Product Review: Hayabusa Pro MMA Headgear

Hayabusa Pro MMA Headgear

Reviewed By: Barry Laminack
November 10, 2011

Disclosure: This item was a comp. from Hayabusa.

Head gear is one of those pieces of equipment that many fighters don’t like to use but often times still do; especially as they ramp up their training camps to include more sparring as the get closer to a fight. For the average guy like myself though, who just trains to stay in shape but enjoys sparring, head gear is a no brainer (pardon the pun). The problem is you have to find the right head gear to suit your taste and that’s not always easy.

In general, most head gear feels like it’s holding you back and/or getting in the way. Many people get turned off from head gear because the first thing they notice is slippage and movement on their face. The second most common complaint that people have with head gear is the loss of vision.

Hayabusa attempted to address these issues and more with their Pro MMA Headgear. At a price point of $99.99, is the protection it provides and the features available worth the price tag? Could it be the one piece of head gear that changes peoples mind about this often over looked, but extremely important piece of equipment?

Lets find out.

Features (From hayabusafightwear.com)

  • Cranial-Cast construction ensures a unique customized fit
  • High density foam complex for optimal shock absorption
  • Integrated ear hole covers and open top design for maximum ventilation
  • Hybrid design for excellent peripheral visibility and complete face protection
  • One size fits most
Many of the features can be found on most other types of head gear at or near this price point.  I’ve never been a big fan of the lace system at the crown that is found on most head gear. The back strap works well and the ear holes allow the head gear to breath well and allows ample sound in. The padding is thick and the opening around the eyes and chin allow you to see good out of your peripheral as well as you opponents feet.

[rating:4.0] 4 Stars

 


Quality

First off the fit on this head gear is really good, but with any type of head gear you have to spend some time getting it just right. It’s best to have somebody that can help you make the needed adjustments on the crown so that you avoid any vertical movement with the gear. The Velcro system on the back of the gear gets it really tight, so with the proper adjustments and a little patience you can get a really snug fit. My partner AJ used it and said he had some slippage issues with his beard after working up a light sweat, so be aware that this could be an issue for all you bearded dudes out there.

The ear holes are great and allow you to hear your coach or team members giving you instructions during sparring.The padding is really thick and absorbs contact well. The thickness prevents the majority of contact with your face so not much slips past the padding (especially in 16 ounce gloves) and you end up with very little to not glove burns, cuts or even redness.  The downside to this is that the gear tends to feel heavy. After a couple of rounds of use you start to notice the weight a bit, especially if you don’t always use head gear, but over time you get used to it and it’s worth it to have the extra protection.

The one thing this head gear doesn’t have that a few others I’ve seen do is some padding under the chin. Because of that you still feel upper cuts, especially at the point of the chin.With any head gear that wraps around the face like this one, visibility is always going to be an issue. The Hayabusa Pro MMA Headgear is no different. You lose some peripheral vision with the gear, but this is a pretty common trade off for using head gear in the first place. The loss of peripheral vision with this gear vs others I’ve used isn’t nearly as but, but be ware it is still there.The gear feels like it’s a quality product. The leather is nice and it doesn’t fell scratchy at the seams. The suede is comfortable on the face (and also helps prevent some slippage) but be ware that the first couple of times you use it you’ll get some black smudges on your face.

[rating:4.0] 4 Stars


Value

As far as pricing goes, the Hayabusa Pro MMA Headgear is in the upper end of the spectrum. Is there more expensive head gear out there? Yes, there are a few that cost more. Is there less expensive head gear out there? Yes, there a is a lot of less expensive pieces out there.The real question is, do you get what you pay for when it comes to head gear. In this case I think you do. If you’re a fighter who is getting ready for a fight but don’t want the hassle of head gear that is always moving around as you spar and is thick enough to protect you from getting cut or injured, then this might be the gear for you.

If you have never been to a gym or have never sparred, you might consider starting off with something a little less expensive until you decide if you are going to continue to spar during training. As you get more experience I would say give this piece a try and see for yourself.

[rating:3.5] 3.5 Stars


Summary

In the end, head gear is one of those products that you really should have, but nobody wants to use. The two biggest issues with most head gear is that it moves around and you can’t see. Hayabusa has done a good job of trying to over come those issues. There is still some site limitations with the gear, but movement was a non-issue for me during the times I sparred with this unit. At $99.99 it’s a little pricey, especially for the average guy who is only sparring a couple of times a month.

In the end, if you find yourself sparring 2-3 or more per week, I would give a serious look at this head gear, it might just surprise you with the results you get.


PROS CONS
  • Durable feel, good stitching.
  • Thick padding provides very good protection
  • Nice features such as ear holes and a good velcro system for sizing
  • When adjusted properly, very little slippage occurs
  • At the upper end in price for head gear
  • some slippage on bearded faces may occur
  • Feels heavy after a couple of rounds
  • Some smudging after the first couple of uses

Overall [rating:4.0] 4 Stars


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