Rucking Advice: Weighted Vest or Rucking Backpack? - Hyperwear

Rucking Advice: Weighted Vest or Rucking Backpack?

Is it better to ruck with a rucking backpack or weighted vest?

When deciding between a weighted vest and a rucking backpack, consider the following factors

Fitness Goals:

Determine your fitness objectives. Weighted vests are excellent for increasing resistance during cardio or bodyweight exercises, whereas rucking backpacks are designed specifically for loaded walking or hiking. A backpack is better for heavier loads at a slower pace. So if you want to get the cardio health and calorie burning benefits of zone 2 heart rate training for an hour or more, go with a heavy ruck. Look for adjustable ruck plates, and start with a 10 lb plate and add weight for progressive strength training for better results and less risk of injury. And a ruck is best for exceeding 15% of your body weight.

Proper Use of Weighted Vests or Rucking Backpacks:

Use short strides and a shuffle step to increase speed and minimize impact on your knees. For increased benefits during high intensity workouts and running you should select a thin adjustable weight vest to about 10% of your body weight.  And you have the budget and have both a ruck and vest, you can try wearing both a weighted vest and rucking backpack for adjusting weight as you build fitness.

Rucking Workout Options:

Weighted vests offer versatility for a wide range of exercises such as running, agility drills, and plyometrics. Rucking backpacks are primarily used for walking or hiking with added weight. And some exercises can be easily loaded with a ruck such as planks and squats.

Comfort and Fit:

So consider which option feels more comfortable during your workouts. Hyper Vest weighted vests have stretch fabric, side laces for cooling, a full zipper, adjustable weights, breathable materials and a snug fit. Rucking packs should feature padded shoulder straps, padding against your back, a frame, sternum straps and waist or hip belts for support of heavy loads.

Storage for Rucking:

If you plan to incorporate rucking into outdoor activities or travel, a rucking backpack is more convenient due to its storage capacity and compartments for essentials like hydration bladders, water bottles and snacks.

Impact on Posture:

Weighted vests can help improve posture and core stability by distributing weight evenly around the torso. Rucking backpacks are loaded on the shoulders and upper back: depending on how the weight is distributed they can help pull your shoulders back for improved posture.

The Bottom Line on Weighted Vests and Rucking Backpacks

Ultimately, the choice between a weighted vest and a rucking backpack depends on your specific fitness goals, comfort preferences, and budget. Experiment with both options and consider how each aligns with your lifestyle and workout routine can help you make an informed decision.

Consider the many options Hyperwear offers for rucking and check out the detailed chart below of features comparing the Hyper Vest, Hyper Ruck and a dedicated Rucker.

Feature Hyper Vest® Weighted Vest Hyper Ruck™ Rucking Backpack Rucker 4.0
Weight Distribution Even around torso, enhances core and posture, adjustable Focused on back and shoulders, adjustable with 3 plate sleeves Focused on back support, high on back, adjustable with 2 plate sleeves
Adjustability of Weight Very high, 2.25 oz or 1/2 lb removable weights Very high by 1/2 lb increments, easy to adjust with compartments Very limited by 10 lbs plate increments and at a high cost
Versatility Exceptional. Thin and snug for intense training or everyday fitness. Highly versatile; also for everyday use and travel. Dedicated rucking backpack, limited everyday features.
Comfort Patented stretch for comfort. Open sides for cooling. Designed for comfort with padding. Padded waist/hip belt included. Ergonomic with padding for prolonged use. Padded hip belt available.
Accessibility Patented stretch for comfort. Open sides for cooling. Designed for comfort with padding. Padded waist/hip belt included. Ergonomic with padding for prolonged use. Padded hip belt available.
Storage Capacity None; focuses on small adjustable weights. 20L with 3 plate sleeves and many specialized compartments. Limited storage, focused on 2 plate sleeves for rucking.
Stability During Movement Excellent; patented stretch with weight close to body. Excellent; plate sleeves, use of sternum strap, hip belt. Excellent; plate sleeves minimize shift.
Hydration None. Hydration bladder compartment. Open pocket for bottle. Compatible with hydration bladder in main compartment.
Safety & Visibility Hyper Vest ELITE has reflective elements. Reflective features for safety. Optional reflective elements.
Customization Limited to weight adjustment. Customizable with velcro MOLLE panel for patches. Some customization with attachments.
Cost Variable; generally mid-range. 20L $194.99 including hip belt. 20L $255 +$35 for padded hip belt.