7 Best Tactical Vests 2018 (For Paintball & Airsoft)

Especially if you have been paintballing before, you might have seen someone with a tactical paintball vest on. You might have been interested to see what it has to offer to your game or you simply didn't give it a second thought, you might want to look into investing in a tactical vest for paintballing.

Although they really have multi-usage, ranging anywhere from being a perfect wear when dealing with tools to hunting, a tactical vest is best used on the paintball course or field. The reason they have the name “tactical” is that they are used to improve your game. From storing your accessories, ammunition, and any extra tools you may have, they also can have secret hydration pockets or different useful additions that will increase your game.

Our guide should help you lay out the basics of tactical vests, from their original usage of protection to keeping convenience in storing all your equipment, your weapons, your ammunition, and various supplies, all the while keeping comfort in mind. We’re going to give you a few products that best meet our needs in hopes that it can help you make the decision in investing in the best tactical vest for your game.

What Are Tactical Vest Basics 

When we strip tactical vests down to the basics, you’ll probably see that most products out there are made from synthetic material and are able to withstand the harshest environments. They are designed with nylon material, stitched in patterns and built to remain solid, regardless of your playing habits and strategies because, at the end of the day, paintballing can be a rough game.

Most vests also have various pockets, pouches, and slings that are made of the same material because every part of the best needs to be durable.

When looking across the board at the best paintball vests, there are certain features that are must-haves when it comes to having the best of the best and the most useful. They are:

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    Molle webbing
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    Plate carrier accessibility
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    Quick release clips
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    Hydration compatibility
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    Camouflage or design
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    Pouches and pockets for magazines 
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    Side plate cumberbund

Two Types Of Tactical Vests

Tactical Vest Types

Once you have decided to invest in a tactical vest, you have to make certain decisions based on sizing and purpose. However, the first step is deciding between the two types of vests on the market which are ones with customizable layouts and ones with fixed layouts.

Fixed Layout Tactical Vests

These are the vests that are already equipped with specifically designed tactical pouches and pockets. If you are getting a fixed layout vest, you normally should be right-handed. Although you, of course, can purchase them being left-handed, they are designed to with the right-handed paintball player’s needs in mind.

They are also specifically built to help a single rifleman. They are based on the design that most police officers and soldiers have, which means they come ready to equip all the material that a gunman would need alone in battle — having a lot of pouches and space for all your gear and supplies.

Customizable Layout Tactical Vests 

The other type of layout is a customizable layout tactical vest. This is where the player has the opportunity to have control of what it looks like. It uses molle and pals webbing so that you can attach various other tactical pouches to your vest. This way, you have control over how heavy it is and what is all attached to it — giving you the best access and control.

This vest is made considerably for left-handed shooters because it is customizable and you can design it to best fit your style of play. Normally, these vests don’t come with pouches, so you always need to factor in the purchase of those, as well.

Do I Need a Vest For Paintball and Airsoft Games

Honestly speaking, it is your personal preference to have a tactical vest or not when it comes to playing a paintball or airsoft game. Depending on how you like to play — do you need various materials and extra equipment at hand? Are you always reaching into your bag for something?

Convenience and ease-of-access are two very main points and reasons as to why a player will invest in a tactical vest. Not only does it give you extra protection, which is also something to not overlook, it will give you the opportunity to have everything you need right there on you.

What To Consider While Choosing A Tactical (Paintball or Airsoft) Vest

When you're choosing a tactical vest, you will need to consider a number of aspects. However, the top three things you need to look out for when choosing which one is perfect for your style of play is the capacity, size, which weapon you're using, and the purpose of your investment.


To judge what type of capacity you need when it comes to having the best tactical vest is to consider what your goal is and what type of paintballing you'll be playing. For example, if you are going to be playing a long time or overnight, you might want to consider investing in a tactical vest because of its ability to hold water, ammo, medical lights, maps, etc.


Depending also on your style of play and for example, if there are small spaces on the field or course that you need to get through, will play a huge factor on the size of the tactical vest to consider. Gear pouches can easily get caught on walls and doorways, and a wide berth might limit your style of play if you are used to squeezing in and out of places.

Your Weapon

When it comes down to it, you're only as good as your weapon. When you're investing in a vest you need to consider what type of weapon you're using and what is its ammunition source. Unfortunately, there is no universal ammunition pouch that is fit for every weapon. You have to wager in that compatibility factor when investing in a vest, including if it has a belt for your weapon, etc.


Depending on the overall purpose of your purchase, one tactical vest can be perfect for you, while others might not even come close to matching your needs and expectations. Depending on your style of play and what you're using the vest for can determine which vest will be a match for you. However, all in all, most tactical vests are used for carrying all the different gear with them. So, if that’s your goal, you can’t really go wrong with any of these:

Best Tactical Vest (Paintball & Airsoft Vests) Of 2018


Fit Size



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1. Yakeda Tactical CS Vest Ultra-Light

Editor's Choice


3.1 lbs


2. Barbarians Paintball Assault Vest

Best Paintball Vest


3 lbs


3. GXG Army Swat Airsoft Vest

Best Airsoft Vest


2.4 lbs


4. Solomone Cavalli Tactical Molle


2.6 lbs


5. GXG Deluxe Tactical Paintball Vest


1.9 lbs


6. Maddog Sports Tactical Paintball 


2.1 lbs


7. Barska Loaded Gear VX-200 Vest


3.6 lbs


1. Yakeda Tactical CS Field Vest Ultra-Light

Best Tactical Vest Overall (Editor's Choice)

Our Editor’s Choice is the Yakeda Tactical Field Outdoor Vest. It is made of a nylon mesh structure and also comes with various adjustable accessories that can be attached to the vest. The material is really what sets this vest from the others and places it at the top of our list. It is perfectly breathable in any type of weather. This vest is great for those looking for coverage and protection but also helps prepare you for the hot weather.

Made for anyone and everyone, this best tactical vest is adjustable so it is truly one-size-fits-all. The straps and adjusts can be made larger or smaller depending on your size and comfort level.

The Yakeda Tactical Vest also comes padded with rubber on the right shoulder which is perfect for a right-handed shooter who holds the rifle on the shoulder and the paintball marker has recoil and a kickback. It is also perfectly made for a right-handed shooter because of the detachable draw holster — it can only be attached on the right side and not the left.

It also comes with several pouches capable of holding magazines and interior pockets to store the rest that doesn't fit in the outer pockets.

  • Since it comes along with various attachable and additional accessories, you really are ready for any situation.
  • The material of the vest is high quality. From the nylon mesh it’s made out of to the velcro used to attach the extra pouches, it really has top-notch material.
  • It comes only in the color black, which makes it impossible to color coordinate with your team

2. Barbarians Tactical Molle Paintball Vest

Best Paintball Vest

The Barbarians Molle Vest is water resistant, tear resistant, durable, made of nylon mesh and filled with polyester pockets. This paintball vest is designed with three rifle mag pouches, one removable bullet holder, one phone pouch, a radio pouch,  a mesh pocket for hydration bag, and small pouches for your technology or other things that need to be kept dry. The molle webbing allows you to attach what you need.

Designed for the right-handed shooter with a padded right shoulder placed to protect you from the recoil of your marker, this vest also has velcro strips on the shoulder and the waist so you don’t have to fear rusting from zippers.

The vest also has 2 D-Rings that are capable of holding carabiners and other equipment that you need to hang off of your vest. It is also adjustable, from a 30-inch waist to a 48-inch waist, you can adjust with velcro strips. It can be as short as 21 inches and as long as 24.

  • The vest boasts a great quality with a good name behind it.
  • It is simple and easy to set up, making it perfect to use, no matter what your playing level is.
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    It has a sturdy belt that’s adjustable and can hold an additional thigh drop holster
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    It has a ton of pockets, making it almost impossible to run out of space, with velcro and zippers for safety.
  • While running, pistol holster is attached to velcro and can make noise while running, which is a small thing but can get annoying.

3. GXG Army Swat Paintball Airsoft Tactical Vest 

Best Airsoft Vest

This best airsoft vest also designed in camouflage colors is designed for comfort, as well as protection. The great thing about this vest is that even though it boasts comfort, you have the option of removing and replacing the contouring foam if you choose to do so.

The vest comes with a removable radio pouch and an extra panel which is attached to the chest pocket. This handy panel can be your storage of ID or paper maps for easy access and view. In this vest, you also a get a much wider and taller tank holder, which allows you to be able to invest and pack stubby and neoprene tanks.

The GXG Paintball vest comes with four movable and two vertical harnesses. It also comes with hydration unit sleeves that are zippered and can hold the hydration bladder, making it possible for you to travel and play for a long amount of time.

The shoulder straps of the vest are designed with nylon loops and D-Rings. If you are a bit larger than an average size, you also have longer side straps that you can use.

  • This airsoft vest has a design that gives you a snug fit and distributes its weight evenly, giving you optimum mobility
  • You also have the freedom to setup your vest and extra material exactly how you want it
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    It gives you all the storage you need for IDs, keys, money, phones, wires, etc.
  • The zippers go all the way down, sliding and possible opening.

4. Solomone Cavalli Tactical Molle Combat Vest

The Solomone Cavalli Molle Combat Vest comes in camouflage and is adjustable, in a one-size-fits-all design. Made of nylon, it has seven rows of one-inch straps on the front side of the vest and eight rows of one-inch straps on the back side of the vest, perfect for attachments. The vest also comes with one-inch molle webbing cross straps to be able to attach your pouches, along with a triple magazine pouch, a map and flashlight pouch, and a medic pouch.

All of these straps and extra pouches make your items secure and highly accessible, only to you. The vest is lightweight, regardless of how strong the nylon fabric is, that is carefully woven onto the vest.

  • All the pouches, extra and attached are simple to attach and use
  • There are fifteen different straps, perfect for support of attachments
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    It is carefully designed, woven, and also really sturdy
  • Before you head out for paintball, you need to add a water repellant to the vest
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    The design is not stable in intensive use, so perhaps not in extreme terrains for long periods of time

5. GXG Deluxe Tactical Paintball Vests

GXG has one of the best-selling paintball vests on the market. Perfect for woodsball, the vest comes with a variety of different features that highlight the benefits of the vest and how useful it is while playing.

Designed from a foundation of a nylon base, it is lined with soft foam that pads the weight of the vest so that you don't feel how heavy it is. The soft foam not only is responsible for comfort but also the protection of the chest and the back.

The GXG adjusts in height in the shoulders and in width at the waist. The vest also has features that can secure a duty belt, four pod pouches with elastic loops, three front grenade pockets, a horizontal zipper pocket at the front, a pull-down ID flap, and can hold up to an 88CI tank.

  • The pouches not only are plenty but also very protective, especially against rain and water
  • It is machine-washable which saves you time when you need to get back out there
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    It is really lightweight, which allows you to run as fast as you can and still protects you
  • Since there are both pods and tanks at the back of the vest, the weight distribution feels off
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    The radio pouch seems to dangle around. Although, if you have no use for the radio pouch, it isn’t that horrible of a negative

6. Maddog® Sports Tactical Paintball Harness Vest

The Maddog Harness Paintball Vest is made from a mixture of cotton and nylon. It is designed to equip a large amount of gear, with two large front pockets and space that can accommodate up to six pods. This harness vest will give you complete and easy access to your ammo, gear, tank, and so much more.

The vest has added features with its all-around protection and interior foam padding from not only paint but also outdoor elements like weather as well as comfort.

  • Capable of holding all the gear and extra equipment you have while playing
  • Has six-pod availability, which usually leaves some space free for smoke grenades
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    Numerous pockets that are sturdy and can hold weight like alan wrenches
  • Unfortunately, the vest did not come with the actual pods although it does come with the option of holding them all

7. Barska Loaded Gear VX-200 Tactical Vest

The Barska Loaded Gear Right Hand Tactical Vest comes in green with three different detachable pieces. It is a one-size-fits-all design that is fully adjustable and completely customizable. It can be adjusted from a 38-inche to 50-inch torso with a length of 22 inches. The shoulder panels are also adjustable and the ladder buckles and side straps that it comes with are useful when adjusting to find your perfect fit.

This tactical vest has web system compartments that come with fully secured velcro closures. As it mentions in the name, it is designed for the right-hand shooter, coming with a detachable right-hand holster. It has a variety of hidden inner pockets, as well, for complete security and ease-of-access to all the material, equipment, and accessories you may need while playing.

  • Designed with high-quality, this vest is made to last longer than most
  • It is completely adjustable and easy-to-adjust if you need to. For example, if you are wearing more layers because of the weather, you can adjust your vest to create space to fit over your jackets.
  • If you are a larger person, you might want to look elsewhere for a paintball vest. This vest is highly adjustable but, unfortunately, might not run in your size, making it a difficult fit

Final Verdict 

All in all, finding the perfect vest for paintballing is a process. First, you have to recognize what is most important to you when it comes to investing in a product. You have to see the weight and size you want and what features are tailored to your game that you simply cannot live without.

We hope that this guide has helped you not only become knowledgeable of the particular information that it takes to be able to choose the perfect vest but also introduce a few products that you can invest in that will be worth your time and money. With all of this information, we hope that you can go out and enjoy paintballing and airsoft as much as possible. We also hope that we have pointed you in the right direction towards finding the perfect vest for you, from fit to personal preference.

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