Like many things in our day-to-day lives, tactical vests began their lives in the military. You may not have realized that GPS, microwaves, EpiPens and ever-useful duct tape were born from the necessity of battle. One thing all these items have in common is their raw functionality. Sure, through development, they now look better and are available in a range of styles and colors. But, when it comes down to it, they’re purely the best product designed to cater to their specific tasks.
Tactical vests evolved from body armor and were first accepted for use by the United States Marines in 2006. Since then, they’ve become a consistently utilized piece of equipment for militaries all across the globe. Their undeniable practical convenience has also led to them finding their way into the daily lives of us non-soldier types.
You’ll often find tactical vests are used on paintballing and counter strike fields as part of the suggested uniform for players. They were also a hot topic when they landed on the runway for luxury brands, such as Louis Vuitton and Prada. Aside from the more jovial uses of a tactical vest, they’re also a valuable asset when mountaineering or hunting.
Many features of a tactical vest can be adapted to suit any specific requirements. Here are a few to consider when choosing the best tactical vest for you:
- Size – Most tactical vests are adjustable in three directions. Being able to increase and decrease the length, waist and shoulder areas of your vest usually makes each one suitable for people size small to four times extra-large. This feature also makes it easy to put on and take off the vest.
- Storage – Pouches and pockets are spread across the full exterior (and sometimes interior) of tactical vests to ensure an even weight distribution for comfort and to minimize fatigue. The size of these compartments varies to cater to all types of items, from weapons to ammo or a first aid kit to a flashlight. You’ll also find that most tactical vests incorporate a pistol holster which is something to consider in terms of being left or right-handed.
- Durability – 600D polyester is commonly used to make tactical vests, along with strong mesh, too. The 600 denier polyester is a strong and reliable material that holds weight easily and can withstand extreme conditions. In addition, breathable mesh areas are found in areas not covered with storage to allow for ventilation where possible. After considering the material of which the vest is made, you should also think about the quality of the zippers, pocket closures and buckles of your tactical vest to keep your items safe and secure.
Tactical vests are made for protection and functionality. They can store the items you need in order to be prepared for your chosen adventure. Think of these vests as a coat of confidence, good enough for those on the front line.
Below are eight of the best tactical vests available on Amazon. These vests feature a variety of pocket arrangements, sizings and additional features, but they have all been designed to maximize body safety and comfort while carrying your essential gear.
1. YAKEDA Tactical Vest
You’ll be ready for action in the YAKEDA Tactical Vest with the peace of mind knowing that all of your necessary supplies couldn’t be closer. This vest is adjustable in three different areas to make it suitable for users size small to four times extra-large. It also comes with a snap-clip closure tactical belt for easy wear and removal. The back mesh panel of the vest is ideal for storing a hydration bladder, and there is a range of pouch sizes to suit utility items, magazines and flashlights on the front. Additionally, the right shoulder features a rubber pad for shooting support, and the left features a radio pouch to ensure you keep in good communication with your fellow comrades.
2. GZ XINXING Tactical Vest
Almost every inch of the GZ XINXING Tactical Vest has a use. The few zones that don’t are minimal and made of lightweight mesh material. You can adjust the waist from 35 to 61 inches, and the shoulder and length sizes can be adjusted, too. A hydration pouch is integrated into the back of the vest, but the bladder is not included. Ten pockets of various sizes are arranged like Tetris blocks across the vest along with MOLLE webbing and Velcro panels. You can be confident in only the best quality with this vest, as GZ XINXING offers a no-questions lifetime warranty.
3. Barbarians Tactical Molle Vest
BEST INTERNAL FEATURES
It’s what’s inside that counts with the Barbarians Tactical Molle Vest. As well as the usual array of pouches, pockets and straps covering the outer surfaces, there are three larger internal mesh storage areas for items such as an iPad, hydration bladder and important documents. Both the vest and the included tactical belt are made from 600D polyester which is highly durable. The belt also features two magazine pouches as additional storage.
4. Condor Recon Chest Rig
BEST STRAP DESIGN
The Condor Recon Chest Rig adopts a slightly different design than most tactical vests. It doesn’t have the full chest and back areas covered, but it does have lots of storage compartments packed across the waist. Behind the front row of covered pouches is a row of open-topped pouches. This vest is available in three military colors, namely, black, brown and olive. Plus, the adjustable straps make it suitable for waist sizes 30 to 60 inches.
5. Himal Combat Vest
For a no-frills, easy-to-use and comfortable tactical vest, choose the Himal Combat Vest. Despite the user-friendly simplicity of the vest’s design, it includes pouches to cover all associated uses and is made from durable 600D polyester to ensure quality. The mesh areas are tear-resistant, and several areas of the vest feature webbing used for adding camouflage. It’s available in two earth-colored prints along with the original black.
6. GLORYFIRE Tactical Vest
Crank the durability of your GLORYFIRE Tactical Vest up a notch by upgrading to the 1000D Cordura Fabric vest. Alternatively, you can stick to the standard 600D Oxford Fabric Vest. Regardless of the polyester’s density, the quality design and smart vest layout remain the same. There is an abundance of storage, as pockets are spread both internally and externally. Plus, this vest features a detachable pistol holster, making it adaptable for both right and left-handed users.
7. UTG 547 Tactical Vest
From a large ID pocket to a quick reload mag pouch and attachable tactical belt, the UTG 547 Tactical Vest has got it all. It’s ideal for reliable wear in professional environments, such as security and law enforcement situations. The durable polyester material is designed for comfort and ventilation, even in sticky (and sweaty) situations. There is a range of pockets and pouches in various sizes spread across both the vest and belt. Furthermore, a drag handle is sewn into the top middle of the back panel for easy portability.
8. OneTigris Multicam Tactical Vest
Know that you have your gear nearby and that you look good in the OneTigris Multicam Tactical Vest. The ergonomic design of this vest makes it a comfortable tactical vest that can adapt to your body and support a heavy load. It’s available in black, camouflage or brown and features useful MOLLE webbing across all exterior surfaces. There’s also a Velcro panel on the front chest area, so you can add your personal touch to the vest. If tactical vests came in designer labels, this would be it.