Recently I upgraded my old style Leon Paul mask for the new "Titan Range HEMA X-change mask", which I'll assume will just be called the Leon Paul "HEMA Mask" from now on.
I ordered this from the main Leon Paul site (rather than the Leon Paul Australia site, which doesn't seem to work for me). It was a breeze to order thanks to a well thought out online ordering system. Postage wasn't expensive and it arrived in New Zealand from the UK is less than a week. There were email updates as the order was processed and the courier tracking system worked nicely.
Many pros for this mask:
The mesh extends much further around the sides and chin replacing the somewhat dubious protection of bib with that a solid mesh. This is definitely another plus in terms of head protection.
The bib appears to be more firm and substantial. Poking myself in the throat with a (blunt) dagger is much more comfortable with this bib.
|Take out these inserts|
Finally, it's a got a little cord for tying around the back of your neck to prevent the mask coming off, presumably in a grappling or gripping situation. This wasn't much of a problem to me previously, Leon Pauls back of mask strap pretty much makes this very difficult to pull off, but it's a nice touch.
The least interesting thing to me is the x-change bib. To be honest I've not even tried removing it. I've never had a problem cleaning the fabric bib on my masks before: run a small sink of warm water, add a small amount of washing powder and scrub with a brush until it's all clean. Simple really and I've never understood what was complicated about this. Asides from not really understanding the point of the x-change system and resenting slightly the extra cost, it's really not a big negative.
This brings us to the cost, it's a very expensive mask. I could almost buy four cheap masks for this price. However, for the sake of something I'll use every single time I train I'm happy to pay extra for small but significant increases in quality and convenience. I've certainly bought cheap gear before and I'm glad that I'm moving beyond that.
If you've got the money it's definitely worth it. Seems to offer an overall increase in terms protection and convenience without any significant negatives. I'm a fan.