The Best Weighted Vests for More Challenging Workouts

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Top Pick

Obtaining the very pinnacle of fitness while building impressive lean muscle can be an elusive beast—but selecting the best weighted vest can accelerate results.

Read on to discover how these training enhancers can supercharge muscle growth, and discover the top five on the market today.

The Best Weighted Vest—Top Five

Below we’ve listed our choice of the best-weighted vests available.

1. ZFO Sports Weighted Vest 40lbs/60lbs/80lbs

What I would consider the best weighted vest on the market. Make no mistake, this is one heavy-duty tool that will stand up to some hard training sessions, both through its build quality and weight limits.

Manufactured with reinforced stitching, I believe it would suit those with vigorous training sessions. This is re-emphasized through its availability in 40, 60, and 80-pound versions—ideal for both the lighter user and the hardcore athlete.

What’s more, it has the added features of water bottle and smartphone/MP3 holders.

  • Eight front and eight rear weight pockets.
  • Easily adjustable Velcro straps and weights.
  • Heavily padded for both comfort and sweat absorption.
  • Weights can be adjusted in 2.5-pound increments.
  • Full torso coverage.
  • It’s bulky—some people may not like the “stab-vest” appearance.

2. Cap Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

I believe this vest is possibly more suited to the experienced and already strong athlete. Personally, I would consider it the best weighted vest for bodybuilders.

This is due to the fact it can be purchased up to an eye-watering 150-pound capacity—more than many people’s bodyweight. Yet still, neoprene straps, extra padding, and breathable mesh contribute to the comfort of this weighted vest.

  • 2.5-pound easily-adjustable iron ore weights.
  • Includes anchor hooks for parachute running.
  • Available in 40 through to 150-pound versions.
  • Finished with reflective strips—making it ideal for outdoor night use.
  • Tough—built out of reinforced polyester and nylon.
  • A company with 30 years’ experience in fitness.
  • Full front and back coverage.
  • Eight weight pockets.
  • Could do with more adjustability in the straps, for a “tighter” fit.

3. Tone Fitness 8 lb Weighted Vest—Best for Women

With its close fit and unobtrusive styling—this is a discrete weighted vest that I would consider ideal for use around the home or office. Additionally, its “lighter” weight construction and flexibility would make it useful for workout classes, such as HIIT, Zumba, or CrossFit.

It weighs 8 pounds (non-adjustable) and is ideally balanced, ensuring weight is distributed evenly over all the upper body. It’s a one-size-fits-all vest, with side clips to ensure a tight fit—whatever your build.

  • Ideal for the lighter user.
  • Close-fitting cushioned neoprene may make it suitable for the smaller framed women or man.
  • An excellent fitness class or home use vest.
  • Reflective strips make it appealing for runners.
  • Weight cannot be altered.
  • Not heavy enough for those looking to push themselves to the max.

4. Mir Adjustable Weighted Vest—Best Weighted Vest for Running

In my mind, this is probably the best weighted vest for running. Firstly, this is due to the fact that it fits the upper torso only, not the full front and back. This will allow for greater flexibility around the waist area—essential for pounding the concrete.

Furthermore, with a 20 or 40-pound capacity—this should be ideal for either the casual or serious runner. Let’s face it, you’re not going to run with 150 pounds on your back. Finally, the lining and straps are double-padded—meaning that even during strenuous running, the vest will remain secure and comfortable.

  • Adjustable in 3-pound increments.
  • Tough—built from reinforced nylon and with a breathable mesh lining for comfort.
  • Front and back loading for perfect balance.
  • Highly adjustable Velcro securing straps.
  • Upper torso construction allows for a wide range of movement in the lower body.
  • The best weighted vest for running.
  • Not ideal for the bench pressing and deadlifting bodybuilder—only 40-pound capacity.
  • Larger breasted women may find the upper-torso design uncomfortable.

5. Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO Unisex 10-Pound

For people who consider comfort of utmost importance, this could be thebest weighted vest. It takes a novel approach to fit—it’s adjusted on both sides by interlaced bungees to enable it to match the contours of your body. What’s more, once set to your size, it can simply and easily be removed through the full-length frontal zip.

Made for both men and women, it has a 10-pound capacity, adjustable in 2.25-ounce increments. Due to its close-fitting design, this could even be hidden beneath other clothing.

  • Probably the best weighted vest for comfort and discretion.
  • Tight fit makes it suitable for strenuous exercise, such as HIIT or CrossFit.
  • The material has wicking properties to relieve sweat discomfort, with open sides for ventilation.
  • Unisex.
  • Available in five sizes, from small to XX-large.
  • Machine washable.
  • Limited to 10-pound resistance.

A Buying guide to Training Weighted Vests

As the name suggests, it’s simply a vest which can be worn during normal daily activities or while exercising, to place increased resistance on the body. This is achieved by locating individual weights within the vest itself.

These fitness tools are secured tightly onto the torso and include numerous pockets into which weights are placed. Depending on the vest style and construction—these weights can be lead, vinyl, steel, sand, or other synthetic materials.

The terms weighted vest and weight vest are interchangeable.

How Does a Weighted Vest Work?

By creating additional “bodyweight,” this increases the resistance on the body—whether going about your daily routine or completing training.

Think of it like this.

Hopefully, you have no issues walking up a normal flight of stairs. Yet, if you were to complete this same task while carrying heavy bags of groceries in each hand—the amount of effort required would increase.

Not only would this action place greater stress on your muscles (especially the quads in this stair-climbing example) but also on the heart as it beats hard to push oxygen-rich blood around your body.

Selecting the best weighted vest aims to achieve both of these effects—work the muscles and the heart.

When to Use a Weighted Vest

As we’ll soon see, choosing the best weighted vest means selecting one that is comfortable—hence enabling you to wear it at any time.

This can be one of the most attractive features of these training aids—as they can be utilized while going about your usual routine.

We all lead busy lives—many people don’t have the time or energy to visit the gym. A weighted vest can give us a workout—even when completing household chores, working in the office, or walking to the grocery store.

However, weighted vests are the most powerful when combined with fitness training—raising difficulty and effort levels. The harder you can push your body, the more impressive results you will witness.

Although not an exhaustive list, using a weighted vest is useful when worn during:

  • Traditional bodyweight exercises—such as push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, and pull-ups.
  • Walking.
  • Hiking.
  • Running.
  • Cycling.
  • HIIT sessions.
  • Chores—such as gardening, completing the laundry, and vacuuming.
  • Weightlifting—for example, squats, deadlifts, and barbell rows.

Some Benefits of a Weighted Vest

It makes sense—increasing resistance to complete tasks of exercises will improve returns. Specifically, selecting the best weighted vest can:

  • Increase weight loss—research has indicated that using a weighted vest during walking boosts the metabolism, which in turn can lead to a reduction in body mass.
  • Elevate strength and endurance—studies on both runners and cyclists wearing a weighted vest during their exercise periods illustrated that overall leg strength increased by up to 30 percent and endurance by 10 percent.
  • Enhance running speed.
  • Increase lean muscle mass.
  • Improve cardiovascular health and raises fitness levels.
  • Elevate bone density.

Think of a weight vest as a tool which multiplies the returns you receive, either from your current training or normal daily activities.

What to Look for in the Best Weighted Vest

With so many varieties available on the market—you need to choose the best weighted vest for your own personal requirements.

Here are some factors to consider:

Comfort and Quality

It sounds obvious—but this is extremely important. If the vest isn’t comfortable to wear, after a few unpleasant training sessions it could be confined to the back of your closet—where it will yield no returns.

Look for one that has padding around the shoulder straps and waist areas—and is constructed with wide securing bands—spreading the pressure over a wider area.


This applies to both fit and resistance.

The more adjustable the straps and retaining clips are, the closer it stays to your body, increasing comfort. Additionally, being able to easily add or remove weights from the vest is ideal—often you will be tailoring the resistance to the exercise being completed.


The best weighted vest is one that’s designed for punishment—being placed under stress during training sessions and (hopefully) covered in sweat after intense exercise.

Look for vests that are made from a material that can withstand demanding workouts and relieve sweat discomfort—such as mesh or neoprene.


Check for the maximum weight of the vest—including the additional weight supplied. Too small and you will not receive any benefits, too high and it could make it difficult to use or cause injury.

Weight vests can range from an 8-pound capacity, with the largest being over 100 pounds. For running, 20 to 40 pounds is ideal. However, for use during weight resistance training such as bodybuilding, you may require more than this.


In my opinion, the best weighted vest is the one from ZFO Sports.

Its adaptability means it can be considered ideal for both the beginner starting out on their fitness journey or the long-time fitness enthusiast. With a capacity ranging from 40 to 80 pounds, this is a product that will suit all but the most hardcore bodybuilder.

Furthermore, its solid construction, heavy padding, and reinforced stitching mean this is a vest that will stand hard training sessions.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some other fantastic products here, such as the massively weighted CAP barbell vest, or the gym-class friendly Tone Fitness.

But, for the most versatile vest, it has to be the ZFO Sports.