The Rawlings Rev1x is one of the most highly anticipated gloves in recent memory… so much so that we produced an “Origins” short film about it in July:
The hype has been building ever since Francisco Lindor broke out the Rev1x during Spring Training last year. With all this hype, the Rev1x came with some very high expectations. We have the 11.75″ Rev1x REV205-9X in hand to give our honest opinion on Rawlings’ new futuristic ball glove. Here’s the video, and read on for more details…
Meet the Rawlings Rev1x. The model we have is the 11.75″ pitchers pattern, the REV205-9X. The Rev1x features Rawlings’ tried-and-true Heart of the Hide leather on the palm paired with the new rubbery backing. One of the most revolutionary features is the 3D printed thumb and pinky inserts. Rawlings claims that “unlike traditional gloves’ wool padding – that breaks down and gets floppy over time – these 3D-printed pieces provide variable stiffness that lasts and lasts”. Whether these inserts will stand up over time will remain to be seen. All of this new innovation comes at a price. All Rev1x models come in at $400, a substantial jump from the Heart of the Hide line that shares the base leather. This poses the question, is the Rev1x worth it?
We will start this review like I do all of my first impression reviews, with the looks of the glove. The glove we were sent is by far the most understated out of the initial four Rawlings released. This pitchers piece is all black leather with the new synthetic back featuring a variety of gray tones. Anything new and different will create a polarizing effect. Some people love it and some people hate it.
Personally, I am a big fan of how the Rev1x line looks. The striped design across the back of the fingers matches the futuristic vibe of the Rev1x. As I mentioned, this is the most understated glove that Rawlings released in their initial Rev1x launch. I am more of a fan of the louder color combos for this particular. The crazy colors seem to fit well with the Rev1x’s new design. While this glove is understated by Rev1x standards, it will still stand out on any ball field. It is a simple but very clean look that is hard to dislike. The carbon fiber looking X on the two-piece web is also a very cool touch. This model has an almost minimalistic look with the lack of laces paired with the muted colors and the simplistic “Rawlings” wrist patch.
Next, let’s talk about how the glove feels. The first thing I noticed when I took this glove out of the box is how comfortable it is. The thumb and pinky loops are removed and replaced with very padded sleeves which feel great. Every finger stall, as well as the finger pad, are also super plush and add to the level of comfort. The elastic wrist strap also fits very snug, I just worry about that loosening up over time.
You can see the padded thumb and kind of see the padded pinky in this picture but it also shows off the laceless palm which removes any weird pinching the palm lace might cause. The leather quality is as expected from Heart of the Hide, it is high quality steer-hide leather. The new backing feels rubberized and durable. Synthetic materials are always a tricky balance between durability and weight savings or looks but, initially at least, this material feels like it will last. That being said, this glove did not come super stiff and was fairly easy to close. straight out of the box.
The glove Rawlings sent over to WPW is the REV205-9X. For those who know Rawlings stamping know that means this is an 11.75″ PRO200 pattern with the two-piece X web. The PRO200 pattern is one of the most popular patterns Rawlings offers. Apart from the PRO303 outfield model, the PRO200 is the only model Rawlings released during the initial drop (the FL12 was also dropped but is just a rebranded PRO200).
This PRO205 pattern felt familiar but the changes that come with the Rev1x did produce a slightly different feel, in my opinion. The glove feels like it wants to close a bit more shallow than other PRO200 patterns I have seen but did retain the general bowl shaped feel PRO200 enthusiasts will recognize. The pocket will be fairly deep and should allow you to conceal the ball well on the mound. The 3D printed thumb and pinky inserts are quite stiff and want to retain a fairly straight look. I have tried to add a slight flare but the glove wants to return to its naturally straight state.
DAY 1 THOUGHTS
All of this begs the question, is the Rev1x worth the $400 price tag? I am a firm believer that “value” is in the eye of the one spending the money. I am not going to tell you to go buy it or not, I am just going to provide my opinion so you can draw your own conclusions. The best thing I can relate it to is buying a phone. If you’re the type of person who buys the new iPhone every time it comes out, you have a much different view than the person who is still rocking with their iPhone 6.
The Rev1x contains a lot of “new tech” in the world of baseball gloves. This newness come at a price, like all innovation does. The Heart of the Hide leather base is high quality steer-hide that is battle tested. A stock HOH comes in at $280 with limited edition models hitting the $300 price point. I think the $400 price tag is high, but justified. Obviously, everybody wants things to be cheaper but this glove isn’t going to be for everyone. Rawlings didn’t release this glove to make it the only one on the field but to bring innovation to the world of baseball gloves. While the Rev1x is not for everyone, I see the upside and like the innovation.
I am going to work this one in over the next few weeks to see how the glove breaks in. Stay tuned for a follow up post. If you have a Rev1x, let us know your thoughts on the glove in the comments below. If you want to get your hands on a Rev1x, you can shop the four available patterns from Rawlings website.
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