When I received Century’s C-Gear line for review, I was excited to try out some brand new sparring gear that was a pretty significant departure from what I was used to. Having only really worked with their P2 gear in the past, I was excited to see what else Century had to offer. And, I have to say, I was pretty impressed. Overall, the gear felt light, but had a good sense of spring and protection when sparring. It afforded easy movement, and made contact fine for both myself, and my partners.
The C-Gear Helmet has a chin-guard and some interesting adjustment options that took a minute or two of trial and error until I found a good fit. But, once I figured out the adjustments, I found the head gear to be snug, but not constricting. It affords a better range of motion than the Basic P2 gear and has a much more durable feel. The chin guard is tight, but still allows for talking and grabbing water. I had never worn a helmet with a chin-guard before so, for me, that took a little bit of getting used to. The materials feel durable and is far less bulky than the P2 helmet. I found it a different, but enjoyable change from the traditional P2 headgear.
The gloves were the piece I initially had the most difficulty with. Off the bat, they felt incredibly loose. I have large hands, usually I have no issue fitting into a large or extra large glove. But, these have a lot of space in the fingers, and are pretty tight around the wrist. After a little trial and error. I found if the strap is really tightened down, the gloves come into their own. The extra space in the fingers allows the hand to stay relaxed and makes movement easier and faster and the tight wrist wraps secure the glove. They’re well made and feel good when you pick them up. The stitching is solid and there were no patches anywhere that rubbed against my hand in a strange way. After a few rounds I forgot I even had a new pair of gloves on.
The boot fits snugly, and the covering on the bottom had a good grip on both mats and tile. From a personal standpoint, I enjoyed the extra protection afforded and the good fit that didn’t slip or twist, as the P2 boots so often do. These felt the sturdiest out of the group. Good solid padding and heavy duty materials made it a pleasure to actually spar with them. There were only two small issues with the boots. They have a small strap. A very small strap. When wrapped, it doesn’t feel as it it’s actually doing anything. But, the snug fit of the boot makes the strap more of an insurance measure than with more traditional boots. The only other issue was the top of the boot rubbed oddly on my leg during my normal sparring rounds. It was a small thing. Noticeable, but not terribly concerning. I was not able to spar with these extensively, and I’m sure that issue would resolve itself after some more use.