There's no easier way to step your workout routine up than to add a weighted vest. Whether you're running a Spartan course or just doing some cardio on the treadmill it's a well known fact that the more you weigh the harder your body has to work. The best weighted vest will allow you to add another level of difficulty to your workouts, which will help you burn more calories.
Unless you want to get fat the only way to do this is with weighted clothing, Ankle weight and wrist weights are minor league compared to a weight vest. A heavy vest can feel like you're carrying a second person around, and your body will work as hard as if it were.
Weight vests are simple pieces of equipment that are nothing more than a heavy material with pockets filled up with sand, steel, or small pieces that have heft to them. The idea is simply to increase your bodyweight temporarily. Research has shown that this extra load works your lower body harder and improves strength and power.
There are many ways to use a weighted vest including simply walking or hiking but the best use is during body weight exercises, even if they're just basic. Ironically you can even wear it around normally just to add a few extra calories to your burn during the day. It's an entirely “free” way to workout without even trying!
So what is the best west vest? These reviews should give you some ideas about what to look for when buying one.
|Cross 101||Adjustable||40 lbs||4.3/5|
|V-Force||Lifetime Warranty||40 lbs||4.8/5|
|ZFOsports 50l||Heaviest||50 lbs||4.4/5|
|MIR||Good For Women||30 lbs||4.3/5|
Best Weighted Vest Reviews
Cross 101 Ajutable Weighted Vest 40lb
When it comes to flexibility the Cross 101 certainly has it since you've got 10 separate weights to work with. If you're looking to work up to the heavy 40lb maximum this is an ideal way to work your way in 4lb increments without suddenly piling on 40lb.
There are 10 iron ore weights that fit into pockets built around the vest. The vest is 13” across and 15” long but fastens with large velcro bands so it can fit most people even though it's a pretty compact size. This is designed for bodyweight an strength exercises primarily.
- Adjustable 4lb up to 40lb
- Velcro Closure
- Mid length
As one of the cheaper vests this is budget friendly while still being adjustable. It's got a feel similar to a combat vest and the weights mold a little to the body for comfort. The velcro is easy to adjust, even when putting it on fully loaded.
The option to add or remove weight is very useful if you want to use it for multiple exercises or if you want to be able to work your way up without having to buy new vests each time.
The shoulder design is entirely flat which puts a lot of pressure on the neck muscles unnecessarily. It's sturdy but it has a bit of motion during very active activities like running which can result in the play causing rub spots.
It will also cause the vest to slide around and there's no padding to soften the impact during motion so you'll have to hold it in place. The neck is also not adjustable and can chafe. The camo patterning is also a bit sinister looking if you're out in public since it does look so much like a combat vest.
V-Force Weighted Vest
If 40lb isn't quite heavy enough V-Force also offers up to a 100lb version! This has two shoulder widths and an adjustable solar plexus strap for comfort. The vest is short so it's ideal for wider variety of exercises since you can move your stomach properly.
The weight is distributed into 2.5lb loads that are in rounded bags so the reinforced pockets won't become torn. There's also an option to add on an additional 20lb for a maximum of 60lb. The vest is foam padded for comfort, crush proof, and mildew resistant.
It's made of 1000 denier cordura which can stand up to much more abrasions than standard nylon. It's machine wash and dryable and also has a hydration clip for up to 50oz of fluids. There's also the option to add reflective bands and it comes in a variety of colors.
- Short Length
- Adjustable Shoulders
With a really good flexible variety of weight this can be suited for several different exercises. What really makes this great though is the fact that you can adjust so much of it so that you can use this vest for literally any exercise including running and aerobics without the risk of chafing.
The fit is great if you're wider set and the short length is ideal for most gym exercises. Being incredibly good for the price makes this a popular choice with first time buyers.
This isn't great for someone who is extremely thin, it won't tighten down a lot but does expand. The sweat liner is a bit annoying as it tends to ride up which then causes rub irritation. This is only expandable by 20lb, and it's expensive for weight, while the 50lb version expands up to 100lb.
ZFOsports 50l adjustable weighted vest
While it looks a little too much like a bulletproof vest it's very reliable and one of the toughest out there There's adjustable shoulders and two adjustable chest straps to hold the weight firmly in place.
The weights are included but you can also take them out and redistribute as desired. The extra straps make this suitable for both men and women since it can be tailored to a custom fit. The weights are approximately 4lb each and the vest weighs 5 on his own. The weights are sand filled which help them mold to the body for greater comfort.
- Sand filled Weights
- Add on up to 20lb
This is a flexible vest that allows you to get full range of motion when wearing it it's perfect to tighten down for more intense workouts or lose for less strenuous ones.
This does exactly what it's supposed to and it wears well, though you may want some extra shoulder padding if you're planning on wearing it for long periods. The option to add on even more weight is great because in reality you're getting a 70lb vest for the price of a 50.
It's sturdy built and the nylon doesn't chafe too badly around the neck. Most users feel that the ability to add weight and the use of sand bags is the reason this is the best weighted vest. The sand filled weight are also great since they don't rub through pockets and you won't have to worry about them even if they get wet as the sand can air dry.
This is a sturdy vest and it feels very bulky. The straps have no instructions so you have to figure out if you're doing it right to get the most sturdy fit. The head hole is quite tight and this can be uncomfortable pulling it on and off with the weight in.
While it's supposed to be unisex it's really not suited to women who have a small frame. The vest is also quiet long if you're of a shorter stature.
Best Weighted Vest for Women
Many women choose to simply buy a men's weight vest for the cost, it's no secret that you're paying a “pink premium” just to get a vest that is designed for women. While the men's vest will do the job of giving you extra weight to carry it's also going to make you feel squashed in some areas while potentially being too roomy in others. The issues is mostly the chest and shoulders.
Women's vests also generally come with less weight and if you're looking to train with heavier or more extreme weights (above 50lb) you may have no choice but to go with a men's vest. Despite this, there are good vests out there designed for women.
MIR 30lb adjustable weighed vest
With a front panel that is cut out for maximum comfort your girls won't be feeling at all crushed in this design. The weights are removable and come in 3lb increments. It's designed for people of a smaller stature from 5′ and up.
The weight is distributed very evenly. This is an ideal vest for intense workouts as it's got strong nylon straps to keep it in place. The shoulder straps are wide and sturdy and the straps are adjustable to fit a variety of different body shapes.
- 3lb weights
- Small Fit
- Cut-out front
The weights are ideal since they can be distributed any way to make it comfortable. The bars are ideal because the small bags can often break open so you don't have to worry about the weights suddenly breaking loose.
Even with only a sports bra the vest is reasonably comfortable and doesn't chafe badly. It's not too bulky either which makes it ideal for a female. It's arguable whether this is the best weight vest for women, just because so many women choose to use a mans vest instead.
The shoulder straps are wide but this is actually a problem for anyone with a smaller stature. The velcro straps aren't great quality and they're usually the first part of the vest that starts to fray.
The biggest issue is getting it on and off comfortable since it can be tough to get on when fully loaded. There are also no instructions with the vest to show you how to buckle or adjust it.
Buyers Guide: How to Buy the Best Weighted Vest
Without being obvious these vests are heavy, and that puts extra stress on your shoulders and back. This means you've got to have something that is made of a sturdy material but if it's in contact with your skin it can't be too rough or it will chafe. Ideally you should wear a t-shirt under the vest that covers the area to avoid this but choosing a vest made of durable yet comfortable material can help.
The difficulty with buying a weight vest is when you are not of average stature. Those who are very small or thin and those who are broad may struggle to get a perfect fit so it's often better to try in store first to make sure everything will work. This is especially important if you are small as you'll need everything strapped down tightly during a workout or you could get injured.
Being able to adjust the weight and even add weight above what it comes with is also important. Not all exercises will require you to carry all the weight and indeed you may need to take some out just to get it off if it's too heavy to lift.
Buying a weight vest is not an easy choice, especially if you're outside of “average” proportions. If you want the best then invariably you have to choose one that has adjustable weights. Comfort is also a big deal when choosing a weight vest and too little padding can mean your shoulders and neck may end up uncomfortable.
The neck is the main point of complaint since it's often not adjustable.
To find the best weighted vest you need a good idea of how much extra weight you want to max out at, you might even save yourself a bit of money if you realistically opt for a lower weight.
If you're a female don't feel pressured into buying a specific “womens” vest, if you're broad shouldered you may even find the mens to be more comfortable. The best weighted vest is comfortable to wear, stays put when you're working out, and doesn't leave you confused about how to use it.
Hopefully this has give you some insight into the best ones out there and some information that will make choosing your weighted vest easier.