SEA MMA Gear Guide

Hayabusa Kanpeki Elite Headgear Review

Introduction

Hayabusa refreshes their gearline with the new Kanpeki Elite Series, cladding 4 of their fight gear in exquisite brown leather that looks simply awesome. I manage to take a closer look at one of the items in the Kanpeki series - the Kanpeki headgear.

Official Specs:

  • Fashioned with the most exquisite full grain leather
  • Cranial-Cast construction ensures a unique customized fit
  • Excellent peripheral visibility and complete face protection
  • Integrated ear hole covers and open top design for maximum ventilation
  • Handcrafted, authentic quality

Aesthetics

The headgear is made of full grain leather in vintage brown. The Hayabusa kanji stamped on the front looks great, almost like it was branded on. Beyond that, there's the text logo on the back, and that's it. Simple but elegant design. I'll let the photos do the talking from here.

Form & Fit

The headgear is a one size fits all, and I was initially worried about the fit. However, once I put it on, I found it a simple matter to tighten it up and get a snug fit. For reference, the circumference around my forehead is about 59cm (~23 inches).

The headgear was a little stiff on arrival, but after flexing and bending it a couple of times to loosen it up a bit, I was able to form it around my head and tighten it with the large velcro strap at the back. There's a plastic tubing where the strap goes around to help reduce wear and make it easier to tighten.

There's also a lace on top to tighten the headgear and prevent it from shifting up and down. Having experienced headgear that use stretchable elastic and velcro system for this, I much prefer the traditional lace system. While I do not have the original Hayabusa headgear, I've noticed from some photos that the original used a thicker lace while this model has the flatter shoelace type.

When properly worn, the cheek guard holds very snug and the entire headgear has hardly any space to shift. My only gripe is the position of the ear holes feel a little too near the front, so I have to pull really tight to get my ears to fit in. While snug fit is good, I wouldn't mind wearing them a little loose when doing lighter sparring.

Functionality

The headgear offers solid full face protection, with the chin guard at the bottom and a really robust cheek guard. There's also a little notch at the chin guard for you to rest your chin.

In fact, the thickest parts of the padding are at the cheeks and sides of the jaw. The padding itself presses tightly against my cheeks and jaw with little to no gap. Any shock to that area is distributed to the rest of the headgear. During sparring, I took several hard hits and barely felt it. Whether that is good for learning technique or not is an entirely different discussion, but it definitely offers superb protection.

The inside of the headgear is lined with a suede material which provides further grip and prevents the headgear from shifting much. At no point did I need to adjust my headgear during the sessions I had, neither did it slip down to cover my vision. Speaking of which, I still had pretty good peripheral vision and was able to see most kicks, although as with any headgear, there will still be some limiting of vision.

To top it off, there's also a leather strap for ear drum protection.

Affordability

The official price for the Kanpeki Headgear is US $119.99 (SGD $154), and is US $20 more expensive than their original headgear. Lacking an actual side by side comparison with the original headgear, I can't say for sure what are the differences in features beyond the leather and looks.

While the headgear is a quality product, the price is at the higher end of the spectrum for headgears, so it's something you'd have to consider seriously before investing. With headgears, it'll be good if you can actually try it on for size before dropping the buck. Regardless, you can get it from Budovideos.

Conclusion

The Kanpeki Headgear looks awesome and feels awesome, but prices a little high. If you don't mind forking out a little extra for that unique look in your fight gear wardrobe, this looker is a quality product. Now to find a pair of matching shorts...

Disclaimer
All comments in the review are my own personal opinion. Prices provided in brackets are merely for reference and are based on exchange rates at the time of writing.

If you like this review and found it helpful, please post a comment or let the company or retailer know too. Should you decide to purchase them online, you might want to consult the online buying guide for advice.

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