For almost a year, the Lock & Load from Easton has been the subject of rumor. Now, in May of 2017, we are stoked to see it go live. We now have experience with this BBCOR only bat that comes with the unique feature of swing weight adjustment.
Change in swing weight is made possible by adding weighted discs to the end of the bat with a simple screw attachment system. The bat, along with its discs, are approved for play in the NFHS (High School). The bat without the discs is approved for play in the NCAA.Jump to the full review.
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Change in swing weight is made possible by adding weighted discs to the end of the bat with a simple screw attachment system. The bat, along with its discs, are approved for play in the NFHS (High School). The bat without the discs is approved for play in the NCAA.
We have spent several months drooling over the specs and possibilities of the Easton Lock and Load. Our biggest reservation has been the complexity of the process for changing the bat’s swing weight. After some use, and a number of conversations with serious players about the bat’s effectiveness, we address that and other concerns below.
Leaving aside the adjustable swing weights for a moment, the Lock and Load is a single piece Z-Core bat. Although a slightly different and smaller barrel profile, the bat is made exactly like the Easton Z-Core Speed and XL Series of bats (that we review here). That is, the bat’s base is a single piece aluminum with a large sweet spot and a considerable, hot out of the wrapper, barrel.
Although it likely goes without saying, no bat in the baseball space has the ability to adjust its swing weight. The Z-Core Lock & Load is built on the chassis of the Z-Core bat line from Easton. If we were therefore forced to find a similar bat, we would go that route.
Outside of the Easton brand, there are several single piece aluminum bats built with a big barrel. None of them, obviously, possess the ability to adjust their swing weight. As one example, we like the Marucci CAT 7 in the single piece aluminum space.
Easton Lock & Load Swing Weights
We have learned that changing weights is not something you will be doing in the on deck circle. In fact, we think it is not even a dugout operation. It takes about 60 seconds when you are good at it—which takes about 2 tries to become at it.
Several might not see any need for a bat that can be used in different swing weights. But, do note, the Lock & Load gives the ability to adjust your swing weight 300 or 600 MOI points heavier for High School play. That represents about a 5% and 10% increase, respectively.
In other words, the Lock & Load Z-Core is a combination of the Easton Z-Core Speed, XL and a bat somewhere in between. Three swing weight options in one bat. Spending $80 more on the same bat would not be smart. But spending $80 more on a bat that can act like three bats is smart.
In once sentence, the Z-Core Lock & Load is a single piece aluminum bat with a large barrel and the ability to increase the swing weight from an industry low, a middle ground and an industry high swing weight.
The BBCOR bat comes in a 31, 32, 33 and 34 inch bat. Each bat comes with the Balanced and XL weights that can be screwed into the end cap. This changes the bat’s swing weight and total weight.One Piece Construction
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