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Product Review: ZFO 40 lb. Adjustable Weighted Vest (MIR Weighted Vest)

A month and a half ago I gave up on my first weighted vest for P90X: The Altus 40 Lb. Flak Vest. You can read more about why it didn’t work for me here but in the end it was too bulky and limited my range of movement. So, I moved to Plan B and threw down some more cash for the MIR Weighted Vest via Amazon.com.  I’ve been using this vest for P90X resistance workouts for a month now… so was it worth it? In a word: YES. This vest RULES. Read on:

ZFO 40 lb. Weighted Vest (MIR Weighted Vest)

The name’s a mouthful but ZFO is the online seller (and brands its name to) the MIR weighted vest. It’s pretty much one in the same, but that’s the distinction. MIR’s vests are used by Crossfit, the military and sports teams for training and for good reason: these suckers are built to last and first time out of the box, it showed.

As mentioned, the ZFO/MIR weighted vest is built for action- heavy canvas construction, thick stitching, metal buckles and wide, thick Velcro for a seriously secure fit that hugs the body in a tight profile and doesn’t get in the way. A lot of this is due to the design– instead of a front closure vest, this goes over your head and is then tightened to your body using two Velcro straps and fastening rings– similar to a velcro shoe.

The weight packs are sand and come in 5 lb. weight blocks you slip into two rows of pockets on the front and back of the vest. This is a nice change from the previous vest which had 40 individual 1 lb. weight packs. The result is a more compact weight management system and less pockets.

PROS:

Heavy Weight: The ZFO Weighted Vest I purchased goes up to 40 lbs. ZFO/MIR have models that go up to 60 or as low as 20. As with the previous Altius Vest, The 40 lbs. gives me a lot of flexibility in working my way up to, or down from,  its 40 lb. max– heavier for pull-ups and push-ups and lighter for plyometrics and sports training.

Great Construction: This vest is built for endurance. Thick material, heavy duty Velcro straps and front to back strap redundancy make this vest able to withstand the tugs and pulls of movement. This isn’t nylon– it’s the real deal. The thing looks and feels like total quality.

Tight Fit: My previous vest was loose and floppy. The ZF/MIR vest fits over my head and is then strapped down around my midsection glove-tight. The vest doesn’t flop, hop on my shoulders or limit my range of motion at all. For all intents and purposes, it”s “part of me”– which allows for dynamic movement without shifting or unusual discomfort.  When the time comes, I’ll have no problem strapping this on for Asylum or even running. The fit is worth the purchase alone.

Slim: The ZFO Weighted Vest Design is fantastically slim. What’s surprising is MIR Weighted Vests make even slimmer models. It doesn’t hang over the shoulders or take up any extra real estate on my body, which I need moving– especially running and jumping.

Relatively Comfortable: I say relatively because an extra 40 lbs. hanging on your shoulders isn’t ever really comfy. Still, the vest has enough padding and wide enough straps over the shoulder any discomfort is simply from the weight, not the actual vest.

Looks Tough: Looks aren’t everything, but this thing looks like body armor/spec-ops tac vest. No sissy stuff here– you can step out in public with this thing and look bad-***.

CONS:

Stinky: When I pulled this thing out of the box it smelled like a rotten beach. Very unpleasant aroma coming from the packaging. I figure it was some latex design element and it faded after a few days but on opening… Pee-Yew.

Unclear Instructions: The vest comes in two pieces (front and back) with a few different straps you can string together and then place on the vest. For me, this wasn’t rocket science but I still had a heck of a time making sense of the instructions. I finally got it figured out but not without a little frustration.

Overhead Removal: I don’t know if this is necessarily a con as it results in such a great fit but taking the vest off after working yourself to failure can be a little tough. Sliding my head through the hole at the top of the vest is a little “scratchy” due to the heavy weight canvas material. If you’re strapping this on, chances are you’ll be doing it for the duration of your workout as taking it on and off and strapping it down could slow your workout.

CONCLUSION:

Despite a couple minor complaints, I love this vest as it was exactly what I was looking for in both form and function. MIR Weighted Vest put a lot of thought into how this vest would be used and applied in running, calisthenic drills, plyometrics and actual sports/workout movement. The price point here is absolutely unbeatable ($54.99) for its weight and construction. If there’s a vest to recommend, without a doubt, it’s this one.

If you’re wondering how to further amp up your P90X workouts or have any questions plug in and stay accountable. As a Diamond P90X certified Coach, I’m here with a team to help you do just that. Hit me up at dan@howdoigetfit.com and/or add me as your free personal coach for extra support and exclusive access to the friendly, private and all around kick-butt  “Dan V.’s Fit Spot!” You can also find me on Facebook, Google + and Pinterest.

If you’d like to learn more about P90X, check out my P90X Review

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11 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Eric says:

    I bought the newer model of this vest it’s a shorter tighter fit with a few small improvements and like most people I was happy and proud to have a tuff quality vest seemingly the best on the market. For the first couple months that is, I’ve been using them for around 6 months now. I’m on my second I bought a spare but now while I still haven’t found better I have to say that MiR and the vest are half baked. Yes I love my vest I and use it 4 times a week running to res training even biking tho it’s a bit silly. But the small things are adding up it took me 7 emails to get the warranty on my first vest to go thru after the seams popped, ya the single stitching does start to tell after awhile and of course the velcro starts to go so you need to buy new belts. =P Also while I don’t know about the other models the 60 pound short my vest which does seem to be the most popular has a few hitches in the design like the top straps the hold the front and back together are to long so when pulled tight as they have to be they hang 5 inches off your back lol and switching out weights during a WK as MiR advertises is ill advised the velcro and seams on your vest will start to wear out not to mention it’s not easy as the man above said to get it off and take the back strap off just to change weights. Now if u made it to the bottom of my hard earned bitching I’ll say this while the weight vest community is small we deserve better than half baked, in for a penny in for a pound.

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Eric. I haven’t had the same issues but dang it man, I appreciate your feedback and perspective.

  2. Peter says:

    Do not buy MiR Weighted Vest online !!!
    I bought 2 vest online. Not very clever people sent it in 5 (!!!) different parcels (Dont ask how!). On the end I had to pay:
    A) Delivery charge on Mir Vest website
    B) 5 x customs duty
    C) 5 x flat rate £8 clearance fee from British Royal mail (kind of office fee)
    D) 5 x delivery charge by parcelforce
    E) Waisted my time and nerves trying to explain that it was just one order. No one was interested in that.

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Yeah, those duty/customs/Int’l shipping will kill you. For US residents, it’s not nearly as complicated. I did have to pay extra shipping but I’ve found it to be very worth the price and I received it no problems.

  3. David DAquin says:

    I was hoping somebody talked about doing pull-ups with this thing on. It appears to me that the shoulder movement will be somewhat constricted.

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      I use this for pull ups in large part and shoulder movement has never been an issue. No problems or complaints there. I do have broader shoulders.

  4. John C says:

    I bought the ZFO 50lb weight vest to help train for a Spartan race this coming Sept. I cannot even walk my dog with the vest on as my shoulders absolutely kill me. I have had walmart backpacks that do not hurt as much as this thing. The straps are too narrow on the shoulders and need to be widened. I have bigger trap muscles and this is a problem for me at least.

  5. PG says:

    I’m 5’9 – 160lbs, I have a pro version of this vest, it does not use sand but actual iron weights at 3lb increments and the vest tops out at 140lbs. I started out with 20lbs and have moved up to 60lbs. I have used one of these for about 7 months now and use it for 1 hour of cardio+strength (running, jumping, push ups) at 3 times a week. These are great weight vests, the shoulder straps do start digging into you if you wear it for an hour but you start getting used to it; also a slightly thicker workout shirt helps this.

  6. Bruce S. says:

    My buddy and I bought two of the ZFO 60lb vests to get away from our backpacks. We also are having problems with the straps hurting our shoulders. We normally walk four to five miles with our backpacks, but with the vest after the first mile we are hurting so much that we are unable to continue. Do you know if they are comming out with a fix for this?

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Bruce. Where the vests don’t have the weight distribution tech packs tend to come with, I made sure to keep the torso tight to equal out the distribution so my shoulders weren’t carrying it all. I don’t know if there’s a solution for this from ZFO but a few fixes like adding some foam under the shoulder area could help.

  7. Carlos Moore says:

    Hi Bruce !

    I want to buy a Weighted Vest. Weighted vests are great. Already i selected Hyperwear Weighted Vest, ZFO Weighted Vest, V-Force Weight Vest but i don’t understand Which one best .

    It would be very helpful for me if you choose the best one from these .

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