Tactical Vest Options

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Yard Dart, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I have been looking for a new tactical vest but don't want to spend an arm and a leg as I will probably pick up 3 or 4 of them. The one below looks good and has a lot of customer reviews with pretty positive opinions on the vest. What do you think if you own one...and if you have a great recommendation of a different product please throw it out there.
    Amazon.com: UTG Sportsman Tactical Scenario Vest, Black: Sports & Outdoors
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Tactical vests are phasing out, making way for the plate carrier systems and Molle rigs. They are nice for "tactical" training, paintball, and perhaps might still be SOP for police, but many people have turned away from them. Like I said though, police would still use them over their standard vests, so they are still an option.

    My take - I do not like the tactical vests, personally. I find myself suffocating in the things, often adjusting and re-adjusting, and in the summer --sweating like crazy. I have to wear it snug to keep the weight of the ammo and the pistol from swaying. If it is too loose, you will be sorry. Think about it, all it does is carry kit (primarily ammo and a pistol)...a rig can do the same thing by carrying your ammo, and it's modular this way, too. I actually prefer a MOPC setup, and even though it's heavier than a tactical vest, it offers a great deal of armor protection. For the suffocation, I will take armor over style.

    ModGear Modular Operator Plate Carrier MultiCam Front Folding Map Pocket

    chelloveck, Falcon15 and Yard Dart like this.
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    How solid is the pistol in the set up you have? Is it attached by Velcro or other method?
  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    That's actually a Serpa holster with a Blackhawk quick detach. It is amazing...one for the vest and one for the leg, can switch instantly, multi-positional, very sturdy.

    Amazon.com: BLACKHAWK! SERPA Quick Disconnect Kit (2 Female/1 Male), Coyote Tan: Sports & Outdoors

    Oh, and a STRIKE platform for the vest.

    Amazon.com: BLACKHAWK! SERPA S.T.R.I.K.E. CQC Platform (Ambidextrous): Sports & Outdoors
    Yard Dart likes this.
  5. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    A tactical vest is something one would generally wear if anticipating a combat engagement. If I thought there was a chance for a firefight, especially if in a WROL and civil collapse where trauma response may be non-existent, I sure as heck would try to avoid engagement and then wouldn't engage if at all possible without decent body armor. The Army IOTV is heavy, hot and about the best protection you can wear, especially if you install the deltoid, neck, groin and lumbar panels and the ceramic plates. The kids in the sand box know what works, I would just R&D (ripoff and duplicate) much of their systems and what has been found to work through researching tens of thousands of data points. But that is just me....

  6. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I agree that the IOTV is a great system for active combat operations but not the intent I have. I want to put together rigs for 4 to 6 folks to have their basics with them in one unit, for movement, security, recon and foraging type of activites in general. In a civil collapse avoiding engagement is paramount to survival.... but Murphy likes to come into the operation and one best be prepared to engage and either defeat or withdraw possibly under fire, with minimum injuries/casualties. Having the right tools (gear in this case) can save lives and make the mission more successful. Looking for ideas on what works and what does not with the current civilian products available out there such as a vest like I originally posted, a Molle rig setuplike @Brokor posted or other.... to do these various task effectively.
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    There are some others on the forum who may be a little more active in the military than I am, and they can also contribute. I try to keep it all simple, using what I found to work from the military. I didn't like the new IOTV as much as the older plate carrier system, and ironically, this MOPC is almost identical to those. The newer IOTV's I used were too heavy and cumbersome, and yes they had more protection, but the tradeoff was movement. Idealistically, it is for defensive posture, which is mainly what the Army was used for. On offensive posture, a lighter, more agile system is preferred.
    Gafarmboy and chelloveck like this.
  8. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    If it's UTG, it's going to be made of PVC. It won't hold up to anything, probably not even airsoft. The webbing may be nylon, because webbing is generally cheap, but what are the pouches made of?

    Sorry, but you need ballistic nylon if you want it to last more than a few trips outdoors. The higher the denier the better, but anything over 500 is what you normally see in a good backpack.

    Looking for inexpensive, how about getting a couple of active shooter bags that fit your needs and make sure the holster for the pistol fits in it well, but is still quick to draw. There are a LOT of manufacturers that make active shooter bags, not just maxpedition.com

    The active shooter bags won't draw the same attention as a vest.
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I do have a crossdraw tactical vest somewhere...made by Webtex. I got it years ago new off Ebay from a surplus dealer who is no longer in business I noticed.
  10. Jkent

    Jkent Monkey

    If you want just a vest or a rig for your magazines and a medical kit... you should seriously consider looking at Special Operations Equipment (SOE) at Special Operations Equipment. The prices might seem a bit high but everything is quality and made in the USA (as they state with their tag). Buying from SOE you will only cry once because with their stuff you will only have to buy once, EVER.

    They have Micro rigs that hold 4 magazines and have a pouch of an individual first aid kit as well as another pocket for items or maps. The pouch can be used for anything but I keep my first aid gear (IFAK) inside. They have chest rigs that hold more magazines than 4. I have person experience with thier AR/AK Micro rig. My wife carries their Cop Rig (with the outside full of shotgun shells and the pouches with AR Mags) on the job everyday. She also carries the Active shooter bag. The chest rigs are versatile so you can wear them over body armor or without body armor. They have tons of good quality equipment. you will not be disappointed with anything from them.

    If you are looking for plate carriers or body armor there are several good choices. It as been stated to use the military style armor. This is good armor but if you truly use it as the Military does expect it to cost a lot of money and to be HEAVY and restricting. They run neck guards, groin guards, front and rear SAPI (ceramic trauma plates) and smaller side SAPI plates. These also have soft flexible body armor inside comparable to what law enforcement wears daily. Attached to these vests are numerous items I will not bore you with by naming just the few things I carried while in the USMC.

    As a Peace Officer I wear my issued duty vest. I purchased on my own plate carrier and carry it with me daily. I selected to use the Shellback Banshee plate carrier with level IV ceramic plates. (I think I would switch to AR500 plates if I were to do it all over again that way I don't have to worry about accidentally cracking the plates by dropping my gear as I do with ceramic plates.) I keep an IFAK and 6 fully loaded PMags on the vest. I have had no problems at all with this carrier. It is comfortable, adjustable and seems to be well made. When I decide not to train with the full plates and carrier I use the AR/AK Micro rig from SOE.

    There a many options available. Your choice should depend on the situation. I hope this helps. I do not work for SOE but I trust my life and my wife's life on their equipment.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  11. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    @Yard Dart You are just looking for a vest, not armor, correct? If so, you want something akin to the old flight vests we used to use when I crewed. Your equipment will be variable, so the rig you had in the OP is not very versatile, especially for the holster location only for a right handed draw. If you just want a vest (not armor) I would get something more modular like a vest with just molle webbing, then attach pockets of the appropriate size and type for you equipment such as radios, mags, ammo pouches for shotgun, field-craft gear. I'd also keep in mind the possibility of keeping the vest under a coat for gray man concealment if need be.
    Gafarmboy and Yard Dart like this.
  12. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    The main intent of the tactical vest would be to have multiple sets available for additional folks that may join the team at some point before or after SHTF. The vest would need to be of good quality as many have suggested so they do not fall apart after a couple of uses. But at the same time not costing a grip as I plan on having more than a few sets. Project in process per se.. Part of my bug-in plan I am trying to gain info on to make some smart choices.

    The armor vest such as what @Brokor suggested are great and I am looking at them for immediate family...
    chelloveck likes this.
  13. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I will take a look at this- Thank you for the info....
    And by the way, Welcome to the Monkey!!
  14. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    I got just a molly platform vest and then added all of the pouches and pockets I needed. The only thing I don't like about predesigned vest is I like my things in a certain place. With a molly vest you can grab peice by peace and add what you want and with a little playing around you can even put a holster designed for your weapon.
    Brokor, Yard Dart and Silversnake like this.
  15. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    You said better what I was trying to say in my post.
  16. avagdu

    avagdu Monkey++

    If you're not dead-set on a 'vest', I'd recommend a chest rig instead. You can have a backpack on simultaneously because it doesn't interfere with the hip belt, it's also easier than a vest to use while seated in a vehicle. I love the South African Defense Force M83 chest rig. It is a unique piece of gear made when they were transitioning between rifles. What these means for you is that the pouches will fit most AK, AR and .308 magazines with one system. You may have to put mag assists on shorter magazines for faster reloads but they will still fit regardless. The M83 chest rig is $50-70 used on eBay. The more common M83 Battle Vest is good too but doesn't quite have the same size magazine pouches for some reason.
    chimo, Yard Dart and AD1 like this.
  17. Tackleberry

    Tackleberry Krieg Hündchen

    Vests serve their purpose, but can get the wearer hot. As far as ballistic protection goes, you can throw your tac vest over it. They can be heavy, which should be considered when thinking of equipping people who are not in top shape, older or have medical issues. It is better to keep them separate as an option for the wearer.

    The surplus military LBV system works well, as does the old LBE. Tactical Taylor makes nice rigs but cost a bit more.

    Vest holsters are something I don't care for. I have some, used them, and prefer not to use them for field work. For mounted ops ( in your car) they are good. Otherwise a drop holster or one on your belt is better.

    UTG sucks. Stay away from UTG. Avoid UTG like it were plague ridden. It is utter crap.

    Based on the poster's intent I would recommend acquiring five or six of the older surplus LBV's. They are durable, less expensive and work well.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
    Yard Dart likes this.
  18. RyanBrandon

    RyanBrandon On Hiatus Banned

    While i cant tell you the best vest for you i can say what to look for. You would want something that is comfortable on the shoulders, a heavier vest will feel lighter if the should straps don't ride up your neck but don't slide down your shoulders. you'll likely want molle just about everywhere, so that you can change your load out depending on what your doing. breath-ability is essential. other wise you'll need to carry more water which will slow you down. and durability, there is a price to pay for durability, usually in the form of $$. I'm all for finding great deal of things that i use. but many things are not worth skimping on and this is one of those.
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
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