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OutdoorsSurvival

The Best Tactical Vests

The Best Tactical Vests

If you’re hitting the battlefield for a round of paintball or brushing up on your firearms training in a tactical environment, then it’s important to have a good tactical vest on at all times. The best offense is a good defense, and there’s a great variety of combat vests out there for all scenarios, with everything from ultra-light options to EVA padded behemoths on the market. In this buying guide, you’ll find some of the best tactical vests on offer today, along with some top picks that suit a range of battle conditions.

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

BEST TACTICAL VEST FOR MEN

If you’re looking for a sturdy tactical vest for men, then you won’t do much better than the Rothco Tactical Cross Draw Vest, a weatherproof polyester option designed with military tactics in mind. This comprehensive vest packs in a right-hand pistol holster and a full MOLLE system along with thickly padded shoulders for rifle usage. It’s both durable and practical and also fully adjustable for men of different sizes. 

BEST TACTICAL VEST FOR WOMEN

Many great tactical vests are designed to suit women, and the YAKEDA Ultra-Light Combat Vest is one such choice that stands out above the rest. This camo-style vest is ultra-light without losing any of its heavier competitors’ padding. It comes with a comprehensive setup, including a full MOLLE system, shotgun round bandolier, right-hand holster, and rifle-proof shoulder padding. As such, it’s a great all-rounder without being too cumbersome and a strong choice for any combat-ready woman. 

BEST TACTICAL VEST FOR AIRSOFT / PAINTBALL

If you’re looking for something to deflect a few paintball pellets and save you some bruises the next day, then the ActionUnion Airsoft Tactical Vest is an excellent option. This padded paintball vest uses EVA foam blocks for supreme protection from high-velocity impacts, giving you your best shot of escaping the battlefield unscathed. It also comes equipped with two fast mag pockets, meaning you can give as good as you get when in combat, and the whole thing is waterproof, too, making it easy to clean off afterward.

BEST TACTICAL VEST FOR HUNTING

It’s always wise to go for extra shoulder padding when using hunting rifles due to their powerful recoil, and the Blackhawk Omega Phalanx Vest focuses on this specifically. Designed for hunting, this tactical vest has shoulder protection and sports a bevy of pockets, including fast mag pouches and a pistol magazine pouch. The nylon construction makes it nice and light, too, so you can keep trekking in it all day long without breaking a sweat.

BEST AFFORDABLE TACTICAL VEST

When it comes to tactical vests, affordability doesn’t have to mean compromise. The GZ XINXING S Law Enforcement Vest brings all the features of more expensive models to the table at a very reasonable $35 price. This fully adjustable vest comes packed with padded shoulders, a pistol holster, and several exterior pockets, making it a comprehensive option that won’t break the bank. It’s built from strong weatherproof polyester and has a breathable nylon mesh to help keep you cool in warm conditions too.

1. YAKEDA Outdoor Tactical Airsoft Vest

If you’re looking for a strong all-rounder made from quality materials, then the YAKEDA outdoor tactical vest is a great pick for you. This tactical vest for airsoft comes in 9 different tactical colorways and has an adjustable small to XXL size. Seven modular pouches are included as standard, which can be hooked onto the fully-featured MOLLE system on the lower half of the vest. Two Velcro patches for badges can be found on the front and back, respectively.

Key Features

  • MOLLE system
  • 7 pouches included
  • Adjustable size
  • 9 tactical colorways available

Specifications

  • Designed for Men
  • Materials: Nylon, PVC, Foam padding

2. GFIRE Modular Tactical Vest

This black tactical vest from GFIRE is simplistic but sturdy and garners great reviews online. While no pouches are included with the stock purchase, you can easily add modular attachments thanks to a MOLLE system covering almost the entire vest. There’s also a large front map pocket, and the two shoulder straps can be adjusted for a nice tight fit on any wearer.

Key Features

  • MOLLE system
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Front map pocket
  • 3 tactical colorways available

Specifications

  • Unisex design
  • Materials: Polyester, Plastic, Nylon

3. DMAIP Adjustable Tactical Vest

The budget price of DMAIP’s lightweight tactical vest belies a well-made product. This vest is designed to give you plenty of freedom of movement, and as such, a traditional belt has been swapped out for a fully adjustable waist loop. Though it offers less protection than heavier vests, this adjustable option is great for use as a training vest or for paintball or airsoft activities. For what it’s worth, the sturdy oxford cloth used in its construction is much more reliable than some synthetic alternatives.

Key Features

  • MOLLE system
  • Adjustable waist M – XL
  • Velcro badge patches
  • 4 tactical colorways available

Specifications

  • Unisex design
  • Materials: Oxford cloth, Polyester, Foam padding

4. ActionUnion Airsoft Tactical Vest

If you’re after something made for heavy-duty defense, then the ActionUnion tactical vest for airsoft and paintball is your prime choice. This large tactical vest comes fully padded with EVA foam blocks, each of which is secured to the torso by sturdy metal rivets. 2 fast mag pockets are included, allowing for rapid reloading while in combat exercises. The whole thing is waterproof too.

Key Features

  • Armor padded design
  • 2 fast mag pockets
  • Waterproof
  • Black or Tan colorways

Specifications

  • Unisex design
  • Materials: Nylon, EVA foam, Metal rivets

5. Blackhawk Omega Phalanx Vest

At the pricier end of the spectrum, we’ve got Blackhawk’s Omega Phalanx. This black tactical vest is specifically designed for protection while hunting, and as such, it comes equipped with padded shoulders designed to take the recoil of powerful rifles. You’ve also got plenty of pockets, including two fast mag pockets and pistol magazine pockets, and the Nylon construction of the vest means it’s breathable even when fully loaded.

Key Features

  • Adjustable length and girth
  • Padded sniper shoulders
  • Pistol magazine pockets

Specifications

  • Unisex design
  • Materials: Nylon mesh

6. Condor Elite Tactical Vest

The Condor Elite tactical vest straddles the price line at around $70, and it’s well worth the cost for the high-quality equipment you’re getting here. This green tactical vest comes equipped with two utility pouches, 6 M4 magazine pouches, and two extra inner pockets, making it a real beast of burden in the field. It also has padded shoulders for rifle usage and a unisex design that makes it a great women’s tactical vest or men’s tactical vest depending on the wearer.

Key Features

  • MOLLE system
  • 10 pouches included
  • Padded rubberized shoulders
  • 3 tactical colorways available

Specifications

  • Unisex design
  • Materials: Nylon mesh, Rubberized shoulders

7. BARSKA Loaded Gear VX-200 Vest

The BARSKA VX-200 black tactical vest is another great mid-range option with many handy features packed in. This time around, you’ve got a detachable right-hand pistol holster as standard, along with hidden inner pockets and a comprehensive MOLLE system. The whole vest is fully adjustable thanks to its sophisticated belt and shoulder build, and as such, it’s another great pick for men and women alike.

Key Features

  • MOLLE system
  • Detachable right-hand holster
  • Hidden inner pockets
  • Adjustable belt

Specifications

  • Unisex design
  • Materials: 100% Polyester

8. ATG Tactical Expert Vest

Here we have another lightweight camo tactical vest available in tan or black colorways, this time with a fully adjustable waist and shoulders, both equipped with heavy-duty buckles and fasteners. The nylon mesh used in ATG’s Expert vest is highly waterproof and great for mixed weather usage, while the Velcro attachment systems and badge patches are a nice additional feature. This unisex design fits adults in sizes medium to extra-large.

Key Features

  • MOLLE system
  • Fully adjustable
  • Water-resistant
  • Black or Tan colorways available

Specifications

  • Unisex design
  • Materials: Nylon mesh, PVC

9. Rothco Tactical Cross Draw Vest

The Rothco tactical cross draw vest is a great piece of equipment with a 100% polyester build. This military tactical vest is primarily designed for men and has been constructed with a relatively heavy tactical vest setup, including a full MOLLE system, a right-hand pistol holster, padded shoulders, and a fully adjustable belt. It comes in a tactical camo colorway and is an extremely durable piece of kit.

Key Features

  • MOLLE system
  • Adjustable belt
  • Right-hand pistol holster
  • Tactical camo colorway

Specifications

  • Designed for Men
  • Materials: 100% Polyester 

10. YAKEDA Ultra-Light Combat Vest

Available in a bumper 11 styles, including camo tactical vest options and green and black selections, the YAKEDA ultra-light combat vest is a sturdy padded protector with a comprehensive setup. This vest includes a full MOLLE system, a shotgun round bandolier, a right-hand pistol holder, and right shoulder rifle padding, making it a true jack-of-all-trades. It also has a unisex design, making it a good choice for both men and women.

Key Features

  • MOLLE system
  • Shotgun shell bandolier
  • Right-hand pistol holster
  • 11 styles available

Specifications

  • Unisex design
  • Materials: 100% Polyester

11. BARSKA Loaded Gear VX-200 Left Hand Vest

BARSKA’s left-handed variant of their VX-200 vest is a great pick for slimmer wearers and women, with a slimline build in ballistic polyester. This lightweight vest has a unique left-hand pistol holster and nine other pouches as standard on its full MOLLE system. It also comes with a badge patch on the shoulder for ID attachments and a fully adjustable pouch belt.

Key Features

  • MOLLE system
  • 9 pouches included
  • Left-hand pistol holster
  • Velcro badge patches

Specifications

  • Designed for Women
  • Materials: Ballistic polyester, Polyester webbing

12. Condor Recon Chest Rig

This minimalist add-on from Condor is the perfect choice for those cutting down on every inch of weight or for those crafting a heavy-duty tactical vest setup. The Chest Rig is a classic harness and can either be worn by itself or over a slim primary vest. It comes equipped with three kangaroo pouches perfect for all manner of mags and gear and has an interior mesh quick-access pocket. This unisex design comes in 100% polyester and is super lightweight as a result.

Key Features

  • Cross-back chest harness
  • 3 kangaroo pouches
  • Interior mesh pocket
  • 4 tactical colorways available

Specifications

  • Unisex design
  • Materials: 100% Polyester

13. GZ XINXING S Law Enforcement Vest

The S Law Enforcement vest from GZ XINXING is another great budget option in a one-size-fits-all build. This is another vest designed primarily for men, but it can be adjusted for women too, with a fully adjustable belt and shoulder pads. Once again, you’ve got a padded sniper shoulder here, along with a pistol holster and interior and exterior pockets. All of this is finished with an internal nylon mesh to make it nice and breathable even in warm conditions.

Key Features

  • Fully adjustable
  • 3 interior pockets
  • Padded sniper shoulders
  • 7 tactical colorways available

Specifications

  • Designed for Men
  • Materials: Polyester, Nylon mesh

14. BARSKA Loaded Gear VX-100 Vest

The BARSKA VX-100 is a variant of their typical tactical vest with a few alternative design decisions present. This time around, the right-hand pistol holster is detachable, so you can swap it out for alternative MOLLE pouches if you like. Plus, as standard, you’ve got two utility pouches, two mag pouches, and two unique drop leg platforms which are equipped with a radio pouch and double section pouch, respectively. In terms of pure storage space, this is the best tactical vest out there.

 

Key Features

  • MOLLE system
  • Nine pouches included
  • Detachable right-hand holster
  • Velcro badge patches

Specifications

  • Unisex design
  • Materials: Polyester, Velcro