Tactical Vest

Best Tactical Vest

Written by: Dave NartinOctober 26, 2019Updated: March 20, 2020

Guide Overview

Tactical vests are typically associated with military or law enforcers, but it’s really a gear that’s useful for people of all ages and careers. Body armors are used to hold your equipment in one place while serving as protection from external harm. For these reasons, combat vests are handy equipment not just for marine duty or police work but for outdoor adventures and gaming as well.

But while these body protectors are handy pieces of clothing, finding the right one isn’t easy. You need it to be comfortable yet functional. After all, you’ll be wearing it in the field, where you’ll likely be transferring from one field to another. At the same time, you would need quick access to ammunition or equipment.

This article will provide a list of features to consider, review five of the best tactical vests in the market, and pinpoint our product of choice—all to help you choose the right tactical vest for you.

What You Must Know

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There are a number of questions that you should ask yourself when buying a tactical vest, such as where you are going to wear it and for what cause. Here are some factors that you should consider to determine the right product for you.

Purpose

Consider your threat level. Tactical vests are typically used by police officers, gamers, and outdoor enthusiasts. These days, some people even wear vests as part of their daily garb.

Field Operations

Body armors are more popularly worn by the military and the police. If your tactical vest is for stopping criminals, you would benefit from a bulletproof vest, which can protect your upper body from fatal injuries. This type of vest can also hold accessories for easy access, should you be bringing guns or other sensitive equipment. Bulletproof vests are usually lightweight and undetected.

Military members should invest in plate carriers with hard plates or ballistic plates. These body armors protect the body from life-threatening hazards, such as shrapnel and gunshots. This type of vest is typically worn outside of the body and can be quite heavy.

Gaming

Many people invest in body protection these days for their love of action sports like airsoft. Airsoft tactical vests function similarly to police body protector. Having the right vest makes all the difference in the battlefield. Its main purpose is to carry extra equipment and tools and make them easily accessible.

A more popular action sport, paintball, falls under this category. Paintball tactical vests may be more demanding and expensive. A good body armor for this type of game is hydration compatible and makes use of heavy-duty fabric.

Outdoors

Outdoor enthusiasts, such as campers, hikers, and hunters are skipping backpacks for utility vests. For one, they’re more efficient, as they skip the whole process of opening and closing bags. Tactical vests allow adventurers immediate access to tools. The best practical vests in this case need large storage and capacity.

Personal Safety

It’s no longer surprising these days for people to wear body armor for daily protection. Journalists, jewelry store owners, lawyers, and couriers are just some of the professionals who make use of tactical vests.

The right gear for this purpose is civilian-friendly vests or soft bulletproof vests, which are suitable for everyday wear. These are hardly noticeable when slipped underneath the shirt. But while they can protect from shotgun pellets or smaller rounds, they’re ineffective against heavy firearms. Stab and spike proof vests are also essential for protection against sharp objects like knives or syringes.

Durability

A tactical vest is only as good as its material. You would want a gear that’s military-grade or police-grade.

PVC tactical vests are strain and tear resistant, even when pitted against plenty of weight. They are typically used over nylon mesh for strength.

Nylon mesh made tactical vests are lightweight, durable, breathable, and hassle-free. They typically last for several years.

Rubber surface tactical vests lower your recoil impact. They also clean easily and are ideal to use for different conditions.

Kevlar tactical vests are premiere bulletproof gears. They’re long-lasting, flexible, lightweight, and able to withstand direct puncture.

Cordura is known for innovating high-performance fabrics. From polyester to air-jet textured nylon, its fabrics are used for various materials.

Velcro is typically the gear for military tacticians and law enforcement members. Its vests include a variety of hook and loop style fasteners that firmly hold and fit evenly.

Yuma vests are water-repellent and are technologically designed to withstand harsh conditions. While heavy-duty, these vests are still comfortable to wear.

Capacity

More than protection, storage is another valuable feature of tactical vests. While capacity offers a critical purpose, it’s often overlooked. Managing your equipment more efficiently will require you to find a vest with many pockets.

Multifunctional vests work well for this purpose, as they are lightweight and excellent for inserting accessories. Various pouches and pockets for magazines, water, radios, maps, documents, flashlights, medical kits, and pistol holsters work alongside MOLLE webbing and Velcro straps for maximum capacity.

Comfort

The size and weight of the vest all factor into comfort. Plate carriers can be quite heavy. Without proper training, these vests might make it difficult to transfer from one spot to another or even get in and out of a car. On the other hand, soft bulletproof vests are lightweight tactical vests that can work well in tight spaces and vehicles.

Find a vest that’s adjustable. Most vests come in one size and can be adjusted across a range of chest width and body length. Otherwise, you’ll need to send in your size for the gear to fit perfectly. Most gears only fit male adults, so young gamers might want to choose a kid’s tactical vest instead. Likewise, some tactical vests are designed to specifically fit the female form.

An adjustable and customizable vest could help you gather and access your equipment according to your preference, if you’re particular about the placement of accessories or equipment.

Accessories

Attachments are necessary for storing additional items. Dump attachments, for example, work best for shooting or military style training. It will allow you to save time from reloading your mags. Admin pouches, on the other hand, allow you easy access to tools like batteries, notebooks, and pens.

You would also benefit from a body armor that already includes MOLLE attachments. Compared to Velcro systems, MOLLE is a tightly woven nylon that’s durable and can be integrated into a plate carrier. Rather than keeping things in your backpack, you can easily access and even customize pouches for faster accessibility of your equipment. For this reason, all military-issued vests are equipped with MOLLE.

Tactical Vests

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Yakeda Tactical Vest Ultra-Light Combat Training VestvAv Yakeda Ultra-Light Oudoor Tactical VestvAv Yakeda Ultra-Light Oudoor Tactical VestYakeda Tactical Vest Ultra-Light Combat Training Vest

Yakeda Tactical Vest is made up of a durable and high density 600D polyester material. The vest’s mesh design makes it light, comfortable, and breathable. It has the dimensions of 22.8 x 15.7 x 4.3 inches and weighs 2.88 pounds.

A multifunctional vest, it is adjustable from S to XXXXL sizes. You can adjust the waist from 35 inches to 57 inches and the length from 20.5 inches to 22.5 inches. In addition to the vest’s front zip, you can also quickly fasten the armor with a pistol belt. Moreover, the belt is designed to adjust your side and shoulder straps using Velcro strips.

While the vest isn’t bulletproof, it is ideal for field practice, outdoor adventures, law enforcement, and gaming. The back also has an inner pouch where you can install a hydration bladder. This compartment can hold an 11 x 4-inch insert. Meanwhile, compartments at the front can hold about 8 x 10-inch inserts.

The armor also includes MOLLE straps, where you can attach accessories, two metal D rings for carabiners, and other equipment. It also carries three gallons of water and includes a hook-and-loop clasp, drain holes, removable pouches, and elastic plug-in systems, making it highly functional and organized.

Pros:

  • Includes a hydration bladder.
  • Has a comfortable carrying handle.
  • Adjustable and multifunctional.
  • Made of durable material.
  • Large capacity.

Cons:

  • May be difficult to adjust for most people.
  • Not bulletproof.
  • Rifle magazine pouches can hold only one mag per slot.
  • Includes a hydration bladder.
  • Has a comfortable carrying handle.
  • Adjustable and multifunctional.
  • Made of durable material.
  • Large capacity.
  • May be difficult to adjust for most people.
  • Not bulletproof.
  • Rifle magazine pouches can hold only one mag per slot.
UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical VestUTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical VestUTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical VestUTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest

With completely adjustable length and gear, the UTG 537 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest comes in one size that fits all. It has the dimensions of 21 x 13 x 3 inches. At just two pounds, it’s one of the most lightweight vests in the market. It easily distributes weight, which provides comfort. It also includes a mesh ventilation system that makes it breathable so that it doesn’t retain heat and moisture.

The vest has four adjustable rifle magazine pouches that can hold one to two mags. With elastic, drain holes, and hook-and-loop closures, you won’t have to worry about securing your mag in place. Moreover, it includes storage in its left pocket for mic and radio. Its cross-draw holster is also adjustable and includes a belt loop. Its removable utility belt ensures safety, while its nine back loops can store a water bladder or a first aid kit.

For maximum comfort, the vest also has Velcro on the shoulders and front, making it easier to modify according to your preferences. The utility zippers at the front are heavy-duty. You can even accommodate concealed plates through the concealed zippers inside the plate.

Pros:

  • High-quality material.
  • Affordable than most tactical vests.
  • Comfortable to wear and lightweight.
  • Does not hold moisture or heat.
  • Includes a shoulder pad that is non-slip.

Cons:

  • Corners may be a bit sharp and stiff.
  • Straps may be hard to adjust for some.
  • Quality of buttons may be improved.
  • High-quality material.
  • Affordable than most tactical vests.
  • Comfortable to wear and lightweight.
  • Does not hold moisture or heat.
  • Includes a shoulder pad that is non-slip.
  • Corners may be a bit sharp and stiff.
  • Straps may be hard to adjust for some.
  • Quality of buttons may be improved.
Marmot Tactical Vest Durable Mesh VestMarmot Tactical Vest Durable Mesh VestMarmot Tactical Vest Durable Mesh VestMarmot Tactical Vest Durable Mesh Vest

The Marmot Tactical Vest Durable Mesh Vest weighs 2.71 pounds and has the dimensions of 22.5 x 18.5 x 2.4 inches. This tactical vest can fit sizes S to XL. You can adjust the waist from 33 inches to 53 inches and the length from 20.5 inches to 22.5 inches.

Durable and comfortable, it’s made up of high density 600D mesh construction, which makes it durable and sturdy. At the same time, its mesh ventilation system keeps it lightweight and breathable.

This armor is ideal for playing games like airsoft and paintball, as it includes an excellent back construction that lets you attach and detach some parts. Both its right hand and left hand include pouches for radio and an internal zippered document pouch for phones or pads.

Other parts of the vest, such as mag pouches, shell holders, and holsters, can also be detachable. With long Velcro strips, you can attach additional pouches and adjust vest shoulders. Two metal D-rings are also included to attach other equipment and carabiners.

When it comes to storage, the product doesn’t falter. Aside from round mag sleeves and mag pockets, it also has interior pockets that can store more body armor panels. The heavy-duty belt has additional storage for flashlights and mags. Plus, there are MOLLE straps across the back.

Pros:

  • High stitching quality.
  • Adaptable and adjustable.
  • Great storage options.
  • Minimizes heat build-up.
  • Affordable price.

Cons:

  • Not built for larger people.
  • Pistol holster doesn’t stick to the Velcro.
  • Bulky for its size.
  • High stitching quality.
  • Adaptable and adjustable.
  • Great storage options.
  • Minimizes heat build-up.
  • Affordable price.
  • Not built for larger people.
  • Pistol holster doesn’t stick to the Velcro.
  • Bulky for its size.
GZ XinxingTactical Airsoft Paintball VestGZ XINXING Law Enforcement Tactical Airsoft Paintball VestGZ XINXING Law Enforcement Tactical Airsoft Paintball VestGZ XinxingTactical Airsoft Paintball Vest

The GZ Xinxing Law Enforcement Tactical Vest is the best introduction to body armors. This leading airsoft gear weighs 3.42 pounds and is well-constructed and highly durable. It’s made up of a high intensity nylon, which makes it wear-resistant. While heavy-duty, the tactical vest is also made up of a nylon mesh material that provides ventilation and makes it breathable.

The vest’s chest size is adjustable and has the maximum size of 61 inches. GZ Xinxing has also increased the length of the belt and the straps on both sides, making it ideal for people with a large body size. While it can generally fit the S to XXL range, it’s still essential to send in your size when placing an order.

The vest zips up front and can be secured with a pistol belt using the loops at the bottom. The pistol belt is also included in the product. Vest interior also includes two zip-up document pockets. It features hook and loop closures, drain holes, and elastic that tightly secure the mags.

Moreover, the armor can carry pouches for flashlight, map, communication, medic, and three standard magazines. All bags are removable. The vest further comes with a 100% risk-free refund for any reason. It guarantees functionality and satisfaction. Otherwise, you get your money back.

Pros:

  • Made from durable and high-quality material.
  • Includes a tactical belt.
  • Large capacity and storage.
  • Adjustable chest size and straps.
  • Affordable.

Cons:

  • Belt doesn’t fit bigger guys too well.
  • Needs more secure pouches for paintball pods.
  • Back strap may still be improved for strength.
  • Made from durable and high-quality material.
  • Includes a tactical belt.
  • Large capacity and storage.
  • Adjustable chest size and straps.
  • Affordable.
  • Belt doesn’t fit bigger guys too well.
  • Needs more secure pouches for paintball pods.
  • Back strap may still be improved for strength.
Condor Modular VestCondor Modular VestCondor Modular VestCondor Modular Vest

Rugged and versatile, the Condor Modular Vest is a heavy-duty equipment that weighs two pounds and takes up a 19 x 14 x 1.5-inch dimension. While relatively small, this vest was designed to perform under intense conditions. Shoulders are padded, rubberized, and includes a built-in shock stop and wide strap. The back part is made up of mesh, which creates ventilation.

Comfortable and durable, it functions similarly to the KHD defense plate carrier that Marines use. The vest is long-lasting and sturdy enough so that you don’t have to worry about upgrading to a higher quality vest. You can adjust the shoulder, chest, and waist. The vest fits M to L sizes, or up to 44 inches of chest size.

In addition to a zippered front, the vest also includes two quick-release buckles. It also includes interior zippered mesh pockets that can carry documents. Highly customizable, the entire vest is equipped with webbing for MOLLE attachments. It also includes six built-in belt loops and hanging guides that perfectly fit a two-inch duty belt or pistol.

Pros:

  • Sturdy construction.
  • Adjustability easily fits any body type.
  • Comfortable wear.
  • Stylish.
  • Durable even after repetitive use.

Cons:

  • Pricier than other tactical vests.
  • Doesn’t come in L or XL sizes.
  • Neither bulletproof nor combat ready.
  • Sturdy construction.
  • Adjustability easily fits any body type.
  • Comfortable wear.
  • Stylish.
  • Durable even after repetitive use.
  • Pricier than other tactical vests.
  • Doesn’t come in L or XL sizes.
  • Neither bulletproof nor combat ready.

Our Pick

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Among the bunch, the UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest takes the cake for us.

  • It is bulletproof and lightweight, making it perfect for all purposes whether outdoors, in the field, or during gameplay.
  • Highly durable, it can last for years without wear and tear despite constant use.
  • It has enough storage space and capacity to store necessary equipment and tools.
  • Its mesh ventilation system ensures breathability and keeps moisture and heat at bay.
  • Adjustable and customizable, it also provides maximum comfort to ease your movement and enhance your work or play.
Dave Nartin
Founder at Mountain Leon
Hi. Im Dave. Mountain Lion is the name of this travel blog. It came from my love for both the English and Spanish language, my favourite animal (Lion), and my favourite activity (mountain climbing). Enjoy!