best tactical vests
Tactical Gear

10 Best Tactical Vests

Tactical vests are designed to provide you utility while on the battlefield or to keep you safe.

Besides looking cool, each vest has its own style and function.

Some vests are designed with anti-munitions armor to keep you safe from enemy fire.

Other types of tactical vests are designed to provide you quick access to your gear.

Based on your preference, activity, and budget, different tactical vests will be better than others.

What to Look For When Shopping For a Tactical Vest

When shopping for a tactical vest, there are a few things that you need to be considering before you commit to buying one.

Vests will change based on the materials it is made from, its purpose, the size, the storage capacity, and the type of weapon you can equip.

Materials / Construction

The materials that your vest is constructed of are important to consider because they will change the protection you have and the durability of the vest.

Some materials are excellent for basic tasks like carrying gear but are not designed for more tactical uses such as personal protection.

With materials like 600 denier polyester, some tactical vests are tear, mildew, and water resistant.

Purpose

There will be a big difference in the features that you want based on what activities that you will be doing.

If you are a bounty hunter or in a profession where it is more likely that you will get shot at or stabbed, a tactical vest that features personal body armor is recommended.

However, if you are playing airsoft, you do not need to protect yourself against a 7.62.

Another option is if you are planning on going hunting, you may want to have a way to quickly access your gear or have a drop pouch to retain your empty magazines quickly.

Simply put, you kit for the mission and based on what that mission is, the price tag of your gear will drastically change.

Capacity / Size

Tactical vests come in various sizes and have different load capacities or arrangements.

You do not want to have a tactical vest that is too tight because it can cause significant irritation to your skin.

You will eventually rub your skin raw.

It is very uncomfortable, and if you are deep downrange, you will be miserable.

The great thing is that many tactical vests offer a range of customization, allowing you to make adjustments on the go.

Some tactical vests come with MOLLE strips to give complete control of your loadout.

Other tactical vests are more like fighting load carriers where you have quick access to pre-installed magazines and pouches.

Weapon Selection

Some tactical vests come equipped with the option to carry a sidearm, and others with a MOLLE system allow you to add your own holster.

Vests with pre-built holsters are specific for left or right handed shooters.

For vests that allow you to attach your own holster, you can customize your loadout to fit your sidearm.

Some vests also include hip-mounted holsters to provide quick access to your firearm.

#1. Eagle Tactical Vest with Level IIIA Soft Panels

eagle tactical vest with level IIIa
Image: PremierBodyArmor.com
  • Colors Available: Black, FDE
  • Sizes Available: S, M, L, XL, 2XL
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable

Premier Body Armor’s Eagle Tactical Vest with Level IIIA Soft Panels is designed to keep you safe while on the job.

This military-style tactical vest includes a MOLLE attachment system to allow you to customize your loadout.

You can add holsters, magazine pouches, and other tactical gear directly on your vest for quick access.

This vest offers excellent protection against munitions up to a .44 MAG with included NIJ certified level IIIA soft panel body armor.

You can upgrade your protection with the provided front and rear pockets where you can insert level II rifle plates that will protect you against rifle rounds up to a 7.62.

It is crafted with a 600D polyester to protect against tears and the elements.

A reinforced “man down” strap allows those around you to pull you out of a difficult situation.

For a comfortable fit, it is fully adjustable, which allows you to adjust the inner cummerbund, the sides, and the shoulder straps.

If you are looking for serious protection for dangerous situations, the Eagle Tactical Vest with Level IIIA Soft Panels by Premier Body Armor is the best option for you.

Pick it up on the official Premier Body Armor site here: www.PremierBodyArmor.com

#2. BlackHawk Omega Elite Vest Cross Draw/Pistol Mag

blackhawk omega elite vest cross draw
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Colors Available: Black
  • Sizes Available: One size
  • Hand: Right
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable

BlackHawk’s Omega Elite Vest Cross Draw/Pistol Mag is constructed with durable nylon mesh that is breathable to prevent overheating.

The vest is designed to provide you with quick access to your sidearm, pouches, and tactical gear.

You can store up to 6 rifle magazines with the 3 include magazine pouches and includes 4 pistol magazine pouches.

The cross-draw holster allows you to store your sidearm easily.

With a compartment for a Hydrastorm water reservoir, you have the option to purchase and install the Hydrastorm system for easy access to a water source.

This is an excellent feature for those long days in the field.

The vest may not have the option for ballistic protection, but it gives you everything you need to for a patrol. BlackHawk’s Omega Elite Vest Cross Draw/Pistol Mag is available at Optics Planet.

Check it out here: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#3. TacTec Multicam Plate Carrier

tactec plate carrier
Image: 511Tactical.com
  • Colors Available: Multicam, ranger green, black, storm, kangaroo, dark navy
  • Sizes Available: One Size
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable

5.11 constructs high-performance tactical equipment that can stand the harshest of environments.

The TacTec Multicam Plate Carrier is lightweight and comfortable.

It is designed to provide an excellent fit for any operator and ensure you remain mobile while staying protected.

The tactical vest is designed to fit medium and large SAPI plates (not included) to protect the wearer from incoming fire.

It is constructed with Cordura 500D nylon that is water and tear resistant.

This vest is designed to be comfortable with the ability to customize the waist and cummerbund to give you an excellent fit.

Like the Eagle Tactical Vest, it includes a durable handle to drag you out of a dangerous situation quickly.

There are two models, the Multicam and the standard 5.11 model.

The standard 5.11 model comes in 5 colors and is $20 cheaper.

If you purchase the additional SAPI plates, the TacTec Tactical Vest provides excellent protection for your vital organs.

Pick it up on the official 5.11 Tactical website here: www.511Tactical.com

#4. Premier Body Armor Hawk Plate Carrier

premier body armor hawk plate carrier
Image: PremierBodyArmor.com
  • Colors Available: Black, multicam
  • Sizes Available: One size
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable

Premier Body Armor’s Hawk Plate Carrier is constructed of 1000 Denier Cordura nylon which is resistant against fading, rot, mildew, and abrasions.

The plate carrier is designed to provide you an excellent fit while keeping you protected.

The lightweight construction helps keep you mobile while on a long day in the field.

It is also fully adjustable to ensure that you get the right fit for a comfortable all-day wear.

The included MOLLE system straps enable you to attach any tactical gear you require, such as magazines, a drop pouch, or a sidearm holster.

Premier Body Armor takes your safety seriously and has designed the plate carrier to take front and back 10” x 12” plates as well as 6” x 6” side SAPIs from extreme protection.

If you are familiar with the standard-issue military tactical vests, you will feel right at home with the Hawk Plate Carrier.

The plates are not included, but with their addition, you would be hard-pressed to find better protection.

The Hawk Plate Carrier is available at Premier Body Armor, check it out here: www.PremierBodyArmor.com

#5. Loaded Gear VX-100 Tactical Vest and Leg Platform

loaded gear vx-100 tactical vest
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Colors Available: Black
  • Sizes Available: One size
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable

The Loaded Gear VX-100 Tactical Vest and Leg Platform by Barska is a unique tactical load carrying system that offers superb customization to fit any loadout.

You get many attachments to include: 2 pistol mag pouches, 4 rifle mag pouches, a drop leg holster, drop leg dump pouch, radio pouch, a utility pouch, and an accessory pouch.

The vest and leg harnesses are equipped with the MOLLE attachment system to allow you to customize your loadout with the included attachments or standalone ones that are standalone.

You do not get the protection offered by a plate carrier, but the customization and storage options can give you the ultimate loadout.

The Loaded Gear VX-100 Tactical Vest and Leg Platform is available at Optics Planet, check it out here: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#6. Crosman Elite Tactical Harness Airsoft Vest

crossman elite tactical harness airsoft vest
Image: DicksSportingGoods.com
  • Colors Available: Black
  • Sizes Available: List all that apply
  • Hand: Right
  • Adjustability: Semi Adjustable

For people who love to play airsoft, Crosman’s Elite Tactical Harness Airsoft Vest will give you the tactical feel and function that you would expect from a combat-ready tactical vest.

It is constructed with durable black nylon, and you can adjust it for a comfortable fit for a day of airsoft combat.

The 8 ventilated pockets and 2 internal pockets give you extra storage space for all your tactical gear.

For shooters who are right handed, you get additional padding on your right shoulder for additional stability and accuracy.

The lightweight design will help you overrun your enemy’s position and allow you to lay suppressive fire with the ability to carry extra magazines.

If you are ready to take your airsoft game to the next level, Crosman’s Elite Tactical Harness Airsoft Vest is a great option for you.

It’s available at Dicks Sporting Goods, check it out here: www.DicksSportingGoods.com

#7. VISM Military Tactical Vest

vism military tactical vest
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Colors Available: Black, digital camo, green, tan
  • Sizes Available: Medium – XL, 2XL plus
  • Hand: Right
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable

VISM offers an affordable load carrier with their Military Tactical Vest.

It is designed to give you access to your tactical gear quickly and includes PAL webbing for the ability to customize your loadout.

It is constructed with tough PVC to provide a durable wear.

This load carrier comes with 3 rifle magazine pouches, 4 pistol magazine pouches, a utility pouch, and a heavy duty pistol belt.

It is fully adjustable for a comfortable fit for competition shooting, a day in the field, or fit over body armor.

Other features include a cross-draw pistol holster and a hydration system pouch (bladder not included).

The VISM Military Tactical Vest is available from Optics Planet, check it out here: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#8. Chase Tactical Lightweight Operational Plate Carrier

chase tactical lightweight operational plate carrier
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Colors Available: Black, coyote, multicam, ranger green
  • Sizes Available: One size
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable

The Tactical Lightweight Operational Plate Carrier by Chase Tactical gives you a durable military spec plate carrier.

It is fully adjustable, lightweight, and breathable for maximum comfort.

With a 500D Cordura design, the carrier is resistant to tears, mold, and water.

The material is also treated to provide a minimum IR footprint.

Some materials will make you glow like a Christmas tree in your enemy’s optics during nighttime operations.

IR treated material is designed to prevent the reflection of IR to make you less visible to your enemy.

The plate carrier has the MOLLE system to allow a customized loadout to fit any mission.

The plate carrier fits the standard size 10” x 12” SAPI plate.

Chase Tactical’s Lightweight Operational Plate Carrier is an excellent plate carrier that offers unique features like IR-treated materials.

It is available at Optics Planet, check it out here: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#9. Viking Tactics VTAC Chest Rig

viking tactics vtac chest rig
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Colors Available: Coyote, multicam
  • Sizes Available: One size
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable

Viking Tactics’ VTAC Chest Rig is designed to allow you to carry a large amount of gear while remaining lightweight and tactical.

The rig is low-profile and can be worn over regular clothes or a jacket.

The main attribute of the VTAC Chest Rig is to keep you mobile while giving you a lot of storage.

With 2 radio pouches, 2 pistol magazine pouches, 2 general purpose pouches, and 4 M4 magazine pouches, you will have a complete loadout.

This rig is great for any field duty and is available at Optics Planet, check it out here: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#10. Voodoo Tactical Tactical Chest Rig

voodoo tactical chest rig
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Colors Available: Black, coyote, multicam, OD green, VTC
  • Sizes Available: Standard, 3XL – 5XL
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable

Voodoo Tactical’s Tactical Chest Rig is an excellent rig that offers a lot of storage space.

With the ability to hold 210 5.62 rounds and 4 pistol magazines, you can keep loaded up for the toughest of tactical situations.

The tactical rig is fully adjustable to allow you a comfortable all-day wear.

The rig can be used over body armor, or you can place a standard 10” x 12” SAPI plate in the front pocket.

This chest rig offers a plate carrying option at half the cost of other plate carrying rigs.

Unlike the other options on this list, it only offers a front plate pocket.

If you want an affordable tactical rig with many storage and features, this is an excellent option.

Voodoo Tactical’s Tactical Chest Rig is available at Optics Planet, check it out here: www.OpticsPlanet.com

See Also

10 Best Plate Carriers

7 Best Tactical Fanny Packs For Concealed Carry

 
Rob V.
Best Tactical Vests

Best Tactical Vests

4.8 out of 5 (67 Ratings)

See our picks for the 10 best tactical vests for 2021, including brands like 5.11 Tactical, Eagle, Blackhawk, TacTec, Premier Body Armor, and more.
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