In this post, we’ll review the Tribe7 Fort7 goalie head.
Tribe7 is an equipment manufacturer based in San Diego. Founded in 2009 with the intention of producing durable and affordable lacrosse equipment for all players from beginner to advanced/college/pro players.
One of their early pieces of equipment was a faceoff head that was so tough ECD filmed a truck running over it.
There are 2 versions of the Fort7 goalie: the original Fort7 and the Fort7 Pro.
Both versions feature the exact same face and head shape (i.e. same plastic mold) however the Pro version uses an upgraded plastic material they call Durovulc. This newer plastic provides a lot more stiffness with little increase in weight but a bit more of a dent to the wallet.
Lots of goalies complained that the original version was too flimsy so they upgraded the plastic to give it more stiffness with the same large surface area.
Let’s have a look at this goalie head.
To help us with this review of the Fort7 Pro goalie head we’ve recruited the help of Lax Goalie Rat follower Dylan Mandeville, who has been using the Fort7 Pro as his gamer for a while now!
Tribe7 Fort7 Pro: Weight
The Fort7 Pro was designed specifically to be super lightweight and stiff at the same time.
This allows for your hands to be as fast as possible giving you more chances to make big saves in games.
The weight of the strung up Fort7 Pro head comes in at 440 grams (15.5oz).
For comparison my strung up STX Eclipse 2 is 444 grams (15.66oz). While obviously the mesh used can impact these totals it gives you an idea that the Fort7 is just slightly lighter than the Eclipse 2.
In terms of feel, I find the weight of this head to be pretty comparable to a lot of the other heads we’ve tested.
I can move seamlessly with the stick in my hands and I don’t feel as if the weight is deterring me from making any saves.
Dylan’s thought’s: It’s comparable to the Eclipse II or Nemesis III goalie heads in terms of weight. It matches almost every head on the market except for the ECD Impact, and I don’t think anything is going to touch that for a while.
Tribe7 Fort7 Pro: Face Shape
One of the more noticeable qualities of the Fort7 goalie head is its face shape.
According to the Tribe7 website –
The Fort7 has the most ball grabbing surface area of any goalie head in lacrosse. 12.5% more space than the next biggest head. It’s the same as adding an 8 inch plate of mesh to any other head. As in must have it, for more saves.
I’m not sure what head they’re comparing the Fort7 to get that 12.5% number however one thing is clear. Tribe7 definitely went with the more is a better approach as the face shape is really maximized to the limits.
The most comparable head shape of the Fort7 is the STX Shield (left in the photo below) or the Nike Prime Elite goalie heads.
Max surface area makes a lot of sense in terms of saving ability. You don’t need a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard to understand that more surface area equals more room to make saves.
When you compare the Fort7 Tribe7 to the recently released ECD Impact goalie head, you’ll see the Fort7 has a sizable size advantage in terms of ball stopping ability.
The one thing that I found when using this head was that while the face shape is certainly bigger than that of the ECD Impact, I found that the more prominent edges of the Fort7 presented a challenge on low shots.
When going to make low saves, especially off-stick low, I found that the head would get stuck in the turf causing the head to spin whereas the more rounded edges of a head like the ECD impact allow for a more smooth transition.
I don’t necessarily see this as a negative though. I think is just something you need to consider when purchasing a head and what your preference is as a goalie. I’m also sure that after some more reps this is something I could get used to with this head and think about all of the additional coverage that you’re going to get.
One very important detail – the Tribe7 Fort7 is NOT on the list of approved USA lacrosse women’s heads. That’s a bummer and it means that – as of this writing – female goalies cannot use the Tribe7 Fort7 goalie head.
Dylan’s Thoughts: The face shape is a little different and that’s what drew me to this head. That extra 8 inches of space the head offers I think helps mentally for me. You’re telling me that I get an extra bit of space to make saves compared to any other head on the market, I’ll take that any day.
The side profile of the Fort7 Pro is pretty interesting:
It starts out offsetting back but then bends forward towards the top. I think this is a good design for the top to reduce the bends and keep it stiffer while still providing the throwing and scooping benefits that the offset-ness gives you.
Tribe7 Fort7 Pro: Throat
The throat design of the Fort7 resembles that of the StringKing Mark 2G goalie head.
It’s a comfortable grip but the throat does start to get rather wide toward the head. So if you’re one of those goalies that like to position their top hand as close to the head as possible it might get uncomfortable.
I was a “top hand against the plastic” goalie but the Fort7 throat does have these little nubs that made putting a single finger on the throat very comfortable for me.
Tribe7 Fort7 Pro: Stringing
An important factor in a goalie head is: can I throw in a tasty pocket very easily?
With the face shape of the Fort7 it fairly easy to throw in a nice pocket.
The distribution and number of top string holes as well as side string holes is great. There’s tons of bottom string holes too.
But one knock on this goalie head that I’ve heard from a lot of experts (and even intermediate) stick stringers is the holes are too small. You can see in the pics below its tough to get 2 revolutions of regular string through it. That’s not even the thicker paracord 550.
The cutout scoop, while it does reduce weight, also caused goalie stringers some issues.
Lots of stick stringers had the same feedback regarding the stick hole size:
Other testimonials –
Tribe7 Fort7 Pro: Durability
The Fort7 Pro is made of our proprietary DUROVULC polymer blend, an advanced material that rewrites the strength-to-weight ratio in lacrosse heads.
As mentioned earlier, many goalies complained that the original version was too flimsy so Tribe7 upgraded the plastic to give it more stiffness with the same large surface area.
Both versions feature the exact same face and head shape (i.e. same plastic mold) however the Pro version uses the upgraded Durovulc material that provides a lot more stiffness with little increase in weight but a bit more of a dent to the wallet.
I think the head flex is relatively okay. It’s not quite the reinforced scoop that ECD Impact or the stiffness of the Warrior Nemesis 3 possesses but it certainly is very stiff and sturdy.
The Fort7 also has winglets on the scoop, to cover and direct more shots while also having teeth on the inside of the scoop, to securely clamp down on more ground balls, making the crease your own personal fort.
Dylan’s thoughts: I’ve used the head for over a year and I think it’s held up pretty well, especially in the summer. I did get one little crack in the bottom of the head after playing in 35-degree weather at our Halloween game though. But I sent an email to the company and they instantly gave me a discount and wanted to send me another one head.
Tribe7 Fort7 Pro: Price
The Fort7 Pro comes in at $107.99 unstrung. That is comparable to heads such as the STX Ecplise II and ECD Impact heads which come in at 109.99 each on lacrosse monkey.
You also have the option of purchasing a strung head for an extra $45.99. You can choose from a standard or custom option. The custom option allows you to pick the color of mesh, sidewalls, and shooters you want with your head.
Tribe 7 allows you to provide them with any additional requests you may have for getting your head string like how you would like your channel done or the number of shooters you would like in the mesh.
Lastly, you can purchase the Fort7 Pro as a complete stick for $227.77. This comes with the Tribe7 Elite7 shaft, their newest Titanium-Scandium shafts that combine light weight and strength into the perfect premium package.
Lacrosse is my passion! The game has given me so much and this blog is my way of giving back to the lax community. Specifically the most bad a$$ part of that community - the goalies! After learning to play goalie from scratch, I wanted to create a site where I could share what I learned with others so they too can become champions in the crease and in life. Learn more about Coach Damon.
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