Company: Warrior Lacrosse / Product: Rabil Hitlyte Shoulder Pads / Price: $159.99
I was excited to find out that LaxAllStars wanted me to test out some of Rabil’s new gear. Lacrosse’s most well-known player was bound to have his own equipment sooner or later, and I imagine most people will think that “If it’s good enough for Rabil, it must be good enough for me!” I certainly had that thought before using the Rabil Hitlytes.
When I did put them on, they didn’t seem incredibly special. However, after running around in them, having a little shooting session, and playing some 1 on 1, I began to warm up to PR’s new shoulder pads.
It might be just me, but I don’t think most people are really concerned with how the shoulder pads themselves look. Basically whenever you wear shoulder pads they are covered by a reversible or full jersey. In addition to making them eye-catching with whites, blacks, and reds, Warrior addressed the appearance of the pads while wearing a jersey as well. This was accomplished with the segmented shoulder caps, “taking the bulk out of a player’s biggest piece of padding” as Warrior advertises.
The Rabil Hitlytes have a new “CAGE System” that is supposed to allow for maximum mobility and airflow, and I’m pretty convinced that it works. It was really easy to run around in these, and I didn’t feel any limitations in my motion while throwing or shooting. The shoulder pads also have two other Warrior technologies, a “No-Gel Slip Print” and the VPS or “Vented Protection System.” Both of these seem to work as well as the CAGE System, as the pads definitely stayed in place as I was dodging and were very light and breathable.
Paul Rabil is a big guy who dodges hard and is a big name in the sport. He’s bound to take some pretty big checks and hits, so I’d be disappointed if his shoulder pads didn’t have great protection. Luckily, these Hitlytes have the padding to back up the Rabil name. The pads feature a new, bigger sternum piece that isn’t too bulky. The only knock I’d have against the protection aspect of these pads is that there is a little bit of weak zone in between the CAGE System pieces; however, the spots are pretty small, and I’m willing to give that up for the flexibility it provides. Also, the bicep pads are easily adjusted and removable, and I can see a lot of middies taking those off and having a great fitting and protective shoulder pad.
Everything seems great about these pads except the clear, plastic shoulder caps. According to Warrior they are meant to look “like you aren’t even wearing pads.” This seems silly to me because if you’re buying shoulder pads then you’re probably playing in a serious league in which you need them, so why hide the fact that you’re wearing them? I’m concerned that these plastic pieces might shatter if hit on the right spot, and broken plastic could be dangerous. While it is possible, I’m not sure it’s probable, and this is the only knock I have against these shoulder pads in the durability department.
The Rabil Hitlytes are great shoulder pads. At $159.99, though, they are the most expensive shoulder pads I’ve seen. With that said, they have a lot of great features, and all the “technology” Warrior has put in works. For high-level players, these could be a solid pick.
Overall Score: 8/10
If you’re an advanced lacrosse player in need of new shoulder pads, definitely check out the Rabil Hitlytes. I love their low profile look that drew me to the Brine Elements way back in my middle school days, and I think a lot of other players will like that feature as well. Despite the high price tag, I expect PR’s name and the quality of the product to entice many high school and college players.