the 2-Timer straps on the DX shoulder pads provide amazing customization, allowing the user to adjust the tightness of the pad around the torso from both the front and the back of the pad. I was very impressed with both the simplicity and the effectiveness of these straps, and they illustrate Warrior’s determination to not overlook a single aspect of their equipment.
Alpha DX Shin Guards
Continuing Warrior’s focus on a low-profile fit and lightweight, high-end protection are the Alpha DX shin guards. Molded calf and slash guards provide good protection to the player, while the fact that the liner is suspended apart from the outer shell means that energy from hits, slashes or shot blocks is easily dissipated. Moreover, the addition of Warrior’s top of the line protective technology, DX Shell, to the calf guard and the top of the knee raises the quality of protection in this pad to the elite level.
As has become custom with all of Warrior’s top end protective gear, the Alpha DX shin guards (as well as all of the rest of the Alpha DX protective equipment) feature the bright yellow WarTech FnC liner. Made to keep players dry and cool, the WarTech FnC liner is also paired with Polygiene, which prevents bacteria from growing, thus thwarting the arrival of nasty odours. Considering how bad hockey gear can smell, this is definitely something that I (as well as anybody who steps into my garage) would welcome! To help ensure that the liner maintains its phenomenal performance, simply wipe it with a warm cloth about once a month.
Built with the Dynamic Strike fit, the Alpha DX shin guards have a narrow, anatomical shape. As someone who prefers close-fitting protective gear, I absolutely loved the feel and fit of these pads. The strapping system, which includes the Sling Wrap, also does a great job keeping the pad in place, helping lock your knee into the pads’ engineered knee pocket.
Alpha DX Elbow Pads
Perhaps my favourite piece of the Alpha DX protective lineup, the Alpha DX elbow pads are the epitome of Warrior’s unique yet incredibly effective design plans. Featuring a 3-piece construction, the Alpha DX elbow pads provide incredible mobility; I was shocked at just how much easier, as well as how natural, it was to move in these compared to other elbow pads. Considering this, it is a serious question as to why no other elbow pad features a 3-piece design.
Moving into the protection aspect of the pads, the Alpha DX elbows feature molded bicep and slash guards, while DX Shell is featured throughout the forearm to provide an elite level of protection. The elbow cap contains a tough, molded plastic that is covered in high-density foams, which diminish and cushion impacts before they even reach the plastic.
Another unique addition to the Alpha DX elbow pads is the implementation of the WarTech FnC stretch sleeve. Once again paired with polygiene, this sleeve provides all of the regular bacteria and moisture free benefits of the WarTech FnC liner, while also giving the elbow pads a compression fit that prevents slippage. Elbow pads are often the most annoying and uncomfortable piece of hockey equipment, but I found that the WarTech FnC stretch sleeve really made a huge difference in that it not only secured my arm into place exceptionally well, but also made the pad very comfortable.
A small thing that I noticed with the Alpha DX elbow pads was that they tended to come a little further down the forearm than other elbow pads, so that may be something to keep in mind when trying them on.
Warrior has really improved the hockey protective equipment that they have developed over the last few years, and this year is no exception. The Alpha DX protective lineup is a strong submission to the elite protective equipment in the hockey marketplace, ticking the box in the most important categories that consumers care about: offering a phenomenal fit and premium protection, while also being very lightweight. In typical Warrior fashion, the Alpha DX lineup breaks the mold of regular hockey protective equipment in a good way (especially with the elbow pads), and, as such, Warrior should continue to develop a burgeoning fan base for their protective gear.
Written by: Landon Foley
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Warrior Alpha DX Protective Gallery