You've jogged around the block every day for weeks.
You've trained hard running up and down the stairs at home.
You have even adopted a little jump rope routine on the side. It's great.
You see pleasing results for a few weeks, and then it suddenly stops.
You've reached a plateau.
As with weight training, indeed, the body will eventually catch up to a disciplined routine. To improve, you need to continue challenging yourself by taking your intensity up a notch at a time. The best way to do this is by using a weighted vest.
To help you, our team of experts has covered the Top 10 Best Weighted Vests on the market. We've also added a handy buying guide to reduce your search parameters and facilitate more informed purchasing decisions.
Top 10 Best Weighted Vests for Workout / Training
Empower understands the female physiology exceptionally well. After all, the company is one of the few who design sports equipment exclusively for the fairer sex, and they pour their expertise into the Empower Weighted Women's Vest.
This product uses soft, stretchy Lycra spandex for an amazing combination of durability and comfort. It also features a contoured silhouette that frees up the chest area, which makes the entire design a bit more breathable.
The Empower Weighted Vest has sand weights built into the vest, so there is no need to add your own. The vest is available in either the lighter 4 lbs. or the substantially heavier 8 lbs., for women who want to add massive resistance to their routines. Unfortunately, the weight is not adjustable.
This vest is made with lightness and mobility in mind, so it is perfect for running. The reflective strips on the vest and small pockets are also convenient when out on the road.
Overall, Empower is the best weighted vest for women. It's an excellent opportunity for females to incorporate a little weight resistance into their workout routines, or any other activity.
The Mir Short Adjustable Weighted Vest is a substantially heavier version than its slimmer sister, the Mir Super Slim. This adjustable garment is a short-stack weighted vest, and arguably one of the better ones you can buy.
The Mir Short Adjustable is not as minimalistic as the Super Slim, but it's still built for comfort. For a short stack, it wears surprisingly well. If you haven't tried other short stacks yet, they can get quite uncomfortable.
The way the weight concentrates on the upper chest area, which can be a bit of a strain. Not the Mir Short Adjustable, though. The padding has been added in all the right places here, and most notably in the shoulder area.
Comfort is guaranteed, and the mobility of a Mir Short Adjustable routine is excellent. At just 11” in length, this allows you to bend and move around freely. Any movement that's hard with a full-sized vest will be possible with this one.
The weight system uses standard iron bars and can hold up to 60 lbs. So, if you're looking for a vest that will noticeably improve your game, the Mir Short Adjustable is a great choice. It's perfect for CrossFit murphs, calisthenics, aerobics and running, and is overall the best adjustable weighted vest you can get.
The Brute Force is a versatile and mobile weighted vest that’s a favorite among law enforcers and military. It features a unique one-piece interior that makes it extremely durable. The vest is surprisingly lightweight and minimalistic, leading to increased mobility.
It can adapt to a wide variety of body types, too, with fully adjustable straps at the waist, ribs, and shoulders.
The best thing about the Brute Force is its adjustable weight system, though. On its own, it doesn't have iron weights or anything to add resistance. Instead, it features a series of 12 pockets, strategically placed throughout the vest, which fills in such a way that the vest conforms to your body shape. This ingenious feature helps maintain a tight fit, no matter your shape or size.
The vest itself can support up to 20 lbs. of sand. If you want even more resistance to your workout, something heavier, like steel shots, will suffice. You can also change the weight distribution of your vest to customize your workout further.
Overall, the Brute Force is a flexible and agile vest for both men and women. The filling system works and is versatile enough to support a wide variety of weights.
At first glance, you’ll know that the Titan means serious business. Compared to the slim, tight-fitting designs of other vests, the Titan is robust and bulky (but in the right way). It is in line with the Titan's primary goal–to really push yourself to the limit!
Despite the slightly chunky appearance, the Titan is surprisingly comfortable. It has all sorts of internal padding in the key areas that matter, like the shoulders and chest. Another surprise is its mobility–you can move quite freely while wearing this.
It doesn't look like it, but trust us, it is true.
Comfort is not Titan's goal, though. Weight is the name of his game. It allows you to load up to 60 lbs. of pressure into any workout you do. Each weight is solid ingot cast steel that's rated at 2.5 lbs., with rounded corners to prevent it from cutting through the fabric.
Overall, this is a serious vest that can challenge you to reach another level of fitness altogether. Even law enforcement and firefighters use it for their fitness sessions. It's the best weighted vest for CrossFit and calisthenics, but not as suitable for runners as the vest moves too much at high speeds.
The RUNFast/Max Pro is a cost-effective weighted vest that's great for a first purchase. It's versatile enough for any activity you can imagine. It's well-suited for running and aerobics, as much as for CrossFit and weight training.
The vest itself is made with durable, high-quality material. It can also fit a wide variety of body sizes and types with its collection of Velcro straps. These also work to secure everything in place, preventing the vest from moving too much—so it is perfect for high speed running.
One thing to keep in mind is that the RUNFast/Max Pro is a fixed weight vest. That’s why it fits so well–there aren’t any removable weights to bulk it up. Once you are used to it, though, the only option would be to buy a new one. In this case, we recommend getting something slightly heavier than what you’re accustomed to, so you’d have more mileage with it.
Weights come in 12 lb., 20 lb., 40 lb., 50 lb., and 60 lb. versions.
A name like RUNFast conjures up the idea that it is a runner's dream. It is. This vest also has plenty of added features, like a pouch for your accessories and a water bottle holder.
The RUNFast/Max Pro is the best weighted vest for running, as well as for beginner or intermediate users. It fits perfectly, weighs okay, and is reasonably priced.
If you're looking for a straightforward, no-nonsense weighed vest at an excellent price point, the Aduro Sport is for you. This product is a fixed weight vest that's easy to use– you just put it on.
It has no weighted pockets or metal ingots to worry about and instead, comes with fixed weights at increased increments. The lightest one starts at 4 lbs. up to the heaviest of the bunch at 25 lbs.
It even has mesh pockets on the back if you ever want to add weights in the future. Even with this benefit, the weight you can tack on is still limited. As with any fixed weight vest, you need to buy a new one once your body is used to the current bulk.
There are no clunky weights to interfere, so the Aduro Sport focuses on fit and comfort. It excels in both areas.
The entire vest consists of neoprene, with weights distributed evenly for uniform resistance. It's also quite soft and comfortable on the body. There's protective padding near the front buckles that prevent them from scratching your torso.
Overall, this is an excellent weighted vest that's both versatile and comfortable. The near-tight fit makes it ideal for both cardio and aerobics workouts. Though marketed as unisex, the fit of this product makes it more suited to women.
One of the most comfortable vests we've ever tried has got to be the Hyperwear Hyper PRO. This unique vest features an innovative stretch fabric design that hugs the body for a tight but comfortable fit.
It uses a lacing system that, while secure, is not as easy as a zipper, for example. While this sounds uncomfortable in theory, trust us, it's not.
The vest is extremely flexible, allowing for unimpeded body and chest movement with rapid breathing. Yet, despite the flexibility, it does an excellent job keeping the weights in place, even with vigorous activity.
The weight system uses removable iron ingot weights, located on both the back and front part of the vest. It allows you to easily create an equal distribution of the load, with uniform resistance. The vest comes pre-loaded with ten removable weights, each weighing around 2.25 ounces.
A noticeable feature is that these removable weights are much smaller than those of other vests on the market. This factor is in line with the low profile of the Hyperwear Hyper PRO branding.
Overall, the Hyperwear Hyper PRO is one of the most comfortable products on the market, but it isn't just another casual weighted vest. This impressive item is an outfit for serious athletes, CrossFitters, and fitness nuts.
The CROSS101 Adjustable Weighted Vest is the perfect combination of a comfortable fit and a robust weight system.
It is a valuable cross between a super slim vest and a chunky counterpart, such as the Titan. It's thin enough so that you won't notice it much when you work out, especially when used with moderate weight.
The Velcro strap does an excellent job of keeping everything in place. While comfortable in itself, you can add even more cushioning with the optional shoulder pads.
If you're searching for a weighted vest that will present a real challenge, the CROSS101 delivers. It comes in with a capacity of up to 80 lbs.–something that will adequately test your limits.
It uses removable weights made of a metallic cylinder filled with sand. These weights fit snugly into each pocket and are easy to add or remove. All this is distributed around the front and back, creating a perfect balance.
This robust vest shines within with strength training arena. It's unrestrictive enough that it allows you the full range of movement when doing pull-ups, lunges, and push-ups.
You can also use it for sprints, but we recommend the lower weight capacities for longer runs. The heavier versions of the CROSS101 can get too bulky for this purpose.
The CROSS101 Adjustable Camouflage Weighted Vest is a robust and comfortable piece of equipment that will give you all the challenge you require. Its durable construction and substantial resistance put it ahead of the pack.
The Tone Fitness Weighted Vest is one of the easiest vests on the market to wear. The vest sports an unobtrusive design that's both comfortable and subtle. This fit frees up your chest area, making it perfect for women.
One of the other things this vest nail is the breathability, thanks to the soft neoprene material used. A proper fit isn’t an issue either, as this is a one-size-fits-most vest with an adjustable front belt to fine-tune if needed.
At only 12 lbs., this is undoubtedly one of the lighter vests out there. Now, this can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your needs. If you're a casual runner who wants just an added oomph to your daily runs, this is a solid choice.
It is a fixed weight vest that doesn't require any adjustments. While this is convenient, it might irk more serious users. Otherwise, The Tone Fitness Weighted Vest is an excellent vest for its intended market: runners and beginners.
It's incredibly comfortable, lightweight, and breathable while providing decent resistance.
Everlast is one of the most well-known and trusted names in martial arts equipment, spanning over a century's worth of products. The Everlast Weighted Vest is designed to help boxers and MMA fighters train better, with added resistance. It leads to improvement in strength, body conditioning, and muscle endurance.
The Everlast Weighted Vest is made of neoprene, which means it is deceptively durable and comfortable, too. It uses the patented Evergrip Technology that uses textured panels in areas where the vest touches your skin. This feature makes it grip better and stay in place, even while doing rigorous training.
The Everlast Weighted Vest uses fixed weights made with an iron sand filling that's sewn into the neoprene. It feels quite balanced throughout and promises excellent resistance during rigorous workouts. While you can't adjust the weight, you might find that this isn't a hindrance to the effectiveness of the product.
The vest comes in either a 10 lbs. or 20 lbs. variant that should be plenty of a challenge for anyone.
The most significant advantage of this product is the range of motion it offers by keeping the abdomen free of any obstruction. This mobility is because it's made explicitly for fighting sports, where speed and sharp reflexes are essential. It also makes this vest suitable for running, CrossFit, and calisthenics.
Overall, the Everlast Weighted Vest is an excellent product from a dominant brand in the fitness industry. While it's designed for boxers and fighters, you can take advantage of the speed and flexibility it offers to your own workouts.
Weighted Vest Categories
Weighted vests are versatile pieces of equipment that can enhance a wide variety of exercises. The best weighted vest workouts include CrossFit, running, and calisthenics.
These vests add weighted resistance without you needing to hold weights or dumbbells in your hands, for example. It makes these products extremely flexible and versatile across all disciplines.
There are a few categories of weighted vests, however, that are specific to each purpose. These vests are usually differentiated on their size and the amount of weight they can support. Knowing where you'll use each type of vest will increase the chances of you making wise purchasing decisions.
CrossFit Weighted Vests
CrossFit is one of the newest areas where weighted vests have taken off. It is a very intense exercise regimen that involves plenty of continuous, compounded movements. It's arguably one of the toughest workouts on the planet.
Weighted vests work well for CrossFit because it is the perfect regimen to combine resistance training with aerobics. You can also make your workouts substantially more effective by adding a few weights—if CrossFit isn't challenging enough for you yet!
You can also target specific muscles when doing CrossFit routines with weighted vests, which can be extremely difficult to achieve with conventional workouts.
Running Weighted Vests
Running is a quick and easy workout to feel the benefits of weighted vests. A common problem with runners is that they peak quickly and then reach a frustrating plateau.
Running on inclines is the traditional way of achieving this increasing intensity, but this can be limiting on your part. It can be challenging to find a new rhythm.
Weighted vests help you to avoid that struggle. The benefit of added resistance is visible, no matter where or how far you run. You can even control the progression by slowly increasing the weight of your vest.
Weighted vests made for running are usually slimmer and lighter, so those runners can still maximize their movements.
Weighted Vests for Women
While most weighted vests available in the market are unisex, some women find them uncomfortable. The truth is that the female form is markedly different to the body shape of their male counterparts. They require slimmer vests with more room in the chest area.
You can try a wide variety of weighted vest brands that cater exclusively to women.
Calisthenics Weighted Vests
Calisthenics is a set of workouts that uses your body's own weight as a form of resistance. Weighted vests are fantastic in this regard and effectively enhance this benefit.
Calisthenics is a popular exercise because you can do it anytime and anywhere, and it is incredibly productive during the early stages. At a certain point, however, you will plateau.
The reality is that your pull is a limited, especially since you tend to lose bodyweight during these workouts. To progress to a higher level, you need resistance from an outside source, which is where weighted vests come in.
Weighted vests made especially for calisthenics are designed to allow freedom of movement that’s inherent in the type of workout. At the same time, they also feature more weight capacity to increase resistance to higher levels gradually.
Plate Carriers vs. Weighted Vests – What’s The Difference?
Plate carriers are often worn by military and law enforcement during military operations.
These look very similar to weighted vests, but they play a completely different role. These plate carriers are a form of extra protection against gunshots and stabbing. The security vests have compartments where you can store anything from bullets to grenades.
The idea of using plate carriers to add resistance during workout started with military personnel. It was probably the only equipment they had on hand, and they were already comfortable using that gear during their training sessions. This idea then spread to the CrossFit community who use it for roughly the same purpose.While it makes sense in theory, it's inefficient in practice. A weighted vest's force will be more evenly distributed with equipment intended for that purpose. Vests also allow more weight than your average plate carrier. For the casual user, the choice is obvious.
How to Choose The Right Weighted Vest for Your Needs
How You Plan To Use It
This idea is probably the most important question to answer in your quest for the best weighted vest. Before you start to window shop, you will need to know precisely how you are planning to use the vest. This purpose will dictate all your buying decisions, so take time to think through it.
Specific workouts will have distinct requirements in terms of design, features, and weight capacity. For CrossFit or calisthenics, you need a vest that allows a complete range of motion. But at the same time, you’ll also need a way to add a substantial amount of weight.
Runners usually prize a more lightweight and minimalistic vest that won't "smother" them while running. Some like a lighter load when running, while others prefer a massive resistance for a challenge. It's also crucial for the vest to "hug" the body, so it doesn't move around a lot when running at high speeds or over long distances.
These are just guidelines, and each situation will vary considerably.
Make Sure You Can Handle It
Weighted vests are generally for people who want an increased challenge in their workout regime. They do this to break out of a plateau and pursue even higher fitness levels. Hence, vests are geared more towards intermediate and advanced users.
If you're just starting to work out, weighted vests are probably not necessary. If you do still want to acquire one, be sure you can handle the extra load. The last thing you want is to injure yourself so early in your fitness journey.
Finding the Right Weight
The reason you bought a weighted vest was for the added resistance. So, weight is naturally the primary consideration in your purchasing decision. First, you have to decide whether you're going for a fixed weight vest or an adjustable weight vest.
Fixed Weight Vests
As the name suggests, the resistance on fixed weight vests is set and cannot be increased or decreased. These vests tend to be on the lighter side. They're also minimalistic and often slimmer, allowing greater freedom of movement.
The vests feature a more rigid structure and are usually made of neoprene.
Fixed weight vests are geared more towards beginners who want a simple, lightweight starter vest. Runners also love fixed weight vests, because they're more comfortable to wear and don't restrict your movements at all.
Adjustable Weight Vests
Most weighted vests available in the market are of the adjustable variety. These allow you to increase or decrease your vest's resistance as your workout requires. It offers plenty of flexibility, especially if you're fitness is at the intermediate or advanced level.
Vests have different systems depending on how you can adjust the weight. The more common method is through iron ingots as the source of resistance. These can weigh anywhere from three to five pounds and provide weight without sacrificing agility and movement.
Other vests make the use of "pockets," where you can place any heavy object you wish. In this system, the most commonly used weight is sand.
The advantage of this system is that you can potentially add more weight than the space of the vest will allow. You can do this by using something heavier than sand, such as steel shot or steel bearings. For the advanced athlete wanting to test the limits, this is an excellent way of achieving greater resistance.
Short Stack or Full-Sized – Which One To Use?
When it comes to design, there are two general types of weighted vests. One is full-sized, and the other is a short stack.
Full-sized vests run the entire length from the torso down to the abdomen. Weight is then distributed equally throughout the vest, giving equal attention to both the front and the back. The major drawback of this design is mobility. Since it covers until the waist area, bending there can be difficult. It can be impractical for some types of workouts.
Short stack vests were developed to solve this problem. The panels of this type of vest only reach the chest area, leaving the abdomen free. This space leaves you plenty of room to bend.
The only issue is that most of the weight tends to concentrate on the chest and back. In specific workouts, this can put some added strain on those areas.
So, which one should you use? It all boils down to your preferred workout. For exercises like CrossFit that need a lot of movement, short stack vests are better. Otherwise, a full-sized vest works better for someone like a runner.
It’s important to note that the total weight is the same for a short stack and full-sized vest of the same capacity. It’s just distributed differently.
Extra bells and whistles
Beyond the weights, there are other extra features you'd want to consider when shopping around for weighted vests. At the very least, you want something that's comfortable. Light and breathable fabric are ideal, so you don't feel uneasy during a workout.
Runners may require a few extra features, for example, to make their outdoor runs a little more convenient. Lots of extra pockets to hold your phones and other accessories are essential.
Some vests also have reflective surfaces if you tend to run at night. These reflective pads alert drivers of your presence and are crucial for your safety. Bottle holders are also excellent accessories for keeping yourself hydrated in between sessions.
Weighted vests are one of the easiest ways you can add to the intensity level of your cardio and CrossFit workouts. After presenting some of the best products on the market, we hope you've narrowed down your search to something that will work well for you. Remember, the best one is the one that's the perfect fit for your exercise regime!