CROSS101 Weighted Vest Review
Weighted vests are making their way into the training arsenals of professional, amateur and recreational athletes. This increase in popularity has prompted many brands to create models that are both affordable and functional. However, the results aren’t always great. It’s difficult to combine heavy, affordable, and functional into a single fitness product.
Let’s talk about what it has to offer and how it can benefit your fitness routine.
CROSS101 Weighted Vest Review at a Glance
CROSS101’s weighted training vest brings all the right features in a package that’s affordable and relatively durable. This brand is one of the few who have figured out the formula to deliver comfort, utility, and functionality at a reasonable price.
Those looking to incorporate weight vest exercises into their training routines but don’t want to, or can’t invest in a high-end model, will absolutely love this piece of kit!
CROSS101 has based their design around maximum weight capacity and comfort. This vest comes in 20 lbs., 40 lbs., 80 lbs., and 140 lbs. versions, giving you more than enough room for you to grow into and constantly push your body to its limits!
The design CROSS101 used for this build isn’t unique to this brand. With that said, CROSS101’s take on this type of vest is by far one of the best you can get.
What makes this weight vest so interesting is the fact that it brings adjustable solid weights at a very reasonable price. CROSS101 offers these in versions ranging from 20 lbs. to 140 lbs., allowing you to progressively overload your muscles in the name of strength and size adaptations.
The weights are evenly distributed between the front and back panel of the vest, which establishes a decent balance. Speaking of weight, it’s worth mentioning that it sits fairly low on the abdomen. What this translates to is a lowered center of mass that feels somewhat unnatural to men who are generally top-heavy. Ladies shouldn’t have any issues.
In practice, this type of weight layout limits the use of this vest for running or jogging. Where it really shines is high-intensity cross-training. As we’ll discuss a little later on, this is a great vest for CrossFit.
As far as padding goes, there’s a decent amount around the chest area. The shoulder straps are fairly thin, which isn’t an issue if you’re running light loads. However, the moment you start adding serious weight, let alone reaching that 140lb max, things start to become uncomfortable.
This is where CROSS101 did something unusual. Instead of just making adequate padding a standard feature, they’ve decided to offer additional shoulder pads as an optional upgrade. We’re not sure why they’ve chosen to go down this path but at least we have the option to upgrade.
Moving on, let’s touch upon the sizing and fit of the vest. This is a one-size-fits-all type of model that truly does fit just about any body shape. To find the proper fit and lock everything down, there are two wide, rather massive waist flaps. All you have to do is overlap the two and make sure that the hook-and-loop surfaces between them bite into each other. It’s a fairly easy process!
Lastly, CROSS101 offers this weighted vest in a single camo pattern, which may not be up to everyone’s satisfaction.
What’s the first thing you’ll wonder about when you’re presented with an affordable product that promises a lot? Probably, how well is it made? In the case of the CROSS101 weighted vest, you’re looking at a series of compromises that ended up working great as a whole.
The team behind this model understood the importance of keeping the costs low, but still making the vest reasonably durable. They’ve done this by using decent materials and stitching in key areas. If you were to take a closer look at the vest, you’d notice that the load-bearing regions feature heavier stitching and thicker padding.
It’s pretty simple. You reinforce the parts that will constantly be under stress and cut corners in areas that aren’t structurally vital for the entire rig to function properly. With that said, don’t expect an over-engineered, bulletproof piece of kit. Especially if you plan on running it at max load all the time.
Performance (How Well Does It Work?)
Whenever you’re dealing with vests like these, you need to be realistic when it comes to activities you can use them in. The low center of mass doesn’t make this a great running vest, but it does make CROSS101’s weighted vest a great choice for CrossFit WODs. High intensity, dynamic movements is where this thing feels at home.
Trying to consistently run with this vest on, especially if you’d run heavy loads in it, could potentially cause damage over time. Remember when we said that stitching isn’t stellar everywhere on this vest? Well, going for a run with a heavy load of weights could potentially cause some of those stitches to fail.
However, things aren’t that grim when you use the vest in ways it was intended to be used. In other words, if you stick to the static anaerobic exercises, you should run into zero issues.
Comfort-wise, the base version of the vest works okay for the most part. It’s when you start adding more weights and reaching that 140 lbs. point where things start to go south. In such cases, getting those aftermarket pads is probably a good idea.
Overall, this is an awesome bang for the buck option and a great way to get into weighted vests without committing too much money.
This vest is best used for CrossFit. You’ll get away with using it for augmenting your bodyweight routines in order to build muscle size and strength – but there are better options for this specific purpose.
Although it may not be the best weighted vest out there, CROSS101’s model we’ve shown you above is a great piece of kit for beginners and budget users. It has its flaws but it’s an awesome rig considering what it offers and how much it costs. If you’re into progressive overload and want something with plenty of range, this is the model for you.
- A rather affordable rig that offers a cheap ticket into adjustable weighted vests
- Features a massive weights capacity ranging from 20lbs to 140lbs
- Features massive overlapping waist flaps that lock everything down securely and comfortably
- One size fits all
The Not So Good
- Lacks padding for work with heavier weights
- Comes in one color option