My wife and I strive to challenge and push ourselves to the limit whenever we can. However, sometimes it gets a bit tiring to look for ways to push myself as other methods seem repetitive and boring.
In training your body to get stronger, it has to be introduced to movements or weights that are unfamiliar. This way, your body tries to adapt and harder exercises become its norm.
With my wife, she realized that, instead of adding more miles to her training, she can add weights instead! That’s when we started exploring weighted running vests.
This seemed like a really great way to add weights to your running; it’s much more of a hassle and probably less effective to sprint with dumbbells in your hand. So, if you’re looking for a challenge, weighted vests might be a great option for you.
It might seem a bit intimidating especially if you’re new to it, so here are some of the best weighted running vests for women that you might want to consider.
Best Weighted Running Vests For Women Compared and Reviewed
|RUNFast Adjustable Weighted Vest
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|Hyperwear Hyper Vest Fit
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|ZELUS Weighted Vest
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|RitFit Adjustable Weighted Vest
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|Empower Weighted Vest for Women
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#1 - RUNFast/Max 12lbs-140lbs Adjustable Weighted Vest
With such a wide range of weighted vest options available, versatile functions, a relatively affordable price compared to other weighted running vests out there, the RUNFast/Max Weighted Vest takes the top spot on my list!
The first thing I really like about this weighted vest is how you can easily change the weights. This is because they are hung like removable sandbags.
If you can afford it and you’re sure a weighted vest is a good investment for you, you can buy a heavy version of this weighted vest and remove some of the weights to give you a lighter vest, perfect for a beginner.
It also has an option to add shoulder pads. I personally think they should just include the shoulder pads without the added price.
Because there are weights on the front and back of the vest, you’ll find that the weight is evenly distributed, preventing any strains on your back or shoulders.
I also really like how it has a phone pocket, a water bottle holder, and a small pocket to place your headphones through. It gives you a lot more functions and lets you worry less about how to carry your stuff around.
Some people found that this vest is too loose for them, though, even with the adjustable velcro. Best to try them on in the store. Users also recommend shoulder pads. Even though the picture depicts a male wearing a weighted vest, I can assure you that it is a unisex option and can be used on females as a weight vest too.
#2 - Hyperwear Hyper Vest Fit
Are you willing to spend a little more for a better fit and a more comfortable weighted vest? Seeing the Hyperwear Hyper Vest Fit honestly is surprising to me since it seems to fit snugly in pictures. The price is a big turn off, though.
Let’s talk about the good stuff first. Its material is made of Tyvek, Lycra, and Nylon. To sum that up quickly, Tyvek is a nonwoven material made to create a breathable fabric.
Lycra is also known as Spandex or Elastane, making the fabric stretchable. This is why the vest is able to snugly fit around your body.
Lastly, Nylon has very durable fibers. The mixture of these 3 fabrics makes for a stretchable, durable, and breathable fabric. This makes the vest compatible with any movement or exercise, not only running.
Accompanying this kind of fabric is a lace-up design at the sides of this vest that allows for the vest to hug your curves. It is adjustable, so you can simply tighten it if it’s too loose. It’s a great alternative to other weighted vests that simply hang off your shoulders.
The metal weights are also removable, but some users complain that they poke through the holes. Apparently, the fabric isn’t super durable.
Another thing I don’t like is how highly-priced it is. Honestly, it might be worth the price, but for me, it just sucks that gear is this expensive even with its flaws as a weighted vest.
#3 - ZELUS Weighted Vest
This fabric is water-resistant and relatively elastic, though it might not be the best at keeping you cool. It still is a durable fabric, so you don’t have to worry about the weighted iron sand leaking.
Double pockets are attached to the left breast where you can store your valuables as big as your wallet and phone. The rear also features a mesh pocket if you need more storage.
As with other weighted running vests, the straps are adjustable so you can fit it snugly around your waist. However, users report how it doesn’t do that great a job at keeping it still. You might be bothered about how it bounces up and down as you run.
However, it isn’t as bad as those full vests that come down to your hips. Although it might move around, it’s still quite compact, reaching only down to under your chest.
It goes without saying that this vest does not feature adjustable weights, so you’ll have to purchase a brand new weighted vest if you want to go heavier.
#4 - RitFit Adjustable Weighted Vest
RitFit offers different fixed weights. This means that they don’t have removable weights, unlike the other weighted vests we just reviewed.
This might be a good thing. The iron sand that is integrated into the vest is chemical- and odor-free. You also won’t be worried about creating holes in your vest caused by the metal removable weights.
You won’t have to worry about the sand leaking too because of the double stitches at its edges. This, however, means that if you want to go heavier, you’ll have to buy a brand new weighted vest.
I like how it has mesh pockets for small things such as your keys or your phone, although probably not a water bottle. The vest itself contains adjustable straps which you can fix depending on your body type.
You can also get extra protection while running at night because of its reflective stripes. The vest also features a neoprene material that is moisture-resistant and breathable.
The durability of the adjustable straps is a different thing, though. Some users reported it snapping off and breaking after just a while.
#5 - Empower Weighted Vest for Women
Because it is not restricting, especially near your chest, you will have a lot more range of motion. This makes a lot of workouts possible to do, including, of course, running.
It has different options for weights. 8 founds is the fixed weight for this weighted vest. The other options — 10 pounds, 12 pounds, 14 pounds, and 16 pounds — are adjustable.
The side straps are also adjustable so you don’t have to see this vest move around too much. In fact, a lot of users praise how it stays on comfortably.
It is made of a neoprene fabric which makes for an elastic and breathable fabric, and it features padded shoulder straps. Iron sand creates the weight for this vest.
It’s all great reviews from users out there, but the advertised pocket for your phone is inaccurate according to other users. The pocket provided by Empower seems to be too small to fit a phone.
My Number One Pick
What To Look Out For When Buying Weighted Running Vests For Women
In general, when buying weighted running vests for women, you have to consider how it’ll fit you while running and if it’s appropriate for your fitness level.
Weighted running vests are generally quite pricey, so doing your research is important. I personally prefer to try on running vests in person so that you know if it fits well to your body. If not, though, thorough research and reading a bunch of reviews is necessary!
To help you out, here’s some things you have to consider when buying weighted running vests for women.
Probably the most obvious factor to consider is the weight of the running vest. If you don’t have experience with weights while running, you have to be careful with how heavy you go.
According to the American Bone Health, weighted vests should not exceed 10 percent of your body weight. So, if you’re around 150 pounds, you should not wear a weighted vest weighing 15 pounds.
That’s why I don’t quite understand why the RUNFast/Max Adjustable Weighted Vest has a vest weighing up to 140 pounds. I suggest that if you’re going to be using a weighted vest for running, follow the “10 percent of your body weight” rule.
If you’re really inclined to go heavier, check with your doctor. This brings us to the next factor to consider.
A Harvard Health Letter suggests that people with back and neck problems should avoid weighted vests. In general, though, weighted vests can help promote new bone cells!
The best thing to do is to check with your doctor to see if weighted vests are a good option for you. Remember, adding weights will increase your heart rate and will put pressure on your bones and joints.
A weighted vest that moves around when you jump or jog is extra annoying. You want your weighted vest to be snug around your body so that you can do more movements without the vest getting in the way!
There are a lot of ways that weighted vests try to fit the vest onto your body. They can add adjustable side straps or Velcro straps. Others have lacing on the side to make sure it’s extra fitted to your body, like the Hyperwear Hyper Vest Fit.
Fitting the body doesn’t only have an athletic function. It can also improve your body’s shape! For example, the Empower Weighted Vest for Women has an adjustable side strap and an X-shape that makes it so that your curves are emphasized.
You might want to also look at the extra functions of your vest, as this can increase its functionality especially while running.
What I mean by extra functions is the little extra things that your vest really doesn’t need to serve its purpose, which is to create extra weight for your body. They are still great things to have, though, and can make running a bit more convenient.
Weighted vests usually take advantage of the added clothing to add extra pockets for your valuables. This can help you run without the extra hassle of figuring out where to put your phone, keys, and wallet!
The ZELUS Weighted Vest is a great example of this! It has a whole double pocket on your left breast that can fit a phone, probably your wallet too. It also has a mesh pocket at the back.
Safety or Reflectivity
Reflective strips are important for those who run a lot at night. Incoming cars will be able to see you clearly. The RitFit Adjustable Weighted Vest features this.
Your weights should be evenly distributed. If you see that your weights are all at the front, especially if they are adjustable, you might want to reconsider. An evenly distributed weighted vest will prevent back and neck problems, like the RUNFast/Max vest.
Usually, weighted running vests that have the weight integrated into the vest itself with iron sand are evenly distributed, like the Empower weighted vest.
Frequently Asked Questions On Weighted Running Vests For Women
Q: Are wearable weights such as weighted vests harmful?
A: Wearable weights are not harmful if you wear them properly. Some wearable weights will be good for certain exercises only. For example, according to Harvard, wrist weights are best as replacements for dumbbells if you can’t grip dumbbells well. They are, however, not great for walking exercises, let alone running.
Q: Can I use ankle weights instead of weighted vests?
A: Ankle weights also can be beneficial for certain exercises such as leg lifts. However, for running, it might be harmful. According to Harvard, the added weight on your ankles while walking or running can force you to use your quads instead of hamstrings, causing muscle imbalance.
Q: Can I train for a marathon with a weighted running vest?
A: You can train for a marathon or any race with a running vest. However, it might be a good idea to stop using it 2 to 3 weeks before the race to let your body recover.
Weighted running vests are a great tool for both men and women to add to their training. However, they can get tricky, specifically for those with health problems. Running is hard on its own, and adding weights can either make you stronger or worsen your form.
However, if you think you’re up to the challenge, this is a great way to spice up your running routines. This added weight will strengthen not only your muscles but also your cardiovascular fitness.
Just like regular running, your heart has to pump hard enough to keep your muscles going. Adding weights will cause your heart to pump even harder, sending the right amount of oxygen to your muscles.
If you’re only starting, however, you might want to focus on your running form first before investing in an adjustable weighted vest. Once you get the hang of it, start with a weighted running vest that does not exceed 10 percent of your body weight.
Becoming a better runner takes time, if you’ve experienced things like hip pain while running maybe slow down on the weighted vests. Same, if your heart rate was too high, you should consider some other heart rate training for running first maybe. The mental health benefits of running and fitness results are very good, so avoid the vests if you aren’t experienced and ready for them.
Like in any investment, make sure you do your own research, especially if it involves your own body. I hope you found this article helpful and let me know in the comment box below if you’ve tried running with weighted vests already. What was your experience?
While you’re here, check out these reviews we’ve done on barefoot running shoes if you’re looking to try new things in your runs. If you’re completely new, check out this list of beginner running shoes to get you started.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is through constantly challenging yourself.