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If you have a garage gym set up and are looking for ways to add versatility to your workout regimen, then a weighted vest is a great option to diversify your training. But before going and adding just any of the best weighted vests you stumble upon to your wish list, it might be good to consider what you’re looking for. If you’re unsure how much you’ll use a weighted vest in your workouts, a budget option might be a good first pick.

The Condor Sentry Plate Carrier is such a budget option. Priced on the lower end of weighted vests and plate carriers, you can purchase this carrier and plates for it for just around $100. This is a great way to dip your toes in the water of plate carriers, before making a deep dive into a larger investment. Let’s see if this budget-friendly option is right for you in our Condor Sentry Plate Carrier review.

Testing the Best Weighted Vests

We’ve looked at and tested many weighted vests on the market across top brands and manufacturers at Garage Gym Reviews, as well as some of the best home gym equipment for home gym users. Over the years, we’ve given honest reviews and expert opinions through our team of certified personal trainers, weightlifting coaches, athletes, and CrossFit trainers.

This weighted vest is no different. Tested out by GGR founder Coop, he rated this in our list of best weighted vests as the best budget option for most people. We’ll go over the material, fit, and overall value of this plate carrier that led to this decision, to help you decide if it’s the right pick for you.

Condor Sentry Plate Carrier

Condor Sentry Plate Carrier

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar
Community Score: 1.8 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Delivered to your door for less than $50
  • Relatively comfortable with a flexible fit
  • Super entry-level option for people just starting out their home gyms
  • Adjustable shoulder straps for custom fit
  • 3 color options

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Delivered to your door for less than $50
  • Relatively comfortable with a flexible fit
  • Super entry-level option for people just starting out their home gyms
  • 1.5 lbs unloaded
  • Hook-and-loop webbing
  • Adjustable shoulder straps for custom fit
  • Plate pockets compatible with standard ESAPI plates up to 10.25" x 13.25"
  • Emergency drag handle
  • Removable padded mesh shoulder pads with hook and loop guides
  • 3 color options

Cons

  • Not a fan of the buckle closure on straps
  • Not as comfortable as our other top picks
  • Not compatible with laser-cut vest plates

Bottom Line

If a low price is a high priority, but you still want something that’s high quality and can take a beating, then the Condor Sentry Plate Carrier is what we recommend.

A Quick Look at the Condor Sentry Plate Carrier

The Sentry Plate Carrier is made by Condor Outdoors, a company founded in the 1980s and originally focusing on providing quality outdoor gear and equipment at affordable prices. After the tragic events of 9/11 however, Condor shifted towards tactical gear, releasing some of their first products in this field in 2002.

Along with a commitment to military and first responders, the company also seeks out opportunities to serve the community. During the global pandemic in 2020, the company donated over one million masks to hospitals and law enforcement agencies across the U.S. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

RELATED: Military Discounts on Home Gym Equipment

Condor provides a variety of gear and equipment to support different budgets. Their pricier vests are over $200, while the Sentry is just over $50. An updated version of their Compact Plate Carrier, the Sentry is designed to have a more supportive fit, adding adjustable shoulder straps, as well as removable shoulder pads.

Before You Buy

  • This plate carrier is a budget-friendly option; don’t expect it to last as long as the premium versions. While it has a similar feel and look to top brands and higher-quality options, the longevity won’t be as much as them.
  • The Sentry Plate Carrier can be a great gateway into weight vests. If you buy this with plates, and enjoy it, you can eventually invest into a better quality vest—and you’ll already have plates for it.
  • The weighted vest accepts Medium or Large ESAPI plates that measure up to 10.25” x 13.25”. The plate pockets can accept a pretty broad range of plates from different companies, allowing you to save money further with your weight plates pick.
  • Rogue says this on its product page many times, and I should probably reiterate it: these plate carriers are fitness accessories and shouldn’t be used as body armor. It won’t work.

RELATED: OMORPHO Weighted Clothing Review

Is the Condor Sentry Plate Carrier Worth It?

This minimalist vest is our pick for the best budget weighted vest because it provides great value for a weight vest at a low cost. Even if purchasing with plates, this plate carrier comes in cheaper than most high-end weighted vests. This is a great product to introduce yourself to working out with weighted vests. 

Condor Sentry Plate Carrier front view

However, if you know you want a plate carrier that will last, it’s best to start looking at other high-end options. This plate carrier has some potential construction issues that could shorten its lifespan. In addition, many reviews talk about stitching breaking and plates falling through, although that didn’t happen in our testing; with that said, these plate carriers do have a warranty that Rogue Fitness handles.

Great for:

  • Anyone testing to see if they want to incorporate weighted vests into their workouts
  • Those looking for a budget item with decent quality
  • People wanting a plate carrier to enhance bodyweight workouts

Not recommended for:

  • Gym users who want a premium weight vest
  • Those looking for their weighted vest to endure some
  • People who do more strength training and less cardio or bodyweight exercises

Condor Sentry Plate Carrier Specs

Price$51.95
Waist size30” – 46”
Product weight1.5 lbs
Weight capacityHolds up to two 20 lb plates
ColorsBlack, coyote brown, olive drab, multicam black
MaterialsPadded mesh, heavy-duty webbing
Warranty1 year

Using the Condor Sentry Plate Carrier 

In his experience with the Condor Sentry, Coop both liked and disliked aspects of the vest. He remarked that it’s “nowhere near as good or comfortable as the more expensive options, but it gets the job done at an extremely low price.” Along with this, the plate carrier still has a similar feel to the higher end vests.

Condor Sentry Plate Carrier being worn

One issue was with the fitting of the tactical vest. Coming in only one size with adjustable sizing, fitting waists between 30 and 46 inches, the Sentry Plate Carrier has quick adjust cinches, as well as quick-release buckles. In his use, Coop said it “fits generally close to the body.” We can’t expect a budget item to conform to our torso easily, so it seemed to work well enough. Don’t expect a snug fit like the Hyperwear Hyper Vest Elite, though.

Condor Sentry Plate Carrier buckle

If this is your first plate carrier, you’ll need to order vest plates in addition to the vest. Weight plates won’t work like they will on the Kensui EZ-Vest. The Sentry supports medium and large ESAPI (Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert) vest plates, up to 10.25 inches by 13.25 inches, which makes it able to accept a wide range of standard armor plates. The plate pockets are easy to access and each holds a 20-pound plate just fine. It won’t work with laser cut vest plates, however.

Condor Sentry Plate Carrier opening

Although most home gym users won’t have a need for this, this tactical vest does have an emergency drag handle. In military training, this handle is used to help drag a soldier off the battlefield if they are down. While a drag handle can be used in training exercises, there’s not much use for it for garage gyms.

Construction & Durability

A lot was done to make the Sentry Plate Carrier a more comfortable vest than the compact plate carrier. For one, the shoulder straps are adjustable, and include removable shoulder straps, as well as a breathable 3D mesh interior lining. With quick cinch adjustments on the front and hook and loop webbing adjustments on the shoulders, the vest can be adjusted on the fly, making it more comfortable for longer rucks and running workouts.

Condor Sentry Plate Carrier velcro

Our biggest concern on this weight vest is the durability. Coop noted, “Stitching and longevity of the vest won’t be the same as a higher end vest like the 5.11 so don’t expect it to last as long, and you may have to get a needle and thread out eventually…If you go into it thinking this is going to last as long as other options, you’re going to be disappointed.”

While we didn’t have this happen to us, quite a few customer reviews said the bottom stitching broke and plates would fall out in the middle of a workout. The warranty should cover any defects like this, but just be prepared for this weighted vest to feel and last like a budget vest.

Comparison to the Rogue Plate Carrier

Rogue Plate Carrier

Rogue Plate Carrier

GGR Score: 4.7 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Designed specifically for use in functional fitness scenarios
  • Very reasonably priced at less than $130
  • Durable but comfortable

Made in USA Made in USA

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Designed specifically for use in functional fitness scenarios
  • Made in the USA
  • Very reasonably priced at less than $130
  • Durable but comfortable

Cons

  • Could have thicker shoulder padding for long-term wear
  • If you get the wrong size, it’ll definitely jostle while running (measure!)
  • Steel plates sold separately

Bottom Line

The Rogue Plate Carrier is our best-rated weighted vest largely due to its value proposition. I

This may be an unfair comparison, but it’s really just to show you what you’re getting with each choice. The Rogue Plate Carrier is a high-quality product, built with Cordura fabric, which is incredibly durable. Coming in three different sizes, the plate carrier is also going to be a bit more comfortable than the Condor Sentry Plate Carrier. The velcro keeps the Rogue vest a bit more snug, while the Sentry’s buckles and cinches aren’t as easy to maneuver.

The biggest determining factor of the value for you will be the price. The Rogue Plate Carrier is a superior weighted vest, but simply will be priced too high for some home gym users. The Sentry is affordable and, in some cases, is still cheaper than the Rogue vest even after purchasing vest plates.

If you are worried about the quality of the Sentry but are new to weight vests, you can purchase the Sentry and vest plates first, and down the road, if you still want a high-quality vest, you can purchase a vest like the Rogue Plate Carrier. Plus, the vest plates should be compatible, so there’ll be no need to make two separate purchases on steel plates. It’s a win-win.

Get our full thoughts on Rogue’s weighted vest in our Rogue Plate Carrier review.

Condor Sentry Plate CarrierRogue Fitness Plate Carrier
Price$51.95$145
SizesOne sizeSmall, medium, large
Waist sizing30” – 46”Under 34” (small), 34”-42” (medium), 42”-50” (large)
Product weight1.5 lbs1.12 lbs
Weight capacityHolds up to two 20 lb platesHolds up to two 20 lb plates
ColorsBlack, coyote brown, olive drab, multicam blackBlack, ranger green, coyote brown, gray
MaterialsPadded mesh, heavy-duty webbing1000D and 500D Cordura
Warranty1 year90 days

Customer Experience 

The Condor Sentry Plate Carrier, as well as all of their other products, are backed by a one-year limited warranty. If purchased from the Rogue Fitness website, Rogue still respects the warranty and handles it if there are any issues. Make sure to use the right plates though, as the vest isn’t compatible with laser cut vest plates and using them will void your warranty.

Condor allows for 30-day returns of their products with a proof of purchase. Ideally, the item should be in its original packaging, but if the packaging is damaged or unavailable, then a similar sized package will work. Make sure to complete a return form before sending it back though.

Ordering and Assembling the Condor Sentry Plate Carrier

The Condor Sentry Plate Carrier can be purchased directly off of their website, or off of Rogue’s website. The weighted vest does not come with vest plates, so those will cost extra. One nice thing about purchasing from Rogue for this item is that you can easily purchase the plate carrier with Rogue USA Cast Weight Vest Plates or Echo Weight Vest Plates (plus, the weighted vest is a bit cheaper, too).

Customer Reviews

On Condor’s website, there are only two reviews for the Sentry Plate Carrier, averaging at 4.5 stars out of 5. However, there are a few more reviews for the weighted vest on Rogue’s website, a total of 396 reviews, but they still average the same 4.5 stars. 

Many positive reviews talk about its value, getting the job done at a low price point. Most complaints by users came from either the weight vest fitting poorly, or from the vest wearing out and ripping prematurely. If the latter happens, Condor provides a one-year warranty for its gear and equipment, and will cover any uncommon wear and tear.

Final Verdict of Our Condor Sentry Plate Carrier Review

The Condor Sentry Plate Carrier brings a lot of value with its low price point. While it won’t have the quality, comfort, or longevity of higher end options, this weighted vest will get the job done. It is a solid piece of budget home gym equipment. It is also a great way to be introduced to weight vests; there’s always the option to upgrade down the road!

Condor Sentry Plate Carrier Rating

Condor Sentry Plate Carrier

In our Condor Sentry Plate Carrier review, we’ll look at this budget-friendly weighted vest that’s also a great entry into the world of plate carriers.

Product Brand: Condor

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 52

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4

Condor Sentry Plate Carrier

Construction – 4
Materials – 4
Connection System – 3
Options – 4.5
Fit & Comfort – 3.5
Value – 5
Check Price

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