Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tactical Vest & Chest Rig Guide: Tactical Vest Vs Military Vest Vs Chest Rig

When building your military/hunting kit people will consider a variety of options and choices, one of the regular choices is the difference between military vest and chest rig and tactical vest. 

Whilst a tactical vest will best fit some people's needs the chest rig will fit other peoples needs, and the truly serious will take the military vest. To understand the differences between the three we will help you determine the best option for you. To guide you through the options available we have created a comparison table, reviews on the most popular rigs and vests, and a comprehensive interactive table of most chest rigs and tactical vests and military vests on the market.


Tactical Vest
Chest Rig
Military Vest
Pockets
Pouches on the tactical vest and fixed and cannot be moved, removed or relocated
Pouches on the chest rig are movable, around the rig, and be reduced, trades and carrying capacity can be increase, for specific need.
Pouches on the military vest are movable around the vest, and can be chanced to meet the exact need that you require. See Molle Chest Rig article for list of accessories.
Material
Most vests are made of nylon around your chest, nylon close to your body will increase body temperature and can lead to being uncomfortable or appearance of a rash
Chest rigs are better ventilated due to design and material, reduces discomfort and possible medical issues.
Most vests are made of nylon around your chest, nylon close to your body will increase body temperature. The military vest will also include body armour for protection again blasts, and small gun fire.
Cost
A tactical vest is typically cheaper and the chest rig alternative, although it does not allow for a changing user over time.
Chest Rigs can appear more expensive once you have customised to your need, but traditionally chest rigs are kept and used longer as they can adopt to your needs
A military vest is typically the most expensive when body armour is included. But this higher price is reflected in a longer usage life of all or most parts.



Simplified Guide to Buying Bulletproof Military Vests

Even though they are most often associated with SWAT police teams, bulletproof vests (also known as ballistic vests) are also a necessity for patrol officers, private security and any other people that need protection. These vests can protect the wearer against many threats, including majority of pistol ammunition, FMJ Riffle rounds, knife/edged weapon attack, blunt trauma (i.e. clubs, fists, etc.). If you are planning to purchase a bulletproof military vest for your personal protection, there are a number of aspects that you need to pay attention to. Here’s a simplified guide that will help you in choosing the most ideal vest for you. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Understand the difference between soft and hard body armor
Soft body armor generally uses layers of distinctive fabrics to capture the bullet in flight and diffuse the power of its impact.This type of armor is made from woven Aramid fibers such as Twaron or Kevlar, or resin-impregnated parallel or cross-plied polyethylene fibers i.e. Dyneema or Spectra. Soft body armors are capable of stopping bullets from majority of handguns, blunt shrapnel and shotgun pellets. 



Hard body armor, on the other hand, uses plates of steel, metal, polythene or ceramic material to shield the wearer from anything up to shotgun slug or riffle bulletsThey are extremely resistant to impact along the face of the plate. However, in the case of non-metallic plates, these types of body armors are susceptible to blows along their edges, necessitating packing during shipping. 

2. Understand the various levels of protection
Bulletproof vests, including military vests, are normally rated in accordance to the amount of blunt force impact they can be able to stop. The following are the levels of protection that are available currently:
• Level II-A vests are the thinnest of them all. They are usually 4 mm thick and are mostly made of soft materials, and are purposely designed to be worn under clothing for long durations of time.
• Level II bulletproof vests are usually 5 mm thick. These are the type of vests that patrol officers normally wear. You can wear such type of vest over clothing or under a loose-fitting shirt. 
• Level III-A vests are usually 8-10 mm thick. Compared to Level II-A and Level II vests, these types of vests are stiffer and heavier. They are purposely designed to stop heavier-grain bullets and handle minor combat situation. You can wear this type of vest under clothing if need be. 
• Level III and Level IV vests are usually 10-12 inches thick, and are used to cover the back and chest. They are commonly worn by SWAT officers, and are generally worn over clothing.  
• Stab-resistant vests use similar plates as those used in level III and IV armor plate vests. They are commonly worn by corrections officers to safeguard them from being stabbed by rogue prisoners.  These types of vests are usually rated in accordance with the energy impact,they are capable of deflecting. 

3. Decide if you need a concealable vest
Like previously established, Level II-A and Level II vests can be hidden under thinner dress shirts, undershirts or loose shirts. Level III-A vests, however, need thicker clothing such as suit jackets or sweaters to be effectively concealed. As for Level II and IV vests, they are hard to conceal and are designed to be worn over clothing. Therefore, you have to decide whether you need a vest that is concealable or not.

4. Choose the size that fits you
It is of great essence that the military vest you choose to buy fits you reasonably. Too small a military vest may expose your vital organs to injury, while too large a military vest may tend to slip. There are those manufacturers that make vests only in standard sizes. This can be a problem if you consider making an online purchase and can’t be fitted prior to buying. 

5. Go for vests with add-ons
Generally, body armor is meant to protect the torso (front and back only). In case you want to protect other body parts such as the shoulders, sides, neck or groin, you should consider choosing vest that comes with add-ons such as shoulder guards, side protection, gorget or neck guard and groin flap. 

It is good to ensure that the add-ons that you buy will attach to your basic military vest. There are many official and after-market add-ons that fit most body armors. It is important that the add-ons be fixed snuggly to your body in order to allow movement. 

Helpful Tips 

To clean your soft body armor, it’s best to use a mild detergent. Neither should you use bleach or strong cleaning chemicals, nor should you heat-dry your vest.
• If you plan to wear a bulletproof vest under your clothing for a long period of time, it's a good idea to wear it over an undershirt made of a fabric designed to wick perspiration away from covered areas to places not covered by the vest.
• In case you will be wearing your vest under your clothing for long durations of time, it is advisable that you wear it over an undershirt that is made of a fabric that wicks perspiration way from the covered areas to those places that are not covered by the vest.
• You have to be aware of the fact that there are those jurisdictions that disallow the sale of body armor like military vests to civilian’s altogether. It is, therefore, important to check with your country or state before making a purchase of a bulletproof vest.
• If you are planning to fly outside the country, you should familiarize yourself with the most recent regulations regarding body armor while flying.
• If you have ever been convicted of a felony, then you are not allowed to purchase body armor. 
It is also important to note that, even though a military vest may be bullet resistant, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will not feel the concussive impact of a bullet striking the vest. Therefore, wearing a military vest is not a total assurance that you are absolutely safe in case of an incident.


Vest & Chest Rig Product Reviews and Information

Voodoo Tactical Vest 20-8400 MOLLE Rig
The Voodoo Tactical chest rig is a high quality chest rig with excellent construction. Designed and built for people of a smaller build this tactical chest rig wont suite all users. But its focus towards smaller people makes this an idea chest rig for females and people small builds.

Read More





Coyote Brown Operators Tactical Chest Rig Review
Selecting your chest rig can be a challenging task, the Coyote Brown Operators Tactical Chest Rig offers  a solution to so may of those chest rig problems. The locations of pouches creates a comfortable weight Distribution by spreading more of the mag weight away from the from and towards the sides and back.

The adjustable and padded shoulder straps allow for this chest rig to be set to the most comfortable location on your body for your chest and quick access.

Features:

  • 3-Double Open Top Rifle Mag Pouches W/Drain Holes, 
  • 3-Double Mag Pistol Pouches W/Hook & Loop Flap Closures, 
  • Adjustable Mesh Padded Cross-Back Shoulder Straps W/2-D-Rings, 
  • 2-Swivel Push-Button Release Buckles & 2-Side Release Buckles, 
  • Quick Release Waist Cinch Strap, 
  • Interior Document Pocket W/Hook & Loop Closure, 
  • 9" X 6" Padded Mesh Pocket W/Hook & Loop Closure, 
  • M.O.L.L.E. Compatible.


Read more user reviews on amazon


Condor Recon Chest Rig
As we know every chest rig is different the Condor Recon Chest Rig is an excellent chest rig for someone looking to carry a considerable amount of mags without feeling like your carrying a pack.

Features of this chest rig include:- Swivel Lockster, Swivel Push-Button release buckle, Padded cross-back shoulder strap with webbing and D-ring, Additional mesh pocket on the back, Two open-top mag pouch. (one on each side) After storage testing we are comfortable to recommend the storage capabilities f the vest as:-

Rifle mag pouches: 
will hold 6 AR mags, double stacked pouches and up to, Pistol mag pouches: will hold 6 pistol mags on the front of those. 
AK mags: will hold 6 mags, but won't allow for quickly access due to tight fit

This rig comes with a large range of adjustment allowing for comfortable wearing by people of different heights and builds, and for simple adjustment depending on the cloths you are wearing with your rig.

See amazon deals and more user reviews




Review of the Best Tactical Vests in 2016

Equipping military troops and other security forces with tactical vests may be due to various reasons. For example, a soldier operating on the ground may need a tactical vest as protection to his/her vital organs. These tactical vests are important because within them, they carry body amour such as steel plates and hold them in place to prevent them from moving around too much as the soldier moves. The steel plates are used to stop enemy rounds from penetrating through the vest and entering the body.

The operator of the vest also highly benefits from the spread loading magazine and tools on the vest. Modern day vests are built in kryptek patterns to help blending in deserts and vegetation.

It was during the Vietnam War that these tactical vests first came into light under the name Load Bearing Vests (LBVs). They were extensively used because they were much cooler than the flak jackets that the soldiers were required to wear. In the current world, the material used to make the tactical vests is mostly synthetic. This is to ensure that the tactical vests deal well with the harsh environment that it will be exposed to. Nylon, combined with the multiple stitching patterns, makes the vest as effective as can be in holding in place the gear that was supposed to be on the back. Nylon is mostly used because it is sturdy and very dependable.

To protect the operator from sideways directional fire, the vest is equipped with side plates. Since the vest is modular, the operator can customize it to meet his or her expectations in terms of placement of the pouches. Some people like their pouches close to their non dominant shooting hand, while others prefer all the pouches up front.

A tactical vest must have the following features for it to betermed as a good tactical vest:
• Side plates cumber bud 
• Camouflage for the user's environment
• Quick release clips
• Hydration compatibility
• Molle webbing
• Accessibility of plate carriers
• Magazine pouches.

Now to go to the main part; what are the best types of tactical vests for 2016? Well, here are some of the very best:


Condor MCR5: Recon Chest Rig
This tactical vest has its price completely justified with its very good and comfortable design. It is the perfect tactical vest for those people who do not need the body amour and use it for exercises such as hiking, training, or other competitions.

Its design has a capacity of six pistol mags and six rifle mags. While this type of tactical vest is not modular because it comes with the pouches permanently sewn on it, its default set up is very practical, giving the operator the option to add more kit to the rig whenever need arises... read more.

Blackwater Gear Low Profile 4 Rifle & Pistol Mag Tactical Carbine Chest Rig
This chest rig was built with the goal "low profile" in mind. While it may sound unimpressive to be just plain low profile, this bad boy has a couple of virtues that you ought to know before brushing away the idea of purchasing it.

Saying it is low profile means that it can be worn under the shirt or over body amour, without interfering with the operations of the user. This makes it automatically light weight, with features that promote its lightness. It only has four magazine pouches and a big pocket with Velcro... read more.

5.11 Tactical VTAC LBE Tactical Vest
With a very good reputation in the military and law enforcement agencies, this tactical vest has a very great construction and design that allows the user the best use of the MOLLE system. To attach plenty of gear without discomfort, it has its Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) spaced well. This spacing also allows air flow and makes the vest ideal for warm environments.

The high quality construction of this vest is shown in its YKK zippers and the double and/or triple stitching, making it not only durable but also very comfortable. It allows the user to move alot easily without having to worry about it staying in place... read more.

Disruptive Environments Chest RigD3CR
This low profile rig is designed by Travis Haley, a former recon marine whose tactical gear always seems to be the favorite for most.

This tactical vest does not promise anything less that the best service. In addition to it being low profile it is designed to give the user freedom to attach it to other plate carriers and accessories. It comes in various colors such as black, coyote brown, or ranger green... read more

Blackhawk S.T.R.I.K.E. Elite Vest
This tactical vest is built in a barrel shape. It is a very good tactical vest, but it has one very major downside; it does not come in different sizes. This means that it is only targeted to people of a certain build. If it feats you well, then you are in luck because of its endless options on the side of modularity. 

The density of the vest does not allow the flexibility seen in the other vests, but that is covered by its good design that allows the attachment of other gear on it. Another downside to it is that it is not amour compatible... read more


US Palm Ronin Tactical Vest
If you are into seriously heavy duty tactical vests that can be customized to meet various body configurations, then this is the tactical vest for you. With comfortable shoulder pads and mesh lining, this vest is designed to keep you comfortable and cool, while allowing as much movement as possible.

It also has a PALS webbing that allows the user to customize it completely because of its highly customizable MOLLE attachment ability... read more

Conclusion 
Take your time while shopping for the tactical vests to prevent disappointments and let downs. Taking care of the tactical vests is also important as it would be very frustrating to dress up in your vest and gearing up, only to start losing important gear!

Check out my Detailed Chest Rig Vs Tactical Vest Table Below:
Although you’ve already read my reviews of some leading chest rigs and tactical vests, I’ve also compiled a huge comparison table guide that compares all the top rigs and vests in the market at the present. This guide will help you make an informed choice.
Note – You can click on any of the columns to sort the data

PictureNameType
Price $$$
Weight (pounds)
Ultimate Arms Gear Tactical Stealth Black Carrier Military Hunting Vest With MOLLE Web Modular System With Included 7 Modular Pouches
Tactical Vest
$ 70 - 90
5
Paintball / Hunting / Airsoft Woodland Digital Camouflage Deluxe Tactical Vest
Tactical Vest
$ 30 - 50
3
Northstar Tactical Assault Vest (X-Large/XX-Large, Olive Drab)
Tactical Vest
$ 70 - 90
3.2
Vism Childrens Tactical Vest, Black CTVC2916B
Tactical Vest
$ 30- 50
1.9
UTG Ultimate Tactical Gear Modular 10 Piece Complete Kit , Black
Tactical Vest
$ 100 - 120
7.2
VISM by NcStar Tactical Vest/Digital Camo Acu ,adjustable small/medium (CTV2916D)
Tactical Vest
$ 40 - 60
2.9

Modern Warrior Digital Camo Tactical Hunting Vest
Tactical Vest
$ 50 - 70
3.2
Rothco Tactical Cross Draw Vest in Coyote
Tactical Vest
$ 100 - 120
3.4
Tactical Airsoft Vest w/ Pistol Holster
Tactical Vest
$ 40 - 60
3.2

UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Left Handed Vest, Black
Tactical Vest
$ 50 - 70
4.2
VISM by NcStar Molle/Pals Vest/Black (CPV2915B)
Tactical Vest
$ 40 - 60
1.9
Lancer Tactical Ca-310b Cross Draw Vest in Black (Black)
Tactical Vest
$ 60– 80
3
Firepower Deluxe Tactical Vest Black
Tactical Vest
$ 60- 80
3.2
Condor Cross Draw Vest/Tactical Belt (Olive Drab, Medium/Large)
Tactical Vest
$ 70 - 90
3.8
Tactical Crossdraw Vest w/Pistol Belt--BLACK
Tactical Vest
$ 80 - 100
3.2
Modern Warrior Camouflage Tactical Vest
Tactical Vest
$ 40 - 60
1.2
UTG Law Enforcement SWAT Vest
Tactical Vest
$ 40 - 60
1.8
UTG Sportsman Tactical Scenario Vest, Black
Tactical Vest
$ 60- 80
3.6
UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest
Tactical Vest
$ 60- 80
3.3
Voodoo Tactical Chest Rig 20-9931 Black
Chest Rig
$ 70 - 90
3.2
Surplus China 81 Ak47 Rifle Chest Ammo Pouch Bandoleer for Cartridge Ammo Green
Chest Rig
$ 40 - 60
1.2
BLACKHAWK! Commando Chest Harness - Coyote Tan
Chest Rig
$ 130 - 160
2.6
Condor MCR7 MOLLE Tactical Ronin Chest Rig Split Vest- Black MCR7-002
Chest Rig
$ 40 - 60
1.4
Vism AK Chest Rig, Green CVAKCR2921G
Chest Rig
$ 30 - 50
2.1
Condor Recon Chest Rig (A-Tacs)
Chest Rig
$ 70 - 90
1.8
Lancer Tactical CA-307C Modular Chest Rig in Camo
Chest Rig
$ 60 - 80
4
Lancer Tactical CA-307B Modular Chest Rig in Black
Chest Rig
$ 60 - 80
3.8
Condor CR Chest Rig
Chest Rig
$ 30 - 50
1.4
Digital Woodland Camouflage 7 Pocket Tactical Chest Rig
Chest Rig
$ 40 - 60
2
Condor CR Chest Rig with 7 Pouches, Black
Chest Rig
$ 30 - 50
4
Voodoo Tactical Chest Rig 20-9931 Coyote Brown
Chest Rig
$ 70 - 90
3.1
TT CHEST RIG MK ll M4 (Multicam)
Chest Rig
$ 200 - 260
2.7
Condor Ops Chest Rig - Multicam
Chest Rig
$ 40 - 60
1.1
Source Tactical Gear 5.11 TacTec Chest Rig
Chest Rig
$ 70 - 90
1.2
Condor Outdoor Airsoft Rapid Assault Multicam Chest Rig
Chest Rig
$ 70 - 90
1
Condor CR Chest Rig with Pouches
Chest Rig
$ 30 - 50
1.3
Modern Warrior Recon Chest Rig, Black
Chest Rig
$ 30 - 50
2
Condor Recon Chest Rig (Multicam)
Chest Rig
$ 70 - 90
1.8
VISM by NcStar AK Chest Rig (CVAKCR2921T), Tan
Chest Rig
$ 30 - 50
1
Condor Modular Chest Set, Olive Drab, M-XL, Adjustable CS-001
Chest Rig
$ 50 - 70
3
Condor Rapid Assault Chest Rig - Tan MCR5-003
Chest Rig
$ 40 - 60
1.5
Condor Recon Chest Rig (Black)
Chest Rig
$ 40 - 60
2
CONDOR MCR5: RECON CHEST RIG Military Vest 80
OPS Chest Rig Military Vest $27.46
Condor MCR4 - Operator MOLLE Chest Rig Military Vest $26.95
CONDOR MCR3: MODULAR CHEST PANEL Military Vest $43.01
Condor MCR1 Molle Style Chest Rig Military Vest $55.92
Modular Chest Rig Military Vest $102.26
Condor MCR1 Molle Style Chest Rig Military Vest $55.92
Condor Tactical Hydro Harness Military Vest $66.90
Rapid Assault Chest Rig Military Vest $45.31
Condor Ops Chest Rig Military Vest $55.92
Condor Outdoor MCR7 Ronin Tactical MOLLE Split Chest Rig Military Vest $45.31
VISM by NcStar AK Chest Rig Military Vest $34.99
Condor Outdoor MCR7 Ronin Tactical MOLLE Split Chest Rig Military Vest $45.31
Rapdom Tactical Molle Chest Rigs Military Vest $74.00
OneTigris Hunting Military Molle FSBE Style Tactical Vest with 7 Customizable Modular Pouches Military Vest $59.99
Evike Matrix Tactical Systems High Speed Combat Simulation Vest Military Vest $79.90
MetalTac Tactical Vest Navy Style Military Vest $45.00
Voodoo Tactical Tactical Chest Rig - Army Digital 20-993175000 Military Vest $69.95
Hazard 4 Frontline MOLLE Chest Rig Military Vest $92.99
Condor Recon Chest Rig Military Vest $79.99
Nc Star Chest Rig Military Vest $34.99
Voodoo Tactical 20-8400 MOLLE Chest Rig Military Vest $69.95
Tactical 5.11 TacTec Chest Rig Military Vest $84.99
Myheartgoon Hunting Military MOLLE Style Tactical Carrier Vest Military Vest $168.98
Lancer Tactical CA-307B Modular Chest Rig Military Vest $67.35



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