Bottom Line Up Front: The WeightVest.com Box Weight Vest is a great option for those seeking to add additional resistance to their bodyweight for a variety of purposes. I recommend it.
The Research and Options
I already had a good weight vest that had lost the effectiveness of its belt and it was unable to stay affixed to my body under most movements. I was dealing with not getting a new vest by using a weighted backpack (GoRuck Rucker), but I found there were times when I wanted a weight vest instead such as doing push-ups, burpees, or pull-ups. Having it secured to the body from front to back is useful, so I started researching my options for weight vests.
What I found first was that weight vests are expensive. You can buy cheaper ones, but even those are expensive by what I was expecting honestly. I knew that I would have this item for ten years plus, so I wasn’t about to get a lower quality item to save 50 or 100 dollars. I found a strong recommendation for the vests from weightvest.com from some places I respect, so I focused in on this brand. Next step was to identify which vest and which style.
I will save you some time and effort here that I spent figuring all this out, since, honestly, the web site does a bad job of telling you what the differences are between vests. They have the V-Force, V-Max, and Box options. They explain about each, but they don’t actually say what’s different really or how to compare. I was looking for a chart to highlight differences, which I didn’t find. To highlight the confusion, check out these screen shots below, which are the descriptions for the 30lb V-force, Box, and V-max side-by-side. 99% identical. Click to see full screen.
I watched a bunch of videos and studied the pictures to try to figure it out. Basically from I can tell, the V-Max and V-Force can be purchased in a long or short option, and both can have the narrow or wide shoulders. They only difference that I can tell between the two is the V-Force has a wider belt (1.5″ vs 2″), it comes in camo patterns, and costs slightly more. The Box only comes in short and only has the narrow shoulders. The Box also has a different belt, which uses a clamp system, which lets you adjust it much faster than the belt that comes on the other two. For the V-Max or V-Force, you size the belt with it off, then it clips together in the front, i.e. it’s fixed. You would need to take it off to adjust it. The Box belt has two sides that comes through a clamp which can be micro-adjusted and clamped down, then changed in seconds with it still on. I opted for the Box for that main reason. I knew I wanted the narrow shoulders for overheard range of motion and wanted the short vest for sure, also for range of motion.
Next consideration is weight. From my previous vest, I knew what I wanted/needed. Basically I would never wear anything less than 20 pounds as it would be just unnoticeable. This is about 10% of my bodyweight. I knew I would not really want to go over 40 pounds. If I needed resistance above that, I’d wear a ruck/weighted pack. I wasn’t going to do burpees with 60 pounds strapped to me. All these vests have 2.5-pound small weights in them that can be removed, so you can always remove them to go down in weight but can’t add. Given that, I opted for 40 pounds knowing I can reduce down quickly to 20 pounds in 2.5-pound increments as needed. They have free shipping technically, but we all know this is just priced into the item already. It came delivered nicely in a box shortly after ordering.
I use this almost every day on walks. I used to wear my Rucker all the time, but I have been wearing the Box weight vest more now as it’s just more comfortable to have the same weight distributed front to back. I have worn it for a variety of activities as well from doing pull-ups or burpees to playing frisbee.
Things I Like:
- The vest goes on very easily overhead
- The straps are indeed very adjustable and can be fit to the body quickly each time. This is useful in situations where you want to wear it tight (doing burpees) or not as tight (walking). Also it’s nice to put it on over a tee-shirt or over a jacket in the winter and easily adjusting it to the thickness of my clothing.
- It is simple to adjust the weight. By pulling back the Velcro you can remove or add a weight with minimal effort.
- The cast iron weights are unbreakable.
- 2.5 pound weights are a good size to make adjustments from. If they were 5 pounds they would be too dense in one area and if they were 1 pound there’d be too many.
- The weights are well-distributed throughout the vest to make it feel even front to back, left to right over the whole upper body.
- There is a nice selection of accessories that you can get as well.
The Thing I Don’t Like:
- The weights are cast iron which makes them uncomfortable. They don’t touch the body per se, but the lower row bottoms can dig into your abdomen with a lot of bending (burpees again…) slightly. They also hit on the ground hard. The reason I noticed this is because the previous vest I had used weights that weren’t cast iron but were a flexible material that was soft to the touch. They came in half-pound sizes and you need a lot of them to fit in the vest, but, boy, were they comfortable. It is not possible to have those weights in a vest like the Box probably at all and certainly not for the price of cast iron. I just wish it were.
VERDICT = RECOMMENDED!
This is a great item to have at your house to use in a variety of physical fitness situations. Well worth the investment. I recommend the brand and the Box vest specifically. I think of the three styles it’s the best option. FYI: I received no money, discounts, or any other perk for this review and make no profits in any way from future sales if you were wondering.
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