If there was a major upgrade in the Supreme 2S Pro line that went somewhat overlooked amid all the attention on the continuing pad improvements, it was the glove, which many testers cited as the best they’d tried from Bauer. It’s too early for consensus, but the early feedback on the new, easier-to-close Bauer Vapor 2X Pro glove has been similarly positive.
The break on the Vapor is different from last season’s Supreme model. Where the 2S Pro closed more like a CCM 600 or Vaughn 5500 break, with the fingertips pulling to the end of the thumb like a first baseman’s mitt, the new Vapor 2X Pro glove closes more like a CCM 590, with a 60-degree break and the fingers pulling more into to the base of the thumb or palm.
While the break angle on 2X Pro is the same as 1X Pro, the ease of closure is notably improved. It’s also a lot easier to snap the 2X Pro open and closed than it was with the Supreme 2S Pro, which took longer to break in, one of its few negatives. Not only does the 2X Pro close with ease immediately but it opens wide and presents big as soon as you take it out of the box.
The pocket has gone back to a single-t design compared to the split-t on the 1X and double-t on the 2S model, which may play a role in the easier closure. But each model is available with both pocket options and you can also order each in a reinforced pocket through Pro Custom.
Bauer has also added something they call Catch Grip to the palm of the Vapor 2X Pro glove to create a stickier surface that keeps your hand in place even as you start to sweat. And while it hasn’t received much attention, our early InGoal testers were also big fans of the expanded and upgraded thumb loop. While it ties up in traditional fashion on the outside, inside the glove the loop is significantly longer and has a layer of a neoprene-like material on the inside, increasing the feel, eliminating edges and, at least anecdotally, making it easier to close. Speaking of easy closure, Bauer added a Fast Strap system at the wrist, making it easy to tighten.
Bauer swapped out their 37.5 technology in favor of their new Thermocore technology, which is designed to do the same thing: keep you cool while also drying quickly for your next game.
Speaking of high-tech materials, Bauer continues to use impact-absorbing Poron XRD foam in the palm of the glove to soften the blow of hard slappers, preventing stingers and making it easier to maintain pucks even when you don’t catch then clean in the pocket.
They’ve also continued to include Curv Composite in the face of the glove over the fingers for both added protection and to help the glove keep its shape over time.
The Vapor 2X Pro is available in three stiffness options: Game Ready is standard, Pro has an additional layer of foam backing in the palm, and Practice, which is available on Pro Custom orders and has a reinforced poly base, extra layer foam backing and Poron in Thumb Zone.
The glove comes stock with white lacing but can be ordered with skate lace (white only) and Pro Custom orders come in your choice of eight different color lace options.
It seems to have gotten lost amid the other innovations despite being pointed out in these reviews for the past couple of years, but Bauer has gone beyond the “blocker is a blocker” clichés by giving their blockers the same super active rebounds their C.O.R.TECH-era pads have become well known for. The theory is simple: like a puck off the pad, a blocker save is typically one that produces a rebound, so why not make it easier to punch it away from danger areas and buy yourself time to recover, but without actually having to punch at the puck.
It’s achieved through a combination of Bauer’s Curv Composite, the same C.O.R.TECH skin used on the pads, but they didn’t stop at using those ingredients to maintain lively rebounds on the Vapor 2X Pro blocker. Bauer also used them to significantly thin it out and reduced weight.
The 2X Pro blocker is tapered to the point you can’t help but notice how thin it is on the outside and front edge compared to other blockers. It’s also hard to miss how light this new blocker is.
The Vapor 2X Pro blocker weighs in at one pound, eight ounces, almost half a pound lighter than the Supreme 2S Pro — and that was already a blocker testers noted was light.
Beyond that, the Vapor 2X Pro blocker has a pillow pad on the inside of the thumb that isn’t there on the Supreme 2S Pro (it can be added to Supreme or removed from Vapor in the Pro Custom option), and the Vapor sidewall extends more down the thumb line.
The palm features a thin additional cushioning layer where you hold the stick, adding to the feel, and features the new Quattro Ivory Pro material, an updated odor resistant treatment that keeps it clean and fights against bacterial and fungal growth. Like the glove, the blocker has swapped 37.5 technology from past models for their Thermocore transfer mesh that helps move sweat off your body and keep your temperature regulated to prevent overheating.
The Free Flex cuff on the Vapor 2X Pro features the same flexible Aerolite material found on the outer calf wrap of the pads, with a Velcro wrist strap running underneath, making it that much easier to adjust and achieve wrist mobility to take advantage of those hard rebounds by directing them away from opposing forwards or up into the stands to kill the play.