Reviews of Protective Gear

Pro-Force HEMA Helmet

See it here.

We like this helmet. Very strong protection for the face, head (top, sides and back) and the neck.

Protective Gloves from PurpleHeart Armory

See them here.

We all like these gloves. No bad qualities. You can get them with extra padding. You should not, however, expect them to protect your hands from a full-on strike with a weapon-- they won't. You should get the Absolute Gauntlets for full sparring. They allow a full range of hand movement.

Hardened Leather Forearm Protectors

See it here.

The problem with this type of gear is that there is usually a protruberance preventing one from bending the hands back. Once cut away, free hand movement is possible. This suggests that the design is inspired by appearance rather than functionality. Watch out for this type of product. If you get a HEMA jacket, forearm protection is already built into it.

Basic Fencing Mask

See it here.

This is adequate for rapier work. With longsword, it would only be recommended for slower, softer training where face protection is desired.

Lacross Gloves (for sword sparring)

Get them at your local Sports Authority or similar sporting-goods store.

These are acceptible for sparring. They allow more dexterous finger movement than hard-shell gauntlets, even if they offer less protection. And they are far less expensive. Go try some on and find which feel best to you.

More to come...