Bauer VAPOR 1X launches: glove and blocker overview
For all the focus on the dramatic evolution of Bauer’s lighter, faster-sliding pads over the past year, starting with the Supreme 1S OD1N last spring and continuing with the launch of Vapor 1X OD1N today, the company has also made some big strides with their gloves.
The Supreme 1S gloves represented a significant step forward in consistency of feel and break from previous models, and that trend continues with the new Vapor 1X.
The Vapor 1X gloves replace the old Reactor line, and while there are similarities between the two blockers, the trapper has significant differences, starting with the most obvious, a one-piece cuff instead of the old two-piece on the Reactor models. Less obvious, at least visually, are the new split-t to create a deeper pocket and the double-seam “spine” that runs along the break line in the palm for consistent and easier closure using only the fingers as well as increased palm protection.
The new Vapor 1X glove has a 60-degree break and closed relatively easily out of the box.
The re-engineered break, with it’s thicker middle section, or “spine,” is interesting.
Designed to close with the index finger pulling into the end of your thumb, the new Vapor 1x glove closes easily with the outer edge of that section lined up along the middle of main knuckle on the fingers.
Unlike the Supreme 1S glove, which allowed goalies to tinker with the break, or how the glove around the hand closed based on how they held it, that thicker middle “spine” section became more noticeable – and not really in a good way – if you pushed your hand deeper into into the glove and moved that break line more into the palm or even the bottom of the fingers. It was something a couple of testers mentioned on their feedback forms at the recent TendyFest demo day but it’s worth noting InGoal was working exclusively with a glove for a photo shoot and has not had a chance to break it on or take it out on the ice for prolonged testing. The suspicion is this spine will become less noticeable as the seams on either side of it soften up with break in, and regardless of that, it still closes well right out of the box as designed, with that break positioned along the middle knuckles.
Part of that easy closure is tied to that small split in the “T” just above the palm, which makes it easier for the glove to close while maintaining a consistent break angle. That little split also contributes to a deeper pocket than its Reactor predecessor, which combines with a deep angle into the pocket from the thumb to help retain pucks even when you don’t catch every shot perfectly.
You may not be able to see it on the outside, but much like the improved use of technology to make the Vapor 1X pads lighter and slide better, Bauer incorporated some of it’s proprietary materials and innovations into the inside of the new Vapor glove.
This includes the use of impact-absorbing Poron XRD foams in the palm and the use of CURV composite materials in the palm to not only maintain the shape and ensure it will break in without breaking down, but also improve protection. Inside the palm, Bauer used it’s new Transfer Mesh, a breathable fabric has was combined with Bauer’s 37.5® Technology to increase air flow and accelerate sweat evaporation. And, like the pads, Bauer uses new material and printed graphics on the outside to reduce weight.
BAUER VAPOR 1X BLOCKER
The Vapor 1X blocker will look familiar since it continues in the tradition of the Reactor, which is a good thing considering it was considered one of the more redeeming pieces dating back to the 6000 series.
It is distinct from the Supreme 1S in both the binding around the front edge and the more traditional two-piece sidewall construction that starts at the bottom edge of the blocker board rather than wrapping around the top edge. The Vapor 1X also has a lower hand position on the blocker board compared to the Supreme, improving coverage up high well maintaining a well-balanced feeling the hand. The gap between the thumb protection and the extra layer of index finger protection leaves just enough room for the stick, providing protection that is amplified with the use of their XRD impact-absorbing foams.
Bauer continues to use it’s Free Flex cuff to maintain a good range of wrist motion, which is especially important for the Vapor 1X blocker because the hand is positioned lower. Bauer also incorporated the same AEROLITE technology used on the outside of the calf wing on the Vapor pads to add protection to that flexibility.
Turning the blocker over, the palm features AX SUEDE™ QUATTRO, a durable, comfortable Nash-like material that also provides a little extra grip as the hand gets wet.
To keep it from staying wet, Bauer incorporated their breathable Transfer Mesh with their 37.5® Technology in the liner to increase air flow and accelerate sweat evaporation.
The increased use of evolving technology and new materials enhances a blocker InGoal testers liked since the Reactor 6000 launched all those years ago. Combine that with a vastly improved glove, and new pads that combine the feel and flex of a traditional “soft” pad with the sliding speed, active rebounds and light weight of a modern pad, and the new Vapor 1X line should help Bauer continue the rapid ascension in the puck-stopping world that started with last year’s launch of the Supreme 1S.
~ Stay tuned to InGoal Magazine and our various social media channels for more on-ice tester feedback on the new Vapor 1X line, as well as a one-year durability update on the Bauer Supreme 1S line in the coming months.