Wearing a vest will protect your torso from incoming BBs, and will also enable you to carry a lot of gear with you. However, choosing the best airsoft vest from the hundreds of options available can be difficult. To help you make that choice, we ranked and reviewed 7 of the best airsoft vests on the market.
If you’re in a hurry:
While a vest is not mandatory in airsoft, it can be extremely useful. A tactical vest can carry a lot of airsoft gear, such as extra magazines, BBs, sidearms, food, water, and a bunch of other useful things. In addition, a vest will protect your body from incoming BBs. And as a bonus, tactical vests look cool and realistic.
The choice of airsoft vests on the market is quite large, with hundreds of options available. On one hand, the large number of airsoft vests is a good thing, since it gives you a lot of options to choose from. But, it also makes it difficult to choose the best airsoft vest. That’s why having a reliable guide is crucial.
And now, here are the best airsoft vests on the market in 2023.
Best Airsoft Vests in 2023
Best Airsoft Vest Overall (and Best Airsoft Vest for Big Guys)
Among many great vests, we chose the 5.11 Tactical TacTec Plate Carrier as by far the best one on the market. It’s lightweight, extremely comfortable, and in one word a a revolutionary design.
Apart from the comfort, the 5.11 Tactical TacTec Plate Carrier will allow you to move freely without inhibiting your motions at all. It’s also very durable and will last for years, which is expected given its pretty high price. Some of its other features are the quick release system and an extendable drag handle.
- Padded Yoke Shoulder Straps
- Low Profile, Quick-Grab, Extendable / Reinforced Drag Handle
- Interior Front and Rear Padded Zonal Panels with Oversized Airflow Channels
- Holds 2 Ballistic Armor Plates (Accommodates Large and Medium Sizes)
- One-Handed Quick-Release Cable / Escape System
- Increased Range of Motion and Comfort
- Laser Cut Micro-Loop Web Platform
- Made from 500D High Durability Nylon Fabric
The 5.11 Tactical TacTec Plate Carrier is made of 500D Nylon fabric. It’s adjustable and will easily fit any person regardless of their size, so it’s also the best airsoft vest for big guys. You can find it in many colors, including black, multicam, green, grey, etc.
The only disadvantage of the 5.11 Tactical TacTec Plate Carrier is its price, which is much higher than all other options on this list. While it’s definitely the best and the price tag is justified, you can find solid options for a lower price. So if you want to save money you may want to go with another choice, while if money isn’t an issue this is undoubtedly your best choice.
Best Airsoft Vest for Beginners
Due to its price, the 5.11 Tactical TacTec Plate Carrier might not be the best choice for beginners. Instead, we chose the Matrix S.D.E.U. Ultra Light Weight Airsoft Tactical Vest as the best airsoft vest for beginners. It’s a very solid choice at a fair price.
The Matrix S.D.E.U. is another ultra lightweight vest, which offers solid comfort and range of motion. This, combined with its price, are the reasons why this vest is one of the most popular choices among airsofters.
- Lightweight ballistic nylon construction
- Adjustable design fits most body types
- Three double M4 magazine pouches hold up to 6X M4/M16 magazines
- 40mm grenade loop
- Admin Pouch
- Integrated hydration pack with routing loop
- Integrated adjustable neck guard
- Integrated upper arm protection includes loop field for IFF patches
- Adjustable cummerbund
- Rescue strap
Even if you’re a bigger guy, this airsoft vest should fit you regardless of your body type, since it’s very adjustable. The vest is made of ballistic nylon, and you can find it in multiple colors, such as black, tan, and green.
All in all, the Matrix S.D.E.U. is a very solid tactical vest at a good price.
Best Airsoft Vest for the Money
Among the lower priced tactical vests, we chose the Condor Modular Operator Plate Carrier as the best airsoft vest for the money. Just like the Matrix S.D.E.U., this one can be a great choice for beginners.
The Condor Modular Operator Plate Carrier is made of Nylon Cordura. Just like the others, it can be found in many colors, such as black, multicam, or green. And it’s also adjustable, so it will probably fit you regardless of your body type or size.
- Emergency drag handle
- Detachable shoulder pads
- Side release buckles on shoulders and internal waist strap
- Accepts up to 10 x 13 plates
- Accepts up to 6 x 8 side panel plates
- Easy access to ballistic plates with pull down flaps
- Adjustable/detachable cummerbund with pockets for side armor
- One front map pocket with snap, hook & loop closure
- All armor compartments (front, back & two side) have hook and looppanel
- Lightly padded mesh on front and back harness for comfort and airflow
This vest is manufactured by Condor, which often provides products that are more affordable than the competition. While Condor has a somewhat mixed reputation in the community, in its price bracket, the Condor Modular Operator Plate Carrier is one of the best choices.
Another Premium Option
After looking at few more affordable options, the LBX 0300 Tactical Modular Plate Carrier is another premium option, in case you’re not convinced by the 5.11 Tactical TacTec for any reason. The LBX 0300 Tactical Modular Plate Carrier is ranked relatively low simply because it’s priced similarly to the 5.11 Tactical TacTec, while it’s probably not as good.
Still, the LBX 0300 Tactical Modular Plate Carrier is very likely the second best plate carrier on the market. It’s ultra lightweight, breathable and compact, and is made of high quality materials (cordura ballistic nylon).
- Small modular plate carrier
- Modular webbing on front panel, back panel, and cummerbund
- Adjustable shoulder straps (includes padded strap covering)
- Cummerbund is adjustable between 32″ and 46″
- Top rows of modular webbing on front have hook for identification patches, GRG etc
- Heavy duty drag handle
- Hydration/Comm guides on front and rear panels
The LBX 0300 Tactical Modular Plate Carrier comes with adjustable shoulder straps and cummerbund, and a heavy duty drag handle. You can find it in a number of colors, such as black, brown, dark blue, multicam, green, and others.
All in all, the LBX 0300 Tactical Modular Plate Carrier is another premium option, and is one of the two best plate carriers out there. If money isn’t an issue and you want to get the best, then your choice should be between the 5.11 Tactical TacTec and the LBX 0300 Tactical Modular Plate Carrier.
Best Airsoft Vest under $50
In airsoft, you usually get what you pay for, so very cheap items should generally be avoided. However, if you have a limited budget, getting any vest is probably better than no vest at all. Therefore, we chose the Matrix Special Force Cross Draw Tactical Vest as the best airsoft vest under $50.
Despite its price, the Matrix Special Force Cross Draw Tactical Vest is not bad at all. In fact, it’s one of the most popular vests out there, owing mainly to its affordability. Especially as a beginner, getting this vest may be a good idea.
- Heavy Duty Nylon Fabric with Comfortable Nylon Mesh Back
- Breathes Extremely Well
- Zippered Front
- Adjustable Shoulder Straps & Waist Straps
- MOLLE Webbing on Backside for Hydration Packs (sold separately)
- Padded Buttstock Shoulder Pad
- Adjustable Belt w/ 2x Pistol Mag Pouches
- Large Velcro Front Panel for Interchangeable Pistol Holster & Magazine Pouch
- Holds up to 12x Rifle Magazines
- Holds up to 6x Pistol Magazines
- Integrated Grenade Pouch
- Built-in Admin Pouch with Shotgun Shell Retainers
- Integrated Drag Handle
The Matrix Special Force Cross Draw Tactical Vest is adjustable, so it will fit many body types and sizes. It’s made of heavy duty nylon fabric and nylon mesh. Just like the other vests on this list, it’s available in multiple colors, such as black, camo, green, tan, and woodland.
Another Budget Option
- Heard-wearing ballistic nylon material stands up to abuse with remarkable longevity
- Triple-buckle cummerbund for ultimate adjustability
- Integrated triple magazine pouch holds 3x M4 style or similar sized magazines
- Fits Large size SAPI plates (9″ x 12″, Included)
- MOLLE webbing on front and back for attachment of modular pouches and accessories
- Adjustable skeletonized shoulder straps provide lightweight comfort
- Loop segment on front of vest for morale patches, nametape, ID markers, etc
- Comms wire and hyropack tube holders integrated onto the side of the shoulder pads
Another Solid Option
- Heavyweight webbing over the entire vest for modular attachments
- Easy access plate pockets; internal sleeves for both soft armor and plate front and back
- Adjustable/detachable cummerbund with pockets for soft armor (Small/Medium: accepts Medium 6″ x 10″ soft armor, Large/X-Large: accepts Large 6″ x 12″ soft armor)
- Emergency drag handle
- Detachable shoulder pads, with loop guide for radio or hydration tube
- One front map pocket with snap, hook & loop closure
- Back auxiliary pocket with hook and loop closure
- Padded mesh interior lining
With hundreds of airsoft vests out there, it’s difficult to distinguish the quality from the junk. In this article, we discussed the 7 best airsoft vests currently on the market. Some of the best of the best are the:
- 5.11 Tactical TacTec Plate Carrier – Best Airsoft Vest Overall
- 5.11 Tactical TacTec Plate Carrier – Best Airsoft Vest for Big Guys
- Matrix S.D.E.U. Ultra Light Weight Airsoft Tactical Vest – Best Airsoft Vest for Beginners
- Condor Modular Operator Plate Carrier – Best Airsoft Vest for the Money
- LBX 0300 Tactical Modular Plate Carrier – Another Premium Option
Although there are many options on this list, you really can’t go wrong with any of these picks.