The 8 Best Tactical Dog Vests

Updated April 13, 2018 by Quincy Miller

8 Best Tactical Dog Vests
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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If your four-legged friend does a lot more than snooze on the couch all day, try equipping it with one of these tactical dog vests. They are designed to enable military and police K9 dogs to carry their own gear, but can also be used by hikers and campers who take their pets everywhere, as well as service animals who want to help lug around their owners' stuff. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tactical dog vest on Amazon.

8. Ultrafun Patrol Harness

Weighing in at just under 2 pounds when fully equipped with its pouches, the Ultrafun Patrol Harness is light enough to never become a burden when your dog is supporting extra field gear. Its sturdy metallic buckle has two attachment points for a leash.
  • dries off quickly
  • high-quality zipper
  • difficult to adjust straps
Brand Ultrafun
Model pending
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Feliscanis Compact

Designed for medium-sized pooches, the Feliscanis Compact has Velcro attached to its top center for patches, making it a good choice for service animals. You can also add identification panels, so if Rex gets loose somehow, you'll have better odds of getting him back.
  • pouches good for holding cell phones
  • single belly strap is easy to fasten
  • pushes load to dog's front
Brand Feliscanis
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. WoPet Training

There's plenty of padding on the chest strap of the WoPet Training, so it won't chafe or rub off a dog's fur, even after a long day of sniffing around. The fabric on the sides is breathable, making it suitable for year-round use in any environment.
  • great for giant breeds
  • doesn't move much when dog runs
  • pouches are a little small
Brand WOpet
Model pending
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Signature K9 Modular

Ideal for law enforcement and military purposes, the Signature K9 Modular boasts load-rated nylon webbing that is strong enough to allow your furry friend to handle its own weight in field or travel gear. Its spacer mesh provides for good airflow.
  • g-hook attachment loops
  • v-ring for equal weight distribution
  • not the best option for large dogs
Brand Signature k-9
Model 36MHU-COY
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

4. Yisibo Harness

The Yisibo Harness is strong enough to hold even the most powerful canine back, so if your dog tends to suffer from leash aggression or is skittish around new people, it's a wonderful choice for keeping it under control until the moment has passed.
  • seams are all reinforced
  • made of waterproof nylon
  • easy to adjust the fit
Model pending
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Outry MOLLE

If your pet is a puller — or just hard on gear in general — the Outry MOLLE is durable enough to take anything it can dish out while still coming back for more. You can leave it on at the dog park without worrying that it will be in tatters at the end of the day.
  • good for running with your pooch
  • attaches to a leash easily
  • strong metal attachment points
Model pending
Weight 9.9 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Excellent Elite Spanker

Besides having a wonderful name, the Excellent Elite Spanker is also a quality piece of gear. It's a nice choice for larger dogs, and it buckles on either side, so it's easy to put on even if you're dog is being uncooperative and refusing to roll over.
  • doesn't rub or chafe
  • handle on top for picking up dogs
  • space for velcro patches
Model DG117-BLK-L
Weight 14.1 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. OneTigris MOLLE Harness

The OneTigris MOLLE Harness comes with three removable sacks that you can use to store poop bags, medical supplies, or tasty treats. It's a versatile selection that gives you plenty of storage options when you're on a hike or walking around on patrol.
  • available in 3 sizes and 2 colors
  • durable 1000-d nylon material
  • great choice for training
Brand OneTigris
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Strengthening The Human-Animal Bond Through Practicality

From unconditional love to providing toys, clothing, and food, there is no denying the strength of the bond formed between a human and his canine companion, regardless of the surrounding physical or emotional environment. With that in mind, there is also practical significance to outfitting a pooch with an accessory designed to keep him mobile and relevant to the activities at hand. For example, you may outfit your pet with a sweater to keep him warm during those brisk winter walks in the snow, or an LED vest to keep him safe at night. In each of these examples, an accessory is used to enhance the outdoor experience, allowing both human and pet to brave the same surroundings together. The same can be said when traveling through the wilderness or keeping a companion animal armed and protected in the battlefield. For these types of rugged expeditions and environments, a tactical dog vest is just what Fido ordered.

Similar in shape to a harness, the tactical dog vest is a versatile accessory that serves a variety of purposes related to work, training, exercise, and recreational activities. Functionality and security set the tactical vest apart from more conventional options, and its optimization for supporting Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment straps allows MOLLE vests to accommodate additional items for the field or expeditions in unfamiliar surroundings.

There are many types of circumstances in which tactical dog vests work splendidly. Going back to a focus on security, for example, they provide a superior level of protection for both police dogs and military working canines accompanying their handlers into battle or other dangerous situations. Their additional storage pockets also make them perfect accessories for service dogs who are tasked with carrying medical supplies, water, and other emergency items. They're also ideal for hunting purposes, providing visual cues to a dog owner in the wilderness, while also being capable of storing supplies and bait. Finally, the accessory is a great option for the pooch who just loves to be outside, as the extra weight can assist with his training and deliver a healthy form of exercise.

The tactical vest facilitates a great deal of control over an animal's entire body, which comes in handy when training a highly-active puppy or an aggressive dog. Unlike an ordinary leash and collar, the vest is easily held, lifted, and pulled without causing any harm to a dog's neck or appendages. An additional benefit includes overall protection from inclement weather, harsh sunlight, and even projectiles in the most extreme of circumstances.

Fitting Fido For The Expedition

One of the most important considerations to make when investing in a tactical dog vest is the material from which it is made. The best tactical vests are engineered from sturdy nylon. Whether you're a police officer or someone who simply enjoys an outdoor adventure with a furry friend, your vest of choice should be durable, resilient, and waterproof, ensuring Fido stays dry, safe, and protected from physical harm during the trip.

Knowing that all breeds come in different shapes and sizes, it's definitely important to take accurate measurements of your dog's body, including the length from his shoulders to the base of his tail, the girth around his chest, and the size of his neck.

As useful as extra storage pockets are, just keep in mind that the objects stored inside the pockets will add additional weight and bulk for the dog to carry. If this is a concern when considering a MOLLE tactical vest, then look for an option whose storage pockets are removable to lighten the load. The vest chosen should also have a sturdy handle, making a pooch easy to grab and lift in the event of an emergency. Additionally, quick-release buckles will make it easy to secure and remove the accessory.

For hunting expeditions, it's always a good idea to look for a vest equipped with some type of integrated ID panel in the event you and your pet get separated from each other along the trail.

A Brief History Of Tactical Dog Vests

Outfitting canines with clothing and protective accessories is nothing new. In fact, the action of doing so dates as far back as ancient Egyptian times. During this age, the dog wasn't just revered as a hunter and protector, but also as a symbol of the afterlife and continued faithfulness to its human owners.

The concept of body armor itself has been around for centuries. As early as 1400 B.C.E., soldiers outfitted themselves with plates of metal as a means of protecting themselves in battle. As one of the closest parallels to modern body armor, chain mail was originally adopted by the Romans after realizing its benefits when fighting the Celts. Layers of tightly-woven metal rings could disperse the energy from an attack and conceivably prevent weapons from piercing the wearer. Chain mail was flexible, easy to make and repair, and allowed for freedom of movement during battle, as opposed to the restrictions of solid metal plates.

King Louis XI later popularized the idea of canine fashion in the 15th century by equipping his own pets with jewelry and clothing. This trend continued well into the 19th century with upper class society adorning their pets with entire wardrobes for many daily activities.

The invention of Kevlar in the 1960s allowed for the creation of most modern body armor we know today. The military-style tactical vest was introduced in 2006 by the United States Marines. Although it weighed more than its predecessor, it also provided a significantly higher degree of protection in the field for both humans and dogs, while distributing weight more evenly around the body. By 2008, the design of the tactical vest was adopted by the United States Navy and is still in use today.

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Last updated on April 13, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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