Running is one of the best forms of cardio I’ve been doing for years, with so many health benefits! But, it did have its limitations, and I knew that once I reached my ultimate distance and speed, I had to amp up the intensity and continue strengthening more areas in my body other than my legs. That’s when I found out about the best weighted vests for running!
These are highly beneficial workout tools that help with overall strength AND have me sweat even more as I do my cardio. So if you’re looking for an awesome weighted vest for you too, then read on. I’ll be showing you the six best weighted vests you can use for your next runs and workouts.
- 6 Best Weighted Vests For Running 2020
- 1. The Extremely Durable and Great Fit: RUNFast/Max Pro Weighted Vest
- 2. The Stretchy and Comfortable: Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO Weighted Vest
- 3. The Convenient and Handy: ZFOsports Weighted Vest
- 4. The Adjustable and Flexible: Cap Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest
- 5. The Simple and Affordable: Everlast Weighted Vest
- 6. The Versatile and Solid: Valeo Pound Weighted Vest
- What Are Weighted Vests?
- The Benefits Of Using Weighted Vests For Running
- What to Consider Before Getting A Weighted Vest
- How to Choose the Best Weighted Vest For Running
- How to Use and Care For Weighted Vests
- Frequently Asked Questions: Weighted Vest For Running
- Wrapping It Up
6 Best Weighted Vests For Running 2020
1. The Extremely Durable and Great Fit: RUNFast/Max Pro Weighted Vest
What makes the RUNFast/Max Pro Weighted Vest my favorite and top of the list is its versatility. I’m able to use it ANYWHERE and through any use without fail. I also love its good fit and the fact that it’s designed to allow free motion around the arm areas while still maintaining the balance within my core and entire body.
With RunFast/Max Pro, you’re able to choose vests that accommodate different types of weights and sizes, giving you more options to suit your individual needs. They are removable and adjustable, easy to do so with its velcro padding.
I’ve had no trouble using the vest and it’s really heightened my exercises without the pain or discomfort other than my workout burn!
- Straps and velcro holds weights and vest securely
- Doesn’t slip and made of the durable material
- Comfortable to wear and with many options to choose from
- Arm straps aren’t adjustable and may feel weird for some
- The phone pocket isn’t secure enough, the phone sometimes slips
2. The Stretchy and Comfortable: Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO Weighted Vest
Another excellently designed weighted vest goes out to the Hyperwear Hyper Vest. This is a unisex weighted vest with various sizes to choose from, also having the adjustability to fit your individual body type. What I admire most about this vest is its quality fabric, though.
It’s made of stretch fabric for comfort, but it also has features such as odor-resistance, comfortability, as well as cooking and moisture-wicking. These are all needed for light to intense exercises to keep you going without the unnecessary discomfort!
While it comes at a bit more expensive price with fewer weight choices, you get what you pay for with the professional construction and high-quality material to last.
- Great balance when worn, easy to adjust to your body type
- Made of the amazing quality material to last for years
- It’s cooling and very comfortable with stretchy fabric
- Moisture-wicking and odor resistant for sweaty workouts
- Only comes with ten pounds, need to buy more weights
- The vest comes at an expensive price
3. The Convenient and Handy: ZFOsports Weighted Vest
What makes the ZFOSports Weighted Vest unique and another favorite of mine are its premium features that I don’t usually find in other weighted vests. The feature I admire the most is its abundance of pockets, which can fit my phone and other small accessories as I run. It even comes with a water bottle holder for convenience, so I stay hydrated the entire time!
I also appreciate its design in terms of fitting it in and out, as well as how the weights are adjusted. The belt’s attached on the vest to easily set up and adjust! This is highly recommended for its ease of adjustment, so I focus more on my workouts than anything else.
- Has an excellent design to make adjusting weights easy
- Made of the super tough material that doesn’t wear out
- Has pockets to accommodate accessories and water bottles
- Fits snugly in many people and offers more freedom
- The straps require a break-in period
- The material doesn’t wick moisture well, sweat feels uncomfortable
4. The Adjustable and Flexible: Cap Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest
The Cap Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest is best made for runners because of its comfort and well-padded areas in the right places. It’s made of the excellent quality nylon and polyester, also having the adjustable waist belt and padded shoulder straps which help it fit snugly, enough to keep secure as I run hard.
The weight packets are strong and will last, also being easy to add or remove as you go. It also comes with other useful accessories, such as anchor hooks for parachute run training, and reflective stripes for night runs. Overall, a solid vest I would recommend if you’re focusing on night running or intense strength workouts.
- It’s pretty simple to place the weights in and out
- Made of the solid construction with quality materials to last
- Has the excellent adjustability for a snug and comfy fit
- It has a good weight limit of 80 pounds to go even heavier
- No instruction manual included with the vest
- Some complaints of receiving incomplete weight bags
5. The Simple and Affordable: Everlast Weighted Vest
Everlast is an excellent and reputable company known for its high-quality athletic products, and its weighted vest is no exception. This weighted vest is so simply designed, yet extremely comfortable and effective to add strength to my runs. It’s made with neoprene that contains built-in iron and sand weight filling for ease of moving around without worrying about the weights falling.
Furthermore, it has the Evergrip technology which limits vest movement and keeps you snug and secure regardless of what exercises you make. While I do wish it had the adjustability, it’s understandable. I recommend it for runners and bodyweight exercisers who aren’t focusing on taking on heavier weights as they improve their strength.
- Easy to clean and simple design to free your movements
- Comfortable padding and secure fit with Evergrip technology
- One size fits all and no complaints of the fit
- Comes at a very affordable price for a weighted vest
- Non-adjustable weights, can’t add or remove the filling
- The durability is questionable as it tears easily
6. The Versatile and Solid: Valeo Pound Weighted Vest
And finally, on my list, I have the Valeo Pound Weighted Vest! This is an all-around vest I admire most for its ease of use, as I’m able to adjust the weights without the hassle and take it on or off in one move. This makes it excellent to use for many types of exercises, not just in runs!
This is a 20-pound vest you’re able to adjust one pound at a time. So while it does have its limitations, you have room for improvement up until you reach the 20-pound mark, which is more than enough for my weight.
Besides this, it also has accessory pockets that fit my phone or keys just right, as well as the reflective binding which is made best for night runs. All in all, it’s a good deal and I recommend it for night runners and beginners!
- Comes with accessory pockets that fit phones
- It’s easy and simple to adjust the weights
- Not too narrow fit for free movement
- Can only take up to 20 pounds of weight
- There’s a lack of shoulder padding
What Are Weighted Vests?
Before we get into the details on why and how to choose a weighted vest for your runs, what are they exactly? For those who aren’t familiar with weighted vests, these are actually similar to a breathable jacket you use for workouts. The only difference is, it’s got added weights to put up the intensity and strength to your workouts!
These weighted vests are breathable and comfortable, coming in different sizes and weights to accommodate what your strength level is. This is a cool fitness tool that adds more weight best used for bodyweight exercises and cardio, such as drills, agility, sports, running, or brisk walks!
The Benefits Of Using Weighted Vests For Running
I know you’re probably wondering: Why bother using a weighted vest anyway? My workouts and runs are as hard as it is already and I can just get my strength from weightlifting!
That MAY be true, but did you know using a weighted vest (safely, of course!) can reap you the following benefits, such as:
Versatile For Many Exercises
I really get my money’s worth with a weighted vest because I use it for more than just running. What’s great about this fitness tool is that I can wear it while walking, strength training, even with bodyweight exercises when I’m not in the gym. It adds weight which helps build those muscles and burn calories.
Your Balance Improves
When you start running with a weighted vest, you’ll find yourself more conscious with your posture and form. Because of better mindfulness, it can help improve your balance while running. A study showed that with regular training with weighted vests can help decrease falling in women after they reached menopause!
More Workout Intensity
When you run with a weighted vest, your exercise intensity, and heart rate increases. Because of these two benefits, it helps improve both your leg and core body strength, as well as increase your stability and will activate your fast-twitch muscle fibers. Furthermore, your body’s endurance improves as you go!
Safer and Evens Out Your Exercise
All the extra weight from a weighted vest will be balanced out, which is better than using ankle or hand wrists. It can also even out your exercise with more advanced runners, who can wear the weighted vest so you both run at the same pace when you train together.
When you run with a weighted vest, it can increase your body’s bone density. Some have said that it can prevent hip bone loss, with weighted exercises known to help prevent osteoporosis and other bone conditions. It also helps build and strengthen your muscles with the added weight while exercising!
It’s also known to help stimulate bone growth, as well as improve your lineaments, cartilage, and tendon strength.
Those who run with a weighted vest report of a higher heart rate and better cardiovascular health. This is because your body requires more effort when putting your weight forward with the extra pounds. As a result, your heart works harder when pumping blood.
Through a higher heart rate while running, your heart and lungs work more efficiently!
What to Consider Before Getting A Weighted Vest
While a weighted vest is extremely beneficial, there are still some points to consider before you begin looking for one:
A weighted vest that may be too heavy for you can adversely affect your running style and positioning. You’ll discover that you might run a bit slower and shorter, which would drastically change after you remove it.
Furthermore, the heavy vest might also increase the risk of injury if it negatively changes your running style. It would also increase the force and impact to your legs, to a vest that’s heavier than you can handle would be injurious from too much stress.
However, these points to consider are minor, as long as you choose lighter weights you can handle as you exercise. It all starts with lighter weights and gradual increase, just like what you did when you began running! I’ll be getting into how you can run and exercise with a weighted vest safely in the next section.
How to Choose the Best Weighted Vest For Running
Now that you’re familiar with the various benefits and what to consider before getting a weighted vest, the next question is: How do you purchase the right vest for you? Here are the factors to look into to invest in the weighted vest suitable to your individual needs!
Ease of Use and Adjustability
I highly recommend that you get a weights vest which is adjustable. Meaning, you’re able to add or remove weights as you wish. This is a huge factor, as it can help you increase your weights as you continue your strength training, lowering it when aiming for endurance.
Besides adjustability, consider the ease of use. The weighted vest should be easy to add or remove weights, as well as wear and remove.
Your Fit and Comfort
Of course, you’ll need to make sure that the weighted vest you choose is the right fit. Comfort is one of your priorities to ensure less risk of injuries and to have you continue running with ease. Not only should it be at the right size according to your body shape, but the ideal comfort for better encouragement to exercise.
The Desired/Recommended Weight
The weights you need depend on your own body weight, fitness level, and goals. Start off with the lightest weight if you are a beginner, with room to adjust to heavier ones. Avoid going for weights above 20% of your bodyweight unless you have the go signal from a medical professional.
Its Material Strength and Durability
You’ll want to get your money’s worth with your weighted vest, so it should be made of the high-quality material that’s strong and built to last. Not only should it be durable for years of usage, but made of the water and tear-resistant material to use even during any weather outside, or how much you sweat!
Besides this, the material should also be breathable and well-padded to keep you in better comfort without the stuffy feeling.
Any Accessories Included?
There are extra features some people may find advantageous with their weighted vests, such as:
- Extra weights for adjustability
- Pockets for small accessories
- Pouch for water bottles and phones
- Different colors or reflective strips for nighttime exercise
- Sweat resistant sleeves to add comfort
How to Use and Care For Weighted Vests
Once you have your own weighted vest and you’re ready to run with it, what are the tips to follow? Besides this, how can you properly clean and care for it to last long? Check out these helpful tips to get you started:
- Before you begin your run, make sure that the weighted vest is secured and are proportioned equally throughout the body. This prevents the shifting of your vest’s weights, which knocks your balance and heightens the risk of injury
- Do NOT begin training with the heaviest weights available. It’s best to start with the lightest one (or the weight you’re able to still run properly with) and work your way up every week. Don’t add more than three pounds at a time
- Focus more on your running position as you run with the vest to prevent injuries. Don’t be frustrated if you can’t reach your usual routine during the first few times, looking more into proper posture and working your way up again once you’re used to the weights
- To properly clean your weighted vest, make sure that you remove the weights first. Place it in a tub of water mixed with a bit of laundry detergent. Use a sponge to scrub the entire weighted vest, brushing off all grime, dirt, and the like (but not too hard!). Rinse it off (don’t leave it submerged in water), hang it to dry, and you’re done!
- Keep your vest fresh by wiping it with disinfectant wipes after your runs
For more information on how you can run with weighted vests properly, here’s a video guide to show you how:
Frequently Asked Questions: Weighted Vest For Running
Need more help or information about weighted vests and running? Here are the frequently asked questions to understand this topic better:
What weight should I start off with?
The exact weight depends on what your fitness goals are. If you’re focusing on strength training, you’ll want more weight. For endurance, you’ll want a bit less.
I highly recommend that you start off only with 5% of your bodyweight, and work your way up only up to 20% of your body weight, maximum. So for example, if you’re 150 pounds, start off with about seven pounds and work your way up in increments of 5% every one to two weeks.
What else can I do with a weighted vest?
You’re able to do the following with a weighted vest:
- Weighted plyometrics to help with your muscular contractions in speed and force. It can increase your jump height!
- Acceleration training, which is to move your body from rest efficiently
- Agility or speed training, as well as bodyweight exercises
- Weighted walking, which adds to your calorie burn for a lower impact exercise
How are weighted vests better than hand or ankle weights?
Hand and ankle weights are a bit easier to use, though it adds a lot of direct stress to parts more prone to injury, which are your wrists, knees, elbows, and ankles. This would affect the way you run, as well as result in potential injury. That’s why I highly recommend weighted vests for balanced weights and better running posture.
Can I use a weighted vest if I just began running?
You CAN use your weighted vest even if you just began an exercise, but it’s highly recommended that you first get used to exercising with your own bodyweight first. This is to slowly gain your strength, stamina, and endurance before you can begin adding more weight in. Your body has its limits, and starting off with such heavy weights and new exercises can leave you with the risk of injury!
Will I need to see a doctor before using a weighted vest?
While seeking advice from your doctor isn’t required, it’s best to do so if you plan on wearing vests that weigh over 20% of your body weight. They will determine if your heart is healthy enough for this type of exercise and weight.
Also, if your joints usually feel uncomfortable or painful, or if you suffer from bone conditions like osteoporosis, I recommend you check with a doctor. They will give you a go signal to use these vests or not.
Wrapping It Up
With the right type of weighted vest, you’ll be able to reach your goals in time, may it be in strength and/or running! It adds a ton of intensity to your next runs, and can also work on your upper body. Plus, you can use it in your other workouts to get your money and exercise’s worth.
Of all the different types of weighted vests tried and tested, the best one will have to go to the RUNFast/Max Pro Weighted Vest. What I love most about it is that it comes in a lot of choices as to what size and the weight you need, along with the extreme durability I can see will last for years. Furthermore, it’s extremely durable and stays true to its weight, easy to put in and remove, giving me the hassle-free use as I exercise.
Hopefully, this article on the best weighted vest for running helped you find the right one! So don’t wait any longer and look into any of these products now.
If you have any questions or want to share your tips and reviews when using any of these vests, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated.