Finding the right tactical vest is can be a complex decision that’s influenced by looks, feel, and fit. A good vest is durable, comfortable, and easy to access. Just like a good gun safe, a tactical vest should have as much, or as little room as you need. We took a look at the best tactical vests on the market and put together a guide for you to pick out the one that suits your needs. Different people have different preferences and an expansive market has sprung up to provide tactical gear for nearly any mission, and any user.
There are three main types of tactical vests. The cross draw, the chest rig and you have the plate carrier that rounds out the group. Our article today focuses more on chest rigs and cross draws and we plan to do a full review article solely dedicated to plate carriers at a later time. Below is a table overviewing all ten of our top picks, but if you’re looking for more in-depth stats on each scroll down and read our reviews.
|UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest, Black||$54.84||Check on Amazon|
|Condor Cross Draw Vest/Tactical Belt (Black, Medium/Large)||$62.95||Check on Amazon|
|Modern Warrior Adjustable Tactical Military and Hunting Vest (Black)||$37.52||Check on Amazon|
|VISM by NcStar Molle/Pals Vest/Green (CPV2915G)||$36.75||Check on Amazon|
|BLACKHAWK Omega Phalanx Homeland Security Vest||$154.00||Check on Amazon|
|MARMOT Tactical Vest Durable Mesh Vest with Detachable Belt & Holster for Subcompact/Compact/Standard Pistol - XL||$55.99||Check on Amazon|
|VISM by NcStar Tactical Vest/Digital Camo Acu ,adjustable small/medium (CTV2916D)||$46.95||Check on Amazon|
|Barska BI12344 Loaded Gear VX-100 Tactical Vest & Leg Platforms (Flat Dark Earth), beige||$122.99||Check on Amazon|
|Condor Elite Tactical Vest (Black)||$62.95||Check on Amazon|
|Voodoo Tactical MSP-06 Entry Assault Vest Tactical Commandos, Swat||Check on Amazon|
UTG Sportsman Tactical
The UTG Sportsman is a heavy-duty, well-made tactical vest so it’s no surprise it is on our list of the best tactical vests available. The UTG Sportsman is probably the most adjustable tactical vest out there and is one size fits all.
This vest is easy to adjust for both men and women and allows the vest to be nice and snug on the body. The UTG Sportsman has 4 magazine pouches on the vest, three on the left-hand side, and one on the right.
The right side magazine pouch also works for a large radio. There is, in fact, a smaller radio pouch on the right shoulder and works well for a basic walkie-talkie.
The Condor cross draw tactical vest is a comfortable vest made from a durable nylon material, with an internal mesh. The mesh material aids in comfort and airflow, as well as wicking moisture away from the body.
The Condor Crossdraw is equipped with the basic necessities, including a pistol holster, and enough magazine pouches for most shooters. There are three chest-mounted pouches and 1 quick access holster mounted pouch.
The Condor is a comfortable vest, with easy access to both pistol and rifle magazines. The vest can hold three rifle magazines, and these pouches are situated on the left-hand side for quick access.
The right shoulder features a padded element to help reduce the effects of recoil in the shoulder. The Condor CrossDraw can be adjusted significantly to fit people of all sizes and is easy to adjust. The CrossDraw is a comfortable and lightweight option for those looking for an assault vest.
The Modern Warrior Tactical vest is a complete tactical vest system. This vest on our best tactical vest buying guide comes with numerous pouches for ammunition, admin gear, and additional tactical accessories.
The vest is complete with a heavy duty nylon pistol holster in a cross draw position, and unlike other vests this holster is removable. Above the holster is three magazine pouches that fit three full sized pistol magazines.
The included holster can fit most firearms, but larger firearms like the Glock 21 tend to be a bit big for the holster. The Modern Warrior tactical vest has three rifle pouches, capable of holding six rifle magazines, and they are easy to access.
The included accessory pouch is complete with five elastic loops for 12 gauge shotgun rounds. The vest is adjustable for a multitude of sizes, from medium to extra large. Smaller users may find the vest baggy and difficult to wear.
Even for larger people, the vest is said to be snug, but not uncomfortable. The vest is equipped with a reinforced right shoulder to help reduce the recoil of long guns.
The Modern warrior tactical vest is a affordable, and capable option for most people.
NcStar VISM MOLLE/PALS
This is a variation of the NcStar VISM and is a top selection of many people in need of a vest that they can customize.
This one differs from the other VISM models significantly. First, let’s look at the pouches, well, there are none to look at. This model is bare and features an extensive network of MOLLE/PALS webbing.
This allows complete customization of the vest by the user. While the majority of users will run a carbine and a pistol, some may find themselves in specialized roles.
This includes shotgunners, marksmen, and snipers. They have specialized pouches and components they may need for their specific tasks.
The NcStar Vism is tough and durable, as well as being comfortable and the webbing system held a variety of pouches, holsters, and hydration bladders without issue. If you’re looking for pouches you can attach to this vest, here are a few we recommend.
The Blackhawk Omega Phalanx tactical vest is made from a heavy-duty nylon mesh that allows the material to be both strong and dependable, and lightweight and breathable.
The vest is equipped with Blackhawk’s proprietary HawkTex sniper shoulder for maximum control and comfort of a bolt action precision rifle.
The vest is outfitted with a total of 4 magazine pouches, two double rifle pouches, and two single pistol pouches, as well as a 14 round shotshell pouch. The vest is complete with a hydration bladder carrier, large mag pouches and is compatible with Blackhawk Strike pouches.
The vest is comfortable, and the magazine pouches are especially easy to access for rapid reloads.
The vest is also large enough to be worn over body armor and comfortable for all-day use. The Blackhawk Omega vest is an option for those looking for a rapid method of attaching gear to their body and over their armor.
MARMOT Tactical Vest
The Marmot Tactical Vest is an excellent choice for someone looking for a SWAT-esque tactical vest. It is a clear contender on this list for the best tactical vest on the market today.
The Marmot Tac-vest has a ton of utility at a great affordable price. Featuring a radio pouch, three pistol magazine slots, a right hand cross draw holster, a flashlight pouch, a shotgun shell holder, and three rifle mag pouches. That’s a lot of utility for that price!
It also features a padded right shoulder for long-rifle or shotgun shooters as well as inner zipper pockets for documents.
Made from a sturdy polyester with a breathable mesh, this vest is sure to last and be able to hold up to anything you put it against.
The NcStar Vism vest offers an option for those on a budget. The Vism vest is a complete tactical vest, with a torso mounted pistol holster and pouches for a rifle and a pistol.
The Vism features a nylon holster designed for modern semi-automatic handguns and is complete with six handgun magazine pouches, Three of these pouches ride on the chest portion of the vest, and a fourth is attached to the weapon’s holster.
Two other pouches ride on the vest’s included pistol belt. The vest is complete with three single rifle magazine pouches and can fit both AR and AK magazines.
The vest is constructed from PVC material which is known for its inherent strength and flexibility. The internal material is a comfortable mesh that provides ventilation to aid in keeping the wearer cool.
The vest is adjustable and can be adjusted for most body types. It’s important these vests are properly adjusted for each person, this ensures easy access to the pouches and maximum comfort.
Barska VX-100 Tactical Vest
Probably my personal favorite vest out of all the vests on our list, the Barksa VX-100 is a great vest for any person. Not only do you get a tactical vest, you also get two drop leg platforms where you can attach even more gear and pouches onto the MOLLE attachment system.
This vest comes with two utility pouches for extra equipment, two double magazine holders, a radio pouch, a dump pouch, and a right hand pistol holster.
While the vest is covered in the typical MOLLE attachment system, it also features velcro areas for attaching ID patches or unit patches.
The VX-100 is a great vest for someone in law enforcement, airsoft players, or anyone looking to pick up a tactical vest for their own personal needs. This vest has a ton of utility and customizability making it a great choice for the asking price.
The Condor Elite Tactical vest is designed for the rifleman. The tactical vest is complete with six adjustable rifle mag pouches.
These pouches are double magazine pouches and the vest can hold a total of twelve magazines.
The vest does not have pistol magazine pouches or an attached holster, although the vest has an attached pistol belt. This vest is for the average American infantryman who is not issued a pistol and relies solely on a rifle for fighting.
The vest does feature two small utility pouches that could be home to a GPS unit, a compass flashlights, and extra batteries. The Condor elite also has two small internal pockets for folded maps, or note taking gear.
The vest is wide in the shoulders which helps when carrying 12 loaded AR mags, which are about a pound apiece.
The Condor Elite is a well put together vest that covers all your bases in any survival situation.
Voodoo Tactical Entry Vest
Designed with advice and the knowledge of experienced law enforcement advisor Voodoo tactical has built a dynamic, lightweight vest designed for the typical SWAT operation.
This vest is not designed for long, drawn-out encounters, but rapidly moving raids and entry.
The vest is designed to permit wearing an armor vest underneath, and is designed to be lightweight and well ventilated. The vest is designed with stabilizing ribs in the shoulders, which help increase the grip of a rifle, and especially a wire stock sub-machine gun.
The pouches include 3 rifle, 3 handgun, and 5 elastic loops for shotgun shells. The elastic pouches give a designated breacher a method of carrying breaching and buckshot rounds.
The vest also features a full-size universal pistol holster and a pistol belt.
The Voodoo entry vest is probably the lightest vest in our list and by far the coolest in terms of temperature, but also more expensive.
We hope you found our guide to the best tactical vests on the market useful. A good tactical vest can be a valuable piece of gear and is essential for any recreational or serious tactical shooter. We really look at owning a tactical vest as a must-have, especially for urban survival situations.
A bad vest can actually be worse than having nothing. A good vest is supportive and suits your mission and your goals. Never buy a vest and compromise yourself and your gear for it. The vests on this list should fit all your needs, but when in doubt purchase a bare vest and buy attachment pouches that can fit to the system on it.