Weighted vests up the intensity of any workout without interrupting its flow. What’s more they’re affordable, easy to store and straightforward to use. It’s therefore hardly surprising that they’re now hugely popular fitness accessories with the result that there is a huge range of weighted vests to choose from. We’ve therefore put together a review of the best weighted vests available in the UK.
Read on to find the best weighted vest for your needs, wants and budget
As fitness equipment goes, weighted vests are on the more affordable end of the price spectrum. They are, however, still expensive enough that you want to choose the right one first time, instead of losing money selling your first pick pre-owned and then buying a new one.
We do the research for you
Testing any product takes time and we’re here to save yours. We’ve already checked out the best weighted vests available in the UK and put together a list of the ones we’re happy to recommend.
We’ll give you the facts first and our opinion second
First of all, we’ll talk you through the features we think you should look for in a weighted vest. That way you’ll be in a better position to make an informed decision when we give you the facts about the weighted vests in our list. Then we’ll tell you our opinion, which you can take or leave as you prefer.
Best Weighted Vest Uk – Top 5 list
What to look for when choosing a weighted vest?
Weighted Vests Come in Two Types – Full Body and Shoulder
- Full body weighted vests
Full body weighted vests look rather like the security vests police wear and because they cover the whole upper body, there’s lots of space to add weight. Full body weighted vests do tend to restrict arm movement slightly, which is why they tend to be used more for gym work than for running. Some runners do, however, opt for full body weighted vests.
- Shoulder weighted vests
Shoulder weighted vests look rather like mini-rucksacks and that’s essentially what they are. Because they are so small, there’s a limit to how much weight they can hold, but they do allow for the upper body and arms to have a complete range of movement and hence are the prefered choice for crossfit and for most runners.
Here are three key facts you need to remember when thinking about the weight of your weighted vest.
When you first start to use a weighted vest, you will really feel the difference, so it’s usually best to start with a fairly light weight.
Over time your body will get used to wearing a weighted vest and as it does you’ll find yourself losing fat and gaining muscle. After a time, however, your body will become accustomed to dealing with the weight, so you’ll have to increase it to keep yourself challenged.
You can remove weights from a heavier weighted vest, but we’ve yet to find a weighted vest which allows you to add on weights beyond the stated maximum.
Putting all this together, means that the general rule of thumb is to buy a weighted vest which is heavier than you think you’ll need because you’ll probably find yourself working your way up to it.
A weighted vest needs to feel comfortable if you’re going to make a habit of wearing it. It’s really that simple.
Basically there are two sorts of fastenings for weighted vests. One is some form of buckle (either the old-fashioned sort or the snap-fastening sort) and the other is velcro. If you want a weighted vest for the gym, then your choice will largely be a matter of taste. For crossfit and running, we’d suggest the buckle method as being less likely to keep coming undone with your movement.
Weighted Vest Review
A quick round up of what we think are the best weighted vests available in the UK. We’ve listed them by alphabetical order (of manufacturer).
Adidas Weighted Vest Review
Form – Full body
Weight – 10Kg
Fastening – Elasticated buckle
There is a full-length zip for a comfort fit and the elasticated buckle provides a nice balance of comfort and security. Speaking of balance, you can not only adjust the level of the weight, but also its position on the weighted vest. Although this is a full body weighted vest, the arm holes are deep enough to allow full freedom of movement and the soft lining means that you could wear this weighted vest directly on the body.
- super comfortable
- can adjust the position of the weights
- relatively high price
- a maximum weight of 10kg is on the lower side
- really does look like a bullet-proof vest, so we’d keep the adidas logo visible
- Adjustable 10 kg weight vest
- Flexible weight inserts for safe and balanced weight distribution
- An ideal way to add resistance to a workout
- Machine washable
- One size fits upto 50 inch chest
BodyRip Deluxe Weight Vest Review
Form – Full body
Weight – 20 kg
Fastening – Velcro
This full body weighted vest has four elasticated straps for a comfort fit. These are secured by velcro. Although you can’t adjust the position of the weights, they are spread evenly across the weighted vest and the pockets hold them securely. There’s also a decent amount of padding for extra comfort. Overall, we’re not sure this quite merits the term “deluxe” but it’s certainly a very decent offering at a very decent price.
- mid-range price and very good value for money
- good distribution of weight
- velcro does appear to stay in place when moving
- we don’t fancy wearing this directly on the body
- can’t adjust the position of the weights
- we’re still not convinced about velcro fasteners from crossfit and running
- This deluxe vest provides you with comfort during use
- There are removable sand bag weights spread very evenly comforming to the shape of the body
- You can remove sandbags if the vest is too heavy
- The inner padding provides flexibility, comfort and support
- It is held in place by four elisticated straps that are held down by velcro
- One size fits all
- Evenly distributed weights
JLL Weight Vest Review
Form – Full body
Weight – 30 Kg
Fastening – Velcro
JLL operate at the budget end of the market, however they have built their brand on offering very good value for money and that’s the reason their weighted vest made it into our list.
At a glance it looks pretty similar to the more expensive brands, but what you probably won’t notice just by looking at a picture of this weighted vest is it is that it doesn’t have any padding in the shoulders. It also offers limited options for adjusting the fitting.
We’d also say that with this vest, you really want to buy a heavier version than you think you’ll need as the weights can pop out when fully loaded, especially at the very top and very bottom. This may depend on what activities you’re doing.
- very good price and decent value for money
- easy to set up and adjust weights
- at this price point, you have to expect compromises on fit and adjustability
- issues with weights popping out
- you may need to replace the velcro periodically
- Available in various weights - 10kg, 15kg, 20kg, 25kg & 30kg.
- Does not absorb sweat. Machine washable. Remove weights from vest prior to washing.
- Padded design for comfort and flexibility. Adjustable fit with secure double Velcro fastening
- Secure weight pockets, weights can be adjusted easily to reduce or increase weights depending on your fitness level
- Can be used to intensify any workout
Viavito Weighted Vest
Form – Shoulder
Weight – 5 Kg
Fastening – Buckle
This weighted vest is simplicity itself to put on and take off and we have total confidence in the buckle fastening. The material is soft, comfortable and sweat resistant and the pouches which hold the iron sand filling are distributed evenly across the vest. Bonus points for the hi-viz reflective edging and the handy mesh pocket.
- super easy to put on and take off
- very comfortable to wear
- hi-viz edging for extra safety
- 5 Kg is not a lot of weight
- relatively expensive
- limited padding
- Increase calorie burn, strength and endurance
- Perfect for cycling, walking, running, cardio training, point exercises and more
- Hard wearing material designed to last; even weight distribution; hi-viz reflective strips
- Easily adjustable for a comfortable fit; one Size fits most
- Mesh back pocket for a water bottle; iron sand filling; weight 5kg (11lbs)
We R Sports™ XTR Weight Vest Review
Form – Full body
Weight – 30 Kg
Fastening – Velcro
We R Sports has designed its weighted vest to be a value all-rounder. This means that the arm holes are deep enough for running and the velcro straps mean that it will fit snugly enough to be comfortable during movement. The weights are evenly distributed and seem to stay in place most of the time.
Our one major gripe about this weighted vest is that there is a conspicuous lack of shoulder padding with the result that if you wear this weighted vest on, or even close to, your body, you are probably going to be very uncomfortable after extended use. This issue can be resolved in various ways, such as by adding extra padding yourself, so we don’t see it as a deal breaker, but it would be nice if We R Sports fixed this in future.
- One Size Fits All
- Will Not Absorb Sweat
- This Can Be Used With Any Exercise.
- Ultra Soft Padding
- 1 Year Warranty
If you’re looking for a weighted vest for active sports such as crossfit, running and cycling, then, depending on your weight preference, we’d say that the Viavito or the adidas were the ones to choose. For gym work, our top picks would be the adidas or the BodyRip, again, depending on your weight preference. As an all-round weighted vest, we’d say the adidas was the clear winner. Neither the JLL nor the We R Sports are objectively best in any category, but they are both good budget options, which is why they made our list.
One final tip
Whatever weighted vest you decide to buy, always handle it by the main body section NOT the straps! If you handle a weighted vest by the straps there is a very good chance they will break.
Over to you
Do you have any experiences of using a weighted vest you’d like to share? Are there any helpful tips you’d like to share? Please let us know in the comments. Alternatively, if you’ve any questions, please ask them and we’ll do our best to help.