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Fanatics Breakaway Jersey vs. Adidas AdiZero Authentic NHL Jersey

With Adidas taking over as the official jersey supplier for the NHL things are a changin’ for fans looking to buy jerseys. There are now two options for fans to purchase. First is the “Fanatics Breakaway” jersey which is priced at $120 without a name on the back. The other is the “Adidas AdiZero Authentic” jersey, which goes for $180 blank and $249 customized.

Golden Knights season ticket holders will be receiving their Fanatics jerseys on Friday and Saturday of this week.

So, let’s examine the differences between the two. Fanatics on the left, Adidas on the right.

One of the first noticeable differences is with the NHL shield. All Adidas official “on-ice” gear has a shiny silver NHL logo. We’ve already seen it on the Draft Hat and if you head down to The Arsenal you’ll notice plenty of Adidas gear with it on there. That shiny shield comes at a price though. $110 sweatshirts, $70 polos, etc.

The difference here is in the fabric. The Fanatics jersey uses a more mesh fabric and it does not change for the underarm area. I’m not that in to textiles so I don’t know exactly what the Adidas jersey is made of, but take my word for it, the Adidas one is a nicer material.

Shoulder patches are probably the clearest difference on the jerseys. The Fanatics jersey has the logo screen printed on, and the Adidas one is fully embroidered. There’s also a slight difference in fabric. In this case (in my opinion), the Fanatics fabric looks and feels better, however, it’s way different looking than what the players wear and it screams, this jersey is not the authentic one.

On to my favorite part of the jersey, the intricate design inside of the Vegas Golden Knights primary logo. Both jerseys have the rivets around the V and the “floral” pattern inside of the shield. But, there’s a pretty clear difference in quality between the two. Also, the grey portion of the shield looks much better on the Adidas ones.

Here’s a little closer look at the difference.

The back of the jersey has two differences. First, the obvious one, the Adidas logo below the neck. The Fanatics jersey is blank. The other one is more subtle, and you’ve got to be a true hockey fan to appreciate what it is, otherwise, it looks like a poorly sewn tag. It’s not, it’s actually the velcrow strap that connects the jersey to pads. Without knowing what it is, it looks really odd. (Hockey fans are mad at me for not calling it by its proper name, “fight strap.” Thought that was too inside baseball, apparently not, so fight strap fight strap fight strap.)

The piece with the two buttons is the fight strap.

Finally, these are the tags on the front of the jersey. The tall skinny one on the Adidas one is a sticker meant to be taken off.

Are these differences worth $60?


Quick Thoughts – Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche 9/19/17

Next Podcast #82: Meaningless TOI


  1. Karen

    Looks like I’ll be coughing up an extra $60 for my jersey 😀

  2. Tom

    It’s called the “fight strap” Ken. Look it up.

  3. Tom

    In hockey, jersey is known as “sweater”. You will need your fight strap when you travel to road games, so the fans don’t pull your sweater over your head and pummel you, while you flail around.

  4. Tom

    In hockey, jersey is known as “sweater”. You will need your fight strap when you travel to road games, so the fans don’t pull your sweater over your head and pummel you, while you flail around.

  5. Dmac

    The Adidas adizero you are reviewing is not the On Ice jersey worn by players

    That an Indonesia jersey

    The one ice version is twice the price

    • Correct. It’s the official “authentic” jersey for fans. When I say “on ice” I mean it as a term not literally.

      • Lawrence LaBrasca

        Then they should make those in say size 62 or 64 or maybe even 66 for us fluffy folk

        • Joe Cobb

          Can you buy the actual on ice sweaters? I’m assuming made in Canada and not Indonesia.

    • Ty

      Absolutely correct information written above: I have been collecting authentic “on-ice” NHL sweaters for 27 years and the AdiZero jersey is an Indonesian made jersey that is a lesser quality than the official “on-ice” jersey which is made in Canada. I preordered what I was told would be the authentic “on-ice” jersey (I won’t mention the team) both home and away customized, and made in Canada (as were the jerseys on the mannequins in the pro shop). When I went to pick up the sweaters they were Indonesian made AdiZero with an obviously lesser degree of craftsmanship than their Canadian counterparts. The numbers were heat-pressed to the Jersey and the crest & shoulder patches varied in size to the Canadian sweater. I was assured these were the authentic jerseys but just comparing them to the Canadian Adidas sweaters gave me reasons to request a refund; which they gave me (even though my jerseys were customized). I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find the actual “on-ice” sweaters; I’m sure I’ll just have to buy game-worn. This is a total bummer for me as a collector. Hope this helps folks in making an educated purchase.

      • mike

        THANK YOU these are garbage replica ON ICE JERSEYS.. real ones are MADE IN CANADA! im a collector to my friend,, this is horse trash!

        • Ryan

          Hi Mike, any Idea where in Canada to find the real ones, just cause you name something authentic on -ice doesn’t make it so 🙂

        • Randy

          Won’t buy any unless made in canada

        • Ty

          Mike, here is a direct quote from an Adidas sign posted in the Blackhawks store in Chicago: “Adidas Retail Authentic Jersey” …”NOT the on-ice jersey, slightly different than what the players wear, but the closest customers can buy to being “authentic “.

      • Fresh hockey

        I agree bro some teams would make special orders for some clients wanting the real made in Canada jerseys but adidas sent a request that they stop that cause they only want to sale their fake authentic jerseys made in Asia insulting hockey culture

      • Jake

        Hey Ty! Would you be able to provide sources on the differences between the Authentic Retail jerseys and the Game Worn On-Ice jerseys? I’d love to get more details and confirm this with some reliable sources, but right now I only have your word on it. I’m very curious to see why they do this.

        • Ty

          Hello Jake, I’d be happy to assist. The official on-ice sweaters are made in Canada and now, are only issued to the teams. Some of the teams have made deals with the NHL or private collecting companies to be the sole distribution source for “game worn” or “team issued” sweaters for sale or auction. MeiGray is such a company and they have exclusive deals with a few of the teams for these sweaters; this is who I purchased my “team issued” Vegas Golden Knights (Home & Road) from. The sweaters are expensive this way but if you’re a collector, it’s worth it to have the real deal. Now quality, for the casual fan I suppose it would be best (<$) to buy a fan authentic (made in Singapore); the stitching is a bit uneven and obviously less detailed. The sleeves do not have the double elbows and inner lining found in the player authentics; simply turn the sleeves inside out on the fan sweater and you can see on the VGK (gold stripe) the gold material is one layer so the gold shows inside the sleeve as well. In the player jersey there is a double layer of material that matches the body of the sweater. Also on the player sweater the double stitching is neat and uniform throughout. Another strange aspect of the fan jersey is that the main crest differs is size depending on the sweater size. The secondary shoulder logos on the player sweaters are stitched throughout the patch and then stitched again to the yoke. The fan jersey has a lesser quantity printed/stitched patch. These details may not matter to the layperson but the difference is enough for a collector. I might add, shame on Adidas & the NHL for tricking a lot of people into believing they are purchasing a real authentic sweater. Now for the reason behind it…… if you have a trained eye for spotting counterfeit sweaters on eBay or in person at arenas around the league (or on TV if you’re really good) you’ll see a ton of fans with absolutely FAKE (not league approved) counterfeit sweaters; really sad but they’re buying them off eBay for $100 or if they truly get duped $200 bucks. I believe the league and Adidas have decided to manufacture a fan authentic they can produce at a low cost (Singapore) so fans can believe the price gap between buying counterfeit and league sanctioned is worth the additional price to get the sweater from the NHL. Good luck; I hope this helps you.


    • drew

      where can I get the on ice jersey

  6. Craigers

    I’ll take my “free” Fanatics ones, but I’ll be bucking up for one of each color of the Adidas ones for the wall.
    Thank you for pointing out the obvious that it’s well worth the upcharge to go with the branded one.

  7. Paul Bizoukas

    Fanatics jerseys are junk

  8. Jul

    Nothing for nothing but I thought season ticket holders were getting that better one.Were suppose to go pick it up tomorrow now not motivated god.Seriously with this and how complicated the whole selling season tickets thing has gotten though I did sign 3 year tickets I might want out after 1.The cheaper jersey seems petty on the team’s part.

    • Aaron

      No regular season games played and already complaints from season ticket holders. Reminds me of my days working in sports.

  9. As a hockey fan & publicist / you did a great job, even better job then quote unquote experts out there, in my opinion. We tend to laugh at new cities who get a hockey franchise because we think we ‘know it all’ but you have done a great job educating the fans in Vegas who will come to adore this great game. Great Job

  10. Julian

    Anyone with season tickets that can help me set this up in Stub hub so I can sell some games I’ll pay you.this shut is messed up what you have to go through

  11. Lawrence LaBrasca

    Was the main logo on the fanatics jersey a screen printed logo like the shoulder patches or was it actually embroidered like the authentic

    • It’s definitely not screen printed, but it’s really hard to explain the difference between the two. All I can really say is that the authentic one looks much better when you really consider the details.

    • Adam Knuese

      On YouTube I saw a video that the guy said they were screen printed.

  12. 20thMaine

    Beware the Indonesian Adidas shod. This is just the same old “Indo-Edge” debarcle again – look how that turned out! This is fraud calling them “authentic” save the money Adidas are ripping us off

  13. John booty

    Are the Fanatics jerseys front crest stitched on or heat pressed on like the Reebok premieres? I know the Adidas ones are stitched on

  14. Jake Raines

    Have you seen a customized Fanatics jersey? If so, are the name/numbers actually sewn on? Or are they the cheap heat pressed stuff that will peel apart after washing?

    • All numbers are heat pressed on. I’m not sure the durability as this is such a new product.

      • Jake Raines

        Ok, thanks for the response. I’d like to get a jersey but it seems like a lose/lose. The fanatics brand seem like pretty cheap quality, but if I’m paying $250 for an “authentic” jersey, but it’s not what the players are wearing, it seems like a waste of money.

        • Adam Knuese

          Go to dh gate and get one from China they are about 25 to 40 bucks and they are nice. I have a sweatshirt of Vegas and thinking of buying a jersey.

  15. Anthony Misso

    I was told the same thing!! I was pissed!! The Indonesian jerseys suck and they shouldn’t be advertised as “authentic”. I’m a collector and I’m tired of this crap they pull. They should be ashamed of there selves!

  16. John booty

    Just got back from the pens gear store inside ppg paints arena, and i can confirm the Fanatics Breakaway jerseys Crest is sewn on. They only had a Sidney Crosby home Jersey in reguards to the breakaway and the price was $221. Online prices are way better for both adidas and fanatics

  17. I was expecting to get the same thing that the players are wearing. I was very impressed with the design of the scrolling on the golden stripe on the arms, which is missing on the “Authentic” Jerseys they sell to the fans.

  18. Dev

    They’re still fake, so don’t waste your money.

  19. Jon

    Does the cut/fit feel different? Saw a different review that said Fanatics jersey a better cut and slightly more form fitting for wearing in non-game environment

  20. John

    If anyone is trying to find the best deal on the adidas jerseys with real stitched on name and number:

  21. Big Bird

    If they are both jerseys that are not worn on the ice, why get the more expensive ones, and the fanatics on is good to wear on a summer day down a beach, the adidas one is too heavy.

    • GR8

      I agree here. I am not a collector but want a decent fitting jersey/sweater that feels comfortable wearing to a game or while watching at home or to wear on the weekends. I am also a Caps fan and want one of the event editions that have the SC Champs patch. I have also read the proportions of the authentic sweaters are made to have bulky pads underneath and don’t fit well even if you size down.

  22. GR8

    Great article here. Thanks for the in-depth review. Much appreciated.

  23. Felipe

    I recently bought a Fanatics jersey and I was impressed with the quality of them, I have seen many videos and photos, read a lot about them and people didn’t seem happy with them, but honestly? I think they are pretty good. Fair enough to say that it is the cheaper end of NHL jerseys, but they definitely do the job, Represent your team. The difference is very obvious when comparing with an Adidas jersey, materials, details, the stitching, etc. But if you want a comfy jersey that you can use pretty much everywhere and also travel with it? Go Fanatics, and keep the fancy Adidas looking fancy, you paid the price for quality so keep it that way.

  24. Hawkeye

    How is the fit of the Adidas? Neal jerseys are on clearance, but only a size down from my TShirt size. I’m banking on them running big. Thoughts?

    • jordon

      The adidas ones run pretty true to size, even a little smaller. I have a custom adidas size 56(xxl), and an xxl adidas VGK t-shirt, and the the t-shirt is looser-fitting on me.

  25. Alison Brown

    I have a collection of Jerseys – older Reeboks, newer Adidas adizero and Fanatics. I like each of them for different reasons. As a woman, I do want to comment that I have the women’s cut Fanatics (not available in the Adidas) and it is a much better fit on me so more comfortable if what you are looking for is just wearability. I almost think the Fanatics should be marketed as a Shersey or Jersey-Look Shirt. It is reasonable facsimile of a jersey but made of a fabric that (to me at least) is a bit more comfortable if you are wearing shortsleeves/nothing underneath.

  26. Tim Jordan

    Hi all. I’m now seeing some of the authentic jerseys sold as being “adizero” or “climalite.” Is there a difference in THIS Adidas Jersey or is it the same product, just different jargon? Thanks!

  27. Stephen Clifford

    Just received my Golden Knights Ryan Reaves Fanatics jersey.As a Las Vegas cabbie; could not afford the authentic.I am representing my team proudly.Looks great to me:that is all that counts.Can’t wait to wear it Oct 27 against the Ducks

    • ReavesSucks

      Imagine buying a Reaves jersey. He has no class. He should be in the 80’s, not 20’s.

      • Dolores Mclean

        Your rude its up to each of us who we want on our jerseys. this is not an insult people platform.

  28. Rand Cain

    I can only speak for Boston Bruins sweaters, but the Pro Shop inside TD Garden in Boston sells the on-ice authentic sweaters worn by the players. I’ve been there numerous times. They sell both the Adidas authentics and the on -ice. There is a tremendous difference between the two both in quality and price. The Adidas Authentics run about $245 and the On Ice were $350-$375. The On Ice are much more rugged. Also the lettering on the player name plates on the back is different. The letters themselves on the on-ice sweaters are much bigger (obviously, so fans up in the balcony can read the name) than the letters on the Authentics. The On Ice letters, logos, numbers and shoulder patches are also much thicker and thoroughly stitched in to the material. The elbows on the on ice sweaters are reinforced.

    So, if you’re a Bruins fan and you want an actual On Ice, player-worn quality jersey, you can get it but you have to either visit in person or call the TD Garden Pro Shop as they do over the phone orders. Do NOT order from their website!!! For some reason they ONLY sell the Adidas Authentics on-line and NOT the On Ice. You have to call them directly, tell them the player name and size you want and they literally take it off the rack in the store and ship it out.

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