Tactical vests are an essential part of tactical clothing, they offer a few useful functions. Depending on their design, they allow important items to be carried within easy reach. Other models protect against stabs and bullets. As a result, they also assume an important survival function. There are also conspicuous and inconspicuous tactical vests on the market. Read everything you need to know about military vests in our guide.
What is the difference between a tactical vest and a conventional vest?
Tactical vests differ from conventional fashion vests in many ways. They contain a special pocket, e.g. a compass pocket. So you have your guide in this special bag immediately at hand. In addition, tactical vests for military or security personnel include height-adjustable small magazine pouches. Other notable extras include:
- large magazine pouches
- gear pockets
- pistol holder
- map pockets
- pen holder
- drinking bottle pocket
- flashlight compartment
- radio pocket
- Insert compartments for stab and/or bulletproof inserts.
- Admin pouches act as important pockets for your small items. This includes keys, smartphone and your ID.
A high level of comfort is one of the other advantages of a tactical vest. It is waterproof, warm and yet breathable.
Military vest style options
You have the choice between camouflaged tactical and flashy vests. Which model you choose depends on what you intend to use it for. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you need a tactical camouflage vest. This resembles an original combat vest. This allows you to blend in with your natural environment without being spotted right away. Common military camouflage patterns include:
- All Terrain Digital (AT)
- Army Combat Uniform (ACU)
- Camouflage Central Europe (CCE)
- Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP)
Depending on the respective usage situation, vests must either be untraceable and invisible or clearly visible. That depends on the carriers and their activities. Security employees wear high-visibility tactical vests. Emergency doctors and paramedics also need conspicuous vests that reflect their status. Military forces, on the other hand, need either camouflage vests or tactical vests, which are invisible. Security forces who work as bodyguards also wear invisible tactical vests under their shirts and suits.
Protection against wind & weather
A tactical vest is characterized by its high adaptability to the weather. Compared to a conventional under jacket, the tactical variant is weatherproof. It adapts to external conditions.
- When it’s cold, it warms your upper body. In summer, on the other hand, the material prevents excessive sweating. Convenient ventilation properties of the tactical vest allow wearing this undergarment in high temperatures.
- If, on the other hand, you are traveling in a windy area, you can rely on the wind protection function.
- In the rain, however, you have a very low protective function. The vest dries quickly, but doesn’t protect you from the rain like a jacket.
You can also quickly put on and take off tactical vests. Despite their numerous functions, they are not immediately recognizable under conventional clothing. In addition, there are completely invisible variants of tactical protective clothing.
Protection against attacks
Assault protection is another important function that a tactical body armor has. This property is one of the most important functions of a tactical vest.
- Many models are stab-resistant and protect against various bullets. The practical stab protection fends off violent attacks with batons or knives. Furthermore, a specific fiber fabric acts as an effective protection against strong kicks, punches and internal injuries.
- Other models without integrated stab protection offer pockets for special plates. In this way, the vest can be “equipped” depending on the application.
Tactical vest for emergency services
It plays an important role what you want to use the tactical vest for.
- If you work as a task force with the federal police, you need a protective vest that reliably repels ballistic projectiles. However, you have the option of upgrading your safety vest using special plate carriers. These panels and special puncture-proof synthetic fibers have proven themselves many times over in practice.
- Tactical protective vests from the KSK emergency services score with additional protective measures. They protect the neck, shoulder and abdominal area from possible gunshot wounds.
- Rescue workers also wear tactical vests. These also meet numerous needs of this professional group. Paramedics and emergency doctors use them effectively because they perform their actions automatically. You are almost dependent on this vest. Thanks to her, they perform the movements without thinking. This saves rescue workers a lot of time.
- In the meantime, bailiffs and officials from the public order office also protect themselves with tactical protective vests. However, they wear them invisibly under their normal clothing.
- Tactical vests are also used for paintball. Vests used during paintball practice are similar to the tactical clothing worn by KSK forces. However, these do not have any metal plates that are bulletproof for the leisure activity mentioned. Instead, special EVA foam panels protect the vest wearers from injuries.
- With regard to the survival functions, the tactical vests impress with their arrangement of the pockets. These make it possible to find the necessary items within a few seconds.
Buy a tactical vest
Get an overview of what is on offer online. You can already buy tactical vests for less than €50 – but if you expect stab or bulletproof inserts, you will have to dig deeper into your pocket.
What should you look out for when buying a tactical vest?
You should definitely pay attention to the weight when buying. A heavy tactical vest will make you sweat unnecessarily. After all, the vest should make it easier, not more difficult, to be in nature or during an assignment.
The wearing comfort also plays an important role in the purchase decision. The vest should be neither too loose nor too tight. You should also pay attention to breathability. Material that is not weather-related does not fulfill the task of a tactical protective vest. Also pay attention to high-quality processing. The vest should be robust and tear-resistant.
Functionality even plays the main role. As a member of the security service or as a member of the troop, you need a bulletproof and puncture-resistant tactical vest. In addition, this should contain height-adjustable pockets for your magazines and weapons. If, on the other hand, you are only out and about in the great outdoors, a vest with the necessary pockets for your important items is completely sufficient.
How much does a tactical vest cost?
The cost depends on the desired performance of your tactical vest. A conventional black tactical vest, which only provides important pockets, costs 29.99 euros. A stab-resistant protective vest, on the other hand, starts at a price of 279.99 euros.
Who needs a tactical body armor?
Military and security forces only carry out their work with the help of a tactical vest. This acts as protection against attacks or shots. Because of their work, both professions are subject to violent attacks. They still prefer invisible protective vests.
Police forces, on the other hand, prefer a tactical vest that allows them easy access to their weapons and other items. The invisible trait is not important for cops. She should still be bulletproof. Models that protect the neck and shoulder area from shots are very popular.
Paintball fans also need a tactical body armor. Here, as with the police forces, both protection and quick access to the necessary material are in the foreground. Furthermore, the clothing material is composed of a light nylon fabric. This serves an important purpose. It protects against injuries while playing. In addition, the material construction stands for an extreme hold. Paintball vests are weather resistant and tear resistant. They also ideally dissipate body heat.
However, if you intend to use the vest for private use, you will probably focus on the material and quick access to your important utensils. If, on the other hand, you are a hunter, the camouflage variant plays an important role. After all, you don’t want to be recognized right away. A black vest would be inappropriate and conspicuous in a forest for this reason. If, on the other hand, you only want to hike in nature, a tactical vest in the color olive is sufficient.