Best Tactical Vests for 2022

Best Tactical Vests for 2022

Publushed by:

Mathew R Reed

Last updated:

Best Overall: YAKEDA

Short summary

Yakeda’s outdoor tactical vest is the best tactical vest plate carrier of the year and it’s attractively priced too. The manufacturer is known for producing military, tactical, and outdoor travel products for all types of uses.

This particular product is an ultralight combat training vest for adults. It can also be used for training, outdoor activities, law enforcement, target shooting, mountaineering, fashion, business, airsoft, paintball, and more.

The fabric on this vest is a breathable high-density 600D polyester. This gives it durability and strength that you won’t find in low-quality vests.

The 600D polyester also makes the fabric water-repellant which is handy for outdoor activities. Its mesh design contributes to its breathability and lightness.

This vest is secured with a zipper in front while buckle closures and adjustable straps on the shoulders and sides allow you a more customized fit.

The shoulders also have rubber grips on them if you want to use them as shooting pads.

Yakeda’s tactical vest is available in sizes from small to 4XL. The waist can be adjusted from 35 to 37 inches and the length from 20.5 to 22.5 inches.

By using MOLLE or Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, the vest and the multiple items in its pockets remain as light as possible while remaining usable and accessible.

The right-hand cross draw has a universally adjustable holster and is also detachable if you don’t need it.

What we like about this vest, however, are features like the radio/phone pouch that add extra functionality.

You also get all the basic features like internal zippered pockets, a tactical belt, and Velcro for personalized name tags.

Overall, there are lots of reasons why the YAKEDA vest is at the top of our list of tactical vests. If you’re looking for a budget vest but want the best tactical vest with plates, then look no further!

Quick Facts

  • Size: Waist – 35-37 inches, length – 20.5-22.5 inches
  • Material: 600D polyester
  • Strap: Adjustable, rubber grip shooting pad

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Great price
  • Durable and strong
  • High-quality material
  • MOLLE system
  • Hydration bladder

Cons

  • Stiff and uncomfortable material
  • Holster only fits a limited variety of pistols
  • Small pouches don’t fit all accessories
  • Low-quality zipper

Runner Up: GLORYFIRE

Short summary

Looking for the best tactical vest with holster that even left-handed people can use? Then the Gloryfire Tactical Vest may be what you’re looking for. 

From gun cleaning kits, ear muffs, and tactical vests, Gloryfire manufactures it all, including one of our favorite tactical vests.

Our runner-up is a reliable vest that can be used for combat, law enforcement, assault, tactical use, Counter-Strike games, outdoor activities, target shooting, and mountaineering.

The fabric on the Gloryfire is breathable mesh that comes in two varieties. You can choose their high-density 600D Oxford fabric or 1000D Cordura fabric. Both are durable, water-resistant, and strong.

The best thing about it is a pistol holster that’s designed for left and right-handed people. It is also detachable and can instead be attached to your backpack or belt.

The vest comes with additional straps on the sides and shoulders for better fit and comfort. Size ranges between small to 4XL and can be made to fit waists from 35 to 57 inches. You can also adjust the length from 20.5 to 22.5 inches.

According to the manufacturer, the vest is suitable for adults 300 pounds and under as well as those under 6 feet and 6 inches tall.

Its MOLLE system includes internal zippered pouches, a pull handle, a shotgun shell holder, and a detachable magazine and flashlight pouch.

There’s also a carry loop at the back that can handle its weight when fully loaded.

If you’re in the market for a budget vest with all the essential features and has a left and right-handed compatible pistol holder, look no further than Gloryfire’s best cross-draw tactical vest.

Quick Facts

  • Size: Waist – 35-37 inches, length – 20.5-22.5 inches
  • Material: 600D Oxford or 1000D Cordura fabric
  • Strap: Adjustable

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Detachable pistol holster for left and right-handed users
  • Great quality
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Quality stitching
  • Adjustable
  • Durable and heavy-duty

Cons

  • Pouch on left shoulder interferes with shooting

Alternative: Yakeda Military

Short summary

For all of you who love the Yakeda brand as much as we do, here’s another black tactical vest to consider. How is this different from the first Yakeda vest on our list? For starters, this tactical military vest has better fabric, more features, and is more than twice the price of the first model.

It can be used for all the activities mentioned for the Yakeda and Gloryfire tactical vests we’ve already mentioned. 

The fabric is 1000D nylon which is much more durable than the 600D polyester and almost on par with the Gloryfire vest. It is wear and tear-resistant yet easy to care for and lasts a long time.

The Yakeda military tactical vest is fully customizable with adjustable buckles and straps on the waist and shoulders.

They feature quick-release Velcro straps and buckles that are easy to use and make the vest easy to put on and remove. Another feature that adds to its fast transfer/release is the waist tube technology which allows quick release with one hand.

The waist comes with tension bands and can be adjusted from 29 to 39 inches. Since the length can only be extended up to 14 inches, it’s a bit shorter compared to the other vests on this list which go up to over 20 inches. The concealed hook and utility pockets offer your waist some protection.

If customization is your priority, then you’ll appreciate its detachable parts. There are four pieces of detachable mesh padding that you can take out when you don’t need them. You can also disassemble and reorganize all the accessories.

There’s also a common Velcro panel for your ID on the front.

The benefits don’t end there. This Yakeda vest offers additional adaptability with its chest rigs and MOLLE patches of 3 x 6 inches on the front and back. These help you store your equipment, gear, hydration packs, and more securely.

Overall, we recommend this Yakeda vest to anyone looking for more customizable features with the luxury of a bigger budget. It’s also the best airsoft tactical vest in its price range.

Quick Facts

  • Size: Waist – 29-39 inches, Length – 14 inches
  • Material: 1000D nylon
  • Strap: Adjustable Velcro straps and buckles

Pros

  • Superior quality fabric
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Sturdy
  • Removable padding
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to fix
  • Colors available

Cons

  • Uncomfortable shoulder buckles
  • The size range is too small
  • Does not adjust properly, can be too stiff
  • Poor quality parts and pouches
  • Expensive

Alternative: CAMO Quick Release

Short summary

If you think there’s no difference between the Yakeda tactical vest and this one, then you’re quite right. However, there are a few differences in quality. To start with, this one is manufactured by Camo. It is a tactical outdoor vest that offers quick-release buckles, breathability, and adaptability.

It comes with four pieces of detachable padding and the same quick-release buckles but with drawstring closures.

From the waist to the shoulder, everything is customizable to fit the wearer’s body. It’s also easy to put on and take off. Additionally, the same waist tubes allowing secure cinches and a quick one-handed release can be found in this model.

Another similarity is the 1000D nylon fabric that gives you the same wear and tear-resistance and strength. You’ll also find the same lightness, softness, and easy maintenance with this vest.

Like the Yakeda Tactical Military Vest, its waist fits 29 to 39 inches while the height can be extended up to 14 inches.

Other than the features we discussed above, everything else about this Camo vest is the same as the Yakeda Tactical Military vest. They even come in multiple colors and are priced pretty much the same.

Why should you buy the Camo vest instead? It’s true that both vests offer quality and the same features, however, this Camo vest provides a slightly better fit and more comfortable shoulder straps.

If you don’t like the way Yakeda vests fit on you, you might want to give the Camo Quick Release Tactical Vest a go.

Quick Facts

  • Size: Waist – 29-39 inches, Length – 14 inches
  • Material: 1000D polyester
  • Strap: Adjustable Velcro straps and buckles

Pros

  • Great fit
  • Good quality
  • Secure plate retention
  • Good construction
  • Colors available
  • Great fit and comfort

Cons

  • Low-quality buckles and quick release
  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for heavy use
  • Sizes are on the small side

Alternative: BattleVest

Short summary

Manufactured by a company that’s owned by a US veteran, this BattleVest Fully Adjustable Tactical Vest is a favorite of many. Its popularity is totally understandable since there are plenty of reasons to love it.

To begin with, the fabric is made of 500D PVC (polyvinyl chloride) nylon which is much more durable since it incorporates the strength of nylon and the fire resistance of PVC.

The construction is solid, combat-ready, and comes with a double-stitched MOLLE or PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) system and a 3D mesh liner. If you’re looking for the best tactical vest setup with more attachments, this is worthy of your consideration.

In addition, the vest has adjustable straps, water tube loops, cummerbund adjustments, and comm loops on the shoulder straps. Its overall build makes it more suited for professional use in combat, law enforcement, and training.

Sizing options make it compatible with torsos that are 8 x 10 inches, 10 x 12 inches, and up to 11 x 14 inches. The manufacturer claims the size can be adjusted for people who are up to XXL in T-shirt sizes.

The waist fits 28 to 34 inches while the length can accommodate people up to six feet tall. The side plate pocket capacity is 6 x 6 inches.

In terms of storage, the vest can support over 100 pounds worth of items so you can easily carry guns, magazines, flashlights, knives, med kits, survival gear, etc.

If you’re looking for a more professional-looking vest that’s a little cheaper than the more premium vests on this list, the BattleVest Fully Adjustable Tactical Vest is a good option.

It also comes with a lifetime warranty so purchasing it is even more attractive.

Quick Facts

  • Size: Waist – 28-34 inches, Height – 6 feet
  • Material: 500D PVC nylon
  • Strap: Adjustable

Pros

  • Heavy-duty Velcro
  • Good quality product
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Adjustable straps
  • Affordable
  • Company is owned by a US veteran
  • Quality stitching

Cons

  • Not sweat proof
  • Inappropriate sizing
  • Risk of tissue warping
  • Small side plate pockets

Tactical Vest FAQs

Is it legal to wear a tactical vest?

Is it legal to wear a tactical vest?

It depends. Most states will allow you to buy and wear body armor or tactical vests anywhere as long as you are a US citizen and above 18 years old.

Another requirement is you shouldn’t have been convicted for any felonies that constitute violence.

While those under 18 can also wear tactical vests, minors need written permission from the local police department to purchase and don tactical vests and body armor.

However, the general public might not be allowed to wear one in places or events such as:

  • Schools
  • School-sponsored functions
  • Firearm-free zones
  • School transportation
  • School campus
  • Athletic competitions
  • School dances
  • School parties
  • School-related extracurricular activities

Some states also prohibit individuals with certain misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing body armor. On the other hand, some states allow you to use a vest even if you’ve been convicted as long as you apply for a permit.

Here’s the bottom line: Wearing a bulletproof vest or body armor has consequences. If you’re going to wear one, be mindful of your intention, actions, and where you’ll be while wearing it. Note that committing a first-degree crime while wearing a tactical vest classifies as a second-degree crime.

Different states will have different laws on the matter so it’s a good idea to check your local laws before buying one. Local regulations might also have specific policies on where and how you can use a tactical vest. It’s best to be familiar with them.

Is a tactical vest bulletproof?

No. Though they offer some protection, tactical vests are made to conveniently carry specific items around with you like firearms and emergency gear.

Some vests can come with pockets where you can insert ballistic plates but the vests themselves aren’t bulletproof.

If you want a bulletproof vest, you’re better off looking at the best tactical bulletproof vest/plate carriers or look for tactical vests with pockets for ballistic plates.

What is the difference between a plate carrier and a tactical vest?

What is the difference between a plate carrier and a tactical vest?

There are five main differences between plate carriers and tactical vests: their purpose, weight, security, MOLLE, usability, and airflow.

Purpose

Tactical vests are made to carry ammunition, equipment, and first aid supplies whereas a tactical plate carrier can carry all those supplies as well as ballistic plates.

Plate carriers are most often used in law enforcement and combat situations while tactical vests are more common for trekking, mountaineering, and even cosplay.

Weight

Plate carriers are much heavier than tactical vests. They don’t just differ in weight because of the ballistic plates but also because of the material they’re made with.

Tactical vests are commonly made of lightweight nylon while plate carriers are made of ceramic, steel, or polyethylene.

Looking for the best tactical vest for big guys?

Here are two you should check out:

Security

A tactical vest doesn’t provide protection from ballistic attacks, however, they can come with added pockets that you can insert ballistic plates into.

These plate carriers are specially built to protect the wearer from bullets so they can afford you some defense against gunfire.

MOLLE Panels

MOLLE or Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment refers to a heavy-duty nylon fabric and pocket attachment panel. MOLLE is a mandatory addition on plate carriers but not on tactical vests.

Airflow

Airflow or breathability is better in tactical vests since they’re designed to be lighter whereas plate carriers trap a lot of heat because of their construction. Plate carriers must also rely on hydration bladders to keep the vest and user cool.

Usability

Plate carriers are adjustable but putting one on still takes a minute or more. Tactical vests, on the other hand, have zips down the middle and in front. The Yakeda Tactical Military Vest is popular for being easy to put on and take off.

There are a few more differences between plate carriers and tactical vests but these are the important ones when you’re looking to buy.

How much does a tactical vest weigh?

A tactical vest without ballistic plates will weigh anywhere between three to five pounds.

A plate carrier vest with ballistic plates weighs anywhere between 30 to 40 pounds.

In Conclusion

If you’ve used a tactical vest before, then you know how important quality is. Having a good tactical vest that meets all your needs is like having a reliable partner on a tactical mission.

From finding the right fit to having enough pockets, there are many details to be aware of and choose from. We hope our buying guide has helped you find the best tactical vest for you.

Resources:

4.8/5

YAKEDA 

  • Easy-to-use
  • Great price
  • MOLLE system

Mathew R Reed

Mathew R Reed is a professional gun seller who runs a dedicated gun store in the suburbs of Oakland, CA. A hardcore hunting enthusiast since childhood, Reed has ample experience with guns and accessories. He is the founder of ArmorHoldings.com and creates some of the most helpful gun-buying guides and explainers. If not in the gun shop, you can find him on the nearest hiking trail or nearby hunting spot.