Tactical Vest For The Prepper

The tactical vest is not only for the military operator, public safety professionals, or general enthusiasts, but they are for the serious prepper who is planning and training for level-3,4 SHTF preparedness.

What is a tactical vest for?
It primarily enables the operator to carry their gear in a secure and comfortable way.

What gear is most often carried in a tactical vest?
Mainly, multiple extra magazines to compliment the firearms being carried, holster or holsters, trauma kit, comms-radio, and any other mission accessories or kit to conveniently attach to the vest or fit within its pouches. Some even provide the capability to fit a plate (body armor) within the vest itself – although body armor may otherwise be worn separately underneath the tactical vest itself.

Why would I need a tactical vest?
The tactical vest is essentially a battle-ready compliment enabling the operator to focus on the mission at hand. While currently here in the U.S. we are not living in a time of armed conflict, the prepper who is preparing for the possibility of level-3,4 breakdown or societal collapse, this prepper likely knows and understands the ramifications of what may follow.

(Just read One Second After if you have any doubts…)

What follows will likely include the harsh reality of armed conflict, and unless you are willing to simply rollover and succumb to this violence – you need to prepare for the probability. One of those preps is the tactical vest.

Considerations and questions regarding a tactical vest include:

What will I carry in this vest?

Will it also include a plate carrier?

How many mags will I need to carry and is the vest designed to fit them?

Does it have enough pockets and pouches for all the kit that I intend to carry?

What color-camo should it be? Black, Green, Urban Digital, Woodland Digital?

Strap adjustments, comfort, size?


One of the most popular and well reviewed tactical vests:
UTG 547 Law Enforcement Tactical Vest

Let’s hear from you. What do you recommend for considerations regarding a tactical vest, what you may carry, etc..?



  1. Old school woodland camo, with 2 spare pistol mags, pistol holster, 6 rifle mags, radio, 2 canteens and a field dressing. Not much more as it gets pretty heavy as is. Plate carrier is separate.

  2. Morning All happy Friday…

    The sky is the limit on tac rigs you can spend big bucks!!!

    For a Good cheap Solution for hot weather climates or a summertime big game hunt… I would go for The Condor chest rig with the hydration carrier addon combo. And of course place your bladder of choice into the hydration carrier.

    It is light weight and breaths a lot more than the conventional vest. Plus you can then layer with a plate carrier if you find the natives are getting restless. below are the links for this low cost solution.

    Condor Hydro Harness

    Condor Recon Chest Rig


  3. Old VN era flak jacket with 4 packs cigs, 1 bottle bug juice, 2 c-rats TP, one plastic spoon, 1 P-38, 2 zippo lighters with small fluid, one bottle Louisiana hot sauce, one can Ham and Eggs chopped dated 3/70. Ummmmgood.

  4. If a person needs to wear a tactical vest when you are not hunting game, we are in a world of SHTF. All you need is your LBE and a well-stocked back pack.

    My cucumbers are looking really great this year; plus, our beans and tomatoes are going crazy. I can’t wait for our water melons to fill the garden. Our sweet corn is already 4 1/2 feet with the extra rain. My rain water farm is busting at the seams. Life it good and have a great July 4th weekend.
    Keep your powder dry.

  5. Yes, I do own a tactical vest. I will not wear it where my appearance needs to be that of a grey man! I plan to use my vest when it becomes evident that we are in a full WROL Mode. I have a Drago vest with utility belt. It has specific pouches designed to carry four pistol mags, three AR-15 mags, a handgun holster, a small utility pouch that I use to carry a multi-tool and extra batteries. this vest also has molly webbing on the back where I attach an IFAC first aid kit. The lace up sides make the vest adjustable for when I wear body armor Level III vest under it. I have a large knife attached to the back of the utility belt in a horizontal position. This vest also has a mesh pocket that takes up the entire back that I use as a plate carrier. This helps balance the weight of all the ammo mags in the front.

    I suggest that if you have a vest, practice wearing it fully loaded for a few hours in a remote setting so that you can make adjustments to modify it to your specific needs before SHTF. I’m a lefty so I took my vest to seamstress to switch the holster to the other side where the AR-Mags were.

  6. @cossack55: Ditto except Ham and MFs, and a couple of new things…. C-A-T, and Israeli Bandage with pressure bar.

  7. Alice LBE treats me just fine:sidearm,rifle mags,water,blowout kit,compass and fire…

  8. TAG plate carrier. AR500 level III curved plates + side plates. TAG mag pouches. Also a US Palm plate carrier with lightweight AR500 hybrid level IIIA plates.

  9. Leapers Men’s Sportsmans Tactical Scenario Vest – PVC-V568.

    My plan is to never use it, yes I practice with it, but God help us all if there comes a time when this is an essential item for surviving the world. But if necessary I do have it filled with the correct Mags for my carry. This is not my GHB, my GOOD bag, Medical Bag, BOB, food bag, Water-Blatter, my Martini Holder, or anything else; it’s strictly for fire-power support, and of course Comm’s in the shoulder pouch if needed. This is something to just have a bunch of firearm related ‘stuff’ in one vest so it’s a grab and go.

    Just my 4worth

  10. Sorry…..that is not a prepper vest. It’s a survivalist vest. I am not one of those….I am a prepper. Lets call the vest what it is.

    1. The ‘official’ name of mine is “Tactical Scenario Vest”, I guess that makes me a Tactical Scenario?

      Hummm, kinda cool, I like it. As long as it has a Martini Holder I don’t care…. HAHAHA


      1. Yup, whatever works for the individual is what’s right for that individual, regardless of the ‘tacticool’ name…

  11. I like the coyote color with mesh body (cooler). Like most, I pack rifle mags, pistol mags, pistol holster and a good tactical flashlight. Also have a molle pouch for a Hand held radio (Baofeng).

    Don’t know if you call it a prepper vest, or a survivalist vest…either way, I’m preparing to survive.

  12. Crye CPC (Level IV plates) or SKD PIG Brigadine (Level III+ plates) with Blast Belt

    Rifle pouches
    Handgun pouches
    Med Kit
    Dump pouch

  13. Excellent article.

    Long Hot Summer.


    The 4th of July always brings out the smoke sticks, (4 inches long 1 inch dia.) along with other fireworks. Wrap a couple of those smoke sticks together to conceal movement. Find them at the fireworks stand along the road.

    Who cares what the smoke color it is.

      1. Put tannerite in #10 cans, seal it up as a kit, can stick em wherever and poke holes in em from range to make em go boom,,, work real nice as pre set ieds glue 3/4″ gravel to the inside of the can with elmers before you fill it, makes for a nasty nast um firework

  14. Condor plate carrier with AR-500 plates front and back with 8X8 side plates. Six Magpol 2nd. gen. 30 round mags. Three pistol mags radio holster small med pouch and a hydro pack on back. Add a drop leg holster on right leg with XDM-40 cal. with extra mag and tac light. Add tac gloves, knee pads and ballistic helmet and assorted battle rattle,Windam HBC. I put all this on one day to see how it would all fit and work. As I shuffled out the door I was able to get to my rocker on the front porch. Think I’ll have to have a sign on the gate “Fight this way” with a arrow.

    1. @ Southernman

      Thank God someone else here has a sense of humor. … THANK YOU for the honest laugh…


      1. Wife has a standing bet that with all this stuff on I will only run 100 yards before I stroke out. But I’ll look tactical in that box don’t ya know.

        1. @ Southernman

          “I will only run 100 yards before I stroke out.” Hell dude, I can’t even see 100 yards all alone run that… HAHAHAHA


  15. I think mine is a Blackhawk, not a vest but a plate carrier, has IV plates in it, 4 mag pouches for my AR10 mags, couple dump pouches for empties and a hydration pack on the back, also has mag pouches for pistol mags and another pouch for coms. Little heavy but pretty comfy, well, as comfy as a loaded plate carrier can be anyway, nobody said it would be fun

  16. Mine weighs 13 pounds! I might be able to carry it from the bedroom to my fighting position in the living room.

  17. Personally, I can tell I would hate wearing a vest. I plan on eventually getting a belt to put everything on instead, I would limit it to my ammunition, knife, first aid, and maybe another essential or two. I would probably just keep a sidearm in a drop holster and (obviously if I’m wearing the belt) a rifle in my hands. Sounds pretty dreamy. Gotta stop making minimum wage first though.

    1. What you may not realize is that a tactical vest allows you to carry more ammo, such as four 30 round rifle magazines and three pistol mags. In addition, you can carry a tactical radio, binoculars or other gear. In addition, it is easy to attach a fanny pack on the back side to hold additional items, such as food or first aid. It is impossible to carry that amount of equipment on a belt. Moreover, using a vest means that all of this gear is close to the centerline of your body. That means you are less likely to be thrown off-balance while running or climbing than if you are carrying a heavy backpack. Personally, I prefer to keep my sidearm on a belt, rather than holster it on a vest, but that’s an individual preference and I still carry extra pistol magazines on my vest.

      1. Yes, I will not disagree–a vest allows you to carry more equipment but it’s also cumbersome and you are effected by the weight of said equipment. I would rather carry a backpack with everything extra, a belt with what I NEED and dump the pack if anything goes down. That way I can be much more unencumbered.

  18. I have a “chest rig”, switched out the 30 round mags for 20 round ones, makes it a tad lighter to wear. Scheduled for total knee replacement in a few weeks, so, I will be “tactically impaired” for awhile, while recovering. I’ve got my hardwood fighting cane, folding knife, and the Glock brothers with me, so, I should be able to hobble my way away from trouble. If not, I’m great at “creative riding”, errr, I mean witness statements.

    Garden is surviving the deer this year, I planted some tomatoes further up the hill for them to enjoy, instead of shooting them in the hunches with the small air rifle this season. Darn dogs have made friends with the

  19. …small herd on our property, so, they are useless as deer deterrents.

  20. I’ll be wearing either a concealable lvl 2 vest or sheriff brown lvl 2 vest with outer carrier. Both have lvl 4 sapi plates . If rifles could enter the equation, I will throw on the level 4 plates with drab green outer carrier. All gear is on duty belt, including Med kit attachment I hook on in bad situations. 4 inch folding knife, 4 inch fixef blade, 3 mags, pistol, OC or taser, handcuffs and radio with Mic and earpiece. I was planning to replace less than lethal gear with extra mag pouches, but after reading mdcreekmores recent article, I may not. I’ll put extra mags in pant knife pockets. AR will be in hand or on 1 point sling. I will wear a chest rig that carries 6 AR mags. This is what I wear everyday, minus the chest rig. I will need to get a hydration pack. I have the bladder and filter gear for my BOB, but hadn’t thought about also including on this set up. I plan on bugging in, but ya never know.

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