Love working out? Need to add more intensity to your workout sessions? Then, an excellent accessory to add to your workout repertoire is the weighted vest.
A weighted vest is made of extremely thick material or has inbuilt pockets that are either filled with small sandbags, weighted objects or small weights. It is worn on the upper body and it adds more resistance to your workouts.
Typically, good quality weighted vests let you remove and add the individual weights so that you can vary the resistance according to your fitness level. Most vests come with adjustable straps that make the vest fit snugly along the contours of your body.
Today, technological innovations have allowed manufacturers to make vests which are so thin that you can hardly notice that you are wearing one under your clothing. Weighted vests are a wonderful way by which you can enhance your workout.
After rigorous research and testing -we compared almost all the popular weighted vests out in the market- we have shortlisted the top 10 vests to use for your workouts below.
Below the chart, you’ll find our individual break downs of each of the top choices of the 10 best weighted vests.
|Weighted Vest||Fit||Weight Range||Adjustable Weight?|
|Cross 101 Adjustable Weighted Vest|
(4 lbs increment)
|MiR Adjustable Weighted Vest|
(3 lbs increment)
|HumanX Weight Vest|
(Best for Starters)
|Strap||10, 20 or 40 LBS||Yes|
(0.5, 1 or 2 lbs increment)
|SKLZ Weighted Vest|
|Strap||0.5 - 10 LBS||Yes|
(0.5 lbs increment)
|ZFOsports Adjustable Weighted Vest|
|Strap||2.5 - 40 LBS||Yes|
(2.5 lbs increment)
|Empower Women's Weighted Fitness Vest|
(Ideal For Women)
|V-Force Weight Vest|
(2.5 lbs increment)
|Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO|
(1 lbs increment)
|CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest|
(For Serious Weight Trainers)
|Strap||40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120 or 150 LBS||Yes|
(0.75 lbs increment)
|Tone Fitness Weighted Vest|
The Cross 101 Adjustable Weighted Vest is a cool, compact camouflage-style vest that is made of breathable and very sturdy material. It is very easy to use and has many pockets so that you can add more resistance.
This 40-pound vest includes 10 x 4 lbs weights that are made of iron ore, while the 20-pound vest comes with 8 x 2.5 lbs weights. The weights can be removed or added according to your requirement.
The one-piece design of the product makes it very easy to put the vest on and it has a wide belt with a Velcro locking system that can be adjusted so that the vest fits snugly on your body. The customizable fit of the vest makes it a “one size fits all” option suitable for both sexes and people who are short and tall.
The MiR Adjustable Weighted Vest is the ideal vest for you if you are looking for one that allows you to exercise without restricting your movement, as this model is just 11 inches long. It is very convenient for medium to heavy workouts and ideal for any athlete or gym enthusiast.
The vest has a compact build and fits very snugly, which makes it a great choice for any kind of exercise, including the ones that have overhead movement.
It has been designed especially to be comfortable for use by women. It is also adjustable to fit all body types and can be used by people who are 5-7 feet tall.
The vest is available with maximum weights of 60 lbs and as per your fitness levels, you can adjust the weights to even as low as 20 lbs. The weights can be adjusted in 3 lbs increments and one size of the vest fits all.
The HumanX Weight Vest is a compact 20-pound weighted vest, made by the well-known Harbinger company. It has a Velcro strap jacket that offers complete torso coverage. The flex design of the HumanX lets the vest contour your body while you are working out.
The jacket has an easy-to-use and thick neoprene tensioning belt that ensures a snug fit and one size of the vest is suitable for all body types.
The model has dual padded cushions in the shoulders and chest for additional comfort. The HumanX is sturdy and durable, and all the seams are stitched with double cross stitching.
It is available in 10 lbs and 40 lbs variations and the weights included are 1-pound weights that can be adjusted easily during your workout, according to your fitness level. The vest comes in a great stylish green-black design and its snug fit ensures that even if you go for an extended run, there is very little bounce.
The SKLZ Weighted Vest is made of breathable reinforced nylon mesh. Its design allows it to sit high on the chest, over the pectorals, and allows you to do exercises such as side bends and sit-ups more comfortably. The SKLZ is a great vest for upper body workouts.
It has a total weight of 10 lbs and the weights are in half pounds that facilitates easy adjustment according to your requirements.
The stretchable pockets facilitate easy addition and removal of the weights. The softbound edges of the vest ensure that the weights don’t dig in while you are exercising.
The ZFOsports Adjustable Weighted Vest is ideal if you are a beginner. It is comfortable, durable, adjustable and the design of the vest is very aesthetic.
It is made of breathable material that allows you to exercise comfortably without getting hassled about foul odors.
The model is well-suited for people with long bodies and is designed to contour your body offering a secure and snug fit. The adjustable Velcro strap allows it to be worn comfortably and keeps it from moving when you’re working out. The high-quality stitching makes the vest very sturdy.
It provides a wide range of adjustable resistance between 2.5-40 lbs and the removable weights come in 2.5 lbs increments, which allows you to adjust the resistance as per your fitness requirements. The vest is ideal for running, jogging, pull-ups, lunges, lateral drills, etc.
The Empower Women's Weighted Fitness Vest is a women-specific vest and quite inexpensive too. Its unique X-shaped design makes it an ideal and comfortable fit for a woman’s body.
This vest is made of soft, super flexible, stretchy neoprene fabric, which makes it form-fitting and extremely lightweight. It has weights that are evenly distributed throughout the jacket which allow you to have a balanced workout.
It is equipped with clips that keep the vest secure and rigid while you are working out and it has convenient pockets to place your keys, a small phone or iPod.
You can make your workout more challenging by adding resistance with weights of 8 lbs without aggravating your lower back. The vest also comes in a 4 lbs LED version in navy color.
This is a short style, military grade vest. The V-Force rests on your shoulders like a backpack and keeps the weight off your stomach. The wide shoulder design makes it well-suited for running and hiking.
It is equipped with wide straps for adjustment that ensures a snug custom fit and it has multi-layered pockets for extreme durability. The vest contains high-density, mildew-resistant, ozone-protected, crush-proof foam.
The weights in the V-Force are individually labeled and coated and the stitching, all ensure the durability of the vest. The shoulders and pockets are reinforced by inter-skeletal webbing that ensures that the jacket stays in shape for a long time.
The model is available in 7 colors and you have some camo options to increase your cool quotient. However, compared to the other products in the market, the V-Force Weight Vest is quite pricey.
The Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO is a high-quality, flexible unisex weighted vest. It is made of flexible stretchy fabric that ensures that the vest fits comfortably irrespective of the size of your body.
The unique material of the product is very lightweight and has moisture-wicking properties that keep you dry and comfortable while you’re exercising and provides excellent ventilation. The vest is sweat and odor resistant.
It includes 10 lbs high-density steel weights and the XXL size can support a maximum of 65 lbs. This Hyperwear product has side lacing that allows custom fitting and a full range of motion while exercising.
The vest is not bulky and has a thin profile, but stays in place if you’re running or doing exercises that involve plenty of movement.
The weighted vest from CAP Barbell is durable and lightweight. This model provides full body coverage and can be secured using the Velcro side straps.
It is extremely comfortable and has plenty of places where you can put in extra weights to increase resistance - it has maximum weight capacity of 150lbs! The double cross stitching makes the vest very durable.
The product is available in 8 different weight options and the weights can be adjusted in 2.5 lbs increments. The vest is ideal for dips, pull-ups, etc. and stays in place and does not move when you exercise.
The weighting mechanism used in the CAP Barbell Adjustable is weighted sandbags that can be easily added or removed as required.
The Tone Fitness Weighted Vest is a running vest that is made of lightweight, soft, yet extremely rugged neoprene material. The material is temperature controlled and even when the weather is too hot, you can still be very cool while exercising. It has wicking properties that prevent sweat build-up and keep the vest odor-free.
The vest is lightweight - it weighs 12 pounds - and easy to carry around and exercise with. It does not restrict your mobility and is ideal for women, starters and for those who have a smaller torso.
The high-quality stitching of the product makes it very durable and strong and ensures that it can carry all the weight. It is equipped with a pocket to hold your mobile phone or iPod and it features reflective strips to make you visible and keep you safe while jogging, especially in the dark.
There are several kinds of vests available and if you are a beginner, then you can opt for a lighter one. Many models begin at 20 lbs but if you want a lighter one, there are vests that start at 10 lbs or even lesser. You could look for a light vest that will help you do some basic exercises like pull ups, push ups, squats, etc. However, if you are a workout veteran, then you could choose a heavier one.
When you are out shopping for a weighted vest, then a primary consideration should be your fitness goals and your fitness levels. Determine how you will be using it. If you are a runner, then you could go in for one with a sleeker fit and greater support to prevent the vest from moving and bouncing around while you run.
If you are looking at increasing your level of fitness and want to intensify the difficulty and resistance levels when you are walking, running or doing any other kind of exercise, then weighted vests are a fantastic option that can help to improve your training level.
To get the most of a weighted vest, you don’t have to be a seasoned athlete. By adding extra weight while you go about your routine activities, your body will kick start the metabolism and increase the number of calories burned. Ideally, you should start light, maybe using a 10 lbs vest and then increase the weight to around 40-50 lbs.
Using a weighted vest can increase your muscle mass and strength; however, this mainly depends on the kind of exercises you do and the amount of resistance and weight your vest offers.
The key reason for the increase in your strength and muscle mass when you use one is because it is something that your body needs to adapt to. As your body gets used to the resistance and stress, the muscle breaks down, rebuilds again and the body becomes bigger and stronger.
So, working out wearing a vest with a fair amount of resistance, without leading your body to complete exhaustion helps your muscles to grow and your strength to increase, while your body adapts to the weights that you add to the vest.
As you add weight to your workout, the body assumes that it requires to get stronger by strengthening the musculoskeletal system and this results in the formation of stronger and denser bones. Regular use of weighted vests can help your breathing by increasing your lung capacity and also enhancing your cardiovascular system dramatically over time.
There are many types of weighted vests available in the market, where the weight can range from 10 lbs to even 150 lbs. However, you must purchase a vest that is as per your fitness level and goals.
Weighted vests are usually available as male or female vests and the male vests are bulkier and the weights are heavier too. These vests can be tightened so that they do not move. These weighted vests are meant for use where the focus is on toning and muscle building.
Weighted vests designed specifically for women are lighter and have weights that are fixed. Typically, women’s vests are V-shaped and they are close fitting at the waist.
However, these days, many of the weighted vests available are unisex and they are equipped with an adjustable Velcro belt that helps to adjust the vest to make it fit snugly and sit comfortably on your torso whether you are a man or a woman.
The different shapes of the vest allow you to lay emphasis on various parts of the body.
Weighted vests are available in 2 shapes:
Using a weighted vest adds greater intensity to your exercise sessions and pushes your body to work harder. Although if the exercise routine is not too strenuous, the calories burned may not be too high, but over time, the result can be significant.
Also, your metabolic rate is boosted which causes the body to burn the fat rapidly, even when you are resting.
Adding more resistance by increasing the weights can help you become stronger, as the muscles in your body need to acclimatize to the increased resistance. After a while, even if you remove the weights, your stamina increases as your body is now accustomed to intensive exercise and more oxygen utilization.
Your muscles must adapt to the higher weight when you exercise while using a weighted vest and this helps in building muscular endurance and stamina.
With the use of a weighted vest, you will discover that your muscle mass is growing and your bones are stronger, denser and can handle additional load.
This is because when you run while wearing a vest, the load is transmitted via your bones and the extra load causes an increase in the bone mass by stimulating cells known as osteoblasts to produce new material.
In short, the bones become denser and stronger and are able to handle extra load.
Over time, your body adapts to specific movements and after a while, due to this process of adaptation, any progress you see due to exercise stops. Weighted vests are a great tool that offer the variation in exercise that your body is unprepared for. So, whenever you want some variation in your exercise routine to throw your body off, using a vest is a fantastic idea.
Exercising with a weighted vest poses a great challenge to your body and your cardiovascular system goes into an overdrive due to the added resistance and as a result, the lungs are strengthened, the ability to consume oxygen and the lactate threshold are also increased.
Here are some ways in which you can make the weighted vest a part of your workout routine:
A weighted vest purchase is not a cheap proposition and getting one can easily cost you around $100 if not more and additionally, if you want some extra weights, be prepared to fork out more.
So here are some things to consider when using one:
The most important aspect that you must consider when buying a weighted vest is the quality. It should be durable and withstand regular and strenuous workouts. The vest should be made of high-quality material that will stand the wear and the material should be tear and sweat resistant.
Look for material that has antibacterial properties which protects you from the bacteria build-up due to perspiration when you are working out as this can get transferred to your skin and cause skin problems. Also, ensure that the weights are either coated metal or have a neoprene coating in order to protect from rust.
Your vest should be adjustable and you should be able to add and reduce the amount of weight as per your fitness level. Also, check the ease of adding the weights and removing them. Check the time it will take to make weight adjustments, as this can impact your workout time, especially if you are following a stringent exercise routine. Also, the vest should be easy to wear and take off.
Another important thing to consider is how comfortable the fit is. When you are wearing it, you should be able to breathe comfortably and working out wearing the vest should also be easy. It should fit snugly and securely but should not be too tight or too loose, making it very hard for you to focus on your workout.
What are the extras that you can add to the weighted vest? Does it include a pocket for your MP3 player, smartphone, etc.? Does it have a water bottle holder? If you run in the dark, does it have reflective strips for safety? Does it have a sweat-resistant sleeve? All these accessories help to make your vest more versatile and add value.
Check how much the vest weighs on its own and how much of weight comes along with it. Commonly, people misjudge the amount of weight they can handle and end up with one that is too heavy and bulky for them. The vest should have weights that are distributed evenly and if you require, it should allow you to reposition the weights for good balance and comfort.
Also, make sure that you buy one that it fits your current level of fitness. A very light vest will not offer good resistance and hence you will not have an effective workout, while a too heavy one may cause injury.
Price is an important consideration when buying a weighted vest. However, while trying to buy one to fit into your budget, do not cut corners and compromise on the quality. You may find that a high-quality product with good features can be expensive. Make sure that you buy a durable model that is built to last, even if it is slightly pricier, as by buying a cheap one, you may end up spending more on replacing the vest quite often.
A weighted vest is a fantastic way to add life to your plain old exercise routine. The use of a weighted vest can enhance your strength, stamina, bone density and muscle mass. However, buying one is a decision that you must take after evaluating the various factors.
Keep in mind your existing fitness level and choose one that fits best with your training goals. Safety is of primary importance, so select a model that does not cause any injury and is most comfortable while you workout. When used properly, a few months of use of a weighted vest along with your workout and the results can be rather astounding!
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