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The Best Weighted Vest for Exercise

Muscular man wearing a weighted vest while doing a push-up
Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a way to ramp up your workout, adding a weighted vest to your routine will give you the intense cardio activity you’re craving. Weighted vests force the whole body to work more, making it incredibly easy to improve your endurance.

Health Risks and Benefits to Weighted Vests

Weighted vests can be a great tool to give you a more intense exercise. They can actually be beneficial to use while walking and doing other cardiovascular activities because they encourage bone growth and make your muscles work harder, resulting in more efficient exercising. But, like so many other things, they can be a potentially dangerous health hazard if used incorrectly.

There can be issues with using weighted vests, especially if you have back and neck problems. The extra weight on your spine can worsen your condition and using a weighted vest is not advised. Always consult with a medical professional before using any sort of weights, especially if you already have back problems

What’s Important to Look for in a Weighted Vest?

A ton of different vests are on the market. So, to help you decide which vest is right for you, let’s look at what features make a good weighted vest.

  • Comfort: The vest itself needs to be comfortable enough to let you breathe easily while also being tight enough that it isn’t bouncing all around during your workout. These vests are used for cardio, so it should feel good to run while wearing them.
  • Capacity: Some weighted vests are adjustable and others just have a preset weight. The general rule is that weighted vests shouldn’t be heavier than 10% of your body weight. To calculate the maximum weight, divide your current weight by ten.
  • Weight distribution: There are a lot of different areas of the body where vests distribute their weight. Weights are placed on the front, back, sides, and sometimes shoulders. It’s best for the weights to be evenly distributed because it will affect how you move. Vests that are too high on your chest will make your center of gravity higher, and you’ll be more prone to falling over.

The Best Choice: RUNmax Pro Weighted Vest

RUNmax Pro Adjustable Weighted Vest

The RUNmax Pro weighted vest is a fantastic product that should fit most everyone’s needs. It has a few different options, allowing users to purchase it with or without comfortable shoulder pads or buy it in weights ranging from 12 to 60 pounds. (Remember, though, weights shouldn’t exceed 10% of your total body weight.) Pockets on the front and the back that hold the individual weights can be removed and added back in for a finely tuned workout. If you’re wearing the RUNmax Pro on a walk or run, there’s a pocket for your phone and a water bottle, so you can easily stay hydrated during your workout.

The Best Choice

RUNmax RUNFast RM_20 Pro Weighted Vest, 20 lb.

The RUNmax Pro Weighted Vest is an amazing product that will take your workout one step forward. It has everything you could ask for in a weighted vest, and it's our best choice for most people.

The Budget Vest: Empower Weighted Vest

Empower Women's Weighted Vest

Maybe you’re on a budget but still looking for a new way to burn calories, or you just don’t need anything fancy or with adjustable sizes. If that’s the case, check out the Empower weighted vest. This vest comes in two different sizes—4 and 8 pounds—which is more than enough weight to benefit your health and provide a more intense exercise. The cross-strap gives you a lot more breathing room than bigger, adjustable vests, making for a more comfortable workout. It still fits snug around your chest, though, so running and jumping won’t cause it to shake around.

The Budget Pick

The Premium Pick: CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

Cap Adjustble Weighted Vest
CAP Barbell

Not all vests are built the same. If you’re looking for a more premium model, this CAP product is a high-quality weighted vest that will help you take your game to the next level. This vest lets you fine-tune your workout with its many 2.5-pound removable weights. Its strap will sit tight around your body, and the shoulders are padded for a more comfortable workout. The vest fits securely enough that it won’t bounce or shake around, even when you’re performing intense cardio, which allows you to use it while performing all kinds of exercises.

The Premium Pick

CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest, 40 Lb

The CAP Barbell adjustable weighted vest is a great tool for getting back into shape. This premium product will give you the muscle-building workout you're looking for.

The Best Choice for Runners: Aduro Sport Weighted Vest

Aduro Sport Weighted Vest
Aduro Sport

If you’re looking to improve your endurance or training for an upcoming race, the Aduro Sport weighted vest is an excellent choice. The weights on this vest are mostly located down the shoulders and on the back. There are no weights across the chest, which lets you run without feeling pressure on your diaphragm. The chest buckle keeps the vest tight around your shoulders, so it stays on even during intense cardio. The vest comes in sizes ranging from 4 to 25 pounds, so there’s an option for everyone.

The Best Choice for Runners

Aduro Sport Weighted Vest Workout Equipment, 4lbs/6lbs/12lbs/20lbs/25lbs Body Weight Vest for Men, Women, Kids (12 Pounds (5.44 KG))

The Aduro Sport weighted vest is the perfect tool to get in shape for your next race. If you're looking to improve your strength and endurance, check out this great vest.


Jonathon Heddings Jonathon Heddings
Jonathon is a writer for ReviewGeek where he handles writing for product reviews, round ups, and more. If he's not writing, he's testing out a new product, reading tech news, or attending University. Read Full Bio »