5 Best Weighted Vest for Calisthenics In 2024

Author: Ihor Shymechko (26 years of Oly Lifting & Training experience)

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy (Olympian with 21 years of Oly Lifting experience)

Bodyweight training is an effective way to get in shape and develop strength. But it can work only up to some degree, as once your body adapts to your body weight, the growth stops. And this is precisely when most athletes would start to look for the best weighted vest for calisthenics to incorporate into their training.

These vests add extra weight, increasing the force you need for your workout, hence straining your body for more growth. Here's a brief guide to tell you more about these vests, along with a few quality options you can get for yourself.

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the MIR Air Flow Weighted Vest.


Starting our list of the best weighted vest for calisthenics is MIR Air Flow Weighted Vest. It is a short stack type that focuses on reliability. As the name suggests, the vest has a high-space design that enhances the airflow between the vest and your body.

Weighted Vest

Top 5 Best Weighted Vests For Calisthenics Reviewed

ProductTotalMaterialDesignDurabilityComfortPrice/Quality
MIR Air Flow Weighted Vest479.59109.59
100LB Straightjacket vest45.59.59999
Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO459999.58.5
CAP Barbell Weighted Vest44998.589.5
Henkelion Weighted Vest429888.58.5
MIR Air Flow Weighted Vest

MIR is one of the most renowned names in the calisthenics vest market nowadays. They offer some of the best vests with a precise design and build. Their Air Flow aligns perfectly with their reputation.

This particular calisthenics weighted vest is a short stack type that focuses on reliability. As the name suggests, the vest has a high-space design that enhances the airflow between the vest and your body. At the same time, it preserves enough heat to keep your muscles warm.

  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 20-60lbs
  • Material: Nylon
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Weight Type: Adjustable Metal weights
  • Vest Type: Tactical (Short)

Material

The main material of this vest is nylon, which is known for its durability and toughness. MIR combines it with some other material to create a hybrid that shares this toughness but is also soft and comfortable on your skin. There is not much detail on the blend, but you can rest assured of the material aspect of the product.

Design

The MIR Air has a standard tactical vest design. It uses two straps at the shoulders to adjust the vest and one strap near the chest to prevent it from slipping. And the weight pockets are provided at both the front and back. You can say the company has focussed on its performance rather than its design. So, no objections there.

Durability

There is one thing that stands out in every MIR vest, itʼs life. MIR is known to use only the best quality material and fixtures for its product. This particular vest uses Hybrid material that is both soft and highly durable. Even the delicate parts, like the zipper of these vests, will last for years.

Comfort 

The main material of this vest is nylon, which is known for its durability and toughness. MIR combines it with some other material to create a hybrid that shares this toughness but is also soft and comfortable on your skin. There is not much detail on the blend, but you can rest assured of the material aspect of the product.

Price/Quality

The MIR Air Flow is a top-shelf product, so it's a bit more on the expensive side. However, considering the quality of the product, it is well worth it. The product uses nylon-based fabric with an adjustable solid iron weight. Thus, it's a one-time purchase vest that will stay with you for a long time. Plus, you get a lifetime damage warranty. So, yes, the extra bucks are well worth it.

47Expert Score

MIR is one of the most renowned names in the calisthenics vest market nowadays. They offer some of the best vests with a precise design and build.

Material:
9.5
Design:
9
Durability:
10
Comfort:
9.5
Price/Quality:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Adjustable size and weights

  • Zipper closure

  • Machine Washable

  • Highly breathable Hybrid material

Could be better:

  • Mounting velcro is on the back side

100LB STRAIGHTJACKET VEST

The short-weighted vests by Straightjacket are yet another quality option for any Calisthenics enthusiasts. The vest is a perfect combination of great design and brilliant build quality.

The vest has a short dual-layer design that enables free movement and plenty of space for weights. This design makes it perfect for professionals, as the increased space allows you to attach more weight than most other weight vests on the market.

  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 50-100LBS
  • Material: 1000D Cordura Nylon
  • Closure Type: Strap
  • Weight Type: Adjustable Metal weights
  • Vest Type: Tactical (Short)

Material

The material used for this MIR vest is a 1000D Cordura Nylon Fabric. The material is a tear-resistant fabric, usually used for heavy-duty tactical gear, gun holders, and luggage carriers.

And it's very good in terms of breathability and sweat absorption. Combined with the proper padding, this fabric is best of the best for any calisthenics weighted vest designed to last for years. The same is true for the hooks and fasteners used in the vest. All of these are military-grade. 

Design

The StraightJacket vest, as mentioned before, has a very distinct two layer design. The first layer of the interior is solid and weighs 50 Lbs. The second layer consists of pockets that you can use to increase weights by up to 50 lbs. Its design makes this vest a little bulky, but that's acceptable due to its weight capacity.

Durability

The durability of the Straightjacket vest is unquestioned. The 1000D reinforced nylon used as its main material is a heavy-duty fabric. It's primarily developed for rough usage and to contain heavyweight. Its wear and tear resistance is on a whole different level. There aren't many fibers that can match its longevity. Plus, it needs very little maintenance.

Comfort

Due to its weight capacity, the force applied on its straps is very high. To combat this force, Straightjkacket has developed this vest with a wider shoulder base with dual-layer padding. The padding offers decent shock absorption and forms a thick protective layer between your body and the vest. You will not feel any direct impact from the weight blocks, even during heavy workout sessions.

Plus, the pockets are designed in a way that you can add or remove weight in just a few seconds without removing the vest. Although, you may need some help with weight in the back pockets.

Price/Quality

Straightjacket weighted vest uses military-grade fabric and fastener, which add to its costs. So, the price tag on this one is a little more expensive, but with all the extra features, it's completely justified. And if you are on a budget, you can always start by buying the vest alone and then buying weight gradually.

However, the vest is not for amateurs, as 50 lbs can be a little too high for beginners.

45.5Expert Score

The short-weighted vests by Straightjacket are yet another quality option for any Calisthenics enthusiasts.

Material:
9.5
Design:
9
Durability:
9
Comfort:
9
Price/Quality:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Military Grade build

  • Adjustable weight and size
  • Chest strap for a snug fit 

  • Build from tear-resistant fabric

  • High weight capacity of 50-100 lbs

Could be better:

  • Minimum weight capacity is 50 lbs


Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO

If you are looking for a low-profile and high-breathability vest, Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro is your best option. This vest has a unique design that offers you a biker armor-like look. It's sleek and very lightweight.

Hyperwear has developed this vest for overall usage and ensures that you can wear it anywhere, anytime, without an issue. Its design makes it especially beneficial for high-impact workouts and running. Its thin structure also makes it a choice for sports like box jumping.

  • Color: Silver/Black
  • Weight: 10 lbs
  • Material: Tyvek Lycra Nylon
  • Closure Type: Strips
  • Weight Type: Adjustable High-Density Steel weights
  • Vest Type: Tactical (light)

Material

The Hyperwear Hyper vest pro is an elastic vest and uses a blend of synthetic, nylon, and spandex fiber. The fiber is also known as Tyvek Lycra Nylon and is popular for being both lightweight and durable. It also makes the vest high sweat absorbent, cool and adjustable for your shape.

Design

The basic design of the vest consists of two flaps that offer a full-length tactical vest-like appeal. The sides of this vest are open and feature a set of strings that you can use to tighten or loosen the vest. The design, combined with the elastic material, makes the vest unisex. It's also very sleek compared to other weighted vests, which makes it perfect. 

Durability

The material blend of this vest is patented to the brand, and there is not much on its exact composition, but it does combine nylon and spandex. Both of these fabrics are used for making high-durability fitness attires due to their longevity and low maintenance. So, you can expect a long life from this vest. 

Comfort

Hyperwear designed this unique, unisex vest with comfort as its prime factor. The open sides of the vest make it highly breakable and cool, while its material makes it soft on the skin and hypoallergenic to some extent. It's also slightly odor resistant and very flexible. So, you can use this vest for any type of workout, and it will fit in perfectly. 

Price/Quality

While the Hyper Vest Pro is a product worth buying, its price tag seems a little expensive. It's a non-universal size vest that will need replacement as you grow, yet its price is identical to a top-shelf product like MIR Airflow or shorts. It's good for a professional but not for an amateur with a limited budget.

45Expert Score

If you are looking for a low-profile and high-breathability vest, Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro is your best option.

Material:
9
Design:
9
Durability:
9
Comfort:
9.5
Price/Quality:
8.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Lightweight and sleek design

  • Stretchable

  • Laced sides for high breathability

Could be better:

  • Not one-size-fits-all

 Barbell Weighted Vest

If you are on a limited budget but don't want to compromise on quality, go for the CAP Barbell Weighted vest. CAP Barbell is not the top name in the fitness industry, but it does have a good reputation due to its dependable products. Its weighted vests have a simpler design and are not top-shelved ones, but they provide results. You can expect a decent life and durability from these vests.

CAP Barbell uses good quality materials and precise build to ensure the west doesn't buckle under stress. Not to mention, offer you the breathability and sweat absorption you will need during your workout.

  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Closure Type: Hook and Strap
  • Weight Type: Steel shot packets
  • Vest Type: Tactical

Material

Being a low-budget product, the vest has used synthetic rubber as its building block. Most of it uses Neoprene, except the lining. The material of the inner lining is slightly softer than the exterior, which prevents skin from abrasion damage or irritation. 

Design

The high-durability CAP Barbell vest has a minimalistic design. It looks kind of like the average tactical vest but with a much sleeker profile. The size of the pockets is adjusted to keep the weight close to the body.

It also has several of these pockets on both the front and back flap, which ensure even weight distribution. And yes, you can add or remove weight to diversify your workout.

Durability

The vest doesn't look that tough, but it is. Due to its Neoprene based exterior and padding, the vest can endure high amounts of strain. You can use it for activities like weighted trekking without worrying about wear and tear. Even the attaching hooks of this calisthenic weight vest are long life. CapBarbell designed these hooks for rough usage like parachute run training. 

Comfort

While the fabric of this vest is Synthetic, it doesn't compromise the comfort of the vest. The brand has used a mesh-type build that enhances the breathability of the vest to a great degree. Further, they have kept the sides open for better airflow and added soft lining to it. It's safe to say that it's the most comfortable and by far best weight vest for calisthenics in this price range.  

Price/Quality

When it comes to balance between quality and price, the CapBarbell vest is the vest. It offers you the best material, unique design, and complete freedom to adjust the weight. The only downside is that it uses shot packets instead of Solid block weight. But it's a small compromise for getting a premium vest at a mid-range price. 

44Expert Score

CAP Barbell is not the top name in the fitness industry, but it does have a good reputation due to its dependable products.

Material:
9
Design:
9
Durability:
8.5
Comfort:
8
Price/Quality:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Inbuilt pocket for phone and attaching hook 

  • Easy to adjust weight packets

  • Adjustable for all body types

Could be better:

  • Slightly tight weight packet pockets

Henkelion Weighted Vest

Henkelion Weighted vest is not entirely a calisthenic weight vest. It's a Shoulder holster-type weight vest that's more suitable for running. But if you are just starting calisthenics with a weight vest, it will work fine for you. Not to mention cost you a fraction of what you pay for a high calisthenic weight vest.

This vest can develop the initial strength you need to level up in calisthenics. It is also a great way to get used to vest training. The weight distribution of this vest also impacts the shoulder and comes in handy for improving your posture while developing shoulder muscles faster.

  • Color: Black
  • Weight: 4-12 lbs
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Closure Type: Buckle
  • Weight Type: Non-Adjustable iron pellets
  • Vest Type: Shoulder Holster

Material

Henekelion is yet another budget-friendly vest and, as such, uses low-cost fabric synthetic fabric. Most of it is developed from Neoprene, a rubber-like fabric with excellent durability and decent softness.

At the same time, the vest uses iron pellets instead of blocks to prevent large bumps that can dig into your skin.

Design

Henkelion weighted vest is a shoulder holster type vest and works best for calisthenics with weight vest beginners. The vest has a simple cross shape design at the back and two shoulder straps with a chest strap to hold it. You can also expect some stitching and crafted bumps to prevent it from slipping. 

Durability

The Henkelion vest has a very basic design with no weight adjustability. Plus, it uses Neoprene fabric which goes well with constant weight. Under balanced stress, it has minimal chances of damage and can last for several years. And it doesn't need much maintenance either. Just a wet wipe once in a while is good enough to keep it odor free and clean.

So, you can expect the vest to stay with you for a long time. Although, you may have to replace it once you need to add weight. It has a fixed weight, and the only way to add weight is through its mesh pockets.

Comfort

With most of the vest being open, comfort is one thing that you don't need to worry about. The Henkelion vest will ensure maximum airflow. Although, it might cause some problems for some workout types.

While the weight of this vest is evenly distributed, it's constant, and you can alter it. And any external weight you add will reside in mesh pockets on the back side, disrupting the balance.

Price/Quality

Henkelion weight vests cost less than a hundred dollars, which is amazing considering the cost of all high-end weighted vests. At the same time, it provides you with superior design and comfort features, with the only downside being its fixed weight. So, this product may not be good for all-around workouts, but it is worth it for anyone using a vest for speed training and running.

42Expert Score

Henkelion Weighted vest is not entirely a calisthenic weight vest. It's a Shoulder holster-type weight vest that's more suitable for running. But if you are just starting calisthenics with a weight vest, it will work fine for you.

Material:
9
Design:
8
Durability:
8
Comfort:
8.5
Price/Quality:
8.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Premium quality yet Inexpensive

  • Ergonomic design and comfortable fitting

  • Build in Mesh Pocket for weight blocks

Could be better:

  • Fixed weight

Benefits of Wearing Weighted Vests for Calisthenics?

Weight Vest Push Ups

Using a weighted vest for a calisthenics workout will increase your growth, but that not the only benefit it offers. There are many more, including the following.

Cardiovascular Benefits

A study found that weighted training improves the metabolic rate of your blood cells. It means the cells will be able to generate and supply more energy at a much faster speed. Thus, you will be able to endure more stress, which increases your speed and time period before you feel fatigued.

Improve Calories Consumption

The calories you burn during a workout highly depend on the stress your body has to endure. The more pressure you experience, the more energy your body will need and the more calories you burn. And weighted vests are the best ways to improve stress.

By adding external weight, you will diversify the exercise and increase the force you need for the workout. So, you will burn much more calories in much less time than you usually do. And you can always increase the weight to improve your body's calorie consumption.

Better Bone Density

Muscles aren't the only body part that experiences extra stress due to the weighted vest. Your skeleton or bones also have to endure a considerable amount of stress. It triggers rapid bone development, which increases your bones' total density.

Many who use weighted vests claim that the vests can help you reduce the risk of fractures while strengthening your skeletal structure. Unfortunately, there are not many studies in this section to prove this point. However, it's possible and one that makes sense.

Moreover, even if the overall density does not improve, the muscle and cartilage supporting your bones will improve, adding an extra layer of protection.

Improved Posture

Most of the weighted vests use a precise weight distribution that complimented the natural structure of your body. Thai distribution not only makes them comfortable but also balances your bone structure. Moreover, the weight, in a way, adds external force, which your body needs to constantly counterbalance. As a result, your muscles experience a state of consistent stimulation. In the long term, this constant muscle engagement improves your posture and also adds muscle mass to support it.

When Do You Need a Weighted Vest While Doing Calisthenics?

A weighted vest is a simple accessory meant to improve your workout. There is no set time or user type for it. Anyone from a professional athlete to a person who just started fitness training can benefit from this accessory.

However, the ones who must consider it are those who are just getting started and need to build strength faster. The extra stress of this weight will help them to improve at a much faster rate. It can also help them to burn fat and get into the desired shape quicker.

Tips From the Champ

However, develop your body to a minimal scale before going for a weighted vest. Usually, it's best to incorporate a weighted vest after you develop enough stamina and strength to undergo your regular workout with ease. For instance, if you plan to use it for push-ups, make sure you can do multiple sets of at least 12-20 push-ups with ease. Otherwise, the vest will become a hindrance. It will overstrain your body, leading to fatigue or injury. It can also affect your overall health by straining your cardiovascular system.

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Training Weight Vest

What To Look for in Weighted Vests for Calisthenics?

Weighted vests are a long-term investment and will stick with you for a considerable time. And that means you can't just buy any vest you like. There are specific points like the following that you have to consider. 

Price/Quality

The most critical part of any purchase is your budget. While you need a quality weighted vest, you should never go for something too expensive. It will simply burn a hole in your pocket without adding any benefits.

Therefore, always set a budget before you choose your vest and stick with it. There are several quality vests that you can get at low prices.

Design

The weighted vest usually comes in three different styles.

Shoulder Holster

The shoulder holster is a minimalistic type of weighted vest. They look similar to gun holsters and have straps that go around your shoulder. It has minimal coverage, and its weights tend to sit on the upper back and the shoulder strap.

Tactical Vests

Like its name, the tactical weighted vests follow the traditional armor-type design. These vests have flaps that cover both your back and your chest, along with fasteners to hold them together. They have pockets in both front and back to carry weight, making them highly balanced. 

Torso Covering

Thus vest types focus on the front part of your body. You have all your pockets and weight in the front and only straps or velcro at the back section.

Apart from these vests, there are also special-type weighted vests developed specifically for women. These vests use cross structure or extra cushioning to reduce pressure on their chest.

Weight Types

The weighted vest usually comes in two weight types, the fixed weight and the adjustable weight. The fixed weight is best for cardio workouts that don't need much diversity in weight.

On the other hand, the adjustable weight type vest is best all over. Since you can change weight, it's compatible with every type of workout. It's slightly expensive, but it's worth it.

Material

Material is the most crucial part of your weighted vest selection process. It will influence the cost, comfort, and also longevity of the vest. You must ensure that the material you choose is both breathable and strong.

If possible, make sure that the material is also easy to maintain and easy to wash. It's even better if it's machine washable.

FAQ

Are Weighted Vests Good for Calisthenics?

Yes, weighted vests are beneficial for calisthenics. These vests can add resistance which helps to improve your strength and endurance. It increases the force you need to perform your workout; this added stress stimulates your muscles for faster growth. Plus, they distribute the weight evenly, so there's no discomfort or disruption in your free motion.

How Much Weight Should I Use for Weighted Calisthenics?

There is no fixed rule to find the exact weight you can use for Weighted calisthenics. It highly depends on your strength and endurance. However, the weight should never exceed 10% of your body weight. Any more than that, and you may end up with injuries.

Most professionals recommend using a weight equal to 4-10% of your body weight. You can use less than 4%, which would slow down your growth.

Wrapping Up

When performing calisthenics with weight vests, comfort is important. You need a vest that distributes weight evenly and offers good breathability. It's also important that the vest is long-lasting and fits into your budget. And if it can offer weight adjustment, that would be even better.

References:

  1. The effectiveness of weight-belts during the squat exercise // NLM:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2304406/

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here
  • Author
  • Reviewer
Ihor Shymechko

Coach, PRO Olympic Weightlifter

Experience: 26 years

Best Results: Snatch - 208 kg,

C&J - 240 kg

My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.

I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years

Best Results: Snatch – 200 kg,

C&J - 240 kg

My name is Oleksiy Torokhtiy. I am a professional athlete with 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. I have won multiple European, and World titles and have taken part in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008, London 2012).

After finishing my career, I have committed myself to coach, and as of 2022, I’ve hosted 200+ weightlifting seminars all over the globe. I’m the founder of an international sportswear and accessories brand, Warm Body Cold Mind (my motto), author, and creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by an expert with proven experience. When writing the article we've used our expertise and data from authoritative, scientific, and evidence-based sources. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


Our team of authors and experts includes professional athletes (Olympians, winners of European and World titles), PhDs in Sports Science, certified coaches, sports nutritionists, CSCSs, physiotherapists, and others. Read more about the team here, and more about how we test here.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published