Posted by Jeff Egbert on 9th Nov 2011


Long Vests vs. Short Vests

As I said in the previous post, I recommend long vests for walking and running. If you plan to do any activity that requires overhead arm movements, you may want to consider a long vest with narrow shoulders. offers a specific weight vest for any use, and shoulder-width can play a big part in the comfort level.

Cost Against Benefit

If I were planning to run with my vest and do pull-ups too, I would have to weigh the cost against the benefit. It may be that I want more comfort while running and am willing to accept a bit more restriction in the shoulders to do pull-ups.

If my primary use was going to be body-weight workouts, then my choice of weight vest would shift to short with narrow shoulders. More specifically, I would choose the 45 lb. Short vest with narrow shoulders. By the way, this is my personal vest, I love the fact that the weights are distributed such that there are 4 weights across the top making push-ups easier.

I do some bag work too and the vest is great for cross punches and blocking moves. Nothing is in the way, just a nice, clean, vest for all my crossfit and boxing workouts.

I use my vest for walk-running too, it really spices up things and gets my heart-rate climbing. Plus, I breathe deeper and stronger for an added respiratory benefit.

Ask the Right Questions

The process to decide which weight vest is best for you, starts by asking three main questions:

  • What will be the main use, or purpose, of the vest?
  • Will I need a wide or narrow shoulders vest?
  • How much weight?

A good rule of thumb to know how much weight the vest should hold is to know that it should be 10-20% of your body weight. This is based off many so-called expert opinions and is not 100% accurate for all people. I weigh 220 lbs and am 6’1″ at 55 years of age, following this formula I should use around 25 to 45 lbs. It is a good estimate for me and I do use the 45 lb vest as stated.

With that said, I am currently looking to get a 60 lb long vest with narrow shoulders for my pre season mountain-climbing training. We climb the Tetons in Wyoming and sleep at the meadows base camp some distance from the parking lot. This requires taking a tent, sleeping bag etc. I want to get in better shape for next summer's trip, so the 60 lb vest will be great.

Tomorrow I will discuss my findings concerning certain short vests.