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.
Read this article till the end if you want to learn…
- Which is the best weighted vest for calisthenics for you…
- Why some vests are bad while others are good…
- What separates the good and the bad…
- What is my current weighted vest and why I use it…
- and much more…
Hi there, my name is Bozhidar and I have written this article to help you choose the best weight vest for your needs!
As a person who currently owns 2 different vests I know a thing or two that could really help you.
So without any further ado let’s get right into it!
Are you in a hurry?
If you are in a hurry and don’t have the time to read this whole article then I highly recommend you check my personal favorite weighted vest I use almost every day – the Mir Air Flow Adjustable Weighted Vest.
It is my personal favorite because it’s compact, adjustable, can hold a ton of weight (up to 60 lbs) and is very easy to use.
It’s perfect for weighted calisthenics and works extremely well with all the exercises where you need to add a lot of weight such as squats, dips, push-ups and walking lunges.
Additionally, it’s affordable and very well made. I’ve used it for a while now and everything is staying in one piece.
In my opinion, this is the best choice for the price and there isn’t anything that can beat it.
If you want to check it out please Click Here to get the latest price and reviews on Amazon <<.
With that out of the way let’s see a quick comparison table of the top 5 best weighted vests for calisthenics I’m going to talk about next:
But before I get straight into the products I want to first answer a very important question you probably already have…
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.
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, you need to add more resistance in order to keep getting the results you want and the best way to do it with a solid weighted vest.
Now you may see why wearing a weight vest is important.
You can simply put it over your clothes without having to carry additional equipment.
That’s right, your hands will be free!
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
When it comes to weighted vests you definitely want something with a strong and sturdy design that can stay in one place comfortably 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 serious about calisthenics and want to always have room to grow, pick a weighted vest 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 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.
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.
- Click here to check my recommended short weighted vest
- Click here to check my recommended long (full size) weighted vest
4. The type of the weigh – Fixed or Adjustable
When it comes to vests and their weight you have 2 main options:
- Adjustable (weight can be changed with the help of iron bars or sand)
- Fixed (the weight can’t be changed and it stays the same)
Both options have their pros and cons and it’s good to know everything so you can find out which type is for you.
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 have a really tight fit stay and stay in one place during your workouts.
These vests are great for running, jumping and doing more active movements that require more space, speed, and explosive power.
Which one should I get – Fixed or Adjustable Weighted Vest?
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.
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 stay focused on the basic features of the vest (type, weight, comfort, etc.) and only after that to pay attention to the additional features.
In other words, look at the additional features after a certain vest has met your basic functional requirement.
If you’re wondering, some of the best-known additional features are things like:
- Bottle holders
- Additional storage for electronics and other little things
- Night reflective surface
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 not important!
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.
That’s why your goal should be to go somewhere in the middle.
Even if you don’t have a very big budget for this type of product, don’t worry – I 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 I’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.
With that being said let’s check them out!
Top 5 Best Weight Vests for Calisthenics
Here’s a quick preview of my top 5 favorite Best Weight Vests for Calisthenics:
- Mir Air Flow Adjustable Weighted Vest – Best Adjustable Weighted Vest
- Aduro Weighted Vest – The Best Fixed Weighted Vest
- CAP Barbell Short Adjustable Weighted Vest – The Most Affordable Vest
- CROSS101 Adjustable Camouflage Weighted Vest – Great for Advanced People
- SKLZ Weighted Training Vest – Great for Beginners
They all are different from one another so you can choose the best one for your individual needs.
Let’s start with the first one…
1. Mir Air Flow Adjustable Weighted Vest – Best Adjustable Weighted Vest for Calisthenics
It’s not hard to guess why this is my favorite vest…
With this model, you have not 1, not 2 but 5 different weight options to pick from – 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 lbs!
What a variety of choices, huh?
This vest is a very small and compact model and offers big range of motion.
I’ve done all sorts of bodyweight exercises targeting different muscle groups without any problem. It’s even good for explosive calisthenics.
Every option comes with included weights of 4.25 lbs per single plate.
When it comes to the weights all of them are made from metal and are very durable
The vest itself weighs only 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!
Even when I place all the weights and make it 60 lbs (which is the maximum) it feels pretty well on the shoulders and there isn’t any pain or serious discomfort.
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’s warranty is also included!
Have you thought about the hygiene of your equipment?
Well, the best part is that this vest is machine washable which makes it easy to clean from sweat and dirt. (just remember to remove the weights first)
Yayy, you can finally get rid of that stinky smell!
You can even use a dryer on it (yes, I’ve tried it and it works) – I haven’t seen many models to have this actually.
As you can see this vest offers everything you really need and that’s why I believe it’s the best and you should get it.
2. Aduro Weighted Vest – The Best Fixed Weighted Vest
Now let’s move to the second product.
The Aduro weighted vest is my second choice because I’ve used it many times and it has a very unique pre-built design.
The special shape you see from the photo makes this specific model very space-saving and breathable.
Because of this factor, you have the option to wear it even under your clothes without it being noticeable. I’ve actually done that a couple of times during the winter and it works really great.
When it comes to total weight capacity you have 4 options – 6,8,20 or 25 pounds.
This weight is perfect for a beginner up to an intermediate person for many different exercises. (I personally have the 20 lbs (10 kg) version)
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.
Yes, I usually like to wear it during my HIIT workouts from this great program I follow and it works very well.
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 vests) 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 even 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.
That’s exactly why this weighted vest is another great option for calisthenics.
3. CAP Barbell Short Adjustable Weighted Vest – The Most Affordable Vest
My third 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 (very similar to the ones I use) 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!
Even if it’s pretty similar to my Mir Air Flow this vest is unique in its own ways. It’s easier to be seen in the dark and has a better adjustable belt.
If you are looking for an adjustable vest you should definitely check this one as well.
4. CROSS101 Adjustable Camouflage Weighted Vest – Great for Advanced People
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 which is nearly 4 times the amount similar models can handle.
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 depending on the amount of weight you need.
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 metal 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 long 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 currently has over 730 positive reviews)
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.
So if you need a lot of weight, cool design, and nice quality you will probably like this adjustable weighted vest.
5. SKLZ Weighted Training Vest – Great for Beginners
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 any concern 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 it 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.
If you are just starting to do weighted calisthenics I believe this model might be exactly what you need.
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 in 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 one I’m currently using a lot – 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 read everything to this point, 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!
Hey there, my name is Bozhidar and I’m a certified online personal trainer with University Degree in Sports and Nutrition.
With the help of my knowledge and over 8 years of workout experience, I can help you get on the next level. I own a home gym, do calisthenics, little gymnastics, and love to ride a bike.