Chest protectors cover both the belly and the chest. That’s an important distinction to note. If you listen to a corner man talking to their fighter, you will often hear one say to punch the chest. Suffice it to say, you should train to hit almost everything, especially if it’s something that can stop or stagger your opponent.
With that in mind, we polled several Muay Thai coaches who quickly and very simply defined their favorites and what they would use in case those weren’t available. Two western brands jumped out immediately, both were favored by more than one coach and being very close in design, Ring to Cage and Triumph.
Ring to Cage (RtC) Chest Protector Reviews
Ring to Cage was endorsed by both Coach Marcus and Coach Alexander. “Kru Alex, I liked hitting your RtC body protector so much, I went out and bought that one.”
Coach Palma: “I love this body protector. It holds up.”
Marcus Oakley; “It’s durable and protects well, but has a lower profile than most belly protectors so it gives a more realistic feel on distancing.” “I’ve had the likes of Mark Munoz, Uriah Hall, and even Jr. Dos Anos smash into it and it held up very well. It does lose its protective prowess after a few months, so that isn’t ideal.”
Coach Chadrick: “My Ring to Cage belly pad has been through…a…lot. And still holding up very well.”
Coach Larry Maxon: “I’ve got the belly pad from Ring to Cage, really happy with 99% of what I’ve got from them.”
Triumph Chest Protector Review
The most popular model from Triumph was the Triumph Deathstar body protector. Coach Chadrick says, “So far it’s been good to go…light…but takes the edge off body shots. Doesn’t fit as snug as I’d like in certain areas…but I will get good use out of it.”
Honorable Mention: Muay Thai Chest Protector Reviews
Another brand used by coach Farrell and myself was the Top Contender brand. It serves its purpose but it’s definitely bulky. I’ve tried to use it with Thai pads but the heavily padded chest just doesn’t work as well with the longer pads.
Muay Thai Belly Protector Reviews
Which I guess segues us right into belly pads. Much better for Thai pads in particular, they also work well with mitts and travel well for when coaches need to have equipment to warm fighters up pre-fight. Again, and probably because they were originally created in Thailand for the sole purpose of aiding Thai fighters, the Thai brands took first place. Fairtex, Windy, and Boon all get the nod.
I have personally used both Thai and western brands (Top Contender, Lonsdale, and Ringside) and prefer Thai brands myself (Windy for me). I will say this, my Ringside belly pad is an excellent low profile pad that is the easiest pad to transport to corner fighters. For its size, it has pretty good protection (Combat Sports is a partner and their belly pad looks exactly the same except for the graphics).
So there you go, this is what a select group of expert trainers likes to use on a daily basis. Obviously, there are a ton of great trainers I didn’t get to talk to. They all might have very different opinions on what they use or their opinions might be very similar. If you are a trainee, ask you coach what he prefers and why. His/her answers might surprise you, but they will definitely give you more insight into what it is you have chosen to pursue. These Muay Thai chest protector reviews and belly protector reviews might even give you an idea as to what you might get that coach for the next Teacher’s Day or birthday ;).
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