Tactical vests have been a staple not only for law enforcement and military personnel but also for the average person who happens to love the outdoors and survival training. These handy and functional vests can also protect you from bullets, depending on which type you use.
As a part of your complete tactical clothing collection, a tactical vest should be comfortable at all times. It should also serve the purpose of why you have it in the first place. This purpose may vary from one person to another.
Tactical vests have varying features suitable for your needs. Knowing the essential features you should look for will help you decide which one is likely to be the best choice for you.
What Is a Tactical Vest?
A tactical vest is typically a part of law enforcement and military uniforms, allowing them to carry gear like ammunition and magazines when they are on duty.
Sometimes referred to as an army vest, the tactical vest has also made its way into the hearts of non-uniformed personnel as well. The storage functionality it offers makes it convenient for outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists, as it allows them to store tactical accessories like knives, flashlights, and gloves.
Tactical vests come in different designs but are often made of durable, water-resistant fabrics and steel wire for stabilization.
Plate Carrier vs Chest Rig
Often, the terms tactical vest, plate carrier, and chest rig are used interchangeably when it shouldn’t be the case.
A plate carrier is a type of tactical vest, but a chest rig is totally different. Though a chest rig offers the same convenience when it comes to storing essential gear and other tactical equipment, it doesn’t contain the body armor typically found in a plate carrier.
The plate carrier, on the other hand, is a heavy tactical vest that holds plates or body armor meant for protection against weapons and bullets. This makes a plate carrier a good bulletproof vest to keep you safe from unwanted dangers.
Body armor plate carriers protect the heart and lungs. It partially ensures the safety of the wearer when worn properly. Take note that not all plate carriers have the same level of protection since they have been classified into different levels based on the protection they offer.
Usage of Tactical Vests
Tactical vests are not all made equal. They differ in their use and the gear they can hold. With that said, expect that the pouches also differ in size and number.
- Military tactical vests are the ones used in the Armed Forces with mag pouches. Vests in military operations become the storage of ammunition, radios, and other communication equipment, as well as other tools related to military duty.
- Law enforcement vests also contain several pouches intended for handcuffs, extendable batons, OC spray, and other things critical for keeping the public and themselves safe.
- Outdoor tactical vests are made for those who thrive in outdoor settings. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, survivalist, or simply the average Joe needing a convenient vest to carry gear, then this is the vest for you.
5 Essential Features Tactical Vests Should Have
What do you need to look for when buying tactical vests? The best tactical vests don’t rely on function alone but also on the comfort of the wearer.
Despite having different lifestyles and needs for a vest, this essential gear must boast of the following key features:
The main purpose of using tactical vests is to store more items needed for the job and outdoor survival. That is why a good feature of a vest is the number of pouches or pockets it has.
Most vests have space for a phone radio, pistol mag pouches, a pistol holder, and other utility pockets. Think about the things you have to carry around with you. Then, choose the vest that can handle your stuff properly without overcrowding the pockets.
The MOLLE System is a good feature, but not all vests have it. MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment and is a popular plate carrier system.
Due to its modular design, it can be used in any situation while allowing the user to move comfortably. The main attraction of a MOLLE vest is its webbing, which is made from durable and reliable nylon straps. It also allows customized attachments so that you can easily sort out the things that you need to carry around.
Adjustable straps are not simply there for adjustments but to ensure your comfort as well. Tactical vests with straps you can easily adjust allow better movement and increase your body’s range of motion when you need more flexibility.
An armor plate vest should also be adjustable to ensure better protection against gunshots. Ballistic plates installed in a tactical vest should be in the right position for them to give utmost protection against injuries. An armor carrier vest should always have a good fit.
Durable Material and Construction
Depending on the design, tactical vests have to hold heavy body armor plates at times. Given the weight load the vest deals with, materials used in construction should be durable enough to withstand tough situations.
Since the vest is placed over combat shirts such as BDU shirts, it deals with more external elements. A vest made with weak materials can’t be considered tactical at all since it won’t be able to handle extreme conditions.
Vests should further be reinforced with heavy-duty buckles, extra padding, and strong zippers for them to be sturdier.
Tactical vests also differ in style depending on use. Harness battle belts, for example, are meant to hold firearms, ammunition, and a few other tools and equipment like a bleeding kit. However, these harness belts don’t cover the entire chest area and don’t offer as much protection as plate carriers do.
Another design type is a cross-draw vest. The simple and convenient design of the vest makes it a top choice for many uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. This is also a top choice, often used as an Airsoft vest where users can store their airsoft gun and pellets more conveniently.
There are other designs for tactical vests. Before getting yours, know which design type works best for your needs.
Grab Your Tactical Vest Now
Carrying important stuff around in a vest is more convenient than stowing it away inside tactical backpacks or bags.
The use of tactical vests for gear provides easy access to what you need. This improves self-protection against dangers while also ensuring the comfort of the wearer.
Since not all tactical vests are created equal, get yours from a trusted dealer like All Security Equipment. We carry reputable brands for tactical clothing and gear. Feel free to check our website for any of your outdoor needs, like tactical slings and tactical boots, among others.