Easton decided to bring back a classic this year. The B5 (fondly referred to as “The Green Easton”) was first introduced in 1978. It was the bat of choice for guys like Bonds, Gwynn, McGwire, and Bo Jackson when they were still amateurs. The B5 is an end-loaded, one-piece aluminum bat.Check availability, prices, and deals: Amazon
B5: General Impression
The redesigned B5 is making a triumphant return and it’s still a popular model. The biggest downfall you’ll find is that it’s a one-piece aluminum bat. There are a lot of players who just don’t like the one-piece as much composite models.
What Have They Changed?
The most obvious change to this bat is that it’s entered the BBCOR realm. Bats just weren’t made the same 40 years ago. They’ve added a ring-less barrel and advanced thermal construction. There’s a new end cap and alloy handle. Rather than naming each thing that has changed since the bat was made back in the 80s, we’ll dissect the features throughout the article.
2021 Easton B5 Overview
The B5 has a number of great features that add up to an incredibly high-quality build. They’ve added Thermal Alloy construction and a ring-less barrel design to increase the sweet spot. Easton decided to make the handle extra stiff to improve energy transfer.
A style choice that you’ll notice is that Easton made the B5 an end-loaded design. While there’s nothing wrong with that, the B5 is the most end-loaded bat that we’ve reviewed so far. Its swing style is similar to The Goods.
Comfort is likely going to be the biggest issue that you’ll find with the B5. Composite bats typically add a collar just above the handle which significantly cuts down on sting and vibration. Unfortunately, one-piece bats aren’t able to do that, so they typically have more negative feedback for a hitter.
That’s the case in the B5. Players have told us that the vibration is manageable but you know when you hit the ball near the end of the bat. They’ve added a VRS handle insert to try and minimize that sting, but it’s not quite the same.
This issue isn’t enough to take it off of the list of our favorite bats, but it may be a bit of a change for players that are used to using composite bats.
The durability of the B5 is among the best on the market. Its one-piece design makes it even more durable than most composite models. They’ve added an Advanced Thermal Alloy Construction (ATAC) which allows for great durability with thin walls. The ATAC design is meant to make the bat, more durable without increasing the swing weight.
The B5 is $350 which makes it one of the best value BBCOR bats on the market if you’re comfortable with a one-piece model. It is expensive by one-piece standards, but we think it’s the best bat its class. So, it might just be worth it.
If you’re comparing it to the most expensive BBCOR models, you’ll find that it offers a significant discount. The top of the market is $500, so you’re only paying about 70% of that.
This bat is designed with power hitters in mind. Combining one-piece alloy design with an end-loaded swing weight means that you need to generate some of your own power. It’s designed for a hitter who can already create bat speed and takes advantage of the momentum that a hitter creates.
Compared To Other BBCOR Bats
The B5 can’t compare to most of the bats we’ve reviewed. It’s our opinion that you have to separate the composite models from the one-piece models. So, it may sit on the list of best BBCOR models with The Goods, Meta, and the Quatro Pro, but it’s like comparing apples to oranges.
That being said, it’s our favorite one-piece model on the market. Its closest competition is The Goods One-Piece or the Marucci CAT9.
B5 vs. DeMarini The Goods One Piece
In comparing to The Goods One Piece, the B5 has a larger sweet spot and is slightly more end-loaded. The B5 is about $50 more expensive.
B5 vs. Marucci CAT9
Compared to the Marucci CAT9, the B5 offers a significantly larger sweet spot. The CAT 9 is also much more balanced. So, it may come down to style preference. Both bats are $350, so you’ll have to make the decision. We prefer the B5.
Our Verdict On The 2021 Easton B5 BBCOR
Easton continues their long history of putting out high-quality bats. They’ve brought an old brand back to life in the B5. While the bat can play on your nostalgia, they’ve made sure that it’s going to perform. Easton’s Chief Operating Officer believes that they’ve “caught lightning in a bottle.” I think he may be right.
The last time I remember an Easton bat performing this well compared to its competition was their Redline model. That’s so popular that you can still find old models (from the 90s) selling on eBay for hundreds of dollars.
While the one-piece alloy model can’t compete with the composite bats, we believe that the Easton B5 is the best option in its class. It certainly makes our top list for BBCOR models in 2021. It’s a beautiful bat that simply outperforms the competition in its class.Check availability, prices, and deals: Amazon