How To Find The Best Tactical Vest For Any Outdoor Activity

In my early hunting days, my father used to tell me that there is nothing worse than getting all geared up and seize any creature in the wild while seeing your tactical vest falling off even before your search kicks off.

He shared that the hunters’ lack of knowledge in choosing and purchasing the right vest is probably one of the few, biggest impasse in the hunting world.

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Thanks to my dad, my first mission to finding the right tactical vest wasn’t as confusing and arduous as I have expected it to be. Under his guidance, I learned how versatility and affordability in picking the best vest go hand in hand with some of its most prized features.

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Later on, I’ll be sharing these individually to aid you and eventually, your friends who might run overwhelmed in finding their very first vests.

And before I give my reviews on some of the best tactical vests today, l think it is important to discuss as much about what a tactical vest is, its types and uses, along with the ways on knowing which tactical vest you should choose along the way.

What Is A Tactical Vest?

Tactical vests are originally developed for military and law enforcement officers in order for them to get stronger layers of protection.

They contain pockets along with compartments to hold their equipment and weapons, allowing them to be accessed easily. With convenience behind its structure, tactical vests have different types and customizable designs.

Uses Of Tactical Vests

Perhaps the most practical use of a tactical vest is to protect you against unforeseeable injuries while hunting. Initially made for sports aficionados and outdoorsy people, there are now other tactical vests that are heavily purchased for paintball and the gear you carry with when hunting and fishing.

Meanwhile, tactical vests are also being used by military men and law enforcement officials in order to aid them in carrying their supplies which mostly consist of bullets, knives, flashlights and medical supplies (and smartphones!).

On the other hand, outdoor junkies would use them for their lures as well as their small weapons and bullets. Ultimately, the use of tactical vests is specifically designed to harbor everything a hunter needs that could be easily retrieved at the hour of need.

Tactical vests are also used largely by first responders who require ready access to different types of bandages along with other medical supplies and diagnostic tools. Journalists and photographers would also use these vests as these help them equip themselves with vital equipment like cameras and notebooks.

Your Definitive Guide To Picking The Right Tactical Vests

Here are the important things you need to consider when finding your best tactical vest:

What Makes A Good Tactical Vest

With the multitude of tactical vests along with their numerous types that are now available in the market, it is easy to get lost in your way.

And with all these, choosing the right vest all comes down to its comfort, functionality and versatility.

As each of us possesses different types of body build, these vests also provide comfort levels relative to your bodily structure!.

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Types Of Vest

1. Cross-draw vest

Specifically designed to be sturdy for fit and use, this type of vest comes pre-configured for extra pouches.

While it is not customizable, the vest allows a sidearm to sit directly on the vest. Also known for being economical, it is suitable for unplanned occasions.

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Via Amazon.com

2. Chest Rig

This type of vest is famed for its fully customizable functionality. It is also lightweight, small and typical for mobile situations.

The vest comes with no pouches but is available in numerous colors.

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Via Amazon.com

3. Plate Carrier

Similar to Chest Rig vests, this one is fully customizable. It is equipped with pouches and could take in its internal armor on all sides.

While it is not as versatile as the Chest Rig and Cross-draw vests, this one is larger than the two.

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Via Amazon.com

Ultimately, the best type of tactical vest will base on the situation you are planning to embark to. As such, a Plate Carrier Vest is highly likely to be the top choice for people who are under the law enforcement and military operations as it covers their entire chest while allowing them to configure its pouches with more freedom.

Hunters along with paintballers can opt for vests which are equipped with less coverage and expense. These vests come with preconfigured layouts which should generally work just fine.

How To Customize A Tactical Vest

The customization in tactical vest is a no-brainer as it is relative to its user’s type and purpose. But if you prefer to customize your vest with a lot of pouches, you’re going to have to spend a lot. On the other hand, pre-configured vests cost less although a substantial improvement for it should not be expected.

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If you intend to add pouches on your tactical vests, I would recommend you to check first online as to which size of these pouches would fit your vests. These pouches can be hooked on the mesh part of the vest and you can configure them in different arrangements.

Usually, I would configure them depending on my hunting needs. For most people, important items such as medicines and weaponries would often get prioritized.

Which Color Do I Need To Choose?

As most tactical vests come in a variety of colors like black, gray, green and brown or a combination of these hues, it is a must that you determine first which type of activity you’d be indulging into. 

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For hunters, it is more preferred to go with visible colors as these would prevent us from accidental injuries. For others who enjoy paintballing and airsoft gameplay, camouflaged colors are usually the way to go as these activities would require stealth.

Top 5 Tactical Vests in 2017

Now that we have covered the basics about tactical vest, it is about time for me to reveal this year’s top vests:

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Via Amazon.com

With its one-size-fits-most promise, this tactical vest comes with full adjustability in terms of length and girth. It has Velcro closure, drain holes and just about the right elasticity to hold your mags tightly.

Armed with its signature mesh ventilation system, this accessory may be your ideal vest for a heavy loaded occasion and field operations. It also boasts of a premium, universal cross-draw holster and an extra Velcro attachable modular double-mag pouches if you choose to interchange with a holster.

Ultimately, this favored tactical vest is also equipped with high-quality zippers.

PROS:

  • Strong flaps and Velcro
  • Tighter holster
  • ​Adjustable width
  • Signature mesh ventilation system

CONS:

  • Quite smaller than most adult males
  • Holster may not support handgun’s attachment
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Via Amazon.com

With sufficient elasticity for shot shells and radio pocket, this tactical vest may work for you if you and under any law enforcement entry teams, both practical and rugged. It comes with quilted support on the inside and an equally rugged nylon in its exterior.

One of my personal favorites, this tactical vest provides plenty of front pockets and a massive back pocket for all of your mags and other accessories. Other features include a fully adjustable mechanism through its shoulder and waist, thumb break holster, pistol and rifle mag pouches.

And oh, it’s also tagged with a reasonable price!

PROS:

  • Good quality and price ratio
  • Well-constructed pouches
  • Design and fit
  • Signature mesh ventilation system

CONS:

  • Woeful zipper mechanism
  • Not recommended for airsoft players
  • Falls short for taller users
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Via Amazon.com

If you are one of those who carries a lot of tools and ammunitions, this tactical vest may just be your top choice. It comes with storage pockets for your extra blaster and Quick Reload Clips. This striking vest features dart storage loops that can store up to 12 darts while fitting 2 Quick Reload Clips in its clip storage area.

A blaster storage is also included for your backup firepower in this vest. Most purchased by paintballing enthusiasts and people in most battle situations, this tactical vest is surely a favorite among Nerf fans.

PROS:

  • Fits most body sizes
  • Kid-friendly color and structure
  • Adjustable waist and chest straps
  • Extra storage pockets

CONS:

  • Pricey for its quality
  • Not for serious adults
  • Not for heavy-loaded situations
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Via Amazon.com

Its distinctive, adjustable torso allows to fit all size comfortably. As such, this would right sit conveniently for people who grapple with size issues. With strong, large and top-of-the-line zippers, this tactical vest is ideal for those who value a product’s longevity.

Another masterfully-crafted accessory by Modern Warrior, this vest comes with a comfortable padding on its right shoulder for recoil and shotgun shell holders. A handgun holster along with rifle and handgun holster are also featured.

PROS:

  • Adjustable torso which fits M-XL comfortably
  • Numerous pockets
  • Durable line of clothing
  • Padding on right shoulder for recoil

CONS:

  • Not for bigger body types
  • Problematic zippers
  • Smaller handgun sling
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Via Amazon.com

Ideal for outdoor travel, mountaineering, and even those who indulge in Counter Strikes’ cosplay, this tactical vest is made of topnotch material with durable straps and buckle. Famed for its breathable and well-ventilated structure, it probably is the lightest on the list.

The left side of the tactical vest is equipped with a pistol holster than can fit most medium-framed pistols. It also comes with a carrying handle and strips across its back, upping the vest’s number of pouches. Meanwhile, the product’s rear part comes with a double-ply mesh which allows you to add hydration bladder.

PROS:

  • Breathable and well-ventilated
  • Lightweight
  • Can fit adults of S to XL sizes
  • Vest’s rear comes with double-ply mesh
  • Strips and a carrying handle

CONS:

  • Problematic zippers
  • Cheap holster material
  • A bit heavier for women

Author’s Choice

The UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest is still the best in the market now! Providing a full range of features and versatility, this vest is ideal for your weekly shooting, hunting or if you just feel like being ready for anything. It should be a good buy as it is most recommended by virtually all the hunters, policemen and paintballers alike.

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I hope this narrowed down list will aid you more than enough as you pick your best tactical vest. Happy hunting!

Sound your comments below and share your exciting mission to find the perfect vest for you!

Cindy Herrera
 

I’m Cindy, a free-spirited outdoor enthusiast. Since childhood, I was very much exposed to the outdoor environment. Our family frequently goes on weekend camps and my father, who was a skilled hunter, used to teach me and my siblings valuable things about wildlife survival. Now that I’m a married woman with two wonderful kids, it’s hard to keep up with outdoor activities while parenting at the same time… so I made this blog to share the best of my knowledge, experiences, and tips from other bloggers to you, my fellow outdoor enthusiast because merely talking about the outdoors makes me feel closer to it.

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