Tag Archives: weight vest

Invest Fitness Plate Carrier Review

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I have to admit, my experience with plate carriers is (was) somewhat limited as this is the first one I’ve ever owned. Over the years, I’ve used different kinds of weighted vests for workouts, but never a real plate carrier. In my defense, it never really became a popular thing until they did “Murph” at the 2015 CrossFit Games. Who really needs a plate carrier instead of a weight vest anyways? Isn’t it technically the same thing?

Well…yes and no.

To say that weight vests and plate carriers are the same thing is like saying oranges and apples are the same thing.  The latter are both fruits, they’re both round, but when you eat them, they taste much different. The same things can be said about plate carriers v.s. weighted vests; except I don’t recommend trying to eat either of them.

All of the weighted vests I’ve used in the past have been bulky, cumbersome, didn’t fit well, got too hot, were uncomfortable after some time, or all of the above. Sure, most the ones I used don’t typically cost as much as a plate carrier does either, so I guess you get what you pay for. Plate carriers were designed for practical use, and other than looking really tacticool, they’re meant to be equipped in the most realest of scenarios, the ones where people live and die. When so much is on the line, you’re going to want something comfortable, and that you can move around pretty well in.

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There are no options for sizing, but there are plenty of adjustments on the Invest carrier. The cummerbund is elastic,  totally removable, and is accompanied by two buckles that are adjustable. If you feel like the carrier is too high or low, the shoulder straps are two adjustable buckles that are covered with some nice removable pads. I don’t foresee being comfortable doing “Murph” in this carrier, or any carrier or weight vest for that matter. Its just part of the workout I guess, but for the most part, I found the Invest carrier pretty breathable. Inside the vest, there are ventilated and padded sections that keep you as comfortable as you possibly could be wearing a plate carrier. Since it is a real world plate carrier, the sides have two pouches for side armor, but in the future I would like to see these removed for a little more ventilation. Also, some more color options would be nice! Maybe ACU or OD Green?

The plates that come inside of the Invest Fitness carrier aren’t designed to stop bullets, but they’re the same 11×10″ sized ones  you’d typically find in a normal plate carrier. Normal weight vests have weight cartridges in various locations on the vest or bunched up in one spot, whereas the Invest Fitness carrier has just two plates that are pretty evenly balanced across your frame on the back and on the front. Each plate weighs  8.75lbs and the vest weighs 2.5lbs, totaling out at 20lbs for the male’s variant.

Most movements with the Invest plate carrier are fairly comfortable to do, as much as they can be while wearing a weight vest. Strapped down, the vest doesn’t bobble too much when you run, but in the future I would like to see an internal lockdown system to hold the plates in place better. When it came to doing gymnastics movements, wearing the Invest carrier didn’t hinder any of my movements; there’s a lot of range of movement for your arms to be dynamic. The only movement I really struggled with was bar muscle-ups, because of the inability to “wrap” yourself around the bar; you really have to pull close to your hips. Surprisingly, I could also do a few kipping handstand push-ups before gravity kicked in and the carrier clocked me in the chin.

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Now the real reason I never bothered with a plate carrier in the past was because they’re fairly expensive, and typically don’t come with the plates included or shipping. Invest Fitness sells theirs altogether with carrier and plates for either $170/14lb or $180/20lb, with free shipping and a t-shirt! If you’re looking for a plate carrier, there is not even remotely close to this price point. Sure you can get a cheaper weight vest, but then you wouldn’t be reading this review either.

I’ve since gotten the 5.11 Tactec plate carrier, which is what they use in the CrossFit Games and probably is the standard (I had to compare to something). It’s definitely a little nicer, mainly because it’s smaller, but fully loaded from Rogue plus tax and shipping costs $280…and it doesn’t perform $100 better than the Invest Fitness one does. The Invest Fitness plate carriers are high performing and definitely the best value of all the plate carriers available. Unless you’re a Games athlete (in which case, you have a 5.11 already), I highly recommend Invest Fitness.

Get you Invest Fitness plate carrier here.

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Review: Harbinger HumanX Gear (Gloves, Grips, Weight Vest, Wraps, Speed Rope)

I want to give full disclosure of something before I write this review.  Everything here, for the first time, was given to me complementary to write a review.  I’d like to thank Annie for finding my blog and getting in contact with me to make this all possible.  The fact that I didn’t have to pay for any of this product will not affect what I have to say, nor will it ever for any review I write.   That being said, free stuff is awesome! There are some things that I don’t have a need for after reviewing, and will be passing on to YOU, the reader.  Harbinger really went out of their way for me, so I just want to pass on the generosity to people who really need this stuff.

HumanX seems to be Harbinger’s line catering towards the crosstraining (i.e. Crossfit) market.  Most of their products look like evolutions of a Crossfitter’s mainstays.  Jump ropes to weight vests, it looks like Harbinger is going full out into the crossfit market.

The products we’ll be going over today include the…

  • X2 Speed Rope
  • X3 Competition Gloves
  • Palm Grips
  • Red Line Wrist Wraps
  • 20lb Weight Vest

(Yes, they sent me all of that.)

X2 Speed Rope

Honestly, I tried an earlier version of this rope out and it didn’t impress me much.  I thought the design was kind of cool, but the wire they had originally supplied with the handles was just too flimsy and thin.  Unless you were amazing at double unders, this could be problematic.  This new wire is now red instead of black and quite a bit heftier than it was previously.  Not hefty to the point where it would make the rope hard to turn, but hefty enough so that you can get a beat on where the rope is.  Before, there was a little ball holding the wire in place to the handles reminiscent of the ones they use in the handles for the RPM Rope.  That little ball has been replaced with bigger plastic ball that is actually pretty easy to grab a hold of and adjust with the provided allen wrench (just don’t lose it, it comes incognito taped to the back of the cardboard packaging).

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The handles themselves are actually pretty light, while still feeling indestructible and comfortable to hold and turn.  They don’t spin as freely as other sub-$15 speed ropes on the market, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get them turning quickly.  I was able to bang out double unders with absolutely no problem.  There’s a “click” that the handles make as you turn them; I don’t know if this was done purposely or not, but it helps to stay in rhythm while you jump; albeit a little rougher (and squeaky) feeling than an experienced double underer would like.

The design is thoughtful, handles comfortable and it’s probably faster than most people could even get going.  Something about the way that the handles rotate make the X2 Speed Rope generally miss the mark.  It just doesn’t do anything vastly better than your average $8 speed rope, for double the price.  Not saying it’s a bad product, you could do a lot worse for $15 (Amazon).  I have high hopes for the upcoming X4 Speed Rope!

X3 Competition Gloves

Let’s face it.  Using gloves at the box is generally frowned down upon.  Myself, included.

I haven’t really put on gloves for a workout since I left globo gym.  Then you rip and well, you just have to suck it up and risk ripping more or put on some gloves and protect your hands.  Hand maintenance only goes so far and anyone knows that any high rep kettlebell, rope climbs or bar work will leave your hands ripped up and bloody.  I usually only use gloves after I rip, because I can never get tape to stay on, and I think it feels more uncomfortable than using gloves does.

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I think the X3 gloves actually look pretty cool.  I really like the fact that there are no seams in the (leather) palms.  I would use batting gloves before, and they would always have seams that felt annoying when you held things.  The leather actually holds chalk pretty well from what I tested.  Kettlebell swings felt fine and I would definitely throw the gloves on if I had to do 100+.  I’m not really a big fan of using gloves on the bar or barbell, it just bunches up and makes things hard to hold on to for my little hands.  Nothing too different to report here, gloves are gloves and they will bunch up. Speaking of little, I think I have actually pretty small hands and I have medium sized gloves.  The gloves fit a little snug, so maybe you’d want to size up on them.

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If you’re looking for gloves, the X3 Competition gloves are actually a pretty good pick.  They seem durable enough, they’re a lot cheaper than the official Reebok crossfit gloves, which I heard get destroyed pretty easily, and they look pretty cool.  If you don’t like using gloves, they’re probably not going to change your mind, but if you need something to cover up those rips, you might want to look here.

Palm Grips

Don’t like gloves for barbell work but need protection for your hands for those pull-ups and toes 2 bar?  You’ll probably want to look into the Palm Grips.

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The palm grips are made from the same leather that dons the palm of the X3 gloves, but with an open back design so that when you switch over to barbell work, you can just flip the leather down and keep working without too much fuss.  Made to be able to be trimmed down based on the athletes hands to avoid bunching up.  They’re held on to your wrists using a velcro-loop enclosure that’s easy and fast enough to adjust or take off on the fly.  False grip + muscle-ups = ripped up wrist.  The palm grips are actually made to go over the area of your palm/wrists that seats the false grip!

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Honestly, I’d probably go with the Palm Grips over the gloves (at half the price) if I needed hand protection.  I like the fact that I could just fold down the leather if I needed to do barbell work in transitioning from bar work.  The leather doesn’t really bunch up, and I haven’t even sized them for my hands yet.  As far as grip is concerned, it’s fine for doing pull-ups, bar muscle-ups and toes 2 bar, but doesn’t really perform well on the rings for false grip.  I’d usually fall out of my false grip after a couple muscle-ups.  Non-false grip works as a bar muscle-up does and is recommended for using these grips on the rings.

Red Line Wrist Wraps

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Saving this for my upcoming “Wrist Wrap Shootout”.

For now, all you need to know is that they’re a great, durable, easy to adjust and cost effective solution for wrist stability.

Recommended.

20lb Weight Vest

The best weight vest that I’ve used. Why?  Because it FITS.

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All the other weight vests that I’ve used prior to this were always too clunky and cumbersome to wear for me to even want to bother with them.  The HumanX weight vest just never feels like it’s in the way while its on.  Adjustable in 1lb increments up to 20lbs using sand cartridges fitted into pockets in the inner lining of the vest.  Weighted muscle-ups (see my IG for video) and pull-ups are as easy as weighted muscle-ups and pull-ups could be, with 20 extra pounds on. The HumanX vest contours to your body and fits snugly without being uncomfortable to wear.  Honestly, I could walk around with this thing on all day, if I wanted to walk around with 20 extra pounds on me, that is (I really should).  I really dig the look of the vest too.  Take notes manufacturers, a little style to go with that utility never hurt anyone.

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While the weight is somewhat limited, I haven’t found any workout needing anything heavier than 20lbs.  The HumanX vest should be your number 1 choice when it comes to weight vests for crossfit or whatever activities you do that require you to be somewhat agile.  A weight vest is a pretty simple thing, right?  They should just FIT, like the HumanX one does.

Overall, a solid effort made by Harbinger to crack the crossfit market.  I can see the thoughtfulness that they had while coming up with the designs of their products.  Ultimately some work, and others don’t.  Everything deserves a look, gloves are subjective and the speed rope is better than any PVC corded rope I’ve used!  Check ’em out!