Are you looking to level up your fitness game? Weighted vests are one of the most versatile and effective pieces of exercise equipment available, but with so many on the market, it can be hard to find the right fit – literally!
Don’t worry though, we’ve done all the research for you and narrowed down our top picks for the best-weighted vests of 2023. Read on to discover our top 6 best weighted vests that will not only provide you with a good workout but also look great while doing it.
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What is a Weighted Vest?
A weighted vest is a garment worn either over or under clothing, typically for the purpose of increasing physical resistance and strengthening the user’s muscles. Weighted vests are used by athletes, therapists, military personnel, and other active individuals to increase intensity during a workout.
A weighted vest consists of several pockets filled with sand or steel shot, resulting in an evenly distributed weight that can range from 1lb to 20 lbs or more depending on the user’s needs.
Best Weight Vests
The MVRK is a weight vest that uses Iron casts weights to easily add or remove the total pounds to carry. Made with high-quality military-grade Nylon, this vest is durable. It also comes with padded shoulder straps for even weight distribution and comfort.
Overall a great pick if you’re looking for a good quality vest that will last.
Military Grade Nylon
Padded Shoulders straps for comfort
Buckle Clip instead of velcro straps
16 pockets to add or remove weights (8 in front and 8 in back)
- High-Quality Weighted Vest
- Padded Shoulders
- Buckle Style Clip
- Adjustable Weights
- A bit expensive
- Only goes up to 35lbs
This vest is great for bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, dips, etc. The main downside would be the price and that it only goes up to 35 pounds. The biggest upside is the style of it being slim and the quality is great compared to other weighted vests. Overall a great vest for working out if you’re okay with the price.
Best running vest
Pacearth is a great running weighted vest for many reasons. It comes with 2 adjustable straps to secure it in place while running. The vest is soft, sweatproof, and has reflective strips in the front and back to keep you seen during the nighttime. It also has a mesh pocket in the back to carry small items such are your phone and car keys.
Overall great runners vest for comfort and safety during your night running sessions.
2 Buckle strap to secure vest from sliding around
Reflective stripes for night runs
Comes with 1lb ankle/wrist weights as added bonus
Comes in 2 colors: Black or Gray
- Reflective strips for night runs
- 2 Buckle Style Clip
- Great for runners
- Fixed Weight (Can’t adjust the weight)
This vest is perfect for running with its slim design and sand-style weights. The main downside would be that the weight isn’t adjustable, so what you buy is what you’re stuck at. The biggest upside is the slip design made for running and reflective strips for night runs. Overall a great vest for runners and anyone looking to increase intensity in their workouts.
Best Budget Vest
The RUNMax vest can go all the way up to 140 lbs, but the budget option would be the 40 lbs or below vests. It also has shoulder pad options if you want to pay a little extra for some comfort. This vest also has pockets to add or remove weights to adjust the total pounds you carry.
Overall not a bad option for an all-around budget-friendly weight vest.
Water bottle carrier and mesh carrier for phone and small items
Large velcro strap to secure the vest in place
40lbs, but can also go up to 140lbs
Option to purchase shoulder pad for additional comfort
- Mesh pocket and water bottle carrier
- Budget Friendly
- Versatile use
- Adjustable weighted vest
- Velcro adjustable waist belt instead of buckle straps
- Lower build quality but is still good
This vest is great for both working out and running. The main downside would be the cheaper materials. The biggest upside is the versatility and the price is affordable for many. Overall a solid budget-friendly option for both runners and gym goers.
The unique design of this vest makes it comfortable and slim enough to wear under a jacket if you’d like to. This vest fits snugly to the body and seals with a zipper.
Overall a good pick for a non-noticeable design.
Zipper to seal
Thin steel weights
- Thin enough to cover with a jacket
- Tight fit
- Great for calisthenics and plyometrics
- A bit pricey
- Fixed weight (can’t adjust the weight)
The main downside would be the price and fixed weight. The biggest upside is the build quality and sleek design making this vest not flashy and attention-grabbing. Overall a great vest for almost all styles of workouts if you’re looking for something not as bulky as the others on the list.
This weight vest is slip and easy to use. It features a quick-release buckle and uses metal plates to adjust the amount of weight you carry. The wolf tactical vest is also 500D nylon, making it high quality and durable.
Overall a good pick for strength training and gives off an army look.
Quick Release buckles for fast in-and-out
Plate Style Weights (sold separately)
Comes in 4 colors: Black, Tan, Multicam, and Multicam black
- Good quality buckles to secure in place
- Variety of colors
- Slim design
- Adjustable weight plates
- Weights sold separately
The main downside would be that you have to buy the plates separately, making this a nonbudget-friendly option. The biggest upside is the build quality and plate-style weights. Overall a good quality vest for workouts for strength and endurance training, but not so much running.
What are the benefits of weighted vests?
- Build more strength
- Build more endurance
- Increase the intensity of the workout
- Improve posture over time
- Burn more calories and fat
Weighted vests are beneficial because they help build strength quickly, as well as improve posture and balance for those who have difficulty engaging certain muscle groups during exercise.
By carrying weight with a weighted vest, you’ll increase the amount of force needed to perform an exercise. Resulting in more strength and higher levels of endurance.
They can also be used during physical therapy to increase endurance and reduce pain caused by arthritis and chronic illnesses.
Whether you’re looking to gain strength or add variety to your fitness routine, a weighted vest is a great option.
Weighted Vest vs Weight Belt
What are weighted vest good for?
Weighted vests offer an even distribution of weight as you use them. Essentially you feel heavier rather than have a weight dragging you down.
What are weight belts good for?
Weight belts are good for loading up extra weight. They have much more room to add plates which can be beneficial the stronger you get. I’ve seen people go up to 4 plates on some, which offers a higher level of resistance compared to a weight vest.
Things to consider when getting a weighted vest
What type of workouts will I be focusing on?
Some vests are better for running as they are more secure on your body while others can load up more weight for muscle-building exercises.
Sand Filled or Metal Plate Weights?
Sand-filled vests tend to be lighter in weight and non-adjustable meaning what weight you purchase is the weight that it will always be. Whereas metal plate-type vests can be easily added or removed to adjust the total weight of the vest.
Do I want something discrete and hidden?
Most weighted vests are bulky and noticeable, but some people prefer something that draws less attention.
Considered how much you’re willing to spend on a vest. Most vests range from $30 to almost $200 depending on the number of weights and the brand.
How much weight do I need?
As mentioned, some vests are adjustable in weight while some are not. If you’re looking to progress and carry a heavier vest over time, then considered a metal plate carrier-type vest.
Home workouts you can do with your new weighted vest
1. Body Squats
4. Triceps dips
Do I need a weighted vest?
This is a common question for athletes of all skill levels.
The best way to answer this would be to evaluate where you stand at your strength and skill level as of right now in your fitness journey.
If you’re a beginner, then chances are you should be mastering the basics and focusing on improving your quality and quantity of reps.
As you progress, adding a weighted vest can be helpful instead of just increasing to more and more reps. The weight vest offers more intensity for those who are able to handle the level of resistance.