At first glance the Bauer Vapor 1X protective gear looks to be packed full of features, and you’d be correct in assuming so. Bauer has gone the extra mile to revamp, update, and outright break the mould on protective gear. Utilizing the new technology seen in Bauer’s skates that makes them perform at the top-end, they have gone ahead and applied the same mindset to their protective gear for the Vapor 1X. Though Bauer has made enhancements to their gear, you can still expect that excellent tapered fit profile. With a wider fit at the top and standard fit through the lower portion of the shin shell and elbow pad. Essentially, if you’ve loved Vapor protective in the past, we think you’ll instantly fall in love with the new 1X.
As for some major upgrades, Bauer chose to make use of their Curv Composite material on high impact areas on the shoulder, shin, as well as elbow pad to increase protection. The material is exceptionally lightweight but doesn’t compromise in protection. Bauer also made some changes to their liner, though you can expect 37.5 Tech to be a mainstay, it has been upgraded with the Transfer Mesh fabric which adds more breathability and increased drying times.
Bauer Vapor 1X Shoulder Pad
Starting off with the Vapor 1X shoulder pad, if Bauer’s goal was to create a shoulder with excellent protective properties, and make it extremely lightweight, we believe they have succeeded by a large margin. Contributing to this is the use of their new tandem, Curv Composite with the addition of Aerolite Technology. Essentially, Bauer’s coupling of these two materials not only creates extremely strong impact zones, but they allow the shoulder to remain lightweight. The use of Curv Composite can be seen on the sternum as well as the bicep guards, the two areas where you would expect a large quantity of pucks or sticks. Bauer’s Aerolite Technology can be seen throughout the shoulder caps, front side panels, the spine, as well as the back kidney panels. The use of this foam helps keep the weight of the shoulder pad down without compromising overall protection.
Bauer increased the mobility of the shoulder by utilizing a 4-way Free Flex chest, Free Flex bicep guard and arch support. These design changes coupled with multi-segmented flex panels create a more natural movement with the body as to not hinder your body motion during gameplay. Additionally, the design helps the pads fit closer to the body to limit gaps in coverage.
Bauer Vapor 1X Elbow Pad
The key theme of Bauer’s Vapor 1X protective is to be more protective and more mobile than any other gear before it, and the elbow pad truly shows off Bauer’s key design elements. Curv Composite, Aerolite, as well as HD inserts comprise the outer shell on the forearm guard to withstand constant slashes and other impacts. Bauer chose to include and injected cap with molded HD foam covering to ensure that impacts are adequately dispersed. The bicep guard consists of the Aerolite foam and is multi-segmented to maintain protection while being mobile.
Bauer Vapor 1X Shin Pad
Perhaps the largest upgrade seen on the 1X protective is the addition of the Curv Composite outer shell on the shin pad. Unlike traditional shin pads with a plastic outer shell, Curv Composite provides added strength and durability over its plastic counterpart. As you can expect, the shin pad is lightweight yet quite sturdy. The knee cap is injected with foam inserts and the use Aerolite comprises the calf guard, knee wing, and thigh protector.
The Free Flex cap adds mobility to the bottom of the shin guard so it’s not in the way when you take your stride. Free Flex also makes its way to the liner of the guard also to not hinder mobility in any way. 2-strap system with anchor straps at the top and bottom add some adjustability to the overall fit of the pad to ensure that it is comfortable during gameplay.
Bauer Vapor 1X Pant
The 1X pant provides players with a standard fit at the top of the pant and a close to the body fit in the legs. This design allows for maximum mobility and for the pant to react with the body. The use of Curv Composite and Aerolite foam in the Free Flex spine protector provides excellent protection in this high impact area. The hip and thigh both feature Curv construction along with Aerolite for that added durability and protection.
Securing the pants, is the use of Bauer’s new inner belt lock system. Essentially, it is a suspended belt lock that holds the fit of the pant to the player’s body to increase mobility while skating. This design was inspired by pro athletes, and the inclusion of the skate lace closure adds to the secure fit. The 1X pant does feature a one-inch extension if you are a player that is still growing, or just require that extra bit for added protection.
Overall with that excellent Vapor fit, Bauer seems to have hit the mark with their 1X protective lineup. The inclusion of Curv Composite adds to the durability without sacrificing any weight makes this worthy of a look. Increasing durability where players expect to take hits or pucks is crucial as no one likes top-end gear that doesn’t provide protection when you need it the most. Improving upon an already excellent foundation with the APX 2 protective, Bauer had their aim set on an even greater achievement and has now set the bar.