Getting a high-quality weighted 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 different models and types and it’s super easy to get confused and overwhelmed.
But which one to get and why?
If you read this article till the end you are going to learn…
- Which is the best weighted vest for calisthenics for you…
- Why some weighted vests are bad while others are good…
- What separates the good from the bad…
- What are the top 5 best weighted vests for calisthenics you can get
- What is my current weighted vest and why I use it…
- And much more…
Before we continue any further I want to tell you something REALLY important…
Even with the best weighted vest can be completely useless if you don’t know exactly how to use it!
So in order to help you out I’ve decided to make our massive guide “How to Start Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide” 100% Free for a limited time.
It has a ton of great tips, tricks and exercises so you can really benefit from your current and future equipment. That’s exactly why I highly recommend you to get it.
Simply enter your email below and I’m going to send it you asap.
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 weighted 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. (click here to check it out)
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 in the following chapters:
|Name||Best For||Type||Size||Weight Capacity||Weight Type||Increments|
|Mir Air Flow||Best Adjustable Weighted Vest for Calisthenics||Adjustable||Short||20 to 60 lbs||Metal plates||4.25 lbs|
|CAP Barbell||The Most Affordable Vest||Adjustable||Short||20 or 80 lbs||Metal balls||2.5 lbs|
|Aduro Weighted Vest||The Best Fixed Weighted Vest||Fixed||Short||4 to 30 lbs||Iron plates||none|
|CROSS101 Weighted Vest||Best Weighted Vest for Advanced People||Adjustable||Long||20, 40 or 60 lbs||Iron plates||4.4 lbs|
|ZFOsports Short Weighted Vest||Best Adjustable Weighted Vest for Beginners||Adjustable||Short||12, 20 or 50 lbs||Iron plates or Sand||3.2 lbs|
Click on the name of the vest if you want to learn more information
But before I get straight into the products I want to first answer a very important question you probably already have…
Do you really need a weighted vest for calisthenics?
Many people question whether they even need a weight vest for calisthenics.
You are not required to have a weighted vest for calisthenics in order to get results but it is worth having because it brings many advantages regarding strength, muscle growth, and progressive overload training.
For example, you can use a weight vest for simply anything you can think of, apart from calisthenics – including running, walking, climbing, CrossFit, etc.
The weight vest is a great addition for people who are planning to progress and improve their results in the future.
What is more, if you have heard of the plateau effect , 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 will have to increase the difficulty if you want to become bigger and stronger.
You can do that in many different ways the simplest and fastest one is to add more resistance or in other words weight 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 and get bigger and stronger.
That’s right, your hands will be free!
They are 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?
Now let’s review and compare my top 5 favorite models below to see which one is the best one for you.
Top 5 Best Weight Vests for Calisthenics You Need To See
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 Weighted Vest – Best Weighted Vest for Advanced People
- ZFOsports Short Weighted Vest – Best Adjustable Weighted Vest for Beginners
Don’t worry, all 5 models have a reasonable price, good quality and do what they promise.
But in order to help you make the right decision and pick the best weighted vest for your personal needs, I’m going to review and compare each model in 10 different categories and rate each one on a scale of 1 to 10 in the most important ones.
That way you will knoe exactly which one should be the perfect one for you.
Here are the 10 categories I’m going to review and compare them with:
- My overall experience and opinion
- Comfort and weight distribution
- Type of training
- What makes it unique and better than the rest?
- Who is this weight vest best for?
- Are there any good alternatives
- What I like
- What I don’t like
Now let’s start with the first one I personaly own…
1. Mir Air Flow Adjustable Weighted Vest – Best Adjustable Weighted Vest for Calisthenics
My overall experience and opinion:
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.
Adjustability: I really like this weighted vest because it’s 100% adjustable. With this model you get 4.25 lbs metal plates you can add or remove on both the front and the back until you have accumulated enough weight for your workouts. In addition, you also get a really strong adjustable belt which sadly is a little uncomfortable to stick because it’s located on the backside. I don’t know why they’ve done that but it still works really well. With this weighted vest, you can even adjust the shoulder width so when it comes to adjustability I’m going to give it a 9.5 out of 10. I take away 0.5 points because the strap is located on the backside.
Breathability: Because this is not a full-torso design it has decent breathability. Your arms, lower back, and belly can breathe really well but you will sweat a bit when the vest meets the skin. After all, this is not a lightweight model and it’s quite bulky when at full capacity so I would rate it an 8 out of 10 in this category. You will still sweat a bit but it’s not that bad compared to some other models I’ve worn in the past.
Comfort and weight distribution: Even if this is not a compact weighted vest it is really well designed and it actually is pretty comfortable to wear during a 1-hour workout. I haven’t had any problems because the shoulders have thick padding and the weight is distributed equally on both the front and the back. So because of that, I would rate it a 9 out of 10 in the comfort and weight distribution category.
Type of training: Because of the huge amount of weight you can stack this weighted vest is perfect for weighted bodyweight training. I really like to use mine when I aim to gain more muscle and strength so it’s great for a normal type of training. I haven’t tried running with it but if you don’t place a ton of weight you will be able to do that as well. So when it comes to the variety of exercises I would score it an 8.5 out of 10.
What makes it unique and better than the rest?: In my opinion, the biggest difference that makes this weighted vest unique compared to the rest are the really well-made adjustable weighted metal plates and the snug little pockets the go inside. I have had some problems before where all the plates were bouncing around and making very big problems but with this one there aren’t such problems. Instead, you get very good distributed weight, a fully adjustable design, and strong materials. That’s why I believe this is the best weighted vest for calisthenics you can buy.
Who is this weight vest best for?: Even tho this is my favorite weighted vest I don’t believe it’s the best choice if you are going to do extremely explosive type of training. Instead, it is best suited for normal strength or bodybuilding type of training, endurance, or even CrossFit. It is a really multifunctional piece of equipment I recommend you get.
Are there any good alternatives: If you are looking for a nice similar alternative your best bet is to go with the North Gym Adjustable Weight Vest (click here to check it out). It has pretty similar dimensions, can also carry a lot of weight, and is comfortable to use. Click it out if you want.
What I like::
- Offers 5 different models to choose from (20 to 60 lbs)
- Overall small and compact design despite the huge weight so you can do more exercises
- Comes with metal plate weights of 4.25 lbs each
- The shoulders have nice thick padding so it’s comfortable to wear for a long time
- You get lifetime guarantee in case the vest breakes during workout (which is really great)
- You can wash it with a washing machine
- Affordable and overall good quality
What I don’t like:
- Straps are located on the back
- Can be little bit too bulky when you place a lot of weight on top
- It’s not the best option if you want to do very explosive exercises or moves
2. Aduro Weighted Vest – The Best Fixed Weighted Vest
My overall experience and opinion:
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.
Adjustability: This is my other favorite weighted vest because it has 2 quickly adjustable straps that can help you to make the fit really tight. That is really important if you plan to do explosive type of training or high-intensity movements. Sadly this is where the adjustability options end. With this weight vest, you don’t have any plates or sand backs to add or remove. It comes with a fixed weight meaning you can’t do anything once it gets lighter for you unless to add some heavy object on the backside but it could still bounce or move around. This leaves you with only 2 options – you have to sell it to someone or buy a heavier one. Because of that, I would give it a 7 out of 10 when it comes to adjustability. It would be awesome if you had the option to somehow add or remove weight.
Breathability: On the opposite site no weighted vest can provide better breathability than the Aduro Sport one I own. Because of the very thin design and snug fit you have a full range of motion and your body can easily cool itself without any problems. That’s why I really prefer to wear this model when it’s hot outside and I don’t want to get drenched in sweat. So that’s exactly why this is an easy win for me – 10 out of 10 when it comes to breathability. No questions asked.
Comfort and weight distribution: As you can imagine this weighted vest is as comfortable to wear as it looks. The inner side is made with thick and soft neoprene and the shoulders are really thick so it won’t dig deep into your skin. In addition, the weight is evenly distributor all around and you can make it really tight because of the straps. I haven’t cut mine yet but as far as I know, the weight this model uses is some sort of small metal balls which don’t feel at all. And when you combine all of that you can understand why I can’t give it less than a 10 out of 10 in the category of comfort and weight distribution. If you don’t agree try and sprint with one of the bulky models…
Type of training: Because of the way this weighted vest is designed it’s ideal for the explosive type of training or any movements that will have you quickly change directions or move from point A to point B. It’s also a great choice for hiking, rock climbing, jogging, sprinting, and cycling. For example, I really like mountain biking and I’ve worn mine a couple of times when I was climbing a steep hill and got a really nice workout. So this weighted vest is ideal for outdoor activities as well. But it works really well with calisthenics as well. The only drawback is that it’s pretty lightweight so you will easily outgrow it as I did. That’s why It gets an impressive 9 out of 10 in this category. I would have given it a 10 if it was adjustable…
What makes it unique and better than the rest?: If you already haven’t noticed it’s the overall unique design and snug fit. I don’t know if you can see this from the picture above but this weighted vest is like 1/3 of the size of the traditional one meaning you can easily hide it under your clothes and use it with all kinds of different activities a normal weighted vest won’t be comfortable to wear. That is exactly why I’ve decided to include it in this list.
Who is this weight vest best for?: From personal experience, I can say that this weighted vest is perfect for all types of training and physical activities. Because of the small and lightweight design, you can wear this anywhere and do whatever you like. It’s the most universal product I own and highly recommend you to check it out. Especially if you are looking for some extra weight for your bodyweight workouts.
Are there any good alternatives?: Even if I really like this model it isn’t the only one that offers suck great features. If you want a good alternative you should definitely take a closer look at the similar adjustable model again made by Aduro Sport (click here to check it out). It’s still very lightweight and comfortable but this time it comes with small weight pouches you can add or remove in order to adjust the weight. Click the link above to learn more but in general, I prefer the original one because it’s still more compact than this.
What I like:
- Very unique compact design that you can wear under your clothes
- Great variety with 7 different weight options to choose from (lightest is 4 lbs – 1.81 kg)
- Ideal for beginners and people who are doing the explosive type of training (explosive calisthenics)
- Very snug fit – no bouncing around when you move around
- Soft, breathable and non-slip material
- Fixed and distributes weight evenly
What I don’t like:
- You can’t add or remove any weight. It’s fixed and stays the same.
- Because of that, you can’t machine wash it and need to hand-wash it.
3. CAP Barbell Short Adjustable Weighted Vest – The Most Affordable Vest
My overall experience and opinion:
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 4 options to choose from: 20,40,50 or 80 lbs 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.
Adjustability: When it comes to adjustability the only 2 things you can adjust on this weighted vest are the weight plates and the velcro belt strap. Sadly it doesn’t offer shoulder adjustment straps but even tho it is still enough because it’s fairly comfortable to wear. This time the strap comes at the front which is better than the Mir vest I currently use. So that’s why I’m going to rate it an 8.5 out of 10 when it comes to adjustability. Even if you don’t get shoulder straps you get 2.5 steel plates you can easily add or remove that don’t bounce around.
Breathability: Because this model also uses a short design it is pretty breathable on both sides. Your lower back and belly will breathe nicely even though it’s still not as good as the previous one. So because of that, I’m going to give it a 7.5 out of 10. It’s not the best that exists but it’s not the worst either.
Comfort and weight distribution: Even if this vest is pretty bulky and heavy the weight is evenly distributed around the waist and back so you won’t feel awkward. I don’t know if you can see from the photo but the inside padding is really thick and soft making it really comfortable to wear. A friend of mine has this vest and he said he doesn’t have any problems with comfort even when he does his long 1 and a half-hour workouts. That’s why it really deserves a 9 out of 10 even if it’s quite bulky when loaded.
Type of training: Because of the 80 lbs max capacity and the bulky and strong design this weighted vest is great for strength and muscle type of training. It’s a great addition to basic compound lifts and bodyweight exercises. If you feel like push-ups are too easy try and doing it with this monster. You will be lucky if you can do more than 10. Sadly on the opposite side, this model is not very comfortable to use when doing cardio or explosive type of training. If you are looking for that I would suggest you check the previous Aduro Sport vest. So when it comes to exercise variety and type of training I’m going to give it an 8 out of 10. But if you are here looking for something specifically designed for weighted calisthenics this vest will do the job right.
What makes it unique and better than the rest?: First of all, I really like the fact that you can increase or lower the weight by 2.5 lbs increments instead of the traditional 3,4 or 5 lbs. Not many models can offer that and if you are really into building muscle and strength this is a real benefit you will like. The next thing that makes this weighted vest better than the majority you can find is the really thick inside padding especially the one you can find on the shoulders. I really dislike thin vests that dig really dip into your skin in the shoulder area but with this model, you won’t have such problems. It’s also very affordable and well made.
Who is this weight vest best for?: Because of the way this weighted vest is designed it’s ideal for a home gym or an outdoor weighted workout. You can combine it easily with different home gym equipment or your own body weight. So if you really want to add a lot of heavy weights inside your workouts or want to take your exercises to the next level you should consider buying this model. It’s really great for raw weighted calisthenics workouts and strength type of training.
Are there any good alternatives: If you are looking for thick inner padding, heavy weights, and adjustable plates then your other best option is the Mir Short Weighted vest I reviewed earlier (click here to check it out if you already haven’t). It has a pretty similar price and design and does the same job equally well. So you won’t go wrong with whatever one you decide to pick.
What I like:
- You have the freedom to choose between 4 options – 20,40,50 and 80 lbs
- Easily adjustable and thick shoulder pads
- Compact size despite the massive weight – gives you the freedom to move around
- Made from durable high-quality materials
- Padded shoulder straps for additional comfort
- Very affordable
- Has pre-built reflective strips and anchor hooks
What I don’t like:
- Might not be a good fit for small framed people
- The 50 lb version can be a little too bulky
4. CROSS101 Adjustable Weighted Vest – Best Weighted Vest for Advanced People
My overall experience and opinion:
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.
Adjustability: Similar to the previous model the CROSS101 Weighted Vest has only an adjustable waist belt. But on the good side with it, you get a nice set of fully adjustable iron plates each weighing 4.4 lbs. If we compare that with other adjustable models the 4.4 lbs iron bars have the largest increment which is not very good. But once placed they do stay in one place and don’t bounce around. So when it comes to adjustability I’m going to rate this weighted vest an 8 out of 10. It would be better if the increments were a little smaller and there was a way to adjust the shoulder straps as well.
Breathability: Even if this model is a little bit longer than all the rest ones it is still somewhat breathable because It uses way thinner and lighter materials. There is also plenty of space between the walls and even on your lower back and bottom part of your belly so you won’t get heated too fast. So in this category, I will give it a 6.5 out of 10 because I don’t believe it’s the best nor the worse.
Comfort and weight distribution: Like all the similar models this vest equally distributes the extra weight on both the front and the back so you wouldn’t have any problems even if you buy the heavier version. But when it comes to comfort the only drawback I don’t like is the fact that the shoulders and not very thick and may lead to some injuries if you carry too much plate in more explosive movements. CROSS101 does sell these but you need to pay a small fee to get them which is something I don’t enjoy. If you ask them they should be included and free of charge in the first place. And because of that, I’m going to rate it an 8 out of 10.
Type of training: Because this is an extremely heavy vest (if you buy the heavier option) this weighted vest is ideal for the slow and steady type of training both indoors and outdoors. It works great with calisthenics and other home gym equipment you may have around. Sadly this specific model is not designed for explosive type of training because it can lead to bruising and overall it isn’t very comfortable to jog around with it so beware of this. So when it comes to variety within types of training I will give this weighted vest a 7 out of 10. If the shoulders had very thick padding and extra straps that number would be way higher than that.
What makes it unique and better than the rest?: The first major thing you immediately notice is the really affordable price and beautiful design. I really like the 2 color opinions you can choose from the I really like the value you get for your buck. And let’s not forget the massive option to buy 80 lbs of extra weight. I don’t know about you but this is one of the largest amount of weight I have ever seen a vest to offer.
Who is this weight vest best for?: In my opinion, the CROSS101 weighted vest is perfect for anybody who really needs a lot of weight but doesn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for them. With this model, you get everything you really need at a very good price. Because of the long design and durable materials, this vest is perfect for weighted calisthenics, home gym training, powerlifting, and basic strength training. So if you are looking for a great workout vest for your home workouts this might be a great option to consider.
Are there any good alternatives?: In case you want something a little bit more compact and comfortable I would suggest as a worthy alternative to check my Mir weighted vest (click here to check it out). It also offers a ton of weight, a very good price, and a lifetime guarantee. So check the comparison table above to see what are the main differences between them.
What I like::
- Can hold up to 80 lbs of weight
- You can choose between 4 different models. The lightest option starting from only 12 lbs.
- Included adjustable weights of 3 lbs a piece
- Secure attachment to the body using velcro
- Made from very strong and durable materials
- Cool eye-catching camouflage color
- Can be cleaned using a washing machine
- Has a long manufacturer warranty
What I don’t like:
- You have to pay extra for shoulder pads
- Because of the big amount of weight and design it can be quite bulky when carrying a lot.
- It can’t be worn under clothes
5. ZFOsports Short Weighted Vest – Best Adjustable Weighted Vest for Beginners
My overall experience and opinion:
The final option from ZFOsports is a bit different from the other 4 weighted vests and it might be a great option for beginners who are searching for a stiff and comfy vest that isn’t too bulky.
Because of its small size if you go for the 12 or 20 lbs version, this weighted vest can even be hidden under some clothes making it 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 or bouncing around.
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 the 12 and 20 lbs edition is made out of different sand bags each weighning about 3.2 lbs.
That gives you plenty of room for adjustments.
12 or 20 lbs or extra resistance may not seem like a lot of weight but if you are training in a specific way it can feel like 100 lbs.
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.
And you also get a wide adjustable velcro belt to hold everything 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 adjustable weights use specially designed 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.
Adjustability: Except for the adjustable velcro belt I really like the type of adjustable weights they use. For the 12 and 20 lbs model, you get little tightly packed sandbags you can add or remove on the front and back. While if you decide to go for the 50 lbs option you get iron bars instead. That way they keep the 12 and 20 lbs versions very thin while adding extra security to the heavier model. The weight increments for this one are about 3.2 lbs per bag of sand/plate which is way better than the majority of the models you can find giving you plenty more adjustability options. And for that creativity, they deserve to get a 9 out of 10 in this category.
Breathability: Because this model uses a shorter length and some sort of mesh material it’s somewhat breathable. Of course, I can’t compare it to my Aduro vest which is way smaller and more compact than this but it’s still better than the majority of the more expensive and bulky vests you can find online. So when it comes to this category I’ll give it a 7.5 out of 10.
Comfort and weight distribution: While you still get a pretty good weight resistance the whole thing is quite comfortable to wear. I really like the inside padding and the fact it’s not very bulky at all. That does really help with some of the movements and range of motion. When it comes to weight distribution everything is well balanced on both the front and the back so you won’t lose your balance in certain areas. And the shoulder pads are not bad either. So when it comes to comfort and weight distribution I’m going to rate it an 8 out of 10.
Type of training: The final vest is really a hybrid between the bulky and heavy-duty Mir weighted vest and the light, compact and soft Aduro Sport one. That’s why I recommend it to almost every type of training except for the super explosive movements because the weight isn’t fixed and held tight with 2 chest straps. But if you want to do some basic calisthenics training or include in a set of bar squats, or light jogging you won’t have any problems. That’s one of the main reasons why I’ve decided to rate it a 9 out of 10 when it comes to training.
What makes it unique and better than the rest?: If I have to be completely honest the only thing that separates this weighted vest from the rest is the fact that it can be used for both normal exercises and little more explosive ones as well. You are not limited to only one or the other. In addition, the inner part is very soft so you won’t have any problems with bruising when you place too much weight.
Who is this weight vest best for?: If you are someone who likes to do multiple physical activities except only pure calisthenics and need to push yourself to the limit then this weighted vest might be exactly what you are looking for. Because of the overall design and the 3 different options to choose from you can easily wear it in almost any situation where you want to increase the overall difficulty and make the movement a lot harder. That makes this vest perfect for anyone who needs more resistance. But if you need a lot of resistance (50 lbs + and above) then this vest might not be the one for you. Instead, take a closer look at the previous ones I’ve already reviewed.
Are there any good alternatives: A very good alternative to this vest is the previously reviewed Aduro Sport Weighted Vest (click here for more info). Even if the Aduro vest isn’t adjustable like the ZFOsport one both models are really well padded, quite compact and a great choice for different activities than weighted calisthenics or the basic home gym
What I like:
- It is perfect for beginners who are just starting out
- Very small and stiff fit
- Can be easily hidden under clothes
- It’s made from breathable and soft material
- Adjustable weights up to 50 lbs if you buy the heaviest version. The lightest weight starts from 0.5 lbs
- Can be placed almost on everybody using the wide velcro belt
- Very comfortable rounded corners for extra comfort
- Made by reinforced high quality and soft materials
What I don’t like:
- If you get the 12 lbs version you will have to buy the next one. You can’t simply buy more weights.
- The overall size will not be good for small body frames.
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.
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. Why your weighted vest must be comfortable to wear for a long time
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. The reason behind this is that it’s very common to get bruises, pain and discomfort is certain places if you have not picked the right size and type for your workouts.
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. How much weight can a weighted vest carry?
On average a decent weighted vest can help you carry between 4 up to 80 lbs (1.8 – 36 kg) additional weight. Of course there are some models that can go higher than 80 pounds but in most cases you won’t need so much weight because your vest will become really bulky and uncomfortable.
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.
Which lead’s to the next important question:
3. What are the weight increments weighted vests use?
The majority of the adjustable weighted vests use different iron, steel or small sand bags that weight between 0.5 up to 4.5 lbs as weight increments. The amount of weight you get per piece really depends on the brand and the model so you rarely get the same weight increments.
That’s why it will be smart to go for the vest that offers the biggest adjustability options or the closest weight increments so you can have more room to grown and constantly progress with your workouts.
After all, adjustability 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!
4. Which are better? – Short Weighted Vests vs Full-sized Weighted Vests
When it comes to weighted vests they come in 2 different types. Long, which covers all your torso including your abdomen area and short which covers mainly your chest area. The main difference between them is the freedom of movement they provide you with and both types have cons and pros but it is always better to get a short model because it is more compact and allows a better range of motion.
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
5. What weighted vest is better? -The fixed weight one or the adjustable one?
When it comes to vests and the way they distribute weight you have 2 main options – adjustable and fixed.
Fixed weighted vests are usually very small and compact making them an extra addition for explosive type of training or different outdoor activities while the adjustable model is best for traditional strength and muscle building workouts.
The biggest difference between the 2 types is the fact that you can change the weight of the adjustable weighted vest using iron, steel bars or sand bags while whith the fixed version you can’t.
The weight stays the same as original and you can’t move it up or down.
But both options have their unique pros and cons and it’s good to know everything so you can find out which type is the right one for you.
Adjustable Weight Vests (Everything You Need To Know)
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 (Everything You Need To Know)
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 exercises you are going to do every day and the way you are going to use it. It also matters whether you are actually looking to gradually progress in muscle and strength in the future or not.
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.
If you want a weighted vest purely because you need to become stronger and do the bodyweight exercises harder then you should go for the adjustable model because you won’t outgrow it quickly.
At this point, some of you may be really confused but don’t worry – below I have reviewed both fixed and adjustable models.
6. What additional features should a weighted vest have?
Many weighted vests do come with extra features like a bottle holder, smartphone picket with a headphone jack, light-reflecting strips, or different hooks to attach bands to that can really help the convenience.
But you should stay focused on the basic features of the vest (type, weight, comfort, etc.) and only after that 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
- Different anchor points for resistance bands and rope
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!
7. How much does a weighted vest cost? (What is the best price for a weighted vest you should pay)
On average a well made weighted vests can cost anywhere between $30 and $250 depending on how much weight it comes with. The bigger than number, the higher the price you will have to pay for it.
As I already mentioned, when it comes to weight vests the situation isn’t any different from any other product you can buy online or offline.
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 and pay around $100-$150 for a decent model.
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.
But don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean all the other vests I’ve reviewed above are bad or overpriced.
Feel free to check them as well and see for yourself
Weighted Vests and Calisthenics: The Next Steps
Now you know what are the top 5 the best weighted vests for calisthenics you can find in today’s market for a relatively decent price.
But most importantly:
You know exactly what you should look for if you want to own something that is going to be actually useful.
But we are not done yet.
In order to help you even more I’ve created 3 very simply and easy steps you do right now that are going to make sure you get EVERYTHING from this article.
Here you go!
Take 3 seconds to enter your email below and get instant access to our huge guide “How to Start Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide” if you already haven’t.
It’s packed with solid information that will help you a lot.
Here you go:
Pick a weighted vest.
In case you’re hesitating between 2 or more models and can’t really decide which one to pick follow these simple rules:
Always pick things that meet your personal requirements.
We are all quite different one another and might have completetly different opinions when it comes to “best” of something.
Take a few seconds and determine which features and specifics are most important for you.
Then use that and determine which weighted vest you should go for.
If you still can’t make a decision I would recommend you to go after 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.
That’s for me the best weight vest for calisthenics.
Read even more awesome articles about calisthenics. Here are some of my favorite ones you may really like:
- Check out my top 3 Best Closed-Door Pull-Up Bars You Can Leave Attached
- See what are the 5 Best Resistance Bands for Calisthenics I like
- Take a closer look at my favorite 5 Best Dip Bars for Calisthenics that are cheap
- Find out what are the 5 Best Pull Up Bars for Calisthenics for your home
- Learn what are my top 5 Best Supplements for Calisthenics I use on a weekly basis
It’s high time to wrap 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!