5 Best Weighted Vests for Calisthenics in 2020 For Beginners

Updated Today

Getting a high-quality vest for your calisthenic training isn’t such an easy job as you might think…

In today’s market, there is an overwhelming variety of models each quite different from the others. Don’t worry I get you. In this article, you will learn what you should look for if you want to get the best weight vest for calisthenics.

Let’s get right into it!

Please Note

If you are in some sort of a hurry or don’t have the time to read this whole article then you can go and check out my personal winner out of the 5 models reviewed below. The winner is the Mir Air Flow Adjustable Weighted Vest.

It is my favourite because it’s compact, adjustable, machine washable and very affortable. It’s perfect for calisthenics.

If you want to check it out please Click Here to get the latest price and reviews on Amazon <<.

I believe this is the best choice for the price and options it provides you with. There isn’t anything that can beat it.

Do you need a weight vest for calisthenics?

Many people question whether they even need a weight vest for calisthenics. The thing is, you are not required to have this piece of equipment but, undoubtedly, it brings many advantages. 

For example, you can use a weight vest for simply anything you can think of, apart from calisthenics – including running, walking, climbing and many more…

The weight vest is a great addition for serious people who are planning to progress and improve in the future.

What is more, if you have heard of the plateau effect before, you should know that when your body adapts to a certain workout with a specific amount of weight you tend to slowly stop seeing any results.

For example: If you can easily do more than 15-20 reps (with a proper form and tempo) of all basic exercises such as squats, dips, pull-ups, push-ups, etc. with the weights you’re currently using, then you know for sure that something must be wrong. In this case, it’s the weight that we’re talking about.

But don’t worry mate, we have a solution for you! 

Now you may see why the weight vest is a great alternative. You can simply put it over your clothes without having to carry additional equipment. 

That’s right, your hands will be free! 

As you can see, weight vests can be used as an additional resistance for your daily training routine. It is also perfect for all of you who enjoy working out outside in the fresh air.

Just imagine having to bring a set of dumbbells with you at the park

– not cool, huh?

6 Things you should look for when buying a weight vest for calisthenics

As with any other product, there are a few things you need to pay attention to when buying a weight vest.

Let’s check them out…

1. Overall design and comfort

The design and the comfort are some of those things. You definitely want something with a strong and sturdy design that can stay in one place for a very long time. 

Depending on the way you train (explosive or regular) you might want a different design so it can fit you comfortably during the movements you perform.

There is no doubt that the inside of the vest should be made of a soft and user-friendly material that will not irritate or rub your skin leaving you with rashes.

One more good thing you might want to look for in a vest is some sort of breathable material that will help you stay cool during the workouts.

2. Total Weight Capacity and Adjustability

Okay, this is one of the key parts – weight capacity and adjustability. 

If you’re seriously into calisthenics and want to always have room to grow, pick one with a fairly big weight capacity. This way you will not overgrow the weight, making the whole vest training worthless.

It is close to mind that there are many different models on the market that provide you with different capacities and weight increments.

I would suggest you went with the one with the biggest adjustability options (the closest increments) so you can constantly progress with your workouts.

After all, adjustability somehow equals control. It is always best to have control over your workouts – try to adjust the weight to your training program, not the other way around!

3. Types – Short vs Full-size weight vest

When it comes to vests they come in 2 different types – long, which cover all your torso including your abdomen area and short which cover mainly your chest area

The main difference between them, though, is the freedom of movement they provide you with.

The full-sized versions are more limiting when it comes to movement – they limit your ability to bend over or even the overall movement of your core.

Here’s an example of a full-size vest

On the contrary, the short version has the completely opposite function giving you plenty of freedom to move your core.

At the end of the day, pick a type you really feel comfortable with and which will allow you to do all the exercises you want without hassle. Go for something that fits your own needs because both models can have a very similar weight capacity.

4. Fixed or Adjustable weight

Both have their pros and cons and now you will learn what are they.

Adjustable Weight Vests

Adjustable weight vests are usually bulkier and heavier than the fixed ones. They are designed so you can add or remove weight bars freely in order for you to choose the right resistance. 

The amount of weight a vest can carry really depends on the brand and the specific model, but overall you can use your own weights to increase the difficulty. With them, you will have a lot of room for growth and progress.

If you compare them directly to the fixed models they don’t stay super tightly because of the design. That can be sort of a problem when it comes to exercises such as planche, handstand or other very explosive movements.

Fixed Weight Vests

They are usually lighter than their adjustable “brothers” and are very compact and ideal for more explosive movements. The weight is usually pre-built inside them so you can’t add more or remove it.

If you get a 40 lbs vest you have only 40 lbs to work with.

I really enjoy the overall space saving design on them and the fact that they stay in one place during your workouts.

Which one should I get – Fixed or Adjustable?

It really depends on the type of your everyday training and the exercises you are going to use it for. It also matters whether you are actually looking to gradually progress in the future or not. If yes, then an adjustable vest might be a great fit.

Еxample: You are going to do more explosive exercises and you want the vest to stay in one place, then a fixed one might do the job. At this point, some of you may be really confused but don’t worry – below I have reviewed both fixed and adjustable models.

5. Additional Features

Some models on the market do come with added features that can help the convenience.

I would recommend you firstly focused on the basic features of the vest and only after that to pay attention to the additional features. In other words, let’s look at them as secondary options after a vest has met your basic functional requirement.

If you’re wondering, some of the best-known features are things like bottle holders, additional storage for electronics and other little things, night reflective surface, etc.

Keep in mind that if your favorite model doesn’t have any of the extras that doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice. After all, you are here because you want to add additional resistance for your training right? Everything apart from that is just pampering!

6. Price and quality

As I already mentioned, when it comes to weight vests the situation isn’t any different from any other product out there.

In fact, in today’s market, you can find both very cheap and super overpriced models – you should go for somewhere in the

middle of the price range.

Even if you don’t have a very big budget for this type of product, don’t worry – we have prepared a budget-friendly model that meets all the quality criteria. Don’t believe me? Stay tuned and you will see for yourself.

But don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that the other vests we’ve prepared for you will cost you a fortune. All 5 models reviewed below will have a reasonable price compared to the quality you receive.

Top 5 Best Weight Vests for Calisthenics

Now we will check out the top 5 vests you can find currently. They all are different from one another so you can choose the best one for your individual needs. 

Here’s a quick preview of my top 5 favorite Best Weight Vests for Calisthenics:

  1. CAP Barbell Short Adjustable Weighted Vest – The Most Affordable Vest
  2. Mir Air Flow Adjustable Weighted Vest – My Personal Winner
  3. Aduro Weighted Vest – The Best Fixed Weighted Vest
  4. CROSS101 Adjustable Camouflage Weighted Vest – Great for Advanced People
  5. SKLZ Weighted Training Vest – Great for Beginners

Let’s start with the first one…

1. CAP Barbell Short Adjustable Weighted Vest – The Most Affordable Vest

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

Our first pick is the Barbell Short Adjustable Weighted Vest which is made by CAP – a very trusted brand with a long history in the fitness equipment industry.

This vest offers 2 options: 20 lb or 50 lb of total weight respectively for beginners or for advanced trainers.

The vest itself is highly adjustable and so it fits the majority of people. Having said that, it is also suitable for both men and women.

The weight vest comes with adjustable 2.5 lb iron ore fines which you can add or remove at any time you like.

Because of the smaller size, it offers you a good range of motion to do all kinds of core exercises and basic movements such as twist and bend over.

The product is made from reinforced nylon and polyester, which makes it strong and of good quality.

What is more, it even has an adjustable waist belt that helps to tighten and secure the fit of the vest to your body.

Not to mention the padded shoulder straps – the comfort itself!

In addition, it has built-in anchor hooks for parachute run training.

Last but not least, something that many people neglect – reflective strips that help with night visibility if you decide to train during the night. That might sound weird to some of you but that can literally save your life in some cases!

  • CAP provides you with 2 options to choose from – 20 or 50 lb
  • Adjustable weight to fit most people
  • Compact size – gives you the freedom of movement
  • High-quality materials
  • Padded shoulder straps for additional comfort
  • Very affordable
  • Pre-built reflective strips and anchor hooks
  • Might not be a good fit for small framed people
  • The 50 lb version can be a little too bulky

2. Mir Air Flow Adjustable Weighted Vest – My Personal Winner

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

Now let’s move to the second product.

And this is the Mir Air Flow Adjustable Weighted Vest. With this model, you have not 1, not 2 but 5 different options to pick from – 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 lbs! What a variety of choices, huh?

This is another small and compact model yet offering you a bigger range of motion. Every option comes with included weights of 4.25 lbs per single weight. All attached weights are metal and well made. How can it possibly get better than that?

The vest itself weighs 1.75 lbs. It offers adjustable velcro straps which makes it ideal for both men and women. What is more, it straps easily and quickly and it comes with padded shoulder pads – a lifesaver, especially for the female audience!

A big plus, especially when you are a beginner and you don’t really know what to look for in a weight vest, is that even if you don’t order the biggest model all vests come with upgradable slots so you can add your own weights if you already have some.

The manufacturer warranty is also included!

Have you thought about the hygiene of your equipment? Well, this vest is machine washable which makes it easy to clean from sweat and dirt. Yayy, you can finally get rid of that stinky smell! You can even use a dryer on it – I haven’t seen many models to have this actually.

  • Offers 5 different packages to choose from
  • Small and compact so you can do more exercises
  • Comes with metal weights 4.25 lbs each
  • Adjustable velcro straps and padded shoulder pads
  • Manufacturer warranty
  • Machine washable
  • Affordable and overall good quality
  • Straps are located on the back

3. Aduro Weighted Vest – The Best Fixed Weighted Vest

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

The Aduro weighted vest is our third choice because it has a very unique pre-built design. The special shape makes this specific model very space-saving and breathable. Because of this factor, you have the option to wear it under your clothes without it being noticeable.

Aduro provides you with 4 different options to choose from when it comes to total weight capacity – 6,8,20 or 25 pounds. This weight is perfect for a beginner up to an intermediate person for many different exercises.

Wearing this compact and snug vest may provide you with plenty of movements and also makes it a very good choice if you want to add additional resistance into your cardio or strength training.

A cool thing about this vest is that the entire product is made of an odor-free neoprene material which is designed not to slip and slide during workouts. As you can see from the picture this material is very soft (I believe this is the softest model from all 5) and breathable. Those 2 things combined could really make your calisthenic workouts more enjoyable. 

If we compare it to the other models out there this vest is securely held to your body using 2 adjustable buckles instead of 1. Please, have in mind that in this model, you have to clap the 2 ends together which makes it almost impossible to accidentally open. 

The overall size and 2 buckles make it usable by anyone – men, women, and children.

The Aduro vest has a built-in extra storage pocket on the back. That little feature may be really handy because it allows you to carry important things around with you.

Because the weight is fixed you can’t really adjust it but a good thing is that it will be distributed quite evenly throughout the whole vest.

  • Very unique compact design that you can wear under your clothes
  • 4 weight options to choose from
  • Ideal for beginners and even for an explosive type of training
  • Has a built-in storage pocket
  • Soft, breathable and non-slip material
  • Fixed and distributed evenly
  • The weight is not adjustable
  • It’s not machine washable

4. CROSS101 Adjustable Camouflage Weighted Vest – Great for Advanced People

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

The fourth model I will review on this list is made by a company named CROSS101. They have done a very good job with this specific model because it has a total weight capacity of 140 lbs. This is just insane and will be plenty even for the most hardcore calisthenic person out there.

They provide you with the option to pick one of 11 different models. The lightest weight vest starts from 12 lbs and goes up to 140 lbs so you will have plenty of options to choose from despite where you are.

Each model comes with the included weight which consists of many 3 lbs pieces. You can easily add or remove them at any time giving you the option to adjust the whole thing to your personal needs.

Another plus is that CROSS101 provides a manufacturers warranty if you decide to pick this model. That is always a very good thing to have because it can be really handy if something goes wrong and you need to replace it.

Unfortunately, you have to pay a little extra if you want to get additional shoulder pads which are a must if you decide to pick a heavier model. The whole piece of equipment is attached to your body securely using an adjustable velcro belt. 

Everything on this vest is made out of strong nylon which definitely helps with its durability. Actually, many customers really like the overall built-in quality of the whole product. 

It is also great for military-style workouts. The fact that it is camouflage makes it quite unique having in mind that most of the other models use a very boring black color scheme.

People say it’s quite easy to take it on and off. In other words, for the price you pay, you really get very good quality. Actually, the product quality is better than some of the more expensive models which are double the price.

  • Can hold up to 140 lbs
  • 11 different models to pick from – starting from 12 lbs
  • Included adjustable weights of 3 lbs a piece
  • Secure attachment to the body using velcro
  • Very strong and durable
  • Eye-catching camouflage color
  • Can be cleaned using a washing machine
  • Has a manufacturer warranty
  • You have to pay extra for shoulder pads
  • It can be quite bulky

5. SKLZ Weighted Training Vest – Great for Beginners

Click the image to see the latest pricing on Amazon

The final option from SKLZ is a bit different from the other 4 and it might be a great option for beginners who are searching for a secure and stiff vest that isn’t too bulky.

Because of its small size, the weighted vest can be hidden quite easily under your clothes making it quite unnoticeable.

The compact size makes it a great choice for calisthenics because you can do every single exercise without concerning about it falling off. It may be a very good addition to your static hold movements and ab workouts.

The product is made out of reinforced nylon which makes is very durable despite its size and weight. Its design also uses mesh which helps with breathability and helps to prevent you from overheating.

The total weight of 10 lbs is made out of 20 small weights of 0.5 lb each. That gives you plenty of room for adjustability to work with. 10 pounds may not seem like a lot of weight but if you are training in a specific way it can feel like 100.

All the edges on this vest are rounded on purpose in order to protect you from unnecessary bruises and injuries that may occur over time.

The SKLZ weight vest uses a wide adjustable velcro belt to hold it tightly in one place. The total length of the belt in combination with the stretch makes this model good for the majority of people out there.

All 0.5 weights use specially designed stretch pockets which help to make your weights stiff and secure while exercising.

  • Ideal for novices just starting out
  • Very small and stiff fit
  • Can be easily hidden under clothes
  • Breathable and soft material
  • Adjustable weights up to 10 lbs starting from 0.5 lbs
  • Can be placed almost on everybody using the wide velcro belt
  • Rounded corners for extra comfort
  • Made by reinforced nylon
  • Only 10 lbs of resistance
  • Resistance can be easily outgrown

Final Thoughts

Well, as you have already noticed, picking the right vest for your calisthenic or any other sort of training isn’t that easy of a thing to do, but it’s not that difficult too. I have tried my best to provide you with 5 of the best models you can find on today’s market for a relatively decent price.

But what if you’re hesitating between 2 or more models and can’t really decide which one you should pick?

Firstly, I want to tell you that you should always pick things that meet your personal requirements. We are all quite different from each other and might have different opinions when it comes to “best”. 

That being said my personal winner out of those 5 models is the Mir Air Flow Weighted Vest.

I really like it because it’s very compact which gives you the option to use your core muscles freely. It is also adjustable which means that if you get a heavier option you can easily progress and get better in your workouts.

I like the fact that it has pre-built shoulder pads and you don’t have to pay extra cash for them and that you have an adjustable velcro strap.

This is the only model that the manufacturer says is machine washable which is something I personally prefer rather than having to manually scrub it every time it gets dirty. It has a warranty and it’s quite affordable with very decent quality.

If you want to find out the latest price and learn more please Click Here to check it on Amazon.

In case you are looking for the best weight vest for calisthenics, Mir has done an excellent job.

It’s high time we wrapped up everything.

If you have reached till here, thank you! That really does mean a lot to me.

Don’t forget to add a comment below and let me know what you think about my article.

See you in the next one!


Bozhidar Karailiev

Leave a Comment

​Would You Like to Know
Exactly What to Eat to Lose Fat?

Find out which Exercises you SHOULD be doing
​(Based on Science)