Review of ROBO Hotpants
When I took them out of the bag they immediately felt a lot more solid then the Cloud. Made from all Lycra, good pockets for the padding and good thick padding. Because the padding is thicker and the shorts have small panels in the thigh area just above the main panels movement is not as unhindered as the Cloud. It took about 5 minutes to get used to them, so nothing really worth mentioning.
The fit is even better than the Cloud thanks to the Lycra. It follows your body and stretches with movements so the shorts stay in the right place no matter how weird the moves you make. With the ROBO overpants over them the fit is even better.
The open crotch design makes for a good interaction with the abdo-guard and enough ventilation. Also the lack of padding on the hips makes the pants less hot than some other brands that do have extra padding on the hips. You will get hot and sweaty, but it’s not a real problem.
During the first use, they felt a bit more bulky than the cloud, which is not strange with the thicker padding, but thanks to the Lycra movement is great. There was no breaking in time needed at all.
Just as I did when I got the CLOUD hotpants, I intentionally let a few shots hit the pants to test them and the thick padding did the job excellently. I felt the ball hit the shorts like you feel a ball hit a legguard, no pain or anything.
With the ROBO there isn’t a lot of padding on the side/hip area, just one pad on the hip bone, so when diving the landing can be quite hard. Also during sliding this can be somewhat of a miss. The pads did stay in the right place during the sliding and diving, so that’s a good thing. I currently use a football (soccer) goalie’s padded compression short as a baselayer and this does the job in cushioning the impact of a dive or slide.
I’ve had this one for a couple of years now and there is hardly any wear or tear. I have had to repair the seams around the pockets and the lock-stitching around the edges reasonably often, but as it’s a stretchy fabric there is not much you can do about that.
The outside Lycra around the hip padding shows signs of a hole forming due to sliding. When this wears through it will be a lot harder to repair than the Cloud is, but I doubt you will need to repair it. It will probably not cause a tear because Lycra doesn’t tear easily and by the time it does become a problem all the stretch will be gone from the pants so they will need to be replaced anyway.
I wash the pants every 2 or 3 months which is easy enough to do. Just take out the padding and put the shell in the machine. You can clean the padding with a mild soap and some lukewarm water. (Or just put it in the machine with the pants as I always do, but it’s not the “official” way to do it 😉 ) After everything has dried take your time to put back the padding because it can be a bit of a struggle. Which is a good thing because it means the padding will stay where it’s supposed to.
The above mentioned loss of stretch is the only downside of the use of Lycra. It will loose it’s stretch in time causing a lesser fit. Another point is the hip flexor muscle protection panel. This is a bit thin and has 2 separate hard foam panels on top of it. It makes movement very easy and this way you can take the panel out of the pants, but it also causes fatigue in the softer foam causing it to break. Luckily mine hasn’t broken yet, but I know a couple of other goalies where it has.
Overall I am very happy I bought the ROBO hotpants and when the time comes that it needs to be replaced I will not hesitate and buy another ROBO. I know there are cheaper girdles on the market that offer the same level of protection, but the fit, comfort and ventilation of the ROBO is superior to it’s competitors.