10 Best CrossFit Gear Reviewed & Compared
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 through 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.
- WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope
- G4Free 3-Way Duffel Backpack
- WOD Wear Wrist Wraps
- Good Support
10 Best CrossFit Gear
1. WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope
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.
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.
This rope holds up well through many workouts. It also comes with an extra cable to extend its lifetime.
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.
Patented ball bearings and lightweight but durable design make this jump rope a bit pricier than your standard bargain rope.
Fine adjustments to size
Patented ball bearings for smooth movement
Lightweight cable turns fast
Helps for timing double unders
8 colors available
Clips need to be tightened occasionally
2. G4Free 3-Way Duffel Backpack
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.
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.
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.
This bag looks like a classic duffel and is available in black, green, blue and orange.
This bag is very functional and a fraction of the cost of high end gym bags.
Convenient pockets to keep gear organized
Separate, ventilated shoe compartment
Converts between backpack and duffel
Holds up to 40L
Some fraying at the seams
Backpack straps are not the most durable
3. WOD Wear Wrist Wraps
Wrist wraps provide support for the wrists during overhead lifts and pressing movements. They do not need to be worn throughout the warm-up and are really only recommended for days when you are lifting more than 60% of your one rep max. We like these wraps from WOD Wear as they are a bit thinner than the thick velcro wraps intended for powerlifting. They do provide some support for straight presses but allow for enough range of motion to complete cleans, jerks and snatches which are common for CrossFit.
The double-layered, heavy duty cotton on these wrist wraps provides sturdy support without irritating wrists. The twist tight design is easy to tighten or loosen between exercises so you do not need to be removing wrist wraps completely to increase range of motion.
The heavy duty cotton material and reinforced stitching create a very durable wrist wrap that withstand some tough workouts.
These wrist wraps are available in a variety of patterns and styles that will look good for both men and women.
The WOD wrist wraps are not cheap but the durable design and soft cotton fabric set them above the competition.
Provides support for a variety of movements
Good for more advanced CrossFit athletes
Easy to loosen/tighten between movements
Less bulky than powerlifting straps
Require some knowledge to wear properly
Some users wish they provided more support for max lifts
4. Bear KompleX Hand Grips
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.
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.
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.
These small grips do not stand out too much but they do offer a few colors for the wrist straps.
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.
Protect palms from calluses and tears
High quality leather
Comfortable wrist straps
Provide minimal wrist support
2-hole and 3-hole options to customize coverage
5. Blender Bottle
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
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.
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.
The Blender Bottle is available in 12 color combinations.
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.
Easy way to make protein shakes and smoothies before or after workouts
Can be used as a water cup
Convenient loop top
Fits in a cup holder
May retain odor
Rubber seal can wear down
6. Track Your WOD Journal
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.
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.
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.
The style is pretty simple but has the title in red across the black cover.
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.
Good way to track progress
Keeps data organized
Easy to use
Space for 210 WODs
CrossFit specific workouts listed
A bit expensive
Smartphone or plain journal is less expensive
7. Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Water Bottle
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.
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.
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.
The Hydro Flask has a solid, sleek appearance and is available in 16 bright colors.
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.
TempShield maintains liquid temperatures for hours
Durable stainless steel
Non-slip powder coat
16 bright color options
Fits in most cup holders
Dents fairly easily
Needs to be hand washed
8. Rehband Rx Knee Support
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.
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.
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.
These sleeves are available in 3 sizes and black, burgundy or navy.
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.
Lightweight knee support
Keeps joint warm for squats
Maintain good range of motion
Some fraying around the seams
9. RIPT Skin Systems Hand Care Kit
Between bar exercises, olympic lifts, kettlebell swings and rowing workouts, calluses and palm tears are difficult to prevent. Hand care kits can come in handy to expedite healing, keep calluses manageable and reduce future damage. This easy-to-use system is great for throwing in your gym bag to get your hands ready for the next WOD.
The RIPT hand care system features three steps. The Quick Fix salve can be applied to fresh tears to soothe inflammation and create an antibacterial barrier. The Daily Dose hand balm has 100% natural ingredients that will restore moisture and reduce sensitivity as new skin grows back. Finally, the synthetic grind stone is carefully designed to allow the callus to thin without buffing it away entirely, protecting you from future tears.
Some users find the grindstone is softer and not as durable as they would expect. However, the company does note that the stone is expected to flake a bit in the beginning.
This kit is packaged in a small box and has two black chapstick tubes and a black synthetic pumice stone.
Some buyers feel the chapstick-sized salve and balm are a bit small for the price but most seem to agree this product is very effective for managing and preventing rips.
Effective for reducing calluses and tears
Natural antiseptic properties to prevent infection
Soothing and moisturizing
Grind stone allows for thin but tough calluses
Small tubes for the price
10. Valeo Performance Profile Weightlifting Belt
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.
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.
This belt is very durable and easy to hand wash.
The plain black belt offers functional support without adding much in the way of style.
This Valeo belt is a fraction of the price of genuine leather belts and provides adequate support for CrossFit workouts.
Additional support for heavy lifts
Assists with maintaining proper form
Does not need to be broken in
Not recommended for all athletes
The Metrics We Used to Determine the Best CrossFit Gear
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.
For each gear category we sought out the brand and model most specially 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.
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.
Appearance is not the highest priority for CrossFit athletes at the gym. However, it is always nice to have 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 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.
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.