CrossFit is a unique, dynamic and fast-paced workout, which is why it’s sensible to invest in equipment that can keep up. That could be shoes, wraps, straps, or – in the case of today’s gear review – a weighted vest.
Enter, the BOX vest. Unlike some of the other vests we have featured on Fitness Verve, this is a weighted vest designed specifically for CrossFit workouts.
While it’s a popular model that makes a great first impression, there’s one potential catch – the price. Does its performance in tough WODs make it worth the extra cash? Today we’re going to find out!
Off the bat, the BOX appears to give CrossFit athletes exactly what you need – a short and compact design that doesn’t restrict movement in any way. In fact, it’s one of the shortest weighted vests on the market, which won’t impede you as you crunch, jump or bend over.
This freedom of movement is also evident in the rest of the vest. The shoulder straps are cut to be narrow (3.25”) and tapered, so they sit nicely on your traps. This means moving your arms both over your head and out in front of you is an unhindered movement. It’s the closest you’ll get to not wearing a vest while wearing a vest!
As for fit, the BOX is a one-size-fits-all design. It’s the unique belt structure that makes it appropriate for any body shape, whether you are a petite athlete or an absolute hulk.
This is a patent-pending two-clamp system that allows you to pull the 1.5” belt as tight as you like around your upper midsection before locking the belt ends into place with a Velcro pocket. It’s smart and makes finding that perfect fit pretty darn easy, while getting in and out of the vest is a breeze.
It’s also very comfortable while in use – as you’d expect from such a premium weighted vest. There is ample padding on both the body section and the shoulder straps, leading to a snug fit that doesn’t cut into your skin.
As for aesthetics, this is a stylish little garment. It comes in a range of colors, including two military themed designs – Desert Marshall and Universal Camouflage. These give the main body panels a bit of personality, although the shoulder straps and weight pockets remain black regardless of the color you opt for.
First up, we should mention that the BOX is a top-quality American-made vest, that comes with a lifetime warranty. The build speaks for itself – not a stitch out of place. Yes, it’s expensive, but you can rest easy knowing that you probably won’t need to buy another weighted vest ever again.
Looking towards the actual weight and the BOX we are reviewing comes with 45lbs. Factoring in the 2.5lb unloaded vest weight, this delivers a total load of around 47lbs. However, you can find versions with loads of up to 100lbs available – more than enough for most sane humans!
The weights come in the form of 18 specially-designed cast iron blocks, each one 2.5lbs. They slip neatly into custom-made pockets on the front and back of the vest (nine on each side), sitting comfortably on your upper back and chest for good balance.
Of course, these weights are individually removable, so you can reduce the load to cater for your specific level or workout.
Finally, the vest is made from military-grade moisture-resistant materials, with quality stitching throughout. It feels strong and inspires confidence, while the added bonus is that it’s easy to clean by wiping down.
The design and build come together to deliver a weighted vest that is superior to many of its competitors – especially when used for CrossFit.
The tapered shoulder strap design, combined with the fact that the BOX is one of the shortest weighted vests around, means this vest won’t get in the way, whether you are doing pullups, burpees or power cleans.
The adjustable snug fit means that getting into prone positions – press ups or bear crawls, for example – isn’t going to cause the vest to sag off your body or shift your center of gravity.
Ultimately, when it’s on, it stays on. When running, some bounce does occur, although no more than any other vest. If running is something you are planning to do frequently, or for longer than a few minutes a session, a specifically-designed ‘running pad’ that can quash the bounce effect is sold separately.