Runners who are serious about their training look for every little way to get the most out of a workout. Whether it’s nutrition, shoes, or GPS watches, every little bit can help. Building strength is critical to performance as well, and any runner looking for a shiny new PR has a few options. One of these is using a weighted vest during your runs. By adding weight, you stress your muscles slightly more and ask your body for more effort. Done properly and carefully, this can help you reach a new level of strength and pace. But how do you know which vest is best for you?
We’ve highlighted a few of the top models, picked from the many options on the market. Just as with any training accessory, understanding how you want to use the vest will help you choose the right one.
If you want to start weight training with a vest, first you need to decide on how much weight to train with. A good rule of thumb is to gradually work up to 20% of your body weight.
We like vests that you can easily add or remove weight to, to completely customize your workout and add resistance as you get stronger.
Durability and fit are also key aspects to look out for. If you plan on using the vest for highly vigorous activity, you’ll want something that fits snugly with little to no bounce.
Sometimes having higher durability material in your vest means you’ll have less breathability, so consider how you’ll use the vest. Here are our best weighted vests for running, crossfit, and general workouts!
Top 3 Best and Favorites
1. Hyperwear Hyper Vest Elite Weight Vest
The Hyperwear Elite Weight Vest is an upgrade to their original Pro Weight Vest. You can up your training game with the improvements in durability and comfort.
Hyperwear increased the stability of this vest, so no matter how vigorously you move, the weights stay in place. And they are very streamlined at just ¼-inch thick. A zippered closure ensures a perfect fit.
You won’t be able to hold as much weight as with the Pro Weight Vest, but the Elite Vest is made to be comfortable no matter what you do. The vest comes at a base weight of 10 lbs, and you make it 15 lbs (S) or 20 lbs (M/L/XL) with included inserts.
The design of the vest makes it easy to re-distribute weights the way you want, with small 2.25 oz weights carried in pockets throughout the vest.
The material is extremely breathable, and you get great ventilation through the side panels. The lacing along the sides also lets you dial in a fit that conforms to you perfectly. The lacing is reflective to keep you visible no matter when or where you train.
- Extremely breathable
- Easy to add and remove weight
- Great fit, conforms to your body with unique zipper design
- Additional weights get expensive
- Improved durability over previous model, but less comfortable material
2. RunFast/Max Pro Weighted Vest
With the RUNFast/Max Pro Weighted Vest, you get the flexibility to choose the weight of your vest. Because of it’s flexibility, this vest is a great option for beginners.
The vest comes in 12, 20, 40, 50, and 60 lb options. The weights are all included in the vest, and you can easily remove some or all of them to fit your ability.
The weights are sand instead of metal, and this makes the vest pretty comfortable to wear.
You also have the option to buy the vest with or without shoulder pads. The vest tightens with velcro around the waist, and doesn’t slip around once tightened.
A phone pocket and water bottle holder keep your personal items secure on the go. The phone pocket has an area to feed your headphones through if you use wired headphones.
- Great value for the price
- Easy to add and remove weight
- Does not breathe well
3. Empower Weighted Vest
Built specifically for women, the Empower Weighted Vest is a simple vest to up your calorie burning. It’s great for lower-intensity activities such as walking, jogging, and wearing around for chores.
The vest comes in 4, 8 or 16 lb. options, and is made of stretchy lycra and spandex. Since the vest is easily adjustable via the side clips, it only comes in one size. The 4 lb and 8 lb versions don’t offer customizable weight, but the 16 lb vest lets you add or remove 6 weights in the front and back, allowing you to go from 10 up to 16 lbs.
The unique X shape design evenly distributes weight across your body on both the front and back, and is meant to adjust to women’s curves. The vest is built for waist sizes from 24 to 48 inches.
The vest has reflective accents to keep you visible on the road. There is also a pocket on the lower half of the vest that holds small items. While older versions may have fit cell phones, most current cell phones will not fit in the pocket.
- Comfortable / Fits women’s bodies well
- Easy to put on and take off
- Straps tend to loosen during vigorous activity (jogging)
4. Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro Weight Vest
Hyperwear’s original Hyper Vest Pro Weight Vest was voted Best Weighted Vest by Men’s Health. If you are looking for a fully customizable vest that conforms to your body for high intensity workouts, this is a great option.
The Hyper Vest Pro features 60+ pockets that allow you to add weight in 2.25 ounce increments as you build strength. The Vest comes with a 10 lb base weight, but you can add weights as you choose. Maximum weight for the small is 20 lbs, and as the size gets bigger, so does the maximum weight: 23 lbs (M), 33 lbs (L), and 42 lbs (XL).
The fabric is extremely breathable and the side lacing provides great ventilation. You still maintain full chest expansion even though this vest fits like a compression shirt. But the material is made of cotton, and therefore is less durable than many vests on the market.
The lacing combined with the fabric helps this vest conform to your body, unlike other bulkier vests. You’re able to move without impacting your range of motion.
- Snug comfortable fit
- Excellent weight dispersion which reduces strain on your joints
- Not very durable – stitching breaks easily
- Additional weights are costly
- Metal weights can make the vest hot in direct sun
5. Aduro Sport Weighted Vest
The Aduro Sport Weighted Vest is great for cardio and weight training workouts, with options for everyone in the family.
With the choice of 4, 6, 12, 20, and 25 lbs, this vest accommodates men and women at any stage of fitness. Make sure you decide the right minimum weight, as you can add weight to the vest, but can’t take any out.
Made out of soft neoprene material, this vest doesn’t restrict your range of motion. Padded shoulders and 3-inch-wide straps protect your shoulders and body, making the Aduro vest very comfortable.
Adjustable front clasps keep the vest in place during high-intensity activities. Unless you are a very small person, you won’t have any issues keeping it in place.
If you are looking to carry small items or add additional weight, the vest has a mesh pocket covering the lower half of the back.
No matter what type of workout you are doing, the Aduro Sport Weighted Vest will build up your strength while maintaining comfort.
- Great weight distribution
- Issues with durability – filling sometimes leaks
6. CFF Performance Series Weighted Vest
CFF Performance has created a series of vests that adjust to you and your workout progression. Whatever the shape of your body, these vests are durable, comfortable, and adaptable to your fitness needs.
Made of high quality cordura, the vest also has double-padded shoulders that conform to your body for added comfort.
With options from 22 to 66 lbs, you will be able to max out your weight through incremental adjustments. The vest comes in 22, 36, 44, or 66 lbs. There are male- and female-specific fits.
The vest is secured via a low chest belt that prevents bouncing and shifting during a workout. You can also adjust the vest’s fit via straps that control body length fit.
The vest keeps the weight close to your body via individual velcro pockets with weight blocks. Most of the vests allow you to increase weight in 2.2 lb increments with easy-to-insert metal weights.
- Fully adjustable
- Stays snug for high-intensity workouts
- Slightly limited range of motion
- Bulky weight blocks near chest
7. CROSS101 Adjustable Weighted Vest
The CROSS101 is a great value for the quality and durability. This camouflage vest comes in 20, 40, 60, or 80 lbs. Weight can be added to pockets on the front and back of the vest with 5 lb-increment sand bags.
You can adjust the vest with velcro straps across the front. This creates a snug fit and prevents bouncing and riding up during workouts. Given the adjustability, one size will fit most. The material is really durable and can take a beating. You don’t have to worry about the vest falling apart.
There’s a handy water bottle holder on the front left strap, but you can’t remove it. The breathability isn’t the best, but if you are looking for a vest to put to the test, this is a good option.
- Heavy duty durable material
- Great snug fit that doesn’t bounce
- Can get uncomfortable on shoulders after prolonged use (no pads)
- Not very breathable
- Can’t remove water bottle holder
8. Titan Fitness Adjustable Weight Vest
The Titan Fitness Adjustable Weight vest is a great option for anyone who wants to wear a weight vest for a variety of workouts with different weights.
The vest comes in 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 lb options. You can purchase additional 2.5 lb weights that allow you to dial in the perfect weight for your workouts. Simply slip them in or out of the pockets on the front and back of the vest.
Titan Fitness focused on durability and comfort with this vest, and the weights have rounded corners to prevent wear and tear.
The vest is secured to your body via a small velcro strap. There are also shoulder pads to ensure a comfortable fit with no friction points.
The Titan Fitness vest is an excellent value for anyone looking to up their work out with a vest you can easily customize to meet your needs.
- Can easily adjust weights
- Padding and design is comfortable
- Waist strap can get loose during workouts
9. CAP Adjustable Weighted Vest for Women
The CAP adjustable weighted vest is the perfect way to add comfortable resistance to a workout. With a fit designed specifically for women, this 30 lb vest performs well during vigorous activity.
The vest is designed to fit women’s curves, with a smaller total surface area than most vests. A total of 6 pockets, with 3 lb iron weight increments, lets you adjust weight easily to get it exactly right for your workout.
The weights are kept small to make sure you keep full range of motion. The vest’s overall nylon and polyester construction will last through many seasons of tough use. That being said, smaller women may have issues tightening the vest to fit perfectly.
There’s a velcro strap around the waist that is thick enough to prevent digging into your skin during high-movement activity. There’s also a lot of padding throughout the vest to keep you comfortable, which is key with less total surface area.
The reflective strips on the front and back of the vest keep you safe in low-light environments. Hooks on the vest can be used to attach other accessories, such as a chute, for resistance training.
With the additional features and ease with which you can adjust this vest, it’s the perfect training accessory for women.
- Specifically designed for women’s bodies
- Comfortable with extra padding
- Machine washable
- Vest can get loose and bounce during extreme workouts
- Vest fits large for petite women