The All-Time Best Tactical Vests Are Dirt Cheap (And Very Durable)
Whether you’re off to an airsoft game, hunting trip or an actual tactical mission, you need a reliable tactical vest. I’ve tested the most popular brands and rounded up the best options for the money.
FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.
1. vAv YAKEDA Tactical Vest - Ultra-Light and Breathable
Top-rated: 7,934 ratings | 550 answered questions
Highlight: Left side features a pistol holster for most medium-framed pistols and 3 pistol mag pouches that are adjustable to the height of most normal-sized mags. Right side features 3 ammo pouches, large shell carrying pouch, and a shooting pad.
Helpful review: "Reasons why this is better than most other vests in its class:
I like that the right butt shoulder rest has a semi-firm tube that extends up the shoulder all the way up thereby adding extra absorption for a shotgun butt and that its not a soft cheapy impotent feeling support like other saggy type foam inserts. Your hydration tube WILL hold securely to this one!
I like that the outer upper mag clip slots have a nice feel to them, sort of a thick rubberized texture and rugged and not just a vinyl feel or look.
The belt is EXTREMELY FIRM which adds support like a tool belt type and doesn't bunch up or spot sag like many do. The design on the hook and loop size adjustment is nice because it is on both sides so you keep the belt centered.
The shoulder straps are wide strong adjustable hook and loop and give great overall support to the vest once weighted down.
Now here is what makes this vest WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER:
What I really REALLY REALLY like about the inside back 'BLADDER' slot is it will fit on the back perfectly an 11"x14"to15" KEVLAR INSERT... PERFECTLY!!!!!!!! Now THAT my friends you gotta admit that this is a Bad @$$ OPTION!!!
It has a Velcro closure to keep it packed solid. You can buy the raw Kevlar IIIA insert for about $60 bucks, if not here then "E"lseware. In the inside front gut area is on each side of zipper are (2) 8"x10" zippered panels for Kevlar IIIA Inserts costing $36 apiece "E"lseware!!!! Now, for full on protection you will want and need to create a simple upper "T" shaped sleeve insert that will hold Kevlar IIIA that will cover the full wide top heart chest area and that will extend down the zipper center about 4" wide to under lap the gut side panels and then you effectively have a full flac that is A LOT MORE LOWER PROFILE and even better than buying another vest and wearing it underneath!!!!!!!!!! And not to mention MUCH MUCH less cha-ching than buying a separate vest. What is really nice is that the material on the inner vest sleeves front and back is an open mesh material that is rugged yet helps function to keep you a tad bit cooler than if you had solid material up against your undershirt. Those under-mesh types of shirts are pricey and bulky and this has it built in all over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This concept effectively turns this Vest into a $1000 Vest in my humble opinion!
The Velcro everywhere is pretty tight hook n loop and is not the MOST expensive on the market I have found but it is as good and better as any other quality typical vest on the market that I have found in this class. You do not need better than I think.
The sides have three "PULL" tabs each and make it really nice to custom secure your vest depending on the undergarment thickness and depending on if you put your Kevlar Inserts in or not . Probably the best side design I have seen for quick sizing. I would prefer to have Velcro on the tab ends so they may be folded back to secure onto the vest back so they are not flopping around so they are not so easily grabbed in a combat situation. I am 5'10" 190 pounds and there are effectively 4 more inches of room on each side(8 inches total) when these are both fully extended on me beyond the 2 inches on each side (4 inches total) I pulled out and sized on me already without the Kevlar inserts.
The six shotgun ammo secure slots are tight thick stretch material that should not wear out easily. It is affixed via its hook n loop and can be worn outside the also removable or adjustable hook n loop upper chest pocket or AS A GREAT BONUS may also be secured on the inside of the pocket to hold things from rattling around depending on your preference.
The vest will hold four average assault gun magazines and a total of six hand gun magazines! The Velcro is VERY generously sized on ALL pockets, very secure!
The back has a very large 6 horizontal x 4 vertical strip webbing which are fantastic because if you use the internal slots for Kevlar then you can attach a bladder and more to the exterior webbing.
There is a very large bumper sticker sized hook n loop on the back upper that can be taken to an embroider or you can iron on your necessary or "personal" ("DEPLORABLE1" is my) statement (Thanks Hillary For The Idea!). Alternately you could affix a large machete sideways to it for quick deploy in a combat situation, only of course if you warn the perp first that "they will not get that hand back"... ;).
The holster holds my Beretta 92FS LE INOX Police Special 9mm Semi Automatic Pistol Perfectly and it is a longer pistol than others so it should hold just about any reputable semi auto. The Baretta fills it out well but it deploys flawlessly and smoothly! The gun holster holds very solidly to your gut because it is not just Velcro but also two adjustable straps so you can custom tilt it, one above and one to the left side that keep it from being ripped off. The holster is open at the side end allowing for various sized barrels and some silencer tips can be slid through... "allegedly".
The zipper is thick and smooth but not too smooth. Time will only tell if it will stay of or if it will need a velcro under tab affix... we shall see.
If there was one downside to this and its not really a downside to many, it would be that the cell phone carrier on the left shoulder upper is too small for most wider android touch screen cell phones however it does fit a thin flip phone very nicely and might fit some thinner phones and it would stretch the sides out to fit most and I am not so sure if the upper Velcro closure would be long enough to close once filled depending on how long your phone is. it would be good for an Ipod or etc. Sadly the pouch is not removable but then it is so small that if it was it might easily fall off in a combat situation, soooooooo...
All in all this is WAY MORE vest than you could ever hope to buy for the money!!! I say pull the trigger on this one!" — aMANazon
Get it from Amazon now: $41.99 & FREE Returns
2. UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest
Top-rated: 2,854 ratings | 525 answered questions
Highlight: Four Integral Rifle Magazine Pouches with Hook-and-loop Closure, Elastic Strap Retention, and Drain Holes. Capable of Holding Either 1 AK Magazine, 1 AR308 Magazine, or Up to 2 AR Magazines per Pouch.
Helpful review: "I'm active duty, so I was expecting something similar to gear I use in the field. I got something both better and worse.
Pros: Very strong and durable. I was impressed at the durability given the price. The pouches won't ever come off and get lost; the one interchangeable item on the vest has security belts that won't let it fall off. The mag pouches hold two M4 magazines comfortably. Fully loaded, I can carry up to 12 magazines when removing the pistol holster. I love the additional small pouches on the belt for smaller items such as additional pistol mags or glow sticks.
Cons: The vest has no MOLLE mounts for customization or additional gear. Most of the pouches are sewn on (which is why they won't ever come off). The pistol holster is great, but a little on the small side. The vest is slightly on the heavy side and bending is a little touch (Vis-à-vis the durability)
Overall, great for the price. I really like it, but wish I could customize it a little more with MOLLE mounts." — Cicero
" I ordered this vest as a gift for my son. He loves to go shooting and he shoots various pistols and military rifles. This tactical vest is nice to go to the outdoor range with and carry your pistol, magazines for the pistol, and magazines for your AR15 for example. A lot of other pouches are available for other purposes.
I found the vest to be extremely well made with good materials and with good craftsmanship. The stitching is nicely done and I could find no loose threads or bad areas in the assembly or construction. Several reviewers state that the vest has an odor but I could find no issues like that at all with the one that I received. I was impressed with the vest.
It comes with a military belt for the bottom and the belt has two additional pistol magazine holders on it. There is also a pistol holster on the vest and it easily holds a SIG SAUER Legion P226 or a Glock 19. I won't go into all of the details of the vest as there are many good reviews already done for this product.
I found the vest to be of high quality, made well of good materials and I would recommend it. My son is 6 foot 2 inches tall at 175 pounds and the vest fit him perfectly. I am 6 foot 2 inches tall at 250 pounds and it could be adjusted to comfortably fit me. I was shocked at the flexibility of the sizing for the vest. I rated it at 5 stars and would purchase another one without any concerns for the quality based upon what I have seen.
By the way, he took it home and laid it onto the bed. When he came back into the room his wife had found it, loaded up her AR magazines, her SIG Sauer P226, her shotgun shells, her pistol magazines and her carry field knife. He said that with her armored up he was afraid to tell her that it was a gift for him. I guess I will have to buy another one for him to keep the peace in the family!
This is a good product and I recommend it to you. For the price, this vest has a lot of features and storage space.
The quality is also very good and I had no issues with the vest at all." — JJCEO
Get it from Amazon now: $63.89
3. GLORYFIRE Modular Assault Vest
Top-rated: 2,414 ratings | 142 answered questions
Highlight: The detachable design of the pistol holster makes both left-handed and right-handed people use it with their frequently used hand. The pistol holster also can be attached to your belt and MOLLE backpack.
Helpful review: "First let me start by saying that I am an Armed Security Officer. I am VERY pleased with the quality of this vest. I’m 5’9 140lbs Athletic build & it fits me nicely once I adjusted it to my body. It holds 8 fully loaded AR mags and my Glock 19 firm. I had on the vest a fully 24hrs in and out the car walking around comfortably with NO issue.
2 comfortable to wear when fully loaded
3 breathable material
4 can wear a plated vest under it
5 holds 8 AR mags and un to 7 pistol mags
6 handcuffs fit in pouch nicely
7 all around great buy even for real world use
8 carry loop on the back can handle the weight of being fully loaded
None at the moment. All stitching is holding up great." — L. Patron Tuggle
"For the price, this vest offers a lot. I love how much storage it has and has plenty of room for other attachments. Obviously, you have to spend some time making adjustments to it to fit properly and comfortably. Once you have it all set up, it feels and looks awesome! It’s nice that you can adjust everything on this vest from shoulders to belt. I can fit Magpul 30-40 rounds Pmags and Glock oem and magpul magazines.
The holster is also a nice addition, my Glock 34 fits in snugly. The belt is strong and sturdy as well. I bought this vest because of the cheap price tag and because these tactical vest keeps popping up on my timeline during this pandemic. I thought this was just all gimmick and would only be used as a Halloween costume, but after trying it with all my gears attached to it, I feel like this vest can hold up very well and it’s very heavy duty. I would definitely recommend this product." — Kristian
"I've found that most tactical vests with holsters on the market are right handed only. Unfortunately, I'm a lefty, and I can barely find a tactical vest that works for me in an offline store. But thank God I found this GLORYFIRE tactical vest on Amazon for all lefties and Righties!
My main concern is its detachable pistol case design. I noticed that most tactical vests on the market use velcro to attach holster to a tactical vest, but this design is just for right-handed People and in the process of movement, it is easy to appear the case of holster shaking or even falling. But the GLORYFIRE tactical vest cleverly incorporates the MOLLE design, which is a bit hard to install, but the holster is firmly attached to the tactical vest and doesn't fall off as the body moves. And is suitable for a left-handed person like me to use!
I took a closer look at the product's details page and found that the holster can also be attached to the belt, which is great! After all, I don't wear a tactical vest every day.
By the way, this tactical vest is also well made, of course I am not a fabric professional, I can only tell you, in my opinion, the fabric and stitch of this product is very good." — Haney
Get it from Amazon now: $59.99 & FREE Returns
4. GZ XINXING Law Enforcement Airsoft Paintball Vest
Top-rated: 2,095 ratings | 206 answered questions
Highlight: Comes with a lot of useful pockets with zippers or buckles; provides large storage.
Helpful review: "The vest seems well made and you get a lot for the money. It has enough pockets to fit anything you wish to carry for many activities. Before I describe my (disappointing) experience with it, allow me to give you some of the features in a Pros/Cons list:
1) It has shotgun shell holders
2) It has pistol magazine holders
3) It has a holster for a pistol that would fit your Glock 19 or 17 but not the 34 with the small Vortex Venom RMR on it and it will most likely not fit a 10mm hunting pistol. It is also shaped to fit a revolver and it can be long if you do not mind the barrel sticking out from the bottom.
4) It has a belt so you can hang all the stuff you need and the belt comes with 2 removable sideways pockets for your pocket knife or whatever.
5) It has huge pockets inside that would be able to accommodate any flat item or paper like a map. (Yes people still need maps when the GPS batteries are dead)
6) The belt is removable and you can use the loops that hold on to the belt to mount it on a belt of your liking.
7) the holster and the 3 pockets (good for pistol mags) are removable so you can move the holster up and the pockets down if you like to hold your rifle across your chest and you don't want it to be hitting the pistol grip.
8) It is made out of material that can take a lot of abuse without coming apart.
9) It will fit most people width wise.
1) It will not fit people over 6 feet tall (see below for details)
2) The removable and interchangeable holster and pockets are only on the left side of your body and the right side does not have detachable components. The pockets that are good for pistol mags would be more useful on the lower right side of your body.
3) The belt loops must hold on to a belt because otherwise every time you try to open a velcro pocket, you pull the whole vest up.
4) The "rescue strap" on the upper back side is a good idea but will most likely chock the person wearing the vest unless the belt is tight around their waste and the pull force will no undo the loops that strap the vest to the belt. Having said that, it is better having it so someone can pull you from it if needed.
5) Because it is one size fits all, the side straps are too long and depending how "wide" you are, to make it tight you will have to take a lot of the slack off and have hard time to make it feel like the vest is nice and tight around your body. Once you adjust them, you will most likely have to cut the excess because the straps are too long.
Why 4 stars:
In my case, I should have given it less than 4 stars but it will work for many other people so I feel that 4 stars are fair. I am 6 feet 3 inches tall and 245 pounds (down from 265! and still working on it) and I was skeptical about the vest fitting my height and "width". I know I am fat for my height and it is hard to find vests that fit well so I carefully read a lot of the QA information on this vest and I found more than one people that answered fitment questions which said they were my height (or taller) and around my weight and claimed this vest fits them.
So I ordered it confident that it will fit me. Turns out this vest will not fit people over 6 feet tall and that is stretching it a bit (no pan intended). My son is 6 feet and had him try it on. It fits but still not long enough. In the pictures, you can see that when I bring the belt to my waste, the back of the vest is too high to the point that the back loops that hold on to the belt will not reach the belt. If I put the back loops on the belt and put it on, the buckle of the belt ends up on my belly button (no picture of that, it looks stupid).
There is a way to shorten it from the shoulder velcro but not to make it longer and I do not think that you could effectively shorten it more than a couple of inches because you still need the velcro to keep it up.
In conclusion, if you need a vest like this, you can be very wide or thin but it would work best if you are between 5' 5" and 5' 10" unless you do not mind removing the belt and just putting it on to carry your fishing gear or whatever you carry around with you." — John V.
"I do hunting walkabouts with a "sporting rifle" or shotgun. I always have a larger caliber pistol with extra mags as a back-up in case of an aggressive predator such as a bear or mountain lion. A vest fits the bill for my gear.
I was a little nervous about ordering this vest. Over days, I had viewed a dozen or more similar items, comparing the photos and studying the details of each. The problem is that nearly all of the vests were almost identical in design! Many were obviously cheap and low quality with skimpy mesh and fabric, plastic snaps, and lightweight buckles and webbing. I did NOT want a paintball vest. After much diligence, I made this choice.
Result: I was COMPLETELY and pleasantly surprised at this vest's high quality and rugged construction. The mesh is strong and sturdy - won't stretch or rip. The camo fabric portions are very strong and thick with backing. All stitching is strong and precise. The webbing and polymer buckles are tough, thick and substantial. The 30-rd and pistol mag pouches are mil-spec with excellent detailing and retention. The holster is strong and reinforced to hold its shape. It has a padded lining, too.
My only critique of the holster is that it cannot really be canted for a better cross-draw position. It is attached by Velcro on the back with top and leading edge straps, confining it to a vertical position. The pro is that tested with full size Glock and Springfield XD, fit and retention is perfect. The shotgun shell holder - 6 round - has strong elastic and will not stretch out of shape anytime soon. The belt is off-the-chart thick, rigid, and strong enough for an additional side arm or other accessories. The retainers and main buckle are military quality.
The front zipper is ultra heavy-duty as are the inside, smaller zippers for the large mesh map and document pockets. The fact that the back of the vest will accommodate a 2.5 litre hydration bladder is awesome.
Comfort: I am an XL and the vest fits great. Remember that fully loaded, there will be some weight to it. Once I have the straps and all dialed in, I could see adding some padding to the shoulder points.
Conclusion: Don't hesitate to purchase this vest - It is high quality with fine detailing and functionality." — Kelly
Get it from Amazon now: $39.98 & FREE Returns
5. GFIRE Breathable Combat Training Vest
Top-rated: 1,839 ratings | 190 answered questions
Highlight: 2-year guarantee.
Helpful review: "I am a big guy 6’4” and 450 lbs was worried this would not fit me. I gave it a chance and ordered it. It does fit barely but it does fit. So if you are a bigger guy this vest fits. Material and craftsmanship is great! I am ordering a second one for my wife." — Usmchmx1
"As an (child-sized?) adult male, 5'5", about 140lb with a medium athletic build, I found this carrier to be just-ever-so too big. In the end, all worked out just fine and I love this carrier! This carrier is solidly and well built. The cummerbund, which is comprised of 2 pieces, threaded together, then fit as a unit through the back of the carrier.
There are inside pockets for optional side plates too. For my build I needed to further adjust the adjustable cummerbund by re-threading it in a different way (see pic) for my smaller waist (~30"). Also I had to adjust the shoulder straps, and they currently extend just a bit onto the front velcro (see pic). If I didn't make these changes the cummerbund sides overlapped each other and the carrier sat too low on my chest. In the end, all is great and it fits snug as it needs to. Hope this helps with your decision!" — R. Rubin
Get it from Amazon now: $80.00 & FREE Returns
6. MGFLASHFORCE Tactical Airsoft Vest
Top-rated: 1,887 ratings | 125 answered questions
Highlight: 1 triple rifle magazine pouch, 1 map and flashlight pouch, 2 communication pouches, and 1 tool pouch.
Helpful review: "Just got it and definitely like it. The vest is made from very durable material and the seams are all well sewn together. Just feels high quality. Plenty of attachment points and comes with a good variety of pouches and pockets for, mags, batteries, and coms. There are plenty of points for adjusting the fit so it fits my teenage son and I both, even though there is 100 lbs difference between us. Happy with the buy." — Roberta L King
"Bought for Airsoft and it will suit that purpose very well. Stitching looks good and the Molle is actually straight and evenly spaced.
I wear an XL shirt but have a fairly large chest/gut and this fits well. This could easily fit a much smaller person and could accommodate a XXL sized person as well.
I didn't much care for the included mag pouch so I attached my own and think it looks, and feels, much better. I run a HPA setup and keep the tank high on my back, this vest has enough natural 'padding' that I it cushions the tank very nicely and even after a few hours playing it doesn't bother me like the cheap harness I used to wear.
Most importantly this will keep the sensitive areas on the front of your chest and the tender areas on your back protected. Im not one to complain about taking a paintball or bb to the tender spots but every so often one pops you just right and boy howdy do you know it. This helps with that, a lot!" — Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon now: $43.99 & FREE Returns
7. Marmot Mesh Vest with Detachable Belt and Holster for Subcompact/Compact/Standard Pistols
Top-rated: 1,541 ratings | 109 answered questions
Highlight: Zipper closure.
Helpful review: "This tactical vest really surprised me.. when i read the specs on this,, it said it would fit up to a 2x.. and seeing as how i am a 3x i was a little worried,, but as you can see by the pics,, it fit me just fine.. after some pulling and tugging and help getting it fitted by the wife,, i was ready to really put this to the test.. so i loaded it up with my pistol , some AR mags, some 9mm mags and a few spent 50 bmg casings and wen out and started walking and running around on my range.. it even held up to some tactical rolls.. it breaths pretty well.. some of the really cool features of this item are the back patch , the inside pouches for body armor and all the mag holders and other pockets this comes with.. you could fit a bunch of useful tactical stuff in this vest... the stitching is quality and seems as if it will hold up nicely.. the one thing I didn't like though ,, was the holster... it barely fit my full size sig p320,, but i also don't like the positioning of it either,, i prefer it at my side.. so for the few dollars this costs and if you're a weekend warrior like me,, then this will suite you just fine..." — Silverback
"Here is my run down on the tactical vest
1) first thing I noticed (and inspected for) was the quality of the stitching. All too often you get a garment and loose threads and uneven stitching. Not the case on this vest
2) This vest is very adaptable in terms of size. There are 3 adjustable straps on each side that allow this vest to fit a wide variety of body sizes.
3) storage options are amazing - 4 @30 round mag sleeves, 4 pistol mag pockets, shotguns shells at the ready, interior pockets to store more or body armor panels, there is even additional storage on the heavy duty belt and Molle straps across the back.
4) The mesh base of this vest provides quality air flow to minimize the heat build-up to the wearer
5) The pistol mag is strapped for positive retention, but still accessable enough for easy draw and not having to fight to get your pistol ready.
6) I can not attest to its durability in true tactical situations, but I did wear it out to the range today and found it very comfortable considering the amount of gear I had stored.
All things considered , including the very reasonable price and very fast shipping, this is a 5 Star item" — Mark Wagner
Get it from Amazon now: $39.99 & FREE Returns
8. GwendolynC Airsoft Tactical Vest
Top-rated: 815 ratings | 55 answered questions
Highlight: Only weighs 2.5 LB. Light and comfortable to wear.
Helpful review: "Shattered my expectations. M4 mags fit perfect. I’m 6’ 1 175lbs and it looks awesome. Build quality is incredible. If I’m totally nit picking I will point out there isn’t any padding. Most similar units have padding in the shoulders. Also it won’t tighten as much as I’d like. You can tighten it but inevitably I end up folding the sides to use the buckles. Still 5 stars!" — Asher
"Unlike the first one I had gotten for my 14 year old son , this one doesn’t have a cheap plastic zipper to break after the first time of just trying it on. This one has a space to add plates if need be and all pouches are removeable to put in the position you want them!" — Nathalie
Get it from Amazon now: $39.99 & FREE Returns
9. vAv YAKEDA Tactical Outdoor Vest
Top-rated: 767 ratings | 67 answered questions
Highlight: Designed to be a lightweight and versatile low profile vest; offers enhanced mobility without compromising protection.
Helpful review: "I'll start this review by stating I'm more likely to be on Meal Team 6 then Seal Team 6. This carrier fit my Level 3+ Spartan Armor Advanced Swimmer Plates. The pouches I took off right away and used HSGI Taco's so I can't say much about them. I used this in a bunch of training and it held up just fine. I don't think i'd take it to Iraq but for the Cul de sac Commandos this will work fine. I'd happily buy this again." — Backwoods406
Get it from Amazon now: $37.99 & FREE Returns
10. vAv YAKEDA Airsoft Vest for Men
Top-rated: 636 ratings | 118 answered questions
Highlight: Detachable mesh padding for good airflow during game play.
Helpful review: "It's hard to know what you're getting when shopping online right? But I have to say at least 99% of the time you can hit a home run when shopping on amazon, plus if it doesn't work for you then you get refunds, here's the deal... this vest is bad a$$ it's well made, fits perfect, and looks great. If you want a great vest for a good price...well here you go man!" — Nate Colgain
"I was very hesitant after reading the reviews because I an actually 6'5" 275lbs.... after about 5 minutes of putting it on, taking it off, adjusting, and repeating I was able to get a great fit! Stitching seems very durable, velcro is of good quality (loudest may not be good for silent tasks)... I use mine as a tool when hog hunti