CrossFitters are a hardy breed. One evidence of this is that they are always looking at ways to make their workouts more challenging. But what do you do when you’ve exhausted your WODs (workout of the day) and still need to ramp up the intensity level. The answer is to don a weighted vest.
Wearing a weighted vest can make any workout more challenging, ramping up the calorie burn, boosting your endurance, and making you stronger. Weighted vests are particularly good for bodyweight exercises, which feature in the majority of CrossFit workouts. In this article, we go inside the weighted vest market to bring you the 8 best weighted vests for CrossFit.
A great weighted vest for CrossFit needs to be comfortable, adjustable, secure, sweat-wicking, and stylish. The best weighted vest for CrossFit, currently on the market, that meets all of those criteria, is the V-Force 40 LB Weighted Vest, which provides you with an awesome camo design, comes with a quick clip on fit, is extremely breathable, and provides you with a full complement of 2.5-pound removable steel iron bars.
The 8 best weighted Vests for CrossFit:
1. V-Force 40 LB Weight Vest
The V-Force 40 LB Weight Vest is one of the most popular weighted vests for CrossFit on the current market, and it is easy to see why. It is made from military-grade material, meaning that it is ultra tough and durable. It is available in an extreme looking cool camouflage design as well as a wide range of other colors. The vest features a quick clip-on design making it quick and easy to put on and off.
The minimalist design features open sides to keep it as airy, breathable, and light as possible. Each of the removable solid iron bars provides you with 2.5-pound increments. The weights sit very solidly in their pockets and can be instantly added or removed. The total weight of the vest is 40 pounds. This highly functional vest is sweat-resistant and easy to clean. The dimensions of the V-Force 40 LB vest are 12 x 11 x 11 inches and will fit up to a 50-inch chest.
2. CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest
The CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest is made from polyester and nylon. It is fitted with iron ore fine 2.5-pound weights that can be easily removed for customized resistance. An adjustable waist belt and padded shoulders provide a custom fit and enhanced user comfort. Anchor hooks and reflective stripes allow you to safely exercise in the dark. The anchor hooks are designed for parachute run type training.
CAP provides a complete range of weight ranges from 40 to 150 pounds. This is a one size fits all design that is fully adjustable. The heavier weighted vests appear to be weighted with sand rather than iron ore. This vest is very popular among runners and CrossFitters as attested to by its verified user online reviews. It is available in a solid black finish and covers the entire torso.
3. MIR Weighted Vest
The MIR Weighted Vest is another polyester and nylon vest that provides you with full torso coverage. It is available with or without a centrally located full-length zipper for easy on/off fitting. The vest can be purchased in the following weight categories:
- 20 lbs
- 30 lbs
- 40 lbs
- 50 lbs
- 60 lbs
The 60-pound option is not available in the zipper option. This vest has been made with a short style snug fit, ensuring that it provides a secure fit without any sagging. It is fully adjustable and provides you with instructions on how to get the ideal fit. The manufacturers of this product claim that it will last a lifetime and stand behind their product with a lifetime warranty – you can’t get any better than that!
There are weight pockets on both the back and front of this vest to ensure an even weight distribution. Weights are provided in 2.5-pound increments and fit securely into their pockets so you never have to worry about them falling out. The weights are made of solid iron so they will last a lifetime.
4. Cross101 Adjustable Camouflage Weighted Vest
The Cross101 Adjustable Camouflage Weighted Vest is the second camouflage-style vest on our list. It is a compact vest that is weighted to 40 pounds. This particular vest is specially made for CrossFitters. It has a one-piece design and is secured via velcro. A water bottle holder on the front of the vest is a nice touch.
One thing that’s not so good about this vest is that it is lacking in padding, especially around the shoulders. That can lead to some soreness if you are working out for an extended period of time. Online reviewers also report that this vest is not too comfortable to run with. Four weight pockets on both the front and back ensure that you get an even weight distribution. This makes the Cross 101 vest ideal for exercises like push-ups. Compared to some other vests, however, the vest can seem quite bulky.
5. RUNMax Weighted Vest
The RUNMax Weighted Vest has quite a similar design to the Cross 101 vest, with a one-piece design and large velcro flap to securely enclose it. It is available in a range of weight options, with the 40-pound vest being the most popular and probably the best for most CrossFit applications. This is a one size fits all vest.
The RunFast Weighted Vest is made from a mixture of polyester and nylon to provide a durable and comfortable fit. It features a phone pocket and water bottle holder. The durability of this vest is covered with a lifetime warranty. Optional shoulder pads are available to enhance user comfort. There are four pockets on both the back and front to provide an even weight distribution. The weights are filled with sand and sit very securely in their pockets so you know they won’t fall out during your workout session.
6. Aduro Sports Weighted Vest
The Aduro Sports Weighted Vest is a minimalist designed vest that is very airy and breathable. It does not have the room to provide you with the amount of weight that you can pack onto some of the other vests on this list, with the maximum weight being 20 pounds. The counter to that is that this is a highly mobile vest that will not slip and slide while you are training. The adjustable front belt and soft neoprene material make this vest very comfortable to wear and form-fitting. It features mesh pockets on the back of the vest allowing you to add extra weights if you wish.
The weights that are used in the Aduro Sports Weighted Vest are made from iron rather than river sand. That means that you will never have to contend with the unpleasant odor that you get with sand weights. A front mesh pocket allows you to store your phone, keys, or water bottle. Aduro Sports provide you with a lifetime warranty on this product.
7. ZFO Sports Weighted Vest
The ZFO Sports Weighted Vest is constructed from a mixture of polyester, neoprene, and mesh. It is secured by way of a large velcro strap that is fully adjustable to allow you to get a precise fit. This vest also features a water bottle holder and a pocket to take your phone, keys, etc. This vest is available in 30, 40, 60, and 80-pound options, with weight increments of 2.5 pounds. The weights are a blend of sand and tiny iron particles.
The weight pockets on the ZFO Sports Weighted Vest are evenly distributed on the back and front of the garment to allow for a well-balanced distribution. They are securely housed in their pockets and can be quickly removed or added. It should be noted that the differently weighted vests are designed slightly differently. That means that you cannot buy a 40-pound vest and then buy extra weights to take it up to 60 or 80 pounds.
8. Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO Unisex Adjustable Weighted Vest
The Hyperwear Hyper Vest PRO Unisex 10-Pound Adjustable Weighted Vest is a minimalist vest that is made from Tyvek Lycra Nylon to provide a great fit against your skin. This professional-grade weighted vest is made from a patented design and fabric. It features a full-length zip down the middle to ensure easy on and off fit. Your purchase comes with 10 pounds of fitted weights with the capacity to take that weight up to 32 pounds.
The thin, minimalistic design of the Hyperwear Hyper Vest allows for maximum mobility. The stretch fabric material is moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, cool, and comfortable. The open sides provide maximum ventilation. This is a unisex designed vest that is equally suitable for male and female CrossFitters.
What to look for when buying a Weighted vest for CrossFit
Weighted vests look a bit like bulletproof vests. They are usually in the form of a flak jacket and feature removable weight pouches that are soft filled with sand. The idea is to add extra resistance to your body primarily when you are doing bodyweight resistance exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups. However, when you do any type of exercise with the added resistance of a bodyweight vest you will end up burning more calories, which will assist with your calorie burn and resultant fat loss.
When looking for a weighted vest for CrossFit, consider the type of material that the vest is made from. You need it to be as heavy-duty and durable as possible without being too heavy or uncomfortable on your body. Look for industrial-strength or even military-grade materials that are double or even triple stitched around the seams. The material should be treated to be sweat-wicking and odor-free. It should also be rip-resistant.
Look for a vest that is adjustable with straps that can be taken in or let out as you lose weight or gain muscle. Most vests are designed either for men or for women so be sure to get one that is gender-specific also.
When it comes to the fit of the vest, you want it to be comfortable wearing. That means that it shouldn’t drag on your neck or shoulders and feel constricting around your waist while you are wearing it. It should also allow you to breathe naturally when you are working out, especially when you’re running or doing anything else that will get you puffing like a train.
The vest should have removable weights that allow you to customize the resistance for each exercise that you are doing. Ideally, the weights should come in one pound increments, and go up to a total of 30 or 40 pounds. Make sure that the pouches where the weights raise are extremely secure. The last thing you want is for weights to fall out halfway through your WOD!
If you are primarily interested in wearing a weighted vest for increased cardio efficiency and weight loss through enhanced calorie burn we recommend a vest that can go up to 20 pounds in weight. Runners and experienced CrossFitter should choose a weighted vest between 20 and 45 pounds total weight depending on their level of fitness and experience.
Vests that are weighted at more than 50 pounds are designed primarily for bodyweight exercises such as push ups and pull ups. We do not recommend doing plyometric or cardio exercises when wearing a vest weighted at more than 50 pounds as it may negatively affect your joints.
Your Usage Case Scenario
Think about how you will most often use the weighted vest and choose a vest that is appropriate to that need. For example, if you will be doing a lot of running while wearing the vest, it will pay to invest in one that features reflective strips and/or that allows you to plug in earphones. If you will be hydrating while you’re exercising, look for a vest that allows you to hold a water bottle.
When you start using a weighted vest, take your time to get used to it. Start out wearing it for just one workout per week and then slowly build up as your body gets used to the extra resistance that it provides.
Benefits of Using a Weighted Vest
A weighted vest has many training benefits. It will help you to lose weight due to the very fact that you are carrying around more weight. In fact, you can lose weight with a weighted vest by simply wearing it around the house, yet alone exercising. Of course, vests are designed to be worn when working out and you can burn as much as 10 percent more calories when training with a vest on.
A weighted vest also makes it much easier to add weight on such exercise as push ups and pull ups. When you can do 50 push ups and 20 pullups in a row, it is time to add extra resistance. If you’ve ever tried to do push ups with a weight on your back then you will appreciate how much more convenient it will be to wear a weighted vest. The same goes with pull ups if you have ever tried to do them with a weighted dumbbell between your feet.
Weighted vests also allow you to add resistance to exercises that it would otherwise be impractical to do so with. This includes running. And while we are on the subject of running, a number of studies have found that running with a weighted vest on significantly improves running endurance. In one study that compared a dozen athletes who ran with vests with a dozen who did not, it was seen that the vest group had a 25 percent greater increase in sprinting endurance and a 3 percent greater increase in stair running ability.
The same study found that wearing a weighted vest was able to increase peak running speed by up to 3 percent. Other research has shown that wearing a weighted vest can help to improve bone density. That is why medical professionals have people who are prone to bone loss wear weighted vests.
A weighted vest allows you to take your workout to the next level. It is a great exercise aid for CrossFitters who want to keep getting fitter and stronger. The best weighted vest for CrossFit, currently on the market is the V-Force Weighted Vest, which provides you with a great camouflage design, 2.5 pound incremental adjustable weights and a total weight of 40 pounds.
The second best weighted vest for CrossFitters on the current market is the CAP Barbell Adjustable Weight Vest, which features an adjustable waist belt and padded shoulders to provide a custom fit and enhanced user comfort. Vests are available in weight ranges from 40 to 150 pounds.
Rounding out our top 3 best weighted vests for CrossFitters, currently on the market is the MIR Weighted Vest, which comes in weight ranges from 20 to 60 pounds and is available in zippered and non zippered options.
This article was last updated on December 13, 2022 .