Hank Shell 

Spring has arrived here in the beautiful San Juan Mountains. Those slate gray and gelid winter mornings are giving way, albeit reluctantly, to temperate sunrises and birdsong. Each day the rivers grow with the seasonal tithe of high-mountain runoff. The snows are receding, revealing the myriad caches of dog poop that punctuate every square foot of our backyard. Ah, spring.

One of my favorite training activities during these more hospitable months is hiking; more specifically, hiking with a rucksack full of rocks on my back. It’s cheap, it’s great low-intensity cardio, and it makes me feel like I’m in an Old Spice commercial. You know the one with Terry Crews? Where his abs can talk? Anyway, that backpack full of rocks is pretty unwieldy and hella uncomfortable, so I decided it was prime time for an upgrade. Which brings me to HyperWear. Innovation is all about problem solving. At HyperWear, the crew saw rigid weights as a problem. I see jagged chunks of sandstone stacked haphazardly inside of a haul bag as a problem. There lies the intersection of our interests.

HyperWear’s Hyper Vest Pro is to my clunky backpack what a Lamborghini is to a Kia. No offense to Kia, but it’s definitely an UPGRADE. Actually, it goes a bit beyond that. I mean, we’re all familiar with weight vests, right? Most of them are more like ballistic armor than actual vests. They’re awkward, uncomfortable and without nuance. Nobody has time for that. The Hyper Vest Pro is certainly none of those things. It’s made out of moisture wicking, odor resistant fabric. Its side-lacing design offers breathability and a truly glove-like fit. And the weight? The vest’s panels of tiny pockets hold ¼ inch steel weights. At 2.25 oz each, the design allows for incredible customization, both of weight and weight distribution. It blows a backpack full of rocks out of the water.

I was pretty much sold on HyperWear after finding the Hyper Vest Pro, but in the name of thoroughness I persisted in my research. Turns out, there’s a lot more to HyperWear than just vests. The company also offers a full line of soft dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells and hand weights. Their Softbell line is especially sexy. Fully adjustable dumbbells and kettlebells? Yes, please! Dumbbells that you can accidently bash into your hip during a set of hammer curls with minimal agony? WHERE DO I SIGN UP. Really, though. These things are sweet. Oh yes, and did I mention HyperWear makes an actual RUCK SACK? The Fit RUCK converts into a super sandbag with a few added weights, and it includes six handles for a whole host of functional fitness exercises.  Perfect if you still want that backpack-full-of-rocks vibe. Seriously, though. HyperWear. Check them out.

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