Military and law enforcement use some of the best tactical vests to carry tactical gear like ammunition, magazines, handcuffs, etc. They are comfortable to wear and provide easy access to essential gear.
Finding the best tactical vest for your needs will depend on what activities you intend to use it for. Ideally, though, the best tactical vests should keep your gear well organized and easy to access.
If you are military or law enforcement personnel, equipment like ammunition and magazines should be the easiest to access. This will make a vital difference in life-threatening battle situations.
While people typically use tactical vests for security and military situations, hunters often use them, as do certain athletes. For example, hunters use tactical vests to avoid lugging their gear around in a hefty backpack during a long hunting expedition. The vests allow easy access to equipment such as binoculars, maps, compasses, flashlights, etc.
In certain action sports like airsoft or paintball, tactical vests can function similarly for law enforcement workers, although with much lower stakes. Paintballers and airsoft gamers also need to access their gear quickly. If they have this attached to their chest, it’s is a great way to ensure they can quickly obtain a paint ammo cartridge at any time.
When choosing a tactical test, you should consider all the gear you plan to carry in it. Specifically, note what weapons and ammunition you plan on putting in it. The best tactical vests are flexible across every situation and customizable for the intended use.
In this article, we have compiled a list of some of the best tactical vests available. Remember, the vest you choose will entirely depend on your intended use. But this list has a wide range of tactical vests available that you can use for various different activities.
Here is a list of eight of the best tactical vests you can purchase online.
1. UTG Law Enforcement Tactical Vest
This new law enforcement tactical vest is marketed as an entry-level tactical vest. However, its MOLLE webbing makes it a great fit for people of all shapes and sizes, and it has several multipurpose pouches.
This vest is also designed to fit a rifle-based system and has a half-fixed, half-customizable layout. The fixed part has three double magazine pouches that can carry six 30-round AR-15 magazines. The left end features a cross-draw holster, and above that are three pistol pouches that can hold three single or double-stack magazines.
This vest also has a belt that attaches to the vest and can be a concealed carry holder for your pistol. There are also two magazine pouches on this belt to provide easy access for more ammo.
2. vAv Yakeda Tactical Vest
The vAv Yakeda Tactical Vest has many storage pouches to ensure your tactical gear is secure and accessible. It’s made of 1000d nylon material, which means it’s incredibly durable and resistant to steady degradation. This vest also has waterproof features and an extra insulation layer for hot, wet weather to keep you cool and dry in hot and wet conditions.
This vest is also highly customizable due to its many straps and buckles. It can fit a waist size up to 53 inches and, when adjusted to someone’s size, it secures easily and comfortably.
This vest also has lots of storage options, including five magazine pouches, a dump pouch, a tactical MOLLE pouch, a double bag pouch, and an admin pouch. They can carry nine magazines, two per pouch plus one at optimal capacity. In reality, it can really only hold about eight magazines.
The MOLLE webbing allows you to add extra attachments like walkie-talkies or hydration equipment.
It’s one of the best tactical vests you can buy and for a very reasonable price.
3. Condor Tactical Ronin Chest Rig
Condor’s newest Tactical Ronin Chest rig model works well for both city and rural use. It is a great tactical vest made from high-end materials and durable webbing. Unfortunately, the vest only has two pockets with one map mesh pocket on each side, so you may have to customize it to add some more magazine or ammunition pouches. There are also hook, loops, D-Rings, and webbing available, so you can mount any communication or hydration equipment.
This tactical vest also has flexible straps that cover your shoulders and waist. While adjusting them is relatively straightforward, many buyers complained that these vests run a little big. But, it comes equipped with a padded H-harness to keep you comfortable during your tactical activities.
It has a relatively simple design which is why it comes at a budget price. It still functions well and is a popular choice for many. A few things to note is it only comes with two pouches, which may be a drawback for some buyers. It also only comes in two colors: black and camo.
4. UTG Sportsman Tactical Scenario Vest
Leaper’s new Tactical Scenario vest has a fixed layout with a few customizable features. Its system contains three double mag pouches on the right side that can carry six magazines, two per pouch. You can also add an extra magazine on the left side of the vest if you wish. This vest has a universal holster that uses a hook and loop setup to attach itself to the vest. And you can take this holster off to make room for another rifle mag pouch.
Additionally, this holster connects to another magazine pouch and easily clips to a buckle with its active retention device. This holster fits almost all pistols, such as the 1911 and Glock 17.
The vest has another three magazine pouches above the holster and two more on the belt. This means that you can carry six pistol magazines and ten rifle magazines in the same vest.
As such, this vest is perfect for an extended mission or hunting expedition. Because it is designed for more extended expeditions, this tactical vest also has two inner pouches to hold maps or other important documents.
Ultimately, this is one of the better all-around vests available. It does come at a heftier price, but it’s worth it for those who need more high-end tactical gear.
5. Yakeda Loaded Gear Tactical Vest Rig
This new Loaded gear Tactical Chest Rig from Yakeda is an excellent choice for those who want a lighter vest. It has limited storage space, so it may not be the best choice for longer expeditions. This west weighs less than two pounds and is made of durable 600D polyester. It is also a relatively easy fit that goes on and off smoothly.
The MOLLE webbing allows you to put on extra attachments or pouches to make up for the lack of storage space. It also comes with three mag pouches that can fit up to 30 mags and a front sleeve with an armor plate to give you excellent protection for most environments.
Remember that the MOLLE webbing has limited capacity, so this may not be your best bet if you require a lot of gear. Nevertheless, this is still a great, affordable tactical vest with sufficient space and webbing for a shorter field expedition.
6. Condor Recon Chest Rig
The Condor Recon Chest Rig has a slightly different style than other tactical vests you may see, especially since it does not have full coverage for the front and back. However, it does come with many compartments in the waist region.
There are two rows of pouches at the waist, too, for added storage. There are also three stacker pouches that can hold six M4 magazines and six pistol magazines. It also comes with swivel push release buckles for easier release.
Since this vest has limited coverage, it’s incredibly breathable, and the adjustable sizing can fit waist sizes from 30-60 inches. It also comes with a D-ring and a webbed strap.
7. Barbarians Tactical MOLLE Vest
This tactical vest is a zip-op option. It’s durable, spacious, and long-lasting. It uses 600D polyester material and sturdy slippers, making it nearly impervious to wear and tear. It also is well ventilated with added mesh to give your chest the airflow that is sometimes missing from tactical vests.
The front of the vest comes with a plethora of storage space for radios, phones, magazines, flashlights, etc. And it has an anti-skid panel on your shoulder to keep your rifle in check while you shoot, limiting post-shot recoil. The back has a hydration bag pouch, D-rings, document pouches, and a MOLLE panel if you still need any more storage.
While this vest adjusts for different purposes, it does not fit very large or small sizes. It is skinny if you have a broad chest and too long and wide if you are too short. So this is a good bet for medium-sized persons.
8. GFIRE Tactical Vest
This new tactical vest from GFIRE is an excellent vest if you like to customize a more straightforward design and make it your own. It comes without any pouches on the outer side and only has two pockets for maps and tools. However, it has plenty of MOLLE webbing, so you can add as many extra pouches as you need.
It has some built-in features, though, such as an emergency drag handle and anti-slip padded shoulder, which are both ideal for managing rifle use in active-duty scenarios. It is also made from durable and long-lasting 1000D polyester. It’s waterproof, well-ventilated, and extra comfortable.
This is a solid tactical vest, but it has very few built-in features. So if you prefer to have more build-in options on the original model, you may want to look for a different option.
One of the first things to consider is weight. Ideally, you would find something lightweight enough to carry on your chest but not so light that it compromises durability.
If the vest is too heavy, it may limit your range of motion. This issue can be a problem for many tactical activities. The vest material is often a good indicator of its weight. For example, nylon-based tactical vests are generally lighter than Teflon-coated tactical vests.
Tactical vests have many pouches, pads, and straps, which can constantly rub against your chest and may feel uncomfortable after a while. When you purchase a tactical vest, make sure it comes with an adjustable fit and size, so you feel secure and comfortable as you move.
If it’s too small, it will feel unnecessarily tight. If it’s too big, it may limit your range of motion. You should look for vests that have adjustable straps or sizing options. Vests should be snug yet breathable so you do not overheat. Look for tactical vests with some ventilation features.
This one is based on the functionality of the vest. You should have a well-organized set of pouches that are easy to access and fit the items you need for your activities. Depending on whether you need a magazine pouch, accessories, flashlights, or knives, the type of pouches will change. Also, it may be best to purchase tactical vests with MOLLE webbing so you can attach other items to your vest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the more commonly asked questions regarding the best tactical vests and their use.
Are tactical vests legal?
This depends on your location and state. Generally for those in North America, tactical vests are legal and can be purchased online and in-store.
Are tactical vests bulletproof?
Some are, but those are a little harder to purchase online. Most tactical vests you can find on Amazon or other online providers offer knife protection.
What is the best tactical plate carrier?
Many refer to a tactical plate carrier as a bulletproof vest. A tactical plate carrier vest holds ceramic, composite, and steel body armor plates. Body armor is a term often used synonymously with body armor plate carrier vests. The best plate carriers are those that have a ballistic plate in them.
What is the proper way to wear a tactical vest?
When it comes to your tactical vest or other body armor, you need to know the proper way to wear them. For example, if the vest is too long, it can interfere with your duty belt. And one that is too short doesn’t offer adequate coverage. Make sure it fits snugly against your body without restricting your movement. Ensure that it’s long enough to cover your upper body without causing issues with your belt or holster. And vests with adjustable straps will make it easier to customize the fit to your size. Take time to try different vests on to figure out what fits you best.