Jiu-Jitsu Head Gear Review: Cliff Keen Twister vs Asics Unrestrained

Cliff Keen Twisters

 

I posted a while ago about “Learning About Cauliflower Ears”.  I got my first visible damage to a ear and it made me paranoid of getting cauliflower ears.  I also have had very sore ears from practice.  Its been a pain trying to find a way to sleep on my side at night.  The solution was to find suitable protective head gear for rolling during BJJ practice.

I picked up a pair of Cliff Keen Twisters from MMAOutLet.com and a pair of Asics Unrestrained from my local sporting goods store.  The Twisters cost me $31 and the Asics $24 (tax and shipping not included).

unrestrained

The Twister as you can see from the picture has 3  main straps.  The Unrestrained has 5 or 6 depending on how you look at it.  I’ll cut to the chase and give you the verdict Cliff Keen Twister won hands down!  I couldn’t even make myself wear the Unrestrained.  It gave me a headache just wearing it.  Unrestrained? No, a better name would be headcrab.

 

Cliff Keen Twister

Pros:

  1. Larger straps spread out the pressure.  It didn’t feel like I had anything on.
  2. The ear protectors are made of a flexible plastic that moves better with you.
  3. Minimal adjustment of straps was needed to get a comfortable fit.
  4. Plenty of ear space.
  5. Foam on ear protectors is light weight and has no construction edges that might rub.
  6. Detachable foam for cleaning or replacement.
  7. Snap-On-Snap-Off chin strap.  One time adjustment is all that is needed.

Cons:

  1. Straps have rough ends that might rub during rolling.  I had to mash my hair down on the front strap to make sure I had some protection.  I didn’t get any rub.

Asics Unrestrained

Pros:

  1. Cheaper

Cons:

  1. Strap adjustment takes for ever!
  2. I felt like I was the man in the iron mask.  It was giving me a headache no matter how I adjusted the straps.
  3. Ear space is acceptable but only after lengthy adjustment of straps.
  4. Very stiff and inflexible.
  5. It is all Velcro no snaps
  6. Top strap was like some one constantly pushing their thumb into the top of my head.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Learning About Cauliflower Ears

first-ear-injury

I haven’t been wearing ear protection when I roll or practice.  I haven’t up to this point got any thing more then a sore ear now and then.  Last week that changed with the "black beauty" you see in the picture.  It is in a shadow in the picture but it is still black enough to stand out.  I don’t know how I got it.  I know my ears got mauled at practice but nothing out of the ordinary.  I’m not vain but I don’t want cauliflower ears.  I wondered if I was going to have to do something like Georgette talks about in her post "How to Drain Your Cauliflowering Ear".  I asked around at practice the next chance I got.  After everyone getting a good look at it and pinching it to see if it was ballooning the consensus was it would be fine.  A few of the guys had experience with cauliflower ears that were much worse.  I was relieved.  I’ll have the black dot for a few months before it heals up.  My ear doesn’t hurt and there isn’t a bubble where the injury is.  I hope this helps my readers diagnose their own ear injuries.  I think its time to get some head gear.  So stay tuned for the review.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu