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The 6 Best Weighted Vests For Powerful Workouts

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Weighted vests are one of the best pieces of fitness equipment. Find out what the best option is for your personal situation and training goals.

Best weighted vests top picks

You can use the list of top picks to quickly find the best weighted vests for any specific training goals, strength capacities, preferences, budgets, etc. The CROSS101 Weighted Vest is a great overall pick.

In terms of the weight of the vest, it is hard to give general recommendations since this varies so much between individuals and exercises.

That being said, for running a very general recommendation is a weighted vest that weights between 4% to 10% of your body weight. For other exercises, the weight requirements vary so much that it is not really possible to put a specific number on it.

People who are not sure about their personal capabilities can get a heavy adjustable weighted vest and take out weights until the exercise they want to do is challenging enough but not too hard.

How we selected our top picks

Our fitness experts spent a lot of time looking at and comparing all the different important factors of the best weighted vests. Some of the things that were taken into consideration when making our selection include:

  • Maximum weight ranges, adjustability, material, comfort, etc.
  • User reviews
  • Anecdotal reviews from fitness experts
  • Total price and price per pound
  • Brand trustability

If a pick seems interesting click it to see the online prices.

6 Best weighted vests reviewed in depth

People who want to save some time can use the list of top picks to make a quick choice. You can also look at each of the best weighted vests reviewed in detail to ensure you get the right model for you personally.

1. CROSS101 Weighted Vest With Shoulder Pads

Our top pick for the best overall weighted vest is the CROSS101 Weighted Vest With Shoulder Pads. For a variety of individuals, workout plans, and budgets, this will be the best choice.

You can get this model in maximum weights ranging from 20 to 140 pounds (9.1 to 63.5 kg). Additionally, each of these sizes comes with adjustable weights.

This allows you to adjust the weight for the specific exercise you will do and makes it usable by different individuals.

Then as you get stronger over time with the help of this great weighted vest, you can keep increasing the resistance to keep the workouts challenging for your cardiovascular system and muscles.

Pros

  • Max weights ranging from 20 to 140 pounds (9.1 to 63.5 kg) available
  • Weight is adjustable
  • Optional shoulder pads to make your workouts more comfortable
  • Has a water bottle holder
  • Very positive ratio of customer reviews
  • A lot of happy customers
  • Budget-friendly price per pound

Cons

  • The weighted vest can move around while running

You can also get the CROSS101 Weighted Vest without shoulder pads but most people will want to get the option with pads for extra comfort.

When it comes to price, this option is relatively budget-friendly per pound. There are a few maximum weights where some of the other best weighted vests are more budget-friendly but these tend to be exceptions.

One small you want to keep in mind is that a few customers mention the weighted vest can bounce to some extent while running. If this will be your main weighted vest exercise, it may be smarter to go for the next model.

The solid features in combination with the budget-friendly price and the high number of customers who are really happy with their investments make the CROSS101 Weighted Vest With Shoulder Pads our top pick.

2. RUNmax Pro Weighted Vest With Shoulder Pads

This RUNmax Pro Weighted Vest With Shoulder Pads is our top pick for the best weighted vest for running. For this type of exercise you want your weighted vest to stay in place, a comfortable fit, and even weight distribution.

The RUNmax Pro model does have a nice range of maximum weight options and a good number of weight increments but these are somewhat less important for running compared to resistance training.

Most people likely want to get the additional shoulder pads since running sessions tend to take some time. These shoulder pads are an area where the RUNmax Pro model can use some improvement.

A few customers mention they would prefer more and wider padding to make the weighted vest more comfortable on their shoulders.

Pros

  • Max weights ranging from 12 to 60 pounds (5.4 to 27.2 kg) available
  • Weight is adjustable
  • Has a phone pocket and water bottle holder
  • Optional shoulder pads to make your runs more comfortable
  • Even weight distribution
  • Very positive ratio of customer reviews
  • A lot of happy customers
  • Budget-friendly price per pound

Cons

  • Phone pocket can be designed better
  • There are some cases where the vest starts breaking down after a few months of use
  • Some people would prefer more and wider padding for their shoulders

Additionally, there are a few exceptional cases where the vest starts showing wear and tear after a few months of use. This is not that bad when it comes to durability but being able to use the weighted vest for longer is welcome.

That being said, a few issues here and there are expected with the high number of customers. The very positive ratio of customers implies that these are the exception and not the rule.

A few nice additions for running are the phone pocket, water bottle holder, and even weight distribution.

While there are a few small points where the RUNmax Pro Weighted Vest With Shoulder Pads could improve, it still definitely deserves the top spot for running. Especially if you consider its relatively budget-friendly price per pound.

3. MiR Women’s Weighted Vest

This next option is, as the name implies, our choice for the best weighted vest for women. Weighted vests are great pieces of fitness equipment but the more common designs can be uncomfortable around the chest for some women.

Having a weighted vest that is comfortable is valuable for all workouts but especially so for longer-duration ones like running and walking.

One downside of the design of the MiR Women’s Weighted Vest is that it can be challenging to put on and adjust the straps. Especially the first few uses, you may need some extra help with this.

Another potential downside is that the maximum weights available are alright but not that impressive. There are a good number of exercises where 30 pounds (13.6 kg) will not be enough for a lot of muscle growth and strength progress.

Pros

  • Max weights ranging from 10 to 30 pounds (4.5 to 13.6 kg) available
  • Weight is adjustable in 3-pound (1.4 kg) iron weight increments
  • Can fit women’s curves better than typical weighted vest designs
  • Multiple adjustment straps
  • A lot of breathing room

Cons

  • Putting the vest on and adjusting the straps requires some effort
  • 30 pounds is not enough weight for certain individuals and exercises

That being said, if the maximum weights are enough for your workouts, the MiR Women’s Weighted Vest is more than just a comfortable design.

The 3-pound (1.4 kg) weights allow you to find the ideal resistance and increase this as you get stronger. Additionally, the multiple adjustment straps help keep the weighted vest in place, even during workouts like running.

For individuals who work out in warm temperatures the extra breathing room can be another nice addition.

Women who (think they will) find regular weighted vests uncomfortable and 30 pounds enough resistance can definitely consider investing in this model.

4. RUNFast/Max Adjustable Weighted Vest

This next option from RUNmax seems to be the same as the Pro option up to and including 80 pounds. Heavier than that and you get a slightly different design with more capacity.

Customers tend to be just a bit more positive about the comfort of this second RUNFast/Max Adjustable Weighted Vest. They do still recommend getting the optional shoulder pads.

Additionally, the heavier maximum weight options can come in handy for a workout like walking which is just a bit easier on your body than running.

Pros

  • Max weights ranging from 12 to 140 pounds (5.4 to 63.5 kg) available
  • Weight is adjustable
  • Optional shoulder pads to make your workouts more comfortable
  • Has a water bottle holder
  • Even weight distribution
  • Very positive ratio of customer reviews
  • A lot of happy customers
  • Budget-friendly price per pound

Cons

  • The fit of the weighted vest is not that adjustable
  • In a few cases, RUNFast forgets to add the shoulder pads
  • Phone pocket can be designed better

Two other aspects that will be helpful for walking are the water bottle holder and even weight distribution. There is also a phone pocket but customers mention you should not rely on this too much.

Something else to keep in mind is that the size of the RUNFast/Max Adjustable Weighted Vest is not super adjustable. This is not the most crucial for walking but still an important aspect. Smaller individuals may need something more secure.

Besides the differences mentioned, this weighted vest is very similar to the previous option from RUNmax. This is a good thing because that means a lot of very happy customers and a budget-friendly price per pound.

For average-sized individuals who mainly want to do weighted walking, and potentially some resistance training exercises, this is another great weighted vest.

5. Rogue Plate Carrier

Rogue Plate Carrier
Product image from Rogue Fitness

Crossfit is basically a type of workout where you implement a variety of exercises and aspects from different sports. Some examples of exercises you will encounter are burpees, pull-ups, V-ups, air squats, bear crawls, running, etc.

If the bodyweight versions of these are not hard enough, you can consider wearing a weighted vest. As you can tell, this weighted vest will have to be versatile, compact so you can do a variety of exercises, not too heavy, and durable.

The weighted vest that combines all of these things in one of the best ways is the Rogue Plate Carrier. This is basically a holder for two weight plates with the right measurements.

Something important to note is that this is a relatively pricey option, both per pound and in total. Secondly, the weight capacity of 20 pounds (9.1 kg) is not that impressive and lacking for certain individuals and exercises.

Pros

  • Can hold weight plates up to a total load of 20 pounds (9.1 kg)
  • Weight is somewhat adjustable if you have different weight plates
  • Optional shoulder pads to make your workouts more comfortable
  • Multiple adjustment straps
  • Rogue brand reputability
  • Even weight distribution
  • Velcro strips for patches
  • Available in different colors
  • Very positive ratio of customer reviews

Cons

  • Expensive per pound compared to most of the other best weighted vests
  • Weight capacity is lacking for certain individuals and exercises

That being said, the goal of Crossfit is not doing one rep maxes. You want a weighted vest that does make something like the air squat a bit more challenging but at the same time, you want to be able to run and do pull-ups.

The multiple adjustment straps of the Rogue Plate Carrier will help keep the plates in place at a height that feels comfortable where the weights don’t get in the way.

Less relevant to the workouts themselves but nice anyway are the different color options and velcro strips for patches. Additionally, Rogue products tend to be durable and of high quality, as the positive customer reviews confirm.

If you like using a plate carrier weighted vest for your Crossfit workouts, like the Rogue brand and their products made in the U.S.A., like the other benefits, and you have the budget for it, you can consider this model.

6. CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

The first thing that really stands out in the CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest is that it has a model with a maximum weight of 150 pounds (68 kg).

If the more common 140 pounds is just a bit lacking, this can be a valuable detail. Especially for calisthenics exercises like pushups, squats, and inverted rows, where you need a lot of resistance to train the strong muscles involved.

Besides that one feature, this model from CAP Barbell is also just a solid weighted vest. You have the option to adjust the weights down so you don’t have to use 150 pounds for everything.

Pros

  • Max weights ranging from 20 to 150 pounds (9.1 to 68 kg) available
  • Weight is adjustable
  • Built-in shoulder padding to make the vest more comfortable
  • A lot of happy customers
  • Budget-friendly price per pound

Cons

  • In some cases, customer support has to be contacted to replace a few missing weights

Customers are also positively surprised by how comfortable the built-in shoulder padding is.

One thing to note is that there were a few exceptional cases where customers initially did not get all of the weights they ordered.

These issues tend to get resolved with customer support but could require some extra time and attention if they happen.

All in all, the CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest is a solid pick with heavy weight options and a budget-friendly price per pound. If this is valuable to you, you could become one of the many happy customers.

How to choose a weighted vest

Weighted vests are a great concept but there are a lot of options to choose from. You may still not be sure about what model is the best for you.

By thinking about what you want in a few key features and checking the weighted vests for them, it can become easier to make the right choice. You can find these important features and why they matter below.

Maximum weights

One of the most important principles of working out is challenging your body enough (but not too much) so that it starts a variety of processes to make you stronger.

This applies to strengthening both your muscles and cardiovascular system.

Weighted vests can help you with this as long as they are heavy enough for your current strength level and the exercises you intend to do.

Some weighted vests have maximum weights that are more than challenging enough for running but for an exercise like squats they are lacking. This is important to keep in mind when choosing the best weighted vest for you.

Size and comfort

The next important detail is the size and comfort, basically the design, of the weighted vest. Most, if not all, weighted vests have some type of straps to adjust the size but these straps are not always of the right length.

Additionally, you want a weighted vest that is designed in a way that you can comfortably do your workout. The design requirements vary from individual to individual and exercise to exercise.

For an exercise like running it is important that the weighted vest does not bounce up and down (too much). For a calisthenics exercise like pull-ups it is more important that your arms have enough room to move around.

Lastly, enough breathing room is welcome in warmer temperatures.

Weight adjustability

Something that is again important for the principle of challenging yourself in the right amounts is weight adjustability. You can divide the best weighted vests into two main categories.

The ones with the ability to take out weights in increments and the ones that only have one weight option.

Even for cardiovascular workouts like walking and running, most people will benefit from having a model with adjustable weight.

This allows you to find and use the perfect weight for different exercises and individuals. Additionally, as you get fitter and stronger, weights that used to be hard can become too easy.

An adjustable weighted vest allows you to keep your workouts challenging. All of this comes at the price of one good weighted vest instead of having to buy separate models.

Durability

Why durability is important is relatively straightforward. You want your weighted vest to benefit many workouts to come.

Sometimes this can require a slightly higher investment in the short term but this can be cheaper in the long term if it helps you avoid having to buy a new weighted vest every few months.

Price

Money put into improving your health can be a good investment but sometimes you can get more with less.

Different weighted vests have different total prices and prices per pound. It is not unusual to see high-quality options that are actually more budget-friendly.

FAQ

How heavy should my weighted vest be?

How heavy your weighted vest should be varies a lot from individual to individual and exercise to exercise. For something like running a very general starting recommendation is between 4% to 10% of your body weight. For other exercises this varies too much to put a specific number on this question.

If you really have no idea of your personal capabilities you can get a relatively heavy but adjustable weighted vest and remove weights until the weighted vest exercise you intend to do is challenging but not too hard.

Which weighted vest is the best?

Our top pick for the best overall weighted vest is the CROSS101 Weighted Vest With Shoulder Pads. That being said, for certain training goals, people, budgets, personal preferences, etc. some of the other best weighted vests can be a better choice.

Is wearing a weighted vest worth it?

Wearing a weighted vest can make a lot of activities just a bit more challenging which can make your body stronger as long as you don’t overdo it. Whether this is worth it depends on things like how much you value these benefits and whether you mind wearing a weighted vest.

Do weighted vests make you stronger?

Doing an activity with weighted vests often makes you stronger than the same activity without the weighted vest. That being said, some activities and weights of weighted vests are better than others for becoming stronger.

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Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.

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