The weighted vest is one of the most long-standing training aids around. It’s used for resistance workouts, running, or any activity where additional weight is needed whether in or outdoors.
But there are a lot of options out there suited for different needs and individuals so it helps to know which ones are among the best quality for an ideal fit and function.
Today we review several different weighted vests each which offers some different including design, materials, and even price point.
Here’s Our Editor’s Pick…
Aduro Sport Weighted Vest
This top-rated weight vest is the perfect option for adding resistance to any physical activity. It’s filled with odor-free iron (not sand), padded for comfort, made with light, breathable neoprene and it has a mesh pocket to store your belongings.
Also, the buckles are adjustable for a snug fit and the weight is evenly distributed to ensure the weight stays where it’s supposed to.
The Aduro Sport weighted vests come in 4, 6, 12, 20, 25, and 30 pounds.
Bear KompleX Weighted Vest
Bear KompleX makes some really great training gear and their weighted vest is surely no exception.
It’s made from Military Grade 1000D Cordura Nylon and comes with Heat treated steel Alloy buckles with a breaking load of 9Kn (2023lbs of force). Plus, it fits all Rogue and Sapi plates and the vest is entirely adjustable for all your intense activities.
This is an excellent option.
Strength Sport Systems Weighted Vest
This Strength Sport Systems vest is made from superior quality materials and it’s designed to last for a long time.
The odor-less filling consists of sand and iron ore mix while the material is made from 600D nylon which is breathable, comfortable and fitting.
You don’t have to worry about slipping and sliding either plus the velcro is very strong for optimal secureness and the card buckle is entirely adjustable.
ZFOsports Short Weighted Vest
The ZFOsports vest comes in 12, 20, and 50 pounds (iron) for all experience levels. It’s a one-size-fits-all option and is adjustable as a result. It’s also equipped with a pocket and a water bottle holder.
Runmax Pro Weighted Vest
A best-seller, the Runmax Pro comes in 12, 20, 40, 50, and 60 pounds for beginners to more advanced levels of fitness.
There is also an option with or without shoulder pads based on preference.
Northgym Weighted Vest
If you’re looking for a cool vest that’s fully functional and made from quality construction then the Northgym weighted vest is right up there.
It’s adjustable with two side straps to fit all sizes and is padded for shoulder comfort during your training. When fitted correctly it won’t move and the vests come with 2 3D-shaped weighted plates for a tailored fit.
You can also choose from the sizes (14 and 20lbs) plus the vest has velcro on the front in back so that you can place patches on it (comes with two rubber patches).
Swift 360 Weighted Vest
The Swift360 weighted vest is weight adjustable up to 40 pounds with waist velcro for added security and protection. So, it’ll hold up to most physical activities and is a decent price for what you get.
miR Pro Weighted Vest
The miR Pro is made from 1200D reinforced nylon, plus it’s double-padded with 45 pounds in total (1.5lb increments) and a velcro belt is included.
There’s a standard and zipper option based on preference.
This is a quality tool to aid you in your perfect training sessions.
Cross 101 Weighted Vest
Another great vest, Cross101 comes in 20, 40, 60, and 80-pound options.
Depending on the weight of each vest, there are different increments in pounds to total the maximum amount of weight included.
One size fits most the vest is a one-piece design with an attached belt.
CFF Fit Weighted Vest
And for the last vest on our list, the CFF Fit weighted vest will serve you well in your endeavors. It weighs 44 pounds total and you can adjust in 2.2lb increment. There’s double padding throughout the body and shoulders plus the weight is evenly distributed in the front and back for optimal performance.
A chest belt is also attached for no bouncing or shifting during your activities and the body length is adjustable.
Benefits of Using a Weighted Vest
A weighted vest is a very handy tool because whether you’re doing push-ups, pull-ups, CrossFit type workouts, running, hiking, or anything similar, it allows you to increase the difficulty easily and conveniently.
You really can’t do a lot of activities or exercises while holding dumbbells or balancing a barbell. While a backpack or duffel bag may be a better option, it’s not always ideal either because the weight typically shifts around and is not equally distributed from front to back, causing you to have to overcompensate anteriorly or posteriorly during certain activities.
One study using male volunteers found that wearing a weighted vest can slightly improve agility performance. In a study on runners, wearing a weighted vest was shown to increase speed by 2.9 percent. (1)
But wearing a weighted vest may also be very beneficial for older adults too. In a 5-year program, using a weighted vest significantly prevented bone loss in older postmenopausal women. When tested for potential balance improvement in postmenopausal women, the weighted vest also enhanced this factor. (2, 3)
But according to an article published by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), wearing a weighted vest during walking can also increase the number of calories burned and VO2 (oxygen consumption), more so than walking without a vest.
This was determined during an ACE-sponsored study that had 13 untrained women walk on a treadmill where the vest was added to see if there was a difference in several factors associated with physical activity.
The addition of the weight allows individuals to train harder without having to increase their speed.
How To Choose A Weight Vest?
The vests we’ve chosen for our review are all great options but this will definitely depend on the individual, activities that you’ll be engaging in, and budget, of course.
Now, many weighted vests are versatile which means you can easily change how much the vest weighs. But some only come with a fixed amount of weight which can work too.
But like anything else, if you’re new to using a weight vest, start small and work your way up.
If you’re at an intermediate or even advanced level of fitness then you’re likely aware of how much weight is ideal for you.
For resistance training, you’ll want to be able to challenge yourself by using a level of resistance that will allow you to approach training failure much faster.
For endurance, using less weight is better, especially since you’re not used to carrying additional weight around on a daily basis. But, of course, if you’re more fit than the average person, then feel free to take on the challenge for a tough workout session or fortitude-building trek through the woods.
If you’re interested in adding additional weight to your physical activities then a weight vest can be a really valuable tool.
Our best picks come in different shapes, sizes, and options for weight but there are also various price points which we know everyone can appreciate based on budget and needs.