In the words of Luke Combs, some things just go better together and probably always will 1 Like a cup of coffee and a sunrise, Sunday drives and time to kill. I’m not sure a weighted vest and integrated waist trimmer really fits that idea, but I was given the Vest X, a 2-in-1 weighted vest to review and see if that applies.
Weighted vests – for those that may not know – promise to increase the intensity and efficiency of your workouts by, well, adding some additional weight. So, want to make your walk a bit harder? How bout jumping rope? Push-ups? Pull-ups? And truth be told, I’ve never really been a huge fan of them as I didn’t really see much value in them.
While there are plenty of weight vests out there, this is the only one (I know of) that has a waist trimmer with it. And I’ve spent the last 1.5 weeks putting it thru my workout paces. Read on to find out my detailed thoughts:
On a side note: until the Vest X is officially on-sale, you can find other PACEARTH weight vest products already on Amazon.
Right after taking off the plastic, I have to say the first impression I had of the product is that it has a pretty overwhelming smell. It really is overpowering at first. The small instruction booklet does make reference to it and says to air it out before use and, safe to say, you should follow that advice. I actually ended up putting it outside for almost 24 hours. That mitigated most of it but it did continue to linger for a few days.
Beyond that, though, my first impression is that the product looks nice. It has a nice neoprene type feel to it and looks relatively attractive, with a nice black color with gray accents. The gray accents also appear to be reflective, which is great if you’re going out early (or late) and are concerned about cars or people not being able to see you.
So let’s go over some of the features of the Vest X –
- It has an integrated waist trimmer with two pretty heavy-duty Velcro straps to help secure the vest in place. The first weight vest that has one, hence the “2-in-1” moniker.
- The vest weighs 12 lbs and is fixed.
- It has two padded, adjustable straps that go over your shoulders like a backpack.
- There’s one other adjustable strap that goes across your chest to help secure the vest.
- There’s a large zippered pocket integrated into the section where the waist trimmer is located
All-in-all, the biggest missing feature is the fact that the weight is not adjustable. That’s probably not a big deal for a large portion of people – me including, really – but it’s something to keep in mind.
Using the Vest X
Putting on the Vest X and getting it adjusted is pretty easy and straight forward. That said, I thought at first the weight in the weight vest goes on the front side of your body (similar to other weight vests I’ve seen) but PACEARTH says it should go on your back. More on that in a minute.
While it works just fine to put the weight on your back (like a backpack) it almost makes the large zippered pocket pretty much a moot feature as it’s not easy to access. I guess you could have someone else access it for you (or take the vest off), but it’s difficult to get items out of there otherwise.
So, back to the “proper” way to wear the vest. I actually spent time wearing it normal and “backwards” and, for the most part, I actually prefer wearing it “backwards.” This means, the weight is on the front (chest) side of my body and not the rear (back) side.
Wearing it normal, I felt like the connecting cross-strap kept riding up too high and would cross too high on my upper chest. That, in turn, made it feel like the weight on my back was sliding down too far. By reversing the position, the vest sat better on my body, the zippered pocket was accessible, and the cross-strap (now across my upper back) didn’t impact me.
With that said, it needs an additional chest cross-strap (or in my case, back) lower down. This would be similar to their current vest model on sell already and would be an additional check on any possible sliding.
Lastly, I actually did like the additional waist trimmer support. It was easier to Velcro on and off and comfortable too; although it does make using the vest pretty hot. That makes sense since you have a wide, tight, and Velcro’ d band across your stomach and lower back. On the plus side, it makes the vest feel more snug and secure than you’d get otherwise.
Quality seems good. I like the feel of the neoprene and didn’t experience any odd or noticeable weight shifting while using the vest. The straps, buckles, and associated items seem durable enough and should last quite a long time.
Additionally, I didn’t notice any problems with the stitching. All things considering, if you take a decent care of it, the Vest X should last quite a long time. It also comes with a 2 year warranty which is a nice bonus and (hopefully) speaks to the longevity of the vest.
Note – About a month after this post, I did end up ripping off a strap attachment point when trying to really cinch down and tighten the vest. Not ideal as it should’ve been double stitching. Either way, it’s fixable but the stitching could be better.
This was the fun part. As I mentioned, I’d hardly ever used a weight vest so I wasn’t sure what to expect. To test it out I ran thru a myriad of exercises over multiple days including:
While I think it did add something to my strength training (specifically bodyweight exercises like push-ups & pull-ups), you can weight to those movements without a weight vest. I think where the vest really shined is in doing some the more cardio intensive work.
Specifically, I really liked it for adding weight for jumping rope – just imagine doing double unders with it on! – and shadow boxing. Those are exercises where it’s basically impossible to add additional weight unless you use a weight vest. It made those exercises quite a bit harder, the vest didn’t become uncomfortable, and allowed me to work harder while still being able to do the movement like normal.
Personally, I like being warm(er) during my workouts so the waist trimmer didn’t bother me at all but if you “run hot” just be aware you will sweat more than normal once you get going.
Summary / TL;DR
For a retail price of $60 – and probably cheaper in practice – it’s not a bad deal although I don’t know if the waist trimmer addition is worth a premium. For example, the currently 12 lb weight vest from PACEARTH – which is very similar – is only $34 on Amazon. If this comes in at $10-$15 more then it’s probably worth the additional price. Beyond that, personally, I’d opt for the cheaper option.
While not without a couple drawbacks – such as not having adjustable weights and a missing lower-chest cross-strap – overall, I think the Vest X has some value provided you use it. I was initially impressed with the overall quality but ended up having an issue with one of the strap attachment points. Because of that, I’m reducing my overall score. That said, I still enjoyed using it and it added challenge to my workouts.