Bauer Vapor, Supreme, & Nexus: Which One Is Right For Me?
Since its beginnings in 1927, Bauer Hockey, Inc. has been one of the most recognizable brands in hockey. Bauer's two major lines of equipment were Vapor and Supreme since the early 2000s, and in 2012, Bauer came out with its third line of gear: Nexus. While these are all incredible lines of gear that can provide elite levels of performance, having the wrong type of gear for one's playing style can be very detrimental. So, what's the difference between the three? Let's take a look.
As of August 2019, Bauer's three top-of-the-line skates from each equipment line are as follows: Vapor 2X Pro, Supreme 2S Pro, and Nexus 2N.
The Vapor 2X Pro skates are some of the most popular skates in the NHL — the 2019-20 season will see plenty of these on the ice. The reasoning behind this is the fit. Vapor skates have a tapered fit, meaning they have a standard-shaped toe box and a very snug (almost glove-like) heel. The low-volume fit eliminates unnecessary space in the boot and allows for pure performance. They are geared towards players looking for high speed and will fit the majority of foot shapes. NHL players using 2X Pro skates: Patrick Kane (CHI), Anze Kopitar (LA), Auston Matthews (TOR) and Steven Stamkos (TB).
Auston Matthews during Game 3 of the Maple Leafs' 2019 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Boston Bruins, Getty Images.
Supreme skates offer what's called an Anatomical fit, which means they have a medium fit from the heel to the toe box. The biggest feature of this fit type is that the 2S Pro skates have slight outward protrusions near the top of the skate in order to give your ankle bones the necessary room to be comfortably locked into place inside the skate. Supreme skates make sure the player is able to extend and give a full stride every time. NHL players using Supreme skates: Jack Eichel (BUF), Alex Galchenyuk (ARI), Jeff Carter (LAK), David Backes (BOS).
Jack Eichel #15 of the Buffalo Sabres skates with the puck against the Winnipeg Jets during an NHL game at the KeyBank Center on January 7, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Nexus skates offer a classic fit, which means the boot is wide throughout. These skates are geared towards players with wide feet or just looking for a skate that's a bit more comfortable. The high-volume boot allows the skate to wrap around the athlete’s foot and give a natural-feeling glide. NHL players using Nexus skates: Nikita Kucherov (TBL), Victor Hedman (TBL), Brayden McNabb (VGK), Erik Karlsson (SJS).
Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning models his Nexus 2N skates for a Bauer promotional photo shoot.
Like skates, Bauer's three different lines of sticks are geared towards three different playing styles. Bauer currently offers the Vapor Flylite, Supreme 2S Pro, and Nexus 2N Pro. Let's take a look at each.
The Flylite stick is the flagship stick in Bauer's Vapor lineup. The Vapor Flylite is ideal for the crafty player that excels in puck handling and quick-release shots. With their low kick point, Vapor sticks really shine in snap shots and one-timers. NHL players using a Bauer Vapor Flylite stick: Patrick Kane (CHI), Patrik Laine (WPG) and Sean Monahan (CGY).
Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks skates with a Bauer Vapor stick.
Supreme sticks are geared towards players that like to wind up and get powerful slapshots or take full-motion wrist shots where the puck is pulled back before being sent forwards.
The 2017 Supreme 1S is currently the only stick that brings players RenewCore technology, which is a permanently liquified gel in the blade that fills cracks and keeps the blade feeling "poppy" for longer.
The Supreme 1S maximizes energy transfer in order to give you the hardest shot possible. NHL players using a Bauer Supreme 2S Pro: Steven Stamkos (TB), Jack Eichel (BUF), Alex Galchenyuk (ARI), Trevor Lewis (LAK).
Alex Galchenyuk of the Arizona Coyotes skating with a Supreme 2S Pro stick.
Bauer Nexus sticks are ideal for the player looking for a balanced feel with effortless release and deadly accuracy. The Nexus stick family has a big "sweet spot" in the lower-middle part of the shaft where the stick will flex just about anywhere the lower hand is placed, resulting in a powerful shot almost every time. NHL players using a Bauer Nexus 2N Pro stick: David Pastrnak (BOS), Auston Matthews (TOR), Anze Kopitar (LA), Jonathan Toews (CHI).
David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins unleashes a one-timer with his Bauer Nexus 2N Pro stick. Photo credit Adam Richins, Boston Sports Journal.
While some might think that all gloves are generally the same, Bauer's three lines all offer a different fit and comfort level. Bauer currently offers Vapor 1X Lite, Supreme 2S Pro, and Nexus 2N gloves.
Like the skates, Bauer Vapor gloves provide a tapered fit, which means the gloves are the most snug in the fingers and backhand and are looser in the cuff areas. This design allows players' gloves to move with the hands without constriction near the wrist area. NHL players wearing Vapor gloves: Tyler Seguin (DAL), Claude Giroux (PHI), Jeff Carter (LAK), Aaron Ekblad (FLA).
Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers skates in warmups wearing his Bauer Vapor 1X gloves. Photo by Tom Mihalek, Associated Press.
The Supreme line of gloves also has an anatomical, or contoured, fit like the skates. This fit is more snug throughout the glove in order to eliminate any negative space, which in turn provides faster response times and more hand protection. NHL players using Supreme 2S Pro gloves: Jack Eichel (BUF), David Pastrnak (BOS) and Tanner Pearson (VAN).
David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins wearing 2S Pro gloves.
Bauer Nexus gloves have a classic fit. They are loose fitting all the way through and offer the greatest range of motion. They have a traditionally shorter and wider cuff and are not snug anywhere. NHL players wearing Nexus gloves: Auston Matthews (TOR), Anže Kopitar (LAK), Patrick Kane (CHI), Eric Staal (MIN).
Auston Matthews shoots the puck wearing Bauer Nexus 2N gloves.
You can probably sense a trend forming here. Vapor pants offer a tapered fit, Supreme pants offer a contoured/anatomical fit, and Nexus pants provide a classic fit. Let's look at what this means in relation to body size and skating style.
Bauer Vapor pants are tapered, which means they are more snug in the hips and looser towards the knees. The wider fit near the knees will offer more range of motion and the tighter fit in the waist will keep the pants securely in place without a need for suspenders. NHL players wearing Vapor pants: Claude Giroux (PHI), Alexander Ovechkin (WSH).
Here you can see the wider fit in the knees of a Vapor pant on Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers. Photo by Puck Prose.
Supreme pants bring a narrower fit from the waist down to the knees. Supreme pants also come in an ergonomic two-piece design with an adjustable padded girdle for protection and removable outer shell for team customization. The slimmer fit of the pants stay snug in the waist and offer the most protection with their negative space-free design. NHL players wearing Supreme pants: Steven Stamkos (TB), Jack Eichel (BUF), Wayne Simmonds (PHI).
Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images.
Nexus pants have a similar style as Supreme pants, except they have a "straight but wide" classic fit instead of the "straight and narrow" anatomical fit. The Nexus pant fit is actually based off of the older Supreme pant fit (One95 era), so if you are looking to replace those old Supreme pants that have been in your bag for the last decade, then look no further than a pair of Nexus 1N pants. NHL players wearing Nexus pants: Jeff Carter (LA), Anze Kopitar (LA), Mike Richards (WSH).
Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings skates the puck down the ice with his Nexus 1000 pants. Notice how his pants give him more space around his knees. Photo by NHL.com.
Vapor protective equipment features the same taper technology found in all the other lines of gear. In the shoulder pads, you will get a narrower fit in the abdomen and more padding in the shoulders to protect you from contact against the boards and/or other players. In the shin guards, you will get a narrower fit from the shins down to the ankles and more padding in the knees to protect against falls onto the ice. Last, for elbow pads, you will get more padding in the bicep region and have it taper down to a standard fit on the forearms.
The Vapor line of protective gear is best for players looking for elite mobility but not looking to sacrifice any protection or comfort.
Supreme pads will be the lowest-volume fit compared to Vapor and Nexus pads. The shoulder, shin, and elbow pads will sit very close to the body and use the spongy honeycomb-style padding all the way around each pad to give you 360 degree protection.
The Supreme line of protective padding is designed for players looking to stay lightweight, agile and powerful all game long.
Nexus pads have the classic fit where they are roomier and wider throughout the entire pad, making them the bulkiest of the three fits. The Nexus pads are considered to be the most comfortable when compared to Vapor and Supreme pads due to the amount of padding provided in the shin guards, shoulder, and elbow pads.
The Nexus line of pads from Bauer is designed for the player looking to power through opposing defenders and to stay protected from impact with the boards, pucks and other players.
In conclusion, each type of pad and stick is designed for a specific playing and shooting style. When shopping for new Bauer gear, the three types of fit should just be the starting point for your research. Every level of product in the same Bauer family will have the same style of fit, but will just have different features. For instance, the mid-range Vapor X2.7 stick will have the same low-kick point as the top-of-the-line Vapor Flylite, but will be slightly heavier and won't have a feature like Monocomp Technology.
You can find all of the items above in our pro shops and online at DiscountHockey.com. Thanks for reading and we'll see you on the ice!