The best weighted vest

Adam Reeder

Don’t push too hard when you first wear your weighted vest. Like any other exercise equipment, you risk injury if you don’t ease into it.

If you're starting a new fitness regimen, or even if you just want to boost your current routine to the next level, a high-quality weighted vest can help you get where you want to be. Weighted vests help build strength and endurance by forcing you to carry more weight on your person while working out.

If you think a weighted vest is for you, read the following buying guide and reviews for the best advice you can get. Don't miss our review of our favorite choice, the ZFOsports 40 lb. Adjustable Vest. It's popular with consumers for the effective workout it provides, and it even includes a pocket for your phone.

Considerations when choosing weighted vests


Weighted vests come as static weight models (all weight is included) and removable weight models. The advantage of a static weight vest is that you don't have to do anything to prepare for your workout. Just put it on and go. You also don't have to worry about losing loose weights.

A vest with removable weights is more versatile. If you choose, you can start with a low weight and gradually push yourself harder as your fitness improves.

Maximum weight

Weighted vests start around six pounds and can go all the way up to 80 pounds. While this is an extreme amount of weight, many people are comfortable with a maximum weight of around 40 pounds. Consider how hard you want to push yourself when choosing the maximum weight of a weighted vest.

Fitness goals

In a similar vein, keep your particular fitness goals in mind as you shop for a weighted vest. Some people use weighted vests for the purpose of bulking up their muscles. Others use them to tone their muscles while building aerobic endurance. The heavier a weighted vest is, the more likely it is to help you build muscle mass.


Think about how much you sweat during an average workout. How much additional heat you can take during your routine? Some weighted vests are designed to cover more of your torso, thereby making you more hot. Some materials (cotton) are more breathable than others. Comfort is important when choosing a weighted vest, and body temperature is a big part of that.


Adjustable straps

Velcro and other types of straps help you adjust your weighted vest and make for a more comfortable fit. If you want to have the opportunity to make your weighted vest fit as well as it can, look for one with well-designed straps to customize your fit.

Slim fit

Some weighted vests come in a slim-fit size. Many times, this is so you can wear the weighted vest underneath your clothes. It's a way to continue your workout even when doing your regular daily tasks. If you want the opportunity to do some incognito exercise, look for a weighted vest with a slim design.


Weighted vests can be uncomfortable, even if they fit well. That's why some come with extra-soft padding to prevent chafing and rubbing. Some people might need this feature, while others get a perfect fit without it. Take the design of the specific weighted vest you choose into consideration when deciding if you need extra padding.


Most weighted vests cost between $30 and $100. The lower end of the price spectrum will offer the most basic models, while vests in the $60 to $100 range will have more variety, such as removable weights, adjustable straps, and more durable seams.


Q. Is there a danger of straining myself by overloading my weight vest?

A. As with any physical activity, you need to use your best judgement when determining your limits. As a general rule, you should start with lighter, shorter workouts. As your body adjusts, you can gradually move to longer and more strenuous workouts.

Q. How should I cool down after an intense workout with a weighted vest?

A. A slow five- to ten-minute walk is probably the best means of cooling down after using a weighted vest. You don't want to stop immediately without a cool-down period.

Weighted vests we recommend

Best of the best: ZFOsports 40lb. Adjustable Vest

Our take: A great model, even for those with the most intense routines.

What we like: Contoured fit and unisex design.

What we dislike: Some users with smaller builds complain that the vest chafes.

Best bang for your buck: Maxi Climber Maxi Sport Weight Vest

Our take: Practical and affordable, even though it's not the heaviest vest.

What we like: Very comfortable, and a solid 12 pounds of weight.

What we dislike: Users with larger chests find it uncomfortable.

Choice 3: Tone Fitness 12lb. Vest

Our take: Decent vest for the price, though fit could be an issue.

What we like: Material is soft and comfortable, and the phone pocket is convenient.

What we dislike: Hit-or-miss opinions on the fit of the vest.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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