10 Best CrossFit Gear Reviewed & Compared

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CrossFit is a rewarding sport that can be very demanding on the body. Workouts are intended to push athletes to their limits but that does not mean you have to be uncomfortable with each WOD. Any CrossFit athlete will tell you the first thing you need to improve comfort and performance is a good pair of CrossFit shoes. Once you get through your introductory course and really become dedicated to your box, it may be time to invest in a few extras such as lifting shoes and some specific CrossFit apparel.

When the wardrobe is all set there are plenty of other items you may not have considered that will limit your pain and make you look like a pro. We have put together the following list of essential CrossFit gear to fill out your gym bag and help you get through those WODs.

Last Updated: July 1, 2018
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By Tess Bercan:

In this update round, we shuffled the list around to better reflect the market's feedback from customers and testers. We have also added Goat Tape, and we are sure you will love it!

WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope
  • WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight
  • Price: See Here
Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle
  • Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Vacuum Insulated + Leak Free
  • Price: See Here
ROCKAY Accelerate
  • ROCKAY Accelerate
  • 4.4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Solid support
  • Price: See Here

10 Best CrossFit Gear

 

 

1. WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope

Although all boxes supply jump ropes, most avid CrossFitters like to bring their own. Having a personal rope is relatively cheap, adds little weight to your bag and can decrease distractions as you jump. No more fighting over ropes or adjusting to new weights or grips. A personal rope allows you to stay focused on your skipping so you can master those double unders.
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Utility:
Skipping rope may not be required everyday but it is a regular feature of many CrossFit workouts and warm-ups. It is also a nice piece of equipment for a great cardio workout at home on days you can’t make it to the box. Having a personal rope is highly recommended because it will allow you to find the appropriate length and will provide some consistency while you master the challenging movements.

Features:
The WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope is a great option for CrossFit. It is very lightweight, easy to adjust and spins very quickly. The patented ball bearings in the handle allow for a seamless turn of the rope. Users find the consistent spin and quick movement is very helpful when timing double unders.

Durability:
This rope holds up well through many workouts. It also comes with an extra cable to extend its lifetime.

Style:
This WOD Nation rope is available in 8 colors which makes it easy to choose a unique one to help you keep yours separate from others at the gym.

Value:
Patented ball bearings and lightweight but durable design make this jump rope a bit pricier than your standard bargain rope.
Pros

Fine adjustments to size

Patented ball bearings for smooth movement

Lightweight cable turns fast

Helps for timing double unders

8 colors available

Cons

Clips need to be tightened occasionally

2. Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Water Bottle

A good water bottle is absolutely essential for any exercise and the Hydroflask is worth the investment. Users are shocked to find how effectively these double wall, vacuum-insulated bottles maintain the temperature of whatever liquid you place in it. The leak-proof lid will leave you worry-free when tossing it in your gym bag. Additionally, the sleek but tough design looks great and provides the perfect canvas for stickers to rep your box.
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Staying hydrated is essential for keeping up with any WOD. The Hydro Flask water bottle is perfect for keeping your water cold throughout your workout and in any part of your everyday life. If you are hitting up the early morning class before work, Hydro Flasks will also keep your coffee hot and ready to drink once the WOD is over.

Features:
The Hydro Flask has double-wall, vacuum insulated TempShield technology to keep liquids hot up to 6 hours and cold up to 24 hours. The proprietary powder coat makes the bottle slip-free so you won’t lose your grip no matter how much you sweat. The lid is leak proof and the narrow width fits most cup holders and bicycle racks.

Durability:
This bottle is made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and non-toxic BPA-free plastic. The bottle may acquire some dings when dropped but it is very difficult to create a hole or crack.

Style:
The Hydro Flask has a solid, sleek appearance and is available in 16 bright colors.

Value:
The price may seem steep for a water bottle but buyers find the TempShield, signature powder grip and reliable durability make the Hydro Flask a worthy investment.
Pros

TempShield maintains liquid temperatures for hours

Durable stainless steel

Non-slip powder coat

16 bright color options

Leak-proof

Fits in most cup holders

Cons

Pricey

Dents fairly easily

Needs to be hand washed

3. ROCKAY Accelerate

Created for runners, but equally as good for CrossFit, ROCKAY's Accelerate has many attributes which cross the field for sure. Although CrossFitters aren't typically focusing on distance running, in many cases, There are some similar issues that arise with wearing a pair of bad socks.
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Let's look at friction and rub points with some shoes. These socks are ideal for running because they cover all of the right spots, as far as the heel and ankle go. The rear tab will give you a barrier between the shoe and that blister prone portion of the heel.

When it comes to support, The sock is designed with appropriate amounts of compression throughout to assist proper circulation. Because who wants to deal with a numb foot.

Now getting down to breathability. These are constructed with awesome ventilation, allowing decent airflow to the feet. This not only helps with the need to release moisture from sweat, but also helps prevent the classic problem of stinky feet.

4. Blender Bottle

4. Blender Bottle
If you are looking to build muscle through CrossFit consider complementing those WODs with protein-packed recovery drinks made easy with a shaker bottle. The Blender Bottle is the classic way to mix up these beverages. It mixes powder thoroughly, is easy to clean and very inexpensive.
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Utility:
The Blender Bottle is a great accessory for anyone who does CrossFit. It can help you stay on top of your nutrition by allowing you to easily mix smoothies and protein shakes on the go. The cup can also be used as a regular water bottle during your workout and to mix up a post-workout recovery on your way out the door

Features:
This leak-proof blender bottle can hold 28 ounces of liquid and comes with their patented 316 surgical-grade stainless steel BlenderBall for mixing drinks. This model also features a patented loop top for easy carrying, a flip cup and tapered bottom so it will fit into a car cup holder.

Durability:
The plastic on the shaker bottle holds up fairly well. Some users note the rubber seal may wear a bit over time and allow for some leakage. Having BPA-free plastic also leaves the bottle more susceptible to retaining odor but most people don’t have an issue as long as they rinse after use.

Style:
The Blender Bottle is available in 12 color combinations.

Value:
This shaker cup is very inexpensive and can last a long time when properly cared for. Reviewers agree the brand name Blender Bottle is more reliable than cheaper off-brand options.
Pros

Easy way to make protein shakes and smoothies before or after workouts

Can be used as a water cup

Inexpensive

Convenient loop top

Fits in a cup holder

Leak proof

Cons

May retain odor

Rubber seal can wear down

5. Valeo Performance Profile Weightlifting Belt

5. Valeo Performance Profile Weightlifting Belt
Adding a weightlifting belt to your gear bag is another consideration to support your body as you take on more weight. This Valeo Performance Weightlifting belt provides ample support for Olympic lifting required from CrossFit. It is softer and more comfortable to wear during other movements than classic leather lifting belts.
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Utility:
Weight belts are not a replacement for proper technique when lifting and are typically not recommended for CrossFit beginners. However, those lifting at an intermediate or advanced level may benefit from the added support. Lifting belts, when positioned properly, offer a bit of support for the lumbar spine and provide tactile feedback to ensure the user is not hyperextending when pushing their limits on a lift.

Features:
This Valeo Performance belt is a great option for CrossFit because it is softer and more comfortable to wear during other activities. The soft foam core also does not require as much time to break in as the leather lifting belts. Some users find the belt to be a bit small to wrap all the way around and recommend ordering one or two sizes up.

Durability:
This belt is very durable and easy to hand wash.

Style:
The plain black belt offers functional support without adding much in the way of style.

Value:
This Valeo belt is a fraction of the price of genuine leather belts and provides adequate support for CrossFit workouts.
Pros

Additional support for heavy lifts

Assists with maintaining proper form

Comfortable

Does not need to be broken in

Cons

Not recommended for all athletes

Runs small

6. Bear KompleX Hand Grips

6. Bear KompleX Hand Grips
Hand grips are worth considering early on in your CrossFit career if you experiencing tears in your palms from pull-ups and bar lifts. They are not for everyone but CrossFitters who want a little extra grip on the bar or are not interested in developing hard calluses may want to try them out. These Bear Komplex grips are a favorite among CrossFitters. They are available in 2 or 3-hole styles to provide more or less cover for the palms and they have some comfortable wrist support included.
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Utility:
You can pretty much guarantee that you will need to grip a bar at some point through any WOD. Hand grips are great for protecting hands and enhancing grip during those challenging bar-based activities such as pull-ups, muscle ups, kettlebell swings, power lifts and many others.

Features:
The Bear KompleX grips are our favorite for CrossFit specifically. The quality leather helps you maintain grip on the bar and the option between 2 and 3-hole sizes helps you find the proper coverage for your callus-prone areas. The built-in wrist strap does not provide much support but users find it far more comfortable and durable than cheap gymnastics grips.

Durability:
The quality of these wrist straps is easy to see in the thick leather and padded wristband. Seasoned athletes seem to prefer these grips over most others for their improved durability.

Style:
These small grips do not stand out too much but they do offer a few colors for the wrist straps.

Value:
The price will likely seem steep for these small pieces of leather but buyers seem to find the performance and comfort easily blow away the competition.
Pros

Enhance grip

Protect palms from calluses and tears

High quality leather

Durable design

Comfortable wrist straps

Provide minimal wrist support

2-hole and 3-hole options to customize coverage

Cons

Price

7. G4Free 3-Way Duffel Backpack

7. G4Free 3-Way Duffel Backpack
When investing in all your own gear, you should consider an upgrade from dumping everything into a single-compartment duffel. You could easily spend upwards of $100 on a highly specialized CrossFit bag but we found this G4Free gym bag that ticks most of the same marks. This bag converts easily from a duffel to a backpack and has plenty of side pockets to keep gear organized and easy to find. It also features a separate shoe pocket to keep shoes and other wet or dirty items separate from the rest of your gear.
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Utility:
This bag will help you stay organized and keep your gear in good condition. The practical design keeps commuters and travelers in mind by giving you the option to carry it as a duffel or backpack. A ventilated shoe compartment is ideal for keeping shoes and sweaty towels separate from your other gear. The side and front pocket are perfect for storing your water bottle, notebook, cell phone and any other items you may want quick access. Finally, an inner mesh pocket can keep valuables protected.

Feature:
In addition to the convenient pockets and convertible straps, this bag has plenty of storage without being bulky. It can hold up to 40L but does not have much structure on its own so it will only be as big as the items you put in it.

Durability:
The nylon fabric is water and tear resistant. Users note it is surprisingly durable despite the lightweight feel. Some reviewers notice some fraying around the seams and straps for the backpack but overall the bag holds up well.

Style:
This bag looks like a classic duffel and is available in black, green, blue and orange.

Value:
This bag is very functional and a fraction of the cost of high end gym bags.
Pros

Convenient pockets to keep gear organized

Separate, ventilated shoe compartment

Converts between backpack and duffel

Holds up to 40L

Lightweight material

Cons

Some fraying at the seams

Backpack straps are not the most durable

8. Track Your WOD Journal

8. Track Your WOD Journal
Having a smartphone app or journal is highly recommended by regular CrossFit goers to track progress through each week. If you are a fan of good old pen and paper, this WOD journal is an awesome option. With clearly labeled sections and space for 210 WODs, it is easy to record data, understand your goals and see your improvement.
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Utility:
When dedicating time and money to such a demanding sport, it is really helpful to have a system for tracking progress. There are some great phone apps out there but there is something to be said for having a physical journal that allows you to flip back through your months of hard work. Keeping a journal is important for setting long term goals and helps some users stick to their commitment.

Features:
The Track Your WOD Journal has 9 sections for tracking 210 WODs. It has sections for recording your progress on the 9 Benchmark WODs, 25 Girl WODs, and 25 Hero WODs, as well as Daily WODs and Personal Records. The journal has some space for additional notes but some more detailed note takers wish it had a bit more room for comments.

Durability:
The hardback journal has a durable cover and coil. The pages are not sweat-resistant but the journal is much more durable than a smartphone.

Style:
The style is pretty simple but has the title in red across the black cover.

Value:
This journal is quite a bit more expensive than your standard composition notebook. However, the pages are well thought out to keep your WOD data organized in a way that it is easy to flip through and track your progress.
Pros

Good way to track progress

Keeps data organized

Easy to use

Durable

Space for 210 WODs

CrossFit specific workouts listed

Cons

A bit expensive

Smartphone or plain journal is less expensive

9. Rehband Rx Knee Support

9. Rehband Rx Knee Support
Knee sleeves are frequently recommended by more mature CrossFitters but are helpful for anyone with worries about their knees. The sleeves provide a bit of compression and support during heavy lifting and squats. They also keep heat in the joint to reduce warm-up time and make squats a bit more comfortable.
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Utility:
Knee sleeves provide light compressive support for your knees while still allowing good range of motion for any leg-driven activity. It keeps the knee joint warm to alleviate some of the creaking and pain you may feel at the beginning of your workout. Adding some knee support does not replace PT exercises when recovering from an injury but it can help you feel more secure and comfortable as you rehabilitate.

Features:
Rehband’s Rx Knee Sleeves are provide comfortable compression and a contoured anatomical fit. The 5mm thick neoprene material finds a good balance between support and flexibility to keep you moving through the WOD.

Durability:
These knee sleeves are fairly durable for exercise but some users do note some fraying around the seams with regular washing. Reviewers also note they do absorb sweat and retain odor easily.

Style:
These sleeves are available in 3 sizes and black, burgundy or navy.

Value:
The price is midrange when compared to other knee sleeves. They are sold individually so it will cost a bit more if you are seeking a pair.
Pros

Lightweight knee support

Keeps joint warm for squats

Maintain good range of motion

Anatomical design

Comfortable neoprene

Cons

Sold individually

Retains odor

Some fraying around the seams

10. Goat Tape Scary Sticky Premium Athletic Tape

10.  Goat Tape Scary Sticky Premium Athletic Tape
Finally! A cutting-edge athletic tape can withstand the harshest demands of athletes looking to take their performance to the next level. It doesn't hurt that it is made in the USA!
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Utility:
Goat Tape is the world's first athletic tape designed specifically for CrossFitters. This stuff is some of the toughest stuff on the market and is a much-needed alternative to the athletic tapes, lacking adhesive quality.

Features:
Goat Tape is latex-free and 100% cotton and is optimal for wrist, thumb and finger taping. It contains a custom adhesive for optimal sticking quality. This product comes in rolls 10 yards long and 1.5 inches wide.

Durability:
Goat Tape stays strongly bonded and secure through friction, tension, heat, and sweat, yet it rips with ease thanks to its serrated edges. Its Aggressive adhesive can withstand the toughest WODs / weightlifting routines

Style:
This tape is available in a variety of colors and styles so that you can rock your WOD in style!

Value:
Given the superior adhesive quality of this innovative athletic tape, it's a bargain at less than a dollar per yard of material.
Pros
  • Superior adhesive quality
  • Latex-free
  • Lots of styles and colors
  • Made in the USA 
Cons
  • Pricier than other tapes
  • Some users said it left a sticky residue on their skin

 

The Metrics We Used to Determine the Best CrossFit Gear

Utility

There are all kinds of items specific to CrossFit that you can spend your money on. When creating this list we considered how useful these items are to improving your workout. We reviewed CrossFit forums and blogs to bring you the most consistently recommended gear.  Items that will make a difference in your performance and comfort immediately top our list while items of convenience, or those reserved for more advanced athletes, fill out the bottom.

Features

For each gear category, we sought out the brand and model most especially suited to CrossFit. Key features that fit with the needs of a CrossFit athlete and set the product above the rest of the field were weighed in when forming this list.

Durability

Investing in items that will withstand the tests of time is important for any purchase. CrossFit gear, in particular, needs to be tough enough to take a beating. You can expect most of your gear to be tossed, dropped, kicked and saturated with sweat. We looked for items that will hold up to the harsh conditions at any CrossFit box.

Style

Appearance is not the highest priority for CrossFit athletes at the gym. However, it is always nice to have the gear you love and feel good about using.

Other Considerations When Choosing CrossFit Gear

Standards at Your Gym

If you are traveling or just constantly find yourself at a new gym, having more of your own gear may make you more comfortable and make adjusting to a new environment a bit easier. However, many athletes find it more economical to stay dedicated to the same box. If this is you, look around your gym and talk to other members. Find out what gear they find helpful to have and which items they just borrow from the box.

Safety

Safety and injury prevention should constantly be a top priority during any CrossFit workout. Some gear can provide support and improve comfort during your workout but should never be used to replace proper treatment of any injury. If you have concerns about your joints, see a doctor before remedying the situation with wrist wraps or a knee brace.

FAQs

Q: I’m new to CrossFit. What do I need for my first class?

A: When you are brand new to CrossFit there is no need to go out shopping for your first class. Start out in regular workout clothes that will wick sweat and allow for full range of motion in your arms and legs. Regular gym or cross-training shoes will be fine for your first few classes but once you commit to regular workouts, CrossFit shoes may be worth some consideration. As far as gear goes, you really only need a water bottle to get you started.

Q: What do people wear to CrossFit?

A: This will vary from gym to gym but women tend to wear leggings or shorts with a tank top or tee and a long sleeve warm-up. Men opt for mid-length shorts that provide ample coverage but will not inhibit range of motion along with a moisture-wicking tee or no shirt at all. You may see people of both genders wearing knee-high socks to protect shins during rope climbs and box jumps.

Q: How do I care for my equipment?

A: The answer to this question will vary for each item, and the manufacturer will provide the best recommendations for making your gear last. You can expect most of your gear to get sweaty and retain some odor. It is great when you can rinse gear after use and keep smelly items separated from the rest of your bag. Keeping gear organized and putting it away as soon as is reasonable will help extend its life and prevent you from losing it.

Sources

  1. Borah, Clayton, What Gear do I need for CrossFit?, Web Article, Jan 01, 1970
  2. Every Last Rep, What Should Be in Your Gear Bag?, Jan 01, 1970
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