10 Best Weighted Vests (2024 Updated) According to Experts

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 14, 2023
We personally test every product featured in our reviews and guides. By ordering products anonymously and getting a group of independent testers, we are able to get first-hand experience and provide data-driven recommendations. Learn more.

Even as a certified fitness trainer, I have experienced vigorous, sweaty workouts without much noticeable progress. It seemed like I hit a plateau and couldn’t move on, no matter how hard I tried.

Not surprisingly, it adds extra weight, and resistance during workouts got me over the hump, so I wanted to find the best weighted vests for my clients, so I spent countless hours researching weighted vests.

I consulted other fitness trainers to get their expert opinions and personally tested weighted vests with a group of my clients.

Check out our selection of the 10 best weighted vests to elevate your workouts.

The Best Weighted Vests

Editor's Choice
RUNMax Pro Weighted Vest
RUNMax Pro
Rated 4.9/5
Check Current Price
2nd Best Choice
Cross101 Weighted Vest
Cross101
Rated 4.7/5
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3rd Best Choice
miR Airflow Weighted Vest
miR Airflow
Rated 4.5/5
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Our Top Weighted Vests (April 2024)

1 - RUNMax Pro Weighted Vest (Best Overall & Most Durable)

Rated 4.9/5
4.8
Durability
5.0
Price
Nylon
Material
RUNMax Pro Weighted Vest
  • Weight : 12-60lbs
  • Size : One size fits most
  • Material : Strong nylon

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Provides weight adjustability and superior comfort for most body shapes
  • Gives the most bang for your buck
  • Has a handy pocket for your phone, keys, and earphones, plus a water bottle holder for extra storage
  • Extremely durable and comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • You may need to pay a few more bucks for shoulder pads

I've personally put the RUNMax Pro Weighted Vest through its paces, and it's a game-changer for strength training. The attached belt is a lifesaver for quick transitions between exercises, making it a breeze to set up even when I'm mid-circuit.

Athletes of different fitness levels and abilities can use this adjustable weighted vest for a wide range of activities, from hiking, climbing, and running to calisthenics or CrossFit workout, to make their lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, planks, abs, legs and any other exercises more demanding and effective.

2 - Cross101 Weighted Vest (Cheapest & Most Comfortable)

Rated 4.7/5
4.5
Durability
4.8
Price
Neoprene
Material
Cross101 Weighted Vest
  • Weight : 20-80lbs
  • Size : One size fits most

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Comfortable and adjustable weighted vest
  • Provides additional storage compartments for your water bottle, headphones and other items you may want to keep close while training
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Users reported that it might bounce when running or doing e.g. push-ups if you leave it loose, but if you strap it on tight, you might find it difficult to breathe.

The Cross101 Weighted Vest has been a constant companion during my morning jobs. Its Velcro straps and attached belt make closure simple, so I can focus on the trail ahead without any distractions.

The iron ore weights can be easily added or removed in 2.5lbs or 4lbs increments depending on the selected vest weight. Also, the padding on the shoulders is optional, so you may want to order pads or wear a T-shirt with sleeves underneath it to avoid shoulder irritation.

3 - miR Airflow Weighted Vest (Best for Beginners)

Rated 4.5/5
4.4
Durability
4.5
Price
Soft hybrid fabric
Material
miR Airflow Weighted Vest
  • Weight : 20-60lbs
  • Size : One size fits most
  • Material : Soft hybrid fabric

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Enables a wide range of movement thanks to its shortness and narrow shoulder straps
  • Adjustable size and removable weights
  • Machine-washing and tumble-drying allowed to keep it clean always

Cons

  • Reaching all the straps and buckles on the back to make it snug might be challenging without someone’s assistance

When I first started my fitness journey, the miR Airflow Weighted Vest was a perfect fit. The ease of adding or removing weights meant I could scale my workouts as I grew stronger, and the quality? It's stood the test of time and then some.

Our tests found it doesn’t wrap around your whole torso, just your upper chest and abdomen allowing free movement during your bodyweight, strength, cardio, and other fitness training sessions.

Although breathable, it may not be the best weighted vest for running as users claim it’s a bit bulky and moves around too much.

4 - Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO (Best for Running)

Rated 4.1/5
4.1
Durability
4.0
Price
Nylon
Material
Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO
  • Weight : 10lbs
  • Size : S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Material : Tyvek Lycra Nylon

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Superior comfort without any motion restrictions
  • Available in different sizes
  • Side lacing makes this vest easily fit your body shape

Cons

  • A bit expensive

My clients report their running sessions have greatly improved since trying out the Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO. Its sleek design isn't just for show; the added weight really amps up my runs.

Hyperwear Hyper vest Pro comes with 10lbs of high-density steel weights and with the capacity to add more depending on the selected sizes.

What’s more, its breathable, moisture-wicking, odor-resistant material paired with open sides provides excellent ventilation, which makes it one of the best weighted vests for running, walking, calisthenics, CrossFit, and many other high-intensity activities.

I also liked that it comes with a thin and easy to clean material so you can wear your Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro even underneath a loose hoodie, T-shirt, or other workout clothes if you don’t want it to be seen.

5 - CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest (Best for Bodybuilding)

Rated 4.4/5
4.4
Durability
4.4
Price
Nylon and Polyester
Material
CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest
  • Weight : 100lbs
  • Size : One size fits all
  • Material : Reinforced nylon and polyester

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Top-quality, durable, tear-resistant material
  • Fully adjustable weight, waist belt and padded shoulders for a secure and comfortable fit
  • Flexible with reflective stripes for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions

Cons

  • Hefty price tag

Although versatile, functional, and suitable for all fitness levels, this adjustable weighted vest might not be your first choice for running or some CrossFit activities. However, we found that it’s ideal for any bodyweight, cardio, HIIT, and many other workouts.

My bodybuilder client said that adding this vest to his bodyweight exercises has taken his muscle gains to new heights.

The weight is easily adjustable in 2.5lbs increments while the Velcro pads allow for easy adjustment around your waist. In a nutshell, the CAP Barbell weighted vest is solid, comfy, and worth every penny.

6 - Box Weighted Vest

Rated 4.1/5
4.1
Durability
4.1
Price
Nylon
Material
Box Weighted Vest
  • Weight : 45lbs
  • Size : One size fits all
  • Material : Heavy-duty military-grade nylon

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Customizable with easily adjustable and removable weights and belts for a full range of motion
  • Robust and easy-to-clean moisture-resistant material
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty against material and workmanship defects

Cons

  • Can bounce a bit when running but no more than any other weighted vest

Having used the Box Weighted Vest in my CrossFit sessions, I can vouch for its durability. It's survived more burpees and box jumps than I can count, and it's still going strong.

I liked how its fully padded natural contouring offers a snug comfortable fit. Plus, the adjustable belts, narrow shoulder straps, and open sides don’t restrict your movements and allow you to breathe easily and stay cool. The back belt is secured with a kipping flap.

The weight is perfectly balanced, and you can adjust it quickly and easily with added weight cast-iron bars in 2.5lbs increments. It’s not a cheap product, but undoubtedly worth the investment.

7 - Aduro Sport Weighted Vest (Best Small & for CrossFit)

Rated 4.5/5
4.5
Durability
4.5
Price
Neoprene
Material
Aduro Sport Weighted Vest
  • Weight : 6lbs
  • Size : One size fits most
  • Material : Neoprene with a mesh storage pocket

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High-quality material, super comfortable with padded shoulders
  • Odorless iron filling
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Fixed weight

The Aduro Sport Weighted Vest was my go-to when I started CrossFit. Its lightness and balance never hindered my movements, making it the perfect beginner-friendly gear.

It also comes with an adjustable front belt with buckles and a mesh pocket on the back for extra storage.

Some of my clients say it fits snugly without bouncing around or moving while practicing, even when running or jumping, doing push-ups, pull-ups, dips, burpees, lunges, and other cardio exercises and weight training.

Although this sleek vest is designed as unisex, it’s perfect for female curves and allows excellent mobility.

8 - Tone Fitness Weighted Vest

Rated 4.4/5
4.4
Durability
4.3
Price
Neoprene
Material
Tone Fitness Weighted Vest
  • Weight : 12lbs
  • Size : One size fits most
  • Material : Soft neoprene

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Comfortable and allows a full range of motion
  • Inexpensive
  • Reflective stripes help to keep you safe while exercising in the dark

Cons

  • Non-adjustable weight, so unsuitable for gradual progression

I've had my clients test the Tone Fitness Weighted Vest across a range of activities, from boxing with a good heavy bag, and sunrise yoga to HIIT, and they loved the snug fit.

It has an additional pocket where you can put your keys, money, or MP3 player while exercising, but many users claim that it’s not big enough for a smartphone.

This vest seems perfect for women, but if you’re small, our tests show that it may shift, bounce, and wobble around during intensive workouts or a hard run. Similarly, it might be too tight and uncomfortable for big guys or women with broad shoulders and a full chest.

9 - Harbinger Men's Adjustable Weight Vest

Rated 4.1/5
4.2
Durability
4.0
Price
Neoprene
Material
Harbinger Men_s Adjustable Weight Vest
  • Weight : 20lbs
  • Size : One size fits most
  • Material : Neoprene

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Multi-purpose vest suitable for high-intensity training
  • Highly adjustable weight and size that provides maximum mobility
  • Sturdy, durable material

Cons

  • The weights are extremely difficult to put in and take out of the tight pockets

The Harbinger Men's Adjustable Weight Vest has been my faithful workout partner, adding that extra resistance I need. Whether it's sprints or deadlifts, this vest has boosted my endurance workout to the max.

Its durable outer material is resistant to abrasion, tears, and pulling, and the stitches all look strong. We liked that the vest is also machine washable, so no worries about sweating.

Fully adjustable waist closure and wide Velcro straps allow lots of size adjustment for a snug comfortable fit like a regular vest, so it isn’t overly bulky and stays in place once strapped together.

You can add weights in 20 one-pound increments and rest assured that they’re going to fit securely without moving even during the most intense workout.

10 - Pure Fitness Adjustable Weighted Vest

Rated 4.5/5
4.4
Durability
4.5
Price
Nylon and Terylene
Material
Pure Fitness Adjustable Weighted Vest
  • eight : 20lbs
  • Size : One size fits most
  • Material : Reflective Nylon and Terylene trim

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fully adjustable closures and weight
  • Good price-quality ratio
  • 90-day warranty

Cons

  • It may be tricky to insert the sandbags into tiny slots

The Pure Fitness Adjustable Weighted Vest has supported my fitness regime, from morning jogs to late-night crunches. Its comfort and adjustability make it a top choice for my diverse workout needs.

Reflective strips ensure better visibility and safer jogging at night so that you can workout to strengthen your muscles and improve your stamina, be it day or night.

Since quite a few users complained that openings for the sandbags aren’t adequate and that the removable weights easily fall out, this vest may not be ideal for fast-paced, high-intensity exercises like sprinting and plyometrics.

Also, some users said they could use a bit more padding on the shoulders.

How We Tested Weighted Tests

Here's how we chose the best weighted vests:

1. Durability Test

To assess the durability of each weighted vest, we put them through a rigorous 'wear and tear' routine. This involved a series of dynamic movements, including burpees, pull-ups, and obstacle course runs, designed to mimic the stress the vests would endure over months of regular use.

We also subjected them to outdoor elements, leaving them exposed to sun and rain and even dragging them over rough surfaces to see how well they resisted abrasion and weathering. Only those that maintained their integrity and showed minimal signs of wear advanced in our rankings.

2. Comfort and Fit

We tested for comfort by wearing each vest through long workout sessions that included running, jumping, and bending.

Adjustability was also a key factor; we looked for vests that could be easily modified to fit different body shapes and sizes snugly without restricting movement or causing chafing. Vests that allowed for even weight distribution without any awkward bulkiness scored highest in this category.

3. Weight Distribution

To test this, we performed exercises that require a high degree of balance, such as lunges and single-leg squats. We noted any shifting or imbalance of the weights, which could potentially lead to muscle imbalances or injury.

The vests that kept their weights firmly and evenly in place, allowing for a natural range of motion, were considered superior.

4. Versatility

We tested each vest's versatility by using them in different training scenarios, from high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to strength training and endurance runs.

We evaluated how well the vests transitioned between exercises and if they could accommodate additional fitness accessories like hydration packs or resistance bands. The more adaptable the vest to various workout needs, the higher it scored.

5. Price Evaluation

To evaluate the price of each weighted vest, we didn't just look at the initial cost. We considered the value over time, factoring in the vest's durability, versatility, and the range of weights available.

We compared the prices against the features offered, determining whether the additional benefits justified a higher price tag. Our goal was to identify vests that offered the best balance between cost and quality, ensuring that users could invest in a product that would offer lasting value without breaking the bank.

6. Material Quality

We closely examined the fabrics and materials used in each vest, noting their breathability, flexibility, and ability to withstand rigorous use. We tested for any signs of fraying, stretching, or fading after multiple uses and washes.

High-quality materials that maintained their shape and texture, provided adequate ventilation, and didn't retain excessive moisture were rated highly. This ensured that the vests would remain comfortable and functional over time, even with frequent use.

Buyer’s Guide

Hand holding credit card

When looking for a weighted vest, you should consider its purpose, size, weight, adjustability, and material to get the most out of it and maximize your fitness gains.

Focus On Its Purpose

Here's how to choose the best weighted vests based on their purpose:

  • Weights Vest for Calisthenics - The best weighted vests for calisthenics and other types of strength training and workout should be heavier but with adjustable weight and made of robust and durable material with high abrasion resistance. They should also be shorter and not so bulky, with narrower shoulder straps to allow your body a broad range of motion while bending, pushing, jumping, etc.
  • Weighted Vests for CrossFit - According to a PubMed study, a weighted vest for CrossFit should ensure full freedom of comfortable movement for your arms and the whole body [1]. It could also be heavier, but preferably adjustable and made of a material that provides adequate ventilation.
  • Weighted Vests for Running or Walking - According to another PubMed study, the best weighted vest for running or walking should be lighter, thinner, made of reflective material, and should fit snugly so that you can move freely and comfortably [2]. Try pairing this with a stepping machine to add an extra challenge to your workouts.
  • Recovery and Post-Workout Features - Look for weighted vests with materials that feature compression technology and cooling gels. Additionally, some vests come with removable weights, allowing you to gradually decrease the load after a workout session. This helps in transitioning the body from an intense exercise state to a restful recovery phase, reducing the shock to the system and aiding in muscle recuperation.

The metabolic impact of wearing a weighted vest is greatest in activities requiring a significant component of vertical work (e.g., stepping exercise or incline walking or running).

- Cedric X. Bryant, Health & Fitness Expert

Find the Right Size And Weight

Weighted vest fit

The right size and weight of your weighted vest will also depend on the exercises you’ll do while wearing it.

Many vest models on the market nowadays are typically made as unisex backpack-style with a fixed weight, and in one universal size with the shoulder and waist straps that you can adjust to fit your body comfortably.

These may not be the best weighted vests for women in particular because of the specific female body shape.

The other most commonly available weight vest designs include:

  • Full-sized vests - Cover your whole torso with evenly distributed weight on the front and back, and may restrict your movements when bending, crunching, etc.
  • Short-stack vests - Have all the load on your chest and upper back to leave your abdomen free.

The weight is the primary reason for buying a vest, so it’s critical to determine it right. If the weight is too low, your vest will be useless, whereas you risk injuries if your vest is too heavy.

For instance, for developing muscles, it would be wise to start with an adjustable vest that weighs around 10% of your total body weight and gradually progress. Just make sure that you spread out the weights evenly when adding or removing them.

Adjustability, Security and Comfort

Weighted vest on man

When it comes to weight adjustability, two typical vest types are:

  • Fixed weight - Cheaper version with built-in weights which can’t be removed
  • Adjustable weight - More expensive, with separate sandbags or metal bars that let you add or remove weights to suit your needs and fitness level

Comfort is another critical factor because wearing an uncomfortable weight vest that doesn’t fit you properly may be distracting, cause blisters, and affect your workout results.

Security of all your workout gear mustn’t be compromised. Weight vests are usually secured with straps, zips, or clips, and they shouldn’t limit your movement or breathing while exercising.

High-Quality Durable Material

You want your weighted vest to be long-lasting, so pick a sturdy material like neoprene or nylon, which can endure your intense training and is resistant to tear and rubbing.

Also, finding a sweat-resistant vest that’s easy to maintain or has antimicrobial features would be highly beneficial.

No matter what material it’s made of, I like to wear a T-shirt with sleeves under my weighted vest to avoid direct skin contact with it and prevent any bacterial infections.

Price-Quality Balance

Best price stamp

Every product has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you to figure out which provides you with the best value for your money.

I wouldn’t go for the cheapest option, but for a mid-range weighted vest that perfectly matches my workout routine and goals, and fully satisfies most if not all of my training needs.

Look Out For Any Additional Features

By additional features I mean details that bring about your weighted vest functionality and convenience but may not be so critical.

For example, besides the essential requirements such as adequate weight, size, and material, a convenient weighted vest for runners would have:

  • Reflective tape added for better visibility, e.g. for an early morning or a late-night run
  • A pouch for your smartphone or MP4 player
  • An extra pocket for storing your keys and money
  • A bottle holder for your water, and the like

You can also look for vests that are integrated with technology. Modern weighted vests come with the capability to sync with smartphone apps, allowing users to monitor various workout metrics.

These may include the number of calories burned, the duration of the workout, or even the distance covered if the workout involves running or walking. This data is invaluable for those who are serious about their fitness goals, as it provides tangible metrics to track progress over time.

Related Articles:

FAQs

Are Weighted Vests Effective?

Yes, weighted vests are effective if you choose and use them right. Besides adding variety to your workouts, they can help you build muscle mass, strengthen your bones, increase calorie and fat burn, boost your strength and endurance, and more.

How Heavy Should My Weighted Vest Be?

Your weighted vest shouldn’t exceed 10% of your body weight. For example, a person who weighs 180 pounds shouldn’t wear a weighted vest heavier than 18 pounds.

Are Weighted Vests Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, weighted vests are good for weight loss because they increase your workout intensity and enable you to burn more calories. Also, wearing a weighted vest while exercising, running, walking, or doing your chores combined with a healthy diet can bring about your faster and better weight loss results.

Do Weighted Vests Build Muscle?

Yes, weighted vests can help build muscle. Wearing a weighted vest while doing strength training increases the difficulty of your exercises. As a result, your body responds to the increased overload stress of your resistance exercises by adapting to these new excessive demands by growing.

Do Weighted Vests Help Posture?

Yes, weighted vests help posture. It strengthens the muscles in charge of your balance and challenges their ability to keep the right posture until it becomes your habit even without wearing a vest.

Are Weighted Vests Bad for Your Spine?

A weighted vest can be bad for your spine if you don’t use it properly. Some experts claim that it may not be the best solution for those who suffer from back and neck issues, as it may cause soreness.

Are Weighted Vests Bad for Your Knees?

Weighted vests can be bad for your knees, especially if you already have some knee problems. Since they place additional stress on your joints and muscles, they can cause pain or injuries.

Our Verdict on the Best Weighted Vest

Among all the best weighted vests I tried, my first choice is the RUNMax Pro Weighted Vest.

Its high adjustability, robust build, and versatility stand out in the crowded market. From personal experience, the vest's snug fit and weight distribution have been pivotal in enhancing my workouts, allowing me to train all muscle groups effectively and safely.

Whether it's increasing strength and endurance or adding an extra challenge to my routine, this vest has been a game-changer.

Our #1 Recommendation

RUNMax Pro Weighted Vest (Best Overall & Most Durable)

RUNMax Pro Weighted Vest

Rated With Total Shape's Scoring System

4.8
Durability
5.0
Price
Nylon
Material
Pros
  • Provides weight adjustability and superior comfort for most body shapes
  • Gives the most bang for your buck
  • Has a handy pocket for your phone, keys, and earphones, plus a water bottle holder for extra storage
  • Extremely durable and comes with a lifetime warranty
Cons
  • You may need to pay a few more bucks for shoulder pads
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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Our durability score is based 3 factors including: material quality, maintenance, and warranty terms. The score is a measure of objective test results against set standards. For more information see our durability score explanation here.
Our price score is based 3 factors including: cost justification, market comparison, and overall value. The score is a subjective measurement of the product's value against its price when compared to similar products. For more information see our price score explanation here.
Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.