Tactical vests are worn by those that serve and protect us—military, law enforcement, first responders, security personnel, and firearms instructors are just a few of the professions that rely on tactical vests to keep them safe while doing their job. Some might argue that the tactical vest is one of the most important pieces of gear that someone could have. After all, it’s the basic foundation for the accessories, small equipment, and tools that you need to have easily accessible while you’re on duty.
If you’re someone who is new to tactical vests or just purchased a new one, there are some key tips in setting up your vest so that it has everything you need to work at peak performance. Each vest will be personally tailored to what job or task you’ll be using it for, however, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind when setting up your tactical vest.
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that your vest is the proper size and fit. An ill-fitting tactical vest can actually hinder its effectiveness and your performance—not to mention, it can be uncomfortable. If you have a vest that is too small, it doesn’t provide ample protection, and if it’s too large, it can slow your movement. Have someone take your measurements and opt for one that most closely fits those numbers—many tactical vests are adjustable, so small adjustments here and there are generally no problem.
Next, it’s all about prepping for the job at hand. There are hundreds of options when it comes to adding attachments and accessories to your tactical vest—holsters, clips, and pouches, to name a few. It’s quite easy to want to over prepare or over accessorise your vest, but it’s crucial to think about efficiency when prepping your tactical gear. Some common pieces of tactical gear that you might need to consider are handcuffs, pepper spray, flashlight, keys, baton, or an extra magazine. Make a list of every piece of gear that you’ll need in your vest and see where you can consolidate with your pouches or other accessories—for example, if you know you’ll only need two extra magazines, find a pouch or holder that only holds two and no more. This ensures your vests efficiency and also allows another open space to be used for something else.
Once all the equipment and tactical gear are configured on the vest, the work isn’t quite done. Why? Because now it’s up to you to memorize and master your vest. Practice makes perfect and now it’s time to get to know your tactical vest inside and out. Split-second decisions need to be made in life-and-death situations, so the last thing you want to do is fumble around looking for what you need. Familiarize yourself with your vest and it’s tactical gear so that it trains your muscle memory and it becomes second nature.