Our Top 7 Picks for 2023
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While some people classify paintball tactical vests as professional gear, for me, every player should invest in one whether you are a beginner, hobbyist, or pro paintballer.
These specialized outfits allow for better organization of your accessories, more storage for your paintball essentials needed during the game. When your ammunition is well organized and easy to access as quickly as possible, you have an edge over the competitors.
Paintball tactical vests also provide another layer of protection and convenience features such as built-in hydration pockets for your water bladder and energy drinks to keep you hydrated and energized.
If you’re interested in owning a tactical vest to up your paintball game, you are in the right place. We have done the hard work for you by scouring the market for the best paintball tactical vests. These are our top picks for both beginners and professionals.
The Best Tactical Vests for Paintball
#1: Maddog Tactical Paintball Battle Vest
Our Top Pick
- Reinforced Molle System that can support a 90ci paintball tank
- Fully adjustable one size fits all, from youth to oversized players
- Exclusively designed for paintball
- Available in 2 colors
If you want a tactical vest that offers unrivaled flexibility in terms of size, look no further than the Maddog Tactical Paintball Battle Vest. This tactical vest is made for paintballers and holds up to 6 pods. That is 600 rounds within an arm’s reach.
Besides, this vest has plentiful storage space for your ammo and other essential accessories. It comes out of the box with four built-in pouches for keeping your paintball tanks. Even better, it has two additional straps for fitting additional pouches (sold separately), ensuring that you never have to stop shooting.
It has a tank holder pouch that can accommodate up to a 90ci tank if you want to make your marker lighter. For this, you will need an air supply horse to connect the tank to the marker.
Its design features two adjustable heavy-duty Velcro shoulder straps that modify the gear for a custom fit. This makes the gear suitable across all age groups, from youthful tees to broad-chested adults.
On the inside, there are two zipped extra pockets where you can carry maps, keys, phones, etc. the interior also has a camo bag that offers space for a hydration tank or any other item of your preference.
#2: Tippmann Pro Vest
Best Professional Paintball Tactical Vest
- Multiple front pockets for keeping ammo, maps, flashlights, and other crucial accessories
- Breathable and lightweight nylon construct
- Adjustable body wrap belt
- An integrated horizontal tank storage pouch
One of the secrets to excelling at paintball is having the ability to camouflage on the battlefield so that you can stealthily attack your competitors, and this is where we find the Tippmann Pro Tactical Vest impressive. Like other gear in the company’s camo line, it integrates proprietary Digi camo technology that makes it harder for players to see you on the battlefield.
On its front, this vest has multiple pockets and pouches of varying sizes. The smaller ones are ideal for keeping your radios, phones, flashlights, and other tiny must-haves. On the other hand, the bigger compartments allow you to store up to six full-sized pods that can hold up to 100 rounds of paintball pellets.
When you open this vest, you’ll notice a strap harness belt on the waistline. This belt is elastic, ensuring that the gear fits you comfortably as you play.
The backside has four pouches with lock lids for holding paintball pods. If you want to do a remote line setup, there are designated pouches where you can keep a tank that doesn’t exceed 90 ci. Notably, this pouch is horizontal, open on both ends, and has adjustable straps that allow you to fit smaller tanks.
#3: YAKEDA Tactical Combat Training Vest
The Most Versatile Tactical Vest
- Two large internal zippered pouches
- One back mesh pocket for keeping the hydration tank
- Adjustable tactical belt
- Adjustable waist belt
Speaking of versatility, no tactical vest comes close to this beast. Besides paintballing, this gear can is suitable for outdoor expeditions, mountaineering, airsoft, and so on. Heck, you can also use it to showcase your taste in fashion – And if you want something colorful, there are 7 colors to choose from.
When paintballing with this vest, you have a significant advantage over others since it comes with four adjustable paintball pod pouches, three on the left and one on the right. Each of these has a zipper that’s easy to use and wear, allowing you to use different sizes of pods. The included tactical belt uses a hoop-and-closure mechanism to hold on tightly to the pods.
This vest is also the best for players when using paintball gun markers as the front 3 storages are made for pistols.
The Takeda tactical vest boasts a unique, robust, and durable construction, owing to the manufacturer’s use of 600D Polyester. Nonetheless, it is remarkably lightweight and breathable, thanks to the ventilative mesh design.
On the downside, this tactical gear is only available for adults. Although the adjustability function makes up for this, it would’ve been better if the gear fitted all age groups.
#4: 5.11 Tactical VTAC LBE Utility Vest
Most Customizable Tactical Vest
- Internal rear grab handle for emergency exfiltration
- Web Molle is reinforced with non-slip materials
- An adjustable waist strap system
- Multiple sizing configurations
- Easy to open zippers
Do you want a tactical vest that guarantees reliable performances throughout its use, even in the most demanding battlefields? If so, the 5.11 Tactical VTAC LBE Utility Vest is your best bet. This gear features a hardened meshed nylon design that provides impressive resilience without compromising on breathability and is lightweight.
It comes standard with four pouches on the front and one on the back. Here you can keep standard 140-round paintball pods. Don’t worry about additional storage, as this has a Molle system that runs on both sides. As such, you can fit additional pouches for fitting your tank and extra pods.
At the base, it has attachments that allow you to connect a tactical belt, where you can more pods for all-day shooting.
If you decide to go with this vest, you will need to buy pouches separately depending on what you will be carrying. This will include pod and tank pouches.
#5: OneTigris Multicam Tactical Vest
The Most Stylish Tactical Vest
- Adjustable shoulder strap
- Two front magazine pockets
- Molle webbings
- Hook and loop cummerbund
For those who prioritize ergonomics and style over other factors, the OneTigris Multicam Tactical Vest is your ideal choice. Designed to offer ultimate comfort, this gear is small and lightweight but has a remarkable carrying capacity. Thanks to its breathability, you’ll be comfortable wearing this vest in searing heat.
Don’t be mistaken and think that this vest solely focuses on comfort. Its front has two huge pouches that can support large pods and inbuilt rifle magazine pouches that can hold up to 3 rifles. Because it comes with Molle webbing, you can mount several pouches for carrying your accessories to the battleground.
There are also loop panels for morale patches and has lots of mole straps to add more pouches depending on what you are carrying. For quick removal, this vest is compatible with OneTigris quick release adapter that opens the vest in a one-hand operation.
#6: Actionunion Tactical Vest Airsoft Vest
The Most Rugged Tactical Vest
- Adjustable shoulder strap and waist belt
- Average size for women, men, and children
- Heavy-duty Molle system for attaching gear pouches
- Protective padding
- Durable and robust construction
Tactical vests don’t come more rugged and hardy than the Actionunion Tactical Airsoft Vest. Its unmatched protective padding explains its suitability for various indoor and outdoor activities, including airsoft, and paintball, and other tactical games.
To ensure that you don’t impact hits when paintballing, this tactical vest features a high-density neoprene and high-strength EVA protective plate. Other inclusions aimed at improving your safety are shockproof, waterproof, and have a heat preservation function.
Besides protection, storage is abundant. In addition to the four standard pouches, the Molle system allows you to add more pouches depending on what you are carrying. However, compared with other tactical vests, this one offers the best protection but not storage since the protective panels cover most parts of the vest in front and at the back.
#7: GZ XIN XING Black Tactical Airsoft Paintball Vest
- Adjustable straps
- Three standard magazine pouches
- Heavy-duty Molle system
- Loop for tactical belt
It might be the last option in this list, but that doesn’t mean that the GZ XIN XING Tactical Airsoft Paintball Vest doesn’t hold its own against the other tactical vests in this review.
The first thing you will notice is that the 5 pouches are removable getting you the freedom to attach them as you prefer.
On its front side, it features three standard magazine pouches that can carry full-sized paintball pods and one pocket for keeping your map flashlight. The back is more equipped, as it has two communication pouches, one medic pouch, a rescue handle, and a loop for your tactical belt. The vest molle webbing at the back lets you add extra pouches depending on what you need for the game.
Lastly, this tactical vest is a good fit for many, thanks to its adjustable height and straps. The maximum chest size is 50 inches, while the maximum height is 20 inches.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Choose the Best Tactical Vest
When shopping for a tactical paintball vest, there are several factors you need to consider, such as size, type of weapon you are using, customizability, weight, and so on. These act as guidelines that help you pick the gear that suits and improve your in-game performances.
What are tactical vests made of?
Most tactical vests in this list are made using polyester or nylon material. You’ll also find some models that use cotton, mostly as padding, to provide extra protection on the chest and back.
Why? Polyester and Nylon material are durable and possess waterproofing properties. Even if you get hit multiple times, you won’t have a hard time cleaning your gear after the game.
What is a Tactical Vest Used For?
Like in other action shooting games, paintball tactical vests are heavy-duty gear worn over regular clothing to provide added protection against hits and store other items you might need when playing. It has lots of pockets with varying sizes to enable you to carry all vital equipment, such as extra ammunition, a flashlight, drinking water, maps, etc. With a tactical vest, you don’t need pistol holsters or paintball harness. These vests are also usable by airsoft players and paintball players.
Do I Need a Tactical Vest?
Although it boils down to your preferences, having a tactical vest when paintballing is advantageous over going without one. One of the top reasons to get this gear is that it protects. If you lack it, the pellets could hit you hard and cause injuries. Also, you avoid the hassles of hauling the equipment you need because the vest provides an easily accessible, all-in-one storage solution.
Criteria for Selecting the Best Tactical Vest
Before confirming your purchase order for a paintball tactical vest, here are a few tips you need to help you to make the best choice possible.
The capacity of a paintball tactical vest is a vital consideration factor when shopping for such gear. It defines the vest’s ability to comfortably accommodate everything you need for your expedition, including ammo, water, maps, flashlights, etc.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that you’ll have one hand occupied throughout the game. As such, it’s wise to go for vests with larger capacities and support one-hand access for easy access to your weapons.
Another factor influenced by your vest’s capacity is its load-bearing ability. Ideally, it should be lightweight and robust enough to withstand the pressure exerted by your accessories. Its weight should also be evenly distributed such that it doesn’t hamper your mobility.
When playing, you’re likely to encounter small places that you need to go through to progress. It’s here that the size of your tactical vest comes into play. If it’s not small enough, you might find yourself trapped, giving your competitors a chance to have free shots at you. While capacity is important, don’t overemphasize that you end up buying a vest that makes it challenging to pass through confined spaces.
The two broad types of paintball tactical vests are fixed layouts vests and customizable vests. In most cases, fixed layouts vests are designed for right-handed players, although you can get a few models made for left-handed individuals.
Additionally, fixed-layout vests tend to favor single riflemen. These are players whose style resembles police officers and soldiers, meaning that they have several pockets to help you carry whatever you need on the battlefield.
On the other hand, customizable layout tactical vests allow you to choose the design you want. It uses mole and pals webbing for attaching the number and type of pouches you like to the gear. This way, you choose where everything goes, giving more access and control tan fixed-layout vests.
Being customizable, these tactical vests are suitable for most players, regardless of your strong hand. Keep in mind that they don’t come with pouches, meaning you have to purchase them yourself.
With tactical vests and other paintball gear, you get what you pay for unless you’re lucky enough to get second-hand equipment that’s still in usable condition. Avoid going for cheap products, which often translates to poor quality products that deliver disappointing performances on the battleground. Moreover, it’s worth noting that customizable vests cost more because of the added flexibility.
Even with the best gear, your success at paintball ultimately depends on your proficiency at using your weapon. Before purchasing a vest, ensure that its design allows you to use your gun optimally. For instance, it should have enough ammunition pouches that can carry enough pellets to last you through the game. The ammo should also be easily accessible to don’t waste time whenever you need to reload. Other things to consider include if it has a radio pouch, hydration bladder pocket, rifle mag pouches or pistol holders, and the type of chest protection, padded shoulders, phone pouch, flashlight pouch, paintball tank, and other utility pouches
Some tactical vests are best suited for hot weather, while others can withstand cold conditions. The best option, however, is hybrid vests that work well regardless of the prevailing conditions. These offer the perfect balance between breathability and protection, such that you don’t sweat too much when it’s hot and you don’t feel cold when it’s chilly.
The last factor to consider when buying a tactical vest is its durability. Notably, this correlates with the cost and material used to design the vest. Generally, options that have higher prices tend to last longer. This is why you shouldn’t put too much focus on the design and skimp on your budget.
Moreover, how you handle your vest also impacts its longevity. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when washing your gear. More importantly, always ensure that your carry capacity doesn’t exceed the recommended level.
Given that they are inexpensive and have multiple benefits, you don’t have an excuse for failing to purchase a tactical paintball vest. They provide additional protection and more importantly, they add another dimension to your gameplay. For instance, you can use them to carry assault firearms, and they also have a rescue handle at the back, a feature that isn’t available in standard paintball vests.
Lastly, these vests have several pouches that allow you to carry items essential for your paintball mission. Besides, carrying accessories like mags and hydration tanks in the vests gives you a faux sensation of a soldier’s experiences on the battlefield.