Wrist Wraps for CrossFit: Review of the Harbinger Wrist Wraps vs Strength Wraps


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Strength wraps vs wrist wraps, which of these is the best gear for you? In this article, we will compare two popular wrist wraps for CrossFit: Harbinger Wrist Wraps and Strength Wraps.  Be sure to also check out our article about wrist wraps and wrist straps for CrossFit. In this article, we’ve discussed in details the function of these two important pieces of gear for CrossFit and how to pick out an optimal pair.

Why wrist wraps?

I am a long time lifter-both conventional lifting and CrossFit and over my years I have tried a lot of different gear.  That’s why I always try to find what not only works well but gears that will last with repeated use and abuse.  As a matter of fact, I injured my wrist last summer when I was playing golf and now need wrist support for lifts that require  full wrist extension.

Wrist Wraps vs Strength Wraps

Harbinger Wrist Wraps

Click here or on the picture to purchase.

The first wrist wrap I was able to try is the Harbinger elastic wraps.  These wraps are great as they are long enough to wrap around your wrist multiple times to provide support and they have easy to use Velcro to hold them in place.  There is a thumb loop to help you easily wrap the gear to your wrist. But you should release the loop after finishing the wrap so that it does not cause any interference.  These wraps are easy enough to adjust the tension on your wrist if you are going between multiple exercises where you may need support for one lift/movement, and then not need it for the next.  There is elastic in the wraps so you can actually make them pretty tight around your wrists if necessary.

The down side to these wraps is that they will break down over time.  The elastic in the wrap will stretch out and some of the strands will break which decreases their ability to maintain their support.  Also the Velcro that holds the wrap closed in place will separate which eventually renders the wrap useless. They are washable for when the inevitable smell sets in, however this will also speed up their breakdown.

Pros:

  • Excellent wrist support for exercises requiring wrist extension
  • Relatively easily adjustable mid workout using Velcro closure
  • Washable-however washing may affect the durability
  • Inexpensive, at less than $11 on Amazon

Cons:

  • Low durability of elastic inside the length of the wrap
  • Low durability of the Velcro closure

 

Strength Wraps

Rogue Strength Wraps
Rogue sells their own branded Strength Wraps for 24.95

Click here or on the picture to purchase

My other wrist wrap option are strength wraps.  Mine happen to be branded by Rogue.  These wraps are also quite long and can be wrapped around your wrist multiple times to provide support as necessary.  They are a bit more complicated to get on initially as you wrap them on and they are pretty loose at first. Also, instead of having a Velcro closure there is a string with a knot on the end that you wrap around it to hold in place.

I was a bit skeptical when I saw this at first but after using them for 6 months I’ve found it to be very reliable.  Once wrapped loosely and the string with the knot wrapped and twisted, these wraps can be tightened down by simply twisting the wrap around your wrist as if tightening a pipe with a wrench.  The tension around your wrist can easily be adjusted on the fly by a quick twist to loosen them and immediately twisted in the opposite direction to tighten back down again.

I rarely have to adjust the string with the knot after I initially put them on so they are a bit faster and easier to get the fit that I desire compared to the Harbinger elastic wraps. As far as durability, these wraps have nothing to break down.  The string with the knot in it has no elastic properties to break down over time and the wrap, itself, is non-stretch fabric.  These are also washable for when the smells gets bad and since there are no materials in the wrap to breakdown, washing them has no effect on their durability. I have been using these wraps almost every day for 6 months and they function as well as day 1!

Check out this video to get a better idea of how to use Strength Wraps

Pros:

  • Excellent wrist support for exercises requiring wrist extension
  • Very easy to adjust tension around the wrist without needing to unfasten first
  • Washable without affecting durability
  • No materials to breakdown which yields excellent durability of the wrap

Cons:

  • You need to occasionally re-twist the string and knot closure for more dynamic trainings like running or burpees
  • More expensive than the Harbinger wrist wraps, at $24.95, but they last for longer!

Conclusion

Both Harbinger and Strength wraps provide the same support to an injured wrist. That’s why it can be very difficult to choose the best one for me. On the whole, I personally lean towards the strength wraps vs wrist wraps. Both wraps are excellent for use by any athlete. Especially to those who suffered ligamentous wrist injuries or even to athletes on their road to recovery.

I usually wear my wraps for workouts that include thrusters, overhead quads, snatches, or cleans.  That’s because my injury bothers me primarily with these movements. Given that both provide great support, it probably comes down to how often you use them. Therefore, the value for money in terms of durability is one of the top things to consider.

If you want something inexpensive that will last for a short period of time, then go for Harbinger.  If you are an avid CrossFitter, WODing several times a week, then it may be better to go for the more expensive (but still very affordable) strength wraps. Either way, both are great wrist wraps for CrossFit!

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About Julien

Hey! Thanks for being here. I’ve been active pretty much my whole life and I discovered Crossfit about 5 years ago. I want to help you improve your Crossfit performances by giving tips on specific movements, workouts and equipment. You have a question? Get in touch!

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