Whether you’re training, running a league or playing among friends, there is going to come a time when it’s useful to have some football bibs.
The football bib is a simple concept (unless you’re Mario Balotelli trying to put one on), but designs and prices vary markedly between manufacturers and you can end up paying anywhere between £2 – £5 per bib.
Some bibs offer a little extra in the way of features, such as being reversible, but on the whole they’re all just lightweight bits of material designed to mark one group of players out from another.
It’s a simple job that a bib has to do, but given the regular usage they can be required for, you want to make sure they’re well made to withstand wear and tear.
We recently looked into buying some bibs and were overwhelmed with choice.
Nike, puma and others all have fine offerings with a more fitted shape and their logos emblazoned across the front. But what they offered in fashion, it wasn’t clear was matched with durability, and certainly was incorporated into the price, with most such bibs starting at £3.50 each.
The bargain choice of bibs
The bargain choice is a simple looking bib made by Diamond. We all know that cheapest doesn’t always equal best when it comes to buying football gear. But at less than £2 a unit, it has to be worth a look when the sort of Nike bib above is going to be about £5.50 per bib. Sure, it doesn’t have the cut or the flashiness of a bib made by a major brand, but that’s no reason to write it off.
Not one to do things by halves, 5-a-side.com ordered 25 of these bibs for a staggering £40, which even included postage! That’s an incredible £1.60 per bib – although we subsequently found where to buy them even cheaper – see below!
The bibs come in boys, youth, or mens and a choice of 8 colours. We were able to get a mix of colours so we opted for 13 red and 12 yellow.
For a very affordable bib, it turns out that they are well made. They might not have the finesse of more expensive alternatives, but the mesh is durable, the stitching is tidy enough, and the edges are trimmed with a black lining which should really help avoid wear and tear.
It’s not a fitted design and the men’s size is going to be roomy for the more svelte players and perhaps a little challenging for anyone very large, but overall it’s not bad. You can’t expect too much from a one-size fits all design. The length is about right and it does the job.
These bibs are used widely by others
It seems that the Diamond design is used by a few major 5-a-side companies. A couple of days after my order of bibs arrived, I was playing down at my local Leisure Leagues venue who have both orange and yellow bibs for use in their games. Apart from the fact that they’ve got their logo across the face of their bibs, the make, materials, design and build quality is very similar (possibly even identical) to the bib we’ve reviewed.
The bibs used in my local league have withstood a lot of use over a long period of time, which is a good sign that that the Diamond product should give a lot of use for the money.
The bottom line
On a cost per unit basis this bib is probably the best on the market. It’s the cheapest we could find yet it doesn’t seem that any corners have been cut in the materials or manufacturing.
For the simple job of marking one set of players out from the crowd, you really can’t fault this bib. It’s well made, durable, and should comfortably do the job you’re looking for.
There are a couple of buying choices for you to consider:
1) You can get it straight from the manufacturer, Diamond. They don’t have internet ordering but if you phone them (see if you can speak to the very helpful Lorraine) they should be able to process an order of 10 bibs for £12 + postage of £8 = total of £20. Click this link for their website.
2)The cheapest option at the moment is on ebay: Football Bibs on Ebay – You can often find people selling bibs on ebay cheaper than you can get them from Diamond. How can they do this? Well, it’s because they are buying in bulk from the manufacturer (Diamond) and then have cheaper delivery than the manufacturer! Remember to check that you’re ordering the right size (junior, youth or men)
Update, this review was first posted in May 2013. As of December 2014 we’ve been using these bibs now weekly for 5-a-side and they’re still going strong!