Wearing a weighted vest offers a practical way to add resistance to foundational exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, and squats, making these exercises more effective for building muscle and gaining strength. 

Some are also useful for increasing the intensity of cardio workouts, helping you burn more calories and elevate your fitness level.

In other words, adding weighted vest workouts to your routine is an excellent way to get bigger, fitter, and stronger. 

With so many weight vests to choose from, picking the best one for your preferences, goals, and circumstances can be tricky. 

That’s why we’ve put together this expert guide. In it, you’ll learn the best weighted vests for heavy strength training, running, walking, and more. 

(Affiliate Disclosure: All products we review reflect the research and opinion of our editors. We sometimes receive the products we review for free, and when you make a purchase using the links in this article, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.) 

The Best Weighted Vests

Best Weighted Vest for Working Out with Heavy Weights: Kensui EZ-VEST Max V2

Best Weighted Vest for Working Out with Heavy Weights

The biggest driver of muscle and strength gain is lifting progressively heavier weights over time. 

The main problem with most weight vests, however, is that they stunt progression—either their weight is fixed, or they’re adjustable but only strong enough to hold up to 40 lb or so, which isn’t heavy enough to do an effective workout for many.

Even then, vests that allow you to alter the weight can be tricky to adjust, or they’re only compatible with certain-sized weight plates that you must purchase separately, usually at a premium. 

The Kensui EZ-VEST Max V2 fixes all of these issues. Its innovative design features detachable, spin-lock sleeves that screw into place on the back and front and enable you to attach standard Olympic weight plates.

The construction is fantastic, too. The sleeves, chest and back plates, and side buckles are made of lightweight aluminum, the 1680D military-grade nylon straps are robust, and the 8 mm shoulder pads ensure the vest is comfortable, even when you’re doing heavy strength training

Like every weighted workout vest, the Max V2 is ideal for adding additional weight to exercises typically categorized as “bodyweight exercises” like pull-ups, dips, squats, and so forth (it’s actually better than other vests in this regard since it allows you to load up to 300 lb).

But what really made it stand out was how it opens up training avenues other vests don’t. For example, because of the way you can load either the front, back, or both sides together, it outshone every other vest we tried for exercises like sissy squats, step-ups, sit-ups, reverse and regular Nordic curls, back extensions, lunges, inverted rows, and more. 

While we thought this was an outstanding product, it’s not perfect for everything. 

Because of the loadable sleeves, it’s slightly more cumbersome than vests that lie flat against your body. It’s also not the perfect weight vest for runners or those who do conditioning workouts (rucking, walking, or HIIT-style workouts, for example) for the same reason. 

Putting the vest on can be tricky at first, too, though it becomes easier with practice. And while the sleeves are plenty long enough for regular Olympic plates, they’re a little short if you train with bumper plates. 


  • Excellent construction
  • Strong fabric and closures
  • Unrivaled weight capacity
  • Washable material


  • Tricky to put on at first
  • Not great for running or conditioning workouts


  • Max weight: 300 lb
  • Materials: 1680D military-grade nylon and aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Color options: 1
  • Price: $259

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Best Weighted Vest with Plates: Rogue Plate Carrier

Best Weighted Vest with Plates

Rogue’s weight vest is the best plate-loaded weight vest we tested because it’s versatile, comfortable, and well-made (in the USA).

Most people who invest in a weighted vest want it for a range of exercises and weight vest workouts. For example, one day they want it for calisthenics exercises, and the next, they want it for conditioning workouts.

Unlike many weighted training vests, Rogue’s weight vest allows you to do all of these movements without the vest shifting out of place or bouncing. Basically, it’s so well-designed and fitted that you can use it for any type of training with a weight vest (which is likely why it’s used as the CrossFit weight vest).

It’s made from strong Cordura fabric (1000D and 500D) and features heavy-duty X-box stitching, so you can be sure the construction will withstand heavy use.

Despite its versatility, the Rogue weight vest has a few drawbacks.

The straps are basic, so I’d recommend getting the additional shoulder pads for added comfort. Without them, you may experience chafing. The design is pretty simple, too. Although that doesn’t affect the product’s performance, those with an eye for aesthetics may find it boring. 

The only other potential problem is the Velcro fastening. Velcro degrades over time. While the vest we tested showed no worrying signs of wear after a month of use, I can’t help but think a buckle might have been a more robust choice for the closure. 


  • Excellent construction
  • Strong fabric
  • Well-fitted 
  • Adjustable 
  • Versatile


  • The straps can be uncomfortable
  • Limited aesthetic appeal


  • Max weight: 40 lb
  • Materials: 1000D and 500D Cordura
  • Color options: 4
  • Price: $135

Best Weighted Vest for Running: Hyper Vest ELITE

Best Weighted Vest for Running

It’s possible to run in a plate vest. However, if you’ve ever tried to, you’ve probably noticed how uncomfortable it can be to have rigid weight vest plates attached to the front and back of your torso. 

That’s why the best weighted running vests, like the Hyper Vest ELITE, feature smaller, unconnected weights that allow you to move freely. 

On the Hyper Vest ELITE, these weight “bars” insert into small pockets across the length and breadth of the vest so it remains flexible, even when fully loaded. 

That’s not the only feature that makes the Hyper Vest ELITE well-suited to running.

It’s also made of lightweight, breathable, and odor-resistant Cordura fabric, features reflective strips for running at night, and has open sides that you cinch using drawstrings. Together, these features make it the most comfortable, functional, and cool weighted vest for runners on our list. 

Another simple but practical feature is the zip closure, which, unlike other vests not designed for running, allows you to open the vest a little during particularly hot or sweaty runs


  • Excellent construction
  • Highly flexible
  • Breathable 


  • Slightly pricey, given the maximum weight capacity (20 lb)
  • Elastic drawstrings are a little long, which can be annoying and distracting


  • Max weight: 20 lb
  • Materials: Cordura
  • Color options: 1
  • Price: $230.99

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Best Weighted Vest for Walking: GORUCK Plate Carrier 3.0

Best Weighted Vest for Walking

The GORUCK Plate Carrier is our top weighted vest for walking because it positions the weight on your back, so it doesn’t restrict your breathing when you’re on a long hike.

What’s more, the vest has a padded lumbar section and sternum strap, and the back panel and shoulder straps are lined with a soft 210D Cordura, which makes it significantly more comfortable than other options in this category (particularly if you like to ruck shirtless). 

The rest of the vest is made from hard-wearing 1000D Cordura, so like all GORUCK products, you can be sure it’ll stand the test of time. You can also load the standard version with a 10-, 20-, or 30-lb plate or purchase the “long” model, which accommodates a 45-lb plate. 

While this vest is great for those who want to add weight to their walks, it’s not perfect in every scenario. For example, it has no pockets to carry essentials, such as water and your phone, while on the trail. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it’s worth considering while deciding the best product for you. 


  • Excellent construction
  • Comfortable


  • No pockets


  • Max weight: 30 lb (standard vest) or 45 lb (long vest)
  • Materials: 1000D, 210D, and 1050D Cordura
  • Color options: 5
  • Price: $135

Best Adjustable Weight Vest: Kensui EZ-VEST Pro V2 Plate-Loadable Weight Vest

Best Adjustable Weight Vest

The Kensui EZ-VEST Pro V2 is the Max V2’s “little brother.” 

Similarly to the Max V2, the Pro V2 features detachable spin-lock sleeves on the front and rear. The difference is that on the Pro V2, the sleeves are shorter, made from fiberglass, and only allow you to add up to 150 lb of extra weight. 

Nevertheless, this is still significantly more than most weight vests allow, and the process is simpler—there’s no need to fiddle with Velcro and pockets; you simply slide a plate onto the sleeve and screw the collar to lock the plate in place. 

Compared to the Max V2, several of the Pro V2’s features are less “premium.”

For example, the vest fastens at the sides with Velcro rather than buckles, the chest and back plates are fiberglass rather than aluminum, and the lining is slightly less plush. That said, the aesthetic details make no difference to the product’s performance, and while the buckles are easier to fasten, the Velcro fastening isn’t a huge hurdle. 

On the plus side, the Pro V2 is $100 cheaper, so it’s considerably more budget-friendly. 

Both Kensui vests are outstanding products. The biggest difference (and the one that should guide your decision) is the maximum weight capacity.

If you want to lift heavy weights, get the Max V2. On the other hand, if you want a weight vest that makes adding and removing weight easy and you’re not so bothered about it being made of premium materials, the Pro V2 is a worthy alternative. 


  • Excellent construction
  • Outstanding weight capacity
  • Easy to adjust


  • Tricky to put on at first
  • Not great for running or conditioning workouts


  • Max weight: 150 lb
  • Materials: Nylon and fiberglass
  • Color options: 1
  • Price: $159

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Best Weighted Vest for Women: Hyper Vest FIT Weighted Vest for Women

Best Weighted Vest for Women


While women can wear any vest on this list, the Hyper Vest FIT is specifically designed with women in mind. 

Similarly to the Hyper Vest ELITE, the FIT is a form-fitting vest made of lightweight Cordura fabric with open sides that you tighten using drawstrings. This ensures the vest is hard-wearing and stays in place (no bouncing). However, unlike the ELITE, the FIT only has weight pockets around the midsection, not on the chest. 

For obvious reasons, this makes the design more comfortable for females. The trade-off is that you can’t load the vest with as much weight—instead of being a 20lb weight vest, this weighted vest’s weight only goes up to 10 lb. 


  • Highly flexible
  • Form-fitting
  • Perfect for women


  • Only holds 10 lb


  • Max weight: 10 lb
  • Materials: Cordura
  • Color options: 1
  • Price: $83.99