Weighted vests are a popular choice for improving the efficacy of resistance training. As with any other product, there’s good and bad, when it comes to weighted vests. This article plans on introducing you to the leading pros and cons linked to these items, and the fundamental purposes for which they are recommended. Let’s get started!
Weighted clothes are initially used for resistance training workouts, featuring individual compartments that contain additional loads. By adding the extra weight, your training activities become more challenging. Hence, they boost your performance and strength.
Many vests come with removable weights; this means you can either increase or decrease the weight of the item, according to your preference. At the same time, they are equipped with straps, which enables you to secure it tightly to your body. Additionally, padding is also added, which improves your comfort while wearing the vest.
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here are our top 5 best weighted vests:
- ZFOsports 60lbs Adjustable Weighted Vest
- RUNFast Max Pro Weighted Vest
- Tone Fitness Weighted Vest
- Everlast Weighted Vest
- Cross 101 Adjustable Weighted Vest
Benefits of weighted vests and weighted clothing
- Elevated strength: the extra weight challenges your body’s muscles to work harder to complete your physical activities, which elevates the power of the muscles.
- Enhanced performance: after the body gets used to the extra weight, once you remove it, you’ll be able to perform with boosted endurance, speed, and strength.
- You burn more calories: when your body carries the extra weight, the amount of calories consumed is significantly higher.
Weighted Vest Reviews
Some of the first things you notice about the product are its high-quality materials and solid construction. We felt like it could handle the stress posed by any weights and type of exercise with no problems, making us confident that no accidents would happen due to malfunction. The velcro used was strong as well, everything giving us the impression of a durable product.
Wearing the vest was a fairly comfortable experience as well. While it’s impossible to avoid the fact that carrying weights on your torso will be exhausting, we found no uncomfortable situation that was a fault of the vest itself.
What you should know from the start is that this product is bulky and, therefore, indicated for exercises that are related to weight lifting. In other words, you cannot have the agility required by various cardio exercises or any other activities where fast movement is essential. There is no other way around it, no matter what type of product you choose.
We also liked how adjustable the vest is. The 4 lbs increments in weights and the maximum weight of 60 lbs also make this suited for beginners and experienced users alike. Another aspect where the versatility impressed us was the size. We tested the vest on various members of our team, and we found that it fit different body sizes, being usable by men and women alike.
The drawbacks to this vest are mostly related to the price. Variations can be incredibly high, going from $50 up to $200+, depending on the shop. Even on Amazon, you can find it either at around $50 on sale, or $159.99 as a standard price. Obviously, we are not against having great sales, but we find these variations to be quite unpredictable. Shipping costs can also be quite high, running at close to $40 on Amazon.
The ZFOsports vest is a solid product that we have no problem recommending. Pricing may variate quite a bit over time, but that should not be a serious deterrent in the grand scheme of things. You can simply wait, and a good deal will appear.
However, there is a pretty obvious problem with the sizes. Although the vest is supposedly “universal size,” it won’t really fit you unless you are an M size or around that. If you are an 185 lbs man, the vest will be too small for you. The same thing goes if you are a 130 lbs woman: it will be too large. It will adjust, but not enough to make it a comfortable wear. If anything, it will restrict your movements, and you won’t be able to perform the exercises correctly – beating the entire purpose of purchasing that vest. The vest in itself is actually very nice, but it’s a real shame that they made the sizes fit just a few people.
The price is good compared to other vests. You pay according to the weight you purchase and compared to other options, we found this pretty cheap. We’ve seen many other similar vests online with the same issues, and they were even more expensive – so we believe that we’re getting fair services for what we paid. If only they could work on the size of the vest (either include different sizes or make it more adjustable), this would be a great addition to your workout. Unfortunately, right now, it is limited to people who are already fit and slender.
The pocket is convenient, and you can fit a cell phone in there – as long as it’s small. A smartphone won’t fit, but it can hold your keys while you go walking. It isn’t really recommended to keep stuff in there if you’re doing anything plyometric or explosive. Another cause for concern may the fact that it puts a lot of weight on the neck, shoulder and upper back. While it may not be a problem if you already have experience in fitness, it may cause you problems if you had shoulder, neck or back issues. It would have been better if they made the weight adjustable or sold it in 8 to 10 lbs. An idea for ladies would be to wear it “upside-down,” so that it fits more snuggly. Still, the vest is not a bad addition to your workout. Overall, this product is very good; however, it could have been better if it was made in more sizes and with more straps so that it wouldn’t move around as much.
We particularly liked the inside of the vest – there are textured panels that secure the weights to your body, preventing them from moving all over the place during your exercises.
Another good thing that the product has going for it is the improved flexibility compared to other vests. While you will be limited in your torso movement due to the weight itself, the freedom of movement for your arms and abdomen muscles is greater than usual.
As to things that we did not like, we have to mention the fixed weights first. The vest we tested weighed 20 lbs, and there was nothing we could do to adjust it. We understand that it comes in multiple weight options, but not being able to switch back and forth is a big negative. Beginners may find it too difficult to use; others, on the contrary, may conclude that it does not provide the resistance they need after reaching an advanced level of fitness. It is important to keep in mind that your own body and preferences will be the ones that decide whether this vest is a good fit for you. Compared to others that you can bring to the exact weight needed, this may be the biggest disadvantage.
Another drawback is the fact that the vest seemed less solid overall than some other models on the market. We were left to believe that durability may become an issue over the long term.
All in all, the vest does offer good value for the money you pay. If the non adjustable sizing isn't an issue and the vest is able to maintain its durability over time, it is a nice looking and comfortable option.
The price is kind of high when compared to other vests we’ve found, but it makes up when it comes to the sturdy construction. It straps well to the body, and you can do your workout without having your movements restricted. The vest will stay in one place. Overall, we believe that this vest is a good acquisition if what you’re interested in is strength workouts. My only advice would be for them to work on making the material softer so that it does not rub on the skin when it moves around. It would be great if you could also use this vest for running.
How to use a weighted vest
You can use a weighted vest while engaging in a broad range of activities. We introduce you to the primary uses of the vest.
- Walking: if you take pleasure in strolling, you can always boost the number of calories you burn during your activities by wearing a weighted vest. Nonetheless, it’s quintessential to maintain a good posture while strolling to hinder back strain.
- Jumping: if you want to enhance your vertical leap, you can always try adding a weighted vest to your routine. Your muscles will adjust to the extra weight; hence, when you take it off, you’ll jump higher, more quickly.
- Running: Runners will find weighted vests particularly beneficial since they will experience an enhanced performance.
- Bodyweight exercises: exercises such as pull-ups, squats, push-ups, and many others can be improved if you include the weighted vest to your routine. Nonetheless, note that you should choose an item that provides you with flexibility. Otherwise, you’ll suffer from back pain.
- Sports: the additional weight increases the performance of all athletes, regardless of the sport they engage in. When the weight is removed, one will experience a boosted endurance and overall performance.
Weighted Vest Risks
- Injury: if you’re not used to handling the extra weight, or if you don’t secure the product accordingly, you are prone to suffering from injuries.
- Overheating: if you’re wearing the vest while engaging in strenuous workouts, you may be subject to overheating. Ideally, you should choose an item that contains cool wicking fabric.
- Restricted flexibility: since the vest limits your technical skills, you may not be able to engage in your usual training, since it impairs your flexibility.
- Joint pressure: joint pain is quite common; if you commonly deal with it, you should stay away from the weighted vest, as it will increase the weight supported by your joints, leading to pain and even injury.
- Back issues: if a weighted vest isn’t designed accordingly, and the weight isn’t distributed evenly, you may be subject to back problems.