best weight vest for running

How To Choose The Best Weight Vest For Running

For you as a hard-core, dedicated runner, you want nothing but the best in yourself. In other words, you push yourself every day at every workout to become faster and stronger than before, as means of achieving, even breaking, your personal record time and so forth. You try everything to make yourself the best runner that you can be, from long, intense workouts to changes in your dietary regime (i.e. more protein, less junk food) to ensure that you maximize the benefits from doing so.

That said, from what you have done so far in training, perhaps you are also interested in getting a weight vest to help you out. As its name suggests, it is a dense material that you strap on to yourself, which slows you down when performing physical activities as means of increasing strength and speed to your body. You are interested in giving it a go, and you would like to find the best weight vest for running.

From that, we are here to help! Read on to learn more about weight vests, as well as receive suggestions to get you started. Soon enough, you will be well on your way to a fitter, stronger, and faster running experience. Without further ado, let’s get started!

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Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Weight Vest for Running

Now, before you go ahead and reach for the first weight vest you see on the shelves, take a step back and consider just what you are looking for in a weight vest for running. After all, not all of them are the same, just like how not all of us will have the same experience wearing one.

Granted, it will require some time to find the right one, but we guarantee you that it will be worth it in the end, when you go about using it regularly. Here are some features to consider before purchasing a weight vest for running:

1. Know the weight.

Comes as an obvious that your weight vest needs to be heavy, but it is also a matter of knowing just how heavy it should be for you. In other words, you would not want to get one that is too light or too dense for you, just because then you would not feel challenged or feel overwhelmed, respectively.

That said, a good rule of thumb is to find a weight vest that has a manageable starting weight, as well as having weights with which you can reposition, or otherwise add or take out which fit to your needs. Having that will help you get started knowing how much you can and cannot handle, and with that, you can get right down to exercising.

2. See if it fits well.

Although the weight vest is meant to give you a workout while wearing it, it should also not feel uncomfortable. In essence, you will need a weight vest that fits well, being neither too snug nor too loose. It really helps to try it on before you purchase it, just so you can have a realistic idea of what to expect should you decide to buy it, whether it will benefit you or not.

In the end, the fit should be just right, despite the heaviness, and you should be able to get on with working out efficiently and safely.

3. Check for adjustability.

Similar to the point made in #1, it is a good idea to get a weight vest which can be adjusted in terms of its weights. In other words, it is ideal to invest in one which has removable weights, or at least those which can be repositioned throughout the product itself. Again, it goes back to comfort and knowing just what you can and cannot handle, so that you are getting the best workout that you possibly can while running.

Besides weight adjustability, it is important that the vest itself is easy to adjust, in terms of strapping on and around your upper body. It should not take any more than a few seconds to slip into and hook up to the vest; if it does, then you might want to reconsider getting that specific one and look for another.

4. Look at the quality and material.

While being cheap is a great way to save money, it might not be the case when it comes to investing in exercise equipment, especially weights. That said, if you choose to purchase a weight vest for cheap, then chances are that it is made of poor quality, of which can wear down quickly and overall be a waste of your resources.

Therefore, it is better to fork over just a bit more money for something a bit sturdier and of higher-quality. One aspect would be its material found in vests and the weights themselves: for the former, look for material that is anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, so that moisture does not get trapped inside of the vest and cause stuffiness and odor to come about- this is especially useful when you tend to sweat a lot. As for the latter, look for those with a coated or neoprene surface, so that they do not rust so easily.

5. Check out its accessories.

Besides having the basics such as weights and adjustable straps, it is a good idea to look into accessories that the weight vest might contain. For instance, it might come with small pockets in which you can store your phone, keys, and wallet while you are out and about for your exercise.

Even further, perhaps you would like to find a weight vest which comes with a sweat-resistant sleeve underneath its exterior, as means of soaking up any sweat you produce and thereby keeping you cool and dry. You might also choose to find one with reflective strips should you decide to go out running at night, for visibility reasons. Accessories, while not all completely necessary, can nevertheless create a more-enriching experience for you to enjoy while exercising.

For more information on weight vests and how to use them, check out this video here: 

Top Five Best Weight Vests for Running On The Market

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

1. RUNFast/Max 12lbs-140lbs Adjustable Weighted Vest

With a one-size-fits-all vest and removable weights, RUNFast/Max’s adjustable weighted vest does not discriminate in terms of who can use it. In fact, it is for everyone! It comes with all of the weights included, ranging from 12 pounds to a hefty 140 pounds, depending on your skill and ability range when it comes to weight training. It also has shoulder pads to keep you comfortable as you are working out.

Pros:

  • Is one-size-fits-all for exclusivity.
  • Comes with removable weights.
  • ​Has shoulder pads for cushioning and comfort.

Cons:

  • Straps might not be strong enough to support heavier weights.

Opinion:

I found RUNFast/Max’s adjustable weighted vest to be quite decent, especially with its one-size-fits-all feature which worked on me, despite my small frame. Not only that, but also the removable weights were a nice touch, so that I could adjust accordingly as I got better at weight training. The shoulder pads were a plus for comfort and protection. One thing that could be worked on is the straps, which are quite thin and flimsy and they do not look strong enough to support heavier weights.

2. Cross 101 Adjustable Weighted Vest, 40 lbs (Camouflage)

Coming with weights in 4-pound increments, Cross 101’s adjustable weighted vest is sure to help you customize just how much weight you would like to put inside of the vest. Its one-piece design is super easy to get in and out of, so that you are not wasting time getting set up for your workout. Finally, it is 13 inches in width, which makes for an all-exclusive size for just about anyone to wear without any problems.

Pros:

  • Comes in 4-pound increments for easy weight adjustability.
  • Is a one-piece design for an easy in and out.
  • ​Is 13 inches in width for anyone to wear.

Cons:

  • Maximum weight is 40 pounds.

Opinion:

Cross 101’s adjustable weighted vest was rather nice and convenient when it came to the adjustable weights included in the package, especially that they were distributed in 4-pound increments. I had no trouble slipping in and out of the one-piece design, before and after my workouts were done. I would suppose, however, that it could be improved on by allowing heavier weights to fit inside of it, for I have already maxed out at the 40-pound limit and I would like more of a challenge in future workouts.

3. Tone Fitness Weighted Vest, 12 lbs

Tone Fitness’ weighted vest offers both comfort and convenience, for it is made from soft neoprene material to make you feel at ease when working out. Not only that, but also it comes with pockets in which you can hold MP3 players, phones, keys, wallets, and other essential items that you might need while running and otherwise working out. It also comes with reflective strips to keep you safe, should you decide to go running at night, for visibility purposes.

Pros:

  • Made from soft neoprene material for comfort.
  • Comes with pockets to hold items inside.
  • Consists of reflective strips to keep you safe and visible.

Cons:

  • Does not come with shoulder pads, which can be uncomfortable.

Opinion:

Tone Fitness’ weighted vest surprised me with its soft material: upon putting it on, I felt super comfortable! I also really loved that it comes with pockets, so that I can put my phone and keys in there when I am running. The reflective strips are a plus, too, should I choose to run at night. However, I wish that it came with built-in shoulder pads, just because my shoulders were aching after working out in it.

4. HumanX Weight Vest

Impact-resistant and flexible, HumanX’s weight vest has the ability to contour to your torso and stay in place while you run, so that it is not bouncing up and down as you are running, which can otherwise slow you down. It is tailored in design to fit snugly around your shoulders with its adjustable shoulder straps, along with its neoprene belt for the comfort and security that you need to succeed in your workouts.

Pros:

  • Contours to your torso and stays in place while you run.
  • Has adjustable shoulder straps and a neoprene belt for comfort and security.
  • Has a tough, abrasion-resistant outer shell for durability.

Cons:

  • Its sand weights tend to leak out.

Opinion:

I found HumanX’s weight vest to be wonderfully snug, attaching to my body through a series of straps and belts that make it less likely to bounce around when I run. I also appreciate the adjustability, and its neoprene material is ever so comfortable. However, I do not appreciate the sand weights, which tend to leak with sand if not carefully handled.

5. Empower Weighted Vests

Made from soft, stretchy neoprene material, Empower’s weight vests are best suited for women who want to challenge themselves while running. Its X-shaped design offers more-equal weight distribution throughout, as well as adjustability to cater to any body shape and size. It is also easy to clean with spot cleaning, so that you do not have to worry about doing so for an extensive amount of time.

Pros:

  • Has an X-shaped design for more-equal weight distribution.
  • Is adjustable for any body shape and size.
  • Easy to clean with spot treatment.

Cons:

  • Can easily overheat in the vest.

Opinion:

Empower’s weighted vest was distinctive in its X-shaped design, which I found more efficient when evenly distributing weights all over it before I worked out. Also appreciated the adjustability, but I wish that it was made from more breathable material, because I felt overly hot wearing it.


Winner of the Roundup

Overall, the winner of this roundup is Empower Weighted Vests (#5). Made from soft and stretchy neoprene material, it is also very sturdy and offers equal-weight distribution which sets it apart from the other weight vests out there. Hence, it is a good one to consider for your next purchase, so why not get to it?

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