Sometimes the most minimal things, are the best things in life. This applies to the great outdoors, furniture design, shoes and now, weightlifting belts. Setwear Fitness burst on to the fitness scene with their BOA series belt with their patented dial system. I praised this belt for being easily adjustable and perfect for those WOD’s where you need to be able to switch between lifting and gymnastics seamlessly. Now Setwear is offering a belt with the same fit and design but sans the BOA dial that we’ve all come to love. How does it fare in the shadow of it’s predecessor while lacking a “key” feature?
The new Sport Series belt basically just looks like palette swap of the original belt; where the black was before, yellow is now, and vice versa. As mentioned before, the new belt lacks the boa dial, but the majority of the features remain the same. You still get the lumbar support, steel roller buckle, and sweat absorbing liner all in a slightly lighter package. A nice little new feature they threw in there is the inclusion of a name tag; you know, so your belt doesn’t grow legs and walk out of the gym while you’re not looking. The fit is once again for the most part, the same; just without the BOA, you’re going to find yourself having to manually cinch on the belt and un-cinch it when you want to breathe a little. If you liked the fit and finish of the original belt, you’re going to feel right at home with the Sport Series belt.
One might think that you’re losing a huge part of what makes a Setwear Fitness belt, a Setwear Fitness belt, but in all actuality you’re getting 90% of the same experience at a much lower price point ($55 vs $30). The belt for the most part, performs the same as it always did, and in some ways better. With the Sport series belt, I feel a bit more locked into place. There isn’t anything that’s going to budge like with the BOA belt. Not that you’d pop the BOA off the original belt under normal loads, but under extremely heavy loads I’ve noticed that there is a little give. Less moving parts in the Sport series belt also means there’s less to go wrong. I’ve seen belts that have been used to their absolute limit start fraying around the dial area; like anything wear and tear is going to take its course.
So why buy one belt over the other? If you find yourself needing a good WOD belt, meaning you’re not going to be putting extreme loads on it and you’d rather have the easy adjustments and you’ve got money to blow, go with the BOA series belt. If you’re on a budget and want a great belt that you can back squat 500lbs in and can live with unstrapping/restrapping a belt on, the I would go for the Sport series belt. Either way, you really can’t lose. The worst part about the Sport series belt is that it doesn’t come in pink, womp womp. If I had to pick one, I personally would go with the Sport belt. What can I say, I’m a minimalist.
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