Our 2016 Combat Vigor Review comes after 4 hours of use and about 600 hacks. The bat is true to its Combat roots as it is a single piece composite bat with a little bit of hand ring when hit on the wrong spot—but when hit well on the sweet spot the bat performs admirably. The Vigor is a balanced bat with a slim feeling handle and a stock Lizard Skin Grip. But, the bat lacks the barrel size many have come to expect from the Combat line of performance bats—specifically the MAXUM and Portent lines.
The 2016 Combat Vigor has a BBCOR version as well as a 2 5/8 and a 2 3/4 version. The 2 3/4 is only a drop 10 while the 2 5/8 comes in a drop 10, 8 and 5. Our favorite of the group is the drop 10 2 3/4 for its light swing and loads of barrel.
- BBCOR (Drop 3, of course)
- A drop 10 2 3/4
- A Drop 10 2 5/8
- A Drop 8 2 5/8
- A Drop 5 2 5/8
Notably, the 2016 Combat Vigor does not come in a youth barrel (2 1/4) size. We expect many companies, as the 2018 standard for USABats comes into effect, to shy away from new iterations of their flagship bats in the 2 1/4 leagues.
Like most Combat baseball bats in recent years (save the Fray Hybrid & Wanted) the 2016 Vigor is a single piece composite bat with a light swing weight whose design is intent on delivering the maximum amount of power to a ball. Maximum power transfer also means a potential for maximum hand sting.
Single piece composite bats also tend to be the most prone to cracking when compared to hybrid and single piece alloy bats. But, if you buy it new, the bat comes with a one year (one time replacement) warranty.
The most comparable bat on the market to the 2016 Combat Vigor must be the 2016 Louisville Slugger Catalyst. Both bats boast very similar swing weights and very similar barrel sizes. Each is a single piece composite built with a light swing weight.
They are, however, considerably different in size offerings. The Catalyst comes in a 2 1/4 youth barrel while the Vigor does not. As well, the Vigor comes in a BBCOR, Drop 10, drop 8 and drop 5 while the Catalyst comes in a drop 12 only. Both bats come in a 2 3/4 and 2 5/8 barrel size.
Another difference is the tapered knob on the Catalyst while the Vigor uses a Lizard Skin Grip and without a taper.
We’d recommend the Combat Vigor to at least a few different groups. In particular, those who really appreciate the feel of a one piece bat but also need a light swing and are somewhat of a budget. Many in this group of players lean towards a single piece aluminum bat like the 2016 Easton S3, but we would be adamant that a single piece bat in the light swinging space is more effective with a composite construction due to its larger barrel and lighter feel. Hence the reason we’d recommend a bat like the Vigor over the S3 if you were okay with a little more price and little less durability.
You definitely lose some barrel size on the Vigor when compared to some of the more top shelf bats—the Combat MAXUM being one of them. But the price difference in something like the Combat Vigor when compared to the MAXUM, DeMarini CF8 or Easton MAKO may be plenty reason to give up a couple inches of barrel for a more affordable option.