Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest Review

Today we got our hands on both Gravity Fitness Weighted Vests from the UK. Their original Weighted Vest is quite the ubiquitous sight on Calisthenics parks and in gyms all around the Western world. Well, they have a second option for Weighted Calisthenics now! A heavier version of their original 20kg Weighted Vest. We all already own the original, but with the new 30-kilogram edition, we had to get our hands on this one too. Why? Because we couldn’t help ourselves. That, and the new 30kg Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest comes with an updated design as well. It’s time we reviewed them both and tell you what we think of these Weighted Vests from the UK. Fair warning, there’s Metrics involved here. We’ll do our best.

Our Expectations for the Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest

To preface this, we already own the 20kg Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest since long before this. Of course, this means we’re not entirely unbiased towards the 20kg Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest since we know them through and through. We’ll be using our experience with the 20kg Weighted Vest as a base level to compare the 30kg Vests against. This is the best we can do for you and we’ll try to give you as honest an opinion as we possibly can. At the very least, we can’t recommend anything we haven’t bought and used ourselves anymore.

Gravity Fitness is a giant where it comes to Calisthenics equipment and there are only a few other companies which rival it. When it comes to their Weighted Vests, you see Gravity Fitness everywhere. They seem to be the go-to for Calisthenics practitioners who aren’t pinching their pennies as the good people from the UK would say. 

That said, they’re not the most expensive option out there either. Quality definitely beats frills and looks. To the uninitiated the Weight Vest may be easily mistaken for body armor worn by law enforcement! Quality-wise, though, they promise a lot.

What we expect from the Gravity Fitness Weighted Vests is the following:

  • Comfortable wear, especially on the shoulders
  • No shifting of the vest, nice and tight fitting without cutting circulation or breathing
  • Equal weight distribution
  • Wear and tear resistance

Metrics to Imperial

We’ll be referring to both vests by their Metric weight capacity. Here’s what they weigh in pounds, for your reference.

  • 20kg Weighted Vest = 44lbs
  • 30kg Weighted Vest = 66lbs

The Gravity Fitness Weighted Vests

We tried our regular, dynamic Calisthenics routines how we liked them as individuals. This meant we capitalized on using that added weight to focus on building strength with mostly gross motor skills, like Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Dips and variants of them. These are our experiences with both the 30kg Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest and the 20kg Weighted Vest.

20kg Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest

We’ll start with the familiar 20kg Weighted Vest by Gravity Fitness. The vest slips and on and off easily and is tied taut around the upper-torso with a thick Velcro band. It is a one-size fits all solution, so it isn’t tailor made and the overall dimensions of the vest cannot be changed at home either.

The 20kg Weighted Vest has 16 weight pouches, 8 in the front and 8 in the back. When all 16 have their weight inserts, the weight is nicely distributed around your torso. The thick shoulder straps prevent the cutting of circulation and make wearing the vest tolerable to just about anyone and plenty comfortable to the modestly advanced Calisthenics practitioner. You can easily remove weights from their pouches, which are again secured with Velcro flaps. 

You should make sure that you keep an equal amount of weight on each side, both front and back and to the left and right of your body, when adjusting the number of weights.

The sides and armpits are left largely open, allowing air to pass through there uninhibited. The whole design makes sure than the 20kg Weighted Vest can breathe easily. You yourself should not feel any complications with breathing either since your ribcage can expand to the sides and a portion of the weight is suspended by your shoulders. 

In use and when properly strapped tight, the 20kg Weighted Vest remains in place on your body quite well. Only the most aggressive rotational movements along your center axis could move the vest out of place. These aren’t the kind of Calisthenics exercises you would do while wearing a Weighted Vest anyway. While doing Push-Ups, Pull-Ups and Dips, we didn’t notice any movement or undue discomfort coming from the 20kg Weighted Vest.

The sleek and minimal design retains a nearly full range of motion for any exercise in general and, especially for those which Weighted Vests are meant for.

During inverted exercises (handstand push-ups) we felt a little creep up to the neck, as the Velcro strap around our middle begin taking the weight instead and suspending it off the end of the ribcage. This is how gravity works, naturally, but the 20kg Weighted Vest did very well regardless. Most of the weight clamped down on our upper-torso, preventing the vest from sliding to say, our chin or over our heads.

The 20kg Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest is made from a heavy-duty nylon over foam-padding. The stitch-work is straight and tight and, making use of heavy thread. All the seams are nicely finished and without fraying out of the box. From our years of experience with the 20kg Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest, we can tell you that it wears very well, as in it hardly wears at all. You can expect years of regular use without looking all that different from the day it came out of the box.

30kg Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest

A larger vest with a larger maximum load divided over 30 pouches, the 30kg Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest actually looks like body-armor. The vest covers most of your torso’s front and back, giving enough room for the 30 inserts to be placed and distributed evenly. The design of the shoulder straps and Velcro side strap is very similar to the 20kg Weighted Vest, except bigger or thicker. 

Despite being larger, the 30kg Weighted Vest is still very breathable and along with its thick, foam padded shoulder straps, shouldn’t cause any unnecessary discomfort outside of what it normal when you’re carrying an additional 66lbs.

Due to its similar, minimal and close to the body design as the 20kg Weighted Vest, you’re left with a high range of motion. However, since this vest reaches further down your torso, bending over is now more difficult. If you try, you’ll find that the vest has too little bend and will instead creep up on your body.

On the flip-side, some of the weight now rests on your waist (your natural waist). This makes the 30kg vest not feel that much heavier than the 20kg Weighted Vest while standing upright in a resting position. That additional 10 kilograms can be a real game changer though and, we had to put considerably more effort into getting those last few reps in as opposed to the same sets and reps with the 20kg Weighted Vest.

Likewise, while inverted and doing handstand push-ups, the larger vest (but with some of the weights removed) seemed to remain in place even better than the 20kg Weighted Vest. This is partly due to your natural waist being the thinnest part of your torso, so the weight of the vest has a natural point to collect towards. The weights almost acted like their own belt buckle. For obvious reasons, we did not use the full 30 kilograms while doing this and neither do we recommend you try it either with all the weights added.

With 30 inserts you can fine-tune the weight you want to be carrying down to the single kilogram exactly. However, we feel that you’d only buy the 30kg Weighted Vest if you intend to at least go over 20 kilograms.

We expect the same kind of durability from the 30kg Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest as from the 20kg Weighted Vest. The total weight is “only” increased by 50%, while the amount of material supporting that weight is almost doubled. There’s more fabric supporting the weight per kilogram with the 30kg version than with the 20kg Weighted Vest.

General Thoughts about the Gravity Fitness Weighted Vests

Are they really comfortable? Yes, for Weighted Vests they are. Remember, you’re adding weight to inherently cause more discomfort to your body and cause a higher muscle overload. That additional weight has to sit somewhere. What we often see in the gym is that people wear them all the time they’re in the gym for. Sometimes they’re in there for hours. That’s not what Weighted Vests are meant to do. You should take them off in between exercises or when switching to a non-weighted exercise. 

The durability of the Gravity Fitness Weighted Vests is just legendary and certainly top of the shelf. In all the years we’ve used the 20kg Weighted Vest now, none of the seams have burst and none of the pouches have started tearing or even wearing thin. At best, the color isn’t as black as it used to be in some spots. We’ll have to give them top marks when it comes to durability.

Where it comes to design and reliability, both vests allow for great freedom of movement, with the light 20kg Weighted Vest obviously being the more mobile choice. The weight is there but the bulk is not. 

Your Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest from UK to US?

Although Gravity Fitness is based in the UK, they ship worldwide. To the US the expected shipping time is 5 to 7 days. You can also change the currency from GBP to USD in the top right corner of their website.

They operate on a “No quibble return policy”, which is common law speak for “no questions asked”. Should you not be satisfied with your Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest, you can just return it for a refund without even bothering telling them anything and they won’t ask.

Alternative to a Weighted Vest

There are a few alternatives to buying a Weighted Vest for your Weighted Calisthenics needs. Some are very inexpensive or will cost you nothing at all if you really wanted too. If you’re in a pinch, a rucksack filled with sand can substitute a Weighted Vest either by wearing it on your back or in front of you. Of course, these aren’t at all as comfortable to wear as a purpose-made Weighted Vest. Weight distribution is always a problem with makeshift solutions and will inevitably cause pressure points to become sore. They will also be much bulkier to wear.

Although 44lbs is quite a lot of additional weight, for some it is not enough. If you need a lot more for your Weighted Calisthenics, Dip Belts are the most obvious solution. Where the Weighted Vests go up to 44lbs and 66lbs respectively, the Gravity Fitness Dipping Belt can take a lot more weight. Dipping Belts in general are meant to carry anywhere from 100lbs up and above 1000 pounds.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts 

We’ve seen and used other, cheaper brands before and in the case of Weighted Vests it’s literally a case of by cheap, buy twice. It’s almost entirely made of fabric, yet it weighs a lot and moves around a lot too. There are only a few materials suited for this and you need to pack enough of it in there to make a durable vest. Cheaper options just wear down incredibly quickly and you’re back looking for a replacement. For the price and for what you get, buying a Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest once is the cheaper option.

So, should you buy the 20kg Weighted Vest or the newer and larger 30kg version? We believe the 20kg Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest is still the most versatile choice and the one we’d recommend to just about anyone who asked. It allows you to do most if not all Calisthenics exercises without shifting and while retaining a full range of motion. 

The 30kg vest we recommend in two situations; First, if you’re looking for straight-up strength training and need that extra weight. You’re also willing to sacrifice flexibility for that added strength. The second case, and this may surprise, is if you’re going jogging while wearing a Weighted Vest.

The larger 30kg Weighted Vest tends to bounce a whole lot less when you’re running, due to your waist acting as a natural belt to stop movement. We don’t recommend you start out with the full 30 kilograms/66 pounds however. But the size and shape of the vest around your body does help it to stay in place. 

Either way, you’re buying a high-grade and durable product with a Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest and sure to stay with you for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions about Gravity Fitness and Weighted Vests

Here are a few frequently asked questions about the Gravity Fitness Weighted Vests and Weighted Vests in general.

How do you use a gravity fitness weighted vest?

You slide the Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest over your head and then tighten it with the Velcro strap around your chest. The design of the Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest is very slim, allowing for easy wearing and taking off, as well as allowing for a free range of movement. The vest is also breathable and sits quite comfortably on your shoulders and chest.

Do weighted vests really work?

Weighted Vests cause more significant muscle overload while doing Calisthenics. Calisthenics depends on the movement and momentum of your own bodyweight. At some point, you will become so strong that no amount of repetition will increase your muscle mass and make you stronger. You can bypass this natural limit by adding weight to your body from the outside, for instance with a Weighted Vest.

What is the difference between a Weighted Vest and a Dip Belt?

A Weighted Vest is worn around your torso, like a vest. The vest contains pouches in which you add weights. A Dip Belt is a belt worn around your waist and from which you suspend a weight or weights, usually by a chain. Weighted Vests offer you more mobility since you don't have a chain with weights hanging from you. Dip Belts on the other hand can take a lot more weight.

Does wearing a weighted vest all day build muscle?

No, it does not and may sooner lead to injury and stagnation than it will build more muscle. There is an ongoing myth that weighing your body down all day long will yield easy or spectacular results, most likely derived from popular entertainment like Anime. The opposite is true; you're not allowing your muscles to properly rest and recuperate and with that, ongoing instead of intermittent muscle atrophy will occur. This phenomenon is called Super Compensation; You'll become gradually weaker and injure yourself. Our muscles aren't meant for continues exertion.

What is the best weighted vest from the UK?

The best Weighted Vests from the UK are produced by Gravity Fitness, located in Canley, Coventry. The Gravity Fitness Weighted Vest is known for its durability and comfort. Shipping is very fast, taking 1 to 2 days inside the UK and only 5 to 7 days worldwide.

Should I buy a 30kg or a 20kg weighted vest?

We recommend buying the 20kg Weighted Vest for just about anyone who's doing regular Weighted Calisthenics. This amount of weight (equating to 44lbs) is sufficient for any exercise for which the Weighted Vest is meant. If you're looking to add more weight while still retaining enough mobility to do Push-Ups or go jogging, the 30kg vest is a suitable option too while adding more weight to your body.

Video Review By Jelle From Our Team

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