Top 5 Best Weighted Vest For CrossFit

If you’re looking to amp up your CrossFit workouts, donning a weighted vest is one beneficial way to up the intensity of your training.

ImageProduct
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VForce 40LB Vest
  • Made in USA
  • Fully removable 2.5 pound weights
  • Fully padded
  • Made in USA
  • Fully removable 2.5 pound weights
  • Fully padded
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CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest
  • Reinforced nylon and polyester construction
  • Fully adjustable waist belt
  • Padded shoullder
  • Reinforced nylon and polyester construction
  • Fully adjustable waist belt
  • Padded shoullder
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Mir Weight Vest
  • 3 pound solid iron weights
  • Short style length
  • Adjustable weights and straps
  • 3 pound solid iron weights
  • Short style length
  • Adjustable weights and straps
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Cross 101 Camo Vest
  • Easily removable weights
  • Even disttibution of weights
  • Camouflage design
  • Easily removable weights
  • Even disttibution of weights
  • Camouflage design
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Run Fast Vest
  • Extra weights included
  • Dual strap design
  • Velcroed pockets for phone and water bottle
  • Extra weights included
  • Dual strap design
  • Velcroed pockets for phone and water bottle
View on Amazon

If used correctly, the resistance from the extra weight will give you a tougher workout that can help you become stronger and faster and in this guide we review five of the best weight vests for CrossFit to help you achieve exactly that.

Top 5 Best Weight Vest For CrossFit in 2020

In a hurry? Check out our list below for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about weight vests for CrossFit! There’s a lot to learn!

  1. VForce 40LB Vest
  2. CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest
  3. Mir Weight Vest
  4. Cross 101 Camo Vest
  5. Run Fast Vest

You may be wondering if you really need a weighted vest for CrossFit.

If you are just not sure where to start when it comes to buying a vest, we will give you a rundown of exactly what you need to know about weight vests.

What are Weight Vests?

A weighted vest is exactly what it’s named for: a vest loaded with weight. This weight can be metal iron ore or sandbags of weight that can usually be removed if needed.

These vests stretch weight over your shoulders and upper body, creating more resistance, and in turn, burning calories and building strength.

The vests also allow you to complete body-weight exercises while doing other exercises, such as walking, running or other types of cross-training.

They are a great product to add to your routine if you feel you’ve hit a plateau in training or if you want to hike up the intensity.

Are Weighted Vests the Same as a Plate Carrier?

There are several crossovers between weighted vests and plate carriers, meaning the names are used interchangeably at times. A plate carrier is a piece of military equipment that, when worn with ballistic plates, can act as a bulletproof vest or body armor.

CrossFit has a lot of connections with the U.S. Army, including famous WODs such as Murph, which includes a 1-mile run wearing a plate carrier or weighted vest.

Due to their industrial design, plate carriers can be expensive and weighted vests were designed to be worn by CrossFit athletes to mimic the effects of wearing a plate carrier, incorporating a more fitness-friendly design and functionality that plate carriers do not feature.

Benefits of Working Our With a Weight Vest

Research is divided on just how beneficial a weighted vest can be, but most experts agree that, if used correctly, a weighted vest can boost your power and strength.

So what are the exact benefits?

Weight Loss

Any work you do with the weight vest will burn extra calories because you’re working harder.

Even doing daily activities while wearing a vest burns more calories, but a good way to get the most healthy weight loss is to wear the vest while running because with the more intense exercise will come more calories lost.

Endurance

You’ll find as you use the vest that over time, your runs without the vest will become easier because you’ve trained your body with the extra weight.

A study of 12 athletes wearing weight vests found that those athletes had boosted endurance (25 percent more while sprinting) and more speed while running stairs (3 percent more).

Speed

Just as the above study found, other studies have also shown that using a weight vest during a warm up improves peak running speed by up to 3 percent.

The vest makes your cardiovascular system work harder and strengthens your core, which all translates to improved running performance.

Better Bone Density

Not a fan of milk? Your weight vest has another benefit: stronger bones.

Studies have shown that the extra weight of the vest forces a greater impact on your steps, so your body responds with stronger bone density.

In fact, weight vests are commonly recommended to helping stop bone loss, particularly in women, who are more prone to osteoporosis.

How Heavy Should a Weighted Vest be for CrossFit?

A vest up to about 20 pounds is best for users trying to increase their cardio and burn some extra calories.

This is a great beginner option for run/walkers who want to bump up their endurance or just wear it while going about their daily routine.

For running, choose vests weighing between 20 to about 45 pounds if you’re already in good shape and can carry the extra resistance without having to constantly stop the workout to rest.

A weight vest at this size also has a long lifespan— it can be used in cardio and strength training

Vests that are heavier than 50 pounds are not best for running.

They will do more harm than good because of the added pressure on your joints as your feet pound away.

Vests at this size are best for bodyweight exercises only.

What Cross Training Can You Perform with a Weighted Vest?

We’ve already covered the benefits of wearing a weighted vest while working out, and now we’re going to look at precisely what sports and exercises you can perform while wearing a weighted vest or plate carrier to see the most significant impact from your strength training.

Running

When most athletes think of wearing a weighted vest, they will assume it will be used for running. This is the case for CrossFitters with several popular WODs including a weighted vest as part of the run or cardio section of the workout.

If you’re a CrossFit athlete training for competition, or just want to get fitter in general and boost your aerobic base, a weighted vest can definitely help to add another dimension to your strength training.

How Often Should You Run with a Vest?

Running with a weight vest

Firstly, if you decide to take on the weight, you’ll need to take it on slowly.

Incorporate the vest at a lower weight level while walking and doing your daily activities to get used to the feel.

Then, you can add in the vest and add in more weight into your runs slowly, i.e. run with the vest about once every two weeks.[6]

Because the weight is adding more pressure on your joints, it’s important to take those weighted runs slowly and avoid injury.

Also, unless you’re planning on tackling an ultramarathon, keep the weighted runs short.

CrossFit

As well as wearing a weighted vest during the running or cardio section of your favorite WOD, a weight vest can also be used during other CrossFit exercises that are worth covering on their own. Explosive CrossFit training such as box jumps can also be made harder with the introduction of extra resistance in the form of a weighted vest. As well as box jumps, weighted vests can also be worn during other exercises such as farmer walks and pull-ups and press-ups, which leads nicely on to our next section…

CrossFit WODs for Weighted Vest Training

Here are some of our favorite WODs that can be made even more difficult with a weight vest:

Bodyweight Training

Because of reasons we don’t need to go into now, bodyweight training has exploded in popularity during 2020.

Home workouts are more popular than ever, and many people may be questioning if they ever need to step foot into a gym again.

Dips, pull-ups, and press-ups now form the main components of many people’s training regime, and weighted vests can be an excellent addition to take CrossFit training to the next level.

Although you may have seen earlier gains with bodyweight exercises, they can quickly slow down as your body adapts. The dreaded plateau may be in sight, and that is something no one wants to hit! Weight vests can help avoid this by adding additional resistance to your bodyweight exercises and ensuring you don’t get complacent.

What to Consider Before Buying a Weight Vest

Before you decide to invest in a weight vest, you’ll need to consider a few factors:

  • Weight– Is this enough weight for you? Can you add weight to the vest as you get stronger? What are the weights made of?

Remember a good running vest weighs less than 50 pounds and reviewers typically advise looking for a vest that has metal weights over sandbags because the sandbags can break.

  • Durability – What’s the vest made of? You want a vest that can hold up to tough workouts and a vest that is sweat-resistant.
  • Stitching – Like durability, you’ll want to look for high-quality and thick stitching. Some even have reinforced stitching. You don’t want the vest to fall apart in the middle of a run.
  • Design – Is the design tailored for men? It may not need to be pink, but could a woman comfortably wear the vest?
  • Adjustability –How easy is it to adjust the vest to the fit you need? Many vests are universal, but be sure that adjusting the fit (and the weights) is easy. Adjustable straps are going to be crucial for comfort as you add more weight.
  • Comfort – Although CrossFit athletes will likely be familiar with the concept of being uncomfortable during workouts, you can still give yourself a helping hand by choosing a vest that fits well and doesn’t require adjusting every two minutes. Look for padded shoulder straps and even weight distribution for a good fit.
  • Air FlowBreathability might not be the first thought that jumps to mind when choosing something as bulk as a weight vest, but you’ll be surprised how important it is on a hot summer day. Weight vests containing mesh pockets can help aid air flow. If you do train in a particularly hot climate, some weighted vests also include a water bottle holder.

Best Weighted Vest for CrossFit – Product Reviews

40-lb V-Force Weight Vest

40 lb. V-FORCE (Black, 3-1/4

Consistently rated as one of the top weight vests on the market, the V-Force is military tough and boasts durable construction.

You can choose from a range of colors, and the vest is made in the USA and carries a lifetime warranty.

The vest is one of the more expensive ones available, but you’re paying for a top of the line product that has consistently been praised by other CrossFit athletes.

Pros

  • Lots of color options
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Durable material
  • Comfortable fitting velcro straps
  • Adjustable weights
  • Heavy-duty design

Cons

  • Pricey

Get A V-Force Vest on Amazon.com

CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

The CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest has a reinforced nylon and polyester construction.

It is surrounded with multiple packets that can be filled with 2.5 pound iron ore weights. It is geared with an adjustable waist belt and padded shoulders to ensure optimum fit and comfort.

The vest also boasts anchor hooks ideal for parachute run training as well as reflective strips for easy visibility. This makes it a very versatile vest, ideal for a range of different workouts.

Pros

  • Adjustable waist belt
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Anchor hooks and reflective stripes
  • Adjustable weights
  • Unisex

Cons

  • May be weighted less than advertised
  • Doesn’t come with instruction in loading multiple size weights

 

Mir Weight Vest

Mir Adjustable Weighted Vest, 20 lb.

The Mir vest is a more compact vest, but also gives you the freedom to move your arms, making it perfect for push-ups.

Mir vests are specifically made for CrossFit users, so you’ll find that you can also use this vest for your bodyweight CrossFit WODs.

It’s USA-made and available in a variety of colors. The vest is also fully customizable with adjustable weight for a comfortable fit.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Lots of colors available
  • Adjustable weights
  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • 20 lbs.

Get A Mir Weight Vest on Amazon.com

Cross101 Adjustable Camouflage Weighted Vest

Cross 101 Adjustable Weighted Vest, 40 lbs (Camouflage) With Phone Pocket & Water bottle holder

With a maximum weight of 40 pounds, the Cross101 is another compact vest on the market. It boasts a tactical look without being bulky.

It’s also another CrossFit training vest designed especially for CrossFit users, but it might be best for bodyweight exercises only, as some have complained that it’s lack of padding makes it uncomfortable to run in.

Pros

  • Durable material
  • Adjustable belt
  • Not bulky
  • One-piece design
  • Washable

Cons

  • Can be uncomfortable to run in
  • Side straps could pull slightly tighter

Get The Cross 101 Camo Vest on Amazon.com

RUN Fast Weighted Vest

RUNFast RM_40  Pro Weighted Vest 12lbs.-60 lbs. (without Shoulder Pads, 40 lb.)

This vest comes in a variety of weighted sizes, but the 40-pound option is best for runners.

This one-size-fits all vest also has the option of buying with or without shoulder pads.

It’s made specifically for running— as the name implies— but you’ll need to spring for the shoulder pads to make those runs comfortable.

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Excellent range of motion
  • Durable material

Cons

  • Universal size doesn’t fit all
  • Have to buy with shoulder pads for comfortable running
  • Could benefit from reflective strips to worn in dark conditions

Get A Run Fast Vest on Amazon.com

Are There Potential Drawbacks of Wearing a Weighted Vest?

Just like any piece of training equipment, there can be pitfuls to weighted vests if misused. However, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Just like you can spend too long training for a marathon without giving your body ample rest and recovery time, which is a fast train to injury if you overtrain with a weighted vest, you’re likely to run into similar issues.

However, this shouldn’t deter you from purchasing a weight vest for CrossFit, but before you do its important, you keep several key factors in mind.

Firstly you should choose a weight vest that fits you well and is comfortable around the shoulders. This is where weight vests take the lead over military plate carriers.

You also want the vest to fit correctly around the chest; a size too big is much better than a size too small.

The most crucial factor is the resistance you add to the vest. Remember not to jump in at the deep end. Just like training for a marathon, you wouldn’t head straight out on a 20-mile long run. The same idea can be applied to working out with a weight vest, start with a small amount of weight resistance, and work up slowly in same increments. You’re be carrying a fair amount of weight before you know it!

Conclusion

So what’s the best weight vest for running? It’s up to personal preference. Top of the line vests are pricey, but you might find that you get the same impact with a more affordable vest.

Don’t be afraid to take several vests on test runs.

Whether you’re looking to hike up the intensity of your weight training or want some variety to your workout, a weight vest is a great way to burn extra calories and build speed and endurance.

Amanda Casanova

Amanda Casanova

Amanda Casanova is a writer based in Dallas, Texas. She has contributed to Women’s Running Magazine, Active.com and REI’s Trail Run Project. She blogs about training through migraines and running with her rescue dog Prince at themigrainerunner.com.

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