Tuesday, July 5, 2011

REVIEW: Other assorted Valken Goodies

       We have 6 products to quickly review as a wrap up to the Week of Valken on Eight Pound Ops; some stocking stuffer kind of products they could be described as. We have the Valken Remote Hose Cover, Neck Protector, Tank Cover, Sierra Gloves, and two flavors of Valken barrel condoms. I apologize for how inappropriate that last one must have sounded.
       The Hose Cover: I don't have any similar products which I've used that are like this one but I can definitely say that for around 15 dollars, it's a super handy device to add to your paintball gear collection. I decided to grab one when I realized how annoying cleaning a naked remote coil can be. It doesn't take much incoming fire to get your coil covered in paint which will dry, crack, and flake off all over your house once you're off the field. For me at least, running a wet cloth along the length of the coil is easier said than done. However, as I write this I realize that running the remote line under hot water would probably be a much faster solution to my hose cleaning woes.... In any case, the Valken remote line cover is a robust piece of paintball gear being made of the same material which their pants and tops are made off with easy to use velcro strips to keep it form sliding up and down the length of your remote coil. Another plus? Using one of Valken's camo'd remote line covers means you won't have a bold black line running from your back to your marker and will allow the remote line to blend into your outfit.
       The Neck Protector: It's a comfortable device for taking the bite out of shots which find their way to your throat. For the first couple days of use, you'll definitely be very conscious of it being there. This isn't to say that the V-Tac neck protector is uncomfortable or restrictive of movement, just that it folds in very “feelable” ways when you crane your neck in certain directions. Unlike a lot of neck protectors, there aren't a lot of sewn on pieces of cloth, neoprene, and extraneous designs so it's a fairly minimalist and affordable piece of equipment. It is however a piece of foam, albeit a nice one, but like most pieces of foam, it will soak up your sweat on hot days rather than wick it away like those expensive models with cloth.
       The V-Tac Barrel Condom: This barrel cover is pretty standard fair as far as barrel condoms go but with a much nicer price tag, about 3-5 dollars depending on where you're purchasing from. Some might think the price tag is an unimportant part of the deal but with barrel covers with half naked ladies on them running 15$ in some cases, it's worth a mention. This cover isn't quite as long, nor as wide as what Tippmann usually includes with their makers but it is large enough to cover a Flatline or Apex Barrel. The construction and material they are made of does appear to be more robust and they are made of a material more hefty than that on other products in the V-Tac line. They also come in every camouflage scheme which Valken currently offers so there's plenty of options to choose from.
       The Rental Barrel Condom: According to the order sheet which Valken sends teams and dealers, these barrel covers are supposed to be orange, but the 30 covers which landed in my employers lap are black. We can't complain however because they look slick, fit our rental Custom 98's quite nicely and are holding up just as well, if not better than any other barrel cover. With most rental covers running 5$ a pop (from our other suppliers) Valken's make a nice new addition with their 2.50$ price tag. Unlike those from the V-Tac line, they are not large enough to fit a Flatline or Apex Barrel.
       Valken Sierra Gloves: a team mate of mine ordered these gloves and agreed that letting me try them on to review them in the Week of Valken was a good idea. I'd personally never seen them before and wasn't sure what the expect for 15$, but when they arrived and I got a good look at the gloves, they reminded me very much of those BT Sniper gloves people know I've come to loathe. These are made by Valken however so I will try to evaluate them objectively. First off, they do feel comfy. at first try on they don't restrict movement in any parts of the hand which is really nice, they also grant a fair bit of finger dexterity so a good trigger walk on a speedball gun might not be out of the question, and I'm even wearing these gloves as I type this review. They have a very small amount of padding on the palms of the gloves, four small stitched areas of it and it's so little in fact that it almost seems unnecessary to have added it here. Some of you know I'm a fan of the kevlar palms of some paintball gloves and the padding on these palms doesn't seem worth it. They are warmer than inexpensive, cotton, winter gloves which might be a turn off for some, and they do not have any padding on the back of the hand at all, with the exception of a small piece of synthetic leather over the trigger finger. I do like the synthetic leather palm of the gloves, as well as the added silicon bits for facilitating grip. For the price, they seem like a good deal, but I know inexpensive paintball gloves too well by now to think these ones are going to be much different than other companies offerings. To be fair, I'll do an addendum review at the end of the year and let you know if they survived the next couple of months on my teammate's hands.
       The V-Tac Tank Cover: When you buy yours, you may think you've been had. They look a lot smaller than the tanks they are meant to cover but rest assured, they stretch over and compliment the profile of the tank you're using just fine. The cover is made of a combination of materials: 70% neoprene, 25% polyester, and 5% lycra (spandex). The stitching that holds the tank together is about what you'd expect from a cover from NXE, but the design is much simpler. As a result, this cover costs less than those made by competitors, but they come with fewer features, most notably any sort of silicon grip on the back to give the cover better grip to your shoulder. Having this material make contact with your shoulder is certainly better than a slippery naked tank resting there sliding all over the place causing shots to go wide but some form of grip would have been a nice touch. Some of the gentleman on my team have noticed that in some ares of the cover there is the same fuzzing up which is present in the V-Tac Zulu jersey. Aside from that complaint, there's only one other thing which worries me: the zipper. It's standard Valken fare but as of late I've broken so many zippers on all sorts of paintball gear that I whimper whenever I see one. Perhaps I'm just paranoid.

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