One of the most frustrating things an outdoorsman or sport shooter can experience is inaccessibility to their gear. Whether that means trying to pull a new shell from a too tight pocket, fumbling to pull out a call, or any other number of things, not being able to quickly grab what you need is definitely something to avoid while in the field or on the range. Luckily there is a solution to this problem. Equip yourself with the best shooting vest for your needs and you’ll spend more time shooting and less time trying to find what you need.
Access to gear is only one of the reasons you should own a shooting vest. A high-quality shooting vest provides several other benefits as well including recoil relief and a place to stow harvested game. Some even provide the safety of blaze orange for hunters. In other words, just about everyone who spends time participating in shooting sports can benefit from a shooting vest.
If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for the best rated shooting vests:
- UTG Men’s Adjustable Fit Sporting Vest
- Wild Hare Shooting Gear Heatwave Mesh Vest
- Browning Master-Lite Leather Patch Vest
- Percussion Skeet Shooting Vest
- Allen Company Shot Tech Shooting Vest
- VISM NCStar CHV2942TO Hunting Vest/Blaze
- Browning Trapper Creek Vest
- Browning Vest Ladies Summit
- Browning Ace Shooting Vest
- Beretta Full Mesh Shooting Vest
Table of Contents
- What to Look for in a Shooting Vest?
- Best Shooting Vest on the Market Reviews
- 1 UTG Men’s Adjustable Fit Sporting Vest
- 2 Wild Hare Shooting Gear Heatwave Mesh Vest
- 3 Browning Master-Lite Leather Patch Vest
- 4 Percussion Skeet Shooting Vest
- 5 Allen Company Shot Tech Shooting Vest
- 6 VISM NCStar CHV2942TO Hunting Vest/Blaze
- 7 Browning Trapper Creek Vest
- 8 Browning Vest Ladies Summit
- 9 Browning Ace Shooting Vest
- 10 Beretta Full Mesh Shooting Vest
- Wrapping It All Up
What to Look for in a Shooting Vest?
As with any other type of shooting gear, shooting vests vary in the features they have. Not every type of shooting vest will work for everyone. Do you want to focus on a vest with excellent recoil absorption? Is ample storage space important to you? What about aesthetics? Do you need blaze orange?
Those are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself while shopping for a shooting vest.
If you are an avid sporting clays shooter, skeet shooter, or bird hunter, one feature you will likely want in a shooting vest is a recoil pad. Shooting vest recoil pads are sewn into the shoulder area of the vest. While they don’t completely eliminate felt recoil, they do help reduce the cumulative effect of recoil over a full day of shooting.
Mesh, cotton, and polyester are a few common shooting vest fabrics. It helps to consider the weather you typically hunt or shoot in when deciding on a material type. If you do a lot of shooting in the warmer months of the year, a mesh vest will suit you well. If you want to utilize your shooting vest while hunting in cool or cold weather, a more robust material will help the vest to act as another layer between you and the cold.
Take a close look at the pictures of the shooting vests you are considering to get a good idea of the pockets and gear storage that it offers. Imagine yourself in the middle of your preferred shooting sport and try to picture where you would want important gear to be. That will help you to feel confident that the shooting vest you choose will serve you well in the field or at the range.
Choosing the color of your shooting vest is an important decision. After all, you’ll be using it and wearing it for years to come. If you are a hunter, look for a blaze orange shooting vest. Even if it isn’t required by law in your area, it will help you stay extremely visible while in the field. This is especially important if you are hunting in a group. Otherwise, simply choose a shooting vest in a color you like best.
Now that you know what to look for in a shooting vest, let’s take a look at some of the great options out there. Keep reading to find the best shooting vest for your needs.
Best Shooting Vest on the Market Reviews
1 UTG Men’s Adjustable Fit Sporting Vest
The Adjustable Fit Sporting Vest from UTG features a simple design and ample storage space. This tactical shooting vest, available in black, blaze orange, or grey, is outfitted with elastic cords on the sides that allow you to adjust the girth to your perfect fit. That feature gives this shooting vest a custom feel. It is made from highly durable synthetic polyester with an inner mesh lining and a front zipper closure.
Shooters can store their gear in the four front velcro pockets. The two bottom pockets are an excellent place to store extra ammo while the upper chest pockets are ideal for cell phones, shooting glasses, ear plugs, and other accessories. This shooting vest also has two hidden horizontal chest pockets with zippers. They are large enough to hold small to large frame pistols and are also a great place to store valuables.
2 Wild Hare Shooting Gear Heatwave Mesh Vest
If you shoot trap, skeet, or sporting clays during the summer, then the Heatwave Mesh Vest from Wild Hare Shooting Gear is an excellent option. The lightweight mesh construction will keep you cool even during long, hot days on the range and the two-way zipper and rear velcro straps allow for a custom fit. This machine washable shooting vest features a no bunch shooting pad and can accept a Shockeater Recoil Pad if purchased separately.
The Heatwave Mesh Vest is equipped with five front pockets, two elastic spare shell holders, and rear zippered pouch that can hold up to 100 empty shotgun hulls. Simply strap your ear muffs onto the velcro waist strap and clip your water bottle onto the included D-ring and you are ready for a day on the range.
3 Browning Master-Lite Leather Patch Vest
The Browning Master-Lite Leather Patch Vest was designed with ease of movement and recoil reduction in mind. This shooting vest is made from 100% cotton and features a full length leather recoil pad. The leather recoil pad helps keep the butt of your shotgun right where you want it when raising it to fire. With a built-in REACTAR G2 pad system, the Master-Lite will keep your shoulder fresh all day long.
The mesh sides, split shoulder, and side tab adjustments mean this vest won’t impede your movement or shooting motion. There is almost nothing worse for a sporting clays or skeet shooter than restricted movement from a shooting vest. The Master-Lite features five front pockets, a large rear pouch for hulls or game, and a towel loop.
4 Percussion Skeet Shooting Vest
The striking blue accent color makes the Percussion Skeet Shooting Vest stand out on the range while still performing admirably while you are skeet shooting. Shooting pads on both shoulders make this shooting vest great for both right handed and left handed shooters. This extremely lightweight and breathable shooting vest was designed specifically with clay shooters in mind.
With four large front pockets for shells and a large back pouch for hulls, this shooting vest will keep you prepared for even the longest clay shooting sessions.
5 Allen Company Shot Tech Shooting Vest
The Allen Company Shot Tech Shooting Vest is an excellent option for clay shooters and upland bird hunters. With breathable mesh sides, a variety of useful storage options, and a recoil reducing pad on the right shoulder, this shooting vest will serve any shooter well.
In addition to the four front shell pockets, the Shot Tech Shooting Vest also has two rear pockets, a zippered lapel pocket for licenses or ID cards, and chest level storage slots for three choke tubes and a choke wrench. One of the rear pockets has a zippered bottom for emptying out hulls at the end of the day which is a stand out feature of this vest.
6 VISM NCStar CHV2942TO Hunting Vest/Blaze
The CHV2942TO Hunting Vest from NCStar is an ideal option for upland bird hunters, squirrel hunters, and rabbit hunters alike. Featuring blaze orange shoulders against a tan colored bottom, this shooting vest adds both safety and good looks to your hunt. Keep eight fresh shotgun shells in close reach with the shell loops across the chest and store your harvest game in the roomy rear pouch.
The shoulders and sides on this shooting vest are adjustable and the quilted recoil pads on both shoulders provide a degree of relief from impact. Two front pockets large enough to hold entire boxes of shells round out this vest that is one of the best options for the money on the market today.
7 Browning Trapper Creek Vest
The Trapper Creek Vest from Browning is another great lightweight mesh shooting vest option. The twill recoil pad has an internal pocket that can hold a REACTAR G2 recoil pad if purchased separately. If you shoot a lot of hard hitting shotgun loads, that is a good option to have in your shooting vest.
The pair of elastic shell loops on the lapel allow for quick follow up shots when needed while the dual compartment front pockets will hold plenty of more shells along with shooting glasses, ear plugs, and other accessories. This shooting vest is built for durability with bar tacks at all stress points and a chunky dual-ended zipper that is easy to work even with gloves on.
8 Browning Vest Ladies Summit
For all the female shooters out there who want a shooting vest designed for them, the Ladies Summit vest from Browning is a great option. This women’s shooting vest is equipped with all the features needed to a pleasant day at the range. Shooting patches on both shoulders make this vest ambidextrous. The shooting patches can also accept REACTAR G2 recoil pads for further comfort.
The two front pockets feature a bellows design for ample space and both rear pockets are easy to reach and have plenty of space for all your spent hulls. This vest comes in a smoke and fuschia color pattern, but ladies, please keep in mind that there is no reason you can’t buy a shooting vest marketed towards men. All of the shooting vests on this list are highly adjustable so if pink isn’t your thing or you like the features on another vest, feel confident using it on your next shooting trip.
9 Browning Ace Shooting Vest
Get a comfortable and custom fit with the Browning Ace Shooting Vest and its adjustable side tabs and comfortable polyester and spandex construction. Pockets for choke tubes and valuables combine with the large, front bellows pockets to hold a tremendous amount of gear.
The full length nylon shooting pad adds durability and as with all Browning shooting vests on this list, the Ace can accommodate a REACTAR G2 recoil pad. The sleek black and red design stands out from the crowd and will look great on any sporting clays, skeet, or trap shooting field.
10 Beretta Full Mesh Shooting Vest
The Beretta Full Mesh Shooting Vest is one of the best looking shooting vests on the market. The gray cotton shooting pads, black mesh, and blaze orange border combine to create a look you’ll be proud to wear at the range or on the course. That doesn’t mean this shooting vest doesn’t perform as well. The elastic shoulder inserts and inner drawstring adjustment allow for freedom of movement while walking and shooting and the large front pockets hold enough shells to last a while.
Wrapping It All Up
A good shooting vest can be the difference between a fun and enjoyable day at the range or on the sporting clays course and a frustrating day. With a shooting vest, your gear will be organized, readily accessible, and easy to carry. A good vest can even reduce any shoulder soreness you might get with shooting pads and recoil pad pockets. Whether you are trap shooter, skeet shooter, sporting clays shooter, or hunter, this list will help you find the best shooting vest for you.