Working out is an essential part of the daily routine for many people, and running is one of the best options for those who want to take care of their body but are not excited at the thought of spending hours at the gym. Running is very accessible because you can do it almost anywhere and it’s easy to adjust to different fitness levels by decreasing the speed and range of motion. What’s more, it doesn’t require any particular equipment except for a good pair of running shoes.
You may, however, be in need of an additional piece of equipment if you’re starting to feel that your pull-ups, runs and other exercises don’t feel very physically demanding anymore. Congratulations to you on reaching such a remarkable level of fitness! Now, let’s take a look at the 12 best weighted vests – the sports equipment item that can bring the challenge back into your routine.
TNT believes that proper weighted vests should only use metal for the weights, so all their products are equipped with steel or iron weights for optimal weight distribution and hygiene. It is no secret that some cheaper vests rely on plain river sand for the weights, and sand is not the ideal material for the purpose. Apart from developing an unpleasant smell after months or even weeks of use, sand weights are also very difficult to distribute properly, so they usually just end up weighing their pockets (and you) down.
With 11 pounds of iron pellets, the TNT Pro Series weighted vest is one of the best quality products in its price and weight range. It is not recommended to machine wash this vest, but since it is made from a breathable material that’s easy to clean, using some wet wipes on it from time to time should be enough to keep it smelling like new.
This vest looks like a piece of equipment you’d find in a professional athlete’s inventory, and indeed, it is a top-notch product that will help you achieve more during your workouts. The Brute Force weighted vest is made of a sturdy fabric that is going to stay whole for years and years of heavy use.
It also has multiple pockets with special bags that can be filled with a heavy substance of your choice. Most people use sand (a good budget option) or steel shot (more versatile thanks to higher density), but you can get creative and come up with your own filler material. The vest is comfortable, easy to adjust, and can withstand occasional machine washes, although we definitely wouldn’t recommend washing it after every other workout.
The weighted vest from Aduro Sport is compact, affordable, and comfortable – an ideal combination for a beginner weighted vest. Coming in three sizes (6 pounds, 12 pounds, and 20 pounds), this vest may not be what a professional athlete needs, but it is perfect for a casual jogging or workout enthusiast.
The design of this vest makes it suitable not only for men but also for women and even teenagers, so you’ll be getting a very versatile product. Bear in mind that this weighted vest may not be suitable for taller men because its uniform design is oriented towards a person of average height and body shape.
Depending on the exact model you choose, the weights used in this vest are either iron balls or iron sand. Both types of weights are evenly distributed, so the vest stays in place and doesn’t cause any discomfort. The strap in the front is an additional tool that helps you create a better fit in this vest. An extra pocket on the back of the Aduro Sport weighted vest gives you an opportunity to add some extra weight or just store your phone in there while you’re working out.
We’re once again leaving the realm of mid-range weighted vests to show you a very pro-looking vest from Hyperwear. You know this is a premium product just by looking at it, and it doesn’t disappoint. The vest comes in a variety of sizes, and each size is preloaded with 10 pounds of high-quality and very compact steel weights. You can put these weights into special pockets on the front and back of this weighted vest. Every pocket can hold up to two weights, and you can distribute them however you like.
The weighted vest from Hyperwear is extremely comfortable thanks to its innovative design that provides a customizable fit and doesn’t restrict your range of motion. The vest is made of lightweight, breathable, and durable fabric with lacing on the sides to minimize restriction and increase ventilation. Even with the weights, wearing this vest feels similar to wearing a compression shirt, so you’ll be able to run, workout, walk, or hike in it for hours without a hint of discomfort.
If you’re looking for an absolute beginner weighted vest, you’ll probably need something more lightweight than this Cap Barbell model. But if you’re an experienced athlete looking to spice up your runs or workouts, this might just be the vest you need. Available in eight different weight options from 40 to 150 pounds, the Cap Barbell weighted vest is not for the faint of heart. Even its minimalistic, strict design seems to point out that this vest is a serious tool for professional or semi-professional athletes.
The vest offers a lot of flexibility, too. The unisex design with adjustable straps is equally comfortable both for men and women, and depending on the vest size you choose, it will come equipped with a certain number of smaller weights that you can remove from their respective pockets and distribute around the vest. All these features make the Cap Barbell weighted vest a great choice for trained athletes who need a reliable, high-quality product to use during their workouts.
If it is flexibility you’re looking for, the weighted vest from RUNFast may just be what you need. With this vest, you can choose between a total of 10 options, which should be enough for most people to find a good fit. Unlike many other weighted vests available on the market, this one comes in two additional variants: with or without shoulder pads. If you’re going for a heavier vest, you may want to choose the option with additional padding for extra comfort. Meanwhile, the lighter 12- and 20-pound vests are probably still going to be quite comfortable even without the added shoulder padding.
As to the weights themselves, they offer a great degree of flexibility, too. Regardless of what vest size and type you choose, it comes preloaded with weights that you can remove out if you need a lighter vest. What’s more, some models even come with free additional weights, so you may get the option of transforming your 40-pound vest into a 60-pound model for free!
This weighted vest comes in a number of options with different weights, so you can choose the one that suits your fitness level and purpose. If you’re new to working out with weights, we recommend you get the (relatively) light 20-pound vest. But if you’re feeling up to the challenge, you can get this vest in 60- and even 80-pound variants! This should be enough for most fitness enthusiasts out there, although it is a little annoying to have to purchase a new vest every time you “grow out” of the old one.
The weighted vests from ZFOsports are all of excellent quality, so you’re definitely not going to have to buy another vest in the same weight range. They also come with dedicated pockets for mobile phone/MP3 player storage and carrying a water bottle with you if you need to stay hydrated during longer runs.
While these vests are really easy to put on, they may be a little challenging to assemble. You can, however, find some assembly guides and instructions on YouTube, so it shouldn’t be much of a problem. All in all, the weighted vests from ZFOsports are solid products that will give you a good bang for your buck despite minor drawbacks.
It is likely that this weighted vest will mostly attract the attention of female runners and hikers, but it is also suitable for men. If you’re just starting to run or are only looking for a very mild challenge to your workouts, this weighted vest is the way to go.
The vest comes in 8-pound variants and doesn’t offer any customization options, but it makes up for that with its compact design and comfortable fit. You can wear it around the house without even noticing that you’re wearing something “extra.” You will notice the benefits of physical activity with an extra weight though.
The two straps on the sides of this weighted vest can be used to create a perfect fit for various body types and sizes. This model is also very affordable, so it can be a great way to see if working out with weights is something you want to pursue.
Another budget-friendly option that doesn’t feel cheap or low-quality is the ZELUS weighted vest. It’s your ideal companion for runs, hikes, walks, and even cleaning sessions at home! Weighing in at 12 pounds, this vest is heavy enough to make itself noticeable and yet not too heavy so that it’d put you off the idea of working out with weights.
Made of rubber, this weighted vest is very flexible, soft, and comfortable to wear in any usage scenario. It is suitable for adults and teenagers alike thanks to its adjustable straps that can form a tight fit around your chest regardless of your body type and size. There are also some pockets both on the front and back of this weighted vest, so you can have your phone, water bottle, and keys all in separate pockets without worrying that they are going to damage one another.
The SKLZ weighted vest ships with 20 compact 0.5-pound weights that can be placed in numerous pockets spread out around the vest. The pockets are made of fabric that stretches easily to allow for fast and easy installation and removal of weights.
You should bear in mind that while this vest is a high-quality product that can likely serve you for years to come, it doesn’t offer any pockets for additional weights. This means that you will be limited by the 10 pounds this vest can offer you. If you’re fine with only having a small weight range to experiment with, you will be very satisfied with this weighted vest as it is flexible, easily customizable, and durable. However, if you’re looking for something that will be able to accommodate your growth as an athlete, you’ll probably be better off with other products on this list.
Cross 101 must’ve been very focused on delivering a very versatile product that can satisfy just about any customer because it seems as if they’ve managed to achieve just that. The weighted vest from Cross 101 is available in two different colors and eight weights ranging from 12 to 140 pounds! Such a wide range definitely allows everyone to find a suitable amount of additional weight for their workouts. The vests are reasonably comfortable and come with optional shoulder padding that is almost a must-have if you’re going for a heavier vest.
There is one disadvantage of this weighted vest. There is no vest available between the 80-pound and 140-pound models, and we think that not all athletes would be comfortable making the jump to an almost doubled weight instantly.
Harbinger Women’s Weighted Vest
While many items on our list are unisex and can be used both by men and women, the differences in male and female anatomy are a very important factor that can decide whether a vest is going to be comfortable for you or not. If you’re a woman looking for a weighted vest, the chances are that you’ve already tried out a couple models and found them at least moderately uncomfortable. No surprise there, as even vests with multiple adjustable straps simply don’t work for some women. Fortunately, Harbinger is a company that cares about their female customers, so they decided to make a weighted vest specifically for women.
This weighted vest has advanced chest support and padding along with shoulder padding for additional comfort. The maximum weight of this vest is 10 pounds. It comes with twenty .05-pound weights that can be combined in various ways and placed in different areas of the vest to create different weight distributions. The vest is made of a breathable material and can be machine washed.
Why Get a Weighted Vest?
Weighted vests are definitely not for everybody, but they are very important for people who have already reached peak fitness with their body weight. If you’re in good physical shape and keep going for the same old run every time, your muscles will stop being pushed to their limits and they won’t tear anymore. Surely, you’ll still maintain the muscle mass and aerobic capacity you’ve already gained, but if you want to see further improvements, you’ll need to add at least a couple more pounds to your body weight.
Of course, you can simply gain the extra pounds, but that would defeat the purpose of exercising in the first place, wouldn’t it? Thus, it’s better to go with the second option – weighted vests.
Wearing a weighted vest during your runs will provide the new additional challenge for your body and help you grow as an athlete. If you get a professional-grade weighted vest with multiple pockets for extra weights, you’ll even be able to customize it to suit your current fitness level. However, even if you go for a simpler option with a set weight, it is still going to be a welcome addition to your runs. As a bonus, it will probably come with several pockets for your phone, keys, and maybe even a water bottle, so you won’t have to stuff those necessaries into your shorts or pants pockets anymore.
While most weighted vests are relatively inexpensive, it is still a good idea to choose your first one with due care. Because it is going to accompany you on most runs, it has to be comfortable, durable, and able to fit your body type and size as well as possible. We have rounded up some of the best weighted vests available to help you with this rather difficult choice, so let’s find out which vest is the right one for you.