Gear Review: Ironwear Fitness Uni Vest

I’ve used my share of weight vests: from ones that wrapped around your chest with a bandolier of solid steel bricks, to ones that were super heavy with lead shot bricks, to straight up body armor. The Ironwear Uni-Vest is different from them all.

I picked up a 20lb Uni Vest to train with, looking for something with more flex and ergonomics. Running or jumping with a 40lb vest on that’s not secured well or form fitting can knock the wind out of you – every so slightly. This isn’t the case with the Uni Vest. I tested the Ironwear Uni-Vest out doing a WOD with power cleans, ring dips, planks, and shuttle sprints, and it stayed tight to my body the whole time.

The neoprene-like material and soft-flex weights make it very comfortable to wear when doing plyometrics or weighted conditioning work. I tested it out last week with a great little WOD – burpees and 20 inch box jump overs. It help up well there too, gripping my body and not being too cumbersome or awkward, and still allowing me to move great.


The 20 lb Uni-Vest (long), is adjustable in half pound increments via the soft Flex Weight technology, and is made right here in the US of A in Pittsburgh. The Uni-Vest™ from is used by more athletes and trainers around the world than all the other weight vests combined. You can also cop this vest in short – but that maxes out at 20lbs. The long is up-gradable and can accept more weight, but I like it right at 21 pounds as supplied with the shell.


The long iteration definitely fits tighter as it boasts on the website, and the soft flex weights conform as you go through the motions. It also is super secure, 4 closures to quickly and easily velcro it around your body with overlapping straps. It keeps it in place, but also allows for you to breathe during a WOD. You can beef this puppy up to 77lbs if you want, but they do make even heavier weight vests.

In fact, the Pittsburgh Steelers uses the Ironwear Uni-Vest for training, as do many other professional teams. So it’s no suprise that these vest shells are covered by a limited lifetime warranty. If you ever wear out or damage your shell, they sell them for half price. But that’s doubtful. The have one pro team that bought 20 of them 10 years ago, and even with daily use they didn’t need a new shell until this year!

Overall, the Ironwear Uni-Vest is superbly comfortable, and you don’t feel like you’re wearing anything. That is, until you take it off, then you seem to fly effortlessly around the room. And hey, that’s what they’re for.

What we like. Comfortable, hugs the body, ability to increase weight without buying a new vest, limited lifetime warranty.

What we don’t like. Only one, and it’s minor and to be expected with any neoprene item you use when working out : It holds sweat, and can stink after a while. Make sure you use antibacterial wipes on it after heavy use.

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