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You may have seen people at the gym or in workout videos wearing weighted vests and you may be wondering what the benefits are. In fact, there are a few: the best weighted vests are a great additional tool that can be used for a multitude of different workouts, both at home at the gym, and even outside. Think jogging, pull-ups, pushups, squats, lunges and CrossFit, just to name a few. A weighted vest adds that added resistance needed to burn more calories and level-up your fitness.
What to Look for in a Weighted Vest
There are a few things to consider when shopping for the best weighted vest for you.
Weight: As its name suggests, the most important part of a weighted vest is the weight, but weight isn’t all the same across the board. Some simply have a designated slot for you to slide the weight plate of your choice into, while others are compatible with circular gym weights. But it all depends on what your fitness goals are. Equal weight distribution is another aspect to look for, with the ability to put the same amount and measurements of weights on the front side as well as the back side. Plus, factor in the weight of the vest itself.
Material: Flexibility is going to matter depending on what you’re using it for – a stiff vest might be good for stationary activities like weightlifting, but it’s going to get uncomfortable for running. A material like mesh is going to provide more breathability, while neoprene-type padding can prevent chaffing and nylon is built to last. Having a thick foam on the shoulders can also prevent unnecessary poking and prodding pain when lifting. Even better, large open-air panels let air circulate naturally.
Fit: You won’t want this getting in the way of your workout, since that’s the exact opposite of what it’s there to do. Having a vest that fits sung against you is a big help in making sure it stays out of the way, and feels almost like a second skin, ensuring that you have a full and free range of motion. There’s a vest for a full range of sizes available, from extra small up to extra large, and as they become more popular, there’s a better chance now more than ever that you’ll find one that fits you (and your workout) perfectly. And though many of these claim that they can fit both men and women, it’s best to check before buying.
What Are the Best Weighted Vests?
Whether you’re going on a hike or adding some heft to your fitness routine at the gym, we’ve rounded up some of the best weighted vests you can buy online now.
1. Hyperwear Weighted Vest
Hyperwear’s Elite vest comes in three sizes – 10, 15, and 20 pounds, providing enough resistance for all levels of challenges. But it’s especially great for runners, as its tight fit hugs your body without getting in the way, and lets you adjust the sides with straps for max comfort. There are also built-in reflectors, so you can stay safe even while out at night.
2. WOLF TACTICAL Adjustable Weighted Vest
Join the wolfpack with this tactical weighted vest. Inserting additional weights is easy to enhance every type of workout, and the adjustable weight straps let you find the perfect fit and airflow for whatever activity you’re doing. Plus, the padded yoke shoulder pads make weight distribution more evenly felt, and the heavy-duty, premium nylon can stand up to dirt, sweat, and running in the rain.
3. Portzon Adjustable Weighted Vest
This vest has plenty of pockets large and small to fit the exact amount of weights you want – and won’t scratch up the plates either. The cardigan-type zippered design makes it easy to take on and off, while still being able to adjust the elasticity and webbing on both sides. The material is a mix of rubber, nylon, and fabric, and the vest (and plates) are thin enough that you can even wear a light sweater over it.
4. CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest
This affordable option adds up to 20 pounds of resistance, while still being breathable and adjustable for various body types.
Altering the weight is simple, with each iron ore packet sliding into the many pockets to up your resistance as your training increases. Plus there’s a spot for your phone or music player too.
5. RUNFast Adjustable Weighted Vest
Extra shoulder padding is always an option here, and a lifetime warranty means you won’t have to worry about rough treatment during the toughest workouts. We also like that you can adjust the weight up to 120 pounds. There’s also a spot for not just your phone, but a water bottle too.