4 best weighted vests for running and crossfit that will change the way U train

​​​The number one reason why weighted vests are very popular is that they have been to proven to make almost any exercise 10x more effective. Whether you love running, CrossFit training, or any other bodyweight workouts, weighted vests are the most effective and affordable option for getting the best possible results out of your workout.

​If you love doing cardio ( running, walking, etc.) and body weight workouts (like me), you will definitely be going to ​be pleasantly surprised at how easy, convenient, and effective weighted vests are at targeting the different muscle groups (depending on the workout, of course).

Weighted vests (and weights in general) will automatically make your core, legs, glutes, back, and chest muscles work extra hard in shorter time, which makes you work harder in less time and ultimately you are going to reach your fitness goals much quicker.

This is one of the main reasons why pro athletes use weighted vests due to their proven effectiveness in helping you lose weight and strengthen your muscles more efficiently than not using weighted vests.

If you are looking for a simple and easy way to incorporate weights into your running or any other bodyweight workouts, then I strongly urge you to invest in a weighted vest.

In this best-weighted vests for running and CrossFit post, I will be reviewing the best-weighted vests, so you can get the best-weighted vest that addresses your individual needs.


Best weighted vests for running and CrossFit- The benefits

The benefits of using weighted vests are endless, and you can quickly reap these benefits by effortlessly incorporating them into any type of exercise like running, walking, CrossFit and so many other activities.

1- Versatile. Weighted vests can be used while doing any type of exercise. You can have them on while doing any exercise like:

  • Cardio exercises like jogging, speed walking, etc.
  • Body weight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, burpees and many more.
  • Plyometrics exercises like jumping squats.
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    Calisthenics exercises.
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    Any other exercise that doesn't involve weightlifting.

​As you can see that weighted vests can easily be incorporated in any workout to help you get the best out of your workouts.

2- Suitable for all fitness levels. The amazing thing about weighted vests is that they are always going to help you achieve and improve on your fitness goals no matter how fit and advanced you are. If you have never used a weighted vest before, then I strongly urge you to try them out ​to see for yourself what you are missing out on. You will be amazed by how easy and effective they are​ at getting the best out of you.

3- All Seasons. A high quality weighted vest is designed to be worn at any time of the year. Always look for a weighted vest that can be worn under your clothes, especially in winter. The reason is being that vests are designed to expose the sides of your upper body like your arms and your underarms so your upper body can breathe easily. Weighted vests are designed differently, and that's why you need to get a vest that fits your body.

4- Endurance. Weighted vests are proven to be very effective at improving your endurance.

5- Muscle and bone strength. Weightlifting has been scientifically proven to increase muscle mass and bone density. When you are exercising while wearing a weighted vest, your body muscles and bones will respond in the same way as if you were weightlifting. ​This is one of the main reasons why weighted vests are very popular because they let you weightlift without weightlifting.

6- Super cardio workout. If you are looking for a way to make it more challenging for your cardiovascular system to burn more calories and fat, then there's no doubt that training with a weighted vest is one of the best ways to immensely improve your cardiovascular system.

​7- Core strength. ​Your core will be engaged at all times when you are training with a weighted vest. The weighted vest will put so much weight and pressure on your upper body, which forces your body to automatically engage your core to keep your upper body in a straight and natural position.

​8- Any time and anywhere. If you ​don't work out as often as you would like, then a weighted vest can be a great option to have. Alternatively, you can ​put it on when you are walking or doing chores around the house. You will be surprised at how much you will be sweating without doing any specific workout.

​The features that you should be looking for in a weighted vest

There are a few things you need to look for when buying a weighted vest, and they are:

1- Weight capacity. Every weighted vest is different when it comes to weight capacity. Some will only take 20lbs and others can take as much as 120lbs, it's all depend on all the price, of course. The thing to remember is that you won't be able to use a weighted vest that holds 40lbs to hold 60lbs or more. The vast majority (if not all) are designed only to hold the specified weight plates that comes with the vest. As you know, the price goes up and down depending on the weight capacity.

2- Unisex. Some vests are better designed ​for the ladies and others ​are designed for men. This doesn't mean that they won't fit the opposite sex, it just means that they will fit men or women better.

3- Comfortable fit. This is very true when it comes to weighted vests. Some are very comfortable, and others are not as comfortable. The only way that you would find out which one is the best option for you is by reading other people's reviews or by trying them out yourself.

4- Full range of motion. This depends on the workouts that you will be doing. Some exercises will require you to move in multiple directions and others not as much. So, look for a vest that will accommodate your fitness needs.

5- Worn under clothes. Some are designed ​to be worn under baggy clothes, and they won't be noticeable, and others are only designed to be worn on top. With weighted vests, it is very easy to see and recognize which one will fit under a t-shirt and which one won't.  

6- Can you use in water/pools or not?. If you intend to use them for swimming or exercising/rehabilitating where the vest is completely submerged in water, then make sure that the manufacturer states clearly that the vest is suitable for this purpose. If the manufacturer doesn't indicate that, then contact them directly to find out. Please note that not all vests are designed to be used in water, and if the vest is not designed to be submerged in water, then the weight pockets will start to sag down after a while and the weights are not held in place properly.

7- Adjustable. High quality weighted vests can be adjusted to fit your size. Some vests come in one size fits all and others come in different sizes. You should get the one that fits your body best. The thing to remember is that some are labeled to be adjustable but they are not fully adjustable, and others are fully adjustable and can go as snug as you want them to.

8- Weights included or not?. Most weighted vests, if not all, come with weights but it's good idea that you double check before purchasing.

9- Designed for running and other exercises. This is a very tricky one. The truth is that not all weighted vests are designed for running, and that comes down to the quality of the vest. Very high-quality vests tend not to sag down after extended usage they manage to keep their shape, and the weights are secure in their individual places at all times. Poorly designed ones are the exact opposite of that, after a while, they start to lose their grip and they become pretty useless if you are going to use them for running and any other exercises that require quick movements.

10- Removable weights. Some weighted vests are designed so you can quickly remove the weights and others ​are not as smooth as you would have expected. Depending on the manufacturer, removing the weights can be a bit challenging and not a straightforward process.

Best weighted vests for running and CrossFit

1- RUNFast/Max Pro Weighted Vest

Runfast weighted vest is designed and suitable for running, crossfit, calisthenics and any type of workout that involves explosive movements. The vest straps on securely and the weight holders click in place to prevent the weights from moving around. When you strap it on, you instantly feel that everything is in place and very secure.

The RunFast vest comes in one size that fits most, which is surprisingly and for some odd reason works very well and fits comfortably. Just to let you know that this is not the case with all weighted vests. Some vests are horribly designed, even when you think you got the right size they still don't fit properly, which something you should ​carefully look into when buying a weighted vest.

This vest comes in 12lbs, 20lbs, 40lbs, 50lbs or 60lbs weight capacity and the weights are included in the price. When you are buying a 12lbs vest, you are going to get a vest that only fits 12lbs. In other words, you won't be able to fit 20lbs or more in a 12lbs vest, which means that if you are planning to add more weights in the near future, then I suggest that you buy the 60lbs vest ​where you will be able to increase or decrease the weight capacity depending on your personal preference.​

I just wanted to make this as clear as possible since there are people who think that they can buy the 12lbs vest and add more weights to it, which is not possible with this vest. ​Generally speaking, if the vest does hold more weights, it's usually stated on the product's packaging, otherwise, if it doesn't state that anywhere, then it most likely doesn't hold more weights.

As you might have guessed it already, the weights can be removed, and the weight holders are evenly distributed on the front and the back of the vest, which is very important for preventing back pain/injury. The weights come in sandbags (not plates), and every sandbag weighs around 2-3lbs.

​The downside is that this vest is bulky and you won't be able to wear it under any type of clothing without it's being noticeable.    

The only thing that I'm not sure about is that whether you can use this vest for swimming or ​not.

​Finally, what you are getting is one of the best weighted vests that tick all the boxes (except for the swimming part).​

2- Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO Unisex 10-Pound Adjustable Weighted Vest

​If you are looking for a vest that can be worn under almost any type of clothing, then the award-winning Hyperwear vest is the one that you have been looking for. The unique and ​smart low-profile design makes it one of the best (if not the best) weighted vest on the market.

You will be pleasantly surprised at how comfortable and unnoticeable it is when it's worn underneath your clothes. This vest can literately be worn for any type of activity. Whether you are working out or going to work, or anywhere else, the hyperwear vest is designed to be worn ​at any time and anywhere.

​It comes in 4 different sizes (small, medium, large and X-large) to choose from and it's fully adjustable. It also designed to fit the ladies as well as men, which is usually a hit or a miss when it comes to weighted vests. Not with the hyperwear vest, The material and the design ​makes it fit very easily and comfortably.

​The vest comes with 10lbs (every weight weighs  2.25 ounce) of steel weights, and it's designed to hold more weights up to the maximum weight capacity, which varies depending on the vest size that you are going to choose. The different sizes with maximum weight capacity are as follows:

1- Size small holds a maximum weight capacity of 20lbs.

2- Medium holds a maximum weight capacity of 23lbs.

3- Large holds a maximum weight capacity of 33lbs.

4- X-Large holds a maximum weight capacity of 42lbs.

​The main reason why the maximum weight capacity is relatively low for each size, so it doesn't restrict your full range of motion during working out or any other activities. This vest is by far the best weighted vest if you are looking for a vest that lets you do any type of exercise without any restrictions. Regarding the size, my recommendation is to go one bigger than what's recommended for your weight and height since the hyperwear vest is highly adjustable and usually fits just fine.

It's important to remember that if you are planning to run for long periods of time with a weighted vest that holds heavy weights  (40lbs-80lbs), then the vest is likely going to get looser and the vest will start to rub against your skin. That's why lighter vests are the best for running and exercises that involve explosive movements.

The steel plate weights can easily be removed using a device that comes with the vest. This is the other thing that you should watch out for when purchasing a weighted vest. Sometimes it's a bit awkward to take the weights in and out of the weight holders because they tend to be so tight and narrow.

​Ultimately, what you are getting is a vest that covers the whole nine yards and more. I can confidently say that the hyperwear vest is designed to be the best at everything from running to whatever exercises you are planning to do with it.

3- ZFOsports Weighted Vest

ZFOsports have a reputation of making one of the best weighted Vests around. They make a premium quality weighted vests that can hold serious weight, which is not a simple thing to do if you are looking for a vest that is high quality and provides maximum ​ weight capacity. ZFOsports vest holds between 40lbs- 80lbs in weight, which is a serious weight for a vest to hold and not all weighted vest manufacturers are good at getting the perfect balance between quality and ​weight capacity.

ZFOsports vest comes in one size that fits all, and it can be adjusted easily to accommodate your size. The thing that impressed me the most about this vest is that it will fit you whether you are 200lbs or 365lbs person. This vest is fully adjustable and it should fit comfortably.

 In terms of weight capacity, the vest offers 40lbs, 60lbs and 80lbs weight capacity vests that are sold separately, and most importantly, you won't be able to add more weights than the mentioned weight capacity that's specified for every vest. If you are getting a 40lbs vest, then the 40lbs weight is the maximum weight that you are allowed to add.

The weights come in small sacks that weigh approx.  1lb each and they are made from metal ore material. The weights can be removed to decrease/increase the weight of the vest depending on your fitness goals and the type of workout/activity that you are planning to do.

​In short, what you are getting is a vest that can hold heavy weights without ever worrying about it getting loose after a long hike, run, or strenuous exercise. If this is what you have in mind, then this vest is the best option for you.

4- CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest 

CAP weighted vest is a heavy duty vest that is designed to hold up to 150lbs in weight. CAP weighted vest will give you the flexibility to ​choose between 40lbs, 50lbs,60lbs, 70lbs, 80lbs, 100lbs, 120lbs, or a 150lbs weight capacity vest.

As you can see that this vest is made for people who are looking for a more challenging workout since the weight capacity starts at 40lbs and goes up to 150lbs. This vest comes in one universal size that fits most, and it's fully adjustable. Just remember that as you go up in weight capacity, the vest will be slightly longer. In other words, the 80lbs vest is going to be longer than the  40lbs one. The reason why it's designed this way is to prevent the vest from becoming very bulky, which will affect your workout performance.

​If you are planning to run with this vest, you should consider distributing the weight to front and back of the vest to prevent any stress on your lower back. At the end of the day, you need to experiment with different weight distribution variations till you find the best solution that fits you the best.

The weights come in, and they are included with the vest. I have to say that I find the weights a bit awkward and annoying when trying to fit them into the pockets, so it takes a little while till you get used to that.

Other than that, you are getting one of the top-rated weighted vests on the market that's very easy to strap on and off, and are designed to perform very well for numerous types of exercises.

Final thought

​It all depends on the type of workout/activity that you will be doing when it comes down to deciding on what type of weighted vest you should get.

If you want a weighted vest that fits under your clothes, then look for a vest that has small metal plates since ​plate weights are designed to keep the vest as flat as possible. The only downside is that they tend to hold fewer weights than vests that come with sandbag weights.

Slim and less bulky vests are the best for running and exercises that require fast and explosive movement. Bulkier vests are good for people who want to add more muscle mass during CrossFit and cross-training exercises because they take more weights and tend to be heavier than slimmer vests.

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Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical science and extensive experience working in the health and dietary supplement industries

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