Ranking the 10 Best Tactical Vests of 2021

Matt Lewis
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A tactical vest or chest rig is a near-essential piece of kit for any serious prepper. For one, it’s very efficient. Secondly, it’s incredibly practical.

However, with all the choices on the market, it’s very easy to be overwhelmed. There are literally hundreds of different tactical vests available right now, and some are terrible. Even the good ones aren’t all that easy to compare or choose from, either.

We’ve created an in-depth comparison review of the 10 best tactical vests of 2021 below. If you want to select a truly superb tactical vest, this guide should help.

Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know:

NameCategoryProduct
GZ XINXING SBest OverallGZ XINXING S
YAKEDA Tactical Vest Outdoor Ultra-Light Breathable Combat Training Vest AdjustableBudget PickYAKEDA Tactical Vest Outdoor Ultra-Light Breathable Combat Training Vest Adjustable
BLACKHAWK Omega Phalanx Homeland Security VestUpgrade PickBLACKHAWK Omega Phalanx Homeland Security Vest

1. GZ XINXING S

Our rating: 9 / 10

GZ XINXING S

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Pros:

  • Highly durable
  • Adjustable velcro straps for extra security
  • Multi-use as a hunting companion for improving outdoors skills
  • Molle system is very durable and provides extra storage

Cons:

  • Might be a little hard to move around in
  • Larger sizes may be too big for some people

This tactical vest is a great choice for those who like a little more firepower.

It takes the popular MOLLE system and provides several attachment options for your favorite weapons.

They can easily be holstered and removed as needed.

2. YAKEDA Tactical Vest Outdoor Ultra-Light Breathable Combat Training Vest Adjustable

Our rating: 9 / 10

YAKEDA Tactical Vest Outdoor Ultra-Light Breathable Combat Training Vest Adjustable

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Pros:

  • Lightweight and can adapt itself to any body type
  • 3 x 1.5 inch MOLLE webbing that adjusts to any kind of load you need carry
  • 4 x adjustable hook and loop tighteners that will keep the vest secure and in place
  • 1 x mesh pocket on the chest
  • 1 x hit panel
  • Comes in Black or Multicam

The Yakeda Tactical Vest is a fully adjustable vest for any situation. It may be snug when you first wear it, but it will relax over time and conform to your body type.

The reversible size comes in six sizes and the presence of the camouflage means you have maximum protection for your daily missions.

The vest is designed with a back mesh that will enhance the wearer’s movement, letting you have full movement and breathability while maintaining a firm and secure fit.

3. Condor Elite Tactical Vest

Our rating: 8 / 10

Condor Elite Tactical Vest

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Pros:

  • Plenty of MOLLE real estate
  • Sits close to the body for concealment
  • Adjustable & removable shoulder pads
  • Huge amount of front pockets
  • Good quality zippers
  • Solid construction
  • Good value for the price

Cons:

  • More suited for military, law enforcement or at the very least enthusiasts/competitors
  • Lack of admin storage
  • Poor stitching
  • Uncomfortably tight for larger framed users

This is a very popular piece of kit, and for good reason. It does everything you want from a duty-style vest, using the renowned and probably most copied MOLLE attachment system.

This extra usage is a blessing, but the vest itself is still very close-fitting, which will suit some users.

On the negative side, you’re not going to see a lot of storage spaces for keeping admin equipment. But if you’re looking for something that allows you to carry a lot of kit or even full PPE (personal protection equipment), then this is the vest for you.

4. BARSKA Loaded Gear VX-200 Right Hand Tactical Vest

Our rating: 8 / 10

BARSKA Loaded Gear VX-200 Right Hand Tactical Vest

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Pros:

  • Has enough magazine storage for AR rifles
  • Plenty of utility pouches, great for a range or day out in the field
  • Comes with a modular design with numerous pockets
  • Has a safe for firearms

The Barska Loaded Gear VX-200 is a great option for a new shooter or an avid enthusiast. It has everything you need including a radio pocket, magazine pockets and handgun storage.

There is a hydration system but it is sold separately. The vest is available in two sizes: one fits chest sizes of 34-40 inches and the other is made for chest sizes that are 42-46 inches.

This vest provides plenty of options for you to load it up. You can even add two more rifle magazines in the pouch if you need to. The magazine pockets are made out of elastic material that is scratch resistant. The vest also comes with a belt that secures with straps in the back.

5. ArcEnCiel Tactical Molle Vest

Our rating: 7 / 10

ArcEnCiel Tactical Molle Vest

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Pros:

  • Fit large enough to fit 2 hydration pouches
  • Perfect for competition shooting and outdoorsmen
  • Lots of molle attachment points with strong stitching
  • Includes a removable Velcro-in Kydex/Pancake holster
  • Ample amount of adjustment points to ensure a comfortably snug fit regardless of shape or size
  • The outer material tends to resist rubbing against the skin like many other vests
  • Does not retain odors
  • Great value for the quality

Cons:

  • Feels a bit heavier than other vests
  • The design might be a bit too boxy for some people

A tactical vest is an important part of any shooter’s gear. Especially in a competition or for hunting.

This bullet proof vest offers a lot of options for gear attachment due to its Molle webbing, giving you the option of bunching up your gear in the vest if you find it’s bulky or spreading it out so that it sits comfortably.

The vest is made with the usual lightweight mesh and padding, but it also features a water-resistant zippered jacket liner. This jacket liner is capable of carrying a small amount of gear in addition to the vest’s interior.

6. BLACKHAWK Omega Phalanx Homeland Security Vest

Our rating: 7 / 10

BLACKHAWK Omega Phalanx Homeland Security Vest

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Pros:

  • Reinforced webbing all over the vest
  • Durable, heavy duty, and comfortable for extended use
  • Comes in a variety of sizes to accomodate all body types
  • Designed for law enforcement and tactical use
  • Molle webbing for attaching additional pouches
  • Comes with an adjustable cummerbund

Cons:

  • No internal frame for additional weight support
  • May not be incredibly comfortable if you have large chest

This tactical vest from Blackhawk is exactly what you need if you’re looking for a way to keep your gear organized and accessible during training and missions. It’s lightweight and can be adjusted to accommodate different sized torso, making it comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.

Two straps at the end of the vest have the potential to hold a number of additional pouches from the Blackhawk Omega line.

Additionally, there are many MOLLE attachment points as well on the front and back of the vest as well as along the sides.

7. UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest

Our rating: 6 / 10

UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest

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Pros:

  • You can adjust the vest to fit you properly
  • The shoulder straps are non-slip
  • Looks great in the field
  • The pouches have adjustable retention clips

Cons:

  • The MOLLE webbing is only available on the front of the vest
  • Although this is a large vest, the padded shoulder and back support isn’t as long as some vests on the market

The UTG 547 Law Enforcement vest has plenty of pouches for your magazines, grenades, flashlights and rope. There are also side holsters for your sidearm, knife, baton or other heavier duty equipment.

This vest is MOLLE compatible so you can add additional pouches as you see fit. There are six magazine pouches on the front and three pouches on the back. And two additional pouches on the front and back for other equipment.

The width of this vest is great for those with broad shoulders, but not too wide as to make it difficult to move around. And the elastic sides of the vest make it easy to tuck your shirt into the shoulder straps for a more professional appearance.

8. VooDoo Tactical 20-8112105330 Men's Msp-06 Entry Assault Vest

Our rating: 5 / 10

VooDoo Tactical 20-8112105330 Men's Msp-06 Entry Assault Vest

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Pros:

  • Expandable Up to 42 Liters
  • 20 Padded Double Magazine Pouches
  • Eyelets for Sling Attachments
  • 17 Adjustable Hook and Loop PALS Slots
  • Hook-and-Loop Adj. Cummerbund With Open Bottom
  • Four Wrap Around Padded MOLLE/PALS Compatible Webbing
  • Water Purifier Storage
  • Two Hydration Bladder Storage Compartments
  • One Large Storage Pocket
  • Two Side Access Zipper Pockets

Cons:

  • Only One Radio Pocket
  • No Internal Map Pockets
  • No Magazine Pouches on Shoulders
  • No Handcuff Pouches
  • PALS Webbing Not Bonded as Seam

This vest from VooDoo Tactical is designed specifically for law enforcement and for close-quarters combat. It comes with two side zip pockets, and two bonus tactical knife sheaths, a chest radio pouch, an internal mesh pocket and a hook and loop adjustable waist strap.

9. Rothco Tactical Cross Draw Vest

Our rating: 4 / 10

Rothco Tactical Cross Draw Vest

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Pros:

  • Made from high quality materials
  • Designed to carry heavy-duty weight comfortably
  • Comes with 2 Pistol Mag Pouches on the sides
  • Features MOLLE Strap on the front
  • The shoulder pads and chest pads are made for maximum comfort
  • Available in a variety of sizes

Cons:

  • The undershirt can get uncomfortable at times
  • The sizes may be a little off

The Rothco Tactical Cross Draw Vest is an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t want to carry a backpack while still carrying their primary weapon (along with two sidearm magazines).

It has a unique design which allows you to easily cross draw your secondary handgun. This eliminates the awkward feeling you may have had when carrying a gun on your hip.

This vest also features several pockets that are well-placed for easy reach. If you’re carrying large items, the large rear Velcro panel will give you the space you need for a comfortable, customizable carry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best tactical vest?

Before answering this question, it is important to know what a tactical vest means and what a tactical vest is. The word tactical means military tactics and the word vest means a vest that is worn over clothes to hold the ammo, gear and other necessary military items.

Military tactical vests come in various sizes, shapes and colors. The most common sizes are regular, large, and extra large. These vests are often made of nylon and the colors are made by adding various dyes.

What should I have on my tactical vest?

How much does a tactical vest cost?

Tactical vests generally don’t cost too much, but it's wise to consider what they are made of and how much space each pouch will take up. Overall, it's best to review what you intend to carry in your vest before buying.

It's important to know that hard tactical vests are normally more expensive than soft ones. Hard vests are larger and heavier. It's also more difficult to get a hard vest to conform to a person's body than a soft one. Some of the less expensive tactical vests are hard, and they can be a little difficult to move in. A soft tactical vest is better if you are going to be out all day.

What is a tactical vest used for?

A tactical vest is a part of safety equipment used by police officers, correctional officers, EMTs, paramedics, or firefighters.

It helps carry equipment that would otherwise weigh down your body, or otherwise hinder you from running in an emergency situation. This is why they are a vital part of any safety and rescue team.

They come in different sizes, styles, material, and colors, making each fit for its job and personnel. Safety vests are also know as vests, flak jackets, or bulletproof vests.

Conclusion

Want to know which tactical vest is the best and why? Then this guide is for you. Our rundown, as well as independent testing of all the vests on this list, should help you separate the quality tactical vests from the cheap imitators. Use this guide to find the tactical vest that is right for you and your lifestyle … without wasting your money on a cheap vest that doesn’t do the job. Let’s jump right in and see what makes a truly great tactical vest.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
GZ XINXING SBest OverallGZ XINXING S
YAKEDA Tactical Vest Outdoor Ultra-Light Breathable Combat Training Vest AdjustableBudget PickYAKEDA Tactical Vest Outdoor Ultra-Light Breathable Combat Training Vest Adjustable
BLACKHAWK Omega Phalanx Homeland Security VestUpgrade PickBLACKHAWK Omega Phalanx Homeland Security Vest