People throughout history have used different types of materials as body armor for protection against injury in combat and other hazardous situations. In the days of yore, fighters wore protective clothing made from skins of wild animals. As civilizations grew more advanced, wooden shields came into use, followed by metal shields. Eventually, metal was used as protective body armor. However, metal body armor lost its effectiveness when the firearms were invented around 1500. For protection against firearms, bullet vests and tactical vests were introduced.
Today, tactical vests are common among soldiers; they are also used by police, security guards, and other professionals who may encounter dangerous situations. Tactical vests don’t just offer protection, but also allow you to carry essential gear, firearms, and ammo. If the nature of your occupations necessitates wearing a tactical vest or you need it for tasks like tactical training, we suggest you invest in a high-quality tactical vest.
There are different varieties of tactical vests available in the market. Having a plethora of options is great, but it also makes it harder for you to find the best tactical vest for your needs. But, fear not, as we have done the research work for you and compiled a list of best tactical vests. We’ll also discuss the things that you should consider when shopping for a tactical vest and answer a few questions about this survival gear. So, without further ado, let us look at the top tactical vests.
Our Top Pick
We have listed seven tactical materials below. But, if you don’t have the time to read the details of each model, we’ll tell you which one of these vests is the best. It wasn’t easy to pick one from so many items, but after careful consideration and comparison of each tactical vest, we concluded that the Lixda Tactical Vest is the best. It’s made from a breathable nylon material that is extremely strong and durable. Despite being strong, the vest is lightweight and features plenty of pouches and pockets to accommodate a lot of gear. In short, it offers everything you would want in a tactical belt.
Best Tactical Vests
1. Lixda Tactical Vest
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The Lixda Tactical Vest is made with nylon material that isn’t just breathable but also extremely strong and durable. Despite being strong, the vest is lightweight and can accommodate a lot of gear. It comes with several pouches and pockets on all sides, which should be enough for your firearms, ammunition, and other essential tools. This model also comes with an easy-access pistol holder so you should be able to draw your firearm quickly when faced with danger.
One thing we like about the Lixda Tactical Vest is that it’s highly adjustable. It comes with shoulder straps and torso straps so you can make it a perfect fit for your body. The only downside to this tactical vest is that the zipper is made of plastic and thus isn’t too durable. But this isn’t a major problem as you can get it replaced with a metal one.
Pros of the Lixda Tactical Vest
- Highly adjustable
- Plenty of pouches and pockets for gear
Cons of the Lixda Tactical Vest
- Poor quality plastic zipper
2. Condor Recon Chest Rig
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Condor Recon Chest Rig can be called a super battle bra as it’s pulled over the head similar to a sports bra. The front magazine shingle holders of this vest are fixed in position and feature MOLLE spacing on the sides and functional MOLLE on shoulder straps.
The Condor Recon Chest Rig can be a great choice for training. Just slip it on and you’ll be able to carry the essential gear to get the job done. If you plan on carrying a lot of ammo, you might have to add larger pouches on the sides as the rig can accommodate a maximum of six magazines.
The Condor Recon Chest Rig is one of the most inexpensive products in the market. So if you want to buy a tactical vest without breaking a bank, it is an option worth considering.
Pros of the Condor Recon Chest Rig
- Comfortable to wear
- Great for training
Cons of the Condor Recon Chest Rig
- Fixed magazine pouches
- Isn’t suitable for live combats
3. YAKEDA Tactical Vest
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The YAKEDA Tactical Vest boasts a nylon mesh structure over which adjustable accessories are attached. Nylon is a very breathable material, so you should be able to wear this tactical vest in the most humid conditions without feeling uncomfortable or sweaty.
Since the YAKEDA Tactical Vest is one-size-fits-all, you’ll only have to adjust the straps and tactical belts to fit it. There are several attachable accessories that you can use to carry your gear and tools. The right shoulder of this vest is rubber padded which will lower the recoil of the rifle for right-handed shooters. Right-handed shooters can also mount the draw holders located on the left side of the YAKEDA Vest. Unfortunately, you can’t attach this holster to the right size, which means that it’s of no use to you if you are left-handed.
The YAKEDA Tactical Vest features several pouches. The magazine pouches can accommodate a regular AR magazine, but the Velcro top won’t close if you put an extended magazine inside the pouch. If you are carrying an extended magazine, you can put them inside the interior pockets.
Pros of the YAKEDA Tactical Vest
- Rubber padding reduces the recoil of the rifle for right-handed shooters
- Several pouches to carry magazines
- Several attachable accessories
Cons of the YAKEDA Tactical Vest
- The vest is one-size-fits-all, but it probably won’t fit you if you are a very large individual
- Aimed at right-handed shooters
4. Leapers Men’s Sportsmans Tactical Scenario Vest
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The Leapers Men’s Sportsman Tactical Vest is highly functional and comfortable. It should fit most people and features adjustable straps to change its length and girth. The mesh system in the vest will release most of the heat from your body to keep you sweat-free. The Leaper Men’s Tactical Vest features two interior map and document pockets with a zipper. It also comes with a pistol belt with pouches. There are a total of three pistol pouches and four adjustable rifle magazine pouches. In addition, you’ll also get an adjustable cross-draw pistol holder that can be used on either side or attached to the pistol belt.
Pros of the Leapers Men’s Sportsmans Tactical Scenario Vest
- Adjustable cross-draw pistol holder can be used on either side or attached to the pistol belt
- The nylon mesh is breathable and strong
Cons of the Leapers Men’s Sportsmans Tactical Scenario Vest
- Shoulder pad isn’t adjustable
5. REEHUT Breathable Tactical Vest
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If you want a tactical vest with a fully adjustable system, the REEHUT Breathable Vest is an option worth considering. It can fit all body sizes starting from S to XXL, but the smallest waist is 33” while the maximum waist length that the vest will fit to is 53”.
The REEHUT Breathable Tactical Vest is made of a 600D high-density Oxford fabric which is waterproof. This fabric is also breathable so you should be able to wear the vest in humid conditions. One of the things we like about this vest is that it comes with a large number of pouches and pockets, making it a good choice for people who like carrying a lot of gear with them.
On the left side, you get a detachable shotgun shell holder, a utility pouch and three magazine pouches while the right side boasts a removal piston pouch, a tactical flashlight pocket, and three gadget pouches.
You can use the REEHUT Tactical Vest in various situations including during camping, hiking, combat training, cycling, shooting, and special mission.
Pros of the REEHUT Breathable Tactical Vest
- Features several pouches and pockets
- Durable design
- Adjustable torso and shoulder straps
Cons of the REEHUT Breathable Tactical Vest
- Velcro isn’t too strong
6. Condor Modular Vest
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The Condor Modular Vest is lightweight and features adjustable shoulder straps and quick-release buckles on two sides. The interior of this vest is made from padded mesh, which makes it breathable and comfortable to wear even in the most humid environments.
The Condor Modular Vest sports padded rubberized shoulders with built-in shock stop to reduce recoil. This vest alone doesn’t have any ballistic protection, but it is capable of holding 10×12 SAPI plates on both the front and rear sides. The Condor Modular Vest also features MOLLE attachments and hanging guides for duty or pistol belt.
Pros of the Condor Modular Vest
- MOLLE compatible
- Can hold plates
Cons of the Condor Modular Vest
- No accessories
7. VooDoo Tactical MSP-06 Entry Assault Vest
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The VooDoo Tactical MSP-06 Entry Assault Vest features three side-release adjustable buckles and one adjustable shoulder strap on both sides to ensure a tight fit for every individual. The nylon web mesh combined with PVC material will offer better protection while allowing your body to stay sweat-free even after long periods. The vest boasts three rifle magazine pockets and four pistol magazine pockets, giving you plenty of room to carry extra ammo.
Three of the pistol pockets are directly attached to the vest itself while the fourth one is connected with the adjustable pistol holder. The VooDoo Tactical Vest also features a first aid large pouch that can be used for storing additional mags in case you aren’t carrying a first aid kit.
Pros of the VooDoo Tactical MSP-06 Entry Assault Vest
- Durable construction
- Highly adjustable
Cons of the VooDoo Tactical MSP-06 Entry Assault Vest
- Not too much room for gear
Things to Consider When Buying a Tactical Vest
When you are shopping for a tactical vest, consider the gear you plan on carrying in your vest. Some vests come with additional space for water bottles and hydration blades. Others feature pockets and pouches for firearms, ammo, and other combat gear. In some vests, you will find extra pockets for additional gear.
The worst mistake you can make when buying a vest is to underestimate what you intend to carry in it. So, before you commit to a tactical vest, evaluate the amount as well as the size of the gear you plan on taking with you.
For example, a vest that features pouches for a .9mm magazine would probably not fit a rifle magazine. Even if you are somehow able to put it in, the pockets/pouches won’t close, thus affecting your performance in the field.
Comfort and Fit
This is another important factor to consider when looking for a tactical vest. If the vest isn’t comfortable, you will struggle to keep it on throughout your duty or during the entire mission. An uncomfortable and poorly fitted vest will compromise your mobility and performance, which is why it’s a poor choice. Therefore, find a tactical vest that fits your torso and chest sizes. The vest should also offer adjustability fitting nicely over your tactical jacket, as you might have to carry different types of gear with you depending on the situation.
We recommend you narrow down your search for the vest to the size that you would wear in other garments. For example, if you normally wear XL shirts, then you should look for an XL tactical vest. Don’t get caught up in additional pockets and hidden compartments so much that you ignore the importance of wearing a comfortable vest.
Lastly, you will need a tactical vest that does not affect your performance. Carrying capacity and comfort are important, but if you cannot do your job efficiently, then the tactical vest will become a hindrance instead of an aid.
For example, consider the position of rubber padding on the vest. If it is on the right side and you are left-handed shooter, it won’t do you any good and your shooting ability would be compromised.
Questions and Answers about Tactical Vests
Q.1) How to Wear a Tactical Vest?
Adjust the straps of your tactical vests properly. The bottom of the vest should be at your navel so that your vital areas are protected and you can sit or stand with comfort. After you have adjusted your vest properly, you should be able to put it on and off only by undoing one of the straps located on the side.
Q.2) Are Tactical Vests Bulletproof?
This is one question that many people ask about tactical vests. Most tactical vests aren’t bulletproof. However, many manufacturers produce bulletproof plates that can be inserted into the vest to offer protection against bullets.
Q.3) Are Tactical Vests Machine Washable?
Tactical vests are generally not machine washable. So, you should avoid throwing them in a washing machine unless the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions specifically state that the vest can be washed in a machine.
Q.4) Can Tactical Vests Keep You Warm?
Tactical vests aren’t designed to keep you warm. Instead, they are made from breathable material so that you can wear them over your clothing without feeling hot and uncomfortable. Best tactical vests don’t trap moisture and heat, allowing you to wear them even in the most humid conditions.
Q.5) What Can You Carry in Your Tactical Vest?
You can carry different items, tools, and firearms in your tactical vest depending on your occupation or mission. Some items that people generally carry in their tactical vest include a tactical flashlight, fire starter, multi-tool, fire aid kit, magazines, and a navigational device.
Now that you know about the best tactical vests, it should be easier for you to buy one that best suits your need. Since we have listed some of the top vests here, you don’t have to look elsewhere for a tactical vest. All you have to do is pick one from our list. To ensure that you buy the right vest, consider the three important factors we discussed – carrying capacity, comfort and fit, and performance.
We have answered some common questions that people usually have about tactical vests, but if you have any other question that you want to ask from us, feel free to contact us. We will be more than happy to guide you.