Plate carriers or weighted vests are great when you want to challenge yourself when working out. Unfortunately, there are a lot of weighted vests out there that aren’t very high quality and won’t last you a long time. So, we set out to find all the plate carriers made in the USA so you can add one to your home gym workout for years to come.
Here is all of our research on plate carriers (weighted vests) made in the USA. We also included our shopping tips for finding these domestically made products and some brands to watch out for that aren’t made here. Let’s dive in!
Full List of Plate Carrier Brands Made in the USA
Rogue Fitness is a well-known brand that has a variety of weightlifting products, including plate carriers. Specifically, look out for the Rogue Plate Carrier, which is made in the USA. This amazing product has three adjustable sizes and comes in four different colors. Not only is the product made of high-quality materials, but it is also relatively affordable. You can get a Rogue Plate Carrier for $145! The design is simple but effective and can hold plates up to 20 lbs. Rogue Fitness also sells USA-made cast plate inserts for the Rogue Plate Carrier. These range in weight from 5 to 20 lbs.
Ironwear Fitness manufactures wearable weights such as weighted vests. They have a huge variety of weighted vests, so if you are after a USA-made weighted vest, Ironwear Fitness is sure to have something for you. Everything is made in their factory along the Allegheny River, and their steel is also sourced locally. As a plus, all Ironwear Fitness products have a lifetime warranty and offer repair services!
GORUCK produces military-grade backpacks, boots, clothing, and weighted vests. Not everything they have in their store is made in the USA, though. For weighted vests, only their steel plates are made here. Their vests are not, but we still wanted to include them here because of the plates.
YouTube Video: How to Find Weighted Vests & Other Functional Training Gear Made in the USA
How to Find Weighted Vests and Plate Carriers Made in the USA
When looking for US-made plate carriers, you may not know where even to begin the search. Nowadays, it is so common to find plate carriers that are made overseas or with imported materials, so you may find that US-made plate carriers are not easily within reach.
But worry not! Here is our guide for you to find plate carriers that are made in the USA.
What Does “Made in the USA” Mean?
First, it is important to understand what made in the USA means. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), for something to be made in the USA, “all or virtually all” of the product must be made in the USA. This means that every part of the manufacturing process, including the raw materials used, must be sourced and manufactured in the United States.
Check out our “made in the USA” labeling guide to learn more about what this means.
The first step to finding plate carriers or weighted vests made in the USA is to look at the materials used in manufacturing the product since true US-made products should also be made with US materials. Plate carriers are generally made of cotton, polyester, and nylon.
The USA grows enough cotton annually to place it in third place in terms of the worldwide production of the material. Coming in only behind China and India, the cotton trade in the United States is a huge industry worth 21 billion dollars. Therefore, finding a plate carrier made of cotton in the USA should be reasonably easy. But since cotton is also primarily produced in Asian countries, it’s worth double-checking the country of origin before purchasing a cotton plate carrier.
Cotton is more often than not blended with polyester to improve its strength, and most of the world’s polyester comes from Asia. However, with that said, the USA does have a sizable share in the polyester market, producing around 1.4 million tons of this material yearly. In fact, a couple of the top 10 polyester-producing companies are located right here in the States! So while it may be more difficult to find US-made polyester than it is to find cotton, it is far from impossible.
Nylon is another common material that plate carriers are made of. China is the largest producer of nylon worldwide, but the USA does not fall far behind. The United States produces around 2.4 million tons of nylon annually and ranks fourth in the world in terms of nylon production. So, finding nylon plate carriers made in the USA shouldn’t be overly difficult if you know where to look.
The plates inserted into plate carriers or weighted vests are generally made of steel. More than half of the world’s steel comes from China, but other Asian countries like India and Japan also produce a lot of steel. While the USA doesn’t produce nearly as much steel, it still produces a significant amount. While it’s often easier and cheaper to stick with imported steel, USA-made steel is three times stronger than Chinese steel, so there is a definite difference in quality in plate carriers that use domestic steel over the cheaper, imported alternative.
To find plate carriers that are made in the USA, you must pay attention to the labeling. Title 19 Chapter 4 Section 1304 of the United States Code states that all products from overseas must be labeled as such. And when looking for USA-made plate carriers, look specifically for the FTC-protected “made in the USA” label.
Unfortunately, finding plate carriers made in the USA is not as simple as looking for the label. First, there is no pre-approval process for using the “made in the USA” label. This means that it is up to the manufacturer to decide if their product meets the requirements to use the label. And ultimately, it is up to the consumer to report companies misusing the label.
Secondly, many labels are similar to the “made in the USA” label but mean something different. For example, labels such as “designed in the USA” and “assembled in the USA” mean that only a portion of the product’s manufacturing occurs in the United States.
Another example is the label “made in America.” This is because “America” can also include Mexico and Canada, so if a product has this label, it may not be genuinely USA-made.
Lastly, some companies use the American flag on labels to trick consumers into thinking the product is USA-made. The American flag on labels is not regulated, so do not rely on this to determine whether or not a product is truly made in the United States.
Here are some extra tips to help you find USA-made plate carriers.
Research the Company Online
Companies are not required to state the country of origin on online or promotional materials. So if a company does not list the country of origin of a product, it is not likely to be made domestically.
On the other hand, “made in the USA” is a huge selling point. So, if this is the case, you should find this information easily on the company’s website. Make sure you check the company’s About Us or product pages to find the information you need.
Check the Brand’s Social Media
If a product is genuinely made in the USA, the company should promote this fact as part of its marketing. Check the company’s social media handles for information regarding where their products are made and details about their manufacturing processes.
Call the Company
If you are still uncertain whether a plate carrier is made in the USA, your best option is to call the company directly. A representative should be able to answer all your questions.
Plate Carriers Not Made in the USA
Here are some of the popular plate carrier brands that are not made in the USA. Please note that this list will be updated continuously, so contact us if we should add anything further.
- Force USA – Made in China
- INFIDEZ – Made in China
- OneTigris – Made in China
- RUNmax – Made in China
- PETAC GEAR – Made in China
- Fringe Sport – Made in China and USA
- Barbells made in the USA
- Weightlifting belts made in the USA
- Weight benches made in the USA
- Iron and bumper plates made in the USA
- Squat and power racks made in the USA
- Resistance bands made in the USA
- Dumbbells made in the USA
- Treadmills made in the USA
- Exercise bikes made in the USA
- Pull up bars made in the USA
- Rowers made in the USA