Updated on March 22, 2021 by Lyric Fergusson
When you want to up your workout game, but know you have limited space for equipment in your home, what do you do? You could add some dumbbells, but you’ll need a place to store them, and free hands when you’re exercising. You could try a jumprope, if there’s space for it! Well, contrary to what some people may think, weighted vests aren’t just for professional athletes and trainers– they’re a great way to add on weight for your already-established workout routine. Check out our top seven favorite weighted vests– have you tried them?
Best Weighted Vests for Men & Women
(Best for color options! — $)
Why it’s great: Filled with small iron pellets for a sturdy and form-fitting feel, this weighted vest is both affordable and fun! With colors in black, gray, blue, pink, and purple, you won’t have to choose between quality and style. There are pockets in both the front and the back of the vest, an elastic strap for comfort, mesh pockets at the bottom for holding keys or headphone cases, an adjustable buckle, and reflective straps. It’s also made out of neoprene material, a sweat-resistent synthetic rubber foam. It comes in 4, 6, 8, 12 and 16-pound weight options, along with some fun and bright colors!
Keep in mind: The weight is not adjustable, so you’ll have to purchase more than one if you want to challenge yourself with different weights. It also may sit a bit high on smaller-bodies, so check the measurements to ensure it will fit!
Good for: The physically fit who aren’t afraid of a little color!
(Most sturdy — $)
Why it’s great: This vest is best known for its sturdiness and all of the weighted options you can choose from, including 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100, and 150 pounds. It’s weighted using several small bricks, with the amount depending on the size vest you choose. The vest is made with reinforced nylon and polyester, has padded shoulder straps for comfort, and reflective strips for safety in the dark. Though it’s a pretty simple design, it’s affordable, compact, and customizable for a simple but effective workout!
Keep in mind: This is a very sturdy-feeling and sturdy-looking vest. Because of this, there may not be as much airflow if you’re exercising (or living) in a hot or humid environment.
Good for: Those who want a sturdy and strong weighted vest, with perhaps a lot of weight on them!
(Most form fitting — $)
Why it’s great: This H-Shape designed weighted vest may just be perfect to add to your fitness routine. It has a mesh storage pocket on the back big enough to carry your cell phone, earbuds, or keys, a reflective band for safety, and an adjustable belt in the front to reduce bounce, with vest color options of black, blue, gray and purple. You have the option for 8, 12, 16, or 20 pounds– and while weight isn’t adjustable, the design gives the ability for airflow and circulation, so you don’t feel stifled if working out in the heat.
Keep in mind: This is one of the lighter-weighted vests with the weight only going up to 20 pounds.
Good for: Those who exercise in hot weather and want airflow just as much as they want a good workout!
(Best storage — $$)
Why it’s great: ZFO’s Sports Weighted Vest has a ton of storage opportunities for those who love to have long-distance walks, runs, or hikes while bringing along some extra baggage. With a water holder in the front, as well as a separate phone and headphone holder in the chest area, along with the weight, this vest has some serious options. It has a belt attached for easy set-up, with weight options for 30 or 40 pounds, with a “one size fits most” approach.
Keep in mind: A couple of customers have noted that it doesn’t fit their small frame. Make sure you know the measurements before you purchase– especially if you’re a smaller size.
Good for: Those who are going on long walks or hikes and want to bring a couple of things with them without needing to carry!
(Most sleek — $$$)
Why it’s great: The Hyperwear Weighted Vest has a ton to boast about. With a sleek and simple design, it zips up and is compact enough to fit in with a variety of workout environments. The design also has a nice, thin shape, so you don’t feel like you’re lugging it around, and an evenly distributed weight meant to alleviate the extra load on your shoulders that many weighted vests tend to bring. It’s fit with reflective stripes for night-time exercisers, a unique side-lacing pattern that conforms to different body types, and the capabilities of adding up to two weights per pocket, so you can easily customize your training to the level that you need.
Keep in mind: Because of its compact design, this vest doesn’t have any storage options for your phone and keys.
Good for: Anybody wanting a simple and sleek design for their weight-boosted workout!
(Most heavy duty — $$)
Why it’s great: The Wolf Tactical Adjustable Weighted Vest is a simple but durable weighted vest. The top of the vest features an airflow design to keep you cool during your workout. It also has storage pockets both in the front and in the back of the vest for convenient storage for your phone and keys. It comes in black, gray, navy blue, green, tan, multi-camouflage, and multi-camouflage black. The weight added on are plates, which come in pairs, with the option of two 5.75-pound pairs, two 8.75 pound pairs, and two 14.5 pound pairs. It’s also fully-adjustable both at the shoulders and at the waist, with straps on the shoulders and elastic on the waist for comfort and fit.
Keep in mind: As opposed to using small weighted pellets, sand, or small weights, Wolf Tactical’s model uses plates, which means it’s automatically going to be a bit more clunky than others. Along the same lines, these plates are not included, so make sure to purchase them along with the vest so you’re not left with a vest full of nothing! It’s also on the pricier side, especially since the vest doesn’t come with weights, but as of this writing, it does have a 4.7 rating on Amazon, which means customers have been more than happy with it.
(Most wallet friendly — $)
Why it’s great: The ZELUS Weighted Vest is a cost-effective option if you want a simple way to increase the output load in your workout. Made with weight options of 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, and 20 pounds, as well as a blue or gray color choice for the 12-pound model along with the black, this weighted vest is simple, smart, and cost-effective. It has mesh pockets in the bag to carry a phone, headphones, and keys, and a detachable front zipper pocket for the option for extra storage. Zelus’s vest is made with soft and cushy neoprene rubber fabric to ensure you’re exercising with comfort. It’s made with elastic straps at the bottom for a more formed fit, and reflective tape on the shoulders and in the center for increased protection if running at night. The insides are stuffed with chemical-free iron pellets, for a comfortable, form-fitting wear.
Keep in mind: Because it’s stuffed with pellets and not weights, it’s not adjustable. If you want two different weights, you’ll have to purchase two separate vests.
Good for: A quick, easy add-on to your daily workout for extra endurance and challenge.
FAQs about weighted vests
1. How do weighted vests help?
Weighted vests have a couple purposes, some of which include helping to develop muscle mass when doing strength training, adding on resistance while running to increase cardio output, or just utilizing as an additional add-on to your typical routine.
2. Are weighted vests bad for your back?
Certain weighted vests may be tough on your back, especially if you suffer from pre-existing conditions. If you want to continue your search for the perfect vest, look for ones that are lighter and evenly spread the weight, like the Hyperwear Weighted Vest.
3. How heavy should my weighted vest be?
According to Healthline, your weighted vest shouldn’t be more than 10% of your body weight. For those who have never used a weighted vest before, try using one that gives you the option to add and remove weight so you can start low and go up from there– never exceeding that 10%.
Weighted vests are a great option for adding additional weight to an exercise without necessarily needing more equipment. Each style, whether pellets, plates, or weights
come with their own benefits and drawbacks, so pick one that will suit you and fit your workout– it’s always best to “weigh” your options! 😉
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