Gear Review: Kwik Goal Premier Referee Jersey, Green

This revews examines the long sleeved Kwik Goal Premier Referee Long Sleeve Jersey in green, and compares it to the OSI Pro Referee Jersey.

To get a more technical perspective on the difference between the two garments, I asked a family member who is retired from many years in clothing manufacturing to review both garments.

The bottom line: the OSI jersey is a somewhat higher quality garment than the Kwik Goal version, but either would serve the purpose just as well.

As noted in my review of the black Kwik Goal jersey, the green KG also offers one feature not offered in the OSI jersey: a handy pen channel in the left pocket.

The professional’s review of the jerseys revealed a few details that were lost on me. For example, the OSI jersey has a discernible “thickness” in both the collar and placket that is absent from the KG jersey. This is due to the use of interfacing fabric in the placket and collar, as you can see in the gallery below.

Why does this matter? After repeated washings, the shape of the OSI collar and placket should hold up better than that of the KG jersey.

Another difference: the collar placket on the OSI jersey is black, while the KG jersey is green. Does this matter? I’m not sure, so I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Finally, there is a slight difference in color shading between the two jerseys. To be fair, I should point out that the OSI jersey has been washed five or six times, while the KG jersey has never been washed. You may be able to see that the KG jersey, on the left in the photo, is slightly darker.

If you’re having trouble seeing the difference, then you’ve got the point. If referees were lined up next to each other wearing alternating KG and OSI jerseys, you may be able to just tell the difference. Honestly, I don’t think most people would ever notice a difference.

Recommendations

Based on the technical review of these jerseys, I’m ready to offer some recommendations.

If you are really serious about refereeing and believe it is important to have “the best”, then the OSI Pro jersey is the best choice.

On the other hand, if you are a new referee just building your uniform collection, I recommend purchasing the Kwik Goal jerseys over the OSI Economy line. For about the same price ($24.95 OSI v $24.99 KG), the Kwik Goal jerseys offer two usable pockets thanks to the velcro flaps, which are absent from the OSI Economy line. Throw in the pen channel and the button up collar, and the KwikGoal jersey is an easy winner over the OSI Economy line.

Finally, if you are an experienced referee who has been holding off on adding to your uniform colors because of the price of the OSI Pro Jerseys, the Kwik Goal jersey is a perfectly serviceable alternative. At $33 shipped (amazon.com) vs $56 shipped (officialsports.com), the Kwik Goal jerseys would be a great cost-saving alternative for those rarely worn blue and green colors.

A quick post script: if you are concerned about supporting US Soccer through its’ official partners, rest easy. Both OSI and Kwik Goal are official “Technical Partners” of US Soccer.

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Gear Review: Eagle Creek Pack-It Folder

We review the Eagle Creek Pack-It Folder, 15 inch size, which is used for storing your jerseys. Reasonably priced at $21 (amazon.com), the Pack-It Folder provides a convenient way to transport your jerseys without the hassle of hangers. They’re sold in different thicknesses, including 15, 18, and 20 inch sizes. I’ve found the 15 inch size can accommodate 5 OSI Pro model short-sleeve jerseys. I’ve managed to cram in a long-sleeved jersey also, but things are pretty tight.

UPDATE: I now have the 18 inch model and can report that it accommodates the XL size jerseys perfectly! If you wear XL size jerseys, skip the 15 inch model and get the 18 inch. Note that OSI doesn’t offer the 18 inch version; you’ll have to go to Amazon or elsewhere to get it.

Using the folder is easy, because it comes with a plastic card you use to fold your jerseys, ensuring they will fit in the folder. This folding card is printed with easy-to-follow instructions for the “laundry challenged” among us.

Folding using the card is very easy and produces the right result each time. Once you’ve folded and placed all of your shirts, you put the plastic card on top, and seal up the four flaps of the folder with the velcro that is sewn in.

It’s nice having all of your jerseys in one place, folded neatly and ready to use. No hassling with hangers or digging through your bag searching for the green jersey.

One small quibble: I wear an XL in the OSI jersey and that size is just a bit too big for the Pack-It such that the jerseys do end up getting a bit crammed in. Take a look at the photo below to see what I mean.Eagle Creek Pack It Folder Image

Fortunately, these wrinkles aren’t a problem and fall out quickly when you pull the shirt out. I don’t think you’d have this problem if you wear anything below an XL. However, if you wear an XXL, you might want to think twice; you may find the jerseys are just too wide to work well in this system.

I’ve used the Eagle Creek Pack-It, 15 inch size for over a year now, and recommend it to you. It’s a great way to keep your kit neat and readily at hand.