Aerobic exercises are a great way of reaching new levels of physical fitness, improving your endurance and generally maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. However, our bodies are quick to adapt to stressors we place on them.
It’s something we’re very good at.
For example, if you’re into calisthenics (bodyweight training), pushing and pulling your own bodyweight eventually becomes less challenging. Fortunately, there are proven options that allow you to keep upping the ante when that happens. One of those options are weighted vests.
The only issue with these is that they’re often cumbersome and not all that comfortable to run in. That’s where low-profile weighted vests come into play. Today we’re going to show you our picks for the top 6 best slim weighted vests on the market. We chose these models based on their proven performance, build quality and comfort levels.
Some of these are among the best weighted vests in general. Once we go over our picks, we’ll dig deeper into the broader topic of weighted vests, why the slim type makes sense for many people and how to find the right one for you.
Let’s get cracking.
Best Slim Weighted Vest At a Glance
Best Slim Weighted Vest Overall
These vests offer the best possible comfort in a fixed, solid weight design. Built from high-quality materials, these low-profile weight vests make it easy to work out in complete comfort with all the benefits that solid weights offer. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Best Value Slim Weighted Vest
Finding a solid bang-for-buck option will never be easier than with MIR’s Super Slim Vest. Designed to give you the greatest possible comfort and performance at a competitive price, this vest can get you far. Best of all, it comes in a substantial range of weight options for such a slim fitting weight vest.
Best Budget Slim Weighted Vest
Aduro Sport’s take on the low-profile weight vests brings a different layout to what’s usually offered in this segment. It better resembles a weighted harness. The vest is affordable, durable and very comfortable which makes it a great choice for exercisers who want a decent workhorse rig at a low cost.
The Best Slim Weighted Vests
|Hyper Vest PRO & Elite||
|MIR Super Slim Air Flow Weighted Vest||
|Aduro Sport Weighted Vest||
|SKLZ Weighted Vest||
|ZELUS Weighted Vest||
|Everlast Weighted Vest||
|Hyper Vest PRO & Elite|
|MIR Super Slim Air Flow Weighted Vest|
|Aduro Sport Weighted Vest|
|SKLZ Weighted Vest|
|ZELUS Weighted Vest|
|Everlast Weighted Vest|
Hyperwear’s Hyper Vest series represents one of the most practical solutions when it comes to building a durable vest that’s slim, comfortable and easy to adjust. The company chose to go with a soft fabric shell that has rows of sewn-in solid weights spanning across the front and the back of the vest.
There are two main reasons why this design works better than most others. For one, you’re still getting solid weights which is always a better option. Solid weights don’t leak, nor do they become sweat soaked.
The other main reason why this design works is the fact that the weights are small enough that they contour to the shape of your body. This means they don’t press or dig uncomfortably into your flesh. In other words, you’re getting the best features of a solid weighted vest in a package that looks and feels more like a soft weighted vest.
This particular model offers 10 lbs. of weight and features adjustment laces on the side. Once you find the right fit, you can use the front-mounted zipper to get in and out of the vest. The overall quality of this weighted vest is great, especially when it comes to the stretchy, odor-resistant fabric.
There’s also the Elite version of this vest that features 10 lbs., 15lbs., and 20 lbs. weights, even more robust build quality and slightly more padding in all the right places.
- A great combination of solid weights and ultimate comfort
- Easy to adjust to your body type thanks to a functional adjustment system
- Comes with 10lbs of fixed weights sewn into the fabric
- The unisex design ensures comfort regardless of body type and shape
The Not So Good
- One of the most expensive options, especially if you’re looking at the Elite version
Next up is a design that comes from MIR that represents a more affordable take on what the Hyperwear vests offers. This model is arguably the best bang-for-your-buck option in this segment. At roughly $9 – $18 / lb (depending on the weight you get), it’s priced very competitively, brings all the right features and fits the whole slim form narrative extremely well.
The real question is what’s the catch?
In terms of design, you’re looking at a soft fabric vest with removable metal weights. Just like with our previous pick, that means that the vest is easy to adjust to any body shape and maintain a good fit. However, the adjustment system is somewhat inferior compared to what the Hyper Vest offers.
Instead of using a lacing system, MIR have gone with Velcro straps. Velcro tends to be less functional than lacing in that it’s bulkier and harder to get the perfect fit. Velcro also tends to use plastic buckles and or metal loops which are prone to twisting, bending, and breaking. All of this can make for a frustrating experience when you’re in the middle of a workout and in no mood for bullshit.
That said, unlike the Hyper Vest, this MIR vest’s adjustable weights mean that you can quickly and easily change the weight to ensure your muscles are being appropriately challenged.
Similarly, another element that benefits the MIR Super Slim vest is the array of weight options available. You can choose anywhere from 4 lbs. to 32 lbs., which is pretty impressive for such a low-profile vest. It’s also very durable and can take a beating. You’ll be pleased to know that the fabric on this thing breathes and is machine washable (after removing all of the weights). It’s a solid option for those who want to squeeze out every drop of quality they can get for their money.
- Offers the best bang-for-buck value at the moment
- Durable design that can take the wear and tear of everyday use
- Comes in a wide range of weight options
- Comfortable enough for all kinds of applications
The Not So Good
- The fitting system used relies on Velcro straps which don’t work as well as laces
Aduro Sport’s take on the low profile weighted workout vest is a bit different compared to what we’ve shown you so far. For starters, this isn’t exactly a vest in the usual sense of the word. Rather, it’s a harness in that it attaches to, and distributes the weight aros your back (kind of like a form-fitting backpack).
There are pros and cons to this design, with the main benefit being the greater comfort. After all, the vest itself has a very small footprint when being worn in that it covers a minimal, unobtrusive portion of your body. This, in turn, ensures good ventilation all around.
These types of vests are usually made of quality neoprene, which is also the case here. The material is very durable and more importantly, inexpensive. In fact, this model from Aduro Sport is probably the best budget slim weighted vest on the market at the moment. As far as weight goes, you’re looking at soft weights built into the structure of the vest.
Aduro Sport offers these in versions that range from 4 lbs. to 30 lbs. Due to the nature of its design, finding the right fit comes down to a quick adjustment of the chest strap. In that regard, this thing is quick, easy, and hassle-free.
Last but not least, it even comes with a small accessory pouch in the back that fits a smartphone perfectly.
- A very affordable rig that’ll get you out and working out on a tight budget
- Comes in a wide range of weight options
- Durable neoprene chassis makes it durable
The Not So Good
- Uses soft weights, which often come in the form of iron sand that can start leaking after a time
- Its contoured design means that some users might find it uncomfortable
Following on from Aduro Sport’s unusual slim weighted vest design, this next one will definitely pique your interest.
It comes from SKLZ and features a slim design that’s fully adjustable. There are definitely not many models like this on the market. The team behind this design has found a way to retain that small footprint while giving you the ability to adjust the weight as you wish.
With that said, they had to take a few shortcuts. The most obvious one is the use of soft weights. Using iron ingots makes a vest more bulky, so soft weights make perfect sense. However, as is the case with most weighted vests that employ this kind of weight, there’s always a risk of leaks.
The vest is short and sits high on the chest. This means that can retain full mobility of your upper body at all times. Adjusting the fit is done using a pair of wide Velcro straps that run underneath the armpits. All things considered, you can find a good fit easily that ensures the vest stays in place.
The vest’s build quality is decent in the sense that SKLZ has used largely fit-for-purpose materials.
The major drawback of the SKLZ weighted vest is the limited weight range. It maxes out at 10 lbs., which is well below some of the options above, and makes it only appropriate for explosive training. You’re likely to get the most value out of by using it in conjunction with a weight sled or parachute.
- A perfect option for those who simply need an adjustable vest
- Great bang for your buck value
- Built using quality materials all around
- Features a mesh interior lining that allows your body to breathe
The Not So Good
- Soft neoprene weights are prone to leaks
- Stitching around the Velcro patches requires careful handling
ZELUS weighted vest is another harness-type rig that appeals to the budget user. One thing that stands out on this model is a noticeably more robust design. Namely, the harness itself is thicker, wider and inspires greater confidence than most similar designs on the market.
There’s a catch, though. All of this additional material makes it slightly less comfortable than competitors (Aduro Sport’s model, for example).
The build quality is good. The neoprene they’ve used is robust enough to easily take the beating of everyday use. ZELUS offers these weighted training vests in two versions: A 12 lbs. one or 20 lbs. model. The former comes in three different colors while the latter comes in black only.
As far as features go, ZELUS offers a set of reflective stripes that increase your visibility in low-light conditions. There is also a removable pouch you can mount to the straps, which makes this vest more functional than most.
Overall, ZELUS offers a decent training solution at a good price.
- Robust build quality that inspires confidence
- Comes in two weight options at a great price
- Offers a solid range of features for this segment
The Not So Good
- Its robust design means a larger profile and less comfort all around
- Soft, built-in weights have a tendency to spring leaks over long periods of heavy use
Our last model for this list comes from Everlast and represents a basic, fairly neutral harness-type vest. This brand did a few things differently from others, which may work better for some users in the long run. Specifically, they’ve gone with a different adjustment system and much wider straps. Instead of using a chest or sternum strap for fit adjustment, they’ve used a pair of buckle adjusted side straps that run front to back.
While the hardware on these straps is good, it’s not that easy to find the perfect fit simply because you have to work the buckle every time. However, once you find that sweet spot, you won’t have to find it again each time you use the vest.
From a build quality standpoint, Everlast have gone cheaper than competitors. You’re likely to find this vest is more susceptible to wear and tear than others, so you’ll have to treat it with particular care.
It’s worth noting that wider shoulder straps combined with slimmer soft weights result in a comfortable rig. The only potential issue can be the chest area as there isn’t much room left between the straps themselves. However, your mileage may vary.
All-in-all, this is a solid, functional, low-profile vest, which is what matters the most.
- A simple, robust and durable vest
- Offers a different design compared to most of its counterparts on the market
- Comes with reflective stripes at shoulder level
The Not So Good
- Its footprint is considerably larger than that of most other similar models
- Uses soft weights which can spring a leak
- More susceptible to wear and tear than most others
Should You Get a Slim Weighted Vest?
Weighted workout vests are nothing new in the world of fitness. This piece of kit is used by both casual and professional athletes. The real question is what kind of results are you looking to get? As you’ve probably noticed by now, not all weighted vests are made equal. The whole idea behind a slim weight vest is to be able to overload your body with additional weight without the bulkiness.
This is generally important for aerobic activities such as running or similar where cumbersome gear simply doesn’t cut it.
Furthermore, one’s body shape is also a factor. For example, ladies might find weighted vests designed specifically for women to work better on average.
That said, low-profile weighted vests can be used in just about any application. They make weighted workouts much more comfortable. The only real downside is the limited weight. All things considered, you should get a low-profile / slim-fit weight vest if you value comfort over additional weight.
Choosing the Right Slim Weighted Vest
One of the interesting things about the slim category of weighted vests and weighted clothing, in general, is that there are so many different options to choose from. So much so that things tend to get a bit hectic at times. In order to make things easier for you, we’ve put together a small list of things you’d want to look out for when buying a vest of this type.
Let’s address each in more detail:
Fixed Weight or Adjustable?
This is one of the most important questions one needs to answer when shopping for any kind of weighted vest, let alone a slim one. Adjustable designs are always going to make more sense as you’re able to fine-tune the load you’re putting on every time you work out.
However, adjustable weight vests are more expensive on average and generally bulkier due to the types of weight used (metal ingots vs sand-filled bags). They’re much more popular among users who need weighted vests for CrossFit or similar activities where progressive overload is the name of the game.
On the other hand, fixed weight vests are cheaper and slimmer fitting. The downside is that you’re stuck with a single weight, which you may outgrow.
Soft or Hard Weights?
Considering we’re talking about vests whose main purpose is to be comfortable and unobtrusive, soft weights will always be a better option than hard weights. Soft weights are generally composed of regular or iron sand, which is much gentler than the metal ingots that comprise standard hard weights. The flipside here is that soft weights are prone to leaking as well as moisture damage.
Solid weights, in comparison, are easier to work with in many ways. They’re indestructible, won’t fall apart on you, and won’t absorb your sweat. But, they’re generally less comfortable and more bulky. This isn’t always the case, though. Small ingots that are well-placed can be ok.
Vest or Harness?
One look at our list reveals that there are two main types of slim designs out there – vest and harness. Let’s look at what each of these brings to the table.
Vests are a more traditional type of design that has proven to be a great choice for situations where you require optimal weight distribution. Depending on the brand and model of vests you’re looking at, these can be very ergonomic. Also, adjustable weights almost always come inside a vest rather than a harness. You’ll mostly see these used as weighted vests designed for bodyweight fitness and similar activities.
At the other end of the extreme are harnesses. While still technically called vests, these types of models are reduced to shoulder straps in most cases. This approach is great for fixed weight designs where you don’t care too much about weight distribution. They’re also slightly more comfortable on average.
Frequently Asked Questions About Slim Weighted Vests
Now that we know a thing or two about the discrete weighted vests and all of their quirks, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions!
How heavy weighted vest should I get?
As a rule of thumb, novices should start with no more than 10% of their total body weight. However, if you’re anticipating that your weight vest training will be a long-term endeavour, you should get the heaviest vest you can afford and work your way your way up to the maximum weight. This will ensure you only ever have to purchase one vest.
As you can see, by their very nature slim weighted vests tend not to get that heavy. This is where your intended application becomes particularly important. If you plan on simply walking with your vest, you could get away with 15% to 20% of your body weight.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on running or doing something more intense than walking, you should aim for 10% to 15% of your body weight. Naturally, these are just ballpark figures but it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Don’t overload your body past its limits for the sake of hitting a new PR. Work yourself up to heavier weights slowly and methodically. That is the only healthy way to go about doing this.
Is it safe to walk, jog or run with a weighted vest?
Using weighted vests for aerobic exercises such as fast walking, jogging or running is nothing new. People have been using weighted clothing to improve their cardio for a long time. In fact, as we mentioned above, research has consistently shown that weighted vests can be useful training aids when added to walking, jogging and running programs.
However, even though using weighted vests in this scenario is a good thing, you don’t want to go overboard. It’s imperative that you know exactly how far you can push your body without overloading it. Therefore, make sure that your choice of weights is adequate and fits your fitness level. This leads us to our next question.
Are weighted vests bad for your spine?
Weighted vests aren’t inherently bad for your spine. As long as you are using reasonable amounts of weight during your training, you should be perfectly fine.
One scenario where you might be risking injury is if you’re wearing more weight than you can handle and decide to bend at the waist, thus putting a lot of strain on your back. Just like it’s the case with most other fitness equipment, you need to employ common sense when using weighted vests.
Is wearing a weighted vest all day bad?
The jury is still out on this one. However, so far there is no conclusive evidence that wearing a weighted vest outside of your workout routine is either good or bad for you.
This also includes the so-called hypergravity training, which is the name given to wearing a weighted vest for extended periods of time (e.g., 4 – 8 hours per day). Naturally, you are advised to exercise caution when using weighted clothing or weighted vests outside your workout routine as there are other risks involved aside from potential fatigue.
Well, there you have it: The 6 Best Slim Weighted Vests
Each of these vests were selected because of the features they offer and the designs they’re based on. The build quality is arguably the biggest differentiator, with the higher-rated picks being significantly more durable on average. At this point, all you have to do is find the one that works best for you!