10 Best Tactical Vests | April 2017

10 Best Tactical Vests | April 2017
Best Mid-Range
Best High-End
Best Inexpensive
We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. This selection of tactical vests is specifically collated for those in the army and other branches of the military and law enforcement personnel. Designed to provide a lightweight and breathable carrier for all the gear you will need in the field, these rigs include multiple storage pouches on the chest and other areas for magazines, maps, flashlights and more. Skip to the best tactical vest on Amazon.
If you are looking for something that is fully customizable and great for hot weather locations, then the NcStar VISM will be your best friend. The entire front is a breathable mesh material, and it has reinforced nylon PALS webbing from top to bottom.
  • includes a heavy duty pistol belt
  • reinforced drag handle strap
  • not built to military specs
Brand NcSTAR
Model PALS-8
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
The Voodoo Tactical MSP-06 has fully adjustable straps for a tailored fit to almost any body size. This basic vest has padded shoulders, a cool mesh backing, and rifle butt stabilizing ribs to give you support where and when you need it.
  • can adjust holster placement
  • hook and loop id patch panel
  • poor quality molle webbing
Brand VooDoo Tactical
Model MSP-06
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
The Blackhawk Omega is a fully ambidextrous vest made with heavy-duty nylon mesh. It has a padded hawktex sniper shoulder, two large zippered map pouches on the inside, a small compass shoulder pouch, and it is compatible with the BLACKHAWK! Hydration System.
  • adjustable for length and girth
  • four pistol magazine pouches
  • hydration system is sold separately
Model 30EV26DE
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
If you are on a tight budget and don't need to hold a lot of gear, then the WASING 800D is a good choice. All 4 of its accessories pouches are removable, so you can lighten the load when needed, and it is made of a waterproof material.
  • strong water-resisting tensile
  • 2 piece removable jointing sheet
  • has a strong chemical smell when new
Model pending
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
The Condor Elite is an incredible bargain at less than $70. The vest has six adjustable magazine pouches and two small utility pouches, giving you lots of room for gear. It also features a mesh back for added ventilation to keep you cooler in arid or tropical climates.
  • 2 internal pockets
  • webbing for modular attachments
  • cannot hold ak magazines
Brand Condor
Model ETV-003
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The UTG Ultimate is a complete 10-piece modular tactical kit. It includes a detachable ammo dump pouch, a heavy duty law enforcement pistol belt, a double high capacity pistol mag pouch, and a vertical drop leg platform with detachable ambidextrous holster.
  • has heavy duty zippers
  • velcro system for id patches
  • three quick-release buckles
Brand UTG
Model PVC-V747KTG
Weight 7.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
The Rothco Cross Draw is a basic tactical vest with the usual variety of pouches. It has large arm holes and a lightweight design that won't restrict your movements or slow you down in the field, and the rear is capable of carrying a water bladder.
  • adjustable pistol belt
  • hook & loop adjustable shoulder straps
  • two zip-up document pouches
Brand Rothco
Model 613902065987
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
The Blackhawk D.O.A.V. comes with two large day packs on the back for gear and food, plus multiple pouches to hold everything from a flashlight and utilities to flashbangs and ammo clips. It also features dedicated zippered map pouches on the inside.
  • shoulder d-rings for accessories
  • elastic keepers for pens and chem-lights
  • made of durable heavy-duty nylon
Model 30DV00BK
Weight 5.3 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
The Barska Loaded Gear VX-200 is a fully adjustable, one-size-fits-most vest. It has multiple adjustment points including ones in the shoulder panels, side straps, and near the abs. All of its pockets have Velcro closures for quick access to your gear.
  • detachable right-hand holster
  • web system compartments
  • available in black, green, and tan
Model BI12018-saParent
Weight pending
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
Uncle Mike's Shotgunner/Breacher has four pockets specially designed for shotgun rounds and four removable panels for storing both lethal and non-lethal supplies. It is hydration compatible and has a drag strap and MOLLE webbing on the back.
  • fits up to 72" girth
  • easy to access all pockets quickly
  • extremely durable and well made
Brand Uncle Mike's Law Enforc
Model 7702815
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

The Many Uses Of The Tactical Vest

While the modern tactical vest was conceived of for use by military and law enforcement professionals, the vests can actually be used by anyone for a wide range of applications. At its core, a tactical vest is nothing more than a series of pockets logically laid out for easy access and even weight distribution. And while many vests are indeed limited in their use beyond martial applications, being specifically designed to hold ammunition and weapons, many are modular and adaptable.

For the soldier or policeman, the tactical vest is the ultimate way to distribute the weight of the gear necessary for safe and effective performance in a tactical situation. A good tactical vest reduces the time needed to retrieve a magazine used to reload a weapon or the communication device needed to stay in touch with the team. Every second counts in a fight or an emergency situation, so it's imperative that you choose the right vest to suit the gear you'll use and the situations in which you will find yourself.

Many tactical vests have slots and pouches specifically designed for ammunition, or ordnance like shotgun shells or flash-bang grenades which are frequently used in strike types of operation, while others are more oriented toward longer-term missions and have compartments for hydration systems, rations, maps, and more.

A tactical vest is also a great choice for first responders who need ready access to various types of bandages, diagnostic tools, and other medical supplies, as well as for the journalist or photographer covering combat or other fast-moving scenarios where quick access to recording devices, cameras, and notebooks means the difference between capturing or missing the moment.

Beyond those tense, fast-paced scenarios, tactical vests are simply convenient tools for the fisherman, the hunter, the hiker, or even the construction professional. A fisherman can bring all the bait, lures, hooks, and other supplies he wants along without the need for a tackle box thanks to a tactical vest. With the right vest, hikers or climbers can distribute the weight of energy bars, water, first aid gear, and other sundries across their torso, making mobility easier and reducing fatigue. As for the construction professional, a vest distributing tools and hardware across the body means freedom from that cumbersome tool belt.

Choosing A Tactical Vest

When choosing a tactical vest, always look first at the gear, medical supplies, weaponry, and/or other equipment you are likely to need in the course of your work or hobbies. Choosing a vest based on its own merits and without thinking of how it suits you will invariably lead to choosing the wrong option.

Once you know everything you need to carry, next consider the fit and adjustment potential of any vest that seems like it will serve you. An ill-fitting tactical vest might do more harm than good, hampering your ability to move quickly and safely. If a vest can't be made to properly fit your body, then it won't be the right choice for you no matter how much its layout appeals to you.

Next consider what additional attributes are important to you; consider elements like breathability, hydration system incorporation, modular customization options, and even color and appearance.

Only once you have identified which tactical vests will adequately house your gear and will properly fit your body should you consider price. While some tactical vests cost nearly $200 and others less than a quarter of that amount, you can't well put a price on safety and performance, so be ready to spend the cash for the right unit.

Tactical Vest Use And Maintenance

Unlike that favorite pair of blue jeans or your old baseball cap, a tactical vest does not improve with age and wear. Especially if you are an active duty professional soldier or law enforcement officer using a tactical vest in the line of duty, it's important to replace your vest frequently.

In fact, a tactical vest should be replaced as soon as it shows any sign of being compromised, from a zipper that sticks to a tear in a panel of fabric to something as seemly mundane as velcro that has worn down a bit. The first time your vest hampers rather than heightens your ability to perform in the field may well be the first time you find yourself in a seriously dangerous situation.

While your tactical vest is still in good working order, though, its upkeep and general maintenance should be relatively simple. Clean the vest regularly, especially when it comes into frequent contact with the oils and residue associated with proper gun care or with fluids leaked from medicines or antiseptics. Even mundane substances like sun block and insect repellent can seep into a vest and impact the way it performs, so keeping the vest clean is part of keeping it in good working order.

As for the proper use of your vest, make sure to load and wear your vest exactly as you would in the field many times before you ever bring it along for the real deal. You should know where each item is housed as second nature before the first time a given item is ever needed in action.

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Last updated on April 28 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

Our professional staff of writers and researchers have been creating authoritative product recommendations and reviews since 2011. Many of our wikis require expert maintenance, and are authored by individual members of our editorial staff. However, this wiki is currently maintained by multiple members of the ezvid wiki team.