A report on Vests

This is a discussion on A report on Vests within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 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 ...

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Thread: A report on Vests

  1. #1
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    A report on Vests

    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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    Thanks Miggy,

    As some one who cannot abide an untucked shirt, I have always liked the idea of vests. Depending on the weather, if you wear a light jacket to a friend's house they want to "take your coat." I have never been asked if they "can take my vest."

    I too struggle with the stigma of the vest, but Gosh Darn It!, I like them.

    My only problem is that I have a very long torso and sometimes the vest is not quite long enough. Oh well, that's what return delivery is for.

    Thanks for the great post!

    By the way. One you left out is Duluth Trading Company. They sell a variety of "workman's vests". Also very durable!
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    RR, I never used the so I can't comment. You can fill us in! As for your long Torso, Eotac might be the one for you. It has a longer cut than the others
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
    Signed: Me!

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    Miggy, thanks for writing this helpful review!
    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. - Learned Hand

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    Thanks Miggy,

    Nice review
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    I also am a big vest fan. I use a vest of some kind for the majority of the time I'm out & about.

    The first vests I used were the 'photo vests', they were the only ones available in the 1990s. Another advantage to these is that they are made in different colors...khaki, black, OD, grey. These are also among the most inexpensive & they have lots of pockets inside & out.

    I liked the early versions of the 5.11 vest. The new ones now have the pockets switched from the way the old ones were.....I'm left handed & I guess the 5.11 folk got complaints from the rightys to switch the front pockets around. They're better made than the 'photo vest', but also cost a little more.

    The Woolrich Elite is my 'dressy vest'. It's fit & look is a little more upscale than the 5.11 & 'photo' styles. They stay crisper & don't wrinkle as easily.

    Haven't tried the S&A or the EOTAC vest, but I do have the new Eotac jacket (EOTAC ? Tactical Clothing and Accessories) & while it's pricey ($130), it's well made & pocket layout is well thought out. Plus if you don't like vests, the jacket may fit your bill.

    One other vest worth mentioning is the Working Man's Vest by Duluth Trading. Men's Workingman's Vest 2 - Duluth Trading Company The is a very heavy duty vest that will take a lot of wear & tear. The material is a little heavier (10 0z. fire hose canvas), but it should last a LONG time. & at $70 is priced about like the other high end vests.

    I've been using vests for years & as Miggy said the people that know me (but don't know I carry), think it is unusual to see me without one on. As to the rest of the sheeple noticing.....don't worry...they don't notice either. Not to mention that I have yet to have a BG come after me because I'm wearing a 'shoot me first' vest....
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

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    Miggy,
    As for your long Torso, Eotac might be the one for you. It has a longer cut than the others
    Thanks. I've been looking at these for a while, but it is sometimes hard to tell from a website how long they are.

    goawayfarm,

    One other vest worth mentioning is the Working Man's Vest by Duluth Trading. Men's Workingman's Vest 2 - Duluth Trading Company The is a very heavy duty vest that will take a lot of wear & tear. The material is a little heavier (10 0z. fire hose canvas), but it should last a LONG time. & at $70 is priced about like the other high end vests.
    Thanks for the link. I was in a little bit of a rush when I first posted this morning and did not have time to link it. I love these vests in the cooler parts of the year, but they are definately too heavy for summer use.
    "Mind own business"
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    Member Array Chiller2's Avatar
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    Can also try hereConcealed Carry Clothiers - Providing quality Vests for Travel and Concealed Carry, Accessories, Concealment Clothes, Gun Belts, Vest I have a couple but I haven't had them long so can't give you a long term review but I like them so far

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Nothing has held up like my Woolrich Vest. The same goes for the rest of their Elite line.- George

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    Great report!

    I'm a "vest-a-holic" Miggy, I have at least 10!

    One of my favorite vest for very hot weather is this Orvis Organizer Travel Vest:



    Another is the Orvis Brush Poplin Vest:



    Both these vest have a netting that keeps the garment off your back to lets air circulate as well as vented backs.

    Orvis ain't cheap though, but they are a great source for a non-tactical looking vest!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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    I live in northern FL and at most times the vest is too warm for my tastes...I'm not opposed to vests...I have a 5.11 vest, I just find that I can hide more in an open print shirt...OMHO.
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    Miggy,

    I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks for this thread !

    I appreciate you taking the time to do the vest review, I am sure it will help a lot of us..... myself included.

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    Thanks for the report Miggy. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada! To say that it gets a little hot is an understatement. Once it gets into June, July & August it's normal to reach the high end of the temperature spectrum. I'm going to consider buying a few of these vests myself.

    Thanks again!
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    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    Great report. Thanks.

    I have a Duluth Trading Co. Working Mans Vest that I like a lot. I want to try out their lighter summer version with the mesh to help with air circulation.

    As a side note I'm a huge fan of their long tail Tees. Haven't had one come untucked yet! Soft and comfy, excellent fit.

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    Senior Member Array sheepdog's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I have a 5.11, but it is from Royal Robbins, before the 5.11 sellout and it's holding up like it's bulletproof. I am always looking for something lighter, and I guess I should just pop for the tropic vest and get it over with.
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