Reviews

8 Best Plate Carriers and Weighted Vests on Amazon (2021 Update)

There comes a time in CrossFit training when your own body weight isn’t just cutting it anymore. Adding a weighted vest (or plate carriers) to your fitness routine is one effective way of dealing with this problem, as it increases resistance and intensity for better gains. 

That’s why, today, we will show you our top choices for the 8 best weight vests for CrossFit, guaranteed to help you crush remove your WODs. In addition to being all-purpose vests, our selections emphasize a balance between functionality and form. We’ve paid specific attention to important details like design, size, weight, fit, fabric, durability, and accessories. Ultimately, the best weighted vests should bag all these qualities, without breaking your bank. 

With all that said, let’s get right into the review.

Plate Carriers are highly sought after, but they are notoriously expensive. You get a lucky buy with the budget-friendly Condor Sentry Plate Carrier, which, at about half a hundred dollar, is around the same price as the regular weighted vests for sports. Better quality, same price!

The Condor Sentry Plate Carrier is a minimal-bulk, high-performance tactical vest with full adjustability for a custom fit. The carrier features durable, easily accessible plate pockets specially designed to carry medium and large ESAPI standard plates (up to 10.25×13.25 inches) in front and back. Aimed more towards the casual user, this vest has been reduced down to plate compartments and not much else. The plates can be ordered alone or with a set of compatible weight plates from other sources.

Talking about comfort, the Sentry is designed to have a more comfortable performance. Run miles at a time and do all sorts of workouts in it. It has minimal to no discomfort on the shoulders. Super easy to adjust if need be. Doesn’t bounce much while you run or do any workouts. 

It’s optimized for a comfortable fit that allows a greater range of motion, making it perfect for a wide array of weighted CrossFit training programs. The vest has an adjustable waist size and shoulder straps and is equipped with a couple of unique features, which include heavy-duty webbing for modular attachments, padded mesh interior lining for maximum breathability, quick-adjust cinches, and quick release buckles. 

Again, great product for the price.

Features/what we like:

  • Durable, lightweight design with minimal bulk
  • Hook-and-loop webbing
  • Adjustable shoulder straps give custom fit
  • Padded mesh interior lining for comfort & breathability
  • Removable padded mesh shoulder pads with hook and loop guides
  • Versatile and easy access plate pockets
  • Emergency drag handle
  • Quick release buckles
  • Heavyweight webbing for modular attachments
  • Varied color options: black, tan, olive
  • Budget-friendly plate carrier

What we don’t like:

  • Weights sold separately

2. Bear KompleX Plate Carrier

Crush your workouts with the athlete-approved military grade plate carrier from Bear KompleX. This next-level fitness gear is built durable with 1000D Cordura Nylon, making it a great choice among military personnel and regular folks. It’s compatible with any other standard 24MM-wide medium or large SAPI plates. Recommended for use with ROGUE weight plates to help you max out benefits. Accommodates several plates in each cavity for increased loading every step of the way. 

Other features include adjustable shoulder straps with enhanced rear yoke padding for proper weight dispersion and heat-treated steel alloy buckles with a weight breaking limit of 9Kn or 2023 lbs of force for quick take on and off of vest. The weights plates are sold separately.

The Bear KompleX Weight Vests come in different shapes and sizes, allowing for custom fit for breathable comfort and unrestricted maneuverability. The easily adjustable, elastic side straps allow full chest expansion. Accommodates a 50-inch waist circumference. 

Now the sweet part…

The Bear KompleX Weight Vest is designed water-resistant so that you can focus on your workouts, while training in any (weather) conditions. 

This product comes with a 60-day refund policy on your purchase.

Features/what we like:

  • Both athlete and military approved
  • Variety of shapes and sizes
  • Easily adjustable parts for custom fit and easy movement
  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Compatible with weight plates from different brands, including ROGUE
  • Made of 1000D military-grade Cordura Nylon
  • Water-resistant quality
  • 60-day refund clause

What we don’t like:

  • Weight plates sold separately
  • Expensive option

3. JoyPlus Adjustable Weight Vest

The JoyPlus Weighted Vest features a simple but highly functional X-Shape design that makes running, walking, cycling, yoga, and other cardio workouts easy and unobtrusive. Your reward? Faster gains to your endurance and naturally improved attention to form. 

The vest weighs 13 lbs and includes 8x weight packs of 1.5 lbs each. The weights are removable and can be added in small increments from 13 lbs up to 25 lbs to adjust workout intensity and efficiency every step of the way. The weight distribution across the vest is impressively balanced, allowing for a comfortable and safe training. No shoulders or back strain. 

Other features include: 2 large front-and-back pockets with 1 headphone jack for convenient storage; special soft sweat-resistant neoprene material for comfortable and non-slip experience; and adjustable straps for custom fit. This vest is the perfect choice for men, women and children—call it the family choice. 

We also love the reflective fluorescent details on the vest’s shoulder, front, and back sides, as they help improve visibility and safety during dark-hour jogging.

What we like:

  • Special X-Shape Design allows a custom fit and easy maneuverability
  • Adjustable weight vest
  • Even distribution of vest weight across the body—no back or shoulder strain
  • Huge musculoskeletal and cardiovascular benefits
  • Durable and high-quality
  • Sweat-resistant neoprene material for non-slip experience
  • 2 large pockets with 1 headphone jack
  • Reflective details
  • For men, women, teenagers, and children

What we don’t like:

  • Not the heaviest of vests

4. CAP Barbell Adjustable Weighted Vest

Give your workout the extra edge it needs with the CAP Barbell Weighted Vest, for more resistance. This vest comes in an incredible variety of weight model options from 20-150 lbs, each adjustable to custom needs. Simply add or remove weight packets to get the total heaviness you desire. Each packet is filled with 2.5 pounds of iron ore fines, and is designed to fill the vest right round. 

Designed unisex, men and women can enjoy this vest during aerobic exercises or any body weight training. The fully adjustable waist belt and padded shoulder straps offer a snug and secure fit. In addition to vest’s small or short size, this adjustable quality also allows a great range of motion for the core and arms. 

Other features include anchor hooks for parachute run training and reflective strips for easy visibility during night or early morning running.

Features/what we like:

  • Available in different weight capacities and vest sizes
  • Short style vest allow for greater range of motion
  • Adjustable total weight; add or remove individual weight packs to desired heaviness
  • Each packet is filled with 2.5 pound of iron ore fines
  • Anchor hooks designed for parachute run training
  • Includes reflective strips for easy visibility during night or early morning jogging
  • Adjustable strap features allow for a custom and secure fit
  • Weights come with vest
  • Affordable price, great quality
  • Trusted brand with over 30 years experience

What we don’t like:

  • Bigger sized models can be workout-intrusive for skinny users

5. WOLF TACTICAL Adjustable Weighted Vest

The WOLF TACTICAL Weight Vest (technically a plate carrier) is built for outdoor enthusiasts, law enforcement, and military personnel, alike, for reasons ranging from weighted CrossFit programs to security protection. 

This heavy-duty vest accommodates 2 weight plates in the front and back pockets, with sizes available in pairs of 5.75, 8.75 and 14.5 lbs to create a 14, 20, or 31 lbs weight vest, respectively. This way, you can customize your workout and push yourself even harder every step of the way. You’ll have all the intensity or resistance you’ll ever need for your running, rucking, or CrossFit WODs. The fit is contoured and unrestrictive. 

Easily one of the best weighted vests for strength, durability, and rugged resilience, it’s made with 600D material. This means that it holds up well to sweat and dirt, intense workouts, and extreme tactical training. Front-and-back traditional and MOLLE panels allow you to attach pouches, equipment, and other useful personal materials, like water bottles, phones, and keys. 

Made in the USA, this product comes with a full refund coverage from a dedicated customer support team, so that you can feel confident with your purchase.

Features/what we like:

  • For both regular athletes and military personnel
  • Heavy-duty but lightweight construction
  • Seamlessly fits 2 weight plates—front and back
  • Weight plate changeable to suit specific needs
  • Fully adjustable at the shoulders & waist
  • Body-hug, but comfortable and mobile-friendly fit
  • Esthetically pleasing design
  • Holds up well to heavy and extensive use
  • Cost-effective price
  • Full refund deal
  • Made in the USA

What we don’t like:

  • Vest and plates sold separately

6. GFIRE Tactical Vest

The GFIRE Tactical Vest is a plate carrier designed for great fit and comfort, as an exercise vest. It comes in a flexible size option (Medium to X-Large) that fits most people. Maximum waist is 54 inches. Made of 1000D polyester, it’s lightweight but sturdy. Typically, quality American brands don’t use 600D polyester, which is not only somewhat cheap but also restricts air circulation. Features nylon stitches and reinforced MOLLE sutures that make the vest more solid. The MOLLE design features loops and webbing for modular attachments, making it easy to pick up and retrieve items, as well as add increments of weight. 

Easy access front and side pockets also allow enough space for useful items (if you’re jogging) or even for extra weights. Front pocket accepts up to 12”x11”. 

The internal structure is improved. While other brands only for one size, GFIRE can fit two! 

Other features include side release shoulder buckles and internal waist strap, both adjustable to your fit and sizing. There are also emergency drag handle, removable anti-slip padded shoulder pads with hook and loop guides, padded mesh interior lining, and adjustable cummerbund with pockets. 

Oh, and by the way, your buy comes with an outstanding 2-year guarantee.

Features/what we like:

  • Designed for great fit and comfort
  • 54-inch maximum waist
  • Made of 1000D polyester
  • Reinforced MOLLE design
  • Front and side pockets
  • Emergency drag handle
  • Removable anti-slip padded shoulder straps
  • Heavyweight webbing for modular attachments
  • Side release shoulder buckles and internal waist strap
  • Padded mesh lining
  • Adjustable cummerbund with pockets
  • Flexible size options, Medium to X-Large
  • 2-year quality warranty

What we don’t like:

  • No back pockets for plates

7. miR Air Flow Weighted Vest

The miR Air Flow Weight Vest comes in two versions (standard and zipper) with weight options ranging from 20-60 lbs. miR tells us that each vest is expandable to 10 pounds more. This means that a vest with a 50-lbs capacity has room for 10 more pounds, for example. 

The solid iron weights are all removable, so that you can start light and work your way up. Each weight is 3-lbs heavy. Load up as much as you can, and never worry about the vest breaking down on you; the vest is tough and durable. Additional lifetime warranty covers any damages caused to the vest during workouts. 

We like the air flow design. It uses a hybrid material to keep your body cool during the most intense trainings. The system allows you to sweat into the vest, rather than keeping heat between your body. The material used is softer and more comfortable, unlike many other vests, that use hard scratch materials. 

Machine washable for easy cleaning. Remove, throw in the washer, and tumble dry low to keep your vest fresh and clean.

Features/what we like:

  • Two models—standard and with zipper
  • Several weight capacity options—from 20-60 lbs
  • Each vest weight version is expandable/upgradable
  • Adjustable straps allow for a snug and comfortable fit
  • Air flow design
  • Sweat into vest, body heat not left on skin
  • Machine-wash friendly
  • Lifetime warranty

What we don’t like:

  • Quite pricey
  • Non-USA made (China)

8. CROSS101 Weighted Vest

Sometimes, the best reviews are the ones from people who have used the product first-hand. With that said, you just have to hear what actual verified buyers have to say on Amazon about the CROSS101. 

With majority rating this vest at 5-STARS, one says:

“Vest is good. Very secure fit. Used it for the CrossFit workout Murph this past Memorials Day! Ordered the 40 pound version of the vest (only 20 used for Murph). My only gripe, and it’s not really a gripe as a wish – since it’s a 40 pound vest, the weights are 4 pounds each with 5 on the front and 5 on the back. So…to get the desired 20 pounds for Murph, I had to wear and unequal amount in front or back (chose to wear 3 on back and 2 on front). Wish I could have ordered some extra weights in 2 pounds (would even consider ordering all 10) so I could have evenly distributed the weight.
Bottom line – vest is very good, fits snug, didn’t bounce around during run or ride up in my neck during pull-ups or push-ups. Would definitely suggest to anyone looking for a weighted workout vest.”

Another says:

“Bought the 20lb vest and it’s still pretty heavy. Very good for increasing your push-up resistance. I really have no bad to say. Took me a little while to know how to get it on correctly but I think that’s just because i’m stupid. Simple & effective product.”

We love this:

“These are legit vests. We run a small training center and they have lived through some abuse. We get stopped constantly to ask where we got them. We have 8 and going to get more. An awesome find.”

You heard it—they’re happy and satisfied with their purchase of the CROSS101 Weighted Vest. You, too, will. 

Features/what we like:

  • Beautiful and smart design
  • Snug and comfortable fit
  • Multiple size and weight options (20-140 lbs)
  • Each vest purchase comes with a weights included
  • Removable weights in models
  • Great price
  • Generally sparkling reviews among actual users
  • Manufacturer warranty available

What we don’t like:

  • Non-US made (China)

Final Thoughts

At this point, you’ve probably figured out that not all weight vests are created equal. To navigate the numerous options available and choose one that will serve you well, it’s advised that you start out with the intended use. 

Weighted vests for CrossFit come in two different versions: the adjustable weighted vest and the fixed weight vests, commonly known as plate carriers. In addition to being more of a military gear, plate carriers offer more maneuverability, while adjustable vests (strictly for athletic training) deliver more functionality. Plate carriers are also the more expensive option, but the choice is yours. 

Next, you’ll want to also consider the overall quality, durability, and convenience of the vest you’re going for. Our 8 top picks meet these standards, and are a great way to elevate your training without a huge investment.

What’s your #1 Choice?