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JR Boucicaut

Vapor X:60 Pro

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Design aesthetics: The X:60 Pro glove is a continuation of the Vapor line in every way. Since the earliest Vapor glove, the design has been rather radical in comparison to traditionally designed gloves. Typically with ranging amounts of backhand foam breaks/shapes, split fingers(3-piece index finger), a medium-tight fit, various cuff evolutions and a “performance palm” at the top level of the glove line. The graphics and backhand foam is less radical than other Vapors, really being a modified slant 4-roll design with a split in the outside of the rolls on the pinkie side. The graphic follows the split in the foam and when put side-to-side the gloves create the signature Vapor “X” logo (that has been used since the Vapor XXXX).

Fit: As with all Vapor gloves, they fit medium-tight in the hand and fingers. The cuff opening on the X:60s has been expanded from the Vapor XXXX, directly between the Vapor XXX and XXXX glove. The X:60 glove may be a bit wider in the hand than the XXXX glove.

Design features: There are a few changes that deserve mentioning. The cuff has been once again expanded but it’s not as drastic as the Vapor XXX. The thumb has been changed slightly, it now flexes further and easier than it did in past Vapor gloves. The palm on the X:60 Pro is what Bauer is calling a “Dual layer digital nash palm,” it looks like digital but it does not feel like digital. Not all digital palms are created equal but this digital palm feels much thicker and stiffer, it doesn’t feel like any other digital palm on the market. I presume the palm was designed for better durability but I would rather they would have gone back to the thinking of the original Vapor XXX glove. The original Vapor XXX glove included an extra set of palms, honestly I would have preferred that. The liner is what Bauer is calling a thermo Max+ liner which is bright red, honestly I don’t notice a difference. They kept the internal backhand pad from the Vapor XXXX, which was a wise choice because the Vapor XXXs was annoying and at times, awkward.

Protection: I don’t have a complaint about the protection. The Vapor line has always had an issue with protecting the wrist above the joint on the cuff roll, this glove is no different. This is not anything new and it’s something I’ve come to expect out of the Vapor line of gloves. I’d compare protection moreso with the XXX rather than the XXXX.

Weight: The weight on the Vapor XXX was 318-ish grams per glove. The weight on the Vapor XXXX was about 312-ish grams per glove. The Vapor X:60 glove is also a lightweight at roughly 316-ish grams per glove.

Durability/Build quality: So far so good, not much wear on the palms. The outer material was changed in places having a couple different types of nylon. One material is similar to previous Vapor nylon but they added another nylon material that is more similar to TPS’ cable knit.

Conclusion: I’ve always been a fan of the Vapor line of gloves. I currently own a pair of Vapor 10s, three pairs of Vapor XXXs, two pairs of Vapor XXXXs and a pair of X:60s. I have also used the Vapor XV and Vapor XX gloves and I liked those gloves as well. I think I still prefer the Vapor XXXs but the X:60s aren’t far behind. I’m happy in the direction that Bauer took the Vapor line in. I was rather disappointed in the Vapor XXXXs, with their tighter cuff and seemingly less protection across the back of the hand. I think that fans of the Vapor XXX glove will really like the X:60 glove, if they can overlook the palm.

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Design aesthetics: Oh dear lord, are these gloves a thing of beauty. Growing up loving the look of the original Cooper Techniflex, the X:60 draws a lot from the glove it evolved from. In a market dominated by the simple '4-roll design', the X:60 displays a fresh look w/ an angular 4-roll and a non traditional cuff roll that looks like a love child of the original Techniflex with elements of the recent Vapor Line of gloves. If I have any issues with the aesthetics, its a small minuscule issue with the 'piping' that goes down through the middle of the glove and then down the hand on the index finger. I am a much bigger fan of keeping the colors solid versus adding in that small color element.

Fit: Coming from the Nike/Bauer 4 Rolls and Pro Easton 4 rolls, I was skeptical about the 'taper' fit that goes with the Vapor line of gloves. I prefer a loose fitting glove with a big open cuff and had previously given up on Mission model Commander, Lieutenant, and Wicked 1 gloves b/c I could not get used to the more snugger fitting glove. With the X:60 your hand fits very comfortably, its tight, but not too tight. The cuff does employs a nice taper making it a wide enough opening to offer a lot of wrist movement/flexibility that I thought I would lose with the snug fit.

Design features: I must say I expected the Digital palm to be a bit 'tackier' but it still holds a great grip on the stick. Normally I'd go with a candy cane tape job on the shaft of my sticks, but I've done away with that with the X:60. Durability also seemed like it would be an issue on this palm, but I've been using the X:60 about 3 times a week since May and have no holes/issues. Another nice feature would the be the thumb, its very articulate and gives you a solid grip. The other design features are the Nylon construction and the inside liner, both are very quick to dry and the palm is not an issue if you happen to get that wet or if its damp from a previous games use.

Protection: I haven't had any run ins where I could point to and say, yeah this glove is really protective or lacking. Considering the 'Pro' moniker this glove carries and the Poly Inserts and Dual Density Foams, I'd say the X:60 protection does the job. I'll update this once I take a good hard whack on the hand.

Weight: Hardly noticeable, the X:60 fit and weight does a better job than any glove I've used to make the weight not even enter your mind when the glove is on your hand.

Durability/Build quality: Again, 3 times a week since May and no issues on the palm. The same can be said for the Nylon construction as well, no rips, tears, pulls anything. Very well made glove.

Conclusion: Very close to glove perfection in my eyes. I know a lot guys would probably stay away from the X:60 considering the tighter fit that comes along with the taper design, but its not an issue. The glove is designed to move with your hand, not restrict it, I think the X:60 could win over a lot of converts from the standard 4-roll users. In a lot of ways the X:60 took the concept of the Techniflex gloves and modernized the materials and improved the fit to produce an excellent glove. I already own 2 pairs of X:60s and will probably pick up another just so 10 years from now I'm not trying to track them down like I've been for so long with the Cooper Techniflex (although I still search for em, ha). That says it all, I intend to use the X:60 as my go to glove for a long time to come.

Overall: 9.5 out of 10

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Model: 14”, Navy, purchased July 2010.

User Info: 5’-11”, 200lbs, skill level - competent amateur, skate 2-4 times/week.

Fit (9/10): I’m a long-time user of looser, traditional-fitting gloves (Bauer 4-roll Pro, TPS HGT Pro) and was skeptical about tighter fitting models like the Vapor X:60 Pro. After 10 months of use, I have to say I’m a believer that a tighter fitting glove can provide excellent protection and dexterity without limiting mobility. Having fairly boxy hands and slightly shorter than average fingers led me the Bauer 4-roll Pro, I find the fingers in the X:60 to fit similarly well, not too long, not too short. If you have long fingers they may not be an ideal fit. The three-piece index finger and Free Flex Lock Thumb offer great feel and flexibility. At first I felt the thumb was keeping me from opening my hand freely, but after a brief (10-12 uses) break-in period I noticed the back rolls and fingers flex to allow for my hand to open easily, rather than the lock thumb itself becoming looser. My only complaint in terms of fit/comfort would be the backhand pad. It pulls part-way out when I take my hand out of the glove, and it never seems to get fully seated when I put the glove back on. I suppose that’s the nature of a tight-fitting glove, or perhaps it’s because my hands are on the boxy side. I never notice it when I’m on the ice, only on the bench, so it wouldn’t keep me from recommending the glove.

Protection (9/10): It’s a pro-level glove, meaning Dual Density Foam and Plastic Inserts throughout, so it provides a high level of protection. I don’t take a lot of hacks/whacks to the hands/wrists, but I can say I’ve never once felt anything through the padding. The cuffs bloom slightly and don’t really adjust to cover gaps when I bend my wrist. This is something I am willing to accept for the range of motion/flexibility the glove provides. One major reason I hadn’t purchased a tighter/ergonomic glove before is that most felt stiff and restrictive (numb if that makes sense?) in the side guard area, meaning the back of the hand in between the thumb and index finger. This is not the case with the X:60. The break pattern in the side/back roll gives a lot of flexibility and dexterity when opening my hand and bending my wrist.

Weight (10/10): I’m not really one to notice the weight of a glove unless it’s particularly heavy (i.e. all-leather construction). That said this is an all-nylon glove and I can’t recall putting on any other glove that felt any lighter. Even towards the end of a skate when they’re wet, they still feel fairly light.

Durability (9/10): 10 months of playing 2-4 times per week and they show only minimal wear. The top-hand palm is pilling, but has not worn through. My only complaint with durability/performance would be with the Digital Mesh palm. Initially I was very impressed with the grip they provided, as well as how thin it felt. It’s not as thin as some other materials (MSH2) but thinner than the Clarino/Nash on my Bauer 4-Roll Pros/TPS HGT Pros. At first I found it ideal for use with my clear/tactile grip sticks. The gloves provided a little tack/grip, but I never felt like I got my hand stuck when stickhandling/shooting. Unfortunately this only lasted 2-3 months. While the palms are thin and give great feel, they lost some of their tackiness in a short amount of time. I will say that it has not gotten any worse, and that it doesn’t change during a skate as the gloves get wet. Overall the gloves are holding up well, no rips, tears, broken seams or loose threads. They seem to be well-crafted with quality materials.

Intangibles: Definitely a slick looking glove, a little flashy in terms of shape/graphics, but probably not out-of-bounds for those with more traditional taste. It uses two different types of nylon, one with a tighter weave and one with a looser weave. The looser weave material has a reflective quality to it, almost a shimmer. The Thermo-Max liner is fine. I don’t notice any difference from any other lining material I’ve had on other gloves. Lastly, it’s one of the first “swoosh-free” Bauer gloves in the post-Nike era, if that sort of thing is important to you.

Conclusion (9.25/10): Overall this is a great glove. It’s one of the more expensive retail gloves available, but I think in this case you get what you pay for. Excellent protection, good durability offers great dexterity and feel.

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