Sadly, Combat is now defunct. But don’t blame it on the bats—they were great. Blame it on the parent company’s inability to predict the future. Combat, with Sport’s Authority, is the latest in a string of defeats for the financial problems sporting equipment brands and vendors face. We noticed, however, we failed to put up a review of the 2016 Combat Portent G4 bat. Now that they’ve been out for a while, had several user reviews written on them and are a rock bottom pricing, we publish our 2016 Combat Portent G4 review. It is, we dare say, the last review we will ever write on a Combat bat.
2016 Combat Portent G4 Lineup
|Portent G4||3||BBCOR||2 5/8||PG4AB103||$|
|Portent G4||5||Senior Barrel||2 5/8||PG4SL105||$|
|Portent G4||8||Senior Barrel||2 5/8||PG4SL108||$|
|Portent G4||10||Senior Barrel||2 5/8||PG4SL110||$|
|Portent G4||10||Big Barrel||2 3/4||PG4SL210||$|
|Portent G4||10||Youth||2 1/4||PG4YB110||$|
|Portent G4||12||Youth||2 1/4||PG4YB112||$|
In addition to our experience with the bats, we relied heavily on a few sources for details on the Combat Portent G4. Chief among them was Combat’s site—which is still operational for who knows how long. Additionally, justbats.com Combat section is rather robust as they purchased all the Combat bats for a song and a dance. There you can buy them for a whistle. We also spent some time on Amazon’s review section and product pages trying to get a feel for what other parents and players thought.
As the Combat Portent G4 is offered in so many sizes, it is a difficult task to recommend the bat in a sweeping sentence or two. Very generally, a hitter who likes an ultra balanced feel on a single piece bat should generally like the G4. Parents who like a steal of a deal will love the G4.
In each category—especially the youth barrel and senior league drop 10—we would recommend the bat to at least some part of the market. Although a hand ringer every so often, contact with the G4 in the sweet spot of the barrel comes with a sweet driving feeling. For its price, there is no bat with a barrel even close to the size. And the nice balanced swing made possible by the completely composite stick passes the standing-in-a-sporting-aisle-feeling-out-bats test.
For a value based bat, the Portent G4 comes in a huge amount of sizing options. A total of eight bats in nearly every size imaginable. From a drop 10 2 3/4, 2 1/4 and 2 5/8 as well as a BBCOR and drop 5, drop 8 and drop 12 in a 2 5/8 barrel. They also run a drop 12 2 1/4. They are color coded to the DROP not to the barrel size.
Like every bat from Combat, most of which we loved, the Portent G4 is in a long line of single piece composite bats. The bats are built for a huge barrel and a light swing. In theory, the larger the barrel, the bigger sweet spot, and according to those who have used the Combat line for ages now, the sweet spot on the G4 is as big as they get. That is, of course, if you don’t count the Combat MAXUM, which we could argue is the Portent G4’s older brother.
Single piece composite bats tend to ring the hands more on mishits, and occasionally, suffer from durability issues. Folks that don’t like the Combat struggle with hand ring. Those who do love it praise the large barrel, great price and available sizing options.
Within the COMBAT brand, the most obvious comparison is the Combat MAXUM. That Maxum has a larger barrel and a larger price point. The Maxum uses Combat’s latest (and last) iteration of performance single piece composites while the G4 is, arguably, a year or two behind. In terms of pricing, at the time of this writing, G4s could be found for less than $50 brand new. At that price point it would difficult to go wrong.
Outside of the brand, the most comparable bat on the market is the Dirty South Swag bat. Although a smaller company based in Atlanta, they produce a single piece composite with an over-sized barrel. Their intent is, and maybe they would not say it like this, to recreate a better Combat Portent G4/Maxum. In terms of pricing at the moment, the Dirty South bats are much more expensive. But, as Combat’s final stock gets unloaded into the market, expect Dirty South to be an attractive option.