I got 2 of these shirts to play in. I have worn and washed them at least twice a week for the past year and they have held up great.
The pads in the shirt don't lessen the impact of a hit quite as much as my Redz chest protector. When wearing the Empire Ground pounder I still feel more of the initial impact of the hit, although I don't get the bruise from it. For this reseaon I wear the Redz protector when reffing.
Where the Ground Pounder shines is when I am playing. It is very form fitting, and therefore not quite as bulky and "wussy" looking under my camos.
It doesn't hinder my mobility when moving, and doesn't bunch up under my tac vest.
It does lessen the impact of the hit and keep me from getting bruised.
The material it is made of if a cool, wisking material, but I have found that when I sweat there are times when the actual pads seem to soak up the sweat up and tend to stay wet, which makes me warmer than if I had on just an Underarmor shirt for example. For the protection it offers I am willing to endure being a bit more sweaty.
Great to play in, but leaves a bit to be desired for reffing purposes.