Building My Own Weight Vest

Has anyone ever done this? What would be the best equipment to use? Its just they are far too expensive for me to buy at this moment in time and I am looking to use them for some traditional bodyweight exercises and GPP work on top of my current weights programme.

what are you using it for?

i was thinking about doing this because i seem to think i can build or make anything. so far im right.

its made of 400 Denier Nylon and you would aslo need some padding, tensioning devices for tight fit after putting it on and weights. most i can figure out where to get but the kicker is sewing it all together and having it hold… if you get that figure out drop me a pm because there is no way in hell i would hand sew that thing.

i found most everything we would need here,

except for the padding to make it comfortable and all.

Check on X-Vest on ebay. There is a guy that sells them for a pretty reasonable price. If youcan make your own, you can probably order the weights from them. The weight rods are the hard part, not sewing the vest.

If you know somoene whos doing medieval re-enactement, use their chain mail.

I got one that weight about 60 pound.

[quote]RoadWarrior wrote:
The weight rods are the hard part, not sewing the vest.[/quote]

depends on your resources.

[quote]Hekk wrote:
If you know somoene whos doing medieval re-enactement, use their chain mail.

I got one that weight about 60 pound.[/quote]

I’ve actually done this, but its hard to explain to coppers that you’re just going out for a walk when you are wearing chainmail. They just don’t buy it. The fact I was walking with a guy who is bald, has a tattooed head and was wearing a shirt that says “PainTrain - Welcome aboard” probably didn’t help.

Thanks for the replies. I plan to use it for GPP work, such as weighted sprints, jumps etc. As well as use it for things like dips, push ups and chins for when I am not at the gym.

I tried using a back pack filled with weights and then double strapped to me to stop it jumping loose but it didn’t work very well at all and I ended up with a lot of bruises on my back :D.

I have also tried to make my own medicine ball, filling a football with sand, but it wasn’t really all that heavy. Plus the sand leaked out. Need to improve my building skills.

Steve Justa - author of “Rock Iron Steel - The Book of Strength” built his own and there is a picture in the book. I don’t remember if he describes the construction or not. Pretty interesting book, by the way.


Why don’t you just buy yourself a couple of diving weight belts and use them. You can add some pretty heavy weight to them and if you use 2 of them, it should be heavy enough.

for doing dips and pullups/chinups, i have been able to get by, by using dumbbells placed between my knees.

I dont know how strong you can get, but i was able to hold 50lbs between my legs and do 1 pullup… chinup? and do 1 dip with 50lbs. i think were you put the weight on your legs changes the angle for dips and may make it easier or so.

but that wont work for doing stairs, running or just walking…

about the guy with the chain mail and the cops… HAHAHAHA.

would it be worth the time AND money to buy and assemble the weight vest? or do you like the ‘hey i built that’ as well? hopefully it is really strong and holds, other wise id say yea get a professionally done and tested vest, or maybe second hand off ebay as previously said.

I find using a good quality backpack with plates works fine, especially when doing non-bouncing exercises (like plyometrics or running). You’ll need a backpack with waist and chest straps and compression straps. You can then put a plate, or multiple plates held tightly together with homemade straps, and cinch it down pretty tightly.

To make homemade straps (even extra compression straps if needed), just go to a rock climbing supply store and get some 1" webbing with some plastic male-female connectors. If you don’t know how to put it all together, just ask somebody at the store.

Have you tried a hunting vest with the loops for shotgun shells?

You may need to move to northern Idaho if you try it with live ammo. You could use metal pipe for the shells. You might look like a suicide bomber…

If you do not have the skills needed to build it or know someone who can build it for you, maybe you should just go ahead and buy the real thing.

would it be worth the time AND money?

Certainly! Have you seen how much those weight vests cost? Obscene amount, I was hoping I could make a good one for about ?10-?20.

Thanks for the idea about the backpack. I might try that idea again. I also need to buy some cheap plates. The backpackI originally used was filled with six 5 pound concrete plates. Horrible, and painful.

there is no way that you could make it for under twenty american cost. you would probably need a two yards of nylon and all the weights… i estimate around sixty, plus many hours. since i do not have/really watch tv i spend my time doing other things. i have given this some serious thought and i think i could do it.

does anyone have an xvest here? xvest makes theirs with 400 denier nylon. anyone know what this stuff feels like?

Supposed to come up pounds, that would be like 20-40 american dollars.

I filled a backpack with plates and strapped it as tight as it went.

I have two old canvas backpacks purchased from an army surplus store, each filled with a couple of homemade sandbags. I strap one pack on my back and the other in front of me to distribute the weight (like a vest). If I fill both packs up pretty well, I can probably get about 60lbs. total. Canvas is strong and heavy, so the material adds its own weight to the mix (unlike dernier nylon). Plus unlike using weight plates, the sandbags don’t hurt at all. Total cost came to about $30.

Looks like hell, but it works…

just an update, i have decided to take on this project just for fun and im almost done working out the logistics of it all.

i plan on meeting up with my friend who is an in the school of engineering here and get his input on how the forces will act and where it will need to be the beefiest. he is probably not going to tell me anything i have not already thought of but just in case, since he deals with forces and their applications more often, i will use his brain as well on the construction once i get a model/template out of cardboard made.

if you could make your own, what unique features would you want on it for your training purposes???

im going to have about six D rings on it for various exercises and possibly some way to attatch bands for different exercises just for fun.

ill make sure and take pics, but it will not be for another week till i get enough figured out to order the materials. so expect pics in around a month or two.