Best Hunting & Game Vests Reviewed and Compared for Comfort

A hunting vest offers light protection and is a good way to organize some of the many tools you’ll be carrying through the season. The fun thing about this particular accessory is that it is meant to do a lot without necessarily getting in the way.

There are no dominant brands in the industry, although a notable name on the list is Under Armour. Being one of the biggest names in sports apparel also makes them a prime target for the list. They didn’t disappoint and provided one of the better choices in the top ten.

Your hunting vest is going to get dirty quite often, especially since it was made to catch blood spatter. For reasons of keeping bacteria to a minimum, washing it immediately after the day is done is ideal. In other instance putting it in a separate bag is also a great way to keep bacteria from spreading.

Last Updated: April 18, 2018
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By Ricardo Wisniewski:

This recent update serves to provide readers with more detailed information behind how each product was selected for this buying guide. We spent countless hours combing through the market in efforts to select only the very best products. Additionally, we also included a list of commonly asked questions with answers, in case you have any last minute questions before purchasing your next hunting vest.

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Primos Gunhunter’s Vest
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Gamehide Hunting Vest
  • Gamehide Hunting Vest
  • 4.2 out of 5
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  • Right Support
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Allen Blaze Vest
  • Allen Blaze Vest
  • 4.2 out of 5
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  • Light
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10 Best Hunting Vests

 

1. Primos Gunhunter's

1. Primos Gunhunter's
The best hunting vest on the list has everything you could possible want in one package. Primos went out of their way to provide a premium experience, and they succeeded greatly.
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Saving Pocket Space

The license tag holder on the back is one of the many innovations that saves space. With the extra space on hand you can even be more organized while out hunting.

Features and Specifications

  • Two interior pockets

  • PVC waterproof lining


Price/Value

The smaller sizes will be low priced but the larger sizes hover more around average market prices. This is still the best value on the list if you want it all.

Decision Time

There are few hunting vests in the industry that can stand toe to toe with this model. There aren’t a lot of improvements you can make on a vest that is almost perfect.
Pros

Compass and LED lights included

Superior waterproof protection

Cons

Runs larger than other vests

2. Gamehide Switchgrass

2. Gamehide Switchgrass
The more relaxed fit of the Switchgrass Upland Field Bird hunting vest will appeal to a lot of interested purchasers. Even with a little extra weight, it’s a worthy sacrifice to having a sturdy and roomy vest.
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The Right Support

Built into the vest are quilted shoulders that help with both the comfort and support issues that plague other vests. Putting your most used tools in your vest won’t turn into a painful experience anymore.

Features and Specifications

  • Available in Chestbrown/Orange

  • Fabric gun protector


Price/Value

Buyers can get their hands on this product for a low price, so it’s easy on the wallet. Better yet, the larger sizes don’t add much to the total tally.

Decision Time

The #1 and #2 products on this list are interchangeable, so there are many that consider this the best. With a steady price point any hunter would be proud to have this as their main vest.
Pros

Pockets are larger than normal

Made for extended hours of wear

Cons

Sizing chart is a pain

3. Allen Blaze

3. Allen Blaze
Chances are you’ve purchased a product from Allen Company if you’ve ever purchased a utility vest. This is one of their best, and surprisingly one without a lot of extra features.
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Like Wearing Nothing

By using light acrylic material they not only made the vest quiet, but also very thin. There will be many times where you forget it is even on.

Features and Specifications

  • Blaze orange color

  • Can fit up to a 60 inch chest


Price/Value

This is the lowest priced vest on the list, but also the least functional. The value will be for hunters that need a minimalistic approach to their hunting vests.

Decision Time

Minimilist culture has also affected some hunters, so don’t be too surprised to see this so high on the list. Less is more for certain hunters, and this is the perfect accessory for them.
Pros

Lightest hunting vest on the list

Loop closures are simplistic

Cons

No pockets for tools

4. Vism

4. Vism
There is always a dark horse in the race, and this time around it is the Vism hunting vest. With a nice core set of features to round it out, this can easily turn into the best vest you’ve ever owned.
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Color Combination

The Blaze Orange and Tan combination may be the best thing outside of basic camo for a hunter. As far as color richness goes, this vest is in a league of its own.

Features and Specifications

  • Two front pockets and rear game pocket

  • Built in elastic shell loops


Price/Value

Buyers will enjoy a consumer friendly low price for this hunting vest from Vism. The rich colors make a big difference in how useful it is during hunting season.

Decision Time

Sometimes colors make a real big difference in the success of your hunt. If that’s the case for you, then the Vism hunting vest is a dream come true.
Pros

Pockets are large

Colors are perfect for hunting

Cons

Sizing issues for users over 6 ft.

5. Mountain Pass Extreme

5. Mountain Pass Extreme
Following some of the latest trends in the industry is what prompted this design from Gamehide. The Mountain Pass Extreme Big is one of their bestselling hunting vests in all sizes.
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The Front Side Zipper Makes It

Not only the placement, but the deepness of the pocket. No matter what tool you favor, this will end up being one of your most used vest pockets.

Features and Specifications

  • Lined Kangaroo pocket

  • Safety strap slot


The Front Side Zipper Makes It

Not only the placement, but the deepness of the pocket. No matter what tool you favor, this will end up being one of your most used vest pockets.

Features and Specifications

  • Lined Kangaroo pocket

  • Safety strap slot


Decision Time

This is an important piece to the puzzle if you’re a hunter that needs a vest. Even if it doesn’t come in the largest size, this is still a valuable addition to the list.
Pros

Two roomy vertical chest pockets

Windproof fabric

Cons

Doesn’t have their signature XXXX-Large size

6. GameHide Upland

6. GameHide Upland
One of the most overlooked hunting vests in the industry comes from Gamehide. This small wonder sticks to a more utility look in order to make it more useful.
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Plenty Of Space

The main thing users will notice about the vest is how much space they have to store their tools. All of the extra space is done professionally and spaced out so things don’t get cluttered.

Features and Specifications

  • Snap-close front shell pockets

  • Available in medium, large, X-Large, XX-Large, XXX-Large and XXXX-Large


Price/Value

Buyers that don’t need a small size will get good value from this purchase. The price is low, and that includes up to the largest size.

Decision Time

Getting a large sized hunting vest doesn’t have to be a headache if you look in the right place. GameHide is a fine choice, and one that could save you a lot of trouble.
Pros

Supports larger bodies

Secure pockets and superb placement

Cons

Not available in small

7. Under Armour Men's Blaze

7. Under Armour Men's Blaze
Under Armour is one of the biggest names in sports apparel, so there is no doubt they would turn up high on the list. Their hunting vest has the usual style and toughness that has made the brand so famous.
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Durability

Like all of their other products, this vest can take a lot of punishment. In many cases it will last longer than your other hunting apparel if you follow general cleaning instructions.

Features and Specifications

  • 100% Polyester

  • Snap in pocket closures


Price/Value

The look and feel of this hunting vest is high end, yet remains in the low price category. Buyers that are familiar with the brand will find it the most appealing.

Decision Time

Out of all the hunting vests on the list this is the most non-traditional option. It’s a stand out, and a nice break away from the regular options in the industry.

8. Master Sportsman

8. Master Sportsman
Combining strong materials to make a super vest is what led Master Sportsman to the #8 spot. Their imported hunting vest is high quality and blazes past many others in the industry.
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Finding The Right Material Balance

Using a combination of 60% Cotton and 40% Polyester, they developed a very strong material. With the added strength comes the comfort thanks to the majority of the fusion being cotton.

Features and Specifications

  • Six shell loop holders

  • 4 bellowing cargo pockets


Price/Value

This low priced hunting vest will find its way into the crosshairs of many interested buyers. They will find the value in the colors and the materials being spot on for modern requirements.

Decision Time

Some buyers will find exactly what they want when they purchase this hunting vest. The quality materials are one of the many good things that make this a welcome purchase on the list.
Pros

Great colors that contrast with one another

Lightweight

Cons

No zipper close front pockets

9. Marsway Quick-Dry

9. Marsway Quick-Dry
A mashup of materials makes this unique hunting vest a perfect fit for most customers. Besides having a lot of sizes, it nails some of the more important aspects of owning a hunting vest.
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Perfect Colors

There aren’t a lot of colors associated with this product, but the three available are brilliant. They are red, green and camouflage green.

Features and Specifications

  • Nylon Taslon and Mesh

  • U-neck style with chest debris hook


Price/Value

Like a lot of the other products on the list, this one is low priced. If you’re interested in great camo vests you really can’t find a much better value than this one.

Decision Time

It’s still early in the list, but already a good amount of hunting vests have shown their features. Consumers will have a hard time turning down this vest even when comparing it to the other top choices.
Pros

Keeps you cool without compromising durability

Multiple pockets of various sizes

Cons

Chart is in Asian sizes

10. ZSHOW

10. ZSHOW
The last vest on the list is from Zshow, and it is a great choice for a variety of reasons. Covering all of the important checkboxes for a quality hunting vest, this could very well be further down the list.
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Polyester Material Holds Up Well

With 100% polyester it isn’t trying to do anything fancy, but the material is surprisingly comfortable. It also handles rough housing quite well when you put it to the test.

Features and Specifications

  • Anti-Pilling, Anti-Wrinkle, Water Resistant and Windproof

  • 12 Pockets


Price/Value

Priced low, as long as you get the correct size then the value is good. It just takes a little extra research on your end.

Decision Time

For a small vest, this provides a lot of functionality for hunters. Buyers will be more than happy to use this as their main vest.
Pros

Plenty of storage

Thin and lightweight

Cons

Run smaller than other vests

Starting with the color, the next best thing to look at is sizing. Sizing is very important when choosing  a vest for hunting since it can offer additional space for smaller important tools, and sometimes ammo. Getting one that fits just right is essential so it doesn’t become a burden rather than a big help.

 

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the best Hunting Vests

Encumbrance

When determining the best hunting vest the first trait I wanted to address was the encumbrance of the vest. While this criterion is is easy to overlook, it is a very important trait to consider in hunting vests. Even the lightest vest can seem burdensome if it is positioned incorrectly or has a pocket in an odd area. When taking that long trek out to your hunting site you don’t want to be weighed down by a ten-pound hunting vest. The extra weight of the vest can also make climbing into a tree blind difficult. With this in mind, I selected hunting vests that were all three pounds or less in overall weight.

The first aspect of encumbrance I decided to take was the vests effect on maneuverability. I’ll never forget my first hunting experience, I remember how important it was to be able to move around and be able to reach and bend over for various tasks. Having a vest that can meet those needs could make all the difference between a successful hunt and a hunting failure. In order to ensure maneuverability wouldn’t be hindered, I selected vests that were capable of being large enough to fit over an existing jacket or ones that are made from a forgiving material that could stretch if needed. Many times, I would wear my hunting vest over my coat so I also sought to ensure some of these vests would accommodate that need.

Every good hunter knows that being as silent as possible is critical to your success. Some noises can go unnoticed by your game, however, noises that aren’t common in nature will stand out severely to the wildlife in the area. Things as small as whether or not the birds in the are are active and whistling can startle your game of choice. Being able to quietly and seamlessly immerse yourself in the environment is a very important task. While not specific to hunting, it also can become rather bothersome to hear every one of your own movements. Knowing this I made sure to pick hunting vests that won’t generate too much noise when you move or something rubs against your vest.

Movement as seemingly innocuous as your chest expanding and contracting as you inhale and exhale can affect the trajectory of your shot. Another seemingly irrelevant factor that can cause just as much of a difference is the positioning of your pockets. The slightest variance in how the weight is distributed on your vest could be your undoing. The positioning of your pockets can also make the vest feel more or less comfortable.  I made sure to only include vests that were symmetrically designed or were capable of spreading the weight of anything you happen to be carrying over the vest.

Endurance

With various different seasons starting and ending throughout the year it’s important to have a vest that can endure cold weather while being comfortable in the spring and summer seasons. Furthermore with frequent walking through tall grass and brush areas getting a jacket that can withstand the abrasion of vegetation without getting snagged was crucial. Each of these vests can be used regardless of season, game, or region.

Whether it be the trials of the outdoors or the sport, hunting vests tend to get a little dirty. While hunting, it’s important to be as scent neutral as possible. A vast number of game types have an extremely good sense of smell and can detect any change in their environment that seems artificial. This makes cleaning a hunting vest more of a chore than an easy task. In order to help reduce the washing process, I included options that were stain resistant.

On the coldest of days, the wind can end up being the worst part of your outing. It drastically intensifies the frigid air and streamlines it directly in your direction as if it were intentional. With some game living in treacherous terrain with different weather types that can combine with the wind, it’s important to have a layer between you and the environment. Some of the hunting vests on this list are windproof while others are just wind resistant. To test whether or not a fabric is windproof you can blow on the product and see if you can feel the wind caused on the other side of the fabric. You can potentially generate up to a 20 mph wind by just using your lungs. If the material prevents you from feeling it, chances are it will withstand quite well outdoors.

The most common and basic essential can ironically become your worst enemy when in the wilderness. Getting wet while outdoors can quickly lead to disaster if it cannot be remedy quickly, particularly in cold weather. Being waterproof was another trait that I tried to include with the vests on this list. Waterproof jackets use three layers of fabric that are treated with a deep water repellent spray and are generally also windproof due to this process.

Visibility and Appearance

This important topic always looms whenever hunting seasons approach. Can the game see the bright blazing orange vests? For me, the answer has always been simple and the answer it for me has always been that it was never about being seen by the game. I’d rather scare the game off than fall victim to a hunting accident due to not wearing a bright blazing orange vest. While this works for me, some hunters prefer to blend in with their surrounding seamlessly. In order to provide both options, I included both the blazing bright orange hunting vests and some mono-colored vests.

Camouflage works by breaking up your silhouette and making your movements less noticeable. Most game notice movement very well so having a camouflage pattern on your vest can be very beneficial when hunting. A few of the vests on this list can assist you with keeping your silhouette as broken as possible. It is important to note that camouflage works better if the camouflage can match the colors in the surrounding area.

While the bright blazing orange vests are a good safety precaution style is another concern when looking for the right hunting vest. The mono-colored vest is useful and has a good ability to match most camouflage schemes. With the bright blazing orange vests that are made to stick out, I tried to include options which broke up the orange patches into separate areas making it easier to add to a hunting outfit.

The style you choose says a lot about you and is one of a small number of things in your control. One of the most common phrases you will ever hear is the long-lasting effect of a first impression. It is an easy way to show who you are and what your interests are. With such an important moment possibly occurring while you’re in your hunting vest, I made sure to choose vests that not only function well but also have a stylish appearance to their design.

Affordability

While you can most likely find a jacket that is all-inclusive and has everything you could ever want and more, chances are you will also pay everything the seller could always want, and more. While writing this hunting vest best list I tried to average out the value of each vest and the cost and keep the most cost-effective vests higher on the list. Finding good options was a challenge but I feel I’ve found the best valued hunting vests available.

Each of the vests that I listed was intended to fulfill the most basic of needs you could want in any hunting vest as well as offering something unique or that fulfilled another requirement. This selection method allowed me to ensure I chose only vests that offer a good value compared to their cost. In order to assist in the process, I listed the most cost-effective towards the top of the list.

The last thing you want is to buy a hunting vest and having it get snagged or ripped during your first use. Having this happen could mean missing an entire day of hunting. From durable cotton canvas to mixed materials, these fabrics do an excellent job of preventing even the peskiest of branches from getting caught in your vest. In order to contest the ruggedness of the outdoors the vests that were chosen feature those which use the more durable material.

Much like any product, there are companies that specialize in making the most resounding product possible to ensure your satisfaction. There are also up and comers that are helping to set new boundaries of what a vest is capable of. To keep a good balance in this list I sought to feature both brand names and new but popular vests.

When planning a hunting trip there are about a thousand things you need to consider and you must have a plan in order to have a good trip. Everything from where and when you can get food to where you will sleep while you’re not sitting in the woods silently for hours. In an attempt to consider this task I chose vests that require little to no maintenance or upkeep giving you more time to focus on the other aspects of your hunt.

Accessories

From compasses and lights, to license tag holders and water bottle holders, having multiple accessories adds some value to these hunting vests. A number of the vests on this list include small additional items for convenience and comfort. These small amenities can make a good vest your favorite tool in your hunting gear. The amount accessories that can be added to these vests was another trait I tried to include in this list.

No matter what your choice of game, every hunter needs an ample supply of ready ammunition. When you’re in the moment and ready to start your hunt the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not you have spare ammunition should you miss your target. A couple of these hunting vests include a shell holder, elastic stitching or a pouch, made to hold your ammunition. So when the time comes you won’t have to worry about fumbling around looking for more ammunition.

With the weather being as unpredictable as it is, having a safe and dry spot on your vest in which you can store electronics like your cell phone or rangefinder safely nestled is a necessity. A variety of these vests include interior pockets to keep these belongings intact. A few of the vests included a waterproof lining on the interior of the pocket to further increase the resistance from damage potential.

Some of the vests on this list utilize multiple pockets, some very large, and some super small to ensure you have ample storage for anything you could possibly need while on your hunt. Anything from knives, gloves, and even baits can be stored in a convenient position that works for you. While pockets are a nice feature I also added a few options that use no pockets but still are good hunting vests.

This may seem like an obvious choice as a feature but I made sure to include some options that offer multiple color varieties. Customization is an important trait to many hunters. You are making a statement with your style. In order to adhere to this desire, some of these vests offer different colors and styles so every hunter could choose one that fits their needs and preferences.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What material is commonly used in making hunting vests?

A: The material used in any product it is a very important thing to know. These vests use a large number of materials and each has its strengths and weaknesses. Some of these vests use a cotton and polyester mixed fabric. Polyester is much cheaper than cotton, making these vests more affordable. While polyester is cheaper and helps to reduce the cost it’s not a very breathable material. A cotton polyester mix is a great option as cotton provides the breathability of a good quality vest. Some of these vests use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) lining, which is a waterproof lining, to keep you dry and comfortable even in the wettest regions. Two of the vests on this list use nylon and mesh materials. These materials are very lightweight and have no issues with breathability making them excellent choices for the spring or summer hunts.

Q: What sizes are commonly found in hunting vests?

A: Being able to use these vests over a jacket or even just to accommodate any user was an important focus of this guide. Each and every vest on this list was selected due to its size options. The vests size options do vary slightly, some of them are one size fits most, and others are adjustable. The vests that include a size option all capable of fitting up to XXL some were even capable of being as large as XXXL. The one size fits most jackets were quite large and would, in fact, fit most hunters. The adjustable sizes were amongst my favorite options and can be adapted to fit any hunter.

Q: What kind of game can these vests be used to hunt?

A: With so many options of game it was critical for me to choose vests that could suit any hunter’s game choice. While some of these vests can be particularly useful for specific game types, each of the vests is very capable of adapting to your needs. Regardless of what game type you choose, I’m confident these vests will be able to keep you well supplied and prepared when the time comes for your hunt.

Q: Do any of these vests feature game bags?

A: While hunting small game it can become a hassle to carry around all of the game you managed to catch. Many of these vests feature a small pouch that rests on the side or back of the vest that is capable of holding your small game. Some of these pouches are stain resistant in order to prevent ruining the pouch with your games mess. The size and location of these pouches will vary from vest to vest.

Q: How adjustable are these vests?

A: The vests that had the adjustability that some hunters require are very versatile. They are capable of fitting the smallest or largest of hunters. They feature adjustable straps in place of a zipper keeping the fabric tight fitting to your body without being too constricting.

Q: Do any of these vests feature a water bottle pocket?

A: As the most important variable in the existence of life, water should always be kept nearby. While some of these vests were chosen for their low profile appearance, others were chosen because of features like their water bottle pocket.

Q: Do any of these vests have shell holders?

A: Having the ammunition when you need while hunting cannot be overlooked. While most of us want to be as accurate as possible everyone misses eventually so having spare ammunition is important. Some of the jackets on this list include shell holding elastic rings keeping the ammunition you need close and easily accessible.

Q: What type of closing method do the pockets use on these vests?

A: With noise being the main factor in losing a potential game it’s no wonder this question is featured on the most frequently asked questions. The slightest artificial noise from the motion of your arms touching your sides too, the sound of a pocket opening or closing can be noticed. The vests on this list use a variety of methods to close, from buttons to velcro or clips. Which one you choose will depend on your experience with each of them.

Sources

  1. Wikipedia, High Visibility Clothing
  2. Kansapedia, Hunting Vest
  3. FS.USDA, Hunting Safety

 

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