6 Best Weightlifting Belts for CrossFit in 2023

Weight belts for crossfit are a real hot potato in the lifting world now. Some athletes look down on those reaching out for belts, and others can’t imagine a heavy lift without a nylon or leather friend resting on their waist.

Nevertheless, I’ve picked the best weightlifting belt for crossfit and want to share my experience with you. Read about the main features and my impression of the most popular products on the market here. Yet, the final decision about using this accessory is up to you. Just keep in mind that the middle ground is usually the best idea!

Lifting Belts for CrossFit

Top 6 Weightlifting Belts for CrossFit Reviewed

In order to choose the real winner, I evaluated the main features of nylon belts: package, design, smell, material and stitching quality, reliability of elements, support, and price-quality ratio. You can find out how good all products are at coping with these goals in the table below.

ProductTotalPackageDesignSmellMaterialReliabilitySupportPrice/Quality
Iron Bull68.59.010.09.510.010.010.010.0
Element 2667.010.09.59.59.59.59.59.5
Gymreapers67.010.09.59.59.59.59.59.5
2POOD66.510.09.59.59.59.09.59.5
RIMSports65.010.09.09.09.59.09.09.5
Astra Fitness64.09.59.09.09.09.59.09.0

Now, let’s go through all the details.

1. Iron Bull Weight Lifting Belt – Best Crossfit Weightlifting Belt

Iron Bull Weight Lifting Belt

Closure type: buckle, hook and loop

Available sizes: XS, S, M, L

Waist size range: 23”-46”

Width: 5”

Material: Nylon

Iron Bull becomes the total winner with the best price-quality ratio. It offers a first-class product for a really reasonable price. Whether you are an advanced crossfitter or just a newbie, this belt isn’t likely to let you down anyway.

I found its design the most interesting in terms of structure and stitching. It is really catchy and looks professional as well.

It is stated to be a woman belt first of all so you can find the proper size even for the tiniest athlete. Therefore, it can definitely be the best women's weightlifting belt for crossfit, too.

It also gives wonderful support. An interesting feature is that the width varies at the back and at the front in order to make the accessory even more comfortable. But remember that Olympic weightlifting doesn’t allow you to use a 5” belt for competitions. Still, if you need a belt only for your training, it might be a great option.

As for the drawbacks, the package is rather plain. Basically, it doesn’t influence this belt’s quality but it can be a disadvantage if you want to buy a present for your close fellow.

All in all, Iron Bull is a 100% option if you want to make a reasonable investment and get a decent product.

68.5Expert Score

100% option to make a reasonable investment and get a decent product.

Package:
9
Design:
10
Smell:
9.5
Material and stitching:
10
Reliability:
10
Support:
10
Price/quality:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • High-quality material and stitching

  • Maximum support

  • Interesting design

  • Reliable elements

  • Best value for money

Could be better:

  • Poor package

  • Some smell

Element 26 Self-Locking Weight Lifting Belt

Closure type: buckle, hook and loop

Available sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL

Waist size range: 23”-50”

Width: 4”

Material: Nylon

Element 26 lifting belt is almost identical to the Gymreapers product. The only difference is the price – to me, Element 26 is too costly.

In terms of material and stitching, it is a high-quality accessory. Still, if you need a first-class product in terms of support, it might not be the best option. It is fairly enough for intermediate training, though.

If you want a catchy belt to stand out at the gym, Element 26 might have an option for you. The color range is really wide, you are very likely to find your favorite one there. Also, if you are looking for a present, you can get both a fancy package and desirable color to impress your friend.

All in all, Element 26 is a good option for intermediate athletes or those who like to wear bright and noticeable accessories.

67Expert Score

A good option for intermediate athletes or those who like to wear bright and noticeable accessories.

Package:
10
Design:
9.5
Smell:
9.5
Material and stitching:
9.5
Reliability:
9.5
Support:
9.5
Price/quality:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Good material and stitching

  • Good package

  • Wide size range

  • Plenty of colors available

Could be better:

  • High price

  • Not suitable for extreme sports

Gymreapers Quick Locking Weightlifting Belt

Closure type: buckle, hook and loop

Available sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL

Waist size range: 23”-49”

Width: 4”

Material: Neoprene

Gymreapers get the same score as Element 26, but the price had the last word on the final decision. The belts are almost identical but Gymreapers is far more affordable.

It works well for moderate workouts if you need a little bit more stability and control in your back area. However, it might not make a big difference if you seek the highest strength boost.

Yet, Gymreapers really took care of their package – it will be a decent present.

All in all, this belt is a simpler product than the Iron Bull offers, but, nevertheless, it works well for regular crossfit training.

67Expert Score

It works well for regular crossfit training.

Package:
10
Design:
9.5
Smell:
9.5
Material and stitching:
9.5
Reliability:
9.5
Support:
9.5
Price/quality:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Good stitching

  • Pretty package

  • Wide size range

  • Many colors available

  • Convenient buckle

Could be better:

  • Not enough for extreme weights

  • Light smell

2POOD Straight Weightlifting Belt

Closure type: buckle, hook and loop

Available sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL

Waist size range: 27.5”-46.5”

Width: 4”

Material: Nylon

2POOD weightlifting belt is a little bit contrasting. On the one hand, it gives the highest support, has a reliable velcro, and might be a great option even for professional sports. On the other hand, the overall impression is definitely spoiled by a plastic fixator which is a cheap and less durable option compared to metal elements.

Still, this belt is really costly and doesn’t really correspond to what you get. However, I’m sure that if 2POOD changes a fixator and turns down the price, it will be a decent competitor even for our winner.

All in all, if you are ready to fork out a significant sum and be really careful while wearing a belt for the sake of the strongest support, try out the 2POOD weightlifting belt.

66.5Expert Score

A good choice if you are ready to fork out a significant sum and be really careful while wearing a belt for the sake of the strongest support.

Package:
10
Design:
9.5
Smell:
9.5
Material and stitching:
9.5
Reliability:
9.0
Support:
9.5
Price/quality:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Strong support

  • Reliable velcro

  • No smell

  • High-quality material and stitching

Could be better:

  • Plastic buckle fixator

  • Too high price

RIMSports Quick Locking Weight Lifting Belt

Closure type: buckle, hook and loop

Available sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL

Waist size range: 23”-45”

Width: 4”

Material: Nylon

RIMSports is not the best option for advanced athletes. It is frankly poor in terms of support. Of course, it gives you some pressure in the belly but it is not enough to fix and support your back well for heavy lifts. It might be a good option for pain relief if it is your main goal, though.

The quality of the material and stitching is quite good – I didn’t find any thread or failed seams. However, the quality of the elements turned out to be disappointing. For me, a plastic buckle fixator is a huge drawback.

All in all, if you are a crossfit newbie seeking a light belt for a ‘safe’ price, you can try out this option for the start.

65Expert Score

Optimal for a crossfit newbie seeking a light belt for a ‘safe’ price.

Package:
10
Design:
9
Smell:
9
Material and stitching:
9.5
Reliability:
9
Support:
9
Price/quality:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Good package

  • Low price

  • Suitable for pain relief

Could be better:

  • Poor support

  • Strong smell

Astra Fitness Weight Lifting Belt

Closure type: buckle, hook and look

Available sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL

Waist size range: 27”-45”

Width: 4”

Material: Nylon

Astra Fitness weightlifting belt is a starter option, more suitable for light training, too. It won’t give you strong support but might provide slight pressure in case you want to try out something new in your workout routine.

The material and stitching are not first-class as well. If you are attentive to details and tidiness, sticking threads may bother you quite a bit. However, a buckle and a velcro are rather reliable.

Another drawback is the size range. If you have a thin waist, skip this option because this belt starts from 27”. The same works for massive athletes – the range finishes at 45”.

64Expert Score

A starter option, more suitable for light training.

Package:
9.5
Design:
9
Smell:
9
Material and stitching:
9
Reliability:
9.5
Support:
9
Price/quality:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Good package

  • Reliable elements

  • Good option for newbies

Could be better:

  • Poor support

  • Rather clumsy stitching

How Have I Chosen the Best Weightlifting Belt for Crossfit?

In order to show you the most details, I used the following criteria. Read the explanation of them to find out how I picked the best crossfit belt.

Package

CrossFit Belts' Packages

Gymreapers, Element 26, and RIMSports have nearly the same packages. They are all great so all brands get the highest score – 10.

As for the failures, Iron Bull and 2POOD have just a plain wrap. Of course, it’s not the most important feature, though you may need an additional package in case you are looking for a present.

Design

Iron Bull Belt Measurement

Iron Bull has the most interesting design. For me, it looks elaborate and professional and can satisfy even an advanced crossfitter. Gymreapers and Element 26 are very similar to each other as well as RIMSports and Astra Fitness. It looks as if they were all made together but then wrapped in different packages. But I was picky and gave 9 to the latter two because their quality falls behind a little bit.

However, always check the competition rules. For example, a 5” belt (Iron Bull, etc.) isn’t allowed in Oly weightlifting, so you can use it only for training.

Smell

Astra Fitness Weight Lifting Belt

Astra Fitness has the strongest smell, perhaps, because of a thick package with no silica gel inside. Other brands have either a breathable package or silica gel so the smell is not that off-putting. And 2POOD is the winner in this category – almost no smell at all.

Material and stitching

Iron Bull Belt Stitching

Iron Bull is the undeniable leader in terms of material and stitching. It is literally perfect, looks tidy, neat, and will definitely serve you for ages. Unfortunately, Astra Fitness has to work more on stitching – I found some threads sticking and seam flaws in different parts. Other brands are well-stitched, too, especially 2POOD, but it still falls behind a little bit compared to Iron Bull.

Reliability

Weightlifting Belts for Crossfit
Weightlifting Belts for Crossfit

To decide on the reliability score, I evaluated the buckle and hook and loop. As for the buckles, all brands have them metal, however, RIMSporst and 2POOD have plastic fixators. Obviously, they are more fragile and less durable than metal ones. I’m sure it’s a big downside because one careless move can spoil the whole belt.

As for the hook and loop, all brands don’t differ much and are all okay. I haven’t noticed anything special – just average hook and loops. Still, 2POOD looks a little bit more reliable which compensates for the poor buckle, and it gets 9.5. Iron Bull is in the lead again with a great balance in terms of all elements.

Support

2POOD Straight Weightlifting Belt
Iron Bull Weight Lifting Belt
Black Weightlifting Belt for Crossfit

Iron Bull and 2POOD provide the highest support – they are thick and firm. At the same time, Astra Fitness and RIMSports significantly fall behind. They are suitable rather for tightening up your belly just the way a regular pant belt can do. Element 26 and Gymreapers are a little bit better at dealing with support but still more effective for basic training, not advanced.

Price-Quality

Iron Bull Lifting Belt on an Athlete

At this stage, Iron Bull becomes a total winner. For a reasonable price, you get a first-class product that meets all your expectations. On the other hand, 2POOD is really costly and offers a cheap plastic buckle fixator, so it gets only 9 points. If it changes the buckle in the future, it will definitely make a competition for Iron Bull.

Astra Fitness gets 9 as well because of the high price and poorer quality. You can buy Iron Bull for the same money but with first-class quality. Gymreapers, Element 26, and RIMSports get 9.5 for having an average price-quality ratio.

Should You Wear Lifting Belt for Crossfit?

Wearing a lifting belt is nearly the most talking point nowadays. I will be frank with you – there are both upsides and downsides.

I’m going to outline the main benefits you get in case of entering a club of belt-lovers in order to make the decision less painful for you. Weigh everything up if you are still in two minds.

Heavy weights

Whether it is a psychological issue or a real strength boost, but you can actually lift a few pounds more while wearing a weightlifting belt. It works in practice – almost all athletes get more confidence after bracing their trunk at least a bit. For someone, it’s just a matter of habit that sets them up for hitting heavy weights, but you can definitely trick your body for breaking through a plateau in this way.

Most professional athletes use lifting belts for the hardest sets in powerlifting, weightlifting, crossfit, strongman, etc. I can definitely tell you that this accessory is not their secret, but still, feeling secure and tight may fuel up their courage a bit.

On top of that, specialists state that wearing a lifting belt enhances intra-abdominal pressure, which is proven to increase your ability to handle a heavy bar. Frankly, this thought may be quite uplifting while a huge bar is pressing you against the floor.

However, I recommend using a belt only for the heaviest sets. In this way, you strengthen your muscles and don’t let them any cheating within moderate loads. If you follow this advice, you can ignore all those thoughts about excluding your core while wearing a belt.

Spine safety

Again, intra-abdominal pressure takes quite a bit of stress away from your spine. It is a significant benefit if you care about your back but still can’t help throwing another couple of plates on your bar.

In fact, a lifting belt stabilizes your spine, making it firmly fixed in a neutral position. It also allows you to control your back and posture more precisely. In a nutshell, it doesn’t let your spinal disks move away while going heavy.

Some athletes may argue that wearing a belt numbs your feeling of the proper back position. It may be the case if you start using the belt too early or get carried away, putting it on for nearly every set. Therefore, you better build your muscles and pure strength at least for several months without any accessories. Also, I don’t recommend reaching out for a belt up to 70% load to train your own muscle control and stability.

Proper technique

Proper technique is always essential, but it can sometimes be hard to maintain it while holding twice your weight in your hands. In this case, a lifting belt improves mechanics and helps to stick to all the requirements.

But again, remember that before using a belt for this purpose, you should hone your technique nearly to the perfect state within working sets. Relying on any accessory to hide your serious mistakes won’t work anyway.

Relieving pain

As for this benefit, you must be very careful. If you have pain in your back and no idea why it bugs you, make an appointment with the doctor immediately.

Still, if you have had some injuries in the past but are 100% sure that you can lift and use a belt for it, you might find it really helpful. Nevertheless, always ask a doctor about it because not all previous issues allow you to get back to heavy weights again.

Wrapping Knees Wrap

What to Look for in a Crossfit Lifting Belt?

If you want to chose the best crossfit belt, pay attention to the following features.

Material

There are two basic materials used for lifting belts: leather and nylon. The first one is more known among brutal heavy lifters or ‘oldies’. It gives stronger support and fixes everything in place for the most extreme weights in the deadlift or squats.

A nylon option is softer and more comfortable as well. It keeps you flexible and mobile for more versatile exercises while keeping your spine in a neutral position, too.

As for crossfit athletes, I recommend using a nylon belt. It is more suitable and convenient for such workouts. Moreover, there is no need for a leather belt if you don’t work with the most extreme weights.

Wrapping Knees Wrap

Width

You should be really attentive while choosing the width of your future belt. Remember that the International Weightlifting Federation does not allow belts wider than 4”. If you are going to compete in any sports, always check the rules beforehand – they might be quite strict.

Still, if you exercise just for pleasure, you may want to try out a wider belt since it gives stronger support due to a larger coverage.

Thickness

The thicker your belt is, the more support you will get. Think about your training routine and decide whether you need a maximum strength boost or just moderate support to stabilize your core.

Sizing

Picking the right size is not that difficult in case of a nylon belt. You should just measure your waist and decide according to the table in the product description.

Still, if you are a girl with a thin waist, it may be quite a challenge to find a high-quality lifting belt of the proper size. Some brands start their measures from 23”, but others target larger athletes. Just pay attention to the table, don’t pick a size right away – its name may be quite deceiving.

The same works for massive athletes with quite impressive trunks. Not all brands offer appropriate options.

But, generally, all belts can be regulated to reach the desired tightness. If you are in two minds – pick a smaller size.

FAQ

When should you wear a weightlifting belt in CrossFit?

Wear a weightlifting belt for crossfit only for the heaviest sets or in case of working for high reps with a significant weight. Don’t use it for moderate workouts or exercises that don’t stress your back. Start putting it on for 70% and higher loads when you need maximum back control. You can also use it to cease back pain after some injuries if your doctor allows you to do that.

Is nylon or leather belt better for CrossFit?

A nylon belt is more suitable for crossfit. It is softer and more versatile compared to a leather belt. Crossfit demands you to be flexible and mobile to perform all kinds of exercises whereas a leather belt can limit these qualities because of being quite rigid.

My Verdict

All in all, if you want to make a long-term investment and get a first-class product, stop at the first product on my list – the Iron Bull weightlifting belt. It wins in all terms and will be a reliable belt for ages.

If you like to spend your savings on interesting accessories regularly, you can try out Gymreapers or Element 26 with catchy designs. And if you are extremely careful with accessories and want the strongest support, go for 2POOD.

Are you in the belt-haters or belt-lovers camp? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Also read:

References:

  • Effects of a belt on intra-abdominal pressure during weight lifting // National Library of Medicine:
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2709981/

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).