Looking for an easy way to add extra resistance to your workout? Just slip on a weighted vest and carry on with your regular routine! The best weighted vests won’t restrict your movement, but they will make your muscles work that much harder. They’re the perfect accessory for heavy lifters seeking a greater challenge, as well as casual athletes looking for a passive way to burn more calories.
In this guide, we’ll showcase the best and most versatile weighted vests on the market. Our favorite overall? That award goes to the miR Short Weighted Vest, which features high-quality materials and has a zipper for easy on-and-offs. But there are a ton of great options on the market — whether you’re looking for a 60-pound behemoth, or a 12-pounder that you can throw over your shoulders while walking the dog, we’ve got you covered.
Our Top Picks: Best Weighted Vests
Here are our favorite weighted vests for different types of training:
- Best Overall: miR Short Weighted Vest. Constructed from heavyweight fabric and removable iron bars, the miR Short Weighted Vest is perfect for athletes seeking a comfortable and weight-adjustable fit.
- Best Budget: Pure Fitness Weighted Vest. With its reasonable price tag and respectable 20-pound weight profile, the Pure Fitness Weighted Vest is an excellent option for those on a budget.
- Best Lightweight: Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO Weighted Vest. This pro-grade weighted vest boasts comfortable stretch fabric and ultra-slim steel bars for a perfect fit that never gets in the way of your workout.
- Best Heavyweight: CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest. Are you a pro lifter or bodybuilder? The CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest comes in weights up to 150 pounds!
- Best Running: RunFast Adjustable Weighted Vest. Run fast and gain more muscle with the RunFast Adjustable Wegihted Vest. Complete with a Velcro strap and cushioned shoulder pads, resistance training never felt so good.
- Best CrossFit: Cross101 Weighted Vest. Hit the CrossFit gym in this stylish camo-inspired vest that lets you adjust its weight without ever interfering with your workout.
- Best Calisthenics: Tone Fitness Weighted Vest. This weighted vest is perfect for folks seeking a simple option for calisthenics (and one that doesn’t break the bank).
- Best Military-Grade: V-Force Short Adjustable Weight Vest. There’s strong. And there’s Army strong. Embrace the power of the armed forces with this durable, short-style vest that’s made in the USA — perfect for sports and training.
- Best Wrist Weights: SPRI Thumblock Wrist Weight Wearable Set. Are you a beginner? You may want to opt for something a bit lighter. The SPRI Thumblock Wrist Weights are ergonomic and ultra convenient.
- Best Ankle Weights: Valeo Ankle & Wrist Weight Set. Perhaps you fancy training your lower body? This weight set from Valeo will have you kicking butt and taking names in no time.
1. miR Adjustable Weighted Vest
The best weighted vest overall
Manufacturer: miR | Weight: 20 to 60 Pounds | Weight-Adjustable: Yes / 3-Pound Increments | Closure: Zipper | Price: 💰💰💰💰
The miR Adjustable Weight Vest is as reliable as they come. Constructed from reinforced heavyweight fabric and bursting at the seams with iron bars, this quality vest adds a significant layer of difficulty to your workout.
Choose between several different weights, anywhere from 20 pounds all the way up to 60 pounds. Then, slide on the vest, zip it up, and feel the effects of this premium accessory working its magic! Oh, and don’t worry about feeling restricted or uncomfortable. Users rave about the short design, which rests above the abs and provides excellent mobility and ventilation. It’s also double padded at the top to keep you comfortable for the long haul.
While it’s more expensive than some competing options, it’s built to last. And, it’s entirely adjustable, meaning you can keep it for life. Add or remove the 3-pound iron bars until you find the ideal level of resistance, then adjust as you get stronger.
If you’re seeking a durable and convenient weight vest that comes in several different weights, the miR is the best choice for you.
- Short, comfortable design
- Among the best adjustable weighted vests
- Top-tier materials w/ reinforced stitching and genuine iron bars
- On the more expensive side
- Feels loose during horizontal exercises
2. Pure Fitness Weighted Vest
The best weighted vest on a budget
Manufacturer: Pure Fitness | Type: Vest | Weight: 20 Pounds | Weight-Adjustable: Yes / 0.88-Pound Increments | Closure: Velcro | Price: 💰💰
If you’re on a tight budget, the Pure Fitness Weighted Vest is the way to go. While it’s not as heavy as some of the others on our list, it’s hard to beat the price tag.
So, what can you expect with this vest? First off, it comes in a one-size-fits-all design and weighs in at 20 pounds. The outer material is a reflective nylon with terylene trim (think construction vest material), which provides exceptional durability and visibility. The V-shaped vest contours with your torso, and it all holds snug with an adjustable Velcro strap.
Oh, yes — it’s also weight-adjustable! The vest has 16 little pockets that each hold 0.88-pound sandbags. Remove them as needed, and power up your workouts as you see fit. This is the best weighted vest for men and the best weighted vest for women on a budget.
- Very affordable, around $75
- Reasonably comfortable, with lots of fabric padding
- The 0.88-pound adjustable weights offer fine-tune control over workout resistance
- On the bulkier side due to all the sandbags
- Weights are hard to insert and remove because of snug pockets
3. Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO Weighted Vest
The best lightweight vest
Manufacturer: Hyperwear | Type: Vest | Weight: 10+ Pounds | Weight-Adjustable: Yes / Varies | Closure: Lace | Price: 💰💰💰💰
Hyperwear is the manufacturer of the Hyper Vest, a professional-grade vest that has a price tag to match. While it is much more expensive than some others, the Hyper Vest’s thin profile (plus the stretch fabric) offers an unprecedented level of mobility during intense workouts.
In fact, Men’s Health Magazine voted the Hyper Vest PRO the best weight vest on the market! The vest holds high-density steel weights, which are — amazingly — only 1/4 thick. How thin is this vest, exactly? Let’s just say that even with weights added, it would be difficult to tell someone was wearing this vest under a baggy shirt.
It comes in five sizes (small, med, large, XL, and XXL) and 10 pounds of weights. If that’s not enough resistance for you, Hyperwear sells “booster packs” to add additional weight to the vest.
This vest’s fabric is very high quality, exhibiting moisture-wicking, ventilating, and odor-resistant properties. An added bonus is that it’s machine washable, which is a must-have considering the amount of sweat you’ll be pouring into it after a crazy workout.
Ultimately, it is an expensive proposition, but there’s nothing else like it on the market.
- Slim, minimal design means no movement restrictions
- One of the most comfortable weighted vests on the market
- Innovative “compression” design that’s breathable and easily adjusted via lace closures
- Sizing is off; may want to order up
- Fabric begins to wear down rather quickly — a matter of months
4. CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest
The best heavyweight vest
Manufacturer: CAP Barbell | Type: Vest | Weight: 20 to 150 Pounds | Weight-Adjustable: Yes / 2.5-Pound Increments | Closure: Velcro | Price: 💰💰💰💰
The company CAP Barbell manufactures top-of-the-line exercise equipment, and their weighted vest is no exception. This ergonomic vest comes in eight weight options, all of which are adjustable in 2.5-pound increments. So if you buy the 40-pound vest, you can remove 30 pounds (or however much you desire) until you feel comfortable and strong enough for heavier resistance. This alone makes the CAP vest one of the best heavy weighted vests on the market.
The craftsmanship is top tier, and the Velcro straps and pockets are all thick and completely reinforced. The one-size-fits-all adjustable belt finishes this vest off nicely and makes it an excellent choice for individuals of all fitness levels.
- Comes in a wide variety of weights
- Adjustable sandbag weights adapt to your strength level
- Boasts reinforced nylon for durability and polyester for maneuverability
- Poor customer support
- Ill-suited for smaller men and women; doesn’t cinch tight enough
5. RunFast Adjustable Weighted Vest
The best weighted vest for running
Manufacturer: RunFast | Type: Vest | Weight: 20 to 140 Pounds | Weight-Adjustable: Yes / Various Increments | Closure: Velcro | Price: 💰💰💰
If you’re craving a vigorous workout that gives your body a taste of real resistance, go for a jog with the RunFast Adjustable Weighted Vest. Better yet, sprint up some hills with the 140-pound version of this vest (please only do this if you’re a pro athlete) for a workout unlike anything you’ve ever experienced!
The highlight of this vest is that it’s offered in so many weight options. If you’re just starting to use weighted vests, choose the 20-pound option at checkout, and voila — you’ve got yourself the best weighted vest for walking and light jogging. If you’re more experienced, try the 50 or 80-pound options, and see how that feels.
The RunFast Adjustable Vest boasts a one-size-fits-most design, as well as shoulder pads that’ll keep you comfortable as you prance around the track. It’s also backed by a one-year warranty for your peace of mind.
- Removable weights for customizable resistance
- Comes with shoulder pads for enhanced comfort
- Variety of weight options, all the way up to 140 pounds
- Bulky sandbags made it hard to lift weights with this vest
- Nigh-impossible to perform exercises that require bending over
6. Cross101 Weighted Vest
The best weighted vest for CrossFit
Manufacturer: Cross101 | Type: Vest | Weight: 20 to 80 Pounds | Weight-Adjustable: Yes / 4-Pound Increments | Closure: Velcro | Price: 💰💰
This weighted vest from Cross101 is a well-priced option that comes in a slick camo design. It also comes in at nearly half the price of other premium weighted vests on this list.
The Cross101 boasts a series of 4-pound weights constructed from premium iron ore. Compared to sandbags, iron is much slimmer, providing a more streamlined fit that doesn’t get in the way during CrossFit. And, you can remove as many of the 10 individual weights as you need to achieve your desired resistance. As for the fit? The Velcro belt is wide and adjustable, making it easy to secure the vest snug to your body.
The downside to this vest is that it’s not great for running and jogging, as the weights slide up and down (and may even smack you in the back if you get going fast enough). With a long enough run, the friction could even rub you raw in a couple of the impact points, so beware of this. Otherwise, this is an excellent vest for doing bodyweight exercises and strength and agility training.
- Slick camo design
- Excellent price-to-weight ratio
- Quality materials, including genuine iron weights
- Complaints of an initial chemical smell
- Weights slide up and down while running, which can impact your body
7. Tone Fitness Weighted Vest
The best weight vest for calisthenics
Manufacturer: Tone Fitness | Type: Vest | Weight: 12 Pounds | Weight-Adjustable: No | Closure: Buckle | Price: 💰
The Tone Fitness is a well-constructed, lightweight vest (12 pounds) ideal for most body types.
Although it’s not weight-adjustable, the TF Weighted Vest features an ergonomic fit that works perfectly for all types of workouts, including walking, running, calisthenics, and weight lifting. Simply strap it on your back, slide the buckle into place across your chest, and you’re in business. It’ll help you burn more calories and offer an extra layer of oomph to all of your routines.
In terms of features, this vest comes with secure built-in weights, reflective strips for visibility, and two sleek color options — blue and black. An excellent choice for beginners and intermediate users alike.
- Holds up to years of daily use
- Twelve-pound weight is perfect for beginners
- Soft and comfy neoprene fabric w/ buckle closure
- On the looser side, so it bounces while running
- Some say it doesn’t fit well as intended — but it does fit whenflipped upside down
8. V-Force Short Adjustable Weight Vest
The best military-grade weighted vest
Manufacturer: V-Force | Type: Vest | Weight: 30 Pounds | Weight-Adjustable: Yes / 2.5-Pound Increments | Closure: Buckle | Price: 💰💰💰💰
Looking for the best weight vest for training? You’ve found it!
The V-Force vest is a military-grade, short-style weighted vest made right here in the USA. This top-tier workout accessory rests above the abdomen, keeping the weight off the stomach and resting it on the chest and shoulders, much like a backpack. Combined with the slim metal weights — which are adjustable and conveniently labeled — this streamlined vest stays out of your way during all workout activities, including sports and bodybuilding. Plus, the pockets are multilayered for maximum durability, and the wide adjustable straps are very thick — all backed by a lifetime warranty.
While it’s costly, we believe the high price is worth the overall quality. And, it ships free to anywhere in the USA.
- The best weighted vest for working out
- Weight-adjustable w/ cast-iron weights that come in 2.5-pound increments
- Slim design with padded body and shoulders sits comfortably and maneuvers easily
- Prohibitively expensive
- Thirty pounds may not be high enough for all users
9. SPRI Thumblock Wrist Weight Wearable Set
The best wrist weights
Manufacturer: SPRI | Type: Wrist & Ankle Weights | Weight: 2 to 4 Pounds | Weight-Adjustable: Yes / 2-Pound Increments | Closure: Velcro | Price: 💰
Although this is primarily a list of weighted vests, we couldn’t help but include a couple of lighter-duty options. After all, everyone is at a different level, and there’s no singular best approach to training.
The least expensive weighted wearable comes from SPRI. The SPRI Thumblocks’ lockable design helps keep the weight rooted in place throughout your workout. These are an excellent option for folks looking to give their walks, aerobic workouts, and classes like Zumba an intensity boost. Furthermore, wrist and grip strength is critical in many sports (including weightlifting), and this set is ideal for grip training. Not to mention, the wrist is an often-overlooked muscle, and these weights from SPRI can be an excellent way to hone in on them.
- Enhances grip strength
- Secure thumblock design keeps weights in place
- Affordable way to add weight resistance to your training
- Quite bulky
- Only suitable for average-size wrists, as the Velcro strap isn’t particularly adjustable
10. Valeo Ankle & Wrist Weight Set
The best ankle weights
Manufacturer: Valeo | Type: Wrist & Ankle Weights | Weight: 5 to 10 Pounds | Weight-Adjustable: Yes / 1-Pound Increments | Closure: Velcro | Price: 💰💰
If you’re seeking a versatile set of wrist and ankle weights, you can’t go wrong with Valeo’s Ankle and Wrist Set.
This set is one of the most popular strength training wearables out there. Use it for fitness, rehab, martial arts, improving balance, or your favorite home workout routines. Valeo offers two stellar options for interested buyers: a 5 pound and a 10-pound set.
Although they’re filled with sandbags, the Valeo Ankle & Wrist Weight Set is surprisingly streamlined and less bulky than comparable options (although, the set may still be too big for slimmer women and men). This is all due to the smart design, which secures via a single-strap Velcro closure and durable D-ring. Try these weights on for size, and you’ve got a fantastic workout accessory that couldn’t be easier or more comfortable to use.
- Sturdy and secure
- Versatile design works for wrists and ankles
- Can add or remove weigh in 1-pound increments
- Do not fit slimmer women and men
- More expensive than some weighted vests
What to Look for in the Best Weighted Vests
Weighted vests are exactly what they sound like: heavy garments worn on the upper body. They’re an optimal way to add resistance to your workouts without compromising biomechanics.
Here are the top things to consider as you’re shopping for a weighted vest:
While this list is primarily about the best weighted vests, we’ve also curated a set of wrist and ankle weights to give you a comprehensive look at what’s on the market. If you’re an absolute newbie, these lighter weights may be the way to go.
As you might expect, weighted vests come in a range of weights (anywhere from 10 pounds to 100 or more) to accommodate folks across the fitness spectrum. Beginners will want to start light, around 10 to 20 pounds. More experienced lifters can start much higher, at 30, 40, even 50 pounds and above!
Most weighted vests come equipped with pockets filled with metal bars or small sandbags, although some are composed solely of heavy fabrics. Nearly all of the best weighted vests allow you to add and remove weights until you find the perfect level of resistance for your body.
It’s a smart idea to pick a weight-adjustable vest that’s heavier than your current needs, then begin with a lower weight. As you grow stronger, you simply add more weight!
You also need to consider the fit of the vest. Most vests are adjustable in regards to fit and many come in different sizes.
Even those that take a one-size-fits-all approach still feature closures like zippers, buckles, straps, and lace that adapt to your body. These mechanisms will keep you comfortable and help the vest stay put, even during the most vigorous workouts.
5. Safety First
All of this sounds great, right? Well, before you go all Rambo and strap one of these bad boys on and attempt a 10 mile run through the dense jungle, you need to be honest about your current fitness level. If you can only do five pull-ups and are shopping for a 75-pound vest, you’re just asking for trouble.
If you’re a beginner on a budget, start light! Either grab a pair of wrist and ankle weights, or snag something like the 20-pound Pure Fitness Weighted Vest. Remove some of the weight to start at 10 pounds, and see how that feels before going heavier. Trust us — it’s much harder than it sounds!
If you’re a hardcore athlete, there’s a lot more wiggle room. As such, the CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest is an excellent investment that goes up to a whopping 150 pounds! That should keep you busy for quite a while, eh?
5 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Weighted Vest
Weighted vests have been shown in studies to improve neuromuscular performance in adults.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning shows that wearing vests during training improves agility-related performance in young men.
That’s because, when wearing a weighted vest, muscle fibers become programmed to believe there is more resistance on the body. For a period after the weighted vest is removed, the body still believes the extra weight remains. In response to the increased demand from the weight load (real or perceived), the human body will build additional muscle fibers to assist with the load. This leads to increased power output and better results.
Most commonly, weighted vests are used in consort with speed or distance running, bodyweight exercises (calisthenics), and agility type drills. While weighted training vests aren’t a primary means of building muscle or burning fat, they are a potent way to increase the difficulty of many exercises and accelerate gains.
Here are five excellent ways to use the best weighted vests.
1. Do Cardiovascular Training With a Weighted Vest
You can start with 2-minute treadmill runs or 10 minutes of light jogging. Any cardio exercise will be challenging with one of these hefty training vests on. And, the best adjustable weighted vests allow enough flexibility that exercising is not uncomfortable, only challenging.
Once you build up to 60 minutes of running with a weighted vest, you’ll be ripped out of your mind. If you want to go even further, strap on the weighted vest, pop the treadmill in steep incline mode, and see how long you can last before you start reaching for the lower speed button.
2. Endure a Workout Circuit With a Weighted Vest
Why not use a weighted vest for circuit training? If you’re working out at home, you can do a robust all-body workout that rapidly gets your body into fat-burning range. All you need is a treadmill, pull up bar, weighted vest, and your body weight.
Execute the following:
- 5 Minute Treadmill Run
- 25 Push-Ups with Weighted Vest
- 25 Lunges with Weighted Vest
- 25 Squats with Weighted Vest
- 5 Weighted Vest Pull-ups
- 25 Weighted Vest Sit-Ups
When first starting, you may need a break before going through this circuit a second time. As your strength and endurance increases, you’ll be able to hit this circuit three to five times. Beginners will want about a 10-pound vest for a circuit such as the one above.
3. Go for a Weighted Vest Hike or Walk
Why not experience the great outdoors while performing a full-body workout that kicks your butt?
Using a weighted vest can be as convenient as going out for a quick walk with your kids or partner. Turn that simple stroll into something that benefits your endurance level and improves your cardio system.
For those that become easily distracted or bored with machine workouts, experiencing nature is a welcome addition. For walking, you’ll want a heavier vest of at least 25 pounds or even greater than 50 pounds, depending on your fitness level. For intense hikes or mountain climbs, you’ll probably want to start lighter, around 10 to 20 pounds.
4. Lift Weights With a Weighted Vest
You can also supplement your lifting routine with a weighted vest (as long as it isn’t too bulky).
You will seriously amplify your lifts with a weighted vest strapped onto your chest. Try hitting the big five lifts while wearing a weighted vest: squats, bench press, rows, cleans, and deadlifts. Do anywhere from three to five sets of each of these major lifts for a full-body workout.
Not only will you be hitting all the major muscle groups, but your core, lower back, and secondary muscles will be feeling the burn too. Plus, you’ll expend that many more calories every exercise. Even doing something like this once a week can result in significant muscle growth and conditioning.
5. Do Weighted Vest Chores
This may seem a bit silly at first, but hear us out. Gardening, laundry, yard work, and other chores can be amped up by throwing on a weighted vest.
Housework is a certainty of living, so you may as well get a workout in doing these activities you would usually be doing anyway. Two birds, one stone, right? You’ll burn that many more calories by adding extra weight that your body has to work to carry around. Easy and convenient — what more could you ask for?
For this guide on weighted vests, our team spent 6 hours researching the most popular options from over 30 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred and fifty user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each vest. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 10 weighted vests on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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