Friday, December 2, 2011

Review of the Smitty Thermal Full Zip Umpire Jacket

Hello, I’m Pete. This is my brother Darryl. . . a little over a year ago Midwest Ump reviewed the Majestic Therma Base Umpire Jacket. What a great jacket! Good fit, great quality, nice price. . .

and this is my other brother Darryl: the Smitty Thermal Full Zip Umpire Jacket.

Dawn at Smitty Apparel sent me a sample of their new thermal umpire jacket. I've mentioned it before on this site, the folks at Smitty are really, really nice people. They also happen to make very high quality officiating apparel!

The measurements of the XL Majestic and the XL Smitty are nearly identical. It is more practical to talk about the differences: the sleeves on the Smitty are ¼ inch longer; the overall length of the Smitty is ½ inch longer (not including the ribbed collar or ribbing at the bottom of the jacket); and the collar of the Smitty is 1/2 “ taller. Both the Smitty and the Majestic weigh exactly the same, 2.1 pounds (using a hanger and a fish scale from Bass Pro. Yep, real scientific-like).

Both jackets are very roomy and easily accommodate a chest protector, but also look good on the bases. Since these jackets are sized to accommodate a CP, it is recommended that you buy a size smaller if you desire a closer fit on the bases. The exterior of both coats is a polyester material that is water resistant, not water proof.  I cannot tell a difference in the material by touch. The interior fabric of the Smitty is 100% polyester fleece. The Majestic is 92% polyester and 8% spandex. The Majestic fleece is a little softer than the Smitty. However, Smitty has sewn in an interior polyester fabric on top of its fleece. This extra layer helps prevent wear and damage to the fleece from your CP.  

The construction quality of both jackets appears excellent. The stitching on both jackets is tight and uniform. There are no frayed edges or loose stitching. Both jackets have one breast pocket for your lineup cards. Neither jacket has hand pockets or an interior pocket.

The Smitty jacket I tested was a plain navy blue, a color required by the NFHS. The Smitty Thermal Full Zip Umpire Jacket is available in a variety in several popular colors including navy with red/white/navy shoulder stripes; black with white stripes; and black with white/powder blue stripes. Unlike the Majestic, there is no logo on the Smitty jacket I tested.

The best price tag on the Majestic Therma Base Jacket is around $80.  The new Smitty Thermal Jacket is being sold for $69.99 by Purchase Officials. I understand that all sizes and styles will be widely available after the first of the year.

Fair or Foul?
They say that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" (well, Charles Caleb Colton said it first). The Majestic is an amazing coat and the Smitty Thermal Full Zip Umpire Jacket is a carbon copy of it. The Smitty is the same jacket offered at a lower price and available in different colors. So go ahead and call me a Darryl, 'cause  I call the Smitty Thermal Full Zip Umpire Jacket absolutely Fair!

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