Usage time: 4 months
Blocker History: Simmons 994 Blocker, Warrior Messiah Blocker, Smith 6000 Retro Blocker, Reebok Larceny Pro, Simmons 997, Vaughn 7600.I am going to start this with a disclaimer that when I was younger I was very anti-Vaughn. I grew up close to Simmons and young me never understood why anyone would pay so much money for Vaughn equipment when you could get just as good Simmons equipment for the same price. Since I never used Vaughn equipment before this I still had a bit of this biased. My comparison with Simmons is relevant here because the Simmons 997 blocker is a clone of this blocker. So check out my Simmons blocker review to see how the 2 stack up!
Initial Thoughts: Whenever I saw this blocker in store or on goalies I always thought it looked strange and awkward just because it looked so different compared to the blockers I was used to. Immediately upon opening the box this blocker came in I noticed how ridiculously light it is. Upon quick inspection I noticed the high quality materials and everything about the glove seemed high end and well made.
Fit: The blocker has just 1 adjustable strap around the wrist. I’ve adjusted this strap to be as tight as possible and it definitely feels like it pinches your wrist down tight. Making it very tight also reduces the mobility of the blocker on your hand. With that said I noticed I never felt the need to keep the strap tight at all and actually wear it as loose as possible. Normally I have to tighten gloves enough so they don’t feel like they’d slide right off my hand, but with this glove I felt like I didn’t have to keep the strap tight at all. Even with shaking my hand the glove stays put and with the looser wrist strap the mobility of this glove is fantastic. The construction of this glove keeps your hand snug and comfortable all the time, compare this to the Simmons 997 where I felt like the 997 was always in danger of falling off if the wrist strap was loose. Because of a lack of adjust-ability I am docking a point even though it fits my hand perfectly. 9/10
Comfort: Compared to my favourite blocker so far (Reebok Larceny) this blocker feels small and tight on your hand. It feels smaller on your hand and the sideboard is not nearly as big but it also has a removable side pillow. Putting my hand in this glove was similar to the Larceny when it was brand new. The Vaughn 7600 has a cream coloured nash palm and liner and feels fantastic. The nash is very soft and yet keeps your hand from sliding around. When wet the grip of the nash worsens but I have never had a problem with it and find it more comfortable than digital material (which grips better when wet). Like the Larceny blocker the Vaughn as a big, soft and comfortable pillow inside the glove that lays on the top of your hand and wrist. This nash pillow keeps your hand snug in the glove and is added protection from hard shots. This pillow is something the Simmons 997 didn’t have and really adds to the comfort of this blocker. After 6 months of use the nash interior of the glove has not degraded like the Reebok Larceny has and as of right now is the most comfortable glove I have ever worn. 10/10
Protection: Unlike the Reebok Larceny this blocker doesn’t feel like a tank and when I first wore it I was questioning if this was really a pro level blocker and was worried it would disappoint me like the Simmons 997 blocker did. After 6 months of use I am happy to say this glove exceeded my expectations. As you can see in the Simmons 997 review I am very picky about finger protection and this Vaughn 7600 does a fantastic job with solid plastic pieces surrounding all of your fingers. I actually like the index finger protection on this blocker better than the Larceny. With a solid outer flap and 2 solid plastic guards blocking your fingers from pucks the index finger protection is solid while not feeling bulky or making the blocker feel immobile and has the best index finger protection I have ever seen on a blocker. I have had pucks ride up my stick and the index finger protection stopped the puck completely and my fingers weren’t ever touched or felt like they were in danger of the puck. The back of the fingers are protected with solid and thick foams (or plastic) which are much thicker than the Larceny. As you can see from the photos I have taken pucks to the back of the fingers before, one of my complaints about the Simmons was that the finger protection was soft bendable foams, sometimes hard and quick shots slip under the blocker face and I have taken a full on slap shot to the fingers with this 7600 blocker. I felt absolutely nothing, after the fact I was actually looking at the glove to see where I got hit and there is actually a puck mark on the index finger. I fear if I got hit here in the Simmons my fingers wouldn’t have fared so well. The back of the finger protection on the Vaughn 7600 is the best I have seen on a blocker. They protect not only from shots but from jabs from sticks and has saved my fingers from being squished between my stick and the ice multiple times when making a diving save. I believe the side board of the Larceny is still more protective than this and I like the finger protection on the Larceny a little more specifically the wrap around pinky protection and how it wraps around slightly lower than the Vaughn. Any shots on the blocker board are dampened by the pillow on the top of the hand/wrist. While I think the Larceny has a better side wall and pinky finger protection, the index finger and the protection on the back of the fingers is the best I have ever seen so I am going to give this blocker full points. 10/10
Weight: I am not positive if this glove is lighter than the Simmons 994 flat board or the Simmons 997 (as I currently do not have them to compare it to) but the Vaughn 7600 blocker is so amazingly balanced that it feels like it is the lightest blocker I have ever worn. It is considerably lighter than my favourite blocker the Reebok Larceny. 10/10
Durability: On the Vaughn 7600 blocker I have noticed is on the binding where the stick rubs against just like the wear on the Reebok Larceny. The weird thing about this is that on the binding closer to the fingers Vaughn added a jenpro piece to stop this wear from happening but didn’t add it to the outer binding as well. The Warrior and Simmons were much more worn and torn after the same amount of use, the Simmons to the point where the binding was split so much you could see the foams that made up the side board of the blocker. The palm shows absolutely no wear and unlike the Larceny has not become crusty and hard. There is a slight piece of jenpro wear on the index finger where a puck hit, but this is so minimal this isn’t an issue and the only reason I noticed it was because the jenpro is black. Because of the outer binding wear I can’t give the Vaughn 7600 a perfect score. 9.5/10
Performance: There was absolutely no adjustment period for getting used to the Vaughn 7600 blocker. The hand position is lower than the Reebok Larceny but I had no issues transitioning to this. The weight (well lack of) and balance allow you to easily deflect shots and ensure you make the save to the best of your ability. The side wall is slightly smaller than the Larceny but I had no issues with making saves with it. I also found shooting with the 7600 to be easier than with any blocker I have used before. The perfect balance and lightweight really makes your forget you are wearing a big flat board on your hand. I absolutely love using this blocker. 10/10
Conclusion: The Vaughn 7600 blocker is one of the best blockers I have ever worn. It is extremely comfortable, lightweight and fantastically balanced. If I wasn’t moving on from the matching catching glove (and thus selling these as a set) I would happily rotate this and the Reebok Larceny. I would say this is now tied as my favourite blocker I have ever worn, it is extremely well made and my only negatives are me extremely nitpicking. 9.5/10
Little details like how the top of the “V4” part is not sewn down so the binding of the index finger can tuck behind it make this glove stand out. Though I’d prefer bindingless fingers or jenpro binding here.