First let me say that I am not covering all the options out there, just the ones I have tried. Second, please keep the anti-vest comments aside. This is for those who choose wearing vests as cover garments.
I live is South Florida where it gets not only hot but down right humid most of the year. I still enjoy wearing a vest not only as cover garment but I keep most of my other regular carry items (light, wallet, multi tool, keys, cellphone, etc) in one location and I can get home, take it off and all stays together. I have always wore some sort of vest for the past 30 years so my friends are used to see me with one.
1) Photographer Vest.
Heavy, hot, looks kinda Salvation Army last Pick after 6 months of use but they are close to indestructible. I have a retired Photo vest that is 7 years old and for use only in IDPA matches. It looks worn on every edge and my wife hates it but the vest is still functional. You will feel the heat with this baby, but it will probably outlast your holster. I'd say farther north it would be a wise choice for most of the year. I have three in total and I am not getting rid of them.
2) Smith and Alexander Light Weight Cover Up.
First of all, pay no attention to the picture. I have no idea why the company keeps using that awful picture when in reality it is a better looking vest. I have one in black and it has a nice cut. It is really lightweight and covers a sidearm well. Drawbacks are 2 mainly: Only two pockets and very lightweight for anywhere windy. It looks classy enough (and I've done so) to wear at semi formal gatherings and it does stand out screaming tactical or sporting. Good quality and well made. Take it to Church!
3)5.11 Tactical Vest.
The Uber Cool of TactiWear and possibly the worse vest I owned. After a month and some washes, the flap covers of the pockets curled up, the pockets themselves have little space, and the fabric disintegrated wherever it rubbed against my gun to the point it would caught on it and impede a smooth draw. I will not buy one ever again and your experience may vary.
4) Woolrich Elite Lightweight Discreet Carry Vest.
After wearing one constantly day in and day out for almost a year, this sucker is barely starting to show wear. It is lightweight, good pockets, covers the weapon beautifully and is well made. One drawback is the collar... better yet the lack of it. If you are like me and carry everything but the car battery in your vest, you will have a pain in the neck at the end of the day. Other than that it is a great vest.
5) Eotac Lightweight Vest
One word: Comfortable! Generous cut, wider shoulder and a collar makes for a great vest. Lightweight enough for South Florida but sturdy enough to resist some wind. The pockets are big enough to carry all my stuff and the small collar makes all the difference of the world on my neck. Very well made and quality fabric; I bought a black one and it refuses to look other than solid black after several washes. I may have to use a gallon of bleach to pale it some. The cut is more generous than the other vests so it will feel too big in your regular size. Some may want to try one size smaller depending on body type. I will probably buy another in a different color to rotate.
These are my personal experience and as I stated before, you may have a different one.
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