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The 8 Best Weighted Vests For Every Workout

Best Weighted Vests 00 Hero
Photo: 5.11 TacTec Trainer Weight Vest

Regardless of the type of workout you enjoy, there’s always a way to make it more challenging. One easy way to get your heart pumping faster so you can level up is by wearing a weighted vest. The additional load will push you past your comfort zone so you won’t be complacent with your standard gym routine.

By strapping on a weighted vest, you’ll turn any fitness activity you’re doing into a resistance exercise. It’s a convenient way to add an X-factor to your workout without having to alter your form or change the routine drastically. It will also help you mentally because when you get used to doing your normal workout while wearing a weighted vest, you’ll be phenomenal at it when you do it without the extra pounds. We know tracking down any type of quality fitness gear can be a time-consuming activity, so we’re here to save you time by providing you with a list of the best weighted vests for every workout.

Best Weighted Vests Breakdown

Why Do You Need a Weighted Vest?

Whether you want to build explosiveness, increase your upper and lower body strength, or enhance your core, a weighted vest is one of your best options. The additional weight will force you to work harder and really hone in on the technique of the drill or exercise you’re doing. Carrying extra weight as you’re exercising will also build your endurance, allowing you to run for a longer duration, box more rounds, or swim extra laps.

A weighted vest will fit over your shoulders, distributing the weight evenly on your upper body, making them safer than hauling around a backpack during a hike. They’re also adjustable, allowing you to match the weight with your comfort level at the moment. Weighted vests are generally safe to use, however, we still do recommend consulting your physician before incorporating the additional pounds into your workout routine. When you get the approval, we suggest you start out with a lighter load and work your way up. You don’t want to jump the gun and load up the vest right away, as it will increase your chances of getting injured.

How to Begin Using a Weighted Vest

If you’ve never used one before, you may want to work up to your desired weight when using a weighted vest. For average trainers, you’ll want to target around 10% of your body weight. However, if you’re going to be doing much more than that, you need to start adding weight slowly, just like any other weight-related workout.

Choosing A Vest

Even though it seems like you can choose any weighted vest to incorporate in your workout, not all weighted vests are made the same. Having said that, there are specific details you should be looking for when you’re tracking down the quintessential chest rig for your preferred workout. Before we jump into the list of best weighted vests for every workout, let’s briefly go over what makes a quality training vest.

Adjustability: Chances are you’ll be using the vest for a variety of drills and exercises, so having the ability to adjust the weight is a crucial factor. In addition, you also want to find out how quickly you can change the weight. If it takes you more than a few minutes to increase or decrease the pounds, your workout momentum will definitely slow down.

Comfort: When it comes to any type of workout gear or equipment, comfort is critical. If the weighted vest doesn’t fit well, you’ll be distracted throughout your routine, losing the focus you need for a successful workout. We highly recommend trying the weighted chest rig on before making a commitment. With e-commerce shopping, you can always order the vest to try it on and return it if it doesn’t fit well.

Material: On your search for a workout vest, you’ll want to make sure it’s made of a material that can endure intense workouts. Ideally, you’ll want a vest that’s both sweat- and tear-resistant. If you find one that’s anti-microbial, you should move it up higher on your consideration list. You’ll also want to make sure the weights are made of neoprene or coated metal for rust protection.

Security: Most weighted vests will fit over your shoulders and are secured across the body via zips, straps, or clips. We suggest you try on the vest and test it out by moving around to see how securely the vest fits. When the weighted vest is strapped on, it shouldn’t restrict movement or hinder your breathing, but rather have a secure fit.

Weighted Vests by Activity

Running: In choosing the perfect weighted chest rig for running, you want to hone in on a vest with reflective material and a lower weight capacity. It should also have a snug fit and be relatively thin for a wide range of motion.

Cross-Fit: If cross-fit is your fitness activity of choice, you’ll need a weighted vest with a wide range of load options. The exercise vest should also have a slender design and ample ventilation so you won’t feel completely drenched in your own sweat. And, you want to find an exercise chest rig you can move comfortably in while you’re cycling through exercises.

Strength Training: If you’re looking for a weighted vest for strength training, you first need to focus on the durability of the material. Abrasion-resistant fabric and sturdy construction are what you’ll be looking to see. The consummate strength training weight vest will also have heavier weight options so you can increase your power overall.

Hyperwear Hyper Vest Elite

Hyperwear Hyper Vest ELITE
  • 2.25oz micro loading is great for fine-tuning
  • Side laces make fitting the vest easy
  • Odor-resistant CORDURA material
  • Well ventilated
  • Only goes up to 15lbs
  • Pricey

Best Running Vest: With Hyper Vest Elite’s patented design, you’ll be able to add weight easily as you level up. The thin profile is ideal for a liberating range of motion while you run, and the flexible side lacing allows you to adjust the fit to your exact preferences. Also, the breathable CORDURA vest is odor-resistant and moisture-wicking, allowing you to stay dry while you cover a few miles for the day. It even has open side panels for excellent ventilation for runs under the blazing sun. Increase the weight of this piece of gear in 2.25-ounce increments up to 15lbs.

Weight Range: 10 to 15lbs

Cap Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest
  • Cheap
  • Great weight adjustment options
  • Fits really well on array of body types
  • Reflective strips are good for nighttime activity
  • Not well ventilated

Best Budget Vest: For those who want to try out a weighted vest but aren’t sure if you’ll like it, check out this model from Cap Barbell. Made with breathable mesh and adjustable clips to fit well to your body type, the Cap Barbell weighted vest is the perfect cross-fit companion to help you burn more calories during your routine. It has adjustable options from 20 to 100lbs and is made with neoprene padding for superior comfort while you conquer your workout. Each iron ore packet weighs between 1 and 2.5lbs so you can adjust the vest as needed based on the intensity you’re willing to withstand. It also comes with reflective safety strips if you end up training at night.

Weight Range: 20 to 100lbs

Mir Adjustable Weighted Vest

MiR Short Weighted Vest
  • Only covers upper torso
  • Good adjustment options for weight
  • Comfortable
  • Affordable
  • Not washable in washing machine

Best Cross-Fit Vest: Chest rigs are optimal if you’re doing cross-fit because they provide you with a range of motion and inherently keep half of your torso ventilated. The Mir Adjustable Weighted Vest has weight limit options from 20 to 60lbs, which you climb up to in 3-pound increments, giving you a broad range of adjustment options. It’s only 11 inches long with double padding throughout the vest for exceptional support, in addition to a narrow shoulder design, so you can move freely during both cardio and strength fitness training. Not to mention, the Mir has been an official sponsor of the CrossFit Games.

Weight Range: 20 to 60lbs

5.11 TacTec Trainer Weight Vest

5 11 TacTec Trainer Weight Vest
  • Can go heavy in weight
  • Good ventilation
  • MOLLE webbing for extra attachments
  • Has pouches for phone and accessories
  • Limited in weight intervals
  • Can get expensive with weight add-ons

Best for Strength Training: Boasting a design enhanced for comfort and freedom of movement, the 5.11 TacTec Plate Carrier ensures exceptional functionality. Also great for outdoor workouts, it’s made with abrasion-resistant 600D polyester with a water-resistant coating, oversized airflow panels, mesh body pads, and back yoke shoulder pads to distribute weight throughout your body evenly. For a custom fit, the vest has waist and tensional bands, providing you with a secure fit while you lift heavy. Compatible with 5.11’s 5.75- or 8.75-pound weight plates and accommodating MOLLE attachments, the vest can virtually go as heavy as you want it to. There’s also an integrated smartphone pouch underneath so you don’t need to bring along any extra baggage.

Weight Range: 2lbs+

Rogue Fitness Condor Sentry Plate Carrier

ROGUE Condor Sentry Plate Carrier
  • Lightweight
  • Modular attachments for going even higher in weight
  • Great for the outdoors
  • Fit adjustments are nice
  • Weight intervals are larger than others

Best Tactical Weighted Vest: This Condor minimal-bulk plate carrier from Rogue Fitness is a high-performance weighted vest that provides you with a custom fit for heavy lifting but is also built for tactical training. It has a lightweight 1.5-pound design when unloaded, but can accommodate Rogue’s 5.75-, 8.75-, and 13.75-pound plates (sold separately). For ultimate modification, the vest also includes hook-and-loop webbing for modular attachments and a plethora of patches that can stick on the front. Other features include adjustable shoulder straps, quick-adjust cinches, quick-release buckles, and padded mesh interior lining for breathability. Made in America, this ergonomically designed vest is based on military and police bulletproof vests and fits anyone with a waist between 30 and 46 inches.

Weight Range: 1.5lbs+

GORUCK Ruck Plate Carrier 3.0

GORUCK Ruck Plate Carrier 3
  • Comfortable and supportive
  • Incredibly indestructible
  • Doesn’t put pressure on chest
  • Weight distribution is uneven
  • Not a lot of in-between weight options

Best Weighted Backpack: Sometimes carrying a bunch of weight across your chest can be difficult for some people. As an alternative, try out GORUCK’s Ruck Plate Carrier 3.0, a low-profile backpack designed to hold 10-, 20-, or 30-pound Ruck Plates. Made from 1,000D CORDURA, the pack is lightweight but super durable. It’s also comfortable on your frame, with 10mm of EVA foam lumbar support padding and padded shoulder straps, which themselves are made from 210D High-Tenacity CORDURA. The Velcroed top lid is extra padded to ensure nothing comes out during your most intense workouts and the bag’s bottom is equipped with 1,050D ballistic CORDURA nylon.

Weight Range: 10 to 30lbs


  • Lots of weight adjustability
  • Fit is very adjustable
  • Kevlar construction makes it durable
  • 3-year warranty
  • Easy on and off
  • Can get pricey

Best Overall: Snug, highly adjustable, and versatile, TRX’s Duraballistic Weight Vest can do just about anything, and at a reasonable price point. Made for minimal movement thanks to its cross-strap design and high-density foam, the vest comes in 10-, 20-, or 40-pound options, allowing you to adjust up or down in either 1- or 2-pound increments. For comfort, you can adjust this to your liking with three adjustment points on the shoulder, waist, and circumference, with easy on and off thanks to the Velcro straps. If you’re worried about durability, no need to fear; this vest is made in part with Kevlar and comes with a hassle-free return policy and 3-year warranty. Plus, each purchase comes with a 14-day free trial of TRX’s Training Club app.

Weight Range: 10 to 40lbs

Gravity G-VEST+

Gravity G VEST
  • Incredibly flexible
  • Even weight distribution
  • Easy to clean
  • Access to fitness app
  • Not adjustable in weight
  • Expensive

Best Low Profile: Some people’s inhibitions about weighted vests stem from their bulkiness and restriction of movement. However, most of the options on this list are designed to let you move freely. But then, there’s the G-Vest+ from Gravity Sportswear, a vest that you’ll forget is even on your body after a while. Unlike adjustable weighted vests, the G-Vest+ remains at 9.875lbs, which is more than enough to enhance your workouts and fitness regimens. Better yet, the weight from the stainless steel ball bearings is distributed evenly across your torso so that it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing any extra weight. Made of flexible neoprene, this vest is fully adjustable to your fit and features a ventilated back panel. You can also access the OMORPHO fitness app for free, which provides you with workouts specific to the vest.

Weight Range: 9.875lbs

The Best Adjustable Dumbbells

Best Adjustable Dumbbells 00 Hero

If you’re building up your workout gear, get yourself a quality set of weights for your home gym from our guide to the best adjustable dumbbells.