In today’s article, you will find my 12 best men and women’s weighted vests for CrossFit and running. In this review, you will not only discover top vests for men but also find women’s weighted vests specifically designed to comfortably fit a woman’s figure.
We have found weight training vests that are ideal for CrossFit training, weighted vests for running, and just about any exercise, you can think of.
If your goal is to get stronger or faster than the competition or even reach new personal heights, then using a weighted vest is one of the fastest and most effective ways to do just that.
Best Weighted Vests For CrossFit Review and Buyer’s Guide
Weight vests are ideal for any sport or exercise routine to help increase your strength, endurance, speed, and cardiovascular health. And if you’re looking for a way to quickly lose some extra pounds, the training vest is very effective at doing that as well.
Weighted vests help you gain strength and lose weight quickly and effectively during most any activity – from sports training to aerobics, weight training, tactical training, military training, or just plain walking.
The weight vest is probably more popular with runners and CrossFit enthusiasts than any other sport. You can use the weight vest to strongly improve your skills, speed, and strength levels in many different types of sports and fitness activities.
- Best Weighted Vests For CrossFit Review and Buyer’s Guide
- Quickly Reach New Heights with a Weighted Vest
- Different Types of Weighted Vests for CrossFit
- Why Use Adjustable Weighted Vests?
- 12 Best Men & Women’s Weighted Vests for CrossFit and Running
- Best Women’s Weighted Vests for CrossFit
- Best Weighted Vests for Men
- Best Men’s & Women’s Weighted Vests for Running
- What to Look for in a Weighted Training Vest
- Which is the Best Weight Vest for Me?
- Are Weight Training Vests Safe?
- Closing Remarks
Quickly Reach New Heights with a Weighted Vest
Weight vests may be perfect for CrossFit training and runners, but they are also ideal for numerous other bodyweight exercises such as rope climbing, jumping jacks, air squats and lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, many types of cardio and aerobic exercises, and even something as easy as walking to name a few.
The weighted vest makes the perfect hands-free device to help you quickly reach new heights. Just strap it on and forget about it!
Do you want to increase your pull-ups from 10 to 15 or even 20 reps? Strap on a vest with 10 to 20 pounds and before you know it, you’ll be doing 20 pull-ups, without the vest, with ease.
Would you like to increase your running speed around the track or basketball court? Strap on your vest for a couple of weeks of training and watch your speed and endurance improve by leaps and bounds.
This article is here to help you find the best weighted vest for CrossFit, running, and any other sport or exercise activity you need.
In addition to our review on the top 12 best weighted vests, you will also learn about the different types of weight vests, whether weight vests are safe, adjustable vs fixed weight vests, what to look for, and which vest is best for your specific needs.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Different Types of Weighted Vests for CrossFit
Knowing what physical activity you will be using your weighted vest for will play a big role in making your decision for choosing the right vest for your needs. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of vests available.
#1 Adjustable Weights
The adjustable weighted vests have multiple pockets or sleeves that are filled with either sandbags or solid weight plates. The more pockets and weights, the more precisely you can adjust and tailor the weights to various exercises and intensity levels.
#2 Fixed Weights
Most weight vests with fixed weights are designed for running or cardio related exercises. You will find that many of the fixed-weight vests are under 20lbs. In this weighted vest review, you will find most of these type vests under the “Weighted Vests for Running” section below. These vests come in 8lbs, 12lbs, and 20lbs weights.
#3 Gender Specific
Even though all vests can be worn by all genders, you still have the option to specifically choose women’s weight vests, unisex vests, and men’s vests. The women’s weighted training vests and some of the unisex vests contour better to the female figure making them more comfortable to wear during workouts.
#4 Long and Short Weighted Vests
Both long and short weight vests serve their purpose, but if you need more freedom of movement and flexibility in the core section for your specific exercises, then definitely look into getting a short vest. Long vests are great for heavy weight exercises since they have more pocket space to support additional weight around the lower section of the vest. The only downside to this is that it may offer less mobility depending on your specific workout activities.
Why Use Adjustable Weighted Vests?
When shopping for a weighted vest for CrossFit, running, or other sports activity, it is best to find a vest with removable weight.
Adjustable weight vests give you the option of changing the weight resistance needed for many different types of exercises.
Being able to adjust the amount of resistance by adding or subtracting weight from a weighted vest will not only benefit you in the long run as you progress and need more resistance but also help you tailor the weight for many different types of exercises.
Some exercises will require more weight than others, so having an adjustable weight vest gives you the convenience of changing the weight to meet the resistance level you require for that specific exercise.
Furthermore, as you get stronger, you may want the option to add more weight to keep challenging yourself and keep reaching new heights.
12 Best Men & Women’s Weighted Vests for CrossFit and Running
Much time and effort have gone into finding some of the best weighted vests we could find for CrossFit, running, and various other sports training and physical activities.
Even though most of the vests above could also be used by women, the following are probably the best women’s weight training vests as they are specifically designed to fit the female physique more accurately comfortably.
With that said, let’s take a look at our top 4 women’s weight vests.
Our Best Women’s Weighted Vest For CrossFit
The MIR women’s vest offers a design made to specifically fit women comfortably around the shoulders and the chest (even for larger chested women).
This vest is easy to put on and can be adjusted with a Velcro strap around the waist. Additionally, lightly padded adjustable shoulder straps make for a snug and comfortable fit.
This vest is made of strong 1200 D-Nylon. Thus, making it very durable and strong enough to easily support up to 50lbs of weight without any worries.
The MIR women’s weighted vest for Crossfit comes in a 10lb, 20lb, 30lb, 40lb, and 50lb options. Weights come in solid bars and various weight increments that fit into vest pockets evenly distributed on the front and back for better balance. This gives you the ability to adjust the amount of weight necessary for specific workout routines.
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If you like to train hard and heavy then this vest comes with plenty of weights to push you to the max. This vest offers a perfect free range of motion with its specifically tailored fit for the female body.
Size: Medium Length ■ Weight Range: 10lbs – 50lbs. – solid bars ■ Weight Increments: 3lbs ■ Women ■ Suggested Activity: CrossFit, Running, Resistance Training, Weight Training
#2 ZFOsports Women’s Adjustable 30lbs Vest
The ZFOsports vest is specifically designed for female users.
The Velcro band around the waist offers a tight fit even for small waist sizes.
This adjustable 30lb weighted vest comes with solid bars distributed on the front and back of the vest.
For convenience, ZFOSports has added a water bottle holder for containers 16oz or less, and an extra pocket to store a smartphone, music player device, or other personal belongings.
A sturdy 30lb vest for a great price, but probably better suited for taller women.
The price is right for this 30lb weight vest. It is, however, important to note if you are under 5.5” this vest may be too long. Some customers complain about the vest extending below the hip bend and causing discomfort when bending and rubbing on the legs when walking.
Size: Long Length (one size fits most) ■ Weight Range: Adjustable 30lbs. – solid bars ■ Weight Increments: 3lbs ■ Women ■ Suggested Activity: Resistance Training, Weight Training
#3 CAP Barbell Weight Vest for Women Adjustable 30lbs (Designed for Women)
The CAP Barbell vest for women is specifically designed for women and is easily adjustable for a secure and comfortable fit.
Included are 10 solid metal bars in 3lb weight increments that can be easily removed or added to adjust to the right amount of weight you need for your workout.
There are 4 pockets located in the front and six pockets located in the back of the vest to store weights.
Size: Medium Length (one size fits most) ■ Weight Range: Adjustable 30lbs. – Solid Metal ■ Weight Increments: 10 x 3lbs ■ Women ■ Suggested Activity: CrossFit, Resistance Training, Weight Training, Walking
#4 Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro Unisex Adjustable 10lbs
The Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro is the perfect vest for high-intensity workouts and high impact and interval training such as running, walking, hiking, CrossFit, collegiate or sports training.
Both men and women can wear this vest. But because of its unique design, you can adjust it to fit and conform to almost any body type.
This weighted vest literally hugs your body with no shifting while moving, offers a breathable fabric, and a super-thin profile for a full range of motion. You could easily wear a shirt or jacket over this vest if needed.
The Hyperwear Hyper Vest Pro is made of cool wicking stretchable, odor-resistant fabric with open sides for better ventilation and has side lacing for a highly-adjustable and customized fit.
Highly-adjustable, customized fit. You only need to adjust this vest to fit your body type once. Then simply use the zipper!
Selected sizes come in small, medium, large, X-large, and XX-Large.
The Hyper Vest comes pre-loaded with 10lbs of steel weight bars in increments of 2.25 ounces each. Each pocket can hold up to 2 bars.
Wear under a jacket or uniform for a number of sports or tactical training purposes such as firefighter, police, or military training.
You can add more weight to the already 10lbs that comes with this vest if needed. The vest has additional empty slots to add more weights, and each pocket can hold up to 2 metal bars each.
The only drawback to this vest is the price, but it appears to be worth the extra cost.
Size: Long Fit (Small to XX-Large) ■ Weight Range: Adjustable 10lbs. (may add more) – Steel Bars ■ Weight Increments: 2.25oz each ■ Unisex ■ Suggested Activity: Gravity Training, Walking, Running, Track, Tactical
The following list of workout vests was chosen for men due to the higher weight capacity and larger sizes available for training. However, do understand that women can use any of these vests just as same. These vests are merely a suggestion for men, but can also be used by women just the same.
The MIR Short training vest has it all. If you’re looking for a heavy duty weight vest with a slim design that offers great flexibility yet provides plenty of weight for medium to heavy workouts, then the MIR Short Style Weight Vest is a perfect choice.
This vest is not only super compact but the design also fits high on the body, freeing up the core area for greater mobility and freedom of movement. The material is very durable with double padding throughout, only 11 inches long with a narrow shoulder design.
The MIR is a highly adjustable vest that offers cross straps and Velcro belt to easily adjust the shoulders and waste to snuggly fit most body types.
…This short vest design is very compact for increased mobility and flexibility. Perfect for medium to heavy weight workouts that require a free core such as for CrossFit and other heavy-duty training routines or sports training activities.
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This easily adjustable weight design comes in 15lb, 20lb, 25lb, 30lb, 35lb, 40lb, 45lb, 50lb, and up to 95lbs. You can adjust weights in various increments to easily change the intensity level of any workout as needed.
You can store weights evenly on the front and back of the vest for added balance.
With a very compact design, snug fit, and highly adjustable 15 to 90-pound weights, we leave you with nothing less than the perfect weight vest for CrossFit, running, weight training, athletes, Firefighters, Law Enforcement, military training and more, to quickly increase muscle strength and raise performance levels.
Size: short 11 inches Long (one size fits most) ■ Weight Range: 15 to 90lb Weight Plates ■ Weight Increments: various ■ Suggested Male ■ Suggested Activity: CrossFit, Sports, Resistance Training
#6 RUNFast/Max Weight Vest 12 – 140lbs – (Perfect for Larger Individuals)
The RUNFast vest comes in a wide variety of maximum weight classes from the 12lb weighted vest for runners all the way up to 140lb vests for heavy-duty workouts.
There is one very important factor to be aware of when considering a RUNFast weighted vest. When choosing a weight class, the amount of weight you choose for the weight vests under 100lbs will also be the maximum amount of weight for that particular model.
For example, should you choose a 40lb weight vest, you can remove weights to make it lighter, but will not have the option to add weights over 40lbs if you so choose at a later time. So make sure to always choose a weight that will support your progress in the future.
If you are looking for a weighted vest for running then the 12lb maximum weight vest is a perfect choice.
Again, the 20lb, 40lb, 50lb, 60lb, and 80lb vest’s maximum weight is the vest weight you purchase. These vests have plastic bags filled with iron ore (a sand-like substance) and come in 3lb to 5lb increments.
The 100lb, 120lb, and 140lb weight vests all have a maximum weight capacity of 140lbs. The 100lbs and over vests come with removable solid 3lb increment iron weights.
…This vest does cover the torso area, but the RUNFast vests are also a great choice for those larger individuals who may require a larger fitting vest. It is said by customers to fit sizes up to 3XL.
If you are training with extra heavy weights, additional shoulder padding can be purchased separately.
Size: Long 20 inches; Fits up to 3XL ■ Weight Range: Fixed 12lbs – 140lbs – solid iron and iron ore ■ Weight Increments: 3lbs to 5lbs depending on model ■ Men & Women ■ Suggested Activity: Running, CrossFit, Resistance Training, Weight Training
#7 ZFOsports Weighted Training Vest Adjustable 40lbs/60lbs/80lbs
The ZFOsports weight vest is a one-size-fits-most that is torso and shoulder adjustable to ensure a snug fit. But because the vest is longer and drops over the waste and is somewhat bulkier and blocky in design, I would not necessarily recommend this model for activities requiring a lot of quick upper body movements or torso action.
Nonetheless, when it comes to durability and adjustability, this vest is perfect for strength and endurance training of many types.
Furthermore, the ZFOsports vest includes an additional pocket to hold a phone or music device and a bottle holder to fit a 16oz or smaller drink bottle.
The ZFOsports Weight Vest comes in 40lb, 60lb, and 80lb models. The model you choose is the maximum weight you can use for that model. Each vest is designed specifically for each weight class.
Many customers are pleased with the quality and durability of this weighted vest. So if you’re looking for a tough vest that will take a pounding day after day, this may be the right vest for you.
All ZFOsports models come with weights. These weights are bags filled with iron ore (a mixture of sand and bits of iron).
The 40lb vest comes with 16 pouches and 16 bags filled with iron ore, each weighing 2.5lbs.
The 60lb weighted vest has 15 pockets and 4lb bags for each pocket.
The 80lb model comes with 5lb iron ore filled bags.
Size: Long vest ■ Weight Range: 40lbs, 60lbs, 80lbs. – Iron ore filled bags ■ Weight Increments: 2.5lbs, 4lbs, 5lbs ■ Unisex ■ Suggested Activity: Resistance Training, Weight Training, Endurance
#8 CAP Barbell Weighted Vest Adjustable 40-150lbs
The CAP Barbell adjustable weighted vest is designed for brute force, hardcore, heavy duty, weight training. Meant for serious weight training, this vest is strong enough to hold up to 150 pounds of weight and take a serious beating. The ideal vest for Firefighters, cops, and military-style training where strength is a priority, or dealing with heavy equipment is a daily job.
The CAP Barbell vest is a full torso design with large durable straps and open sides for greater ventilation. It is generally much longer than most other weighted training vests. This is to support the added weight. This vest may even extend below the hip line on the heavier vests.
This vest starts at 40lbs and is also available in 50lb, 60lb, 70lb, 80lb, 100lb, 120lb, and 150lb models. The CAP Barbell vest is adjustable with solid metal plates of 2.5lb to 3lb increments (may vary by weighted belt size).
Size: Long ■ Weight Range: 50lbs – 150lbs ■ Weight Increments: 2.5lbs-3lbs on average ■ Men ■ Suggested Activity: Heavy Resistance Training, Weight Training
Weighted vests for running are typically lighter and come with fixed weights which cannot be adjusted.
As you will see we have also found a vest very well suited for running that is an adjustable weighted vest and has a maximum weight of up to 30lbs. This is definitely a vest to consider if you need more resistance or want to gradually work your way up in weight as you get stronger and faster.
The following vests are some great choices for runners and will suit both men and women.
#9 JBM Weighted Vest for Running (Unisex) Fixed 12lbs
The JBM vest is a great vest for both men and women alike. This 12lb weight vest is ideal for various sports training yet the perfect weight for most runners.
The fixed 12lb vest with its neoprene fabric sand filling makes it extra soft and comfortable to wear during training and running sessions.
This one size fits most weighted vest comes with an adjustable buckle strap to adjust to most body types.
Running or walking at night is made safer with the added reflective tape on both the front and back of the vest. And if you are looking for a place to store your personal belongings such as keys, phone, or music player, there is also a mesh pocket located on the back of the vest.
This vest is perfect for walking, running, yoga, kickboxing, stair climbing, treadmill, and many other exercises and sports activities.
Size: Short one size fits most ■ Weight Range: Fixed 12lbs. – Sand Filled ■ Unisex
#10 Empower Women’s Weighted Vest for Running – Fixed 8lbs
The Empower is another great running vest specifically designed for women. The contoured x-shaped silhouette is designed to fit a women’s figure for maximum comfort.
This vest comes with adjustable side straps to fit around waist sizes ranging from 24” to 48”.
The Empower is a fixed 8lb vest with soft sand pockets sewn into the vest.
The X-shaped silhouette is specifically designed to fit a woman’s figure!
Also included with the Empower vest are 2 free gifts:
- Workout Guides and Videos: Top 30 Weighted Vest Exercises such as jumping jacks, lunges, planks, squats and more.
- Empower Recipe Book (24 of our top fast, easy and tasty favorites)
The perfect weighted belt for running and many other cardio exercises.
Size: one size fits most (x-shape) ■ Weight Range: Fixed 8lbs. – Sand Filled ■ Women ■ Suggested Activity: Resistance Training, Gravity Training, Running, Track
The Tone vest is another 12lb vest similar to the JBM Vest but more suitable for women. This soft neoprene vest is filled with a fixed 12lbs of soft sand weight distributed over the front and back of the vest and comes with an adjustable front belt for a snug fit.
If you need to jog at night, there are reflective strips on the front and back so you can be better seen by approaching vehicles.
…Customers appear very satisfied with this product and especially its open design in front. The perfect weighted vest for women. And very affordable!
This vest comes with an extra storage case for phones (but somewhat small for most phones) or music players that is Velcro attached and that you can easily remove if not needed.
Size: short open design (one size fits most) ■ Weight Range: Fixed 12 lbs. – Sand Filled ■ Women ■ Suggested Activity: Resistance Training, Gravity Training, Running, Track
For those of you looking for something more heavy-duty with a greater weight range, the V-Force vest is definitely a vest to consider.
It is difficult finding a vest suitable for running that is over the 8lb to 12lb range. With the V-Force, you can adjust your weight from around 10lbs and work your way up to 40lbs as you progress and get stronger.
The V-Force Vest is made with super-strong double-layer 1000-D Cordura materials to last through the most rigorous training routines.
This 30lb adjustable weighted vest fits snuggly and is made to take a beating on the court or running trail.
This vest can be adjusted and fitted very tightly and with minimal bounce is the perfect weight vest to use for court training such as basketball, or for running trails and CrossFit training.
Size: Short (one size fits most) ■ Weight Range: 10-lbs – 30lbs. Adjustable – Solid Cast Iron ■ Weight Increments: 2.5lbs ■ Men ■ Suggested Activity: Running, Sports, Resistance Training, Gravity Training
What to Look for in a Weighted Training Vest
If you are serious about investing in a weighted vest, then you’ll want to make the right decision when making your first purchase and save yourself some money and the headache of returning your vest or having to buy a second vest because you’ve outgrown yours too quickly.
Here are some helpful tips to consider when choosing the right weight vest for you.
Even Weight Distribution (back and front)
Even weight distribution is important especially for CrossFit vests as it may affect balance when performing complex exercises. Being able to adjust weights evenly on both the front and back sides of your vest will give you the balance you need to perform safely and prevent uneven pressure resulting in discomfort on the shoulders.
Long vs Short Weight Training Vests?
Longer weight vests have more storage capacity than most short vests, and thus can hold more weight. If you are into heavy weights for strength training, then these are ideal vests for that purpose. However if your workout routine requires more core movements, then you will be better served with a short weighted vest that will free up your core for better flexibility. Short vests are great for sit-ups, jumping, and CrossFit training.
Adjustability – Snug Fit
A snug fit around your waistline or upper chest and shoulder area is a must for any exercise routine. A good weight vest will have adequate straps and adjustments to make sure it fits snuggly around your upper body without much bouncing or movement.
Maximum Weight Capacity
Depending on the intensity of your workouts and what type of exercises you are performing, the amount of weight you need may vary greatly. If you are a runner, you may do just fine with a fixed weighted vest of 8 to 12lbs. But if you are more into sports, heavy weight training, or CrossFit, then you may need something with a wider range of weight adjustability.
Using a weighted vest for running that bounces and slides around can cause great discomfort on your shoulders and neck. If you are interested in a weight vest for running, then you may want something that is soft such as the sandbags or sand sewed into the vest. Otherwise, look for a vest that is well-cushioned, holds weights tightly in place and has enough straps and adjustments to keep everything in place.
Design (Men vs Women’s Weighted Vest)
There’s no question that a woman can wear and handle any vest in this review. However, if you are a woman looking for a vest to fit more comfortably and contours better to the female figure than just your ordinary vest, then you may want to look into our women’s weighted vests and unisex vests listed above.
Which is the Best Weight Vest for Me?
It is a good idea to decide what type of physical activity you will be performing before you pick any particular vest. Some vests are big and bulky and may not be well suited for such activities as basketball, running, or other quick-moving or high-speed activities. These vests are usually in the 8lbs to 20lbs range.
If however you are looking for a vest for high intensity and heavy-duty activities and requires heavier weights or a wide range of weights, then you may be better served with a vest that is bulkier yet has sufficient weight to challenge yourself. This would usually include CrossFit, bodybuilding, or other activities that require maximum strength. These vests usually range from 20lbs to over 100lbs.
You may also want to consider choosing a vest that best suites your gender. This review includes both unisex, men’s and women’s weighted vests. Typically, women could easily wear any of the vests in this review. But if you are looking for a vest specifically designed for the female anatomy that better conform to your body, when a weighted vest for women would be a better choice.
Are Weight Training Vests Safe?
Weighted training vests are absolutely safe you use them properly and as long as you do not have any pre-existing conditions such as back, neck, knee or elbow problems. In this case, you may want to consult with your physician or a physical therapist.
You can basically use the weighted training vest for just about any exercise you are currently performing. This will increase the resistance and intensity of your workout and result in stronger muscles and better endurance.
Regardless of how obvious and ridiculous this may sound, it is still important to mention that you should not use a weighted vest in any type of water activity unless the vest is intended to be used in water.
The safest way to use a weight vest is to begin small. Begin using lighter weights and slowly work your way up. If the exercise is still too easy, you can always add weights. This method will help reduce injuries to your joints, or even muscle or tendon tears.
Using a weighted vest for CrossFit, running, sports training and a wide variety of exercise routines is an easy way to take your performance levels to new heights quickly and effectively.
Vests are also great for tactical training, making them ideal for military members, firefighters, and law enforcement.
The weight training vest is the ideal fitness device to help you quickly and easily increase your strength, tone your muscles, or lose some extra weight. All this while wearing a vest and performing exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, and jumping to name a few.
Training with weight vests can also add some resistance to your cardio training when using a treadmill, stair climber, or just walking around the block.
You can use the training vest to add resistance to more exercises and training routines than any other device while keeping your hands and arms free.
I hope my review on the best weighted vests for women & men for both CrossFit and for runners has helped answer some questions you may have had, and also given you the necessary information needed to make your purchase decision easier.
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With over 30 years of experience in strength training and fitness, Mark LaRue is the founder of Fitness Mastered, a blog to help educate fitness enthusiasts of all fitness levels, ages, and gender. We write topics that range from weight training tips and exercise routines to home workout machine and fitness related product reviews, to name a few.