Best Tactical Vest: Choosing a Vest That Gives You the Best Operational Advantage

We can all agree that hunting and other extreme adventures can be a bit dangerous without some specialized equipment. Even more so if you are involved in the military or law enforcement.

One of the most vital pieces of protective and practical equipment is a decent tactical vest. If you are reading this article, it’s safe to say that you’re interested in getting the best tactical vest.

This piece of protective gear is one of the most versatile and useful garment for people involved in law enforcement, military and hunting. It is not only versatile but it can be a real lifesaver. This type of vest has a specialized design and is characterized by the quality stitching, and durable fabrics and materials.

With the number of options available in the market, you might probably ask yourself: how exactly do I buy a tactical best that will fit my needs? Don’t worry because we are here to help!

In this article, we will walk you through at some of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a tactical vest. Plus, we have reviewed some of the best selections that should help you get started with your search. Let’s take a look!

Note: We get commissions for purchases made through links in this article

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Best Products on Today’s Market

We have named the most important things you should look for when selecting a tactical vest for yourself. Below are our reviews of the best tactical vests on today’s market.

YAKEDA Tactical CS Field Vest

Weight: 3 lb

Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.7 x 4.3 in

Specific features: Versatile pockets, adjustable size, pistol holster, pistol magazine pouches, shotgun shells carry patch, padded shooting shoulder pad, water bladder compatible, MOLLE system, breathable mesh

Best use: Law enforcement, hunting, costume play, paintball.

Description: The YAKEDA Tactical CS Field Vest is a nice choice for a tactical vest. This one is made from a highly durable nylon material that is worn and tear resistant.

It has size adjustable pockets that are able to fit different size items. There is a special pistol holster on the left side, as this vest is intended for a right-handed person. This one comes in a universal size as it is fully adjustable. The maximum waist it can fit is 53 in, and the minimum is 33 in. The length of the vest is 20.5 in and it can also be adjusted to a maximum of 22.8 in.

The adjusting in length is done via the Velcro shoulder patches. The adjusting in width is done via the side webbing. To enable the carrying of the tactical vest, there is also an adjustable waist strap with a buckle, because when fully loaded this tactical vest can get very heavy.

The back is double mesh wall, which can accommodate a hydration system, i.e. a water bladder. There are additional Velcro patches for attaching personalized markings or patches. The back of the vest features a reinforced rescue pull handle that can be used to pull the wearer to safety.


  • Affordable price
  • Various pockets and MOLLE webbing
  • Adjustable size and fit
  • Hydration system compatible


  • Does not come with a water bladder
  • May not fit smaller persons

Related: Complete your tactical look with the right tactical mask like the OutdoorMaster Full Face Airsoft Mask. This protective mask covers the whole face and has metal mesh eye protection, is adaptable to different size heads and comes in a selection of styles like camo, black, tan and more.

Check the price on Amazon


Weight: 3.7 lb

Dimensions: 35 x 18 in

Specific features: Nylon cloth, military grade stitching, one-size fit with multiple adjustments, different size pouches and pockets, modular vest with removable pouches, MOLLE system, Velcro patches.

Best use: Law enforcement, military, airsoft and paintball games, costume play

Description: The SMARTSTANDARD Tactical Vest is a good tactical vest selected by many people. This model is made from very durable nylon cloth, with military grade stitching and Velcro patches.

This one features some amazing features in the form of removable and fully adjustable pockets and pouches. There are multi-option bags, three adjustable ammunition pouches, a mag/flashlight pouch, a first aid pouch, which you can arrange as you see fit. It has inner pockets for adding plates.

This vest comes in one size and is easily adjustable to fit most size wearers. It fits people with waist to up to 50 in. The adjustment is done via Velcro patches on the sides and shoulders. There is also a quick release system that should be used only in emergency situations where you need to remove the vest quickly.

The back side of the vest features a MOLLE webbing and suitable Velcro patches that you can attach different loads and camouflage or identification materials. It comes in two color options – black and khaki. Another interesting feature of this vest is that it comes with a quality pistol belt with pouches.


  • Decent price
  • Adjustable pockets and pouches
  • Adjustable size and fit
  • Comes with a pistol belt


  • Would not fit larger frame built people
  • No recoil shoulder padding

Related: On top of your vest, you should also invest in protective helmet and goggles. Nice selections that would pair nicely with the vest are the Raptors Tactical RTV Helmet and the Lancer Tactical Safety Goggles. The helmet is made from the hard plastic shell with removable and adjustable internal padding and Velcro side patches for attaching equipment or identification patches. The goggles have an adjustable headband, foam padded liner for a comfortable fit and slanted vents to prevent fogging.

Check the price on Amazon

Modern Warrior Tactical Vest

Weight: 3.1 lb

Dimensions: N/A

Specific features: Fully adjustable fit, different size pockets, recoil padding on right shoulder, rifle/handgun magazine pockets, shotgun shell holder, pistol holster, durable zipper for closing and ventilation mesh on back and sides, adjustable waist belt.

Best use: Law enforcement, training, hunting

Description: The Modern Warrior Tactical Vest is another good choice for a tactical vest. This one is made from durable synthetic mesh material with large, durable zipper that can withstand heavy duty use and abuse.

This tactical vest has some nice sized pockets and pouches. There is a pistol holder on the left side of the vest, which means that this one is intended to be used by right-handed persons. The pockets are able to fit different size magazines for pistol or rifle. There is also a patch that fits shotgun shells that can be attached/removed via a Velcro patch. The right shoulder has a nice padding to absorb shotgun recoil.

There are no different sizes, but one size fits most. The closing is done via a zipper, and there are adjustable side Velcro straps to adjust the waist fit and adjustable shoulder Velcro straps that adjust the fit in length.


  • Affordable price
  • Pockets and pouches for different size items
  • Adjustable size and fit
  • Gun holster and adjustable waist belt


  • Not good fit for large people

Related: An interesting purchase together with the Modern Warrior Tactical Vest is the Valken V-TAC Airsoft Gloves. These are made from breathable padded mesh on the back side, with a flexible plastic armor and abrasion resistant padded palm.

Check the price on Amazon

UTG 547 Tactical Vest UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest

Weight: 4.4 lb

Dimensions: 20.9 x 15.8 x 3.5 in

Specific features: Adjustable rifle magazine pouches, internal zippered maps and documents pockets, MOLLE system on the back, adjustable length and girth, rescue pull, ventilation mesh system.

Best use: Law enforcement, hunting, paintball.

Description: The UTG 547 Tactical Vest is another good selection for a tactical vest. This model is made from durable nylon mesh material that allows the wearer to breathe.

It features four deluxe adjustable magazine pouches that can fit varying size pistol and rifle magazines, one on the right side and three on the left side. Each of these pockets can fit one or two most popular sizes magazines. There is a universal cross-draw pistol holster that is attached via a Velcro patch.

The main closing system is via a high-quality zipper. You can adjust the vest via Velcro closures on the sides and the shoulders. There are also Velcro patches for attaching different pockets or pouches. The back side features a MOLLE webbing for attaching extra load or tools. The right shoulder is padded for reducing the recoil.

There is a back mesh double pocket that can be used to keep a hydration system inside. On the inner sides on the front side, there are two zippered mesh pockets that can store maps or documents. There is also a heavy-duty rescue drag handle for rescue purposes.


  • Adjustable pockets and adjustable waist belt
  • Pistol holster that can be removed
  • Adjustable length and girth
  • Hydration system compatible


  • Gun holster is removable and can be easily pulled
  • A bit large

Related: Need a leg holster with your vest? A suitable choice would be the UTG Special Ops Universal Leg Holster Gen II that fits the UTG tactical vests. This way you can carry your gun in the leg holster and replace the vest gun holster with another pouch for carrying some extra items.

Check the price on Amazon

GZ XINXING Tactical Vest

Weight: 3.4 lb

Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.7 x 4.3 in

Specific features: Customizable, adjustable in size and fit, nylon mesh material, pistol holder, pistol magazine pouches, shotgun carry patch, hydration pack compatible, carry/drag handle, adjustable waist belt.

Best use: Law enforcement, hunting, training, paintball

Description: The GZ XINXING Tactical Vest is a proper tactical belt. It is made from a base of a tear-resistant nylon mesh on which the suitable pockets, pouches, MOLLE system and Velcro patches are stitched. The mesh allows the wearer to ventilate and dissipate heat easily.

This is a one-size fits most vest. This means that it does not come in varying sizes, but it needs to be adjusted to fit most people via the adjustable side and shoulder straps. The manufacturer says that it can fit most people from 100-270 lb in weight and up to 46 inches in waist size. The inside of the vest has zippered mesh pockets for carrying maps or documents.

The vest features a universal draw pistol holder on the left side. There are adjustable magazine pouches that fit most standard size rifle or pistol magazines. There are also ammunition pouches and a shotgun shell patch. The right shoulder has nice padding to alleviate the shotgun recoil.

The back of the vest is double mesh, which means that a hydration system can be fitted inside. There is a carry/drag handle on the back. The back is also MOLLE system appropriate and there are additional Velcro patches for adding camouflage, identification patches or even some more additional equipment.


  • Mesh backing for ventilation
  • Durable MOLLE system
  • Adjustable pouches and pockets
  • Hydration pack compatible


  • Water bladder not supplied
  • Not suitable for very large persons

Related: Need a good hydration buddy? A good fit is the Source Tactical WXP Hydration Reservoir System. This is a military grade, high-performance water bladder with a patented leak-proof lid, taste-free materials, 2-layer polyethylene construction, and a Storm valve that will keep enough water for a day.

Check the price on Amazon

Barska Loaded Gear VX-200 Tactical Vest

Weight: 3 lb

Dimensions: 22 x 52 x 20 in

Specific features: Mesh base material, detachable pistol holster, pistol magazine pouch, adjustable waist belt, MOLLE system, reinforced pull handle, adjustable one-size fits most, shotgun shells patch, padded shoulder part.

Best use: Law enforcement, hunting, paintball and Airsoft sports.

Description: The Barska Loaded Gear VX-200 Tactical Vest is another proper tactical vest. It is made from a lightweight, ballistic, durable polyester mesh that allows dissipation of the heat and ventilation.

This vest is fully adjustable and it fits most adult bodies. The closing is done via zipper and the adjustability is made by adjustable side and shoulder straps. The vest features detachable draw pistol holster on the right side, detachable pistol magazine pouch, and an adjustable, detachable heavy-duty waist belt. There is also a model that is fit for left-handed persons.

The back is made from double mesh that is able to fit a hydration system. There are also two internal pockets on the inside of the front side that are zipper closed and able to fit maps and other documents. The right shoulder is padded for protection against shotgun recoil. This vest has shotgun shell patch that also can be removed.

The back features MOLLE system for carrying the additional load. There is also heavy-duty rescue/pull handle that should be used in extreme situations. The shoulders have D-rings for attaching even more equipment.


  • High-quality construction
  • Many adjustable pockets and pouches
  • Adjustable size and fit for most adults
  • Hydration pack compatible


  • No pockets for adding armor plating
  • Water bladder is not supplied

Related: A good addition to your vest is a good leg holster like the Condor Tornado Tactical Leg Holster. This is fully adjustable leg strap with a non-slip rubber lining and quick release buckle. It fits most standard handguns, and you can use the Velcro patch on the vest to add some other pocket or an identification patch.

Check the price on Amazon

UTG Leapers Sportsmans Tactical Vest UTG Leapers Sportsmans Tactical Vest

Weight: 4 lb

Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.4 x 1.6 in

Specific features: One-size fit, four deluxe adjustable rifle magazine pouches, universal cross-draw holster, heavy-duty back loop system, internal zippered pouches, adjustable waist belt

Best use: Tactical, military, hunting, paintball

Description: The UTG Leapers Sportsmans Tactical Vest is another popular choice for the tactical vest. It is made from durable, heavy-duty materials that are designed to withstand hard use. The mesh base does not allow the buildup of heat and allows for ventilation and comfort while wearing the vest.

The design of the vest is a one-size fit. The vest is adjustable via side straps and wide Velcro shoulder patches. There are a number of different size pockets and pouches able to fit different size rifle and pistol magazines, flashlight, a mobile phone or a radio-system, and a detachable universal cross-draw pistol holster.

The inside of the front has zippered pockets to fit documents and maps. There is an adjustable waist belt with extra buckles for carrying some additional load. The back of the vest has a heavy-duty loop system for adding extra load, pouches or identification patches.

The back also has a durable, heavy-duty rescue/draw handle that should be used in extreme field operations. The right front shoulder side is heavily padded to protect against shotgun recoil. The back is also double mesh and able to fit a hydration pack.


  • Adjustable pockets and pouches
  • Right shoulder padding protects against recoil
  • Detachable pistol holster
  • Hydration pack compatible


  • Not fit for very tall and heavy people
  • Does not come with a water bladder

Related: Since the Leapers Men’s Sportsmans Tactical Scenario Vest has a removable gun holster, it would be smart to get yourself an additional leg pistol holster and use the Velcro space on the vest for adding some other pockets. A good fit for an adjustable leg holster is the UTG Special Ops Universal Leg Holster that fits most guns and has an adjustable leg strap.

Check the price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

A tactical vest can be an easy way to store some smaller items you may need during a hunting trip, an outdoor adventure or even a paintball tournament. Not to mention that a tactical vest is a standard military and law enforcement requirement during an armed and dangerous mission. Here we will outline the most important things you need to know before going shopping for a tactical vest.

Weight and Durability

Considering that you have to carry a tactical vest on yourself for a prolonged period of time, and also fill it with various items, it is really important that the vest itself is sufficiently lightweight and durable and capable to withstand the heavy use and abuse it would encounter in the field use.

Usually, the tactical vest is made from durable nylon or polyester cloth that is tear resistant. Another important thing is the buckling system of the tactical vest. A good tactical vest usually has a nice, military-grade zipper or some kind of quick release system with buckles or Velcro closing tabs.

Pockets and MOLLE System

The multiple pockets are the main reason for wearing a tactical vest. Most tactical vests have multiple pockets in varying sizes that are able to fit different things. The tactical vest is meant to fit everything from first aid medical supplies, flashlight, extra ammunition, extra batteries and life-saving armor plates (for professional users).

The pockets on most tactical vests are modular and expandable, so they can fit different size items. Another manner of carrying additional load is the MOLLE system that can be found on most tactical vests. The MOLLE system is a nylon webbing stitched in a way that allows the wearer to attach different loads, pouches and accessories.

Size and Fit

Everybody has a slightly different body build and the size of the wearers varies a lot. That is why most of the tactical vests come with different adjusting options. While you select a tactical vest, you should know your size and carefully look at the size offers.

The most important things are the waist fit and the length of the vest. While there are also many models that claim they are one-size-fits-all, this is a little risky if the vest does not have some adjusting abilities like adjustable side webbing and adjustable shoulder buckles.


The tactical vest is first and foremost for easy carrying of important things. But another important thing is its protective purpose. Most tactical vests have inner pockets for adding armor plates.

Most tactical vests have padding on the right shoulder for recoil. This padding is thick enough to help with shotgun recoil, which is the weapon of choice for most hunters.

Wrap Up

To summarize, we have provided a brief guide on how to shop for tactical vests that will best fit your needs. Plus, we have made a comprehensive review of the top rated and most popular tactical vests on the market today. Most of these have similar features and are in a similar price range. You should carefully look at the available features and choose the most suitable model for your needs.

So what do you think of our selection of tactical vests? Is there a particular product or brand that should we have should have reviewed? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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