Best Weighted Vests

The Best Weighted Vests

Weighted vests are possibly the most underrated workout pieces that you can use. Relatively cheap compared to barbells, plates, and other workout equipment, they provide a whole lot of value for your money, and they can be used for different exercises.

One thing about weighted vests (that is apparently taken for granted by a lot of people) is that they simply make other workouts better. It is really easy to dismiss weighted vests as excessive (and they may be in some cases.)

Weighted vests, while being made for the most devoted gym-goers, will actually help anyone get stronger and faster if used properly. 

Darin Hulslander, C.S.C.S., the head of This is Performance, a Chicago-based training studio with online programs had this to say about weighted vests: “Training with a weighted vest can be super-beneficial for power athletes or Olympic lifters, especially on moves like squat jumps or box jumps to build strength and explosive power.”

Instead of being suspended by the sides of the body, vests are worn by the shoulder and upper torso, making them more demanding on the breathing muscles. As it rises, the heart rate gets higher, so it allows you to get a feeling of not being able to breathe.

Although this is really good for cardio, it causes some people to panic. This in itself can be a form of training.

Learning to remain calm when you cannot breathe as easily can become an activity to improve the autonomic nervous system's function and to learn how to trigger your parasympathetic system against the usual fight-or-flight response.

Weighted vests have a lot of benefits to their users. If you’re reading this article wondering if weighted vests would do you any good, yes I assure you they will.

Take your time to read through this article, and make a decision on which one of the weighted vests will work best for you. 

Top 7 Best Weighted Vests

Ranked from our top pick (1) to our budget pick (7), here are our top 7 weighted vests.

#1. Rogue Plate Carrier

Made in the USA, this weighted vest was developed in conjunction with Dave Castro, who directs the annual athletic competition, the CrossFit Games.

This vest is one of the few that was made specifically for workouts, hence it is good at what it does.

It was designed with minimalists in mind, with little thought put into aesthetics, but a lot of effort put into functionality.

It provides the most freedom of movement during workouts as it has the widest range of motion for any weighted vest on the market.

If you plan on using the weighted vest for weights that are not more than 40 pounds, then perhaps this vest is the best for you.

It is important to note that this vest is intended to be used only as a piece of workout equipment, and not as body armor. 

#2. RDX T1 Adjustable Weighted Vest (40Lbs)

This weighted vest can help you take your strength training to the next level. It is a two-part weighted vest that can also serve as body armor.

According to their website, it is made with durable Cordura and sturdy neoprene that’s resistant to punctures and abrasions, the RDX weighted vest promises to transform your workouts. 

Dual seams along with the vest guarantee split-resisting resilience against the strain of added weights. It is obvious that this weighted vest is for the big boys.

It has 20 removable weights adjustable up to 40 pounds with 2 pounds per block. It is easily modifiable to suit you where you are physically.

It has a hook-and-loop belt with comfortable pad (EVA™ anti-vibration pads) shoulder attachments designed to relieve pressure from the weights.

The vest is best suited for running, strength and resistance training, and other bodyweight exercises.

#3. Hyper Vest Elite Weight Vest

If this weighted vest has a superpower, it would be its exceptional comfort. Everything about this vest just feels good on the body.

It is great for walking, running, rehab, performance and endurance training, OCR (obstacle course races), weight lifting, and functional fitness.

It was designed in such a way that it doesn’t have any “hot spots”. It is almost like it has cooling vents within its fabric. Its design is super comfortable.

Its thin profile allows for a wide range of movements. It also has a reflective flexible side lacing for a highly adjustable fit. It has a maximum of 40 pounds weight.

If you have used regular weighted vests and then try this one out, you will be blown away by how much comfort it provides.

#4. Hyper Vest Fit Weight Vest

I know I said the Hyper Vest Elite Weight Vest has comfort as its superpower. Well, the Hyper Vest Fit Weight Vest is Comfort itself.

According to their website, it is “...the most comfortable, form-fitting walking vest on the market.”

This vest is unique in that it was designed specifically for women, by women. It allows for the building of bone density and body strength.

It has mostly the same features as the Hyper Vest Elite, such as the exceptional comfort, the thin profile, the wide range of motion, the cooling feature, the reflective flexible side lace, and so on.

The main difference is that it was designed specifically for women so its maximum weight is 10 pounds.

It is great value and I highly recommend it. 

#5. 5.11 TacTec Plate Carrier

This weighted vest was designed for high-level performance while at the same time maintaining a high level of comfort and ease of use.

It was originally designed to carry two ballistic armor plates, at the same time, be as comfortable as can be.

It features padded shoulder yokes, and back yoke shoulder pads to distribute weight evenly.

It also has abrasion-resistant and lightweight 500D nylon. It has a couple of other cool features (mentioned on their website) that are worth mentioning. Those features include: 

  • An Extendable GrabDrag handle for emergency exfiltration
  • One-handed quick release
  • Water-resistant coating
  • Oversized airflow panels
  • Web ID loop

This vest is a bit pricey and that’s the main reason it isn’t on the top of this list. But if you have the money to spend, it could be a good investment.

#6. Garage Fit Variable Weight Training Vest

The Garage Vest is a revolutionary tool for those who like to keep it moving when working out.

This arrangement offers the individual the greatest possible range of motion since the weights are bound tightly to the core to avoid moving or loosening, even though the user participates in rigorous exercises.

Despite the fact that the Garage Fit Weight Training Vest has a heavy-duty design with its adjustable weights, It feels great throughout your workouts while doing your push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and the like, so you don't have to hurt yourself to push yourself to your very limits.

It has a relatively low max weight at just 10 pounds (20 pieces of 0.5 pounds each), hence it is good for beginners, and it also allows you to build your resistance slowly.

Another awesome feature is the Garage Fit weight control vest's lightweight construction; it features Velcro straps that fasten and adapt easily to fit a range of body shapes. Stretching weight pockets allow changing the vest's variable weight convenient for everyone.

#7. CAP Adjustable Weight Vest 

This is one of the most affordable weighted vests around, which means that if you have limited funds, you always get value for your dollars.

This particular weighted vest is very basic in design, but that does not mean it is a bad design in general. I just think that it could be better.

It isn't very durable. On the other hand, if you are trying to save money, this may be your best option.

It comes in sizes ranging from a standard 20lb all the way to a hefty (and more expensive) 150lbs option.

The side wraps are made of less-breathable neoprene material and are wrapped around the wearer's upper body for increased support of the weighted vest, allowing it to be placed against the wearer's chest, providing some comfortability. 

The CAP Weighted Vest uses small weight packs in the compartments to allow you to adjust the overall weight and weight distribution to your liking.

Overall, this is an ultra-budget weighted vest that should be changed as soon as you can afford it. 

Conclusion: Which One is Best for You?

Weighted Vests can be a great addition to your workout gear. They help in strength training, endurance, and even cardio. With the extra weight you carry through the vests during regular workouts, you burn more calories than without them.

A frequently asked question about the vests is how it affects the back and spine. Well, if you have any pre-existing conditions or you have had accidents in the past that affected your back, you might need to consult a doctor before buying and using a weighted vest.

But if not, you are good to go. In fact, it could be beneficial by strengthening the muscles in your back.  

Choosing one for yourself can seem to be a daunting task. This article is here to serve as a guide for you in your decision-making process. 

Denver Matheson

I spend a lot of time at the gym and even more time in the kitchen giving my body what it needs to repair itself and grow stronger. The third most important place for any athlete is their research zone. That's exactly why this site exists, to help me share all of the information I've learned throughout the years just like people did for me in the first place!

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