So, let’s cut to the chase here. Why does quality matter for a woman's chest protector, and why can you find some cheaper copies of original QP Sport design products on the market?
What does quality mean?
The word quality refers to many things for a product like a chest protector. The most important meaning to us is that quality means our customers feel confident and trust their purchase to do its job. To achieve this, quality has many parts that make up this “whole”. It means we use quality recyclable plastics, 4 way stretch, soft feel and moisture wicking fabrics and quality sewing methods so seams won’t cause irritation.
It means we respect the world standards for protection products set by various international sporting federations and standards agencies like CE. We have tested all of our products in accredited laboratories and have the certification to prove it, where as many crappy copies of our products say they met certification but don't.
It means our plastic moulding has rounded safety edges and no rough finishes that can scratch you. It means we care about our staff and we care about our customers and their sports. We will do the right thing.
Why are there cheaper copies of QP Sport products available?
QP Sport was established in 1979 and is the only specialist breast and chest protection manufacturer in the world. EconoGuard, MaxiGuard, CoolGuard, MasterGuard and BodyGuard are all QP Sport original designs and are now widely copied. In some cases, patents we hold have expired, and in other cases the cost of obtaining and protecting so many patents is not justifiable for a business the size of QP Sport.
As with many products, it doesn't take long for cheap copies to come out of factories in the likes of China and Pakistan, and as Oscar Wilde said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness”. This of course is just the way business in the world works, there will always be copies of our products available, the question is are they any good? We haven’t seen any that are yet. Edges are rough, fabrics and sewing are poor, sometimes seams are coming apart in the packaging. It is impossible to know if these copy products meet certification because they won’t tell you (or us). All we know is that when we test these copy products many are too brittle, and many are more than twice the weight of QP Sport products (and above the maximum weight permitted in the CE standard so they can’t have been tested).
In Europe, customers get a level of security from the CE Standards for products such as chest and breast protectors. Many countries enforce these standards actively and PPE or Personal Protective Equipment is a category that you want to meet the standards, right? QP Sport provide many of the world’s leading brands with chest protectors including most of the leading brands in Europe.
In the USA there are no standards for chest protection products, so anything goes, and this is why there are many copies of our products available.
The bottom line
So why does it matter? Because it’s your body that's on the line so why would you leave your protection to chance. Another factor is that at retail, most of the crappy copies are about the same price as a genuine QP Sport product. So, the bottom line is often only a few bucks between the real QP Sport product that exceeds all standards and is certified, and a copy of unknown quality and safety.