Fitness Training with Tactical Vests

The Two Best Load-Bearing Tactical Vests for Fitness Training 

Studies have shown that training with a weighted vest can improve your running posture and increase your speed by nearly three percent. Additionally, weighted vest training offers:

  • Cardiovascular benefits
  • Musculoskeletal benefits
  • Balance improvement

Men’s Journal recently interviewed industry experts to solicit their thoughts about training with a weight vest. Dr. Joel Seedman said, “Nothing will spike your heart rate quicker than wearing a weighted vest and climbing on a treadmill or Stairmaster.” Darin Huslander, C.S.C.S. concurred, noting, “My athletes who wear (a weight vest) typically hit a heart rate three to five percent higher when doing both power or aerobic work in a vest than they do without.”

Training with a weighted vest could help you get in excellent shape while also putting you in a position to succeed during your subsequent survival or tactical situation. When training in a vest, we recommend that you start light. Adding a load-bearing vest will put stress on your bones and joints. During your first couple of workouts, wear nothing but the vest itself, which should help you grow accustomed to its fit. Gradually add weight, going up in five to ten-pound increments.

Looking for an intense cardio circuit with your next load-bearing vest? Try this:

  • Treadmill run, two minutes
  • 20 squats
  • 20 push-ups
  • 20 reverse lunges
  • 20 burpees

Both of these vests allow users to add pockets and pouches. They are also incredibly durable, made of the highest quality materials. This makes them both useful options for your next training session, as you can add weights to the vest while trusting they will withstand the most rigorous of workouts.

Over the past couple of years, police organizations have caught onto one of the best-kept secrets of the military: load bearing tactical vests are one of the most efficient ways to carry and access gear while in a survival situation. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire supported this belief.

Research from the university found that load-bearing tactical vests can help reduce lower back and hip pain, especially when compared to duty belts. Professor Jeff Janot said, “The findings are clear, and they are significant. While the vests weigh more, the weight is more evenly distributed, so there is less strain on the hips and lower back.” This makes it safer to use the vests for fitness activities, including running, jumping, and training.

If you’re interested in purchasing a load-bearing tactical vest for personal training, you could find yourself overwhelmed by the numerous options available. Below, we’ve taken the time to compare what we feel are the two best load-bearing tactical vests for personal training available on the market today.

VTAC LBE Tactical Vest From 5.11 Tactical

5.11 Tactical’s TAC LBE Tactical Vest features incredible research and innovation. The company partnered with renowned tactical operator Kyle Lamb as well as Viking Tactics. The company incorporated stiffened mesh nylon into the vest’s design. Not only does this provide the vest with incredible structure, but it also makes it incredibly lightweight and breathable as well.

This vest does not come with preconfigured attachments. This provides users the ability to customize it as they see fit. Standard MOLLE gear is compatible with this vest. Additionally, users will find document pockets and a hidden grab handle on the vest’s interior. Customers will also see a hydration pack in the rear of the pack.

The VTAC LBE vest features a zip-up front, complete with YKK zippers. Two buckles on the front of the vest provide secure closure as well. 5.11 Tactical says that these clips have a high-impact design, ideal for use in a tactical situation. Customers can adjust both the length and the girth of the vest. The vest comes in Regular, 2XL, and 4XL. You’ll also find the vest available in four different colors, including:

  • Black
  • TAC OD
  • Sandstone
  • Flat Dark Earth

Of the two garments on our list, this product is the more affordable of the two. Customers can purchase this vest for just under $100. This price represents an unconfigured model. Adding pouches and other attachments to the vest could drive the price up by roughly $125.

TAC V1 MS From Eagle Industries

Eagle Industries’ TAC V1 MS tactical vest is the company’s latest MOLLE-style pack. Customers can configure the pack as they see fit. Much like the vest from 5.11 Tactical, this vest features mesh that promotes airflow while keeping the vest lightweight. However, the pack also implements abrasion-resistant Cordura, making it sturdy as well. Nylon strips run down both sides of the vest. Customers can adjust the vest for both length and girth.

Customers will find that the vest features two non-slip shoulder pads complete with stock stops. There are also dual interior map pockets. Like the vest from 5.11 Tactical, this product also comes with YKK zippers. The vest also provides hydration capabilities. Customers will find that pockets hold tight to the vest, reducing the likelihood of gear snagging on other equipment. Customers should have no problem wearing this vest while wearing heavy clothing or armor.

The TAC V1 MS is a bit more expensive than the 5.11 vest. If customers wish to purchase an unconfigured vest, they can expect to pay upwards of $170. If they want to buy a vest that is complete with all attachments, the total cost will approach $600.

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