The best weighted vests to add resistance to your workouts - Men's Health Magazine Australia

The best weighted vests to add resistance to your workouts

Training with a weighted vest can improve your fitness—particularly your stamina and muscular endurance.

Weighted vests — you’ve read about them, seen them on the internet and seen pictures of everyone from David Beckham to Jono Castano wearing them. But, what actually are they and how can a weighted vest transform your fitness?

Whether you’re looking to liven up your lunchtime 5k, add heat to your home workouts or overcome a training plateau (or all of the above), strapping on a weighted vest is one of the easiest ways to fast-track your strength and endurance. They not only allow you to increase the challenge of any bodyweight move, but training with weighted vests insures that you build body control and awareness while still introducing the new loads you need to spark muscle and strength gains.

With everything from lightweight, minimalist vests for beginners to heavy-duty rigs designed to supercharge muscle growth, these are our favourite weighted vests for adding resistance to your workouts.

What should I consider before purchasing a weighted vest?

Before strapping on the first vest you see, there are a couple of questions you should consider. For example, what kind of weighted vest do you need? What exercises should you be doing in one? And is it even worth complicating your workouts in the first place?

Weighted vests come in various styles, from minimal harnesses that provide a few pounds of extra load to large rigs designed to mimic the body armour worn by military groups that hold iron plates. The best options are the versatile ones that feature removable weights- allowing the wearer to adjust the load to make the training easier or harder.

Best overall

The WOD Life Tech Plate Carrier Weight Vest

The WOD Life Tech Plate Carrier Weight VestEngineered to be lightweight and sit close to your body for an uninterrupted workout whilst also being durable and safely hold weight plates, this weighted best is designed to accomodate TWL Tech Plate- Velcro strap adjusts to fit athletes of most sizes. It’s perfect for a range of workouts like functional fitness, cross training, track and field, basketball, soccer, football, baseball and volleyball.

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Best for beginnersCelsius 20kg Adjustable Weighted Vest

Celsius 20kg Adjustable Weighted Vest

The Celsius 20kg Adjustable Weighted Vest lets you quickly add resistance to any workout, whether you’re building strength and power, or toning and tightening. The adjustable straps offer a customised fit, while the sand weight system ensures ease-of-movement and flexibility, for a more varied routine. And when you’re training in low-light conditions, the reflective chest tabs will help increase your visibility and safety.

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Best for outdoor workouts

Cortex 20kg adjustable weight vest

Cortex 20kg adjustable weight vest

Cortex Weighted Vests are designed with comfort in mind and comes with a quick and easy hook & loop fastener for a secure fit. They’re made with DuPont Fabric and Iron Sand traditionally reserved for militant wear, so you can expect similar durability and breathability – perfect for outdoor workouts.

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Best rucksack

Gymshark tactical backpack

Gymshark tactical backpack

Before weighted vests, there was another way to add some bulk to your body weight: rucksacks. This rugged option comfortably holds 25L, and has adjustable chest and waist straps, too. With plenty of pouches and zip pockets, you can pack your life into it – along with the optional dumbbell or plate. A good option for any expeditions or camping trips.

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Best for running

Goruck - ruck plate carrier 3.0

Goruck – ruck plate carrier 3.0

The Ruck Plate Carrier™ (aka RPC) houses a Ruck Plate® (sold separately) and is worn high and tight on your back for natural stability. Your chest stays open so you can breathe better to push harder during runs. It also has a padded top handle, padding on the top of the plate pocket, ergonomic lumbar support padding, and non-abrasive fabric used on the back panel and underside of the shoulder straps — so you can even wear it shirtless with no friction burn.

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Best premium weighted vest

GND Weight Vest

GND Weight Vest

 

 

 

 

 

 

The GND Weight Tactical Vest is modelled on military grade gear so you can expect good quality. It’s one-size-fits-all and has been built for rugged durability, constructed from heavy duty 600D nylon.Thick breathable sponge pads on the front and back ensure that you’ll stay comfortable regardless how intense your workout gets, while the weight plates that are inserted into the vest are all made & powder coated in Australia from Australian steel.

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Best budget weighted vest

TODO 10kg Weight Vest Weighted

TODO 10kg Weight Vest Weighted

One of the lighter (and more affordable) options on our list, this Decathlon weighted vest sits on your back with a front strap, holding 10kg of non removable weight. The neoprene material is sweat resistant and super comfortable, while the reflective accents are great for night runners. Perfect for beginners.

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Best CrossFit vest

VERVE Tactical Vest Plate Carrier

VERVE Tactical Vest Plate Carrier

The VERVE Tactical Vest Plate Holder is made from a military grade high-strength 500D nylon unlike low cost plate holders made using the less durable polyester. This tactical vest features a quick release system and woven velcro chest and back hooks for attachment of any universal accessories, and is perfectly weighted for CrossFit.

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Most ergonomic vest

GORUCK Training Weight Vest

GORUCK Training Weight Vest

The GORUCK Training Weight Vest is exactly what you think of, and want, when it comes to a weighted vest. With a padded panel on the body and shoulder straps for extra comfort when carrying the weights inside, this is well designed creation. It has been designed to spread the additional weight evenly across your back and sit comfortably during dynamic workouts.

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Most durable weighted vest

5.11 Tactical TacTec Trainer Weight Vest

5.11 Tactical TacTec Trainer Weight Vest

Consider part of the 5.11 fan club. Everything in the brand’s catalog is built to exacting standards and designed to take a beating, and the TacTec Weight Vest is no exception.
The vest also has more storage options than most models we’ve seen. A Velcro admin pocket on the front provides quick access to your essentials, while MOLLE panels on the front and rear allow for even more storage. On the downside, this is a premium weighted vest with a premium price tag to match.

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By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the former Digital Editor at Men's Health Australia, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she has written for Women's Health, esquire, GQ and Vogue magazine.

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