Regarding the gear I use, I'm 5'9 and 165 lbs. That typically gets me in a 65 flex stick (though I've experimented with 55 and 75) and my go-to curve is the P28.
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You’ve seen them around. Chances are, there’s some beauty in your beer league who has a pair of Eagle hockey gloves; but perhaps you’ve rarely seen or heard of this company before! For those who don’t know, Eagle is a long-standing company that has been producing protective equipment and sticks – though their claim to fame is their gloves! For me, Eagle is synonymous with being a comfortable, quality-crafted, Canadian-made glove. I’ve owned a pair of custom Aero Pros for two years, here’s my honest review on the glove, as well as a quick overview of custom options. Eagle offers one of the most extensive and flexible custom programs in hockey – so if a dream pair of four-roll gloves has been in your bucket list, look no further!
Fit and Comfort: The Aero Pro is one of Eagle’s latest products and what I’d call their staple 4-roll glove as of recent times. As with any 4-roll glove, you’re looking at a traditional, volume-based, fit. It’s wide throughout the fingers, backhand, and wrist, so take note – if you prefer a tighter-fitting glove, you may find the fit “sloppy”.
If I’m comparing it to other 4-roll products on the market, it’s closer to being a “narrower” glove. When initially searching out 4-roll gloves, Eagle, Bauer, Warrior and CCM were all in consideration. Thus here’s a quick breakdown, because I firmly believe that all 4-roll gloves fit tighter or looser than others- even if they’re all meant to be a “loose, volume-based glove”. Therefore, in order of tightest to loosest:
- CCM’s 4-Roll Pro III is easily the snuggest fitting. That being said, CCM describes it as a “straight and tapered fit through the fingers and backhand”.
- Eagle’s Aero Pro is the next “snuggest”. It still maintains a comfortable, loose fit, though is much tighter than the Dynasty and Nexus model.
- Warrior’s Dynasty line falls much closer towards that loose fit. It claims to have a contoured backhand, though there’s definitely a lot of space in the hand and cuff area.
- Bauer’s Nexus line is what I’d register as the loosest fitting glove on the market. It’s simply got the most volume and range of motion in the cuff.
Regarding comfort, it’s easily one of the nicest gloves I’ve ever worn. The MSH3 palm (more on this shortly) feels fantastic on my hands and fingers. Their liner isn’t anything special, a basic antibacterial liner in either black or orange, but breathes well and does a good job of wicking away moisture. Is it Bauer’s 37.5 or Warrior’s WarTech liner? No, but it’ll get the job done.
Palm and Gussets: The palm and gussets are perhaps my favourite part of Eagle gloves. Aero Pro gloves comes standard with an MSH3 palm and overlay – plus the overlay is segmented to allow for maximum mobility. As far as the palm goes, MSH3 (which is a polyester microsuede), is perhaps my favourite material. It’s soft, relatively thin, and breaks in extremely well. That said, I have minor issues with the durability of the palm (more on this later). If you’ve never tried MSH3, I’d compare it very much to the suede materials you can find on Bauer’s 1X glove.
The gussets are the same MSH3 material, and similarly are extremely soft when broken in. That being said, Eagle’s custom program allows for the gusset material to be spandex or mesh if it’s to your liking!
I’ll touch on break-in time now simply because it was an easy process and I didn’t have any significant problems with it. At the time I received the gloves, I was skating over four times a week. From date of purchase I felt that they were ready to use, (something I don’t necessarily feel with a number of retail gloves today), they only continued to become better with use.
Mobility: One of my personal reasons for loving 4-roll gloves is due to the open wrist movement and shortness which most 4-roll cuffs have. I wear an older pair of Jofa elbow pads, which go a lot further down on my forearm than any retail elbow pad, yet I still have an exceptional amount of wrist movement.
Mobility in the fingers is also amazing, MSH3 really is my favourite palm material and perhaps one of the strongest selling points of Eagle gloves. I have no problems wrapping my fingers around the stick or simply opening and closing my hands.
Protection: The protective package on the glove features a dual-density foam package with plastic inserts. This much is standard in most higher-end gloves above the $150 price point. Eagle also boasts the three-piece guard on the index finger and a lock thumb. For me, the protection is what it needs to be. Even playing against ex-junior and ex-pro players, the glove has enough to handle the odd stinger or wild stick. That being said, new technology is quickly advancing. Bauer boasts their Poron technology in their top-end models, CCM using their D30 foam in their Tacks models and Warrior with their Phantom Foam – all fantastic tech in their own right. The verdict? Technology wise the protection is adequate; that in mind, there is better if you’re looking for more protection.
Regarding the lock thumb, it’s used to prevent hyperextension, but restricts flexibility of the thumb. I’m a huge fan of the lock thumb (being a traditionalist), though someone coming from a Bauer or CCM model may miss the lack of movement.
Durability: Here’s what everyone wants to know – does the glove hold up? There’s no worse feeling than buying new gloves, yet finding a hole in them within two months. Regarding the palm, I found a tear in the overlay develop within three months. For how much the gloves costed me at the time ($199 retail), I was disappointed. Even with the frequency I play, I use a small knob and meticulously dry my gear every ice time. My guess is that perhaps friction between the first layer and the overlay caused a premature tear? The initial layer is still intact, though I wasn’t too pleased – palm still feels amazing though. Regarding the exterior materials of the glove, it’s a mix of tuftek (nylon) and can have either Portofino (synthetic leather) or carbon (a knit synthetic). They all work exceptionally well, though keep in mind: a skate blade will cut through most of these materials.
Customizable Features: It was hard for me not to write an entire review on the full custom features that you can take up with Eagle gloves. I almost did! Although I’ve used both the retail and custom model, I wanted to show the customizability Eagle offers. Here’s a quick bullet list of the choices you have:
- Palm: Aside from MSH3, you have options to: goatskin, leather, digital, and nash are just some of the choices.
- Cuff: You can shorten, or lengthen different parts of the cuff – or choose a different cuff altogether! Many pros have shorter cuffs or use different segmentations that you can find pictures of on the web.
- Protection: Added protection, or even less protection, can easily be added on. You can even ask for other aspects from other models. The pinky thumb of my Aero Pros actually use the pinky from an older model, rather than their retail offering.
- Aesthetics: Aside from choosing colors, you can choose the production thread, as well as add an extra layer of color to the bindings. Logos can also be interchanged with any model, older logos and stamps. My custom pair had a lot of aesthetic options to make the glove as unique as possible.
Price: The glove retails at $199 Canadian ($179 US), though it can be found on sale at many retailers. The price is just shy of other high-end gloves from larger manufacturers; if you can find a pair on sale, I doubt you’ll be disappointed. Also worth noting, is their Aero model which features the same palm and main features at a much lower price! The difference, is the liner and that the Aero model is produced outside of Canada.
Interested? It’s a comfy glove for sure and for me, the fact that Eagle’s high end gloves are manufactured in Canada adds to the quality of craftsmanship. You can find the glove on Hockey Monkey on sale while stock lasts! Any other questions for custom features? Feel free to comment below!