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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 2000's, 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 July 2017, Bauer's three top-of-the-line skates from each equipment line are as follows: Vapor 1X, Supreme 1S, and Nexus 1N.
The Vapor 1X skates are the most popular skates in the NHL - being worn by roughly 60% of all players. 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 1X skates: Patrick Kane (CHI), Steven Stamkos (TB), Anze Kopitar (LA).
Anže Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings makes a move past T.J. Brodie while wearing 2017 Bauer Vapor 1X skates. Photo by Harry How, 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 1S 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 1S skates: Alex Galchenyuk (MTL), Jeff Carter (LA), Jack Eichel (BUF), David Backes (STL).
Alex Galchenyuk of the Montreal Canadiens skates with this Bauer Supreme 1S skates. Photo by Philippe Bouchard, Icon SportsWire.
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: Victor Hedman (TB), Brayden McNabb (LA), Tomáš Plekanec (MTL), Erik Karlsson (OTT), Mike Richards (WSH).
Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates down the ice with his Nexus 1N skates. Photo by Jay LaPrete, AP Photo.
Like skates, Bauer's three different lines of sticks are geared towards three different playing styles. Bauer currently offers the Vapor 1X Lite, Supreme 1S, and Nexus 1N. Let's take a look at each.
The 1X Lite stick is the flagship stick in Bauer's Vapor lineup. The Vapor 1X Lite 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 1X Lite stick: Patrick Kane (CHI), Ryan Johansen (NSH), Sean Monahan (CGY), Patrick Sharp (CHI).
Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates after scoring against the Columbus Blue Jackets with his Bauer Vapor 1X Lite stick. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski, AP Photo.
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 1S: Dylan Larkin (DET), Steven Stamkos (TB), Jack Eichel (BUF), Alex Galchenyuk (MTL), Patrick Sharp (CHI), Trevor Lewis (LAK).
Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings carries the puck into the zone with his Supreme 1S stick. Photo Getty Images.
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 1N stick: Auston Matthews (TOR), Anze Kopitar (LA), Jonathan Toews (CHI), Daniel Sedin (VAN).
Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates down the ice with his 2017 Bauer Nexus 1N stick. Photo credit Marc DesRosiers, USA Today Sports.
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, Supreme 1S, and Nexus 1N gloves. While these models are relatively outdated compared to sticks and skates, expect to see new models come 2016.
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 1X gloves: Tyler Seguin (DAL), Claude Giroux (PHI), .
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 TotalONE MX3 gloves: Jack Eichel (BUF), James Van Riemsdyk (TOR), Tanner Pearson (LA).
James Van Riemsdyk of the Toronto Maple Leafs takes a shot with his Supreme TotalONE MX3 gloves and stick.
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 skates wearing Bauer Nexus 1N gloves. Photo credit InsideHockey.com.
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 of a Vapor pant on Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. Photo by the Associated Press.
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).
Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates a goal scored on Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Note how his pants don't flare out towards the knee - they have a snug fit throughout. Photo by Bill Wippert, 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 X700 stick will have the same low-kick point as the top-of-the-line Vapor 1X, but will be slightly heavier and won't have a feature like Monocomp Technology.
The gear that will work the best for you is the one that fits you properly. Feel free to come into our Superstore location in Woodland Hills to have one of our helpful associates get you fitted in your next setup.
You can find all of the items above in our store and online at DiscountHockey.com. Thanks for reading and we'll see you on the ice!
Great comparisons, helps a lot
Thank’s for the info! This has really helped me choose my “path” and I’ve decided to go with Supreme as a defenseman.
I really like Bauer vapor gloves . I talked the x600 gloves and they are perfect for me ! Thanks for the review ! ?⛸
Phenomenal review… we’re new at this and have been having so much trouble wading through all the choices spending WAY too much time mid season trying to get our kid’a gear right! Thanks for making sense of it all!
Amazing comparison! JUST what I was looking for – thanks so much for the detailed review!
Thanks for the article. Can you compare the Seven+ impact technology in the Nexus 1N to the Aerolite in the 1X? Particularly when it comes to kneecap ice impact.
I am looking for the best because I’m a heavier below average beer league player that needs to quit getting ultra painful stingers.
same as previous comments..perfect, helpful, simple explanation..thankyou for the breakdown.
Bauer forewer best
Awesome article! I’ve never seen a complete rundown of all the differences between the lines.
I’d love to see something like this for CCM gear.
Thank you for this article from germany. I searched through the half of the web to find one good comparision of the Bauer-Gear. Great job!
Such a great article comparing the three lines from Bauer! Thank you!!!
Fantastic round-up, thank you very much!!