If you’re looking to maximize your training results in the gym and on the road, then you may want to consider investing in one of the best weighted running vests. By increasing your upper body weight, these weight-loaded vests work to increase the demands on your body, delivering benefits like weight loss and helping you achieve strength and power targets. And, their versatility means this can be done in almost all exercise styles, whether you’re running, hiking, lifting or cross-training.
The Benefits of Weighted Vests
A common question is whether working out in a weight vest is good or bad for you. And while much of the current scientific evidence remains inconclusive one way or the other, here are some of the weighted vest benefits you can expect from this training approach:
- Weighted vests are a quick and easy way to add variety and difficulty to your existing runs and workouts, turning many bodyweight exercises into weighted exercises.
- They are a great option for power athletes and weightlifters looking to increase their explosive power and ramp up training without having to change a routine.
- Some studies have shown that training with a weighted vest can increase your speed, VO2 max and extend your time to exhaustion after prolonged use in training.
- On those days when you can’t get out for a run or to the gym, it’s possible to put your weight vest on and enjoy an around-the-house workout as you complete your daily chores.
- Many vests are adjustable and available in different weights, meaning it’s possible to start low and increase your resistance over time.
- Vests can be an easier option when you’re looking to add weight to your workout compared to other options, like hand weights, ankle weights and wrist weights.
- When it comes to removing your vest after your run or workout, many people enjoy a floating-like feeling akin to how you’d imagine Superman feels all the time, as your body finds it’s regular movements comparatively effortless.
In addition, weighted vests come in a variety of styles. The best vest for one person isn’t always going to be the best option for another. For example, the best weighted vest for calisthenics may be different to the one for general weight lifting. Your choice will depend on the type(s) of training you do as well as the feasibility of comfortably wearing the vest during your workouts. Aspects like how the jacket fits, how the weight is added to the vest and how secure it is during vigorous activity should all be considered before making your final choice.
Once you’ve considered these aspects and have a good idea of what you’re looking for, check out the best weighted running vests below and start enjoying next-level workouts.
1. Best Weighted Running Vests: RUNmax Pro
This weighted vest is consistently rated #1 by users. It features a simple design that works for almost any activity and even comes equipped with pockets for your phone and water bottle. It works for running, bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups and crunches or intense hiking. And at such a low price, it’s hard to resist.
2. ZELUS Weighted Running Vests
BEST FOR KIDS
If you’re looking for a lightweight vest or one to introduce your teens into the world of weighted vest workouts, give the ZELUS Weighted Vest a try. It’s available in a number of different weights from four to 16 pounds, with the four options that are ideal for first-timers and teens. For comfort, the design is made from a soft material with elastic straps and an adjustable buckle strap for a secure fit. Each jacket is stuffed with chemical-free iron pellets that give the vest its designated weight, while reflective tapes spread over the vest to help keep you safe when you’re running at night.
3. Sumerlly Weighted Vest
The Sumerlly Weighted Vest is a solid choice for anyone new to weight vest workouts and who wants a budget-friendly introduction. This vest is made of a high-density thickened Oxford fabric that provides a high-quality feel that is both breathable and durable. The widened shoulder style provides greater comfort than some competing options, and the compression foam lining further adds to this by delivering a level of shock absorption when you’re running or working out. However, you will need to purchase steel plates as this vest is not supplied with any.
4. Ranoff Workout Weighted Vest
BEST WEIGHT BAGS
With a maximum weight of 110 pounds, you’re sure to get a good workout when you’re wearing this Ranoff Workout Weighted Vest. The versatile vest uses highly flexible compression foam to protect from and prevent unpleasant shocks for the wearer, while the 12 pockets spread out the weight, in the form of sand or steel, for added comfort during use. The high-density fabric delivers durability to last, and the shoulder straps are extra wide for a more comfortable fit.
5. Aduro Sport Weighted Vest
BEST FOR RUNNING
Running is one of the most common uses for weight vests. You can turn your regular 20-30 minute morning jog into a serious workout — no extra hills or stairs required. Plus, it’s a great way to train for running events such as marathons. If you plan on using your weight vest primarily for running, go for this Aduro vest. It’s more streamlined than others, distributing weight and staying snug around your body to eliminate bouncing or rubbing.
6. ZFOsports Short Weighted Vest
BEST SHORT VEST
The ZFOsports Short Weighted Vest is available in either 12- or 20-pound options and comes with included weights. The one-size-fits-most vest sits on your shoulders, and because of the short size, it leaves your stomach area free to breathe during workouts. You’ll also find a belt which passes around your upper waist for a secure hold. The belt houses a pocket for your smartphone or music device alongside a holder for water bottles up to 16 ounces in size.
7. Tone Fitness Weighted Vest
If you’re looking for a weighted vest that takes up minimal space and doesn’t feel constricting when worn, you may want to try the Tone Fitness Weighted Vest. This minimalist, blue vest weighs 12 pounds and is constructed from a soft neoprene material which provides a solid amount of flexibility and greater comfort when worn. The adjustable front belt further adds to the secure fit, while the built-in reflective strips help keep you visible when worn at night.
8. RUNFast/Max Adjustable Weight Vest
Want to really push yourself? Pick up RUNfast’s max model weight vest. It offers up to 140 pounds of weight (don’t worry, it’s adjustable), offering a seriously tough workout. This makes it ideal for upgrading your weightlifting routine, especially squats, lunges, dips and pull-ups.
9. Cross101 Weighted Vest
We don’t always admit it, but looks are important in the gym or on a run. It’s true. For maximum style, we suggest this camo vest from Cross101. It also happens to be very capable, offering up to 80 pounds of weight, a snug, comfortable fit and a water bottle pocket for runs. Reviewers are pleased, as the vest boasts 4.6 stars on Amazon.
10. CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest
A customizable weight vest is very important if you’re doing finely-tuned workouts. This weight vest from CAP Barbell offers the most adjustability thanks to 2.5 pound bags of iron ore fines. This means you can get the perfect weight for each workout in your routine, or use the vest for multiple types of training. For example, strip the weight down and use the vest for a run, or load it up to 20 pounds and use it for upgraded bodyweight exercises at the gym.
11. Max Loading Adjustable Weighted Vest
BEST FOR BOXING
This Max Loading Adjustable Weighted Vest is a comfortable vest that provides a large amount of coverage for your body. In addition to running and other activities, this vest is great for fighting-based activities, because it can provide layers of protection in addition to additional training weight. It’s available with either 20- or 50-kilogram capacities and sports 16 pouches spread over the front and back which can be filled with sand or steel plates. These are not included with the vest. Additionally, the vest is made of a high-density, thickening Oxford fabric which is both durable and comfortable to wear.
12. Bear KompleX Weight Vest
The Bear KompleX Weight Vest is a handy option for couples and mixed groups looking for a weighted vest to share. The vest is made from military-grade cordura nylon and includes adjustable side straps, yoke padding along with steel alloy, quick-release buckles for a secure and comfortable fit and long-term durability. The material is also water resistant which means you’ll never have to run or workout in a soaking wet vest. Plus, while not included, this vest will fit all ROGUE and SAPI plates.
13. ZFOsports Weighted Vest
BEST BUILT-IN POCKET
With weight choices ranging from 30 to 80 pounds, the ZFOsports Weighted Vest is a versatile option which can be used for a range of activities, including running. The wide shoulder fit helps keep you comfortable, and the Velcro belt ensures the vest remains secure throughout your workouts. The design also includes a handy pocket for storing your smartphone or music device, and there’s a water bottle holder which can accommodate bottles up to 16 ounces in size. The vest is classed as one-size-fits-most and also comes with over 650 five-star reviews from happy Amazon users.
14. Hyperwear PRO 10-Pound Weighted Vest
BEST FOR CROSS TRAINING
Hyperwear’s Pro vest comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s definitely worth it for most athletes. It features a super streamlined design for a wide range of motion and comfortable, sweat-wicking fabric. This makes it our top pick for cross training, as you can easily jump, sprint and do any bodyweight workouts with dealing with uncomfortable or oddly fitting weight.
15. North Gym Adjustable Weighted Vest
As the North Gym Adjustable Weighted Vest is one-size-fits-most, it’s an ideal choice for gyms or households looking to share a weighted vest. The design includes adjustable straps on the sides and shoulders to give a versatility that prevents the need to purchase multiple vests for differently sized people. The vest also features reinforced double seams and padded shoulders for a durable and high-quality feel which is also comfortable during workouts, too. Additionally, the vest is available in either 14- or 20-pound options, features Velcro patches on the front and back for patch display and comes in a range of different colors, including grey, tan and navy blue.
16. miR Super Slim Air Flow Weighted Vest
One of the main complaints about weight vests is that they get in the way. Some bulky vests limit mobility, which can be especially problematic if you’re doing any kind of cross training. If this is a major concern (or you’ve had problems with bulky weight vests in the past), check out miR’s Super Slim weight vest. It’s the most compact vest in the game with a 3/4-inch thickness, so you’ll barely notice it’s there while training. Plus it features miR’s premium air flow system that keeps your body cool under the vest.
17. miR Air Flow Adjustable Weighted Vest
BEST FOR CROSSFIT
CrossFit is another workout that can benefit from a weighted vest. We recommend this vest from miR because it sits higher up on your torso and offers a range of adjustable weight for different activities. Plus, reviewers are big fans of the padded shoulders for extra comfort during long workouts.
18. Hyperwear Hyper Vest Elite
Hyperwear’s Elite vest is the best of the best. It distributes 20 pounds of weight in a super streamlined, slim fashion and uses a zip-up front for easy removal. Instead of straps, the sides of the vest use elastic, adjustable laces that provide an extremely customizable, snug fit no matter your body type. The fabrics are all top-notch as well, so you won’t have to worry about overheating under the vest or getting uncomfortable. All these premium features come with a hefty price tag to match, but if you workout often and have the cash, it’s a worthy investment.