The 4 Best Chest Rigs — Tactical Setup Reviews 2023

Photo by Defence Images / CC BY

Chest rigs are designed for the shooter not looking to attach his or her gear to an armored carrier, of the shooter not looking to run body armor. A good chest rig can do a lot of things, and surprisingly often does them better than a plate carrier. Chest rigs should be able to support your gear without the risk of the rig breaking, tearing or falling apart. This means it needs to be tough, capable of living a rough and tumble life. The best chest rigs need to be comfortable, capable, and hey it should look pretty cool too.


Blackhawk is an industry leader in the realm of tactical gear, from holsters, to backpacks, to this Omega tactical vest, Blackhawk designs gear that is purpose driven. The Omega vest is a catch all for anyone looking to run an AR style rifle, and carry a handgun. The Omega vest is outfitted with three rifle magazine pouches outfitted to hold 6 AR mags, and in my experience the vest is capable of holding 1 AK mag per pouch, or one Saiga 12 gauge 5 round magazine.

The Omega features a cross draw pistol holster, designed for a full sized pistol. I found it capable of holding the M9 Beretta, the SIG P226 and 229, the 1911, the Glock 19 and the Springfield XD in 45. The holster could hold a wide variety of weapons; however, these were the only models I personally tested. Situated above the holster is three magazine pouches for the pistol designed to contained three double stack magazines. The single stack 1911 magazines were a bit loose, but they did not fall out.

The Omega is outfitted with a single admin pouched situated above the rifle pouches for extra gear. The Omega is outfitted with Blackhawk’s patented sniper shoulder pads which reduced recoil and provide a firm material for the stock of a rifle to rest on. The material sticks to the stock, and grips it well. The Omega is one of the best chest rig setups for someone looking for a basic vest, that’s ready to rock and roll.

5.11 LBE

Another well known name in the tactical gear market is 5.11 tactical. Their tactical LBE vest is a completely modular piece of gear that allows an individual to completely tailor their load out. The 5.11 LBE vest is designed to provide the utmost amount of webbing material possible. The vest is designed to be outfitted for a particular load out, for either police or military. You can also change the vest at will to suit your needs. If one day you are running a rifle, the next you could be running a shotgun, and the vest can keep up.

The 5.11 LBE is outfitted with a front zipper and two loop and buckle attachments to secure the vest to your body. The zipper is a high quality YKK zipper designed to hold up to extreme amount of punishment and durability. The vest is also completely adjustable for girth and length and can fit a wide variety of different heights and body types.

Two polymer loops on either side hand down to attach a modular belt or a drop leg rig. The 5.11 LBE is outfitted with enough MOLLE to accommodate 3 double rifle pouches, a BlackHawk Serpa Holster, and two accommodating mag pouches, a hydration carrier on the back, and still plenty of room to attach a radio pouch, and a variety of admin pouches. The front features a velcro attachment to provide an identification tag, zap tag, or agency pouch. The 5.11 LBE is ready to be outfitted with anything you need and is a contender for the best tactical chest rig.

5.11 LBE Tactical Vest First Impressions

The Condor Recon

The Condor tactical company produces a wide variety of magazine pouches, hydration systems, plate carriers and of course chest rigs these days. The Recon is a chest rig designed to live up to its name. The title Recon is closely associated with being quiet, stealthy, lightweight, and ready to move. The Recon is designed with that in mind.

The Condor Recon chest rig has two broad X crossed straps designed to be ultimately adjustable for the end user. These broad straps aid in supporting your load out of magazines, gear and ammunition. The front sides of these straps have three MOLLE attachments to allow the fitting of a knife and compass pouch.

The Recon chest rig has three built in kangaroo style magazine pouches that are capable of holding six M4 style magazines and six double stack handgun magazines. The left and right sides of the Recon chest rig offer some additional MOLLE for the attachment of extra magazine pouches, or whatever other gear you are going to war with. The recon is very lightweight and use minimal material to provide a well ventilated area for maximum comfort. The Condor combines a lot of features in a compact package and is one of the best chest rigs period.

Lancer Tactical CA 307

The Lancer Tactical CA 307 chest rig is a modern tactical rig that comes complete with enough pouches to get any shooter started. The Lancer Tactical Kit comes like any other chest rig you’ll find on the market. It’s complete with front and side MOLLE panels to accommodate the 3 included pouches. There is also a large detachable hydration carrier that can attach to the back of the chest rig. This can accommodate a 3-liter hydration bladder to stay hydrated on the go.

The back panel hydration carrier also comes equipped with MOLLE webbing and panels that allows you to equip accessories and gear. Also included is a triple magazine pouch that can hold two magazines per pouch. This gives you a total of 6 magazines. You also get two large accessory pouches that can be used for a variety of gear This includes building a medical kit, an engineering kit, or anything else you may need.

The Lancer Tactical CA 307 is a robust and well-made chest rig. The Straps are nice and wide and support the weight of your gear nicely. It’s a rock-solid rig and affordable to boot. Overall, this is one of the best chest rig setups period.

Conclusion – Support and Secure

If a chest rig should be anything it should support and secure your gear. A chest rig often carries the most mission essential equipment necessary to survive a fight. Go with a company you can trust and a vest that fits your needs. The guy running an M4 should use a different vest than the guy running a shotgun or even a machine gun. FInd a vest that is supportive and secure, and run it hard.

  • Owner of, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.

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One response

  1. Bought a chest rig for a non-armored opposition withinside the nice and cozy Arizona Desert. Did some dry run ahead of the event, certain enough, while the opposition came, the rig did now not allow me down. Whether prone, crawling, or moving, the rig stayed in a tremendous position, suitable retention on magazines, zilch moved round as soon as the entirety become adjusted correctly.

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