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If you are looking for a way to boost your workout easily, without adding more expensive equipment to your home gym, then you should consider getting a weighted vest. These vests add resistance to your fitness moves, exercises, and increase the demands on your body without you worrying about space for weights, and machines, or training.
To help you choose a good weighted vest, we have curated a list of the best weighted vests in the market right now.
Top 9 Best Weighted Vests to Spice up your Workouts
The Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro has a patented low-profile design that you can use to add resistance to your workout. The vest fits snugly to your body during a workout and does not move sideways or up and down because of the lacing and strap equipped in the vest. It is easier to adjust the weight to your own level of fitness because there are weight pockets on the vest that hold 10-pound steel weights.
These weight pockets, like the rest of the material which is a blend of breathable cotton, seems too thin to last more than a few years. This aside, you would be getting one of the most comfortable, versatile, and best weighted vests for your workout routines.
The miR Air Flow Weighted Vest is a half-length vest that is made with soft breathable materials. Its short form factor allows for maximum movement during your workouts and leaves more space for air and sweat to escape.
It has a single velcro strap used to wrap around the vest and hold it in place. This strap comes from the back, wraps around a couple of buckles, and returns to the back where it sticks. If you have someone to help you out, this is not a problem. However, if you are securing this yourself, you may not get a tight fit which makes the vest move about during workout.
The weights are full cast iron bars that have more advantages when compared to sandbags, including higher weight loading, although they tend to make the vest appear bulky. The Mir air flow weighted vest is a top recommendation if you want a weighted vest that can pack more weights than our top pick.
The CAP Barbell adjustable short weighted vest is a one-size-fits-all short weighted vest that comes in weights ranging from 20 to 150 pounds. It is equipped with pockets that hold the iron weights as well as a small pouch for you phone. A large front flap with a reflective strip covers the pocket areas and help improve your visibility if you’re ever going out for a run in the dark.
The weights fit tightly and would not fall off during your workouts. This also means that you might struggle to adjust them in-between workouts without losing momentum.
We don’t like that the padding around the shoulders is light and can cause a bit of discomfort, especially if you wearing the heavier vests for longer periods.
The CROSS101 Weighted Vest comes in two variants to choose from, the arctic or desert camo style. It has a velcro belt that allows for a good tightening of the vest around your body and also to hold your water bottle should in case you decided to hold one during a workout. The weighted vest is fully adjustable allowing you to adjust the weights as you progress on your fitness level.
The weights are sandbags weights and are evenly distributed around the vest with four weight pockets each on either side. We prefer metal weights, but these work just as well.
The only downside of the high quality and durable Cross 101 weighted vest is the thin shoulder padding that can put some strain on the shoulders with more weight.
Aduro Sport Adjustable Weighted Vest has a distinct design with a mesh and reinforced with neoprene material that is very comfortable and breathable. It stands out from most other vests with softbound edges that prevent it from rubbing against your skin during a workout and is available in different weight options ranging from 4 pounds to 46 pounds.
The weights are made from Aduro Sports’ proprietary Iron pellets system that allows for micro loading of weights in just 2-pound increments.
In addition to weight pockets which are evenly distributed on the front and back of the vests, you’ll also get mesh pockets on the front and back of the vest to put your phone and stuff during workouts.
It has an adjustable strap that keeps the vest in place without moving around while you are exercising. We like the soft material and design a lot; and the fact that you can get it in different weights and make micro weight adjustments makes this one of the best weighted vests for running.
RUNmax Pro Weighted Vest offers excellent performance and durability. It is available in different weights including 12, 20, 40, 50, and 60-pound vest meaning there is an option for everyone. The vest is comfortable and fits properly with the help of a velcro strap that securely wraps around the torso. Although the long length may not be ideal for squats, sit-ups, and the likes.
It is also one of the bigger sized vests on our list.
The Runmax Pro weighted vest has weight pockets on the front and the back, a water bottle holder, and a small enclosure for phones, keys, and the likes. The shoulder has no extra padding and you need to purchase shoulder pads separately.
The Bear Komplex weighted vest is designed specifically for CrossFit. It is designed primarily to serve as a fitness accessory and does a really good job. It is made with inner padded material that sits very comfortably on your chest, back, and shoulders, with elastic side straps that tend to move with your breathing. The side straps have a very easy clip-on/off mechanism and make it a breeze to wear and take off the vest.
It makes use of weight plates which you can add to the front or back enclosures, to get up to 50lbs of additional weight. However, you have to purchase these weight plates separately, which is the only downside of the excellent Bear Komplex weighted vest. That aside, this vest is easily the best weighted vest for CrossFit lovers.
The Hyperwear Hypervest Elite is one of the best weighted vest that can help you add more resistance to your workout. The Hyper Vest Elite is noticeably thin, comfortable, and fits snugly to your body well whether you are wearing it over your training clothes or against bare skin. It is made from Cordura nylon fabric, which is very durable, breathable, and does not hold odor. It comes with adjustable elastic cords on the sides and is available in various sizes ranging from small to extra-large.
Despite the low-profile design of this vest, the weight is evenly distributed. The number of weights the vest comes with is dependent on the size you that you purchase. The weights are small metal plates that fit into tiny pockets all over the vest.
It’s one of the pricier vests on this list, but makes for a great option for those looking for a thin and fit weighted vest.
The Hyperwear Hyper Vest FIT is our last entry for the best weighted vest available in the market. It is lightweight, comfortable, and made with a breathable blend of lycra and nylon fabric. Unlike some weighted vests, this vest will not disturb your workout as you can wear it under or over your workout gear. It also allows for an even distribution of the weights on the front and back of the vest.
The only downside to this vest is the limited weight options. With the Hyperwear Hyper vest fit, you can only get up to 10lbs of weight which for most people would be very small. However, if you’re exactly looking for a very lightweight vest and are comfortable with a maxium load of 10lbs, then the hyper vest fit is one of the best weighted vests to buy.
How to choose a weighted vest to boost your workouts
In getting the best weighted vest to boost your workout, you should put some factors into consideration. These factors will ensure you are getting the best product that will suit your fitness needs.
As you’re literally buying vests with weights, the weight should be a primary consideration. Weights used in most weighted vests are either sandbags, iron bars, iron or steel plates, or iron pellets and each type of weight has its advantages and disadvantages.
If you’re looking for a weighted vest for running, it wouldn’t really matter which type of weight you go for. On the other hand, if you’re buying a weighted vest for CrossFit or free training, then you might want to consider flexible weights such as iron pellets, small steel plates, and small sandbags that would allow for greater movement as you workout. Also, the weights should be evenly distributed across the vest. Most weighted vests that are odor-free use iron pellets or bars instead of sandbags.
Another important to consider is if the vest has fixed or adjustable weights. Adjustable weights allow you to add and remove weight bags or plates easily based on your workout needs, while fixed weights mean that you need to buy another vest to get more or less weights.
If you want to get the best weighted vest, be sure you are getting one made of high-quality, breathable, and durable fabric. Although many of the vests that can accomodate larger weights are bulky, they still have moisture-wicking and padded interiors.
Another consideration would be if the fabric is machine washable and easy to maintain. Most of the weighted vests we have reviewed are, but be sure to confirm before making the final purchase decision.
Do not skip on quality when getting a weighted vest, especially because of price. Most of the ultra-thin weighted vests are not as durable as the heavier ones, but if with good use and care you can be able to get 1 to 2 years worth of use out of them.
If you really want a vest to last a long time (3+ years) then you should not consider buying the thin and light vests we have mentioned. You should also make sure that the vest you buy has well sewn edges that won’t come loose easily.
Finally, it is better to altogether avoid vests with zippers that can easily break.
Safety & Extra features
Features such as shoulder pads, reflective strips, and storage pockets can improve your experience considerably.
Vests with side or full straps help you to securely fasten the vest and get a great fit while reflective tapes make you more visible in poor lighting situations such as night time. And if you like to pack a few items while exercising, storage pockets come in handy.
It’s very common to see that many manufacturers are updating their vests to add these extras features.
Frequently asked questions
Are weighted vests good?
Weighted vests have numerous benefits, they are good for improving muscle strength because they add resistance to your exercises. A Texas University study has been shown that engaging in exercises with a weighted vest increases strength than when it is done without a vest.
It has also been shown that using a weighted vest increases your endurance by 11-13 percent during cycling and running.
Do weighted vests build muscle?
A weighted vest increases resistance during training. This increase in resistance has shown to help build a substantial amount of muscle. A weighted vest adds resistance to exercises that work some of the largest muscles in your body for maximal muscle growth. Source
Are weighted vests bad for your spine?
Weighted vests are worn on the shoulders, with a wide strap that wraps around your middle to keep the vest in place. If you have a back or neck problem, it would be better to use the lighter vests or avoid wearing them all together.
Terry Downey, a physical therapist at Harvard says weighted vest puts pressure on your spine, and if you have spinal stenosis or significant disc degeneration, it can cause problems up to the neck. If you have any back or joint problems, you should first talk to your doctor before using a vest.
How heavy should weighted vest be?
Your weighted vest should not exceed 10 percent of your body weight. Most research says vests should be 4 to 10 percent of body weight to get the maximum benefit. Pick up a vest that allows you to start at a lower weight and gradually increase the weight to get the most value for your money.
How long should you wear weighted vest?
To get the maximum benefit from a weighted vest without having a negative impact on your body, you should wear a vest for a period of 30 minutes to 1 hour or 1 hour 30 minutes if you are using it for running or jogging. If you are using it as extra weight for bodyweight exercises then, use it only for 20 minutes to an hour a day.
Last update on 2021-02-27. Affiliate links and images from Amazon product advertising API