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Tactical Vest Setup Guide: 3 Example Configurations

To complete your mission successfully, you need to have the tools to accomplish your task easily accessible.

That mission could be military operations, police patrols, or even airsoft competitions.

To have the best chances of success, your loadout will change to match the occasion.

Below are three example configurations for tactical vests.

#1. Tactical Vest Setup For Police

swat team tactical vest setup
Image: Wikimedia.org

Police officers, especially highly specialized units like SWAT and Apprehension Tactical Teams, have a need for unique tactical vest setups.

Due to the nature of their work, they will add certain types of gear and weapons to their vest that the average person doesn’t have a need for.

Here’s an example of some of those things needed on a tactical vest for police:

Tactical Vest – TACTEC Plate Carrier

tactec plate carrier
Image: 511Tactical.com
  • Color(s): Ranger Green, Black, Storm, Kangaroo, Dark Navy
  • Size: One Size
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable
  • Price: $210.00

The TACTEC Plate Carrier by 5.11 Tactical is an excellent choice for police officers and SWAT team members.

It is compatible with both medium and large ballistic plates.

With features such as a water resistant coating, oversized airflow panels, and back yoke shoulder pads, you will stay comfortable while having enhanced freedom of movement compared to other tactical vests.

The vest is fully adjustable for a custom fit, and the cummerbunds will extend up to 57 inches.

It is available at 5.11 Tactical. Here’s where to buy it: www.511Tactical.com

Flashlight – Streamlight Rail-Mounted Weapon Tactical Flashlights

Streamlight Rail-Mounted Weapon Tactical Flashlights
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weather Resistant: Yes
  • Brightness: 300 Lumens
  • Price: $119.79 – $129.99

Streamlight’s Rail-Mounted Weapon Tactical Flashlights are perfect for keeping your hands free during an operation.

It only weighs 4.18 ounces and can be attached to many popular mounting systems, such as a Picatinny rail.

With a single battery, it provides 300 Lumens of brightness for up to 2.5 hours.

They built it to last with a shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof body.

Streamlight’s Rail-Mounted Weapon Tactical Flashlight is an excellent choice if you need enhanced visibility while using your rifle or another firearm.

It is available at Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

Magazines – AR-15 30RD PMAG GEN M2 MOE Magazine 223/5.56

AR-15 30RD PMAG GEN M2 MOE Magazine 223 5.56
Image: Brownells.com
  • Model: AR-15
  • Material: Polymer
  • Capacity: 30 Round
  • Price: $12.30

The AR-15 30RD PMAG GEN M2 MOE Magazine by MAGPUL is a premium AR-15 magazine constructed to be dependable and extremely durable.

What steals the show for this magazine is that even if you stored fully loaded for extended periods, the magazine will not get damaged.

It comes equipped with a heat-treated stainless steel spring and a self-lubricating one-piece body.

This magazine will offer a smoother transition between magazines with a textured exterior with an easy to grip ledge.

It is available at Brownells. Here’s where to buy it: www.Brownells.com

Multi-tool – Leatherman Curl

Leatherman Curl
Image: Brownells.com
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Tools: 15
  • Price: $79.95

The Leatherman Curl is the industry standard multi-tool packed full of features making it perfect for any loadout.

With 15 different tools, you will be ready for any situation, from adjusting your sights to opening up a bottle of beer.

The set includes a nylon pouch to attach to your vest loadout quickly.

When you buy it from Brownells, you get their Forever Guarantee.

It is available at Brownells. Here’s where to buy it: www.Brownells.com

Med Kit – Flex Med Pouch

Flex Med Pouch
Image: 511Tactical.com
  • Material: 500 Denier Nylon
  • Size: 0”H x 2.5”L x 2.5”D
  • Color(s): Ranger Green, Kangaroo, Dark Navy
  • Price: $40.00

The Flex Med Pouch by 5.11 Tactical is a high-quality medical pouch designed to mount with the flex hook system or a standard MOLLE platform.

It provides quick access to trauma essentials such as tourniquets and trauma shears (both not included).

Constructed out of waterproof 500 denier nylon, it is resistant against tears, mold, and sun damage.

With a 44 cubic inch interior, you have plenty of space for all your medical essentials.

It is important to note that this is just the medical pouch, and it does not contain any medical supplies.

It is available at 5.11 Tactical. Here’s where to buy it: www.511Tactical.com

Radio Pouch – Maxpedition CP-L Radio Holder

Maxpedition CP-L Radio Holder
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Material: 1,000 Denier Nylon
  • Size: 8”H x 3.5”L x 1.5”D
  • Color(s): Black, Khaki
  • Price: $34.89 – $35.09

The CP-L Radio Holder by Maxpedition is an excellent balance of affordability and features.

They constructed it out of durable 1,000 denier nylon, which is resistant against abrasions, tears, mold, and it is water resistant.

The pouch will hold most large handheld radios, GPSs, satellite phones, and large cell phones.

With double-stitched nylon webbing, it is entirely compatible with MOLLE platform vests.

It is available at Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

#2. Tactical Vest Setup For Special Forces (Navy SEALs, Green Berets, etc.)

tactical vest setup for special forces
Image: Flickr.com

Unlike police and SWAT teams, Special Forces units like Navy SEALs and Green Berets will typically have a different tactical vest setup.

Here’s some examples of what you would see: 

Tactical Vest – TAG Plate Carrier

TAG Plate Carrier
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Color(s): MC Black, Black, MC Tropic, Coyote Tan, MC Arid, Multicam, Ranger Green
  • Size: One Size
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable
  • Price: $207.99 – $239.99

They built the TAG Plate Carrier to save your life while keeping you comfortable.

It accommodates any level 3 or 4 trauma plate sizes from small through large long plates.

For added comfort, it is fully adjustable and has removable curved shoulder pads.

It also has built-in side plate pockets for when you need extra protection against your enemy.

They are built in the USA and is guaranteed for life.

It is available at Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

Flashlight – Rapid L2 Flashlight

rapid l2 flashlight
Image: 511Tactical.com
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weather Resistant: Yes
  • Brightness: 523 Lumens
  • Price: $60.00

The Rapid L2 Flashlight by 5.11 Tactical is designed with special forces in mind.

With 523 Lumens of brightness, you will gain a clear advantage while in the field with a max beam distance of 103 meters.

The rugged design has an IPX-7 water resistance rating and is impact resistant up to 2 meters.

At 523 Lumens, a single battery will last you about 2 hours, but the 61 lumens mode has a battery life above 19 hours.

61 Lumens is perfect for basic tasks and can save you a few batteries.

It is available at 5.11 Tactical. Here’s where to buy it: www.511Tactical.com

Magazines – Hexmag HX AR-15 5.56×45 Magazine

Hexmag HX AR-15 5.56x45 Magazine
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Model: AR-15
  • Material: Polymer
  • Capacity: 10 Rounds
  • Price: $12.99 – $13.79

The Hexmag HX AR-15 5.56×45 Magazine is made of a durable polymer, which has a HEXTURE design for superior grip.

Constructed out of PolyHex2 Advanced Composite, the magazine is lightweight and can withstand the elements.

A downside to this magazine is that it has a ten-round capacity.

However, it is illegal in many states to own a magazine over ten rounds.

If you live in a restricted state, The Hexmag HX AR-15 5.56×45 Magazine is perfect for you.

It is available at Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

Multi-tool – Leatherman MUT Multi-Tool

Leatherman MUT Multi-Tool
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Tools: 18
  • Price: $159.95 – $179.99

Leatherman’s MUT Multi-tool is an excellent multi-tool that comes with 18 different tools.

It can handle any situation with various tools, including wire cutters, a cleaning rod/brush, an electrical crimper, and a variety of blades.

A cool feature with the MUT is that many of the major components are replaceable.

For easy storage, it comes with a MOLLE sheath to attach to your vest or pack.

Leatherman’s MUT Multi-tool comes with a 25-year warranty and is perfect for any operator.

It is available at Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

Med Kit – Tactical Field Trauma Kit W/QuikClot

Tactical Field Trauma Kit W QuikClot
Image: Brownells.com
  • Material: Cloth
  • Size: Up to 4 People
  • Color(s): Black
  • Price: $47.99

Adventure Medical Kits’ Tactical Field Trauma Kit W/QuikClot has everything you need for primary field trauma.

It has enough supplies to support buddy aid up to four operators for a one or two-day operation.

It comes with all the essentials. However, it also comes with QuikClot bandages for serious wounds.

QuikClot assists the bandage with controlling the bleeding from deep wounds.

NEVER place QuikClot on a sucking chest wound or eye injury.

It will permanently damage your patient’s body.

The pouch does not have MOLLE straps but can connect to your vest with alligator clips.

It is available at Brownells. Here’s where to buy it: www.Brownells.com

Radio Pouch – 5.11 Tactical Radio Pouch

5.11 Tactical Radio Pouch
Image: 511Tactical.com
  • Material: 500 Denier Body/ 1050 Denier Base
  • Size: 5 3/8″ H x 3 5/8″ W x 1 1/2″ D
  • Color(s): Storm, Multicam
  • Price: $25.00

The 5.11 Tactical Radio pouch fits any standard handset and fits perfectly on your vest, back, or gear with the included web platform.

It has a 1050 denier nylon base and a 500 denier nylon body for added durability.

It is a lightweight all-weather solution for storing your radio.

The pouch includes an adjustable elastic cord and a secure locking clasp to keep your radio secure while on the move.

If you are looking for a radio pouch that will work with any loadout, the 5.11 Tactical Radio pouch is an excellent choice.

It is available at 5.11 Tactical. Here’s where to buy it: www.511Tactical.com

#3. Tactical Vest Setup For Airsoft Players

airsoft tactical vest setup
Image: Wikimedia.org

Clearly, Airsoft players do not have a need for many of the items listed above on their tactical vest.

In most cases, they don’t need a tactical vest at all.  With that said, some will still wear them to help them win at their game.

Here’s a few examples of what you’ll find: 

Tactical Vest – NcSTAR PALS Modular Vest OD Green

NcSTAR PALS Modular Vest OD Green
Image: AirgunDepot.com
  • Color(s): OD Green
  • Size: One Size
  • Hand: Ambidextrous
  • Adjustability: Fully Adjustable
  • Price: $29.89

The NcSTAR PALS Modular Vest OD Green will give you the advantage over your competition with unlimited loadout options because of the MOLLE/PALS platform.

They constructed it out of PVC mesh, which is breathable and durable.

The vest also comes with a heavy-duty belt and two utility pouches.

For added comfort, the vest is fully adjustable and only weighs 4 lbs.

At only $29.89, this vest is an excellent value for any airsoft player.

It is available at Airgun Depot. Here’s where to buy it: www.AirgunDepot.com

Flashlight – EDC PL 1AAA Flashlight

EDC PL 1AAA Flashlight
Image: 511Tactical.com
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weather Resistant: Yes
  • Brightness: 55 Lumens
  • Price: $22.00

5.11 Tactical’s EDC PL 1AAA Flashlight is a perfect match for any airsoft player.

On a single AAA battery, it will run on high for 3 hours and 54 minutes.

Constructed out of aerospace-grade aluminum, the flashlight is light and durable.

It has an IPX-4 water resistance rating and has two-meter impact resistance.

This clip-mounted flashlight is perfect for low light conditions with its 55 lumens of power, which has a beam distance of 23 meters.

If you are looking for a low price flashlight that is durable, 5.11 Tactical’s EDC PL 1AAA Flashlight is an excellent choice.

It is available at 5.11 Tactical. Here’s where to buy it: www.511Tactical.com

Magazines – Flex 6 X 9 Vertical Pouch

Flex 6 X 9 Vertical Pouch
Image: 511Tactical.com
  • Color(s): Ranger Green, Black, Kangaroo
  • Material: 500 Denier Nylon
  • Capacity: 5 Liter
  • Price: $35.00

Magazine retention is unique for airsoft players, and they need something that can hold hundreds of rounds without spilling everywhere.

The Flex 6 X 9 Vertical Pouch by 5.11 Tactical offers 3.5 liters of storage space, which is perfect for keeping all your ammunition for a match.

It is constructed out of durable 500 denier nylon and comes with a TPO heat shrink zipper pull.

If you are looking for a rugged pouch, the Flex 6 X 9 Vertical Pouch by 5.11 Tactical is perfect for you.

It is available at 5.11 Tactical. Here’s where to buy it: www.511Tactical.com

Multi-tool – Leatherman Surge Black Oxide Multi Tools

Leatherman Surge Black Oxide Multi Tools
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Tools: 20
  • Price: $129.95

The Leatherman Surge Black Oxide Multi Tools is a great overall tool that works perfectly for airsoft players.

If you need to adjust your gear, the Surge comes with 20 different tools to get the job done.

Constructed out of heavy-duty stainless steel with an oxide finish, this multi-tool is built to last.

You can attach it to your vest or gear seamlessly with the included MOLLE sheath.

It also comes with a 25-year warranty.

It is available at Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

Med Kit – Maxpedition FR-1 Pouch Combat Medical Pouch

Maxpedition FR-1 Pouch Combat Medical Pouch
Image: OpticsPlanet.com
  • Material: 1000 Denier Nylon
  • Size: 7″H x 5″W x 3″D
  • Color(s): Black, Khaki, Foliage Green, OD Green, Wolf Gray
  • Price: $47.59 – $49.99

Accidents happen, and when they do, it is essential to have a quality medical ready to treat the injury.

The FR-1 Pouch Combat Medical Pouch by Maxpedition is excellent for any occasion.

With YKK high strength zippers and a 1,000 denier nylon body, this pouch is designed to last.

It is important to note that the medical pouch does not include any medical supplies and organizes the medical supplies you buy separately.

It is available at Optics Planet. Here’s where to buy it: www.OpticsPlanet.com

Radio pouch – Foundation Series Adjustable Radio/GPS Pouch

Foundation Series Adjustable Radio/GPS Pouch
Image: Brownells.com
  • Material: 1000 Denier/ 500 Denier Laminated Nylon
  • Size: Not Specified
  • Color(s): Black
  • Price: $33.99

If you want to have a competitive edge by equipping your team with radios, the Foundation Series Adjustable Radio/GPS Pouch by Blackhawk is an excellent option.

It can fit standard-sized radios, all cell phones, or a bottle of water.

Constructed out of 1000 denier/ 500 denier laminate nylon, the pouch is resistant against rips, tears, mildew, and sun damage.

It comes equipped with MOLLE tuck straps to attach it to your vest easily.

It is available at Brownells. Here’s where to buy it: www.Brownells.com

References / Resources

 

See Also

10 Best Tactical Vests

7 Best Tactical Fanny Packs For Concealed Carry

11 Best Military Grade Flashlights

 
Rob V.
Tactical Vest Setup

Tactical Vest Setup

4.7 out of 5 (71 Ratings)

See 3 example configurations of tactical vest setups for SWAT Teams / Police, Special Operations, and airsoft players.
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