Last updated: February 14, 2021

We’re huge fans of CrossFit, and one way we get to spice things up with clients is by adding a few pounds for bodyweight exercises.

And I don’t mean piling on the flabby stuff again.

You can completely transform strength training by using an adjustable weight vest for everything from plyometrics to pull-ups and push-ups.

You can even put on the vest for running to make sure you burn off some extra calories.

Unfortunately, we’ve had a few bad experiences with vests that really weren’t fit for purpose.

So we set out to see if we would be able to find the best weighted vests to recommend to our clients and readers.

Our Top Weighted Vests For Crossfit

1 - Rogue 5.11 Tactec Plate Carrier (Editor's Choice)

5.11 Tactec Plate Carrier

One of the best weighted vests we were all able to agree on is this one from Rogue Fitness.

I particularly like the easily accessible plate carriers that make this adjustable weighted vest ideal for changing the plates out quickly between different sets.

We also think it’s the most comfortable with no pressure points or painful rubbing.

  • Material: Heavy-duty nylon
  • Max weight: 60 lbs
Pros
  • Military-grade materials make this a lot more durable
  • Nicely padded adjustable straps for fewer pressure points
  • Choice of cast or laser cut weight plates
  • Available in multiple color options to match up with your gear
Cons
  • It’s not the cheapest option

All that durability and padding come at a price, but I think it’s well worth it.

2 - RUNMax Pro

RUNMax Pro

This could be one of the best weighted vests to use for CrossFit training and running, as you have a convenient place to store a bottle of water.

You can also order extra shoulder pads if you intend to use it with larger weights.

These seem to reduce the pressure a lot and distribute it more easily across the shoulders.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Max weight: 60 lbs
Pros
  • Weight plates are included and slot into place perfectly
  • Convenient water bottle holder makes it ideal for running
  • Optional extra shoulder pads are good if you pile on the plates
Cons
  • Switching out the weights is a bit tricky

The only downside is that the plate carrier pouches aren’t as quickly accessible.

3 - Cross101 Weighted Vest

Cross101 Weighted Vest

This adjustable weighted vest has a weight limit that would suit high-performance athletes a lot more.

The plate carrier pouches will hold up to 80 pounds.

We also checked the materials and stitching, and it all looks solid enough for a high-intensity workout even under a full load.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Max weight: 80 lbs
Pros
  • Great max weight range
  • The materials and stitching are very durable for high-intensity training
  • Positive reports that it helps to increase heart rate during cardio
Cons
  • The vest feels a bit stiff

Just keep in mind that it’s not the most flexible vest for CrossFit, which might restrict your movements a bit.

4 - Aduro Sport Weighted Vest

Aduro Sport Weighted Vest

This is another good weighted vest where we particularly liked the open front design.

You know how sweaty you can get during a CrossFit session, and a vest will add more heat again.

It also feels like one of the most comfortable ones, with plenty of padding and broader straps than most other weighted vests.

  • Material: Neoprene
  • Max weight: 25 lbs (fixed)
Pros
  • Very comfortable side straps reduce pressure points
  • Open design increases air-flow to reduce sweating
  • Easy to get on and off with a simple clasp at the front
Cons
  • Fixed weight means you cannot increase the amount for different routines

The downside is that you can’t adjust the weight, so you would need to order it with the weight you think will suit you the most.

5 - miR Adjustable Weighted Vest

miR Adjustable Weighted Vest

The miR adjustable weighted vest has plate carrier pouches that can be easily accessed, which many people believe helps them switch weights quickly depending on the workout.

We also like that the plates are metal rather than sand, which means they’re nowhere near as bulky as other weighted vests.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Max weight: 60 lbs
Pros
  • Conveniently adjustable weight vest in 3 lbs increments
  • Included weights are metal, not sand, to make them less bulky
  • Designed to provide more upper body movement
Cons
  • Better padded shoulders would be great for heavier weights

The padding in the straps is the only downside, as I think it could be a bit broader to better distribute the pressure.

6 - CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

The CAP Barbell weight vest for CrossFit is a great choice if you want to have maximum flexibility for your movements.

You’ll also struggle to find higher weight options, and we’ve seen a few athletes use it at the maximum 150 pounds for pull-ups with a difference.

  • Material: Nylon and polyester
  • Max weight: 150 lbs
Pros
  • The vest is flexible to not get in your way of different body movements
  • Great maximum amount of weight for high-performance athletes preparing for CrossFit games
  • Vest comes with good padding on the shoulders for more comfort
Cons
  • Given the size, it would be great to have a holder for a water bottle

The only thing I wish they would add is some sort of strap or holder for a bottle of water.

7 - ZFOsports Weighted Vest

ZFOsports Weighted Vest

The ZFOsports adjustable weighted vest has well-designed plate carrier pouches that mean you shouldn’t have any major delays if you like to change the weight depending on the exercise.

I also like the pocket for a phone, which makes it ideal for running as well.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Max weight: 80 lbs
Pros
  • Provides a convenient pocket for your phone
  • It’s easy to adjust the iron weights
  • Positive comments that the one size fits all design is suitable for taller people
Cons
  • It’s not very breathable so you could sweat more

One thing we did notice is that the materials and design don't have much ventilation, so you could end up sweating a lot more.

8 - Bear KompleX Weight Vest

Bear KompleX Weight Vest

This is probably one of the heaviest weight vests for CrossFit available, and if you need that kind of range, then fair play for achieving that level of fitness and strength.

Because of that limit, it also has some stronger buckles made of steel rather than plastic, which will make it a lot more durable.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Max weight: 200 lbs
Pros
  • Extra strong buckles made from steel make it more durable
  • Water resistant coating means the vest won’t get wet
  • Available in a good range of colors
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with weight plates

Just keep in mind that you’ll have to order the plates separately, so don’t get too excited about the price.

9 - Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro

Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro

What stands out the most about the Hyperwear HyperVest Pro is the materials are stretchable, and you can tighten it for a perfect fit.

That should reduce the amount of movement even in some plyometric exercises.

  • Material: Lycra Nylon
  • Max weight: 46 lbs
Pros
  • Stretchable material makes it feel more comfortable
  • Comes in different size options to get the perfect fit
  • Thinner design should give you full-body movement
Cons
  • The weight limit is a bit low for the more serious athlete

Just be aware that the Hyper Vest Pro has relatively small plate carrier pouches, which might not suit high-performance athletes.

10 - V-Force Weight Vest

V-Force Weight Vest

The final one of our recommended CrossFit adjustable weighted vest is this V-Force option.

It might have a smaller limit, but the advantage of that is that you get a vest that is shorter. This leaves most of your core exposed for better cooling and range of motion during your workouts.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Max weight: 45 lbs
Pros
  • The materials and stitching are solid, making a more durable option
  • Short design means you won’t need to take it off for certain exercises
  • Available in different camouflage designs
Cons
  • Some people find it’s not comfortable enough with higher weights

The only thing we think could be improved a bit is the padding, which doesn’t seem thick enough with the bigger plates.

Buyer’s Guide

credit card and laptop

These are the 5 areas that you need to focus on to make your buying decision.

1. High-Quality Materials

I’ve had a few clients who started using their standard weight vest for running during a CrossFit session. The problem is that they don’t have the most durable materials, as they won’t come under too much strain during running.

A weighted vest for CrossFit has to use strong and durable nylon to be light and avoid breaking up under the pressure of a workout. 

One thing to look out for is a lifetime warranty.

This would generally indicate that the company is confident that its design won’t start falling apart after a few sessions.

2. Water Resistance

running in the rain

Technically, I should say sweat resistance, but companies always highlight their products’ water resistance.

Now, if you’re doing CrossFit right, then you should end a session with your clothes dripping in sweat.

When you add weight vests for CrossFit to the mix, then not only will your heart rate [1] and water consumption go up, but you’ll also sweat a hell of a lot more.

The last thing you want is for your vest to become saturated in sweat. That would generally mean you’d have to wash it after every use, rather than just wipe it down.

3. Maximum Weight

weighted vest workout

While we do have one non-adjustable weighted vest on the recommended list above, I generally advise folks to invest in one that allows for different weight options using plate carriers.

Weight plates and bags generally come in 2 to 3-pound increments, which gives you a lot of flexibility.

But you also want to check how easy it is to switch out the plates.

The faster you can do this, the more suitable the vest is for different types of CrossFit routines. Simply add or take out plates as you need to achieve your goals.

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4. Comfort And Padding

Don’t just look for padded shoulder straps. While the thickness of the padding is important, you also want to look at the width of the straps.

Wider shoulder pads generally mean that you have a more even weight distribution and don’t end up with pressure points.

This is important for running and CrossFit training, where your body’s up and down movement causes more pressure on the straps.

“The other reason trainers love the weight vest: It turns bodyweight drills into grueling strength-builders. You could argue the vest is the most efficient way to perform loaded moves because all the weight is closer to your natural center of gravity.” - MensJournal.com

5. Accessories

fixing the vest

Some vests will come with a load of weights to add to the plate carriers.

I think this is usually the most cost-effective way to gain more flexibility and not have to worry about buying more plates later.

I also like to see a water bottle holder, as I tend to use the vest for running and hiking as well. It just frees up my hands and feels more natural.

Finally, I heavily rely on my power tunes for training, so if there’s a pocket for my iPhone, it’s a big plus for me.

FAQs

Are Weighted Vests Bad for Your Spine?

No, weighted vests aren’t bad for your spine unless you already have neck or back problems. If you wear them correctly and maintain good posture and technique during training, then they shouldn’t be the cause of back problems.

Do Weighted Vests Help With Crossfit?

Yes, weighted vests help with CrossFit by adding more weight to your core. This makes many of the exercises a lot more straining, and you could get a lot more benefits out of every single training session.

What Is The Best Weighted Vest For Crossfit?

If you need a weighted vest with maximum durability and the most flexible way to increase the weights, then the Rogue Fitness 5.11 Tactec Plate Carrier is your best option.

It’s not just a highly adjustable weighted vest, but it will stand up to even the most competitive athletes out there.

Order yours today and see how much more sweat it will add to your training.

5.11 Tactec Plate Carrier

Rogue 5.11 Tactec Plate Carrier

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Military-grade materials make this a lot more durable
  • Nicely padded adjustable straps for fewer pressure points
  • Choice of cast or laser cut weight plates
  • Available in multiple color options to match up with your gear
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of April
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