Nike Elite vs Limited NFL Jersey 2021 (My Review)


This is a Nike Elite vs Limited jersey comparison. There are 5 main types of NFL Jerseys you will need to consider. Quickly, here’s what you need to know about those 5 jersey types (affiliate links take you to NFLShop.com):

  • Nike Legend – The Nike Legend is unique compared to other NFL jerseys. It fits almost like a standard t-shirt, and is more affordable than other jerseys. I was a bit shocked how much I liked the fit. True to size. Lightweight, and easy to wear. Click here to view the Nike Legend jerseys at NFLShop.com. NFLShop.com is the official online shop of the NFL.
  • Nike Game – The Nike Game jerseys are popular fan jerseys due to price point. They have the true look of a jersey, but are replicas, which means they are a bit more affordable than premium jerseys. Relaxed fit, but true to size. These jerseys are a good option if you are looking for a Nike jersey on a tight budget. Click here to view the Nike Game jerseys at NFLShop.com.
  • Nike Limited – The Nike Limited Vapor jerseys are my favorite jersey. Vapor style has clean front with seams converging in back. Sits flat against body. This jersey has stitched numbers and graphics. Awesome jersey, with a great fit and some premium finishes. More affordable than the Elite authentic jerseys. True to size. Click here to view the Nike Limited jerseys at NFLShop.com
  • Nike Elite – These are the authentic NFL jerseys, and the closest you can get as a fan to wearing what the players wear on the field. The fit will be slimmer than other jerseys, mimicking the athletic fit of the players’ jerseys. The Elite jerseys have all the premium finishes, including stitched graphics and authentic paneling. Click here to view the Nike Elite jerseys at NFLShop.com.
  • NFL Pro Line Jersey – The NFL Pro Line Jersey is not made by Nike. It is a more affordable replica jersey, which might be a nice option if you are on a tight budget. This jersey has a baggy, loose fit, and you may need to size it down. Click here to view Pro Line jerseys at NFLShop.com.

The Nike Limited Vapor jerseys are my favorite fan jersey. This is what they look like (affiliate link takes you to NFLShop.com). In my opinion they are the best combination of price, design, and fit.

nike-elite-vs-limited-layered

Before we dive into discussing Nike Elite vs Limited jerseys, it’s important to understand that there are two versions of both the Nike Elite and the Nike Limited jerseys:

  • Regular Nike Elite
  • Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable
  • Regular Nike Limited
  • Nike Limited Vapor Untouchable

There are significant differences not only between the Nike Elite vs Limited, but also between the regular Elite vs Vapor and the regular Limited vs Vapor. Put simply, these are 4 very different jersey types despite sharing similar names.


Price

Price may be a big factor in helping you decide which jersey is right for you. These two jersey types are priced differently.

In this comparison article we are going to focus on the differences you can expect, especially when considering Nike Elite vs Limited. We will focus on these four main categories:

  • Fit
  • Comfort
  • Price
  • Design

Before we compare the jerseys across the four main categories listed above, I want to spend some brief time explaining the difference between a regular jersey type and a Vapor Untouchable jersey type so you have a better idea what to expect.

Also, I will link out to our individual jersey reviews when applicable in case you want to do a deeper dive on comparing the Nike Elite vs Limited jerseys. If you want to access all of our jersey review and comparison articles, you can do so by visiting our jersey resource page.


Nike Elite vs Limited – Types of Jerseys

Again, as mentioned above, you have the regular versions of the Nike Elite and Nike Limited, but also the Vapor Untouchable versions of both jerseys. What does Vapor Untouchable mean?

Vapor Untouchable is a jersey design that Nike launched in 2015 and debuted in the NFL at the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl (source). You can view pictures from the 2016 Pro Bowl by clicking here.

The regular Nike Elite and Nike Limited jersey have a heavy paneling design that helps with mobility. The Nike Elite jerseys, specifically, have authentic paneling to match the paneling on the official on-field jerseys of the pros.

One issue that players experience with paneling is although it fits with pads and adds mobility and breathability, it also creates extra grab points for defenders.

The Vapor Untouchable jersey was launched by Nike, in part, to help reduce the amount of grab points by constructing the jersey in a way where the paneling was reduced, and the pieces of the jersey converge in the middle of the back, making the rest of the jersey lay clean and flat against the body and pads.

So the main difference between regular and vapor that you can expect from a fan’s perspective is less front-side paneling on your jersey. I own both the regular Nike Elite and the Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable, and there is a significant difference in how the jerseys fit due to the Vapor’s ability to reduce the amount of panels on the jersey. Take a look at my Elite vs Elite Vapor:

nike-elite-vs-vapor

The Elite Vapor is a much more athletic, snug fit that lays cleanly against my body due to the paneling converging in the middle of the back. Here is a look at the middle of the back of my Nike Elite Vapor where the paneling converges:

elite-vapor-paneling-2

And then also here is a look at the back of my Nike Limited Vapor (my favorite jersey type) where the paneling converges:

nike-limited-jersey-6

This allows the rest of the jersey to lay flat and just honestly (in my opinion) improves the overall fit and comfort of the jersey. If you give me a choice between regular and vapor, I personally am always choosing Vapor.

Now that we’ve discussed what Vapor Untouchable is, let’s compare the Nike Limited vs Elite on the four main categories mentioned earlier in the article:

  • Fit
  • Comfort
  • Price
  • Design

Nike Elite vs Limited

Fit

For me, fit and comfort are the driving forces behind jersey selection. Yes, I like premium finishes like sewn-on logos and number etc, but first and foremost, I want a jersey to fit right and to fit comfortably.

That is honestly one of the biggest challenges for some types of fan jerseys: they just don’t fit right. They’re too baggy and too loose and almost obnoxiously big in the sleeves.

The good news is that the Nike Elite and the Nike Limited offer true-to-size fits that you shouldn’t need to size up or down. But it is important to note the Elite Vapor jerseys have a slimmer fit, so if you prefer baggy you may need to size up.

The Nike Limited Vapor Untouchable is the best fitting fan jersey in my opinion (with the Nike Legend also right there with it). The Nike Limited Vapor Untouchable has a slimmer cut, but not so slim you will need to size up. The Vapor design (with paneling converging in the back) allows the jersey to lay flat against the chest and shoulders.

If you’ve read any of my jersey reviews, you will know that sleeve length is a point of emphasis for me. Some types of fan jerseys cut sleeves way too long. The Nike Limited Vapor gets it right. Here is a look at my medium Nike Limited Vapor (6’3 200):

nike-limited-jersey-layered

Now, when discussing the overall fit of the Nike Elite Vapor, as I mentioned previously, it is the most athletic cut out of all fan jerseys. This means you might love it or hate it depending on what you are looking for in a jersey.

One very unique attribute of the Nike Elite Vapor, in comparison to other fan jerseys, is the sleeves have an elastic cuff and the sleeves are cut shorter than other fan jerseys:

nike-elite-vapor-untouchable-jersey-layered

As you can see the Elite Vapor has short, fitted sleeves and an athletic, snug fit. Here’s the good news too about the fit: the Elite Vapor is made with stretch woven fabric that makes the jersey flexible despite fitting snug.

In other words, it doesn’t restrict you and feel like a straight jacket. The flexible material is very comfortable to wear in my opinion.

The regular Nike Elite and regular Nike Limited jerseys are going to be a little less comfortable to wear than their Vapor counterparts due to the paneling that the jerseys have.

The Nike Elite jersey has authentic paneling that you see on players’ jerseys. Take a look here at the paneling on my regular Nike Elite jersey:

nike-elite-jersey-paneling-front

The authentic paneling has an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage is the paneling makes it an authentic jersey, and allows you to wear what the players wear, which is cool. The disadvantage (at least for me), is the authentic chest paneling causes the jersey to push away slightly from my chest:

nike-elite-jersey-2

You can see in the picture above that the center panel on the Nike Elite causes a bit of room to be created between the jersey and my chest. This is not as big of an issue if you plan to layer underneath your jersey, as the layering really takes care of the excess space:

nike-elite-jersey-3

Overall, both the Nike Elite and the Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable are premium jerseys that offer you a chance to own an authentic piece of fan apparell, but when talking strictly about fit, my preferences is the Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable.

And when comparing Nike Elite vs Limited, again, between the 4 jersey types (regular and vapor), my recommendation for best fit is the Nike Limited Vapor Untouchable jersey which you can view on NFLShop.com by clicking on this link (affiliate link takes you to NFLShop.com).


Comfort

We’ve already discussed comfort at length, but again (in my opinion) due to the panel-reduction, you can expect the Vapor Untouchable versions of the Nike Elite and the Nike Limited to have a more comfortable fit than the regular versions.

My Nike Limited Vapor Untouchable is made with Nike Dri-Fit technology, which makes the material very comfortable, and when you combine that with the jerseys ability to lay cleanly against my chest and shoulders due to the paneling converging in the back, the Limited Vapor is my choice for comfort.

The Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable, as mentioned previously, also is a very comfortable wear in my opinion due to the stretch woven fabric that makes the jersey easy to move in even though it is a slimmer cut.

Regarding the regular Nike Limited and the regular Nike Elite, I would not consider them uncomfortable to wear, I just don’t consider them as comfortable as their Vapor Untouchable counterparts. My recommendation is to go Vapor for comfort.


Price

I highly suggest at least taking a peak at price before making your decision. Here’s what you need to know: there is a significant difference in price between Limited and Elite.

These exact prices will depend on the exact jersey you are interested in, but here’s what I would suggest doing, click on the affiliate links listed right below here to visit the specific jersey pages to compare prices just to get an idea of where you stand regarding price.

The Elite jersey has a higher price point because it offers more premium, authentic finishes. The Elite and Elite Vapor jerseys really are the gold standard of fan jerseys and are a great addition to any fan collection.

But as I’ve mentioned throughout this article, my personal favorite fan jersey when you combine fit, comfort, quality AND price point is the Nike Limited Vapor Untouchable.


Design

Desing varies greatly between the four types of jerseys: regular Elite and Limited, Vapor Elite and Limited. As we have discussed, the Vapor jerseys have a much cleaner construction due to the panels converging in the middle of the back.

Also, when considering Nike Limited vs Elite, remember that Nike Elite jerseys are considered the gold standard of fan jerseys, and offer authentic specifications of what the players wear on gameday. Here is a brief description for each of these four jerseys regarding what you can expect in design.

I will also link out to our individual jersey reviews and other materials that will help you understand the unique features of each of these 4 jersey types. It’s important to understand that exact features may vary slightly from jersey to jersey, depending on team and design.

nike-elite-vs-limited
nike-limited-vs-elite

Nike Limited

The regular Nike Limited jersey offers sewn-on numbers, mesh side-panels, flywire collars, screen-printed accents, and an NFL shield at the front collar. It seems present day, the Limited jerseys are often in the Vapor version.

Nike Limited Vapor Untouchable

Again, this is my recommendation for best fan jersey on the market when considering fit, comfort, quality, and price point. My Limited Vapor has sewn-on numbers, letters, and logos, has a metallic NFL shield at the front neck line, and has reduced paneling for a comfortable, clean fit.

To view my review of the Nike Limited Vapor Untouchable that I own, click on this link.

Nike Elite

The regular Nike Elite offers the exact specifications of the on-field jersey that players wear, including features such as: sewn-on numbers and letters, authentic paneling, zone stretch fabric, flywire collars, and tagless collars. To read a review of the regular Nike Elite jersey that I own, click here.

Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable

The Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable is unique in comparison to other fan jerseys. It offers a very athletic fit with fitted sleeves that have an elastic cuff. It has a smooth fit with stretch fabric so the slim fit doesn’t restrict movement.

It also offers sewn-on numbers and letters, a metallic NFL shield at the front collar, and has fabric with moisture-wicking properties. To read my review of the Nike Elite Vapor Untouchable jersey I own, you can click here.


Where to Buy NFL Jerseys?

NFLShop.com is the official online shop of the NFL. I always recommend buying from a reputable source when searching for NFL jerseys, especially if you are wanting to pay up for an authentic Elite jersey.

If you can’t shop locally, buying from NFLShop.com is a nice solution. You can buy from them with confidence knowing you aren’t getting scammed. Click here to shop for NFL jerseys at NFLShop.com (affiliate link takes you to NFLShop.com).

Paul Johnson

Paul has been with us from our beginnings. He focuses on a wide range of sports, including NFL, NBA, MLB and golf.

Recent Posts