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Weight vest or weighted pack

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  • Weight vest or weighted pack

    Hey there,

    I've been continuing my conditioning for the wildland firefighting season by jogging/running with a 45-pound line pack (sits low, in the lumbar area). Two to three times a week for 3-4 miles. To reduce the jostling and the need to lean forward as much, I've been thinking about getting a weight vest. I'm curious if anyone has thoughts on the benefits or drawbacks of using a weighted vest vs a weighted pack. Or if there are any recommendations on how often or far one should run with these types of weights. My goal is general physical preparedness/conditioning to ensure I can cut fireline all day in tough terrain.


  • #2
    We use weighted vests at work for fire-control fitness testing, and (having also tried a weighted pack) I find them a heck of a lot more comfortable. If I was doing any sort of regular hiking or running with the pack, I'd get a vest in a heartbeat. The ones that we use are a fairly heavy-duty stitched nylon material with removable metal weights and wide velcro straps. We had a couple of cheaper vests made of a stretchy neoprene material, but they didn't last long. I'd stay away from ones like that.


    • #3
      Hey ropable,

      Thanks for the response. I appreciate the feedback on the preference for the vest. As well as the recommendation to steer away from the neoprene. I thought those might fit more comfortably, but I definitely don't want to be replacing things due to wearing out quickly.

      All the best


      • #4
        I got one from from their v max line. Super heavy duty. A 45 lb one that you can adjust the load in 2.5 lbs increments. It wears really tight and high and doesn’t shift around. I sometimes put it on and got a a walk around the neighborhood early in the morning and man alive it’s taxing. I like that you can progressively load it or use it for weighted dips, chins, etc. It’s awkward for push ups as you can’t get to full depth. Good luck.


        • #5
          I would go expensive if you get a vest. I bought a 60 pound vest and went cheap and a couple of the pockets ripped within the first two months of me using it.


          • Muncie
            Muncie commented
            Editing a comment
            I ended up with a vest and went better quality. So far, so good. Thanks guys