Top 4 Weighted Vests: Calisthenics, CrossFit and Running (2024)

Are you considering buying a weighted vest but unsure which one to choose? You’ve come to the right place. With so many different weight vests on the market, it’s important to do your research before making a decision.

There are weighted vests designed for calisthenics and fitness, as well as those specifically for crossfit or running. In short, there’s a lot of variety. In this blog, I’ll discuss the different types and recommend my top pick so you can get started right away.


What types of weighted vests are there?

Are you looking for a weighted vest? Don’t just buy the first one you come across and like the look of. It’s important to first determine for yourself what you want to use this weight vest for. The various types all have their own advantages and disadvantages. And if you invest in the right weight vest for you, you’ll enjoy it for a long time.

The most important thing is to determine which sport you want to use the weight vest for. There are specific variants for strength training / calisthenics, running, and crossfit.

Below you’ll find explanations of the different types available, and our favorite weight vest for each type.

Strength training / calisthenics weighted vest

When using a weighted vest for calisthenics / strength training, it’s important to choose the right weight. You probably still need to build your strength, so it’s not practical to have a very heavy weight vest that may hinder you from performing exercises like pull-ups and dips.

Fortunately, many weight vests come with removable weights, allowing you to adjust the amount of weight you use.

Since a good weighted vest is an investment, I recommend opting for one with a capacity of at least 20kg, but preferably 30kg.

This ensures that training with this weight vest will still provide the right amount of strength and stimulus for growth in the long run.

Furthermore, it’s wise to invest in a weightvest with a click/velcro system at the front. This makes it considerably easier to put the vest on by yourself. After all, if you need someone to help you fasten the vest every time you want to train, it’s not very practical.

Beste weighted vest 30kg

Gravity fitness weighted vest 30kg
Best 30kg weighted vest
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The 30kg weight vest from Gravity Fitness is our favorite heavy weight vest. The weight is divided into 30 blocks of 1kg each, with 15 at the front and 15 at the back of the vest.

For adjusting weight, vests with blocks are much more convenient than those with sandbags, as sandbags are much more cumbersome to remove and insert into the weight vest.

Additionally, the Gravity Fitness vest is very comfortable. And thanks to the Velcro system at the front, it’s easy to put on and fasten this vest by yourself.

Best weighted vest 20kg

Gornation weight vest / weighted vest 20kg
Best 20kg weighted vest
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Our favorite 20kg weightvest is the Gornation premium 20kg weighted vest. This one is very comfortable and also utilizes 1kg blocks. Additionally, it features a convenient Velcro belt system, making it easy to put on or take off, or to adjust the fit.

Weighted vest for crossfit

A CrossFit weight vest looks slightly different from the calisthenics / fitness variant. Instead of many small weight pockets, large plates are used to attach the weight to the front and back of the weight vest.

Good CrossFit weight vests come with multiple plates so you can incrementally increase the weight. This is important for gradually getting stronger.

Finally, with good CrossFit weighted vests, you have space to attach patches. Many CrossFit boxes have their own patches, and it’s cool to represent your box.

Best crossfit weighted vest

capital sports weightvest
Best Crossfit weighted vest
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The Capital Sports CrossFit weight vest is our favorite when it comes to CrossFit weighted vests. This high-quality vest includes 4 plates (2x 2.6kg and 2x 4kg). With this, the vest is ideal for all your CrossFit workouts.

Weighted vest for running

A running weight vest looks completely different from the previous variants. It has significantly less weight. With these types of vests, the focus is more on the fit and distribution of the weight rather than adding a large amount of weight. When running with extra weight, it’s important that the vest fits well and doesn’t chafe against your body.

Best runners weighted vest

Prosourcefit weighted vest for running
Best Runners weight vest
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The Prosourcefit running weight vest looks completely different from the previous variants. It has significantly less weight. With these types of vests, the focus is more on the fit and distribution of the weight rather than adding a large amount of weight. When running with extra weight, it’s important that the vest fits well and doesn’t chafe against your body.

Important factors about a weighted vest


Of course, the material the weight vest is made of is important in your choice. During training, you will sweat, and you are bound to encounter obstacles. It is therefore important that the vest is both sturdy and moisture-resistant. This applies to all the aforementioned variants.

Fit and wearing comfort

During exercise, you naturally don’t want to be hindered in your mobility. To move freely, you want a vest that fits snugly on your body. This prevents the weight vest from rubbing against you and causing irritation.

Additionally, you want to be able to put the vest on and take it off independently. It helps to purchase a weight vest that fastens at the front and can be tightened, like the ones ranked number 1 and 2 on our list.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a weighted vest?

A weight vest is simply a vest with added weights to increase the intensity of a workout. In many cases, the weight is distributed across the front and back of the weight vest, with the weights being removable. This allows you to adjust the intensity of the exercises to your level.

There are different types of weight vests designed for specific sports. For example, there are weight vests for calisthenics and crossfit, as well as for endurance sports. Weight vests are particularly common in running, where they are used more frequently.

Who is training with a weight vest suitable for?

For any athlete, training with a weight vest can be a beneficial addition to their workout. Since you can add weight starting from 1kg, it’s a good addition to the workout for any athlete looking to increase the difficulty of basic bodyweight exercises.

However, we recommend mastering the basic exercises first. For example, aim to achieve 5 good bodyweight pull-ups before adding weight.

This also applies to running with a weight vest. We recommend becoming proficient in the 5km and 10km runs before adding weight.

Benefits of training with a weighted vest

Strength and muscle growth

When training based on your body weight, you’ll eventually reach a plateau in terms of strength and muscle growth. Your body then requires heavier resistance to continue receiving the appropriate stimulus. Adding weight with a weight vest is ideal for providing this resistance.

Progressive overload

Training where you systematically increase resistance is called progressive overload. This is what makes you stronger. By gradually making your workout harder in small steps, your body adapts.

A weight vest is ideal for this because you can increase the weight in small increments. With the 1kg blocks, you can build up the weight as quickly or slowly as you want.

Home & outdoor training

Of course, you can lift weights in the gym to continue challenging your body. But with a weight vest, you have the opportunity to perform a good/heavy workout anywhere and anytime. This way, you’re never hindered when the gym is closed or you don’t have time to go all the way to the gym.

Cardiovascular benefits

By running with a weight vest, your heart has to work harder to supply your body with blood. As a result, your heart rate increases more quickly during running, which helps improve your cardiovascular health.

Disadvantages of training with a weighted vest

Limited mobility

When you have a weight vest that doesn’t fit well on your body, it can restrict your training. Doing a pull-up with a vest that’s too big doesn’t feel comfortable. That’s why it’s important to invest in a weight vest that you can adjust to your body.

Difficult to put on and take off

With a weighted vest, opting for cheap often means poor quality. When choosing a 20kg or 30kg weight vest in a lower price range, they are often fastened with Velcro on the sides of the vest.

As a result, it’s difficult to put them on and to ensure the vest fits snugly on your body. Therefore, opt for a vest that you can tighten at the front of your body.

Not always convenient to carry with you

When you have to carry a 30kg weight vest with you, it’s not always smooth sailing. This is the biggest drawback of a weight vest. But if you train with it at home or can take it with you in the car, there’s obviously no problem.

Exercises with a weighted vest

In principle, you can perform all bodyweight exercises with a weight vest. This includes running, push-ups, pull-ups, rows, dips, and squats. The list of possibilities is endless, and that’s what makes training with a vest so enjoyable. In the video below, you’ll find even more inspiration for your weighted workout.

Alternative to a weight vest

If you prefer to train with weights but aren’t keen on using a weight vest, you have another option. You can choose to purchase a weight belt. With this option, you hang the weight below your body, for example, during pull-ups and dips.

The advantage is that you can add more weight to it, however, you can train fewer exercises with it.


A weighted vest is the ideal addition to your workouts at home, in the park, or even at the gym. So don’t wait any longer, buy a vest and get started.

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