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  • Casey Wilson

The All-Time Best Tactical Vests Are Dirt Cheap (And Very Durable)

Whether you’re off to the shooting range, a paintball game or a hunting trip, you need a reliable tactical vest. I’ve tested and ranked the best options for the money in 2023.

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.


1. vAv YAKEDA Tactical Vest - Ultra-Light and Breathable

Top-rated: 9,105 ratings | 545 answered questions


vAv YAKEDA Tactical Vest - Ultra-Light and Breathable

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: "There are many reasons why this is better than most other vests in its class. For instance, 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. Moreover, it's not a soft cheapy impotent feeling support like other saggy type foam inserts. Your hydration tube WILL hold securely to this one! I also like how 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 how it will fit on the back perfectly an 11"x14"to15" KEVLAR INSERT. PERFECTLY!!!!!!!! Now THAT, my friends, you gotta admit, is a Bad @$$ OPTION!!! 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 it keeps 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 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 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. So all in all this is an amazing vest for the money! I say pull the trigger on this one!" — C.J.
Trending review: "I am pretty amazed I was able to get this thing to fit, I am a large boy at 300 pounds with broad shoulders. At 5' 10" I was able to adjust it out and zip it. As a large man losing weight I am sure I will get a better fitment down the road with 20 to 30 pounds. I was also able to get the belt to work. Rides a bit high due to my weight and chest. Any larger I would say no for fitment. I have it maxed out on the chest. My Hi-Point 45 fits in the holster fine but the magazines are a bit large and do not fit well. So I swapped in a GSG Firefly with laser and those 22 LR magazines fit perfectly. My guess is many 9mm mags will fit fine depending on length. I also was able to fit 3 30-round AR-15 magazines and one AR-12 magazine. I do not think I will try and force anymore. The shotshell holder was in the pouch, looks like it will be better for holding 458 SOCOM rounds than 12 gauge shells. 20 gauge may work fine." — Ron Krogel
Reassuring review: "After recently getting my first AR 15, I was looking for a mag vest system for the range. Wasn’t looking on spending too much on it, but still wanted something that would fit well and serve my needs. Found this vest, and figured I’d give it a shot. It fits perfectly, and has a ton of pouches and pockets for flashlights, mags, multitool... I love the Velcro holster, you could put a trauma kit in there, etc... There are big zippered-pockets in the back mesh of the vest, and I’m pretty sure it could hold plates. Im not 100% positive if the material would hold that weight, but it’d be worth a shot. Anyway, this vest is perfect for what I needed. I had a nice tac vest after I got out of the military, but I lost it, so this one fills that void rather nicely." — Ballenger

Get it from Amazon now: $45.99 & FREE Returns

 

2. Himal Lightweight Combat-Vest

Top-rated: 3,215 ratings | 73 answered questions



Highlight: Only weighs 2.5 LB. Light and comfortable to wear.

Helpful review: "Comfortable, versatile and flexible… and last, it looks cool. One negative is how short the pistol holder clip is, but otherwise it’s amazing. Would recommend if your running darker camos for airsoft." — John Xina
Trending review: "I'm a filmmaker, and I work with several actors. These vests are very comfortable, and adjust to fit each person's body type. They're lightweight, yet very durable and well constructed. The value is definitely there, and my package arrived days ahead of schedule. Production begins. Thank you! 🎬" — Nathan
Reassuring review: "This is by far the best purchase for airsoft tons of extra space to but necessary things but the only thing that could be better was the belt on the bottom but it does come off it makes it a better fit when it’s off but other than that 10000% worth the money and looks great." — Brandon

Get it from Amazon now: $59.99 & FREE Returns

 

3. UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest

Top-rated: 2,990 ratings | 505 answered questions


UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest

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. BUT 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
Trending Review: " 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." — Joe O.

Get it from Amazon now: $74.97

 

4. GLORYFIRE Modular Assault Vest

Top-rated: 2,712 ratings | 147 answered questions


GLORYFIRE Modular Assault Vest

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: "After trying three other brands of tactical vests, this one finally fit my needs. I'm glad I spent a bit more; my other attempts were $30-45 USDI paid $63 for this one and it was definitely worth the upgrade. GLORYFIRE hit the sweet spot between value, features, workmanship, and durability. Vests in the $100-200 range may be comparable, but none seemed to really offer anything that this one didn't. I'm an averaged-sized, somewhat athletic, right-handed male. 5'-10", 170lbs. Other vests were all too girthy, restrictive, and cumbersome, even without being fully loaded, and I questioned the durability of their stitching and materials. The belts all hung too low, interfering with other hip-belt accessories. Their cross-draw holsters were all too tight for my pistol with its tac-light/laser attachment, and two of them used only velcro to attach it to the vest, which simply could NOT hold up to fast walking, much less running. In all these areas, the GLORYFIRE got it right. The shoulder adjustment straps were accommodating to my torso size, without feeling awkward once doubled over into a tighter fit. The belt did not hang too low; I'm able to attach other accessories to my pants/hip belt with relatively good accessibility. When fully loaded, it's surprisingly comfortable and free-moving.
The crossdraw holster is the best I've seen on a vest. PLENTY of room for full size pistols: 1911, Beretta, Sig Sauer (even WITH its tac laser/light combo). It's MOLLE (no velcro) so it's not going to bounce off while running and you can shift it around on the grid some for placement flexibility. Unfortunately, it's a perpendicular grid; I'd prefer it was canted to 45 degrees for better draw access. But I was able to manipulate the MOLLE straps for a slightly better angle. I also added a couple of velcro straps to secure it better to the webbing. Holds nice and snug now and bounces FAR less than without them. The four rifle mag pouches all hold two AR-15 30-rd magazines (albeit snugly) or a single AK-47 30-rd magazine. The four pistol mag pouches on the chest and holster all easily accommodate 15-rd Sig Sauer or Beretta 9mm magazines. However, they only barely fit in the two pistol mag belt pouches. I'd not trust them running or prone. Best to use these for other items (e.g. flashlight, knife, or small mags for a compact backup pistol), or remove them entirely (they snap off quickly) and make room for other accessories on the belt (e.g. cuffs, baton, other mag pouches). The MOLLE webbing on the back was an added bonus. I mounted a shotgun scabbard and was impressed with how comfortable and easy it was to withdraw from. If other, cheaper makes are falling short for your needs, give this one a try." — AB
Trending Review: "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
Reassuring Review: "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, but 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

 

5. GZ XINXING Law Enforcement Airsoft Paintball Vest

Top-rated: 2,347 ratings | 202 answered questions


GZ XINXING Law Enforcement Airsoft Paintball Vest

Highlight: Comes with a lot of useful pockets with zippers or buckles; provides large storage.

Helpful review: "What an awesome product this is!! I pitched this for my son for airsoft wars. I was amazed by the quality of this thing! It is heavy and adjustable. The material is thick and it is something I could easily see someone in swat wearing. This is no toy and no joke it is legit! My son refused to take this off except to go to sleep and every morning he woke up and came out of his room he had it on again! Lol I think he likes it :) my son just turned 13 but stands almost six foot tall, once I adjusted the straps in it fit like a glove. The bottom belt will probably be a hard fit for someone who has a belly but I believe it’s adjustable as well...but I can’t be sure because I can’t get him to take the darn thing off long enough to find out for sure lol. It has super sting Velcro in areas so you can move the clip storage around and customize how you would like it. Another cool aspect was it has adjustable shoulders which is important for a good fit! All in all I am super pleased and my son won’t get out of it so I am sure he is super pleased as well! No cons to date! Great buy, great value, great quality this one is a win win!" — Ginger
Trending review: "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. As far as comfort goes, 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
Reassuring review: "My teenage son thinks he's some type of Ninja. He and his buddies run around in the woods behind the house shooting each other with paintball guns. When he told me how this vest would increase the amount of ammo and gear he could carry thereby improving his odds of winning the battle, I cheerfully handed my card over. After all, it gets him away from the television and video games where he's inside shooting people and encourages him to go outside with his friends where they shoot each other. When he unboxed the vest I heard squeals of delight that usually come from a teenage girl who has just met her idol. Then he got on his video game mike to tell his buddies to head outside for a battle. I heard phrases like "my mom is awesome" and "this is so cool". Shortly afterward he walked slowly by me - the vest packed in every pocket and crevice. That was a few days ago and I guess the vest did a great job of carrying a lot cause I haven't seen him since. I've heard him yell at his buddies as they all run away and hide but this vest seems to have made my kid the undisputed leader of his paintball world. **Just to give an idea of how big it is, my Son is 6"2 and weighs about 220lbs. He wears this vest over a hoodie and it fits him perfectly." — KimDee

Get it from Amazon now: $38.99 & FREE Returns

 

6. GFIRE Breathable Combat Training Vest

Top-rated: 2,047 ratings | 197 answered questions


GFIRE Breathable Combat Training Vest

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
Trending review: "As a '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