For 2014 Bauer released two flagship Vapor gloves; the APX2 Pro and the APX2. The differences are relatively small but help tailor these two high performance models to players with different preferences and priorities. Just as in the past, the Vapor line of gloves will be Bauer’s Taperfit offering; a bit tighter to the hand through the fingers, widening out to a cuff area with a lot of space for a full range of motion.
The idea behind the Bauer APX2 Pro glove was to create a true NHL caliber glove for the public. Lately, there has been a trend of NHL team equipment managers adding a significant amount of padding to the backhand side of gloves. Bauer took notice and set out to find a more effective, higher performance solution that didn’t require aftermarket work. Two of the NHL teams known for regularly adding additional backhand padding to their gloves are the New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
By incorporating PORON XRD foam into the construction of the APX2 Pro Glove Bauer was able to improve the impact management; 23% better than the Rangers’ version and 32% better than the Leafs’ version. By building the protection into the glove rather than adding it on after the fact, weight balance is improved and the glove becomes less bulky. There is also PORON XRD foam in the backhand pad inside of the glove – similar to the NXG glove – to further improve impact management.
The APX2 Glove will be constructed using the Aerolite foam seen in the APX2 protective line. Created by Bauer, Aerolite is a fusion of multiple layers of foam. Each layer of foam has a different density in order to manage impacts as efficiently as possible. Fusing the foams allows for the same protective capabilities while reducing excess weight that comes with using adhesives or stitching.
Differences Between APX2 and APX2 Pro Gloves
Just as with the APX and APX Pro, this year’s versions will also feature different cuffs. The APX2 Pro glove has a fixed, short cuff while the APX2 features Bauer’s Free Flex cuff. The Free Flex cuff is longer, but still allows for a wide range of motion because it is attached with a flexible elastic material. The outer shells of the gloves are also slightly different. The APX2 glove’s exterior is made from synthetic leather and cable mesh, while the Pro variant will feature cable mesh and pro style nylon mesh, the preference of many pros due to the added flexibility.
Both the APX2 and APX2 Pro gloves feature Bauer’s exclusive 2-piece Free Flex thumb which allows for a full range of motion when bending your thumb in to hold the stick. In an extended position (think thumbs-up) the thumb remains locked in place to help prevent hyper extension related injuries.
New APX2 and APX2 Pro Features
There are also some exciting new features for both of these gloves. Bauer introduced a new partnership with palm maker AXSuede. Slightly different versions of AXSuede’s Quattro+ palm will be featured on these gloves. The Quattro+ palm is a seemingly thin material that feels great as soon as you put it on. The palms of these gloves gave me 100% confidence to play in a game immediately with either model. The material is both incredibly comfortable and one of the toughest available. Quattro+ is a triple fiber material, where polyester is surrounded by spandex, which is then surrounded by another layer of polyester.
AXSuede ran a test called the “Taber Abrasion” where a needle spins on a wheel until the fabric tears. The Quattro+ palm significantly outperformed the competition, proving it can withstand the constant friction produced when handling a hockey stick. Adding the Quattro+ palm also allowed Bauer to introduce team colored palms. Although the APX2 Pro glove will only come in the traditional ivory color, the APX2 will come with the palm color options of red, blue, orange, yellow and silver. The APX2 palm will also have the Absorb reinforcement at the base of the hand for added durability.
In addition, the APX2 and APX2 Pro will both be outfitted with Bauer’s new 37.5 technology, a moisture management system that uses your body heat to evaporate sweat so you can save your energy for the game. Check back soon for an in-depth look at this new technology.
The APX2 Pro Senior and APX2 Junior gloves are now shipping: