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Easton Bats moved their performance BBCOR line to the MAKO, Hybrid, and Z-Core line of bats in 2016—abandoning previous years’ names in the Speed and XL Series. In little league and senior barrel bats (2 1/4 and 2 5/8), however, they kept some old keepsakes with similar designs to years past. Namely, the 2016 Easton S2, 2016 Easton S3, and, as we discuss below, the 2016 Easton XL3.

XL3 Review

2016 Easton XL3 Review: Recommendations

2016 Easton XL3 Review

With one exception, we think there are many better bat options in the ‘new’ 2016 Easton XL3 price range for either little league (youth) or big/senior barrel sizes. That one exception? The Drop 5 2016 XL3 in the 2 5/8 size. There is simply nothing in that niche on the market. If you are in the market for a very heavy-hitting bat with a drop and undeniable feedback (i.e., hand sting) and power transfer, then the drop 5 Easton XL3 should be seriously considered.

Otherwise, considering the XL3 is a single piece stiff one-piece aluminum bat that hasn’t seen an upgrade in at least three years, it is hard to find much to swoon over. You can expect, if you go this route, a durable bat with a massive end load and an ultra-stiff feel. You’ll also quickly notice how thin the handle feels. Compared to other performance-based 2016 bats in similar niches the barrel size feels lacking despite Easton’s upgrade to the newer alloy last year.

2015 XL3 Compared to 2016 XL3

The 2016 XL3 is similar in many respects to the 2015 Easton XL3 (remarkably similar to the 2014 Easton XL3). The XL3 is still a one-piece premium aluminum alloy bat with an extra stiff feel and an end load. For an aluminum one piece in the little league, youth, and ample barrel space the barrel length is noteworthy but still lacks compared to other 2016 composite barreled bats.

The 2016 XL3 keeps the same “HyperLite” Alloy, which 2015 gained from the 2014 version.

Sizing of the 2016 Easton XL3

Like 2015, there will be no BBCOR or 2 3/4 Big Barrel version of the Easton XL3. If you’re looking for single-piece aluminum from Easton in those categories, check the 2016 Easton Z-Core XL HMX.

The 2016 Easton XL3 will come in:

  • Drop 11 Youth Barrel (2 1/4)
  • Drop 5 Senior Barrel (2 5/8)
  • Drop 8 Senior Barrel (2 5/8)*

*The Drop 8 version is new this year. It will take the place of the 2015 XL3 Drop 8 in the 2 5/8.

Video Reviews of the 2016 Easton XL3

Here is Easton’s Promo Video of the bat. Not incredibly informative, but fun to see up-close glamour shots of the bat nonetheless.

2016 Easton XL3 Construction

As we stated above, the 2016 Easton XL3 is a stiff one-piece bat with a heavy end load. In 2014 Easton has several complaints of the XL3 denting way too early in its life. The change to a new “Hyperlite” alloy, which is now found on their BBCOR aluminum barreled bats, appears to be a solid move as the 2015 XL3 generally was given rave reviews.

The end load on this single piece bat is it’s a real unique feature. In particular, the drop 5 2 5/8 senior league Easton XL3 is as heavy-hitting a bat you can find in the space. Those capable of wielding it could hit a ball to the moon.

Other 2016 Bats Like the Easton XL3

2016 Easton XL3 Review

While there are several bats in the youth and senior league space that are full alloy, none quite have the end load as the XL3. It’s the closest competitor is DeMarini’s 2016 Insane—which boats an end load on a single piece alloy in many more sizes than the XL3.  However, the Insane DOES NOT come in a drop 5 version.

A drop 5 in a single piece alloy can be found in the Marucci Cat 6, but the CAT 6 is a balanced bat made for line drives, whereas the XL3 in the drop five is made for towering bombs from the biggest kid on the playground. Another similar bat would be Louisville Slugger’s 2016 516 Omaha. It also comes in a drop 5 (among several other sizes). But the 516, like the CAT 6, is built as a balanced bat.

Nothing quite captures, especially in the drop 5 version, the heavy-hitting power of the 2016 Easton XL3 drop 5.

Our Final Say, For Now, On the 2016 Easton XL3

If you’re looking for the most massive hitting stick in the drop 5 game, then we’d point you in the Easton XL3 direction first. We do think the 2015 version, which is generally cheaper these days, is just a good a get as the 2016 version. We’d also shy away from the 2014 version due to it’s denting and older alloy—unless it were a fantastic deal.

We’d also feel pretty good about a youth barrel bat (drop 11 & 2 1/4) need in the heavy-hitting single piece space to look closely at the 2015 or 2016 Easton XL3. But if you need more bat speed, appreciate a bigger barrel, would like composite or a hybrid bat and don’t appreciate hand sting very much, then we’d say keep on looking. (2016 Easton XL3 Amazon Price Check)

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