Bauer 960 XPM Goalie Mask Review

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First things first, are the Bauer 960 and 961 goalie masks the same thing? 

Yes, they are. The only difference between the Bauer 960 and the 961 model is the non certified cat eye cage that comes on the 961. So, if you go to buy a 961 on say, Pure Goalie, for example — and you’re not finding a 961, you’re actually looking for a non certified Bauer 960.

The Bauer 960 is one of the most polarizing goalie masks on the market, period. It’s an incredibly popular mask that was debuted as one of Itech’s “Profile” masks WAY back in the day. The 960 has been around forever, and for good reason.

We bought our Bauer 960 at Pure Goalie. You can also check pricing at Goalie Monkey.

Bauer 960 XPM Goalie Mask Review

Is the Bauer 960 worth it? We argue that yes, it is. When it comes to head protection, there simply isn’t a more comfortable, better helmet. If you’re going to invest heavily into one piece of equipment, make it your helmet. The Bauer Profile lineup, specifically the 960 series, has been one of the best goalie masks on the market for some time.

Will the Bauer 960 goalie helmet work for youth goalies?

This mask isn’t necessarily the best youth goalie helmet, because of two reasons. First, it’s expensive and built for pros. The mask is sized accordingly, so it will not fit a youth netminder the best. Second, there are better fitting masks built specifically for young goalies.

Bauer 960 Features

The Bauer 960 is the highest end goalie helmet that Bauer offers. They also offer a Bauer NME (read the Bauer NME Review here). Bauer also offers a 950 and a 940, two masks at a lower price point that follow this line. For the 960, it’s going to cost you about $900.

  • Mask is built with fiberglass base, wrapped in layers of 12k carbon composite
  • Offers INNEGRA fiber reinforcement in the forehead and chin areas. According to Bauer, this technology helps damped vibration and shock
  • The interior of the mask has a new liner that features impact absorbing XRD foam and soft VN foam. It’s worth pointing out that the mask liner is now mechanically attached, not manually. Replacing the foam in the new 960 XPM could prove to be a challenge (though, we’re not sure why you would replace it).
  • Bauer also focuses on adding extra padding for shock dampening near the chin of the 960 XPM
  • They advertise a 37.5 sweatband for better moisture control inside the mask — though we recommend a SHAM Sweatband.
  • Bauer added a carbon edge wrap to help reduce and prevent chipping as well as a padded helmet bag for traveling with the helmet.

Bauer Profile 950 vs 960

If you’re considering getting a Bauer 950, just pay the extra money and get the 960 series. You’ll be glad you did. The 960 and the Bauer NME line is where they’re spending all of their time on development and improvement, so any major changes will be most notable at their top of the line product.

The 950 is still a great mask, however, it’s designed to target a lower price point.

Compare Pricing at Pure Goalie or on Goalie Monkey.

Bauer 960XPM vs Bauer NME VTX

We wrote about this a bit more on our VTX article, but the the two masks are actually very comparable. They are designed for two completely different faces, so it’s critical that you make sure you’re buying the right mask for your face profile.

If you have a more profiled face, get the 960. If you’ve got a wider face, get the NME VTX. You’ll thank us later.

With all that said, should I be spending $900 on a goalie mask?

If the Bauer 960 XPM helps prevent even one concussion, it’s a resounding yes. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll feel more confident with this mask, giving you a better experience between the pipes (that’s what it’s all about, right?).

Buy one, you’ll be glad you did.

Pros wearing the Bauer 961 XPM Goalie Mask

You cannot count the number of NHL goalies wearing the Bauer 961 on two hands, meaning it’s a tried and true mask from youth to the NHL. The video below gives a great look at the inside and up close of the Bauer 961 mask.

 

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Alex Stalock of the Minnesota Wild, wore a Bauer 960 during the 2017 / 2018 NHL season.

 

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Jonathan Bernier wears a Bauer 960 XPM.

 

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Dallas Stars 2017 first round draft pick Jake Oettinger wears Bauer 960 XPM.

 

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All in all, the list of professional goalies wearing the 960 XPM mask goes on, and on. It’s a phenomenal mask that’s going to do everything you ask it to.

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