There is always a ‘battle of the brands’ when you go looking for softball bats. But the fact remains the same, whether it is Rawlings or Easton, both of them are the top dogs when it comes to baseball and softball bats.
Now comes the question- are all of them crazy expensive? No. Are all of them the best of the best? Not necessarily. Then comes the nerve-wracking question – of the two – which one would become your next partner? The answer, though – resides within you. All I can do is help. The Rawlings vs Easton Softball Bats head-to-head should have all the answers you need. You get a thorough comparison. And you can take it from there.
Yes, both these brands have expensive and budget-friendly bats. And of course, the costly ones have their perks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the cheaper ones are poor in quality. The Rawlings vs. Easton Softball Bats comparison is twofold – A) high-end bat comparison & B) budget bat comparison. So, you can either look at the former or the latter – it’s totally up to you.
If you just want a casual bat for some weekend fun, have a look at the budget Rawlings vs. Easton one-on-one. And serious softballers should check out the premium comparison. Let’s head in.
Rawlings Mantra vs Easton Ghost Advanced (Premium)
If you haven’t already heard about the Rawlings Mantra or the Easton Ghost Advanced, let me tell you, both of these bats are quite the hype. And yes, they are expensive. But, as promised, I have jotted down the key features and differentiated them for you. But first, start with an easy-to-follow chart.
|General Specs||Rawlings Mantra||Easton Ghost Advanced|
|Bat Length||30” to 34”||29” to 34”|
|Barrel Diameter||2 ¼”||2 ¼”|
|Bat Drop||-9 and -10||-8,-9,-10 and -11|
|Certification||ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISF, ISA, and all other associations using 98MPH w/ABI||ASA (USA), USSSA (Fastpitch only), NSA, ISA, and ISF leagues|
|Color||Light Blue and White||White and Red|
The Difference in Key Features
· Bat construction
As you can see, both these bats are made out of composite material. In fact, both the Mantra and Ghost Advanced have what it takes to become the best composite softball bat. They are approved by all the major league associations such as ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISA, and ISF. Since the Ghost is solely meant for fastpitch games, you cannot use it in any USSSA slow pitch tournaments.
In terms of size, both the Mantra and Ghost Advanced offer a wide range of options. The former starts from 30 inches and goes up to 34 inches. Ghost Advanced, on the other hand, starts from 29 inches and, like Mantra, goes up to 34 inches.
Same goes for the bat drop, in the case of Mantra, you will only get two styles, -9 and -10. But, in the Ghost, you will get the same options along with two additional ones, -8 and -11.
· Barrel design
This is the very feature that sets a bat apart from others. Rawlings Mantra is designed with the 3-step inner barrel technology that balances the performance, strength, and weight distribution throughout the length of the barrel. This creates a powerful connection while pulling the swings. Moreover, to create the ultimate pop with a trampoline effect, the outer barrel is 15% thinner than the inner one.
Easton Ghost Advanced is quite the opposite. It has dual barrels where the inner barrel is actually lighter than the outer one. This is to create the lowest amount of compression in the bat. When the compression inside the bat is low, it allows the bat to be more flexible.
It is manufactured with Launch Composite technology. This allows the manufacturers to design longer, stronger, and most importantly, lighter barrels. Besides, it creates bigger sweet spots, something that every player wants in their bats!
Now, both these bats can be used by power and contact hitters, but in my opinion, the Ghost is more suitable for contact hitters who want more flex in their bats than power hitters. Although the Launch Comp tech makes it stronger, when put up against Mantra, it pales in comparison.
· One-piece vs. Two-piece
Neither of these bats is a one-piece. Both of them are fully composite two-piece bats. At the junction between the barrel and the handle, they have good quality vibration dampeners. The F2 Collar connection piece on the Mantra gets rid of the barrel drag and tones down the vibrations after contact.
And, the conneXion evolution on the Easton completely eliminates the vibrational feedback. How? By doubling the amount of Nitrocell foam that is injected into the conneXion joint, the vibrations get completely cut off from reaching the handle. This feature allows you to play the game smoothly without feeling worn out.
· Endcap and Grip
The Mantra has an Ultra-Light end cap that gives the bat enlarged sweet spots and superior balance. What’s more, is that these features do not compromise the swing weight. It doesn’t pile on any additional weight.
Another important thing of Rawlings Mantra is the slot for a motion sensor. The knob of the bat is redesigned to seamlessly accommodate the Blast Motion sensor that is sold separately. The sensor gives you real-time feedback and analytics of your performance without disrupting the swing weight.
As for the grip, both Mantra and the Ghost have a Lizard skin grip that eliminates any residual vibrations from the barrel. It also provides maximum tack, and you can also grab onto the bat comfortably.
|Rawlings Mantra||Easton Ghost Advanced|
|3-step Inner Barrel Technology||Second generation Composite Barrel|
|Continuous Fiber Composite Barrel||Two-piece design|
|Ultra-thin End Cap||Concave End Cap|
Rawlings Ombre vs Easton Ghost Fastpitch Aluminum (Budget Softball Bat)
Now that you have gone through the high-end softball bats, it’s time for the budget-friendly versions. One fact that you need to bear in mind is that, although these bats are cheaper, they are not inferior in quality.
They may not possess the added advantages of the expensive bats, but they do have decent delivery and do last for a long time, provided you take good care of them. That’s why, although they may not be the best softball bats out there, I can promise you this, you will definitely get your money’s worth out of them.
|General Specs||Rawlings Ombre||Easton Ghost Fastpitch Aluminum|
|Bat Length||26” to 30”||26” to 31”|
|Barrel Diameter||2 ¼”||2 ¼”|
|Certification||ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISF, ISA, and all other associations using 98MPH with ABI||USA, USSSA (Fastpitch Only), NSA, ISA, WBSC|
|Color||White/ Gold, White/ Purple||Multi|
|Price||Around $50||Around $40|
The Difference in Key Features
The Easton Ghost is a lightweight bat that is both durable and quite powerful. The reason is that it is manufactured out of military-grade ALX50 aluminum. That’s why it doesn’t easily get dented or cracked.
The Rawlings Ombre, on the other hand, is made out of aluminum alloy. It is durable. But, if you were to pitch these two bats against each other, the Ombre probably wouldn’t be able to last longer than the Ghost.
If looks matter to you, then both the bats have a unique look. They both offer a couple of good options to choose from. And each has its own distinctive print.
The Ghost’s barrel design is pretty standard. Unlike the other ghost bats, it doesn’t have multiple walls. Rather it has a bat drop of -11 so that it is easier for players to handle the bat. This bat is primarily meant for young players who are new to the field. It is especially good for practice sessions. Your child can learn to take the correct stance and work their way through the swing.
The Rawlings Ombre also has a -11 profile, but the x-tended sweet spot technology increases the plate coverage by extending the barrel. This enlarges the surface area for sweet spots. If you are looking for a cheaper bat with large sweet spots, this is the one for you.
One-piece vs. Two-piece
Both the Ghost and the Ombre are solid one-piece bats. The upside to batting with a one-piece bat is that it is stiffer than a two-piece. As you can see in the above two products, the bats have a collar that connects the barrel to the handle. That adds more flex. But here, it’s a solid continuous piece of construction. This makes the bat stiff. That’s why it has little to no give. Power hitters prefer these types of bats.
End cap and Grip
The Easton Ghost has a concave end cap. As I said, the construction of this bat is very simple. Having a concave end cap removes any unwanted weight from the end of the barrel. It gives the player better control, and they can swing the bat faster. This is one of the added advantages of having a concave end cap.
If you prefer your bat to be stiffer, the ConneXion technology used to design the Ultra-Thin handle that is 29/32in. optimizes the barrel flex and makes it stiffer. It maximizes the energy transfer and cuts off the vibration. As for the grip, the Ghost has an All-Sports grip that is suitable for any type of weather condition. So, you needn’t worry about using the bat during the winter or rainy season.
Likewise, Rawlings Ombre has a concave end cap. But the polyurethane grip provides high tack, a feature that can be a game-changer for many players, especially the rookies on the field.
|Rawlings Ombre||Easton Ghost|
|Aluminum Alloy||ALX50 military-grade aluminum alloy|
|One-piece design||One-piece design|
|Concave End Cap||Concave End Cap|
Now That We’re Here – Verdict
Now that you have a fair amount of idea about the four different softball bats, the decision rests on you- which one will you go for? Of course, you don’t have to necessarily choose from these, but the Rawlings vs Easton Softball Bats comparison should’ve given you a clear idea of what both brands offer.
Between Rawlings Mantra and Easton Ghost Advanced, I prefer the Mantra. The reason? Mantra is way more durable than the Ghost Advanced. The Easton Ghost Advanced is a super-hot bat. So, it doesn’t require any break-in. But it’s susceptible to dents, cracks, and damage.
Now, between the Easton Ghost Fastpitch Aluminum and Rawlings Ombre, I lean towards the Easton Ghost. It has better pop and comfort. Speaking from personal experience, it is always better to get cheaper bats for beginners. Not everyone can afford to spend hundreds of bucks behind a bat. Even if they do, they are conscious of the fact that ‘it is an expensive softball bat!’. This affects their game.
With cheaper bats, batters can correct their stance and swings. They can improve themselves. For example, if you were to buy a bat for a 5-year-old. Would you get her the Rawlings Mantra or the Ombre? I would go in for the Ombre.
However, once they are at a pro level, they can go for the high-end bats. It will amp up their performance by folds! Now, it’s time to make a decision.