I love tactical chest rigs and for valid reasons. They provide convenient access to whatever ammo you’ve packed there. And for that, you can react at a moment’s notice. More so, they’re comfortable than cumbersome backpacks and more presentable than overloaded belts. But even with all the goodies, choosing the best tactical chest rig is hard.
Well, I’m here to walk you through the best tactical chest rigs. Also, I’ll be outlining all you need to know when choosing your first tactical rig. Whether you’re into law enforcement or a weekend warrior, there’s a rig for you.
Best Tactical Chest Rig
1. Condor MCR5 Recon Chest Rig
- Three built-in double mag kangaroo-style pouches
- Retention pouch on each side
- Three pistol mag pouches at the front
- Mesh pocket
- Pistol holder and GPS pocket
I start off the list with 2020s best-seller, Condor MCR5 Recon.
MCR5 boasts a multitude of storage options. It has three double-mag built-in kangaroo-style pouches. Well, you can fit six M4 mags or six pistol mags.
Also, MCR5 has three pouches at the front, each with two pistol mag pouches. Complete with adjustable flaps, they accommodate pistol mags of different sizes. Moreover, the flaps are removable to customize your gear. For instance, they enable you to use the pouches for flashlight or knives.
Each side of the chest rig has retention pouches. Here, you can store backup mags or radio.
Well, there’s more to this chest rig. It has a pistol holster on one side. And the best part, it can fit pistols of different sizes. Also, the other side has a pouch for GPS.
A mesh pocket on the interior comes in handy for documents and personal items. Moreover, MCR5 wraps it all up with MOLLE webbing on the sides. Hence, you can fit any additional gear you need.
Well, I’d like to point out one thing. The mag pouches tend to concentrate more on the front. So, unlike spread out mags, weight distribution is a bit lacking. However, it rewards you with better mobility.
The cross-back shoulder strap provides much-needed comfort. It has comfortable foam-filled braces. Not to mention, a mesh liner for excellent airflow. Also, the shoulder strap is fully adjustable. It can fit any body shape and waist sizes of 30-60 inches.
Condor MCR5 Recon comes in 600D nylon. It has excellent double stitching and holds up well to wear and tear.
Condor MCR5 Recon is an excellent starter rig and a great one for the price. Overall, if you need a starter rig for AR and pistol combination, MCR5 will suffice.
2. YAKEDA KF-099 Tactical Chest Rig
- 1000D nylon fabric
- Four removable double mag pouches
- Dump pouch
- Double-mag pistol pouch
- Admin pouch
- Extensive MOLLE attachment
Excellent thought and care go into producing the KF-099 chest rig. Hence, it rewards users with ridiculously good quality.
For me, YAKEDA is nothing short of a versatile, multi-use platform. It has a ton of storage options you’ll likely find handy.
KF-099 has four removable pouches that fit up to eight mags. Also, the pouches are adjustable via velcro straps. Such modification enables the pouches to fit M4 and AK weapon systems.
Aside from the removable pouches, KF-099 has a double-pistol mag pouch. Also, you can adjust it via hook loop flaps.
Moreover, this chest rig rewards users with a dump pouch. It has a generous room and folds flat after use. For instance, it can fit seven AR or AK mags.
The tactical MOLLE pouch provides multi-purpose all-weather storage. It offers three vertical and four horizontal MOLLE attachments. Based on your needs, you can pair it with YAKEDA bags and packs.
The admin pouch provides much-needed space for extra items, such as pens and maps. Also, it has dedicated space for a flashlight, markers, or an extra pistol mag.
KF-099 chest rig has a sizeable velcro on the exterior. It provides 20 square inches of patch area for ID.
KF-099 offers a fully adjustable system for waist sizes of up to 53 inches. Also, the cross-back shoulder straps are padded for additional comfort. But what I love most is the 3D mesh spacer. It facilitates free airflow, keeping you cool and dry.
I must commend this chest rig for both quality and craftsmanship. It boasts 1000D nylon that offers a remarkable strength-to-weight ratio. Moreover, it’s waterproof and wear-resistant.
Though a tad expensive than others on the list, KF-099 is a steal for the price. It has outstanding quality and a generous amount of storage. Moreover, unlike most chest rigs, you can configure it any way you like. So, I’d give it a thumbs up for flexibility and quality.
3. Condor MCR6-498 Tactical Chest Rig
- Six open-top mag pouches
- Intuitive magazine layout
- Front pocket pouch
- Mesh interior pocket
- MOLLE attachment at the front
MCR6 is part of Condor’s chest rig family. And like MCR5 Recon, it offers a cheaper way to get started.
What I love most about MCR6 is the intuitive magazine layout. It’s pretty much spread out, providing excellent weight distribution.
MCR6 has six single-mag open-top pouches, each with a shock cord. Well, Condor recommends it for NATO-type mags. However, I find them better with AK mags.
Also, this chest rig has a mesh pocket complete with a small velcro patch. Well, it isn’t too big. Hence, it’s best suited for maps and other small stuff.
Two elastic straps on both sides provide additional mounting points. Again, it’s better suited for small stuff, such as pens and light sticks.
Furthermore, the entire front panel offers a MOLLE attachment. It comes in handy for any extra gear you might need.
MCR6 feels tight and rigid out of the box. However, it doesn’t take long to provide a snug fit. Also, it provides an adjustable fit for most people and comes much lighter. Like the MCR5, this chest rig has foam-filled straps complete with mesh lining.
The material is 600D nylon, the same as in the MCR5. For that, it provides proven Condor quality.
Among Condor’s lineup, I’d say MCR6 offers the most bang for the buck. Also, I love the lighter, much-balanced construction. Overall, it’s an excellent basic rig for anyone.
4. Glory Fire Tactical Modular Assault Vest
- Heavyweight MOLLE webbing
- Six open-top pouches
- Interior mesh pocket
- 1000D nylon fabric
Glory Fire tactical vest offers a practical solution. Be it for law enforcement operations or combat training; it’s up for the task.
Glory Fire doesn’t have as many pouches. At least not like Condor and the likes. But it makes up for with heavyweight MOLLE loops and webbing. Hence, it can accommodate a ton of extra gear.
Well, about mag pouches, Glory Fire has six open-top pouches. Complete with sock cords, the pouches keep your M4 mags from sliding.
Like most chest rigs on the list, it has an additional mesh pocket on the interior. Here, you can keep maps, flashlights, and other small stuff.
I want to start by saying that Glory Fire is one light chest rig. Hence, unlike heavier rigs, it isn’t prone to overloading issues. Again, it’s breathable to keep you dry.
Anti-slip shoulder straps complete with padded lining offer additional comfort. Also, this chest rig is removable and adjustable. So, you can adjust to your sizing, form medium to X-large.
Glory Fire uses specially treated 1000D fabric. It’s pretty light but with outstanding tear strength.
Glory Fire allows for more mobility and more modular attachments. If you have lots of equipment to carry, Glory Fire chest rig is for you.
5. NC Star AK Chest Rig
- Three double AK mag pouches
- Sizeable belly pouch
- Two buckle-closed side pouches
- Fully adjustable fit for large individuals
Does your rifle use bigger mags than the standard M4s? Well, this chest rig is among your best bets.
As mentioned earlier, this chest rig is for AK mags. Hence, it adopts sizeable pouches.
The front panel has three double AK mag pouches. Also, they come complete with bungee straps to keep your mags secure.
Each side of the panel has a gear pouch. You can fit GPS devices, flashlights, or even extra mags. Also, each pocket has clips and straps for easy adjustment.
Last on the list is the belly pouch. Well, it’s sizeable enough to fit a ton of small stuff you might need.
At 500g, this chest rig is among the lightest you can get. Hence, it’s not cumbersome, even when fully loaded.
The cross-back straps have sufficient padding. Also, they have a breathable mesh lining. Hence, user comfort is reassured.
NC Star comes in durable nylon fabric with solid stitching. Hence, you can give it a good tug without tearing apart. Also, it’s waterproof to keep your map and other small stuff dry.
NC Star AK chest rig is pretty much a steal. It’s super-affordable, only a fraction of the price of other chest rigs. Surprisingly, it offers decent quality and generous storage. Overall, if you want a decent beginner vest on a tight budget, go for it.
6. HSGI AO Chest Rig
- Pouch attachment ladder system
- Side openings on the panel for storage
- Sewn-on drag handle
- Lightweight construction
HSGI strives to provide the best in functionality, versatility, and comfort. Well, with the HSGI AO chest rig, it has pretty much realized its goal.
HSGI is one chest rig with a design tweak. Unlike most vests, it does away with pouches. Instead, it offers a pouch attachment ladder system or PALS. It includes three rows and eight columns of webbing. Hence, you can still attach optional mag pouches. Also, it can fit a ton of extra gear.
Moreover, the panel has side openings. Hence, it can fit anything from maps to paperwork.
HSGI AO chest rig adopts an H-harness shoulder strap. Unlike cross-back shoulder straps, it’s easier to put on.
The lack of pouches renders this chest rig much lighter. At 400g, you won’t have a problem carrying it around.
I might as well categorize the carrying handle as a comfort feature. Also, it doubles as a drag handle when the need arises.
This chest rig uses heavy-duty Cordura nylon fabric. It has ten times the tear strength of regular cotton canvas. Hence, it’s built for abuse. Also, it’s 100% waterproof.
HSGI is a decent buy for a fully modular chest rig. Also, it rewards users with a much lighter construction.
7. Lancer Tactical CA-307T Modular Chest Rig
- Removable hydration carrier
- Admin pouch
- Two sizeable utility pockets
- Three M4 mag pouches
Lancer Tactical is an all-around universal chest rig. I’d call it a 2-in-1 since it comes with a hydration carrier.
The removable hydration carrier is a huge bonus. It attaches to the back without the need for extra straps. Well, the carrier comes in handy to keep you hydrated while out on the field.
Also, the Lancer Tactical modular chest rig has a sizeable admin pouch. It’s an every-day carrier for ID and smaller stuff.
The front panel has three M4 mag pouches. Also, the pouches come complete with removable flaps. Hence, you can customize them to fit other types of gear.
Each side of the panel has one large utility pocket. They’re spacious enough to fit anything from GPS devices to tactical flashlights.
Lancer Tactical uses the more comfortable X-harness. At 1700g, it’s a bit on the heavy side. However, the addition of the hydration carrier is worth the extra weight. Like its counterparts, this chest rig has breathable, padded shoulder straps.
Lancer Tactical chest rig comes in 600D nylon. It’s pretty much military-grade and should last for years under normal use.
If you don’t want extra water bottles to tug along, this chest rig is for you. It’s very accommodating and with decent quality.
8. CONDOR MCR7 Ronin Chest Rig
- Fully modular rig
- Two mesh interior pockets
- Heavy-duty H-harness
- 600D nylon
Condor MCR7 is a solid alternative to HSGI. It does away with pouches, giving room for customization.
Well, MCR7 is a fully modular rig. Hence, expect no pouches. Instead, it offers a comprehensive MOLLE system. Thus, you can buy MOLLE pouches and attach to it.
Though it doesn’t have pouches, this rig comes with two interior mesh pockets. You can use them to keep maps and other documents. Alongside that, it has a velcro patch area for ID.
The H-harness makes this chest rig one of the most comfortable. It’s convenient to wear and has more room to move in. Also, it can take a little more weight than X-harness systems.
But to achieve more strength, MCR7 uses extra material. Hence, there’s a small weight penalty to it.
Moreover, the interior is entirely mesh lining. And with padding for the straps, it offers ultimate comfort.
MCR7 uses Condor’s reliable and proven 600D nylon. And with a much heavier setup, it can take more abuse.
MCR7 is a fully modular budget-friendly chest rig. Hence, if you want a rig that you can play around with, MCR7 will suffice.
9. OAREA Tactical Chest Vest Rig
- Two large mag pouches
- Two zippered utility pockets
- Hoop and loop velcro on the backside
- 500D nylon
OAREA chest rig doesn’t offer a lot of room for modifications. However, it’s of surprisingly good quality and decent storage.
OAREA has almost no MOLLE webbing. Hence, it doesn’t have room for extra gear and pouches.
However, this chest rig has two sizeable mag pouches. Each can pack single AK or STANAG mags. But for pistols, you can do a double stack.
Also, the front panel has a zippered utility pocket on each side. They’re big enough for stuff like flashlights, radio, map, and more.
The entire backside rewards users with hook and loop velcro. Hence, you can add a plate carrier.
OAREA is a bit on the lighter side. Hence, it’s not cumbersome to carry. Though it runs small, it’s fully adjustable for 15.7-27-inch waists.
OAREA uses 500D nylon. It’s lightweight but with excellent tear strength. Again, it looks and feels like more expensive brands.
If you want something that’s not very modular, go for the OAREA chest rig. It’s of excellent quality, lightweight, and highly adjustable.
10. Lewong Universal Radio Chest Harness
- Two walker talkie pockets
- Sizeable center pocket
- Stretchable belt
- Lightweight construction
This chest rig is pretty much for search and rescue operations. It does away with mag pouches, creating space for 2-way radio.
Well, this chest rig offers a storage pocket on each side for a walker talkie. Also, each pocket has straps to secure the antenna.
Aside from radio pockets, you get a sizeable center pocket. It can hold lots of things, from flashlights, pens, to gloves.
Thanks to the stretchable belt, this chest rig offers a comfortable fit for anyone. Well, it doesn’t have foam padding for the straps. But come to think of it, this radio chest isn’t designed to carry lots of weight. Hence, the lack of padding isn’t a deal-breaker.
This radio chest is 100% nylon. Hence, it’s entirely waterproof and holds up well to wear and tear.
I’d recommend this radio chest for search and rescue operations. It’s pretty versatile, lightweight, and offers an anatomical fit.
Best Tactical Chest Rig: Complete Guide
Do you want MOLLES, pockets, or both? Well, there are two types of tactical chest rigs. You have combination rigs that comprise MOLLE webbing and pockets. Also, there’s the full MOLLE rig that only has webbing.
Combination rigs are a perfect setup for beginners. They’re less expensive since you won’t have to buy pouches separately. Also, they don’t require any experience.
A full MOLLE rig is your best option for full customization. However, you’ll pay extra for the pouches. Again, you need some experience in setting up the pockets.
You have two types of harnesses: X-harness and H-harness. X-harnesses provide a better fit, particularly for small people. However, they tend to move while on the run. The H-harness rewards users with better weight distribution. But for a small body frame, it’s not easy to get a snug fit.
So, it’s got all to do with personal preferences.
Do you want a tactical chest rig that sticks out from the crowd? Or maybe one that blends with your surrounding?
If you want to maintain a low profile, avoid a color that sticks out. For this, I’d recommend something like brown.
When in the field or the woods, choose a rig that blends with your surroundings. For this, I pretty much prefer camouflage rigs.
In the end, it all comes down to personal preferences and the type of surrounding.
Do you want a chest rig for AK or AR mags? Well, it’s a good thing that most chest rigs have weapon-specific pouches. Hence, it would help if you crosschecked before buying.
Choose a material that can take decent abuse. It should be wear-resistant, waterproof, and light at the same time. For this, consider heavy-duty nylon, at least 500 deniers.
There are some big brands in the industry that deserve your attention. Condor, for one, has been at the forefront for years. It’s a tried and tested brand, particularly for a starter tactical chest rig.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the best tactical chest rig?
Well, all the models mentioned above make the cut. However, Condor’s line of chest rigs is one step ahead. For a combination rig, I’d recommend Condor MCR6. As for a full MOLLE rig, Condor MCR7 Ronin stands out.
Who can use a tactical chest rig?
Anyone can use a tactical chest rig, but lawfully.
The best tactical chest rigs keep you at your best, whether on the field or in combat situations. The key to finding the best relies solely on your specific needs and budget. Luckily, I have you covered. As you can see, I’ve reviewed the best tactical vest for all needs and budgets. Hence, the choice lies in your hands.