Weighted vests can be a great alternative than rucksacks for rucking. When considering whether to buy one for rucking or not, here are the main things to consider.
- Weight Capacity
- Comfort and Form
But before we dive into our recommended weighted vests for rucking, here are some benefits of weighted vests compared to rucksacks or backpacks for rucking.
Benefits of Weighted Vests for Rucking
|Weight Distribution||The weighted vest is centred around your torso. Allowing you to move freely.|
|Prevents Potential Back Pain||Weighted vests keeps you centered, engages your core, and prevents you from leaning forward when the weight is heavy which leads to back pain.|
|Flexibility||Weighted vests allows you to change directions easily and allows for more agility.|
|Multi-use||Weighted vests are not just for rucking. You can use them for home workouts, runs, and training for a ruck.|
Comfort & Form
If you’re a frequent rucker or not, you may have experience some real pain during and after your ruck. The constant weight on your back and shoulders can cause serious discomfort (if you slack on your form, which a lot of us do). Learn more about shoulder pain from rucking and how to avoid it.
This is where weighted vests come into play. They are pretty much hugging you, ensuring that the weight is balanced on your torso. It prevents the typical lower back pain that comes with carrying a heavy rucksack that forces you to lean forward.
If comfort is a big thing for you, then consider getting a weighted vest that has the appropriate weight per your body weight and that has shoulder pads. Not too long ago, we came across the MIR weighted vest (link to Amazon). It comes with a standard or zipper option and can carry up to 45 lbs.
Remember, when getting your weighted vest, make sure that it’s comfortable and can carry the appropriate amount of weight. We typically recommend for beginners to carry around 15% of your body weight. Check out our rucking for beginners guide for more juicy details.
People ruck for different reasons. Some, like us, do it for the social and health benefits. While others do it for military use. Whatever your intention is though, if your goal is to carry more weight for a ruck event, you have to carry weight that is truly challenging for you.
While not all weighted vests can typically help you carry heavy weight, we did come across the RUNFast Adjustable Weighted Vest that can carry up to 140 lbs of weight. If you’re interested, here’s a cheap weighted vest you can check out, RUNFast (Link to Amazon).
If you’re training for a military ruck march, this weighted vest will help you endure more weight, but you should still supplement your training with a weighted rucksack. Check out our favourite rucksacks here.
While some say you shouldn’t get a weighted vest because you can’t use it in some rucking events, that’s certainly does not mean it’s useless. You can use a weighted vest interchangeably when you train for a ruck event to avoid injury while training for a ruck.
We also came across the CAP Adjustable Weighted Vest that we highly recommend for rucking. It’s flexible and we’re able to get it at 80lbs. It ranges from 40lbs – 150 lbs. Check it out on Amazon (link to amazon).
Part of training for rucking includes working out. Improving your stamina and strength prior to a rucking event is very important. It helps improve your endurance, which helps you to last longer in the event, and generally improves your health. Moreover, rucking burns a lot of calories!
With a weighted vest, there are TONS of workouts and exercises you can do to improve your cardio, strength, and readiness for a ruck. Check out our best exercises for Rucking post to learn more.