If you’re looking for an affordable, comfortable to wear weighted vest, Zelus is a brand you might want to get to know.
The budget-friendly brand offers several vest weights to choose from, ranging from 4 – 20 lb, making them a smart choice regardless of your fitness needs.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on their 12 lb weighted vest recently and I’ve been trying it out for size to see how it holds up.
Long-story-short: I’m impressed.
For the longer story, you’ll have to keep reading.
In this review, I’ll go over everything you need to know about Zelus’s weighted vests. After reading, you should know whether or not this is the right vest to add to your home fitness arsenal.
Disclosure: The good people at Zelus were kind enough to send me a 12 lb vest to try out for this review. I wasn’t compensated in any other way and this review is based solely on my first hand experience with this product.
The Zelus Weighted Vest
Zelus Fitness is an up and coming home fitness brand that offers an interesting selection of strength and conditioning equipment to choose from.
The lineup includes small, foldable treadmills, battle ropes, balance ball trainers, as well as ballet and gymnastic bars for kids. They have their own remote controlled, full body vibration platform for those looking to put a fresh twist on their routine.
And of course weighted vests.
Their weighted vests come in different sizes, based on how heavy they are. Currently, they offer vests in the following weights: 4 lb, 6 lb, 8 lb, 12 lb, 16 lb, and 20 lb.
- Comfortable to wear
- Available in many different weights
- Filled with chemical-free iron pellets
- Elastic edges move with you
- Detachable pockets for storage
- Adjustable straps
- Reflective strips in front and back
- Great price
- Minimal warranty
- Might not be heavy enough for advanced users
Weighted vests are pretty simple devices in design. Generally speaking, they come in 2 varieties: adjustable and fixed. Adjustable vests allow you change how heavy the vest is (by adding or removing weights) and fixed vests do not.
Both varieties have their advantages and disadvantages. The kind of vest you should opt for ultimately depends on your fitness level and goals.
If you’re looking for a heavier vest, you’ll probably end up with an adjustable one- these tend to have the capacity to hold more total weight.
If you’re looking for a more comfortable vest, you’ll probably want to go with a fixed weight vest- these tend to be more comfortable because the weight is balanced and spaced out proportionally throughout the garment.
Zelus vests are of the fixed variety.
My first impression of the 12 lb vest they sent me was how sporty and sleek it looked. I like the grey and black color scheme and, not that it matters, I like that it looks great with the rest of my workout gear.
Of course, since I workout from home, no one except my family ever sees me in my workout gear (and they’re usually sleeping when I exercise).
But hey, a guy can still enjoy looking good even if nobody’s around to admire him.
Ok, aesthetics aside, the Zelus vest is weighted using tiny iron pellets that are packed evenly within the rubber material the vest is made of.
I see using iron pellets as a plus, because there’s no need for any extra chemicals in the stuffing or anything like that.
The vest itself is surprisingly comfortable to wear. I say surprisingly because, honestly, I wouldn’t expect a weighted vest to be particularly comfortable.
But the Zelus vest is.
I like how elastic it is. It fits snug to my chest, which I like because I don’t feeling it bouncing around during use (I’ll get to how I use it in a sec).
There has to be some kind of elastic material on the edges of this vest because I can feel the vest stretch and give with me as I move my arms- which is great because it means the vest doesn’t inhibit any movement during exercise.
I haven’t had to really use them, because the vest fits me perfectly as is, but there are adjustable straps in the front to tighten or loosen up the fit if necessary.
According to Zelus, the vest can fit busts between 35-45 in (I’m not sure what my bust measurement is, but I’m 6’1″ and about 200 lb and I find the vest very comfortable to wear).
Besides the adjustable straps, there’s also a detachable set of pockets that comes with the vest. You can attach this to one of the straps, giving you a place to hold your wallet, cell phone, keys, or whatever else you might have to take with you.
There’s also a mesh pocket going around the back, which I guess you could use to put your keys in or something, but I think the pocket in the front would be more convenient (unless you carry a lot of stuff with you when you exercise).
The folks at Zelus where thinking ahead when they decided to add reflective strips in the front and back of the vest to make you more visible in case you decide to exercise outside after dark.
Overall, when it comes to comfort and wearability, Zelus’s weighted vest scores highly. The rubber surface is soft and the elastic edges give with you as you move around, making it comfortable to exercise in.
Weighted vests can be used to do all kinds of things. You can walk, run, or hike while wearing them. You could play a pickup game of basketball while wearing one. You could simply throw one on while doing pushups, pull ups, or squats.
You can basically make any activity a little more challenging by wearing a weighted vest while doing it.
I think they work exceptionally well for adding intensity to body weight exercises, regardless if they’re cardio conditioning or strengthening.
I’ve been using the vest Zelus sent me on my treadmill and let me say this- incline walking with a weighted vest will work ya.
I’ve done a little running on the treadmill while wearing the vest and that works very well too, but to be honest, I’m not a very gifted runner- I wear out fast enough without the added resistance.
So I prefer incline walking with it on.
The extra weight makes it more tiring, but I will say 12 lb is a bit light for me. As a 200 lb guy, I think I would get a little more out of the 20 lb vest.
But 12 lb still adds an extra layer of intensity I wouldn’t be getting otherwise.
One thing I’ve noticed while walking on the treadmill with it is that I feel my core engaging more than I do without it. Having the extra weight around my chest forces my core to stabilize more, which I really like.
I didn’t really expect this result, but it makes sense.
After all, the core’s job is to keep our mid-section stable while we move and lift stuff. And having the weighted vest on is comparable to holding something at our chest level.
Luckily, wearing the weighted vest is much more comfortable than walking on a treadmill while carrying a 12 lb weight.
Overall, I know I’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible with this Zelus weighted vest, but I’m already happy with its effect on my workouts.
Simply wearing it while walking on a treadmill ups the ante, but I could also take my body weight workouts to the next level by wearing this vest (I’m thinking pushups, planks, dips).
The weighted vests by Zelus have a lot to offer. It’s nice that they come in such a wide range of weights to choose from, making sure they have something for people of every fitness level.
I’m very pleased with how comfortable my 12 lb vest is to wear. It doesn’t move much while walking or jogging and the elastic surface makes it easy for me to move around without being impeded upon.
The only downside I can see is the more or less lack of a warranty- Zelus offers a 14 day return policy, but that’s about it.
But honestly, at this price point, I wouldn’t expect any more.
Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable way to bump up the intensity of your workouts, adding a weighted vest is a great idea. And Zelus is certainly on top of their game when it comes to weighted vests. Recommended.
P.S. : If you’re interested, Zelus has shared some great discount codes (10%), making the prices on these vests even that much better. Just copy the applicable codes and paste into the promotion code section at checkout:
12 lb vest: DKUO7I4K
6 lb vest: NOKL9HSH
4 lb vest: WA928S52