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Gear Review: Evo 3 Head by Warrior Lacrosse

With lacrosse season at full throttle, we wanted to make sure you’d have the scoop on all the newest equipment, so we teamed up with Lacrosse Panda, Warrior Lacrosse and Brine Lacrosse to bring you a great line-up of Gear Reviews over the next two months!

Today our resident Idaho Lax Reporter Mikey B drops by Sweet Sweet Lax to test out the Evo 3 Head by Warrior Lacrosse.

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Company: Warrior Lacrosse / Product: Evo 3 HeadPrice: $89.00

Today I’m bringing you my review of the Warrior Evo 3. Before we get started, here is the description and product specs via Warrior:

“The ultimate head is new and improved. New aggressive sidewall design featuring the 2-shot mold process for increased durability and stiffness. Slimmer scoop allows for smoother transition in and out of the pocket.”

  • Legal for HS/YOUTH play only.
  • The ultimate in stock color options featuring a 3 zoned colored head.
  • New aggressive sidewall design featuring our 2-Shot mold process for increased durability and stiffness.
  • Insert molded throat jewel for an additional color zone.
  • New SLIM SCOOP allows for a better transition in and out of the pocket.
  • Optimal string hole position for a pocket that strings up perfect every time.

Note that this thing is only legal for HS/Youth and post-collegiate play; it does not meet NCAA specs. As a post-collegiate player, this is fine for me, but college players beware.

Now, I graduated from THE University of Idaho with the class of ’08. What this means to you is that I never had to deal with the 2010 spec change. I’ve been playing with a Brine E3 for years. YEARS. I’ve had no desire to go to a 2010-spec head. Even though this thing isn’t NCAA-legal, its dimensions are a lot wider than my hyper-narrow E3s (narrowed further by the pressure of many faceoffs). So, it was with some trepidation that I took up this new wand and brought it to our indoor league.

I’ll be frank with you: for the purposes of most gear reviews, I don’t get as much time as I’d like with the product. With the Evo3 though, I was able to play with it enough that it may as well have been my own head, so I really feel comfortable talking about it. Behold my conclusions:

Appearance… +10.0

As the product description above notes, the Warrior Evo 3 features a 2-shot mold process for the sidewalls. Said plainly, the sidewalls are white while the rest of the head is colored. This looks fairly sharp, though I wish that there were a few more options in the colorways.

Evo 3 Head by Warrior Lacrosse
It’s a nice looking unit.

That point notwithstanding, I think that the 2-shot mold provides a nice touch of character without getting audacious. If I could get a Carolina head with black sidewalls I’d be pleased as punch. It looks like that option is available if you go with the Warrior 3X (NCAA legal), so you might find it for the Evo3 vanilla as well. I’m willing to give Warrior the benefit of the doubt here.

Stringing… +10.0

I’ll separate this part into two subcategories: (1) factory stringing and (2) stringing options.

Starting with Factory Stringing, I gotta say how impressed I am. I fully expected that I would need to rip off the factory pocket and start from scratch. However, when I got my hands on it and took a look at the stringing, I was pleasantly surprised. It was looped and interlocked in all the right spots, it was tight and symmetrical, and I was not left with the overwhelming urge to restring it.

I decided to put the factory strings to the test; I broke it in with a nifty little tool we keep at the Elite Lacrosse gym and then went to work. To my continued surprise, the Evo 3 was hot to trot and ready to rock from the get go. After years of complaints, are the big companies finally getting their act together on their pockets? If my Evo 3 is any indication, yes they are.

Evo 3 Head by Warrior Lacrosse
No complaints with this factory pocket.

But what if you did want to restring it? Well have no fear because this little fella wouldn’t put up a fight. The Evo 3 sports 13 holes up each side and 6 across the top. I do wish that Warrior had punched a couple more of the larger holes near the top of the scoop (like the M80) but that’s not a huge deal because the dimensions of the head in relation to the location of the holes allows you to get the tension where you need it.

Evo 3 Head by Warrior Lacrosse
One more hole here would have been a plus.

Stiffness and Durability… +12.5 (out of 20)

I’m combining the categories of ‘Stiffness’ and ‘Durability’ because my testing revealed that the issues may be inseparable. This is a stiff head, probably owing to the two-shot sidewalls. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t have some give to it. A faceoff simulation with Shaw put that to the test and, as you can see, it’s got plenty of bend to it.

Evo 3 Head by Warrior Lacrosse
Pinch and pop! More pinching though…

The head has the give it needs to avoid breaking, but has the stiffness I need to get aggressive at the X. Here’s the problem, though. The two-shot sidewall really means that the sidewall on the head are thinned down so that a second white plastic piece can be inserted on top. Here’s what happens to that plastic piece after a faceoff:

Evo 3 Head by Warrior Lacrosse
Note that the white plastic insert has come detached from the rest of the head.

The head didn’t come away from the faceoff simulation in the condition that I would hope. The insert detached from the primary head and the entire head was warped to the left. It returned to form only after I spent a few minutes trying to straighten it out. Even now, it’s not 100% straight and I don’t think it will ever be. Because of these issues, I can’t rate the ‘Stiffness’ and ‘Durability’ category at a full 10.0.

Value… +10.0

The head comes in at $89.00. This places it right in the meaty part of the price curve. While it has some potential durability issues, I’m not sure that those are a big deal if you aren’t facing off.

What’s most important to me, of course, is performance. And this head performs. I was extremely hesitant to switch away from my stupid-narrow E3, but the Evo 3 absolutely won me over. I found a noticeable advantage over my E3 in scoop, ball retention, and release. The shape of the head sucks the ball up and allows for a great channel.

Evo 3 Head by Warrior Lacrosse
If scooping was any easier, you’d be sitting down drinking a beer while the Evo 3 played for you.

I think a sharp looking head that performs as nicely as the Evo 3 is well worth $89.00.

Overall… +8.4/10

This is a great head for any attackman or non-faceoff middie. I’m not sure I can recommend it to a faceoff middie or a close defender because of the durability issues, but I don’t think that those positions are Warrior’s target demographic with the Evo 3.

Our indoor league presents some intense close-quarters combat and this thing survived its trial by fire admirably. I’m thoroughly impressed not only with the ball control but also the consistency and smoothness of the release. I think that the Evo 3 is a beaut’.

Evo 3 Head by Warrior Lacrosse
Forgive the ankle socks; it was laundry day.

Got some gear you wish we would review? Hit us up and let us know what you think we should review next.