When training for or engaging in combat sports, one of the essential requirements is that you wear protective equipment. Protective gear ensures that no matter the physical nature of the sport, you are protected. The best sparring gear sets offer complete full-body protection. In most cases, a set of sparring gear contains from 5 to seven pieces. Others, like some listed on this list, include more pieces. No matter the number of pieces, the goal is to offer protection and comfort. There are many sparring gear set available on the market. It can be hard to find a set that will meet all your needs. Choosing the right one can take time, lots of research, and other resources. To help you choose the right one, we have compiled a list of the best sparring gear sets for you. Check out our review and buying guide to assist you in making your decision.
- Features to consider when buying Sparring Gear Sets
- Top 10 Best Sparring Gear Sets 2019
- 1. Macho Dyna 7-piece sparring gear set
- 2. Macho Dyna 5 Piece Sparring Gear Set
- 3. Macho Dyna 8 piece sparring gear
- 4. One set Star Sports Sparring Gear Set
- 5. Lightning ProForce Karate Sparring Gear Bundle
- 6. BlackBeltShop Century Karate Sparring Gear Combo Set
- 7. BlackBeltShop Century Karate 7 pc Sparring Gear Combo Set
- 8. Pine Tree Complete Cloth Martial Arts Sparring Gear Set
- 9. Macho Warrior 5 piece sparring gear set
- 10. Pine Tree Complete Vinyl Martial Arts Sparring Gear Set
- Guide to Buying the Best Sparring Gear Sets
Features to consider when buying Sparring Gear Sets
Getting into your gear can seem as tedious as engaging in the actual sport. However, it offers you protection and makes your workout very enjoyable. Many benefits come from engaging in sparring. In this section, we will list some of them.
Sparring is a training activity that is used in many martial arts. Therefore, most sparring gear sets can be used by practitioners of different sports. Sparring is useful in boxing, mixed martial arts, and other martial art styles. The parts that make up a set; head gear, gloves, shin guards, groin protector, and others ensure that everyone has something to use in a set.
Sparring is an excellent addition to your martial art program. Every boxer or martial artist worth their salt will attest to the fact that it is one of the best training exercises you can perform. It teaches you the importance of control, timing, and judgment during offensive and defensive techniques. As you make good decisions and judgment while on your feet, it improves your brain function. By sparring, you help your body get used to the impact of blows and jabs. Some of the other benefits are:
- It improves your muscular endurance and cardio
- It improves your confidence and mental condition
- It helps you get faster and increases your reaction time
- It improves combat conditioning
And so much more. To make the most of this activity and not somehow end up in a hospital, you need the best sparring gear set on the market. To help you choose, we have made a list of the critical things to look out for so that you can make the right choice. In the main buying guide, these factors will be discussed in more detail. Here are the essential considerations:
This might sound like an odd requirement, but it is essential. There are many sparring gear sets on the market that do not have the essential certifications to qualify them as safe for use. Some of these sets are not ISO certified and do not offer protection against impact. An ISO certification implies that the sparring set has undergone the strictest of tests and all the parts of the set pass quality management system.
The padding of the items of the set is an essential part of the protection offered. In many sets, the insulation is made of foam. The best sparring gear sets are padded with something referred to as Polyurethane foam (PU Foam). This foam is the best foam for padding and offers the best form of protection.
Aside from these two factors, there are considerations to think about with regards to each item in a set. In the main buying guide, these considerations will be highlighted.
Top 10 Best Sparring Gear Sets 2019
It is made of a comfortable, high-quality ¾” foam. As a 7-piece set, it comes with more parts than some of the other sparring gear sets on this list. The set includes shin guards, kicks, gloves, and head gear. All of these parts are nicely designed to keep you comfortable and safe. It comes in 4 different colors: white, red, black, and blue. You can also get it in a variety of sizes. Thus, whether for yourself or your kids, you will find a comfortable size.
Wearing a set of sparring gear can be hazardous to your health if they are not hygienic. To ensure proper hygiene and cleanliness, the gear is breathable. Each part of the gear comes with holes that allow for the easy passage of air. Hence, odors do not develop in the set. It also provides ventilation so that your workout session is cool and comfortable.
This gear is very durable. Once bought and adequately maintained, you can rest easy knowing that you might never need a replacement. It is very customizable. Sparring gear is made to be slipped on and off easily. Therefore in each listing, what you see is what you get. The good thing about this particular set is that all the parts are entirely customizable. If you end up with a smaller part, you can still make adjustments that will keep you comfortable. We like the elastic Velcro straps on these parts. They allow you to adjust and tighten the desired parts easily.
The gear set might be a tad expensive compared with other sets, but if you are looking for something you can use for a long time and enjoy the experience, look no further than the Macho Dyna 7-piece sparring gear set.
Just as the other product from Macho, the Macho Dyna 5-piece sparring gear set is made of high-quality material that feels comfortable and nice. It is made of high-quality ¾” foam which serves as a shock absorber and provides a safe working environment. This set includes Kicks, gloves, and head gear. Unlike the 7-piece, it doesn’t come packaged with shin guards. If you need the shin guards, you will have to purchase those separately. It is also available in just three colors; white, red, and black. You can buy it for your child or yourself, as the set comes in different sizes.
Comfort is imperative when using sparring gear. If you do not feel comfortable in them, your session will not be comfortable, which can affect your performance. The set comes with holes in each gear. Therefore, there is no build-up of heat which can cause odors. Lack of proper ventilation can also lead to microbial growth in your sparring gear set. Thankfully, there is enough ventilation here to prevent such unhygienic conditions.
The 5-piece gear is very durable and will be used for as long as you train. All you need to do is regularly clean and maintain it. Do this, and it will serve you well. We found the set highly customizable. The model we tested had a smaller headgear than we liked, we made a complaint, and it was promptly changed.
Furthermore, the Velcro straps can ensure you do not need to request for bigger sizes. They can be adjusted to ensure comfort. These elastic Velcro straps are very easy to adjust. You can loosen or tighten the gear depending on your preference.
The gear set isn’t as expensive as the 7-piece set, but it can still be considered expensive compared to other sets. Nevertheless, when you consider the durability and performance, it is worth every penny you pay for it.
The 8-piece sparring gear set is made from a very comfortable material and features a robust construction. It sports a comfortable, high-quality ¾” foam. It comes with more parts than the previous iterations listed above it on this list. This set includes the shin guards, licks, gloves and headgear contained in the 7-piece set. However, it adds a face shield. This offers more protection and is excellent for newbies or for sparring contests where the face needs to be protected. It comes in 4 different colors; black, blue, white, and red. It is also produced in various sizes, from the child up to adult XL. Thus, there is something for everyone here. The addition of the face shield provides extra protection and safety.
The 8-piece features the same level of comfort as the previous iterations. Just as the 7-piece and 5-piece, it has holes in the gear set. The holes allow for ventilation, eliminates the heat you might feel, and contribute to a hygienic environment. Also, there is no chance that your gear starts to smell after a few sessions.
The sparring gear set is very durable and will serve you well for an extended period. Despite the intensity of your training, the gear set holds up and doesn’t get damaged. It has Velcro straps attached to it that can be adjusted ( tightened or loosened) to ensure your comfort and safety. The set is also very customizable. This gear is one of the most expensive sparring gear sets you can invest in, but we are confident that it is an excellent investment since you will be using the gear for a long time and will not need to replace it as often as you would other sparring gear sets.
The overall design of the set is meant to protect you from kicks and other things that can cause damage. It is made of high-quality plastic, leather, and padding. Despite the materials used to make it, the design is lightweight and allows you to move around quite quickly. It offers maximum protection for impact and has some of the most flexible parts we have seen on a sparring gear set. It consists of a mouthguard with a case, a reversible cheat guard, forearm guard, groin guard, shin guards, and a bag. All of this makes it one of the best sets on the market.
Comfort & Protection
When your sparring gear set gets hot, it can become very uncomfortable. If the heat is not allowed to dissipate, it increases the chances of overheating. Fortunately, the parts of this gear come with cut-outs. These cut-outs ensure that air circulates freely and heat is quickly dispersed.
All parts of the gear set provide excellent protection, but we especially love the protection the headgear provides. As martial artists, we all realize the danger that can arise when someone is hit on the head. The slightest injury has the potential to become something more severe. The headgear in this sparring gear set comes with thick foam insulation that adds protection. It also has a large cut-out area that negates overheating. The headgear has all the good qualities of dedicated headgear sets and extends a measure of ear protection. Not only does this protect your ears, but it also surprising enhances your hearing.
The Lightning ProForce Karate Sparring Gear Bundle is made of high-quality material that isn’t itchy or uncomfortable. It feels snug and nice. It is a 5-piece set that offers protection to key parts of your body. A thick foam protects the feet, ankles, hands, and wrists. The foam has a thickness of ½” and it is vinyl covered to boot. As for the headgear, it is one of the most protective we have come across. It offers a full 3/4″ thick vinyl foam padding. This ensures that blows to the head are cushioned and the risk of injuries is reduced. The set contains a complete set of head, punches, and kicks. It comes in 1 color; blue.
It is very comfortable. Whether it is you or your kid that is wearing this, it feels nice, and the variety of sizes ensure that everyone gets a set. It isn’t as durable as some of the other sets on this list, but it is satisfactory as far as durability goes. The headgear has cut-outs to increase air circulation and reduce heat.
After a workout, one complaint that many have is stiffness, especially in the neck and shoulders. This is often a result of heavy gear. Thankfully, during testing, this gear felt lightweight. Although the padding is thick, it remains lightweight.
At the back of the headgear in this set, there is a cut out that allows any trapped air to exit the headgear. This cools the head, which in turn makes you feel more comfortable.
This is a cheap option that will appeal to folks looking for a sparring gear set that delivers good performance at a reasonable price. It offers excellent value for money, and although it isn’t as durable as the sparring gear sets higher up on this list, it will still provide years of service.
The BlackBeltShop Century Karate Sparring Gear Combo Set is made of a high-quality ¾” foam that offers protection to critical parts of the body. The set comes with kicks, gloves, and headgear, which seems meager compared with the 8-piece set on this list.
Nevertheless, the available parts have an ergonomic design that makes them easy to slip on and off. They feel comfortable and will protect you. It comes in 5 colors; pink, red, white, black, and blue.
Comfort & Durability
The headgear comes with cut out that aid ventilation and reduces heat. Sound isn’t muffled. It is durable, as well. We have tested the gear for quite some time now, and we haven’t had any complaints so far. It comes with Velcro straps on the headgear that allow you to adjust the tightness or looseness.
The 7-piece sparring gear set is made from similar material as the other BlackBeltShop product on this list. It is made from high-quality ¾” foam. The foam is comfortable. The set comes with more part than the previous version. Instead of just the headgear, gloves, and kicks, the manufacturer adds shin guards to this as well. Since every other thing is of similar quality as the previous iteration, we will only focus on the new addition: the shin guards.
The shin guards protect your feet. It is built of a high-quality ¾” foam, and it is designed to imitate the way your leg bends and folds. During our testing, we found it really useful. It offers protection while not hindering movement. This guard provides total protection of your shins. We daresay that with these shin guards, you might not even require sparring shoes. It fits snugly on the skin and follows the natural structure of the feet.
The gear is designed to keep your body safe while making you comfortable. It comes with different parts with each part designed for your ultimate comfort. The headgear features a mouth guard and case. It is heavily padded yet lightweight. The headgear has air-release canals that keep you safe while preventing overheating. It fits snugly on the head without feeling too tight or loose. With the open-face design, there is no barrier to your sight.
The knuckles are padded to absorb shocks and help you hit better.
One feature we like is the presence of a non-slip fit that keeps the gear from slipping off during training. The guard feels comfortable and molds itself to your body. It is also washing machine compatible, so you can always look clean and fresh.
The chest guard comes with highly-dense foam to protect your chest and abdomen. It features non-slip parts that reassuringly cradle the gear to your body. It comes with a tie that can be tightened or loosened, depending on your preference and size.
To crown it all, the gear set comes with a bag to keep your gear when not in use or when you are on the go.
It has double layers of foam that give impressive shock absorption and protection from hits. The set comes with kicks, gloves, and headgear. For those concerned with aesthetics, it comes in 3 different colors: blue, red, pink, or black. It also comes in several sizes so that there is something for everyone.
The set comes with the standard parts that are in the sparring gear sets on this list, but something that makes the set stand out is the gloves. When sparring, one of the first places injuries occur are the knuckles. The gloves in this set are constructed with this in view and have extra padding for your protection. When you make a fist, you can feel the padding through your knuckles.
The gloves come with an extended piece that reaches the forearm. Thus, when you hit someone, your wrist doesn’t suffer a sprain. The gloves give your wrists the needed support to stand up to the pressure.
The set is padded all around. There is extra padding around the head, and the dispersing foam ensures that hits to your body do not do damage. With extra padding, you can effectively train with your back and shoulders protected. It comes with Velcro straps that can be easily adjusted to make the gear tighter or looser.
The groin protector is a hard plastic shell that protects the genitals and the groin area. It comes in an elastic waistband style, and it is easy to wear and remove.
The Sparring Shoes
This set comes with all the gear you need, and the sparring shoes are some of the best we have used. It is a bottomless shoe and gives you better control. It is firm and isn’t slippery. Some folks feel shoes impair their movements, but these shoes are ideal for sparring. With an extra-wide heel, your feet have more area to move, granting you control and dexterity.
Guide to Buying the Best Sparring Gear Sets
From the list above, you have seen ten of the best sparring gear sets you can buy right now. By considering these gear sets, your choice is narrowed. Remember that there are many gear sets on the market, which each one claiming to be comfortable and safe. Making the right choice can be daunting. If you have gone through the list above and you still want something other than what we have provided, then we can also help you. In this section, we have provided a buying guide that highlights the factors to consider when choosing each part of a gear set.
First, let us consider the factors that make up good headgear
The headgear is arguably the most essential part of the sparring gear set. No wonder then, that no matter the number of parts in a set, you will almost always find the headgear. How can you choose the right headgear, and by extension, the correct sparring gear set? Let us see.
- Type of headgear
Headgear comes in different styles. These styles include competition headgear and sparring headgear.
Competition headgear as the name implies is the kind of headgear used in actual bouts. It does not come with as much padding as the sparring headgear. As a result, it is lighter, smaller, and clearer than sparring headgear.
Sparring headgear is like competition headgear except for some basic differences. One difference is that it has thicker padding. It is heavier than the competition helmet.
- Protective Coverage
The open-face design is the most popular style of protective coverage. It offers protection only to the top of the head. Since you are looking for a sparring set, this is usually enough protection.
However, if you are thinking of engaging in more intense sparring, you might want to opt for a sparring set that offers better protective cover. Some of these include headgear with a chin bar that protects the bottom of the face, a full face headgear that, as the name implies, covers the whole face and leaves just space for visibility. Other sparring gear sets come with face shield or cage.
It is essential to know that the more the protective coverage, the reduction in your performance. This is because the extra protection will add weight and limit your vision.
Aside from headgear, another vital piece of gear is sparring gloves. Here are essential factors to consider when choosing gloves in a sparring gear set:
Sparring gloves come in many forms that you can choose from. There are three main types of gloves: sparring gloves, training gloves, and competition gloves.
Sparring gloves, as the name implies, are mainly used for sparring. You will not need these gloves for any other purpose other than sparring.
Training gloves are the types of gloves you use for training at the gym. They are very versatile and can be used for a variety of things, including sparring.
Competition gloves, are so named because they are used for the actual competition. They are lighter than the other types of gloves since you need to be lightning-quick while in the ring.
Sparring gloves come with two main closure styles: laces or Velcro. Velcro style is the most common style, and it is found in the best sparring gear sets. Velcro is very easy to use as putting them on and off is a breeze. Laces, on the other hand, are tighter and more comfortable. However, they require someone to help you tie them or loosen them.
The material of the glove is usually dependent on the overall material of the sparring gear set. Thus, if the gear set is made of leather, the chances are that the gloves too will come in this material. There are different types of materials that are used to make sparring gloves.
It can either be Vinyl, leather, or PU leather.
Vinyl gloves are the cheapest materials. They are not as durable as the other two materials and can get uncomfortable. Leather gloves are the most expensive, but they are worth the cost. They get better with time! They fit the shape of your hand, are very durable, and are super-comfortable. The PU Leather or Polyurethane Leather gloves are a mix of Vinyl and real leather. They are far more durable than Vinyl and are less expensive than genuine leather.
Your gloves should suit your training style. When you put them on, they should fit perfectly into your hand. You should be sble to comfortably make your hand into a fist.
Shin Foot Guards
These are the third most common pieces in all sparring gear sets. They serve to protect your legs and feet. Furthermore, they reduce the force of your kicks on your opponent. Since you aren’t actually fighting but are simply training, you mustn’t look to harm your partner.
These pieces are usually made of a fabric that has foam insulation embedded in it. The best ones feel really light and do not limit your speed or movement. They also come in different styles. Some of them are detached from each other, i.e.; the shin guard is different from the foot guard. Some others, however, come attached; the shin guard extends to your feet.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Sparring Gear Sets
Can children use a sparring gear set?
Yes! Every instructor worth their salt usually has this as a requirement. Kids can be rough and fragile; hence, with regards to an activity like martial arts, they need as much protection as they can get.
Can I clean my sparring gear set?
Sure, you can! Most gear come in a material that makes it easy to clean. Some are even washing-machine friendly. Hence, after each session, endeavor to wash the gear set, and hang it out in some bright sunshine. It will ensure the set lasts longer and leaves you looking clean and smelling fresh.
There are so many types of sparring gear sets on the market, and choosing the right one can be as challenging as a fight in the ring. To help you choose correctly, we have compiled 10 of the best sparring gear sets on the market. By reading this buying guide and review, we hope the choice is easier to make!