Embarking on a journey towards a healthier, more active lifestyle begins with a single step! So many people struggle with knowing how to get started exercising. If hiring a personal trainer, or joining a gym just isn’t in the cards yet for you, then why not just go for a walk? Walking is so underrated when it comes to a solution for exercise. And, what better way to supercharge those steps than using a weighted vest for walking?
As a former gym owner, and seasoned fitness, and nutrition enthusiast, I’ve explored a myriad of options, seeking out the perfect companion for my daily walks. Some vests bounce around, others rub in weird places.
So, I’m thrilled to share my top picks for weighted vests that have revolutionized the way I approach walking workouts. Whether you’re just getting started with exercise, or you are a dedicated power walker looking to burn more calories and build muscle mass, these vests are bound to become your new secret weapon in the quest for a more fitter, healthier “you”.
My Top 3 Picks For A Weighted Vest For Walking
#1 Pick – Hyperwear Hyper Vest
Hyperwear Hyper Vest
This is my favorite weighted vest for my walking routine and other types of workouts too. In fact, it is one of the only weighted vests I have used when jumping rope, doing pull-ups, push-ups, and running. It allows me to maintain proper form and does not bounce around or hit me in the chin.
Hyperwear Hyper Weighted Vest Features:
- Made of Tyvec Lycra Nylon
- Zipper front closure, with side nylon ties to tighten
- Comes with 10lb of weight, but can go up to 30lbs
- Comes in sizes small – xtra xtra large
- Made in the USA with some imported materials
- Comes in a Pro & Elite Option
The weights in this vest are small tube-like weights. I like this because it allows for you to move more freely than with other weighted vests I’ve worn. While wearing a weighted vest walking it’s nice to have that hyper vest fit which is form-fitting, and not as rigid as the plated weighted vests.
This vest holds up to 30lb of added weight. Each metal weight tube is 2.5lbs
- Very snug fit
- Does not bounce around
- You can easily move around in this vest, it is very flexible
- Easily add weight to other exercises like pushups, pullups, and running as well because of its flexibility & close fit
- Comes with 10lb of weight
- Higher priced than other options
#2 Pick – MIR Weighted Vests
If you are looking at walking with a weighted vest, this brand could be for you! There is a wide range of options available from this company you can add to your fitness routine, including a “woman’s only” vest. All MIR vests share the basic components, however, the women’s vest is more fitted which makes weight vest training comfortable.
MIR Vest Features
- Includes adjustable Velcro belt
- Woman’s vest comes in 10lb – 50lb options
- Men’s vest comes in 20lb – 60lb options
- All the straps are adjustable
- Machine washable when the weights are out
- Made of Nylon in China
The weights in this vest are made of solid iron. They come in 3 lb bricks with the dimension: 4” x 2.5” x 1.5” The official MIR stamp is on the weight, and the weights can be used in other weighted vests if they fit. I like the fact they are available in such small weighted increments as this allows for a person to start with lighter weight, and add weight gradually. Another great thing about the MIR weights is that they are compatible with every weighted vest they offer.
- MIR are available in woman’s & men’s fits
- The weighted vests have a variety of weight options 10 – 60lb!
- There is a lifetime warranty on the vests
- Machine washable
- Straps are all adjustable
- The vest is more costly than others
#3 Pick – Bear Complex Weight Vest
The Bear Complex weighted vest is my second favorite weighted vest. It’s a good quality vest, and I like it because of how it tightens on the side of the body. The wide straps are a thick elastic. I’ve worn this weighted vest running, doing pushups, and pull-ups. There is some extra padding on the straps that go on the shoulders so they don’t cut into your skin. Although it moved around a bit more than the Hyperwear vest, it still comes in a close second.
Bear Complex weight vests are popular amongst CrossFitters around the world. Many times these high level athletes will wear a weighted vest during body weight workouts just to get some more extra weight during their cardio workouts.
Bear Complex Weighted Vest Features:
- Is made of mil-spec 500D CORDURA nylon with a water-resistant coating
- The side and shoulder straps are adjustable with enhanced padding on the shoulder straps
- This weighted vest is designed for indoor and outdoor use
- Can hold up to 20lb of added weight
- Made in the USA
The weights for this weight vest are plates made of cast iron. Plates are sold in pairs, and can be purchased in a 5.75lb pair, or a 8.75lb pair. These plates are added via pockets in the vest. Bear Complex just came out with more “shaped” weight plates which make them more ergonomically friendly than they have been in the past.
- Close fit – minimal bouncing or movement while doing your exercise program
- Comfortable, easily adjustable side straps
- Enhanced shoulder padding on shoulder straps
- “Alternative” weight plates are compatible with this vest if you want to add more weight, or pay a little less for the plates
- Weight plates are sold separate
- May not have that super snug fit for smaller individuals
#4 Pick – 511 Tactical Vests
511 – The OG
I feel like the 511 is the OG of weighted vests and one of the preferred vests of the CrossFit community. Despite the Hyperwear Vest being my favorite, this is the vest I use to walk when I do weighted vest walking from my house. Every time I’ve been to the CrossFit Games, 511 has a booth there in the vendor village. This company offers many different tactical products, including backpacks, and flasks to go along with the weighted vest.
Weighted Vest Features
- Constructed from tough 600D Nylon
- Has an adjustable weighted cummerbund
- Deep front “admin” pockets
- The shoulder straps are adjustable & have thick pads
- Lightweight and mobile
The weights for the 511 are plate style. They come in 8.75lb or 5.75lb increments. They are made of iron, have an ergonomic compound curvature, and are low profile for mobility and comfort.
- Multiple grab handles for stand-alone weight workouts
- 2″ tie-down slots
- Durable powder coat finish
- The adjustable stretch cummerbund keeps the weight vest secure
- Pockets are great for storing your phone & iPod case while walking
- Adjustable yoke shoulder straps don’t rub
- There are internal retention straps that hold the weights in place
- Compatible with the 5.11 PC Convertible Hydration Carrier.
- The adjustable stretch cummerbund makes the vest more fitting for smaller people
- The weighted vest does not come with weight plates, they must be purchased separately
- Can be bulky for smaller people
Whether you are looking for weight loss, resistance training, improved cardiovascular health, or are wanting to build bone density walking, wearing weighted vests is a great idea all around. The weight is evenly distributed when wearing the vest, and a person can gradually increase to a heavier weight as their body adjusts to the load.
Can a weighted vest build muscle? You bet! Adding weight can improve your overall fitness, build better bone density, increase muscle mass, help you lose weight, and increase calorie burn. Eating a balanced diet of proteins, carbs, and fats will double the speed in which you see progress!
Let’s get that weighted vest burn going and try a weighted vest for walking today!