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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
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.
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.
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.
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 the 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 wring 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.
The overall rating uses seven different weighted metrics to determine our overall score. Half of total rating comes from the player and our exit speed tests (Player Rating: 25%, Performance: 25%).The other categories are Relevance (20%), Demand (10%), Durability (10%), Resell Score (5%), and Tech Specs (5%).
*: When a bat is denoted by a star (*) it is a preliminary rating. Expect it to be updated as we learn more about the bat and gather more data.
(PlaRa) Player Rating: We measure player rating from user reviews. Those users include our own hitters that we test at the lab as well as reviews we find online.
(ExVe) Performance: Performance measures the exit speeds and distances we capture in our hitting lab with HitTrax using these bats.
(Relv) Relevance: We measure the number of sizes and the MOI of the bat. Bats with a wider range of options get a better score.
(Dmnd) Demand: Demand is measured by consumer sentiment and the buzz around the bat.
(Drb) Durability: A bat’s durability is measured by user reviews as well as feedback from manufacturers.
(ReSl) Resell Score: Based on the price the bats go for used. Higher prices mean greater user demand which means, generally, a better bat. A resell value closer to its original price means a higher score.
(Tech) Tech Specs: We rate the bat on its technological advancements from previous years and compared to the industry at large. This is our chance to reward companies who are trying to innovate.
MOI or Mass Moment of Inertia is a measurement of bat swing weight. This quantifies how difficult it is to swing a bat. The industry often refers to this as things like End Load or Balanced but those words have been overused to the point of meaninglessness. We measure the actual swing weights of each bat we test using the industry-standard pendulum period, balance point, and scale weight. You can read more about that here.
The price is the original MSRP price of the bat.
The types of bats are single-piece alloy (SPA), two-piece composite (TPC), single-piece composite (SPC), hybrid (Hyb.), and wood (Wood). Hybrid bats are made of composite handles and alloy barrles.
The estimated date the bat began distribution.