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Tactical Vests for Survival: Improve Your Combat Readiness

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Today, law enforcement and soldiers are the most common users of the military tactical vest.

The tactical vests are popular with law enforcement and the military, but they are also used for hunting, paintball, fishing, and survival.

We narrowed down the best tactical vests on the market.

Best Tactical Vests Reviewed

Let’s dive into the specifics and review each tactical vest individually.

1. Winner: OneTigris DOOM Tactical Vest

OneTigris DOOM Tactical Vest
1,226 Reviews
OneTigris DOOM Tactical Vest
  • OneTigris Airsoft Vest for Men: 500D Nylon construction for...
  • Ideal for training, airsoft, milsim, cs game, other outdoor...
  • Adjustable waistband from 36" to 46" & adjustable shoulder...

This is as tactical as it gets. OneTigris is a brand you’ll see a lot on Ammo Atlas, and it’s for products like this. Built with 500D cordura nylon and molle webbing, it’s as durable as they come.

Equip yourself with multiple add-ons through the loop panel and extra-long section for hooking on other items. With comfortable straps, you won’t feel the cordura digging into your shoulders.

It’s an abrasive material, hence why it’s good for tactical vests, but OneTigris made it as comfortable as possible for long-term use.

With that comfort comes adjustability. Regardless of your body type, this vest can find its home on your shoulders. Adjust it separately to meet your midsection and shoulders, giving you a custom fit every time.

Finally, the design aimed to make this relatively lightweight, weighing only 2 lbs. When it comes to mobility, OneTigris stands out as the best tactical vest due to its meticulous attention to detail.

Pros

  • Very adjustable to fit multiple body shapes
  • Long panels allow you to hold additional patches.
  • Padded straps don’t tear into your shoulders.
  • Detachable breathability padding ensures optimal airflow during gameplay.
  • The top handle for hanging up when not in use.

Con

  • Not sized correctly

Product Information

  • Material: 500D Cordura Nylon
  • Size: Adjustable to fit most
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • 500D Cordura® Nylon construction
  • There are 3 by 6 patch panels located at the front and back.

2. Runner-Up: Condor Tactical Vest

Condor’s take on the tactical vest brings a slew of alternate benefits over your more traditional model, which is what makes them stand out.

First, you get a hydration pouch to store a bladder in. While it doesn’t include the bladder itself, this is more than you find on most vests.

Internal mesh pockets give you the option to hold onto smaller items that you wouldn’t want to slip out of an external pocket.

There are five of them, and while they’re relatively small, they serve their function well. The most crucial feature is its multicam construction, which ensures a robust and comfortable design.

As a result of that design, the chest plate is removable and adjustable, allowing you to contour this vest to your body shape and size.

Your external pockets act as magazine pouches. There’s nine in total, each equipped to fit a 5.56 mag.

When faced with an urgent situation, you can maintain focus on the target and swiftly replace your magazines without blinking. Everything is easily accessible from your point of view.

Pros

  • Built-in magazine pouches (5.56 x 9)
  • For close-quarter storage, there are five separate internal mesh pockets.
  • The hydration carrier slot does not include the actual pouch.
  • Heavyweight webbing for modular attachments
  • Padded shoulder straps

Con

  • Universal size

Product Information

  • Material: Nylon
  • Size: Adjustable
  • Weight: 2.35 pounds
  • Adjustable waist
  • Built-in hydration carrier

UTG 547 Tactical Vest

UTG 547 Tactical Vest
458 Reviews
UTG 547 Tactical Vest
  • 4 deluxe adjustable rifle mag pouches
  • 2 large internal zippered map/document pouches
  • Heavy duty back loop system to carry additional gear/tools

As a budget-friendly option, UTG also made this ultralight at just two pounds.

In reality, wearing this makes you feel like Batman: you get a full pistol belt, durable design, and plenty of pouches. Those pouches include a few for pistol mags, and some for rifle mags on the opposite side.

Utilize the shoulder radio pouch, cross-draw holster, and the built-in sniper shoulder, which reduces stock recoil. Every square inch of this vest has been optimized to be useful, but still be accessible from the wearer.

All too often, you get bulky vests that are stiff as steel and bolster almost no accessibility. To combat that, UTG made this vest out of 600D polyester.

That’s points for durability, but still allows you to maneuver and glide through tactical situations with ease. It’s not body armor, but it’s going to protect you against a lot.

As a final note, everything is adjustable. The shoulders, the chest plate; it’s all moveable so you can get the perfect fit for mobility and tactical use. You’re not going to be very useful if you can’t move around easily.

Pros

  • 600D polyester construction withstands excessive abrasion
  • Built-in sniper shoulder for better recoil protection
  • Pistol and rifle mag pouches
  • Reinforced drag handle
  • Heavy duty back panel webbing

Con

  • Poor quality zipper

Product Information

  • Material: 600D Polyester
  • Size: Adjustable
  • Weight: 2 Pounds
  • One Year Limited Warranty
  • Hydration Bladder Compatible

4. Best Ultralight Option: YAKEDA Tactical Vest

Sale
YAKEDA Tactical Vest
8,422 Reviews
YAKEDA Tactical Vest
  • 【ITEM SIZE】★ Adjustable for adults, S-XXXXL: the...
  • 【ADJUSTABLE】★ Adjustable shoulder and side straps,belt...
  • 【HIGH QUALITY】★ Made from durable, comfortable...

Ready to get loaded for bear? YAKEDA is your ultimate companion. Crafted out of 600D polyester and mesh, it’s designed to be comfortable while also being protective.

That’s rear-resistant and lightly abrasion-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about minor scrapes or cuts along the way.

YAKEDA includes an extra-large belt with a durable buckle to hold everything up, as well as adjustable sizes ranging from small to quadruple extra-large—that’s probably the most one-size-fits-all solution that we’ve ever heard of.

However, it’s not just about the vest; it’s about what you can do with it. On the right, there’s a series of five shotgun shell holsters, and on the left, there are three detachable magazine/flashlight pouches.

That doesn’t include the additional magazine pouch, draw holster, and multiple utility pouches. You’re like a one-man army when you walk around in this vest.

Pros

  • Vast waist adjustment range
  • An extra durable buckle allows you to hang onto all your gear.
  • Shotgun shell + detachable mag/flashlight pouches
  • Suitable for various situations
  • Indeed, it features hook-and-loop closure.

Con

  • Cheap construction

Product Information

  • Material: High-density fabric
  • Size: Adjustable
  • Weight: 3.55 pounds
  • Reinforced rescue pull handle
  • Velcor for personalized labels

5. Best Adjustable Option: Marmot Tactical Vest

Sale
Marmot Tactical Vest
2,105 Reviews
Marmot Tactical Vest
  • Adjustable Size - Adjust Both Side Straps and Belt to Fit...
  • Detachable - Detachable Shotgun Shell Holder , Equipment...
  • High Quality and Lightweight - Made Of Durable Comfortable...

As we come to a strong finish, we leave it to Marmot. This vest speaks for itself.

First and foremost, the design manages to be breathable while still having a 600D polyester construction for durability and anti-abrasion.

The zippers are high quality, and you’re going to need them to hold up all the stuff you can pack in this vest.

You can control shotgun shell holsters, removable tactical pouches, and even a side holster right above your belt.

The utility belt, which has a highly durable buckle to keep everything from dragging down on you, completes the set.

In short, it’s a pretty amazing vest. It gives you a tactical advantage over whatever stands in your way. Everything is lightweight and easy on your collar, but the pads don’t do a whole lot for your shoulders.

Use your radio pouch to keep in touch with your team while remaining fully prepared for what lies ahead.

Pros

  • Multiple sub-pockets for smaller pistols.
  • Six shotgun shell slots are on the right breast pocket.
  • The 600D polyester mesh construction is breathable.
  • Modular webbing velcro
  • Molle system

Con

  • Cheap zipper

Product Information

  • Material: 600D Polyester
  • Size: Adjustable
  • Weight: 2.78 pounds
  • 500D Cordura® Nylon construction
  • There are 3 by 6 patch panels located at the front and back.

FAQs

front and back of tactical vest

What is a tactical plate carrier?

A tactical plate carrier is basically a vest that has the ability to become stabproof or bulletproof but isn’t. Since it’s difficult to find anyone, including Amazon, who will sell bulletproof vests, you have to buy plate carrier vests and get hard plates.

Depending on the material and size, plates can stop bullets or knives. Remember, a plate’s stab-proof design does not guarantee that the vest’s material will support it.

The plate is what stops the knife or bullet in its tracks. Since most plate carrier vests are lightweight, the impact will cause the vest to tear. During the design process, normal bulletproof vests take the material thickness into account.

Essentially, standard bulletproof vest material will all help to absorb the shock of a bullet or puncture, but plate carriers only distribute that pressure and impact to the surface area of the plate.

What tactical vest do the marines use?

While it isn’t known exactly what brand they use, professionals have been known to divulge previous vests and other tactical equipment used by the military branch that they are no longer a part of.

For example, in Iraq, soldiers (non-specific branches) were known to use SPEAR vests as well as Eagle CIRAS maritime vests for maximum ballistic protection.

These vests are some of the highest quality available. They’re generally not available for public purchase, except in a few states.

Can a tactical vest stop a knife?

No, a tactical vest cannot stop a knife. Bulletproof or puncture-proof knives, typically labeled separately, are not what tactical vests are. The primary purpose of a tactical vest is to provide quick and secure access to necessary gear or weapons.

Tactical vests tend to include magazine pouches, shotgun shell holders, pistol holsters, removable flashlight holsters, and tactical belts. Tactical vests are also lighter than bulletproof or stabproof vests.

On average, they are two or three pounds, but a bulletproof vest can be around twenty pounds or more. This is because of the plate material, thicker construction (kevlar), and thicker exteriors.

That being said, there’s no such thing as a truly bulletproof or stabproof vest; there’s always going to be a bigger, sharper knife or a more developed round that can shred through the traditional materials used in these vest designs.

With that in mind, some vests can be considered bullet-resistant or puncture-resistant. This means that the materials will resist the pressure or tension, but only to a certain degree.

This can either stifle or completely deflect a blade. The precise angle from which the blade strikes you remains a variable. You cannot anticipate every vest to deflect a knife.

When you will need a tactical vest?

The tactical vests have become popular items among a variety of preppers and survivalists. Some people buy these vests so that they can look fashionable, but many others have an interest in the value that they are able to deliver.

Most tactical vests come with a fully adjustable feature, a sidearm holster, 5 to 6 magazine holders for your rifle and up to 4 pistol magazines, and a pouch for your shotgun shells.

They usually also come with Velcro, so you can add more compartments and a separate compartment for a radio. Some of these vests have a belt that loops through the bottom of the garment to hold two pistol magazines.

Today, there is an extensive array of tactical vests to choose from. It is obvious that a tactical vest is not designed to be worn around your home all day, but for specific occasions when you really need it.

Wrap-Up

wearing a tactical vest

The immediate benefit of wearing tactical vests is the easy access to all your gear, conveniently located on your chest.

You can easily access your ammunition, radio, and sidearm as soon as you need them. Your sidearm will be one of the biggest advantages of a tactical vest.

Your weapon is easily accessible and securely strapped inside the holster. The sidearm, safely secured out of your way, rests on your chest.