View Full Version : Which vest or chest rig would you choose/use/recommend?

11-14-2007, 10:42 PM
I am considering a vest or chest rig to carry mags for a rifle course. I really like the Camelback vest, but being realistic, I can't justify spending so much money on a vest I'll most likely use once. So I narrowed it down to two 5.11 items. Of the two which would you choose? Any other suggestions?




11-14-2007, 10:45 PM
i vote the camelback vest. seems like a decent vest to me and well, it holds h2o. if you dont like it afterwards you can allways sell it.

11-15-2007, 12:00 AM
I'm a big fan of the TAG Gladiator rig. Or the Tactical Tailor 2-piece MAV w/ X-harness. The Gladiator is ideal in my mind for short term/short range (travel) uses. Room for mags, hydration, and other necessities. Everything else should be in your pack so you can ditch it when possible.

For something you'll likely only use once, look into a drop leg rig for your mags. Less of an issue and should be cheaper.

11-15-2007, 12:32 AM
I have a few rigs, and if your running light and your not going to be using plates. Try out a SO Tech Hellcat MK1 Has built in mag pouches so it is low profile. I use this when its hot and plates are not needed. If you need to carry more mags you can use your dump pouch,and I would not suggest a leg rig for your mags, just from seeing guys having problems with them used in classes.


Mr. Joshua
11-15-2007, 4:23 AM
If you can find one, keyword "if." The Eagle/SKD Tac chest rig is an excellent piece of kit. They're only available through SKD. You see them pop up on ebay and in the EE on AR15 every so often.

Link to SKD's website: http://www.skdtac.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=36

Nice review on Military Morons: http://www.militarymorons.com/equipment/2ndline2.html

Myself, I have an Esstac Bush Boar.

11-15-2007, 5:56 AM
I have a Blackhawk Tactical Vest

11-15-2007, 6:35 AM
I like vests. They more secure and they look cooler.

My vest can fit 15 mags up front, thats 450 rounds. Some say that is overkill but even if you don't use all the pockets for ammo, you will find other stuff to put in them. :D


I got it from 1337 Tactical for $95 shipped.

11-15-2007, 7:59 AM
For a competition only setup just to use once I would just go to a surplus store and buy the old issue y or h harness with pistol belt. You can still attach molle to it. It will be more comfortable in the prone since the ammo will be off to the sides. Alot of people who have never been in combat see on tv and the internet what is the commando "fad". I personally own several rigs to accommodate several roles for which they are intended. Here's a little break down to help you:

Pistol belt & harness - Lightweight/Better low profile signature when in the prone/Sucks trying to roll left or right\Will hold Alice clip and new molle/Newer versions of the pistol belt are a padded belt with molle attachments.

Chest Rig - Great access and configuring/Can get heavy depending on your loadout/sucks keeping a low prone signature/Hundreds to choose from/Some will take drop in SAPI plates/Will fit over body armor/Configure to your desire

LBV w/pistol belt - The preconfigured one leave you with no options to change/Easy on or off/Will not take plates/Sucks to put on over SAPI plates/Not too bad in the prone/Gets a little warmer during the summer having it on.

11-15-2007, 8:10 AM
I have a Tac. Taylor MAV, SOE chest rig and Eagle Plate carrier. If you are not concerned about plates go with a chest carrier. You can use a belt mounted pistol and mags using a chest rig, while in most cases you will need a drop holster vearing a vest.

Chest rigs are lighter and cooler while a vest can get downright hot. You should try and have enough pals on a chest rig for rifle mags, blow out kit and spare pistol pouch.

I am not concerned with water on my rigs for training. Water bottles next to your spare ammo works fine.

11-15-2007, 8:35 AM
I use the 5.11 Tac Vest. It's inexpensive (around $60) and MOLLE compatible. A vest is superior if you want to carry all your "GO" gear in one rig. A chest rig is great if all you want is ammo. Just my $.02 worth.

11-15-2007, 9:39 AM
I really like the eagle industries chest rigs

11-15-2007, 9:39 AM
lots of good options, which makes me more confused and indecisive.

i'm leaning more towards a chest rig for a couple of reasons: lower cost and simplicity. i just need something to carry mags so the rig should do just that. i'm just worried that it may flop around and shift as i move.

i really like the look of a vest though and i think it may be more solid when worn on the body. it probably has more utility, but it's more than i need now.

i'm just worried about looking like some mall ninja or commando-wannabe. :o

as suggested above, maybe i should just sell it when i'm done with it and forget about the cost for now. prudent? what else could i use a vest or chest rig for?

11-15-2007, 10:01 AM
Picking up a Mini MAV from Tactical Tailor...Todd at Ranier knives is selling them in the AR forum..IMO its a perfect set up...3 mags and you can add what you please and its not overly bulky..and not overkill..

Cut and paste the link to see the rig


11-15-2007, 11:05 AM
May I suggest Diamond Back Tactical's Low Vis Chest Rig. I've used this at the Chabot TacRifle Match and I was very happy with it. Wish I had something like this instead of the LCE/LBE I was issued.


11-15-2007, 1:10 PM
I am considering a vest or chest rig to carry mags for a rifle course. I really like the Camelback vest, but being realistic, I can't justify spending so much money on a vest I'll most likely use once. So I narrowed it down to two 5.11 items. Of the two which would you choose? Any other suggestions?



First, I'll start by saying that I don't have much experience in this department, but here's what I think based on some research I've done before:

I'd definitely go with a MOLLE vest like the one pictured above, but get one that has belt loops to secure to your belt - seems like it would keep it much more secure.

With a vest like the one above, you can configure it however you want. You're stuck with one option with most chest rigs I've seen, so if your needs change, you have to buy another vest/rig.

One negative with chest rigs is that they can get in the way if you need to prone out - keep that in mind depending on what type of shooting you plan on doing.

11-15-2007, 2:21 PM
Here's another option for you to think about. Thigh rig on your weak side. I have one, from TAG I believe, that holds 4 of my 30rd mags. Plenty of companies make them. This will keep any unecessary crap you dont need off your chest all together.

11-15-2007, 2:44 PM
what about belt mounted mag carriers? i have a few items, but i thought the vest or chest rig would offer more utility. i have a blade tech single mag carrier, a gi 3 mag pouch and a maxpedition roly polly for a dump pouch. opinions?

oh, so far i like the eagle and the diamondback tactical rigs.

11-15-2007, 3:19 PM
Here you go http://www.skdtac.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=36
Just add a blow out kit and you're good to go.:chris:

11-15-2007, 3:39 PM
Vests feel more solid and secure but can be cumbersome as well. I have a vest for SHTF situations.

11-16-2007, 12:22 AM

I have this (BlackHawk S.T.R.I.K.E. Commando Recon Chest Harness) in coyote, with mag pouches for 8 AR mags, and an "admin" pouch for the top chest part that holds pens, notepad, headlamp, map, compass and protractor. I like it, but there isn't a good way to use a camelback with it. At present, it's an unholy mess of straps when I run it with a camelback. I'm thinking about buying the seperate back panel that goes to it and then using my molle camelback.

If I had it to do over, i'd look long and hard at a 5.11 vest like the one posted earlier.

11-16-2007, 11:24 AM

-I've used this old-style type for a few years. It's preconfigured and only has three mag pouches, with other misc. pouches which may not be needed. OTOH, it's durable and has worked for me. I probably wouldn't buy one of these today with the newer Molle-configurable vests now on the market, but it's good for an agency or a person who doesn't really have a preference and needs to buy something for use, right now!
-The newer ones are like what you've shown and are Molle-configurable as to how & what pouches to attach. I like the less-is-better aspect of your partial-vest #2. If you just need to carry mags, then get something that only does that, but does it well.
-I'm concerned with your "mall-ninja" comment as I believe you should consider new equipment ideas in training. If you find a vest is a viable product, then the vest becomes something to grab, in addition to your rifle.
-It's OK if the vest isn't for you, however. If that's the case, and you're only considering a vest because of a class, but know you'll never use it in real life, then I suggest getting some type of nylon shoulder bag to hold magazines, which most people will use. I use one like this for daily carry of stuff:

PS: Luckily, a lot of my stuff has been provided/issued. Also, check out www.cheaperthandirt.com for some OK stuff at inexpensive prices.

11-16-2007, 8:38 PM
Neither as I like to have rifle protection thus I have an Eagle CIRAS.

11-16-2007, 8:53 PM

this is what I went with. Its low profile and doesnt look too mall ninja-ie. I wear it when my friends and I want to do alot of shooting with mag fed rifles or when I am doing shooting scenarios. Then again I wouldnt be caught dead just shooting at a local range with tacti-cool gear. I also pretty much have it there for when zombies attack.