Looking for the best weighted vest to give those calisthenics some extra bang?
Well, then you’ve come to the right place!
I’ve done all the research for you and listed the 6 best weight vests currently around.
I’ve looked at the features, weight capacity, price, and the pros and cons – giving you the perfect platform to decide on which vest is best suited your needs!
And to top it off I’ve added a thorough buyers guide and a FAQ section in the post as well!
The best weighted vest for 2017 at a glance:
RUNFast/Max Pro Weighted Vest– Most Bang For the Bucks
CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest – Best Weighted Vest For Training Strength
Ironwear Cool Vest (long) Soft Flex-Metal – Best Weighted Vest For Walking
HumanX Weight Vest – Best Weight Vest For Running
Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO– Best Weighted Vest To Wear Under Clothes
Cross101 Camouflage Adjustable Weighted Vest – Editor’s Choice
Ok, lets check out the reviews:
- 1 2017’s Reviews of The Best Weighted Vests
- 1.1 RUNFast/Max Pro Weighted Vest – Most Bang For the Bucks
- 1.2 CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest – The Best Weighted Vest For Training Strength
- 1.3 Ironwear Cool Vest (Long) Soft Flex-Metal – The Best Weighted Vest For Walking
- 1.4 HumanX Weight Vest – The Best Weight Vest For Running
- 1.5 Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO – The Best Weighted Vest To Wear Under Clothes
- 1.6 Cross101 Camouflage Adjustable Weighted Vest – Editor’s Choice
- 2 Reviews and Comparisons Of The Best Weighted Vest
- 3 Buyers Guide To Purchasing a Weight Vest
- 4 Weight Vest FAQ
- 5 Final Words – Weight Vests, Your Best Calisthenics Partner
- 6 Other Helpful Resources
2017’s Reviews of The Best Weighted Vests
The material is made of breathable fabric for improved ventilation.
The weights are made of grain-type iron which is the ideal component for strengthening exercises requiring muscle flexibility. The vest is also ideal for cardio workouts.
Due to it’s wide array of use and nice price, this vest is the hometrainingheros “Most bang for the bucks” choice!
Weight capacity: 12lbs, 20lbs, 40lbs, 50lbs, and 60lbs
This weight vest has a breathable mesh design and adjustable straps to fit almost any body type.
You can adjust the weight using the cylindrical sand bags, each weighing around .75lbs.
A safety strip can be found on both front and back portions of the vest, allowing you to see where the vest is in the dark. -WOW!
A pocket dedicated for MP3 players and cellphones can be seen stitched on the vest. So listening to Spotify while getting your sweat on is no problem.
Shoulder pads are built with neoprene for improved comfort.
With a weight capacity up to 150 lbs this vest is your perfect partner when heavy resistance for building bad a** muscles is your main criteria.
Weight capacity: 40lbs, 50lbs, 60lbs, 70lbs, 80lbs, 100lbs, 120lbs, and 150lbs
This adjustable weight vest is designed specifically for hiking, strolling, and conditioning exercises.
It has 2 large zipper pockets to hold phones and MP3 players.Its ultra-thin design allows it to fit even under your shirt.
Reflector stripes can be found on the front and back portions for improved visibility.
The porous mesh design enhances airflow.
Unlike other weight vests, you don’t need to lift Ironwear Cool Vest above your head to wear it. Its front zipper allows you to slide it on like a normal vest, making it easier to wear. There are also waist and chest belts that adjust to fit measurements from 22in to 54in.
And even more its patented double lock system also keeps the vest sticking to your torso even during heavy use.
Weight capacity: 1.5lbs to 30lbs
Its compact design and smaller weight capacity make it ideal for sprints and weight training. Dual shoulder and chest paddings ensure comfort even during prolonged use.
It’s a one-size-fits-all weight vest.
The vest has a neoprene belt ensuring it is tucked close to your torso even when you’re running.
Due to it’s durability, fit and comfort this weight vest is also ideal for cross fit and other calisthenics workouts.
Weight capacity: Up to 40lbs, adjustable by 1lb increments
If you’re looking for a vest you can wear casually, this is your answer!
Its unique fabric allows the vest to comfortably fit your body like a compression shirt. You can even wear this with your office clothes on top.
This is ideal for exercises requiring unrestricted motion. The vest is odor resistant and has a wide-open side portion for increased ventilation.
The vest comes loaded with 10lbs upon delivery of package.
Weight capacity: Varies on the size of the vest. Weight ranges from 21.4lbs to 60lbs.
The all-rounder. The hometraininghero simply loves this vest.
You can choose among several weight capacities suitable to your workout program.
The vest has only one size to fit both men and women. It measures 13in in length from your collarbone and 15in wide from one shoulder to another. There’s an adjustable belt on the vest to tightly fit it to your torso. It perfectly fits those with gigantic frame and also those with a petite stature.
All vests come with weights included in the package so you can begin using it right away. The weights are made of small sandbags that conform to your body’s natural shape for better comfort.
Running, calisthenics, weight training – whichever exercise you prefer, the heavily stitched pockets will surely hold the weights in place.
Weight capacity: 20lbs, 40lbs, 50lbs, 60lbs, 80lbs, 100lbs, 120lbs, up to 140lbs
Reviews and Comparisons Of The Best Weighted Vest
Buyers Guide To Purchasing a Weight Vest
Uncertain of which of the above are the right fit for you?
Check out the following buyers guide to have all of your questions answered….
What Is a Weight Vest?
Weight vests add extra load to your body, similar to the purpose of ankle or wrist weights.
Firefighters, law enforcement personnel, and military people use this equipment to increase their physical performance.
Athletes use it to increase their strength and stamina to help prepare their body for competitions.
In the US, weight vests are even used as part of the Murph Challenge – an annual fundraiser held in memory of a law enforcer hailed as a hero. Participants are invited to perform the CrossFit WOD (or workout of the day) while wearing a body armor (weight vests) to pay tribute to law enforcement agents who wear heavy armors during life-threatening operations.
Benefits of Using a Weight Vest
No one would ever be wearing weight vests if they didn’t have anything beneficial to offer, right?
So, lets check out some of the benefits of dressing up in a 100lbs armor will bring you:
Our bodies adapt to actions we regularly perform.
During the first few weeks to months, you’ll see incredible increase in muscle mass and shape on parts you’re working on. This progress stops after some time because the body gets used to the same exercise routine.
Wearing a weight vest surprises your muscles, throwing them off balance from the usual routine.
Introducing new and unconventional stress to your body can be beneficial to your relaxing muscles. This is similar to how CrossFit effectively improves physical functions.
Strength And Endurance
The added weight the vests provide calls for extra strength from your muscles.
Like how you build up your biceps using dumbbells, carrying the vest strengthens your core muscles. Your torso and hips exert more effort to allow you to move normally despite the added stress, resulting to improved endurance.
Once you remove the vest, you’ll be able to perform your routine longer than you used to.
Your cardiovascular muscles improve together with strength and endurance. The extra weight works your muscles harder, requiring more oxygen to be circulated in the body.
Heavy and fast breathing strengthens the lungs. The added resistance also improves what they call VO2 max – the efficiency of the body to deliver oxygen to muscles every minute.
“If used properly, weight vests can have extensive benefits in training the cardiovascular system and increasing VO2 max”
Reference: mensfitness.com – The Weight Vest Workout
You’ll also get to lower your lactate threshold – the amount of exercise needed until lactate starts accumulating in your blood, causing exhaustion and muscle fatigue.
All these help you last longer during physical activities, taking more time before you get exhausted.
Your bones also become stronger through resistance training. The additional load introduced by the weight vest shocks the bones, stimulating them to reinforce the structure.
This results into thicker bone material that can handle additional load and muscle mass.
The added resistance forces your body to exert more energy, resulting to more fats burned by the body.
When you wear a vest weighing 10% of your body weight, your muscles exert a proportional amount of energy to complete the required action. Simply put, wearing a weight vest increases the fats your body burn by a small percentage.
Posture And Balance
Wearing a weight vest isn’t easy. Not only your muscles but also your spine receives the stress brought about by the additional weight.
The correct way to train with a weight vest is to maintain proper posture at all times to avoid injuries and back pain.
Disadvantages of Using a Weight Vest
You’ll only see disadvantages if you fail to execute proper preparations.
Immediately wearing a weight vest without proper training and guidance could result in injuries.
Make sure you consult your fitness trainer first so you can both work on a plan on how to add weight vests to your daily routine.
The Health Factors To Consider
These are the conditions doctors usually look at to determine whether you’re ready to don the vest or not:
Your General Fitness Level
Are you fit enough to wear one?
Check your fitness condition first before wearing one to avoid injuries. The added weights greatly increase resistance and can cause muscle strains for those who are unprepared for the burden.
Prep your body by trying “metcons” (it’s a cooler term for metabolic conditioning) requiring lighter loads.
These exercises may require you to run or perform other cardiovascular training while wearing a light weight vest.
The Weight Of The Vest
Wearing a heavier vest isn’t always beneficial.
Adding even 5lbs to your weight can have a huge impact during workout. It may seem meager but suddenly adding 5lbs can already strain your muscles and joints during exercise.
It’s best to get advice from your trainer and work on how much weight to add to your routine.
The Workout You’ll Be Doing
Like with all training equipment, there are appropriate weight vests for specific exercises.
Know how intense, how long, and what exercises are included in your chosen workout. Some exercises focus on form and technique rather than added resistance. In these cases, wearing vests won’t provide any benefit but add unnecessary strain to your muscles.
If you’re getting used to the added weight and you’re completing workout routines with flying colors, maybe it’s time to get to the next level.
You can add more weight until you can get to the 20-pound, 25-pound, or even 100-pound levels. Just remember that consulting your coach first before everything else won’t hurt.
5 Factors To Consider Before Choosing Which Vest To Buy
How Heavy Vest Do You Need?
It depends on your physical condition and lifestyle.
If the majority of your time is spent on watching TV or playing computer games, suddenly donning a weight vest is a bad idea.
For starters, it’s best to start with vests weighing around 5-10lbs so you don’t over-stress your body. For those who are already used to weight training, heavier vests can be worn.
There are vests that can provide up to 140lbs of additional weight.
Pretty heavy, right?
To save yourself from risks of injury, give your trainer a call and seek advice about using a weight vest. They can give you an exercise plan suitable for your physical capability.
What Are You Going To Use The Vest For?
The design of the vest also plays a factor in how it should be used:
Vests with narrower shoulder straps are designed for exercises requiring wider arm movements. Exercises like pull-ups, punching, CrossFit, and climbing can benefit from this design.
Those with wider shoulder straps are more comfortable to wear and are best worn for walking, hiking, running, and calisthenics.
There are even vests built for treating patients with ADHD, osteoporosis, and those with joint conditions!
Do You Need a Vest With Adjustable Weights?
The pocket placements are important in defining the vest’s balance when you wear it. They should be equally placed at the front and back portions. Poorly placed pockets can throw you off-balance or even cause unnecessary muscle strains.
Some vests don’t offer options to add or remove weighted plates. This can be limiting and may be difficult for some to use. It’s therefor for most use recommended to go for a vest with adjustable weight options. These vests provide versatility by allowing you to select where and how much weight to add for a more progressive training process.
Weights come in various forms too: There are those made of packed sand while some use iron ingots as weights.
When choosing a vest, make sure the pockets employ strong enough straps to hold the weighted plates. Weights may fall out when you lean or jump if the pocket straps are of poor quality. And that is irritating as h***!
Be Sure To Get a Model That Fit Your Body
Getting a size too small or too big can be uncomfortable and may introduce instability. It can also increase risk of injury since the weight pockets are not aligned with matching parts of your torso.
Manufacturers have sizing charts you can look into to determine the vest size appropriate for your body. Look for one that snugly fits your chest.
What Is Your Budget?
Prices range from everything between $20 and $300, depending on the vest’s features.
Some vests already include some weights when you buy them; while extra weights will cost you some more dollars.
Manufacturers use different types of materials, – nylon being the most common – in creating their vests.
Features like ventilation design, shoulder padding, and stretch pockets vary with the vest’s brand.
Weight Vest FAQ
How Heavy Should Weighted Vests Be?
No proven study has been released on how heavy they should be.
However, therapists suggest you use vests weighing 5-10% of your body weight. This estimation is based on the maximum backpack weight a person is supposed to carry.
Wearing vests exceeding this recommendation can cause muscle injuries to the untrained.
Are Weighted Vests Good To Run With?
Results about its benefits on running are mixed. Generally, it doesn’t help you to run faster but that depends on your physical condition.
Some research says running with weight vest improves your power to carry extra weight while on the move. It may also benefit your stamina and musculoskeletal system. However, it won’t necessarily improve your agility and running speed.
“If the vest is too heavy, you may find that you run using a lower, shorter stride pattern, which subsequently alters technique when you return to running without a vest—it may mean that you may not be able to run faster or farther.”
Reference: boxlifemagazine.com – The Benefits Of Training With a Weight Vest
The benefits you’ll gain in running with weight vest are also minimal compared to the injury risk you’re taking. The increased load on your upper body may impact your hips, knees, and ankles in a negative way. Aside from that, you may be sacrificing proper form when you run wearing a weight vest. Trainers say you’ll be better off continuing your usual running exercise and add some variations to it.
To sum things up, leave the thought alone. But if you really want to try it out and defy science, make sure your body is ready for it. You have to be a trained runner before you wear one. Guidance from your fitness coach is also important to avoid unnecessary injuries.
Are Weighted Vests Bad for Your Knees?
As long as you start with a light one for your training, it won’t be bad for your knees. If you start feeling pain on your knee joints, it means you’re doing things wrong.
Have you seen how obese people have trouble walking properly for prolonged periods of time? That’s because the extra weight is more than their knees and lower body can handle. You’re simulating this scenario when you wear a weight vest.
Even though your torso and shoulders carry the load, the added weight also strains your lower body.
As long as you maintain proper form and do not overexert your knees, you’re okay wearing a weight vest. Doing otherwise may result in joint injuries.
Are Weighted Vests Bad for Your Back?
It can be bad if you’re wearing a weighted vest that are too heavy for you to handle. Poorly built weight vests can also introduce back problems.
Wearing a weight vest is not without any consequence. Your spine supports your whole torso. Add to that the load from the weight vest and the chances of spinal compression increases. When the space between your spinal discs get narrower, less blood and oxygen pass through them, resulting to back pain.
The additional weight may also alter your center of gravity. This stresses your spine more than usual in maintaining your balance.
Make sure you know your body’s condition and limit. Maintain proper posture when wearing a weight vest. Don’t hastily jump to 20lbs or more unless approved by your trainer.
Even Atlas shrugged when he carried more than he can handle.
Are Weighted Vests Good For Building Muscle?
A definite yes on this one.
The efficiency of weight vests in boosting muscle strength has been proven that they’re being used in training firefighters, military personnel, and similar jobs that require carrying heavy loads.
Why don’t you try to add a weighted vest to your suspension training workout routine? The combination is deadly!
Are Weighted Vests Good For Fat Loss?
Another yes on this one.
The added weight adds more intensity to your exercises since your muscles work harder to handle the extra load. This way you breathe harder and burn more calories than training without vests on.
What Muscles Do Weighted Vests Work?
You’re still working out the same muscle groups during training but with more stress this time. Weight vests supercharge your workout routine, amplifying the stress on your muscles by a few percent.
Planks, pull-ups, push-ups, and crunches still punish your midsection. Calf raises, lunges, and squats hit your hips and lower body muscles harder than before. Jumping, running, and walking raises the activity of your heart and lungs, improving your cardiovascular system.
What Size Of Weighted Vest Should I Get?
Know your height and weight to know your vest size.
The vest should measure from your shoulders to your navel or a bit lower.
Google search the vest brand to find each separate vests size chart. A lot of vests come equipped with a “one size fits most” size, these fit will all kinds of different shaped bodies, -big or small…
Final Words – Weight Vests, Your Best Calisthenics Partner
Wearing a weight vest can amplify the benefits you’ll get from normal exercise. However, the risks also increase in the same manner so you better be careful.
Knowing your body’s physical capacity is important in determining whether you can handle the extra load weight vests provide. Forcing your body to take in additional stress beyond its limit can result in injuries if exercises are not properly done.
We all know how busy you are but we still want you to stay healthy by doing a bit of exercise every day. Like we said before, you can still exercise just by wearing a weight vest while doing your everyday routine. This remains true. The added stress on your body can help muscles exert more effort, burning more calories and strengthening them at the same time.
However, you can maximize the benefits of wearing weighted vests if you go the extra mile:
Perform simple workout routines like push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, squats, and other basic exercises at the comfort of your home should be enough.
We guarantee you’ll be amazed at the results. All these, of course, should be done with the guidance of your fitness coach.
So, there you go.
You don’t have to undergo Spartan-like training to push your body to its limit. Simple exercises while wearing a weight vest is good enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Now I’ts your turn… What do you think is the best weighted vest? Let me know in the comments!
Other Helpful Resources