Combat has been around for some time now but is only recently making waves in the baseball and softball market with bats that seemingly get hotter and hotter every year. The Canadian-run (based out of Ottawa) company was purchased by Bauer in 2013 and the move has brought in even more technological advancements and improvements to the construction of Combat baseball bats.
Combat was previously already known for using advanced cutting-edge technology in constructing composite bats, but the acquisition by Bauer has infused even more capital into their R&D department. Recent bats coming from Combat have seen considerable improvements and one of the biggest examples of this is the Combat Maxum line of baseball bats, a formidable lineup of sticks that are at the forefront of composite technology and great options for players of all skill levels and abilities.
Why Choose Combat Bats?
Combat’s surge into bats was in 2004 beginning with softball bats and thereafter soon followed with baseball bats. Their claim to fame is that many of the individuals driving Combat’s technology growth and development are players themselves, and this company is truly one that is created by ballplayers for ballplayers.
The bats are also made for play in Canadian weather, meaning seasons can sometimes begin as early as April and extend into September and sometimes October. Their bats thus have very high durability and are able to withstand cold temperatures better than many manufacturers. Although with any composite stick it would be dangerous to use it when the temperature is very cold, Combat has done quite well ensuring their bats can be used in leagues or tournaments that end quite late in the year.
What Is So Good About The Combat Maxum?
So why has there been so much hype about the Combat Maxum? What is it that makes this line of bats so good? When Maxum first launched, much of the talk was about the huge sweet spot size, which was uncommon to see in bats at the time. The improvement was a 40% uptick over the standard size of a sweet spot found at the time, which was unheard of then as it is now. The greatest thing about the larger sweet spot size was that it had no adverse effect on the swing weight or the feel of the barrel.
Maxum actually began as an exploratory venture into determining what were the possibilities available in a baseball bat if all restrictions were lifted, a sort of ‘dream bat’ that addressed all items on a wish list. Combat employed it's’ now patented seamless, precision-molded construction that all but eliminated any dead spots on a bat’s barrel. Where previously a hit near the endcap may have resulted in a weak dribbler back to the pitching mound, Combat’s Maxum would still ensure a solid shot. The end result is a one-piece carbon bat held together with a fiberglass sleeve that, simply put, will deliver hits all along the barrel. This is all topped off with a liquid resin that, upon insertion, gives the Combat Maxum an incredible toughness and sturdiness.
What Should I Look For In A Combat Bat?
When choosing a Combat bat, here are some things to pay attention to:
- League Rules: What league do you play in? What are the restrictions within your association?
- Size: What weight and length are you looking for?
- Construction: Do you want a one-piece or two-piece construction?
- Longevity: Combat backs their Maxum with a 500-day warranty, longer than most manufacturers.
Product Reviews - Which Is Right For You?
Here is a quick overview of the full lineup of Combat Maxum bats:
First up is the BBCOR bat, which has a -3 rop rating and is built with a 2 ⅝” diameter barrel making it a great choice for those in high school and collegiate levels that need a bat that is BBCOR certified. The same technology as in all Combat Maxum bats is present here, resulting in a huge sweet spot and a very light swing weight. This combination is great for players at this level that are looking to maximize the pop and distance of their hits without picking up a bat that weighs too much.
- Certified for BBCOR play.
- Large sweet spot.
- Low bat weight that does not hinder bat speed.
- Drop -3 weighting.
- Lizard skin batting grip.
- Hot out of the wrapper.
- Fairly expensive compared to other alternatives.
The Combat Maxum BBCOR bat is a fantastic powerful stick that is bound to turn heads when you step into the batter’s box. The same Maxum features are found here and it performs extremely well from day one.
The 2017 Maxum Senior League bat has a 2 and ⅝ inch barrel with the same precision molded no-seam construction that maximizes sweet spot while minimizing swing weight. It comes stock with the premium lizard skin bat grip and is approved for U-trip and has passed the BPF 1.15 test. The weighting is anywhere from 26 to 28 ounces, so if you are looking for a 30 ounce bat you are out of luck.
- Inexpensive, reasonably priced for all.
- Nice design along the 13.5 inch barrel.
- Available as both balanced or endloaded option.
- Approved for use in all USSSA leagues.
- Grip features premium lizard skin.
- 26 to 28 ounce options in weight, with a length of 34 inches.
- Not available in 30oz option.
A very nice stick for those in senior leagues, the Combat Maxum Senior League bat crushes balls and has a massive sweet spot making it very difficult to miss the huge barrel. Players can choose between both a balanced as well as an end-loaded option, which is a big plus.
The softball version of the Combat Maxum Senior League bat still has a large sweet spot on the barrel and has a bit of an endload to give the batter more pop and distance on his or her swing. It doesn’t give as much power as one might hope, but still is quite solid and is good bang for your buck as it comes at a very good value.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- 2.25 inch barrel diameter that is 13.5 inches long.
- Approved and sanctioned in SSUSA as well as other Senior leagues.
- End-loaded feel to give a bit more power and pop.
- Large sweet spot size.
- Passes the BPF 1.21 test.
- Requires a bit of break-in, about 200 hits or so.
A nice offering from Combat if you play in a senior slowpitch league, but we did not find these had as much pop as some of the other Combat Maxum bats we tried out. Still a very strong offering and it comes at a very reasonable price point.
Start them out young with the Combat Maxum Tee-ball bat, specifically designed for the little slugger in your life. It has a -14 drop rating and a 2 ¼” barrel that will instill confidence in even the youngest players and is approved and sanctioned in Little League, Dixie, Pony, Babe Ruth and U-trip baseball leagues. The large sweet spot is great for younger players as it will help eliminate mishits and hand stinging on poor contact swings.
- Top notch sweet spot with a huge barrel.
- -14 drop rating results in a very light bat that is easy to swing.
- Approved for use in all major little league associations.
- Hot out of the wrapper.
- Inexpensive, very affordable.
- One-piece design with single wall barrel
- Only available from 11 to 13 ounce options.
Fantastic little bat under the Combat Maxum series that delivers on all fronts and is a terrific option for tee-ball players. At this level you want every hit to count, and this bat will do wonders in building confidence at the plate.
This particular fastpitch version features a -11 drop, but you can find drop ranging all the way from -8 to -11. It is approved for play in ASA, U-trip, NSA and ISF. The Maxum fastpitch softball bat is also available in both one-piece and two-piece construction, depending on your preference. There really is not much difference between one-piece and two-piece construction, if you prefer a stiffer bat go with one-piece and if you want to feel the bat flex choose a two-piece. The two-piece we’ve highlighted here has a very nice flex to it.
- Available in -8 to -11 drop weightings.
- Multi-wall construction leading to more flex and greater distance on hits.
- Minimal vibration on mishits.
- Very large sweet spot.
- Approved for play in ASA, NSA and U-Trip.
- Hot right out of wrapper, but really opens up after maybe 100-200 hits.
- Not available with endload option.
A good fastpitch option if you’re looking for a bat with some pop and power and a large sweet spot. Choose the two-piece option if you want to try out the handle isolation technology that reduces vibration and hand sting.
Very similar to the above option but this is a one-piece fastpitch bat that again features a 2 ¼” barrel and a drop -10 rating. The lizard skin grip once again offers maximum comfort and grip, and will make sure that you can hold onto the bat. The balanced weighting is extremely comfortable and will be easy to swing without sacrificing any bat speed. While the one-piece construction may flex less that the two-piece offering, it still does provide a very nice trampoline effect resulting in great distance on hits.
- One-piece composite construction.
- Balanced feel and weighting.
- Available from 18 to 24 ounces, with lengths ranging from 28 to 34 inches.
- Approved for play in ASA, USSSA, NSA.
- Extra large sweet spot on elongated barrel.
- Handle isolation technology is only available on two-piece bats.
A very nice counterpart to the two-piece option if you’re looking for something with a bit more balance. Although you don’t get the handle isolation technology, it is still a formidable bat that is sure to impress on the diamond.
The single wall fastpitch Combat Maxum gives the batter instant response on all hits, which could be considered good or bad. The good thing about this is that the batter will know and feel all hits and mishits, but the bad thing is that the batter’s hands will sting when they fail to make solid contact.
- Nice stiff handle that swings very true.
- Allows the user to feel maximized response on all hits.
- Premium leather skin grip.
- Drop -10 or -12 rating.
- One wall construction.
- Stiffer feel so if you want more flex you are out of luck.
Bit of a throwback to batters who prefer the one-piece single wall design, which is hard to find in bats these days. Most batters do tend to gravitate towards multi or dual wall construction, but some purists do prefer just a single wall composition. If that’s you, this is a great bat for you to try out.
Combat’s Maxum youth baseball bat features a 2 ¼ inch composite barrel and is approved for play in all associations including U-trip, Little League, Dixie and Pony baseball. It has a single-wall construction in the barrel and reportedly has the largest sweet spot and lowest swing weight out of all combat youth bats. It has a -12 drop, meaning the bat weight is 12” lighter than the bat length. Of course, if you are looking for a different weight drop you can also find a -10 model.
- Low swing weight is ideal for younger players who are unable to swing a heavier stick.
- Approved for play in all little league associations.
- Huge sweet spot.
- Fairly hot immediately upon removing wrapper.
- -12 drop means you can swing it very quickly through the strike zone.
- Very balanced but does not have an endload option.
A great option for those looking for a rival to the Easton Mako, which has long held the top spot in youth baseball bats. You’ll notice the results immediately as the huge sweet spot and light swing weight will allow your child to crush the ball.
The Rogowski is named after Casey Rogowski, a Combat member who is quite popular in the minor league scene. It comes in weights ranging from 26 to 28 ounces, and is 34 inches long. The look and feel on this is incredible, and it comes with a premium leather-skinned bat grip. The Rogowski is very balanced and swings clean through the zone, and has an extra long extended barrel that allows batters to hit pitches that are on the outside of the plate.
- Approved for play in ASA.
- Balanced feel13.5” barrel size with huge sweet spot.
- Great on low compression balls.
- Very comfortable leather-skin grip.
- Not available in 30oz weight offering for players looking for a heavier swing weight.
The Rogowski is a nice option for players who play in ASA leagues who are looking for a bat that can hit low compression ASA balls, especially if they prefer something with a balanced feel without sacrificing any barrel size.
The Guilt is an incredibly end-loaded softball bat that is approved for play in NSA and U-trip ball. With a 2 ¼” barrel diameter with 12.5” length, the biggest feature of the guilt is getting maximum sweet spot size in a bat that is heavily end-loaded. It has perhaps the heaviest endload of any softball bat on the current market today, and of course it features the same precision molding technology as all Combat Maxum bats. With such an end-loaded bat you would expect the weighting and feel to be heavier, but in reality the weight previously contained in the sweet spot was shifted toward the end cap.
- Extremely endloaded with weight distributed close to the end cap.
- Stiff taper but has a soft barrel with huge sweet spot.
- Seamless construction with precision molding technology.
- Approved in NSA and U-trip.
- Endload may not be suitable for players who want a more balanced stick
The Guilt is a heavily end-loaded bat that maintains Maxum’s signature huge sweet spot, and is a great choice for ballplayers who want a bat with a heavier endload without sacrificing overall bat weight.
The Combat Maxum is an insanely powerful lineup of bats that carries the same technology and innovation to produce maximum results across all bats. The signature note is a huge sweet spot without sacrificing any bat weight, and there really is something for everyone here. Durability is not a major concern as the injected liquid resin seems to give an added level of toughness that previously did not exist.