Along with the Covert QR5 Pro stick, I was also sent another new product for testing – a flagship hockey gloves with the same index Warrior Covert QR5 Pro.
As part of the test QR5 Pro, we will talk about other gloves of the Covert family, among which we will choose the most successful solutions worthy of attention, and compare the fresh QR5 Pro with direct competitors.
The Covert line of gloves appeared in 2013 and evolved from the philosophy of Luxe, which offered the tightest (contoured) fit on the player’s hand. This concept has not changed since then and is still relevant today. In the first generation, the Covert family included four models of different levels: DT1, DT2, DT3, and DT4 (hereafter, from flagship to lower level model).
In 2015, the Covert family of gloves was updated to include the QR1, QR Pro, QR3, QR4, and DT4, which was kept as the most affordable solution.
In 2016, a new generation was released and represented by models with the indexes QRL, QRL Pro, QRL3, QRL4, QRL5, and DT4. The DT4 was retained as an entry-level solution.
The next update came in 2018, and the Covert family included the QRE, QRE Pro, QRE 3, QRE 4, and QRE 5 gloves.
In 2020, a planned upgrade happened, and the QRE 10, QRE 20 Pro, QRE 30, and QRE 40 gloves went on sale.
And here we get to the present day. In 2022, the current line of Covert gloves was released, which includes the Warrior Covert QR5 Pro, QR5 20, QR5 30, and QR5 40 models.
Three lines of gloves
Warrior currently offers three lines of gloves that are divided by their fit on the hand: Covert, Alpha LX, and Alpha FR.
Models with the most advanced anatomy and a tapered fit are available in the Covert family. The contoured cut implies a tight fit of the protection along the entire length of the hand: from the fingertips all the way to the top of the cuff.
Direct competitors from other brands:
- Supreme from Bauer,
- Tacks from CCM,
- and Rekker from Sherwood.
Tapered models are combined in the Alpha LX line, starting in 2021 with the flagship LX Pro. Lower level models:
- the pre-top LX 20,
- the mid-range LX 30,
- and the entry-level LX 40.
Today the tapered cut has changed significantly (relative to the classic understanding of the “wedge-shaped” cut, resembling an inverted triangle), and it is often called hybrid. The point is that they differ from the contour type only in the geometry of the cuff.
In the finger and palm area, gloves sit very tight (similar to the contour models), but the distinctive feature is the wide-open cuff, which provides mobility in the hands.
The competitors are:
- Bauer’s Vapor,
- CCM’s JetSpeed,
- True’s Catalyst,
- and Sherwood’s CODE.
The classic 4-Roll models, which in many ways made Warrior’s name in the glove segment thanks to Franchise, remained in the Alpha FR line. There are only two models, the FR Pro and FR. There are subtleties here as well in terms of fit. The traditional 4-Roll is the opposite of the contoured gloves – they are wide all the way around.
In the classic sense, it’s like a wide tube with a large negative space inside, where the hand just falls through. Franchise were exactly like that, but in this case it was already possible to order a narrower version of the Narrow. The Dynasty AX1, AX2 and AX3 gloves were as similar to the Franchise as possible.
This fit was losing popularity, and Warrior began experimenting with the Alpha generations QX and DX, where they tried to rethink the classic fit: they made beveled protective rollers on the back of the palm, narrowed the fit, and changed the angle of the cuff.
That’s why the Alpha FR is called a hybrid cut – it’s not a classic 4-Roll, but with some modern modifications borrowed from gloves with a different cut.
The competitors (but in all of them, the fit will be different and not always in the classic canon):
- Bauer Pro Series,
- CCM Tacks 4R Pro2,
- Sherwood (9950 Pro, 5030 Pro, and 5030).
Warrior Covert QR5
Let’s return to the actual line of Covert 2022, and here I would like to note the model indices that are quite difficult to perceive. I assume that QR5 is the designation of the fifth generation of the “QR” series – QR1, QRL, QRE, QRE 10, and QR5 Pro.
The strength of Warrior equipment today is the quality of tailoring. It applies to all elements of the equipment, including gloves. It may not be done perfectly (there are outright negligence in some places), but it looks decent against the competitors. A minimum of protruding threads, neat even seams, and a high level of attention to detail.
Every time I pay attention to this fact, I have always been able to be positively attracted to the Warrior brand. I hope that this distinctive feature will continue to please us. Although I understand that the Warrior Covert QR5 Pro is a mass-produced product, we need to look at things realistically.
Another strong point of the Warrior Covert QR5 Pro hockey gloves is the design. This is a very subjective evaluation, but I have always liked the way they know how to combine different trim materials: nylon, embroidery, synthetic leather, various décor elements.
The combination of nylon with different textures looks especially beautiful, which makes the gloves look more sophisticated and expensive. That’s why Warrior has them looking very modern and often more exciting against the background of other offerings on the market. It also applies to members of the Covert family: the DT1, QR1, QRL, QRE, and QRE 10.
The design of the QR5 Pro is also complete and is made in the best traditions of the brand. The exterior materials used are:
- Two types of nylon: TuffTek 2.0 – fine mesh nylon and DynaMesh – coarse mesh nylon,
- Synthetic Leather.
All this comes complete with embroidery and a wide list of various decorative elements. All the details are skillfully combined, which gives such a beautiful design. The result of the work personally impresses me, and it is very pleasant to hold the glove in hand.
Weight and size grid
Below is the weight, which is an integral part of the characteristics of the gloves. In size 14, the Warrior Covert QR5 Pro weighs 308 grams.
For comparison, competitor models have the following weight (all in size 14):
- Bauer Supreme 2S Pro – 301g,
- Bauer Supreme UltraSonic – 314g,
- CCM Super Tacks AS1 – 320g,
- Tacks AS-V Pro – 320g.
The data was obtained by personal weighing of these models, but the AS-V Pro weight was taken from the IceWarehouse store, where you can also look up the Sherwood Rekker Element One – 270 grams. I tried searching for information on earlier Covert family models.
The previous flagship QRE 10 weighs 308 gr, QRE – 314 gr, and QRL – 309 gr. I can’t vouch for this data, but it looks plausible. Speaking of QR1, I had them on hand in size 14 and weighed 285g, and the first Covert DT1 weighed 324g, but that was already size 15.
As for sizing, Warrior and Bauer offer full sizes, but CCM is small sizes. In other words, Bauer and Warrior fit my hand clearly in size 14, but CCM is already a bit small. It does not cause discomfort, making it impossible to use them, but it is worth considering when choosing. This difference will be within 0.5 sizes, no more.
Since in the previous sections we paid attention to models of past generations, it is worth briefly talking about their level of protection. Let’s start with the DT1, which used three layers of Tri-Lam foam (a combination of low, medium, and high density foam) that was paired with plastic elements.
The DT1 also had the “Bone” protection system: convex-shaped plastic elements covered critical areas (the back of the palm and the two center fingers). This scheme gave a great level of protection but increased the weight of the glove.
In the next flagship QR1, Warrior significantly reduced the weight of the gloves, but it was done at the expense of lowering the level of protection. The Tri-Lam foam was replaced by Phantom. A layer of dense foam was removed, leaving only two – low and medium density. All this was supplemented with plastic elements and the Bone system (in similar areas to the DT1).
The future QRL model retains the characteristics of the QR1: it uses Phantom foam, but the manufacturer abandoned the Bone protection system, which no longer appeared in the Covert family of gloves in the future. Now all the plastic elements in the gloves have become flat.
In the QRE, the protective filling is updated – EXO Protect Foam technology appears. The scheme is very similar to Phantom: two layers of foam complemented by flat plastic elements. The difference from Phantom lies in the higher density of the top layer of foam, that increases the level of protection. This scheme is used in the back of the palm and fingers.
A significant leap in the level of protection occurred in the next generation with the flagship QRE 10. It introduced EXO + Protect Foam technology.
It is the same two layers of foam, complemented by plastic inserts, but the upper one is not just dense but very dense or even rigid. All this makes the gloves with this technology very protective. The EXO+ Protect Foam scheme is used in the area of the back of the palm and the fingers.
Here we get to the actual model, which also features EXO+ Protect Foam technology in crucial areas (it covers the back of the palm and the phalanges of the fingers). The solution is very powerful: usually, we are used to seeing a combination of low and medium/high-density foam with plastic, but in this case, the top layer of foam can already be characterized as rigid (and it is massive in thickness). This kind of layout is what makes the QRE 10 and Warrior Covert QR5 Pro one of the best on the market in terms of protection.
Plastic elements have high rigidity in most cases. They are located almost over the entire area of the glove. They help raise the overall level of protection. Of the minor shortcomings, I note that they all move within their segments.
They were initially glued to the foam, but throughout their use they gained mobility under the trim materials.
The strength of the Covert family of gloves is their ergonomics. The tight contoured fit makes it necessary to work carefully on this parameter. Otherwise there will be a significant tightening of the hand movements and motor skills, which makes it difficult to work with the stick.
If we talk in terms of the segments of the back of the palm, then I would recognize QRL, QRE, and Warrior Covert QR5 Pro as the best in this regard. These are very thoughtful and convenient solutions in terms of ergonomics. I would rate the DT1 and QR1 a little lower, but the QRE 10 is the only one where it failed: the overall central shield makes it difficult to squeeze the brush.
Personally, I was surprised by the fact that before the QRE 10, only one index finger had a three-segment cut. As I said before, contoured gloves always have the most advanced anatomy, and this decision of the brand raises questions. In the QRE 10 and QR5 Pro, two fingers – the index and middle finger – were already cut into three segments.
The competitors with the division into three segments have the following situation:
- CCM Super Tacks AS1 and Tacks AS-V Pro – two fingers (index middle),
- Bauer Supreme 2S Pro – one finger (index),
- Bauer Supreme UltraSonic – two fingers (middle and ring – original!),
- Sherwood Rekker Element One – two fingers (index middle).
Warrior has a set of Butter Soft Feel solutions, which appeared with the QRE generation and is designed to make the gloves most comfortable to use. First of all, it concerns flexibility (this includes a flexible cuff, a flexible thumb, and elastic elements made of Lycra in the finger area and the back of the palm).
But this is more marketing because the flexible finger and cuff appeared earlier, and now all these elements are combined in one system – Butter Soft Feel, for convenience. It is worth noting that all of the listed gloves are soft, flexible right out of the package, and do not require any refinement: but this is a common trend and standard on the market.
If we talk about the thumb, in all mentioned models, it has a lock that protects it from dislocation, but the option in the form of bending appeared only in the model QR1 (respectively, in the model DT1 it is not yet bent).
In QR1 and QRL this option was labeled AXIS Flex Thumb, and further in QRE, QRE 10 and Warrior Covert QR5 Pro is already labeled as AXY Flex Thumb. The bending in all cases occurs only in one place, but this does not mean that this system works worse than the two-joint option.
Let’s move on to the cuff. It is a very critical element that directly affects ergonomics. In the DT1 and QR1 models, the cuff was traditional. In the contour segment, they are made closed so that it fits tightly on the forearm, and this leads (in case of an unsuccessful design) to a stiffening of the wrist.
QRL gloves are the first time Warrior has implemented a flexible cuff. It looks like the best solution for a glove with a contoured cut: this design allows you to press the cuff close to the wrist but without sacrificing the mobility of the hand, which is always protected when working with a stick.
Reebok was the first to use such a solution – models 11K and 9K. The implementation was a bit different, and the philosophy was called glove-in-glove. Further, this idea was picked up by Warrior, and implemented it in its style. Today the current generation of Supreme from Bauer (flagship UltraSonic) also has a flexible cuff.
In the QRL and QRE gloves, the flexible cuff is marked AXY Flex Cuff, but starting with the QRE 10 it has been upgraded. The QRE 10 and QR5 Pro models are now equipped with the AXY Flex Cuff V2.
The difference lies in the cutting pattern of the protection elements, and the connection scheme of the movable cuff with the main part of the glove. In both cases, I look very positively at the presence of such a design in models with a contoured cut.
If we talk briefly about the history of the palm in the Covert line of gloves, it is worth noting that in the DT1 and QR1 it was combined of two materials. The base material was gray Clarino, which had dots of anti-slip compound for a better grip on the stick.
This material was thin and gave a great grip feel. The downside was low wear resistance and severe wetting during the game. This material has been reinforced with a denser black Clarino material. But already in the QRL model, the palm was always made of a denser black Clarino and various options for strengthening it were used.
The new Warrior Covert QR5 Pro is no exception and also uses Clarino HAR in black with a reinforcement in the form of an extra layer in the center of the palm and thumb. This material is of medium thickness: it combines well the feel of the stick, is wear resistance, and does not get too wet too quickly.
I recommend using silicone pads or tape to keep the palms of your gloves even for a few years and a secure grip.
The Covert gloves are distinguished by the original transition of the palm to the outer rim of the hand, where there is no usual seam, and Clarino material flows smoothly to the side part. An attractive solution that allows anatomically correct fit.
Even in the first Covert DT1s, the inner material was already blue (rather than the trademark yellow that has long been Warrior’s hallmark) – Chillwave. A new Wartech liner appears in the QR1 (also blue) and is used in the QRL, QRE, QRE 10, and QR5 Pro. In all cases, Polygiene antibacterial technology is present, designed to fight the spread of bacteria and keep the outfit fresh.
The QR5 Pro has a difference from the other Covert models. The inner liner of the novelty is not covered with blue Wartech liner: a very soft and smooth black synthetic material is used for its finishing. It is very comfortable, lays pleasantly on the hand during use and gives the feeling that it is like a thin compression underwear in contact with the skin.
The smooth surface of the material makes it easier to fit the hand into the glove, which for contoured models is not always an easy task. There is a lot of soft padding inside the liner that maximizes the negative space, making the fit tighter. It is also easy to straighten the dome inside when it becomes necessary to take the hand out of the gloves during play (the liner almost always straightens out, and it is important to tuck it back in easily), which is just very practical.
The Warrior Covert QR5 Pro is an excellent continuation of the very solid Covert line, which has been consistently offering quality contoured fit gloves for many years. In my opinion they are the most balanced in the history of Covert in terms of the critical features. Great design and protection, good ergonomics, pleasant palm and improved inner liner.
If you look at all the models of the Covert family and make an overall ranking I’ll put the DT1 in last place and the QR1 a notch above. They have no movable cuff (the DT1 has no flexible thumb) and a cranky palm. The DT1 has good protection, but higher weight, while the QR1 is the opposite. Ergonomics of the newer models compared to the DT1 and QR1 are mostly more advantageous. On the third and fourth place I’ll put QRL and QRE 10. Here you choose which is more important for you.
Model QRL in terms of ergonomics is more successful, but the protection is at the level of QR1. As for the QRE 10 – they are very good in terms of protection, but not the most successful division of the back of the palm into segments not the best affected the ergonomics. In second place, I will put the QRE model. These gloves are very interesting, but simply QR5 Pro is on the same level in all critical points but even stronger in terms of protection. And the improved inner trim also plays an important role in the choice.
If you look at the competitors, CCM has not yet been able to create a sufficiently balanced model in the Tacks family. Ultra Tacks, Super Tacks, and Super Tacks AS1 were interesting in some way, but it was impossible to implement all the best in one model. Let’s see if the new Tacks AS-V Pro has changed. If you want CCM, you should choose from Super Tacks and Super Tacks AS1.
Let’s move on to Bauer’s Supreme, and here it’s worth remembering the successful 2S Pro and UltraSonic. The new QR5 Pro will be much better protected (in second place in this parameter I will put 2S Pro and only third place UltraSonic), and they will have a better balanced palm (not as thin as 2S Pro and not as dense as UltraSonic) and better construction quality.
As for ergonomics, everything changes here. The UltraSonic seems to be the most elaborate. I would put the 2S Pro and the QR5 Pro one step lower. It is difficult to pick a winner, as all three models are good (any choice in this parameter will not disappoint). The UltraSonic is softer and the most ergonomic. As for the Sherwood, I haven’t had a chance to try them yet.
If you’re looking to buy some contoured gloves, I’d suggest looking at the last two generations of Supreme from Bauer (2S Pro and UltraSonic) or something from Warrior’s Covert. We’ll also keep an eye on the situation with upgrades from CCM. In Warrior’s case, I would look first at the QRE or the new Warrior Covert QR5 Pro, but it is the new 2022 that I consider the best member of the Covert family at the moment.
Published by Sergei Ermilov
October 4, 2022 (Updated October 4, 2022)