Weighted vests are becoming more and more popular in the fitness world. While there’s a significant range of shapes and sizes, most weight vests on the market typically have some or all of the weight up around the chest area. This works fine for men, but typical weighted vests don’t offer optimum levels of comfort for women, especially those with larger bust sizes. Even so-called unisex vests tend to be male-centric.
Focusing the weight around the chest obviously places undue pressure on the breasts, and makes vests extremely uncomfortable or completely unwearable for some women. Fortunately, there are specialized weighted vests out there designed specifically for the needs of half the world’s population.
Today we’re going to show you our picks for the top 5 best weighted vests for women. As you’re about to find out, some of these are easily among the overall best weighted vests on the market.
After we show you what these models offer, we’ll dig deep into the nature of weighted vests designed specifically for women. By the time you’re done reading this guide, you should know what makes a good vest, what features to look for and how to choose the right one for your needs. Let’s get to it!
Best Weighted Vest for Women At a Glance
Best Weighted Vest
for Women Overall
The BOX women’s weight vest offers a streamlined design made to maximize comfort and bring solid performance beyond that of most unisex models. Built to last, this vest features quality materials and robust stitching all around. It’s the ultimate weighted vest for women who value comfort and durability.
Weighted Vest for Women
Borrowing heavily from their successful short vest design, MIR’s women’s adjustable weighted vest is a niche solution that simply works. It’s constructed from durable materials and comes in a wide range of weight options. All things considered, it’s a great bang-for-your-buck option.
Weighted Vest for Women
If you’re looking for something that’s a bit lighter on the wallet, then Aduro’s weighted vest may be what you’re after. This fixed-weight vest straps to your back rather than your front, thus leaving the chest area completely free. Perfect for those looking for an alternative to the traditional style.
The Best Weighted Vests for Women
|Women’s Box Weight Vest||
|MIR Women’s Adjustable Weighted Vest||
|Aduro Sport Weighted Vest||
|Empower Weighted Vest for Women||
|ZFOsports Women’s Adjustable Weighted Vest||
|Women’s Box Weight Vest|
|MIR Women’s Adjustable Weighted Vest|
|Aduro Sport Weighted Vest|
|Empower Weighted Vest for Women|
|ZFOsports Women’s Adjustable Weighted Vest|
At the top of our list is a niche design from BOX. This company has taken a good look at what issues women mostly run into with weighted vests and taken measures to solve them. One look at their weighted vest lets you know that they’ve been successful.
The main idea behind this vest’s design was to maximize comfort without reducing functionality. They’ve done this by dropping the weights down to waist level, thus freeing up the entire chest area.
Not only that, but the harness that goes over the chest features an ergonomic design and uses the bare minimum of material necessary to hold everything together. Such design also brings positive ventilation and allows your entire upper torso to breathe. BOX has made this vest nice and robust. It features quality ballistic nylon and good stitching all around.
You can choose anywhere from 2.5 lbs. to 25 lbs. versions in 2.5 lbs. increments. Last but not least, the vest also comes with a small utility pouch at the front where you can store your phone or other accessories.
- Optimized designed that provides good functionality and maximum comfort
- Built using quality materials all around
- Features good quality buckles that last stresses that weight vests typically undergo
- Offers up to 25 lbs. of weight in 2.5 lbs. increments making it easy to dial in on the perfect weight for you
The Not So Good
- It’s definitely not cheap, but you get what you pay for
MIR is another brand that has put the extra time into R&D and come up with a solid weighted training vest for women. Their women’s weight vest is all about delivering robust performance in a comfortable package, much like the BOX vest above.
MIR have also shifted all of the weight down to the waistline while keeping more material around the chest area. In this sense, you may find that this vest is slightly over-engineered. While this isn’t generally an issue, there is a case to be made for low profile vests. Compared to some models out there, MIR’s comes across as slightly cumbersome.
The upside to this is the fact that this thing is built like a tank. This particular model borrows heavily from their popular short vest and features the same quality materials. As far as weights go, you can order this vest in 10 lbs., 20 lbs., 40 lbs., and 50 lbs. versions.
This weight vest’s price per pound is a bit of a bargain considering the quality and performance you’re getting.
- Proven MIR build quality that ensures long lifespan under heavy use
- Design optimized for women’s physiology, based on a proven model from their range
- Offers a wide spectrum of weight options
- Adjustable in 3 lbs. increments making it great for progressive exercises
The Not So Good
- It’s over-engineered to a point where it comes across as cumbersome
Fixed-weight weighted vests are a popular subcategory when it comes to models optimized for women’s physiology. This is due to the fact that a fixed weight approach allows the designer to account for a finite amount of weight and work out a comfortable rig around said weight.
That’s exactly the case with Aduro Sport’s weighted vests. Granted, this is a unisex model, but it was obviously made with women in mind. The whole thing is actually more of a harness than a vest. It’s akin to a set of backpack straps that flare outward more than usual.
Aduro Sport has used neoprene as their main material of choice. The weight is soft and sewn into the neoprene structure of the vest. This a great thing from a comfort standpoint. However, it can be an issue if the lining of the weight pockets is damaged.
Such compromises are acceptable considering the benefits this design brings to the table. As far as weight goes, you can get this vest in 4 lbs., 6 lbs., 12 lbs., 20 lbs., and 25 lbs. variants.
Overall, this model is ideal if comfort is your primary concern.
- Highly comfortable design that is suitable for long periods of frequent use
- Made of durable materials with decent stitching and hardware all around
- Comes in a decent range of weight options
- Easy to strap down tight preventing any movement during use
The Not So Good
- Fixed weights mean that you’ll need to get a whole new vest once this one is no longer challenging
- Soft weights can start leaking out if the neoprene structure is damaged
Empower’s design is the simplest, cheapest and least obtrusive one on our list. This company has gone to great lengths to create something that would fit any woman out there no matter her proportions. However, while doing so they have sacrificed some aspects of the vest’s design. We’ll start with the fact that this vest isn’t overly streamlined.
Its design is rather cumbersome compared to most but it works. The vest is easy to strap down tight enough where it won’t move too much. Being a neoprene fixed weight model, you get the soft weights (usually iron sand or small steel pellets) sewn into its structure.
The vest comes in two versions, 4 lbs. and 8 lbs. These are obviously not significant weights, meaning this vest is best suited for true beginners or those who wish to add additional resistance during their aerobic routine.
The vest’s strongest hand is its price, which is ridiculously low. So much so that there’s no good reason not to have one of these around.
- An extremely cheap vest that is great for everyday use
- Very forgiving design that will fit any body shape
- Made using quality neoprene materials all around
The Not So Good
- Might be too light for many users
- Slightly cumbersome design
Last but not least is this great adjustable model from ZFOsports. This particular vest combines a comfortable design optimized for female physiology with more robust weight figures. Where most other brands limit their vest’s weight capacity at 40 to 50 lbs., ZFOsport’s weighted vest maxes out at 80 lbs. Now, that’s all well and good, but unfortunately, only the 30 lbs. vest is made specifically for women. All the other variants are unisex.
Aside from offering a wider range of weights, the vest also keeps all of the weights down at waist level. The team behind this model has made sure that whatever material falls over the chest area is thin and more or less unobtrusive. This means you’re getting optimal comfort regardless of your body type.
What really sets this vest apart from the competition is the value it offers (i.e., quality to cost ratio). Depending on the weight you go for, you’ll be paying roughly $1.30 – $2.00 per pound. As far as niche adjustable weighted vests go, this one absolutely provides your money’s worth. It’s robust, affordable and functional. We can’t ask for much more than that.
- Comfortable, niche design that works with all kinds of body types
- Easy to adjust and strap in thanks to a wide adjustment belt
- Comes with a bottle holder accessory built into the belt
- Great bang for the buck value
The Not So Good
- It’s a bit long so it may not work well for shorter users
- Only the 30 lbs. vest is designed specifically for women
Should You Get a Women’s Weighted Vest?
You should get one if regular, unisex vests have proven to be too uncomfortable for you. Simple as that.
Women looking for ways to make their work outs more challenging, are likely to find a vest designed specifically for their body shape more comfortable than a unisex one. Unisex models tend to work well for men and women with smaller breasts, but they rarely actually take breast size into account.
Sports bras can be of some help, but you can only compress your chest so much before things become too uncomfortable.
With weighted training vests designed specifically for women, these issues are significantly lessened. These vests are created in a way that shifts the weight from the chest area to the waist line, thus leaving only fabric and padding around the bust.
Needless to say, such designs greatly improve comfort while preserving the functionality of the vest. All of the weight is still there, it’s just distributed differently. In fact, these vests tend to be every bit as functional as, for example, your standard CrossFit weighted vests.
Now, if your question is whether you should get a weighted vest at all, then the answer is less satisfactory ‘it depends’. It depends on what you’re aiming to do with the vest, and what your fitness goals are.
Broadly speaking, weight vests have been shown to be effective training aids. Studies have shown that they can improve sprint speed and agility, jumping ability, lower body power output, and cardiovascular fitness. Similarly, wearing weighted vests for long periods (known as hypergravity training) has been found to produce improvements across a range of athletic abilities.
Choosing the Right Weighted Vest for Women
Finding the right weighted vest as a woman with a larger chest is more difficult compared to everyone else. As we’ve discussed, you’ll have to take one more additional parameter into account.
With that said, the rest of the process is pretty much the same. All of the usual conditions apply and the process is similar to that needed to find a great vest for running and walking. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors you’d want to look out for.
As you’ve probably noticed by now, not all of these vests designed for women are the same. Weighted clothing generally doesn’t sit the same on everyone. This rings even more true with vests designed for women. Because of that, there are several different designs in circulation. We have shown you the ones you’ll most likely run into.
Figuring out which one of these will work for you is a subjective thing. Some are more adjustable than others and are more likely to provide a good fit right out of the box. Others are less adjustable but feature designs that are inherently more suitable for women. Again, you’ll have to figure this one out on your own according to your body type.
Adjustable or Fixed?
Adjustable vs fixed weight vests is an age-long discussion. One thing we can say with certainty is that both designs have their pros and cons that go beyond weight itself. Most relevant to this topic is the fact that the adjustable models designed specifically for women are often less comfortable than the fixed weight models.
The reason behind this is that most fixed models from this niche bypass the chest area altogether. That is something adjustable weight vests simply can’t do. On the other hand, some brands have refined the design of their adjustable models so that they’re very comfortable on average.
In addition to comfort, you should definitely figure out if being able to progressively increase weight is something that matters to you. Hint: If you’re aiming to build muscle and / or strength, then this should matter to you.
Build Quality, Materials, and Features
The rest of the selection process is all about the build quality, materials, and features, just like with any other type of weighted vests. You’ll want to find models that feature durable nylon fabric or neoprene depending on what type of vest you’re looking at.
The next thing to look at is stitching. Single stitching around load-bearing areas of the vest may be prone to tearing. We like to see double stitching as that ensures durability over time.
As far as features go, some vests come with things like accessory pouches or water bottle holders. These often cost more, but you can definitely find models that offer more than just the bare minimum.
Frequently Asked Questions About Weighted Vests for Women
Now that we’re familiarized with this type of weighted vest, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions that pop up whenever this subject is discussed.
Which weighted vest is best for women?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, unisex weighted vests for fine for a large number of women. Chances are you could go out and get yourself a decent weighted vest designed for bodyweight training and be just fine.
However, if you’re not sure whether you’d be comfortable in unisex vests, it may be better to err on the side of caution and get one of the vests from the list above. These were specifically designed for women’s bodies and offer as much comfort as possible.
Is a weighted vest good for osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that might lead some patients to think that using any kind of weights can only cause more damage. However, there is considerable evidence that suggests that weighted vests have a positive effect on osteoporosis via improvements in bone density, muscle strength and balance.
Bone generally responds to all forms of resistance training by growing in density. Hence, adding weight to your frame when osteopenic can reduce the effect of this condition by stimulating bone density increases over time.
However, it’s always best that you consult with your physician before doing any weight training at home or in the gym. A trained medical professional is the only person who can tell you with certainty if using a weighted vest is going to be beneficial to you.
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.
How heavy weighted vest should I get?
Before we go any further, we’d just like to say that we stand behind adjustable vests. If you’re serious about weighted workouts, there is no better way to make sure that your investment will pay off long term than to get an adjustable vest. From this standpoint, you should get the heaviest vest you can find and work your way your way up to that max number. As a rule of thumb, novices should start with no more than 10% of their total body weight.
However, if you’re working with fixed weight vests, you’ll have to take a different approach. This is where your intended application matters. 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 new weights slowly and methodically. That is the only healthy way to go about doing this.
Well, there you have it: The 5 Best Weighted Vests for Women
As you can tell, there are several different schools of thought when it comes to this. The important thing is that all of these work. All you really need to do is figure out which design works the best for you and stick to that.
Once more, we suggest that you go prioritize getting adjustable weight models and only go with a fixed weight one if adjustable ones simply don’t work for you. That way you’ll enjoy your investment long-term.