The FM2000UMP I received weighs 1 pound, 3 ounces (19 ounces) with the manufacturer’s pads and harness. The cage weighs 15 ounces, which is a little heavier than competitor's cages: the Diamond DFM-UMP in silver (12 ounces) and the ultra light Champro (10 ounces).
The All-Star FM2000UMP measures 8.5” in width, which is a little more narrow than most traditional face masks (9 inches), and an average 10” top to bottom (not including the throat guard). The eye opening is a standard 2”, but the depth of the mask is a quarter inch shallower than the Champro. The bars of the FM2000UMP are flattened on the edges, which increases the umpire’s vision.
The standard pads are “Lightweight UltraCool” (LUC) pads. These pads are machine washable and treated with AEGIS Microbe Shield. The AEGIS Microbe Shield is an antimicrobial and is odorless, colorless, non-leaching, long-lasting and effective against fungi, bacteria and algae. It does not dissipate and retains its full antimicrobial strength for the life of the surface to which it is applied. The UltraCool fabric is a perforated breathable mesh which covers All-Star's exclusive vented energy absorbing foam. This foam was originally developed for the All-Star titanium mask to absorb ball impact forces.
The design of the FM2000UMP cage is different. First, the placements of the support bars are designed to reinforce the eye opening. Second, the shape is more rounded than many cages (see comparison, right). Third, the angles were designed after careful consideration of the likely angle of a foul ball and deflect the energy of the ball. The forehead area is curved and allows more padding to remain in contact with the forehead, thereby dispersing a ball impact. Brad Jurga from All-Star tells me that the curved forehead makes it very unlikely that the top bar of the cage will come in contact with the forehead during ball impacts.
In wearing the FM2000UMP, the top pad is shaped flatter and does fit snugly against the forehead. This also makes the mask more stable since it is supported by the brim of the cap, and allows that harness to be adjusted looser without the mask flopping around.
The result of the cage design is a single bar traditional mask that is light and strong,. The FM2000UMP has already made an impact on YouTube:
The All-Star FM2000UMP umpire mask can be purchased from the following on-line retailer:
Baseball Plus Store, $44.95