Our Favorite Weighted Vests for Running Reviewed and Compared
Weighted vests generally come with straps across the shoulders and the middle. This helps to adjust the fit, as most vests follow a “one size fits most” sizing guide. Some vests feature extra spaces for your personal items like cell phone, MP3 player or even water bottle.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Weight and price options for individual needs
Double belt for superior fit
- RUNmax Runfast pro
- Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO
- Empower Women
- Pure Fitness
- Tone Fitness
- CAP Barbell
- MIR Women
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Favorite Weighted Vests for Running
1. RUNmax Runfast pro
Weight and price options for individual needs
Double belt for superior fit
Uncomfortable fit for some
The RUNFast Max/Pro weighted vest comes with weights included. You can choose from 12, 20, 40, 50, 60, 80, 100, 120, and 140 pounds. One size fits most and the weights can be removed for your comfort and convenience and you can purchase the vest with or without shoulder pads.Read more
Each weight costs a different price. The higher up in weight you get, the more expensive the vest is going to be. There's also a few dollar difference between the vest that comes with the pads and without them. There are also empty pockets that can hold more weights, a water bottle holder, earphone hole, and more.
This is a one size fits most vest. If you don't like how shoulder pads feel, purchase the "without" option. There are Velcro adjustment straps that allow you to make the proper adjustments based on your build.
This product can be purchased in 12, 20, 40, 50, 60, 80 100, 120, and 140 pound options. This allows the runner to select the weight that works best for them and their individual fitness needs. They can also add more weights in the empty pockets.
The padding inside of the vest makes this vest comfortable for the wearer. However, the material may cause chafing, so reviewers suggest wearing it on top of a shirt.
2. Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO
Some didnt like the overall look
The Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro is an adjustable 10-pound vest that is unisex, so it is very versatile for any user's needs or desire of fit. It is made with professional grade weights and will keep your fitness goals on track.Read more
This vest is around 200 dollars, so it is a bit of an investment, but because it is built with professional grade weights, you may just find that it is worth the investment. It is also designed with a patented design and fit which makes it a good option for those looking for something a bit different.
This vest is made to be a thin design, so it is a bit sleeker of a fit than other vests on the list.
According to reviewers and testers, this vest is very comfortable, however, some found that it was a little bit big.
3. Empower Women
Female specific fit
Cooler than other options
Weight is evenly distributed
Soft and stretchy material
Small pocket for holding a key, ID, or money
Only comes in 4 or 8 pound options
This is a women-specific option that's great for runners especially because it has reflective accents that will help keep you safe in low light conditions. It comes in 4 or 8-pound sizes and is adjustable for waists from 24 to 48 inches so it will fit a wide variety of users. The design does a good job of fitting to a woman's body and the material is soft and stretchable.Read more
The open design is meant to fit a woman's body and users also found that it allowed a lot of airflow. This allows you to stay cooler than with most other options.
The manufacturer claims that it will fit users with waist sizes from 24-48 inches which is a nice wide range. It is very narrow across the shoulders which gives the user a lot of range of motion.
This is one of the lightest products on our list at either 4 or 8 pounds. For some people, this is the perfect amount of weight to add to their workouts, but some people wish it was available in heavier options or that there was the ability to add more weight to it.
The size of the vest can go all the way from 24 to 48 inches at the waist. The weight of the vest, however, cannot be changed and the user has to stick with either the 4 or 8-pound option that they choose when buying.
This is the highest ranking product on our list in this category. The open design allows a lot of airflow to move over the user's body which will help keep you relatively cool during use.
Superior comfort and fit
Official sponsor of the 2017 CrossFit games
MIR is the gold standard for fitness products. Not only are they one of the official sponsors of the 2017 CrossFit games, they are used by firefighters and branches of the armed forces in their training and conditioning. When you have athletes like Rich Froning and Kara Webb relying on this product, then you know it's the real thing.Read more
There are many very affordable products on this list, but this is not one of them. This product is for the athlete looking to invest in a durable, top quality piece of exercise equipment. While some reviewers noted they were hesitant of the price, after trying the vest they said it was worth the money.
This vest is adjustable and offers a double padding design and lining through the midsection and shoulders. It also comes with a midsection security belt and an optional security strap.
This vest can hold up to 60 pounds in its easy to fill pouches. The weights are included with the vest and come in 3 pound increments to increase or decrease the weight based on the needs of the user.
For the runner who finds comfort in a very tight fitting garment, this is the item for you. This vest fits like a glove, and while most runners loved that about this vest, some found it too stifling to be comfortable.
5. Pure Fitness
Comes with 40 pounds of weights
Reflective elements to protect runner at night
Adjustable waist strap
Some find the fit cumbersome
With the Pure Fitness weighted vest, users can add up to 40 pounds of weights, which come included. This vest is adjustable and the sand-like material in the weights allows the vest to be more comfortable against your body.Read more
At first, this product seems to be a bit more expensive than some of the other vests on the list. However, it comes with a complete set of weights that can bring the athlete to its 40 pound limit, making this vest a great value.
The vest comes in "one size fits most". However, not only is the vest fully adjustable due to the waist closure, but the weighted bags are composed of a sand material that conforms to the shape of your body.
The maximum weight of this vest is 40 pounds. That weight is achieved by inserting sand bags into easy to fit compartments along the vest. All 40 pounds come with the vest and no extra purchase is necessary.
This vest did not receive very high marks for comfort. Reviewers found the material to be overly stiff and the strap around the middle to be slightly too wide.
6. Tone Fitness
Soft and comfortable
No additional weight can be added
May not fit everyone
The Tone Fitness 12 pound vest is for the athlete that is looking to add a comfortable, low cost weighted vest to their workout arsenal. This is a vest for the user wants the benefits of the weighted vest but does not want it to interfere with their mobility.Read more
This is one of the most affordable vests on our list. It is versatile and can be used for variety of activities. Reviewers loved the durability and found that for the price, this vest lasted a surprisingly long time.
This vest has a clip which can be adjusted for maximum comfort. Although the product says that its sizing is one size fits most, reviewers felt that it fit smaller individuals better.
This vest has a set amount of weight which is 12 pounds. No additional weight can be added.
Reviewers raved that this vest provides superior comfort. The over the shoulder design gives the runner a more open feel which feels up their movement. Runners reported that the vest felt so comfortable that they forgot they were wearing it at times.
Adjustable side straps for great fit
10 or 20 pound weight option
Great stylish look
Maximum weight is only 20 pounds
Everlast has a unique history. It is a brand that started out as a swimwear manufacturer in 1910. The brand quickly became synonymous with the sport of boxing and over time it has become a high quality producer of different athlete gear and fashion. The Everlast weighted vest is a high quality product that users love for its overall fit and style.Read more
This vest is one of the most affordable on our list. It comes in around half the price of other vests in its same weight class.
Runners love the fit of this vest. It is designed to be put on over the head and can be secured around the waist and adjusted to size. This invest is "one size fits most". The side of the vest features adjustable straps to loosen or tighten the product based on the sizing needs of the athlete. This vest is made from a water resistant Neoprene material that provides additional padding and support to the user.
This vest comes pre made with the weights. The weight of the vest comes in ten or twenty pound options. This allows the runner to choose the weight that works best for them and their fitness needs. The weigh is a combination of iron and sand that is comfortably packed into the vest.
This vest provides a similar level of comfort to that of the Tone Fitness 12 pound vest. They both have the same general construction that allows for maximum breathability and mobility. Reviewers reported that the freedom of movement made this a very comfortable vest to workout in.
8. CAP Barbell
Can be adjusted
Weights can be added or removed
Weights can be uncomfortable against body
Some don't like the bulky appearance
The CAP Barbell Adjustable weighted vest comes in weights of 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, and 150 pounds. This particular vest features musculoskeletal benefits, cardiovascular benefits, strength, endurance, speed, and weight loss. It is also adjustable in 2.5 lb increments.Read more
Since this vest does use sand like other weighted vests, With each increasing weight, the price does go up. However, if you start small, the price is lower.
The fit of this vest is completely adjustable due to the one piece design. It slides over the head and the large belt around the waist and shoulder areas can be adjusted. This vest is 13 inches wide and can accommodate most users.
This vest can hold up to 150 pounds. Each sandbag can be removed for your comfort. You can also add weight in 2.5 lb increments.
In terms of comfort, reviewers found it to be pretty comfortable and it did fit well. The adjustable straps help those with different heights and weight to make the proper adjustments to fit them the best.
Handy places to hold cell phone, headphones, nutrition etc.
Some reviewers commented on the vest's lack of breathability
ZFO sports brand is a trusted makers of exercise equipment. The ZFOsports weighted vest is for the athlete that is looking for a versatile, durable vest to up their workout regimen.Read more
This product comes in right in the middle in terms of cost. However, it does offer some unique features that set it apart from its competition. For one, this product comes with additional space for your cell phone and other devices. Additionally, reviewers rave about its durability, which adds to the overall value.
This vest can be adjusted in two different places in order to better fit the wearer. There is one strap located around the stomach area and each of the shoulders are adjustable to give you a superior fit.
This vest can hold up to 40 pounds of weight. The weight comes with the vest and is made of a mixture of iron ore and sand particles. This means that the weight feels like a sand bag and will fit snuggly against the body during workouts.
Reviewers found this vest to be very comfortable. Some said that it almost felt like two separate vests combined into one because of the top part of the vest affordable great air flow to the athlete while the lower part kept the vest tight and secured to eliminate unwanted movement or friction.
10. MIR Women
Adjustable up to 30 pounds
Designed to fit women
Adjustable velcro belt
Just for ladies
This weight vest is specific for ladies in design and adjustability, a great product for you to build up your own individual level of stamina and strength.
With a weight up to thirty pounds, this is a unique vest which is comfortable and represents a high-value investment in a great training product for the ladies.Read more
The price is standard and given the innovative ladies only design, the workmanship, and high-quality materials
The fit is designed to work for ladies of different contours and sizes, the innovative adjustment strap systems ensure that this vest can be easily adjusted to give a very comfortable FIT for all ladies.
This product/vest gives you choices, you can adjust the weight up to a limit of 30 pounds in total. This means you can start with a lower weight and gradually increase the weights as your strength and individual stamina level increases.
Padding and support are strategically designed into the vest at the shoulders and any other areas where attention to preventing chafing is needed. Comfort is further enhanced by strategically dispersing the weights so that the body can carry naturally while gradually building up personal muscle power.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Whether you're looking at running shoes, windbreakers, or weight vests, this is often the most important point to consider. Even if the product is effective and affordable if it isn't comfortable you probably won't use it for long. It's just human nature. The materials and design and the biggest things that help to determine the comfort of a weighted vest and it can be harder to find a perfect product than you think and here's why. In order to support the weight that they contain while also holding up over time, weight vests are usually made of materials such as lycra and nylon. These are relatively tough synthetic materials that aren't necessarily soft to the touch and can be somewhat abrasive against your skin. But it's not as simple as wearing a shirt underneath since between the strenuous workout and the inherent lack of breathability in a product like this you will most likely get really hot and may want to go shirtless underneath them, at least if you're a man. Because of this, we looked at whether or not the vest has any sort of inner lining to help protect your skin while you're wearing it. A lining is a good way to increase the comfort of a weighted vest and products that have one definitely got a higher score than those without this feature.
Finding a weighted vest that has the right fit is important. While most weighted vests come in a “one size fits most” sizing option, there are some on the market that offer different sizing options or work better for women. Some vests come with multiple sizing straps, while others only come with one across the shoulders or across the middle. Some vests are placed over the head, while others can be put on via the shoulders. An important thing to consider is how wide the vest is across the top of the shoulders. A narrow fit here is best, as it will allow you to easily reach overhead if you're wearing it while lifting weights or doing calistenics especially, and also allows greater freedom of movement for runners and all user in general. Women especially will want to look at the design of the product as well as user reviews to make sure that this is an appropriate choice for their body type. We do have a couple of products on the list that are designed specifically for women, but they are also lighter than others and we recognize that there are plenty of women out there who are just as strong, if not stronger, than men and may want a vest that will allow them to add some serious weight to their workouts.
The key element to the weighted vest is clearly the weights themselves. Weighted vests come in a variety of weighted options. Some vests have weights made from a sand-like material which conforms to the shape of the body and provide more comfort for the user. Some vests are designed with small pockets that hold 1 to 3-pound weights in each pocket. With this type of model, weight can be added and taken away depending on the needs of the user. This is a good option for the individual who is looking to increase weight over time or will be using the vest for a variety of activities such as running, squats, hikes, etc.
Another thing to consider is how much weight is included with the vest. Some vests only come with a few weights with the option of additional weights being sold separately. Some vests come with a set amount of weight and cannot be adjusted. Some runners are looking for a vest that will grow with their fitness capabilities. They would want to find a vest with adjustable weight options. Keep in mind, just because the vest holds 40 pounds doesn't mean you have to start working out at that weight. However, some runners know the certain workout that wants to perform and are looking for a vest that they don't have to worry about adding and taking weights out of.
This one fits in with comfort and fit and is an extremely important thing to consider. Every person's body is different and what works for one person might not work for another. Your body can even change from day to day. Some days you might be a bit bloated or you may have lost or gained weight since you used the vest last. These aren't the most expensive products, but they're not throw away cheap either and we want you to be able to use the vest even if after a year or two or more of having it you've made massive changes to your body. Because of this, we recommend purchasing a vest that will allow you to easily and quickly adjust the size and fit. Most products use some sort of strap system to allow the user to adjust the size and fit of the vest. Some of the straps are secured by velcro and some by plastic buckles. To rate each product in this category we looked at the design and how effective and easy it was to use based on our experience as professional gear reviewers. We also considered over 1300 reviews from real-world users and what their experiences were like with adjusting the vests for a custom fit for their bodies. Another part of this factor to consider is whether or not the user can remove or add weight to the vest to customize their experience. Some of the products on this list allow you to do that and some don't, so if that's something that's highly important to you check carefully before buying that the weight of the vest you want can be customized.
While a weighted vest is a great way to increase the difficulty of your runs and workouts in order to get a better conditioning response, the truth is that they can also be very hot to wear. Because of this, we wanted to look at whether or not the vest had any features that could minimize the discomfort and potential health concerns that can come with overheating during a strenuous workout. While a weighted vest will obviously never have the moisture-wicking ability or ventilation of a tank top, some products are better than others at helping you stay at least relatively cool while using them. The design is the biggest factor here. Options that allow some air to flow in through the armpit area are a cooler option than those that fit tightly in this area. These products also tend to be more comfortable and allow a greater range and freedom of movement. Several of the products we chose do have some sort of lining that is breathable and that the manufacturers claim will wick moisture away from the skin, but the truth is that, unfortunately, due to the nature of the product needing to have thick fabric in order to support the weight of the vest, a truly breathable weighted vest is still more dream than reality.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
A weighted vest contains either various pockets for weights, or it comes in one set weight and is usually filled with sand or a sand-like product to reach that level. Some options allow the user to remove or add weight as they see fit while some don't. This is really important to some people so we recommend thinking about it before you buy. It can definitely come in handy but may not be the make or break factor.
Not only should you be mindful of outdoor temperatures and hydration during a workout, but realize these vests are going to get quick warm during your runs. Unfortunately, there aren't really very many options on the market that are truly breathable, so especially if you live in a hot climate try to schedule your weight vest workouts during the morning or evening to avoid heat stroke.
Other Factors to Consider
Ease of Use
You don’t want to jump right into an extremely heavy weighted vest. Consider what your current fitness level is and what your current fitness goals are. Using a vest that is too heavy could lead to injury. As always, you should consult a doctor before starting any new fitness regimen.
It is a good idea to find a local retailer so you can try on various weighted vests in order to find the best one for you. Each vest will fit each body type in a slightly different way, so it is a great idea to try before you buy. Additionally, since some of these vests can weigh upwards of 100 pounds, shipping costs can easily add up, so if you can find one to purchase locally you could save some money.
Frequently Asked Questions
A weighted vest can add so much to your workout routine. For starters, it can increase muscle tone. Weighted exercises, in general, are proven to be more effective at strengthening and toning muscles. It can also improve cardiovascular health and endurance. The addition of a weighted vest is also a great way to burn extra calories and drop some unwanted pounds. Another benefit is the intense core workout that runners get while using it on a run. Finally, runners who are looking to increase their speed find that training with a weighted vest is a great way to do so.
In general, no. Most vests come in “one size fits most”. They do, however, come with adjustable straps to allow the user to create the best fit. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, some vests are specifically made for women.
The short answer is that no, you can find a high-quality, long-lasting vest for an affordable price. However, some runners want to purchase a vest that has a higher weight capacity, which tends to cost more. However, many users see the higher cost for a quality product as an investment that can be customized and work with their changing fitness level.
For the most part, no. All the vests on our list are highly versatile. This means that they can go from stability moves like lunges and squats to hiking in the mountains to taking a stroll around your neighborhood. However, all the vests on this list work great for running. Heck, you could even wear one while gardening or cleaning the house or going around town doing errands.