It doesn’t matter what your fitness regime looks like, everyone reaches a stage where they need an extra something to help them reach new goals. Weight training, marathon running, CrossFit, and a range of other activities can be enhanced by the use of a weighted vest. By making your workouts that bit tougher you can increase muscle mass and help to shed some pounds but only when you buy a reliable product.
The best weighted vests are comfortable, offer a variety of weights for you to move through, and last a long time. To help make this purchase easier, we have created a list of the best on the market so you can reach a new personal best in no time.
- Editor’s Choice
RUNmax Pro Weighted Vest 12lbs/ 20lbs/ 40lbs/ 50lbs/ 60lbs (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value
Aduro Sport Weighted Vest Workout Equipment, 4lbs/6lbs/12lbs/20lbs/25lbs (Amazon) – Review
- Best Women’s
Ironwear Women’s Vest (Adjustable Height) Contoured 1 to 21 Lb (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Airflow
miR Air Flow Weighted Vest with Zipper Option 20lbs – 60lbs (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Wearing Under Clothes
Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO Unisex 10-Pound Adjustable Weighted Vest (Amazon) – Review
- Best Camouflage
CROSS101 Weighted Vest Arctic/Desert Camouflage 20lbs – 80lbs (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: RUNmax Pro Weighted Vest 12lbs/ 20lbs/ 40lbs/ 50lbs/ 60lbs
This is easily the best weighted vest and not only because it is good value, but because you get to customize the weight. by removing and adding the weights you can start low and increase the resistance as your strength grows. To make it even more convenient there is a phone holder and a place to put your water bottle so you can use it for cardio. This is the sort of product that many people won’t run without since it is so comfortable, partially because you can add shoulder pads to make it feel better should you need to.
Because you can load the weights to the front and back of the vest you get an even weight distribution which takes some of the strain off your shoulders and back. It comes in two weight limit sizes and can make a big difference to your training, giving the quads a satisfying burn after a run or workout.
- Versatile weight options
- Phone holder
- Optional shoulder pads
- Even distribution of weight
Best Value: Aduro Sport Weighted Vest Workout Equipment, 4lbs/6lbs/12lbs/20lbs/25lbs
With plenty of weight options to choose from this is a sturdy weighted vest that is filled with iron to add some resistance to your workouts. This is beneficial because it is odorless unlike other options and the attractive design makes it less bulky. It stays in place as you workout making it seriously comfortable so whether you are using it to make those box jumps at your CrossFit workout harder or want to hit the road for a bit of cardio, this is fine for prolonged use.
There is a meshed pocket on the back where you can add additional weights should you need to and it even comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Some people might take issue with the fixed weights although you can buy them in a variety of sizes ranging from 4lbs to 25 lbs.
- Looks great
- Odorless filling
- Made from neoprene
- Comfortable on the shoulers
Best Women’s: Ironwear Women’s Vest (Adjustable Height) Contoured 1 to 21 Lb
This is the best women’s weighted vest because it is the most comfortable. It has been created to accommodate different bodies since it has an adjustable height and an athletic cut to make it kind on the skin when you work in a range of motions. The chest area is made with a soft, stretchable fabric and because of this, there is no downward pressure. The belt even adjusts between 22 to 54 inches so it is fine for anyone to wear.
The overlapping belt system makes it feel secure when it is on and the contour fit matches to curves of the back. It features 20 weight pockets where you can add or take out one or two 0.5 lb weights that are made from flex metal. What a lot of people like is the fact that it pulls your shoulders back to correct your posture and overall it has a durable feel and is ideal for any woman looking for a quality weighted vest.
- Adjustable weight between 1 to 21 lbs
- Can be fixed to different heights
- Extremely comfortable
- Corrects posture
Best For Airflow: miR Air Flow Weighted Vest with Zipper Option 20lbs – 60lbs
This weighted vest is machine washable making it easy to keep it hygienic as you up the intensity and keep adding weights to make your workouts that much more challenging. It features removable weights and an airflow design that will keep you cool. Even the weights are made to be that more durable as they are iron and should last a lifetime. Each one weighs 3 lbs so you can add and remove them to get the ideal resistance.
You get a full range of movement in this weighted vest and it can be made to fit tight to your body should you need the security. A good option and one that puts pressure on certain areas such as the abdomen and chest.
- Removable weights
- Machine washable
- Airflow design to keep the user cool
- Solid iron weights
Best For Wearing Under Clothes: Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO Unisex 10-Pound Adjustable Weighted Vest
Because it can be worn under your garments this is one of the best weighted vests for cardio as it looks better and is made from lycra and nylon. The high-density steel weights give you 10 lbs of resistance although there is space for you to add more. Because of its thin design, it gives you a full range of motion so you can wear it for just about any type of workout.
The stretchy fabric is both moisture-wicking and odor resistant making it one of the best for long cardio sessions and the open side gives you plenty of ventilation. The neutral design makes it great for men and women alike and it doesn’t shift or chafe when in use.
- Breathable materials
- Thin design means it can be worn under clothes
- Does not chafe
Best Camouflage: CROSS101 Weighted Vest Arctic/Desert Camouflage 20lbs – 80lbs
This is one of the best weighted workout vests but also ideal for adding a little resistance if you are hunting and trying to stay fit and strong. The camouflage design makes it a favorite for those on a hunt and the range of weights is bigger than most. You can choose between 20 – 80 lbs and it has a one-piece design that is easy to put on and adjust.
There is a little bit of bounce when you run with it on but this isn’t uncommon for a weighted vest. The velcro straps are comfortable and the quality is long-lasting according to the hundreds of positive reviews. It has a place to hold a drinks bottle and a phone so it has some neat additions to go along with the comfort.
- Easy to adjust
- Drink holder
- Pleasant design
There are some simple ways you can help to build muscle even when you’re not at the gym and a weighted vest makes it easy to shed some pounds and increase muscle mass. The feeling you get when you take the weight of these vests off your shoulders makes you know you have been doing something right and they can help make you feel light on your feet when training for long distances.
This is only when you buy a comfortable product, made from quality materials, and has a variety of options for you. Because it can be difficult to find the perfect weighted vest, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
Because you don’t want to have to upgrade your weighted vest when you get used to one set weight, it is important to buy a product where you can add and remove weights. We’re not a big fan of fixed weight vests as people tend to outgrow them over time but some might have low maximums with the space to add more.
A lot of people buy weighted vests with a 1 – 20 lbs range which gives you plenty of scope to add more resistance as your strength grows.
This might not be the most important aspect of a weighted vest but it can make life easier. If you are using them for cardio then having a drinks holder and place to keep your phone can make your walk or jog easier. Some products have a reflective material that covers part of the vest to keep you safe in low light conditions.
Although it is difficult to find a weighted workout vest that doesn’t move around even a little the better products are those that are known to stay in place as much as possible. The more weights you use, the more it might move around but a product that can fix tight to your body will reduce the likelihood of this which can cause chafing.
being able to adjust the height to your exact needs and the waist for comfort will go a long way towards making the experience more enjoyable. No one likes their weighted vest to hang too low as it can out pressure in awkward places. The best products are those that are easy to adjust so you can run, lift, or walk with comfort.
This can be with a well-ventilated side design or through the breathable fabric but you need to make sure the product doesn’t cause you to sweat so much that it chafes. The best weighted vests are those that make your workout a challenge, but not uncomfortable.
Although some of the benefits might seem obvious, there are many reasons why athletes like to wear weighted vests, here are some of the most common:
Your health is your wealth so why not invest in something that helps you to break a sweat. It is easy to feel the benefits of a weighted vest, even wearing one around the house can improve your cardiovascular health. When it comes to a workout, a weighted vest is going to provide more resistance, increasing the intensity and helping you make the most of your time and shed some pounds.
Anything that makes a push-up harder or a squat more difficult is going to help you build muscle. Resistance training is another way of helping your body to create lean muscle mass no matter what type of gym work or training you do.
Other Health Benefits
Studies have shown that a weighted vest can help with osteoporosis. Wearing one during a walk can increase bone density which goes to show how there are other benefits outside of building muscle and cardio.
Although the best weighted vests can be great for correcting posture and form, anyone with a back, neck, or shoulder problem should not wear one. Because it can put pressure on your spine you should not risk aggravating an ongoing injury and should always consult your doctor if you are unsure.
In the same way that you see people walking with dumbells, a weighted vest can be an easy way to increase the pressure and help you build strength whilst burning extra calories. There is no need to overdo it and adding a few pounds can make a difference.
Generally speaking, a good place to start is with 10% of your body weight and work your way up as your strength and cardio increases, Some people who are already further down the line in terms of fitness and strength will want more but as long as you have the scope to add more weights you should find the optimal weight for your level.
A lot of people increase the weights relatively quickly which is why it is important to find a product that has a range of weight options.
Although everyone has a different budget, there is something to be said for buying a quality product. The problem with buying a cheap weighted vest is that they are often fixed weight types. This can mean you end up having to buy another before too long.
Because of this, it is a good idea to spend around $60 on a quality product. Others cost a lot more and whilst they can add to the quality and durability, not everyone needs to spend so much.