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Does the arrival of the hunting season excite you? Do you look forward to organizing hunting parties with your buddies? If the answer is yes to both, it’s clear that this post is for you. Hunting involves a lot of preparation, and buying the right vest is a crucial step. Don’t worry; we’ve got the 14 best hunting vests covered for you right here!
Every state has its laws you’ll need to follow if you want to legally join the hunting season. Wearing a hunting vest is mandatory in many states.
Even the type of vest and color specifications are different for different states. And yes, the design and model change based on what you plan to hunt and when.
It does seem complex if you are a beginner, but don’t fret. We’ve worked to put together a list of the best hunting vests available in the market.
Gear up, folks! Take out your kits and start cleaning them. Read through the article to know which hunting vest is the best to protect you in the wild.
Roundup of the Best Hunting Vests
|Best Upland Hunting Vest||Game Hide Switchgrass Upland Field Bird Hunting Vest|
|Best Turkey Hunting Vest||ALPS OutdoorZ Super Elite 4.0 Turkey Vest|
|Best Bird Hunting Vest for All Sizes||TENZING 962208 BV16 Upland Vest|
|Best Pheasant Hunting Vest||Browning Pheasants Forever Vest|
|Most Lightweight Hunting Vest||Sitka Gear Men’s Stratus Windstopper Water Repellent Ultra-Quiet Fleece Hunting Vest|
|Best Hunting Vest for Cold Weather||SITKA Gear Men’s Kelvin Lite Insulated Hunting Vest|
|Best Unisex Hunting Vest||EBBQ Unisex Hunting Vest|
|Best Hunting Vest for Women||Prois Pradlann Upland Vest|
|Best Hunting Vest with Game Pouch||Badlands Upland Hunting Vest with Game Bag|
|Best Hunting Vest for Deer Hunting||TrailCrest Orange Safety Deluxe Front Loader Vest High Visibility Deer Hunting|
|Best Hunting Vest for Dogs||ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness with 2X Metal Buckle, Working Dog MOLLE Vest with Handle|
|Best Fishing Vest||Flygo Mens Summer Outdoor Work Safari Fishing Vest|
|Best Hunting Vest for Dove Hunting||Gamehide Upland and Dove Lightweight Hunting Vest|
|Best Hunting Vest for Camouflage||SITKA Men’s Hunting Water-Repellent Camo Gear Dakota Vest|
Factors to Consider When Buying a Hunting Vest
A hunting vest acts as a protective shield when you are in the wild. It alerts other shooters of your presence and reduces the risk of being shot by a stray bullet.
The vest also has multiple pockets where you can store smaller accessories and other important stuff. However, choosing the right vest is important if you want to enjoy your hunting trip.
Size and Overall Fitting
The first parameter to consider when choosing the best hunting vest is the overall fitting. It should neither be too tight nor too loose. This depends on whether you wear the vest inside or outside. Choosing the one with adjustable straps will help you find the right fitting.
As we mentioned earlier, a hunting vest is not always mandatory. However, it is recommended to wear one to protect your upper body. In such instances, you can wear the vest inside your shirt. The exact size will be a good choice here. That said, if you wear the vest on top of your clothes, you’ll need a size slightly larger than the actual fit to accommodate the layers of clothing on your body.
Color, Weight, and Style
Blaze orange is mandatory in many states, especially during the hunting season. It allows you to be easily visible from a distance and reduces the risk of accidental shootings.
You can find vests in other colors and designs that are more suited to blend into the surroundings and give you an added advantage. Read the hunting laws carefully before you pick a color.
The vest should preferably be lightweight so that it’s easy to move in the woods. It should not make too much noise when in contact with another surface. This can startle your target by alerting them of your presence.
Durability and Weather Resistance
Hunting seasons for different animals/birds are open during various seasons of the year. Your hunting vest should withstand the climatic conditions and last for a reasonable time. Also, it would be a smart choice to invest in a hunting vest that can be used in several seasons.
And remember that there’s a difference between windproof and wind-resistant. The same goes for waterproof vests. A waterproof vest is usually windproof as well. If you are hunting in colder weather conditions, you’ll need a warm vest to maintain the body temperature.
Scent control is another vital factor. If you sweat, the animals will smell you from a distance. This can affect your chances. Apart from being breathable and weather-resistant, the hunting jacket should control the scent released by your body and absorb it.
Cost and Affordability
A high-end hunting vest will naturally be more expensive and have more to offer. But do you need it? Not everyone needs expensive hunting jackets. You’ll have to choose based on how much you hunt, where you hunt, and how you do it.
A good hunting vest has other accessories such as a bottle holder, license tag holder, compass holders, a pouch to store the shells/ammunition, and a safe pocket to hide your mobile phone. Rather, the best hunting vests have convenient pockets for knives, gloves, maps, etc. A vest that can be customized will be an ideal choice for the hunting season.
Top 14 Hunting Vests for Bird Hunting, Fishing and More
The following are some of the best hunting vests available on the market:
1. Game Hide Switchgrass Upland Field Bird Hunting Vest
Best Upland Hunting Vest
- Front shell pocket with a fabric gun protector
- Blood-proof game bag
- Cotton canvas material for durability and comfort
- 500 sq inches of blaze orange for easy visibility
- Oversized design- have to buy one size smaller
- The game pouch is at the back
Gamehide Switchgrass is the best upland hunting vest in the market. It comes at an affordable price and is made of cotton canvas for durability. The pockets are a highlight of this model.
Firstly, this vest has been designed for newbies and intermediary hunters. It is highly comfortable and comes with good padding to sustain rough usage. The shell pocket allows you to store 16 shells.
Secondly, the vest has about 500 sq inches of blaze orange on the body. The rest of it is in brown (chestnut brown and marsh brown). If your state laws mandate compulsory orange on the vest, this is the one for you.
To conclude, Gamehide Switchgrass Upland Hunting Vest is a cost-effective deal with many benefits, such as a blood-proof game bag at the back. The vest is convenient to wear and use. However, it is oversized and should be worn on your clothes. Still, the sizes are larger than standard measurements. Try to order one size small for a better fit.
2. ALPS OutdoorZ Super Elite 4.0 Turkey Vest
Best Turkey Hunting Vest
- Versatile vest
- Comes with 22 pockets
- Removable seat cushion
- Has a cotton liner and breathable mesh panels
- Can be a little hot in warm weather
- The bottle pouch is inside the vest
ALPS OutdoorZ Super Elite 4.0 is the best turkey hunting vest in the market. The fitting is great without being too big for the preferred size. And imagine all that you can carry in those 22 pockets!
Firstly, the hunting vest has been made using cotton liner and mesh panels to make it comfortable, silent on the field, and breathable. The design is perfect for camouflaging and shooting the turkeys.
Secondly, the vest comes with a 2.5-inch thick cushion that can be folded when you are on your feet and laid out on the ground when you need to sit. It protects your bottom from the roughness and dampness of the earth.
In conclusion, ALPS OutdoorZ Super Elite 4.0 Turkey Vest allows you to carry your turkey hunting accessories with ease. From stickers to water bottle/thermal flask to a game bag, everything fits in the vest. The cellphone pocket makes it easy for you to safely store your phone and take it out quickly. Do remember that the vest can be a little warmer in hot conditions.
3. TENZING 962208 BV16 Upland Vest
Best Bird Hunting Vest for All Sizes
- Torture-tested for better damage resistance
- 13 pockets and compartments
- Water compatible fabric for high-stress areas
- Load lifter straps for better fitting
- Could have been lighter in weight and design
- Feels more like a backpack
TENZING 962208 BV16 is the best bird hunting vest that’s suitable for all sizes. The blaze orange and brown vest is durable, water-compatible, and has several pockets to store your hunting gear.
Firstly, the vest has been built using quality materials. It is comfortable, though some of you might find it a tad heavy. The bird pouch is conveniently located and can be used from the front.
Secondly, the bird hunting vest has 13 pockets in different sizes. Some can be secured using Velcro, while others come with a zipper. The hip pockets are large enough to hold 14 shells at a time.
To conclude, TENZING 962208 BV16 Upland Vest is a worthy investment with two years of warranty from the manufacturer. The water bladder is great, and the suspension straps hold everything together. Though we’d have liked the front pockets to be a bit bigger, it doesn’t affect the hunting.
4. Browning Pheasants Forever Vest
Best Pheasant Hunting Vest
- Made from 100% cotton
- Comes with a game bag
- Sturdy and durable with quality stitches
- Heavy-duty vest with comfortable fitting
- Too big for medium-sized people
- The sippers could have been in metal instead of plastic
Browning Pheasants Forever Vest is the best pheasant hunting vest made from 100% cotton. This heavy-duty vest is great for hunting in colder conditions. The vest will fit perfectly over thick clothing.
Firstly, the vest comes in two colors (khaki with a blaze orange and multi with a blaze orange). The front pockets are convenient and easy to use when hunting. It comes with a game bag, though there is no license tag holder.
Secondly, the shell holders are so large that you can store double the amount of shells in each one. The pockets are secured using Velcro.
To conclude, Browning Pheasants Forever Vest is big and suitable for large men. The price varies based on the size, though you can also buy the one-size-fits-all jacket. This pheasant hunting jacket might feel a bit heavy at 2.25 pounds but keeps you warm on a cold day. It’s a good choice for those who prefer strong vests.
5. Sitka Gear Men’s Stratus Windstopper Water Repellent Ultra-Quiet Fleece Hunting Vest
Most Lightweight Hunting Vest
- Has a safety harness pass-through port
- Water repellent and windproof
- Zippered hand pockets
- Lightweight and breathable
- Not available in small sizes
- Expensive vest
Sitka Gear Fleece Hunting Vest is the best lightweight yet secure vest in the market. Made using 100% polyester, it is windproof and super light.
Firstly, the hunting vest is water repellant. This versatile vest can be used in different regions and weather conditions. The vest also resists slight precipitation and doesn’t let the outer surface get wet from the moisture.
Secondly, the material is breathable and soft. The vest comes in two colors – orange blaze and elevated li (camo). Smaller people will find that the vest is too big for them. This model is more suited for wider and taller people.
In conclusion, Sitka Gear Fleece Hunting Vest is an expensive model but worth the money to spend on it. The hunting vest has zipper pockets to keep your hands warm in cold weather. It fully covers your chest and back and provides great protection against chilly wind and mild rains. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about the vets making noise and attracting attention.
6. SITKA Gear Men’s Kelvin Lite Insulated Hunting Vest
Best Hunting Vest for Cold Weather
- Superior moisture management
- Smell control polygiene technology
- Ultra-fine fibers for extra warmth
- Thermal regulation with insulation
- Not available in orange color
SITKA Gear Insulated Hunting Vest is the best model to use in cold weather conditions. The vest has been designed for stalking, ambushing, and concealment in rocky and vegetated terrains.
Firstly, the hunting jacket comes with PrimaLoft Silver insulation that makes it a perfect choice for chilly climates and winter hunting seasons. At the same time, the vest is breathable and comfortable.
Secondly, it is made using ultra-fine fibers that help produce warmth without adding too much bulk and weight to the vest. The vest is just 12 ounces and easy to wear for long durations.
To conclude, SITKA Gear Insulated Hunting Vest can absorb moisture and sweat. It comes with scent control ability and doesn’t let animals find your scent. The hunting vest is fully synthetic and has non-migrating fleece insulation. The chest hand warmer pockets are great to warm your fingers and hands. The vest is not cheap but is worth the money.
7. EBBQ Unisex Hunting Vest
Best Unisex Hunting Vest
- 4-way dump pockets
- Lightweight and silent
- Magnum rifle loops
- Quality material and stitches
- Oversized and can be too big
- Not all pockets are useful
EBBQ Hunting Vest is the best unisex vest and is suitable for everyone. If you have been looking for a vest that can be worn by various family members, this would be a good choice.
Firstly, blaze orange camo highlights your presence from a long distance. You’ll never have to be worried about not being spotted by another hunter, irrespective of the region.
Secondly, the hunting vest has padded shoulders and a rifle strap if you need to walk far and move around a lot. The shell pockets are large with shell loops and enough space to store more shells.
In conclusion, EBBQ Unisex Hunting Vest can be used by anyone, though remember that it is oversized. Even if you wear thermal clothing, the vest is likely to be loose. It’s better to order one size small for a better fitting. The game bag is more of a pouch but that’s not a big problem. The orange vest comes for a highly affordable price and is made of durable material.
8. Prois Pradlann Upland Vest
Best Hunting Vest for Women
- 420D Nylon Ripstop for extreme durability
- Expandable game bag
- Two deep storage back pockets
- Fully adjustable and customizable
- Needs more orange patches
- Not suitable for people with neck pain/injury
Prois Pradlann Upland Vest is the best hunting vest designed exclusively for women. This particular vest fits women like no other model. The pockets are easily accessible and can hold the hunting accessories with ease.
Firstly, the upland hunting vest is made using high-quality material for comfort and durability. The pockets are deep, and the game bag is located with side lower panels so that you can easily store the bird with a single arm.
Secondly, the ammunition pockets are at the waist and have elastic hooks. This makes them easy to use for storing and removing shells.
To conclude, Prois Pradlann is a reliable hunting vest for women upland hunters. Though it comes for a slightly expensive price, the hunting vest can be fully customized using the shoulder, chest, and hip straps. The only concern is that the vest tends to add a bit of weight around the neck, and those suffering from neck pains or injuries might find this inconvenient.
9. Badlands Upland Hunting Vest with Game Bag
Best Hunting Vest with Game Pouch
- Waterproof game bag with a high storage capacity
- Lightweight and quiet
- Hydration compatible
- Extra shell loops on the outside
- The rear pockets cannot be used always
- The shell loops are too large
Badlands Upland Hunting Vest is the best vest with a removable waterproof game bag to store the birds. It also has nine pockets to hold other hunting accessories you require on the trip.
Firstly, the hunting vest is made of 100% polyester and is a lightweight model. It is silent and allows you to move around without making any noise.
Secondly, this is a versatile hunting vest and lets you carry a two liters water bag. The vest, water bag, and game bag are easy to clean and maintain.
To conclude, Badlands Upland Hunting Vest comes with additional external shell loops to store more ammunition. However, the shell holders are larger than necessary unless you use gauge 20 shells. Though the hunting vest is expensive, it has magnetic closures and allows quick access to the storage bag. If you hunt quails more than pheasants, this bag will be suitable for you.
10. TrailCrest Orange Safety Deluxe Front Loader Vest High Visibility Deer Hunting
Best Hunting Vest for Deer Hunting
- Durable and lightweight
- Quilted shoulder patches
- 28 concealed shell holders
- Zipper and snaps for size adjustment
- The stitching of loops and Velcro is not good
- Comes in a smaller size
TrailCrest Orange Safety Deluxe is the best hunting vest for deer hunting. It is made using 55% cotton and 45% polyester. The vest is lightweight and comes with several pockets.
Firstly, the quilted shoulders provide additional comfort when exposed to changing weather conditions. The bright blaze orange color is easily visible in thick woods when you hunt deer.
Secondly, the vest is suitable for use in all weather conditions, be it summer or winter. You can store your mobile, cards, keys, and other items in all pockets. It also comes with 28 hidden shell loops and a license tag holder.
In conclusion, TrailCrest Deer Hunting Vest is a great choice if you want an adjustable vest useful in any hunting season. However, the sizes run smaller than the standard. You’ll need to buy one or two sizes larger to wear this vest over your clothes. Otherwise, the zipper closure will not work. A blood proof and waterproof game bag comes with the hunting vest.
11. ICEFANG Tactical Dog Harness with 2X Metal Buckle, Working Dog MOLLE Vest with Handle
Best Hunting Vest for Dogs
- Adjustable straps
- Alloy metal buckle on dog shoulder position
- Available in six colors
- Breathable webbing for proper ventilation
- The straps seem to be ripping off
- The clips can be stronger
ICEFANG Tactical Dog MOLLE Vest is the best hunting vest for dogs. The vest is suitable for working dogs and hunting dogs.
Firstly, the alloy metal buckle is perfectly positioned on the dog’s shoulder and takes up to 1000lbs weight. All you are to do is connect the leash to the no-pull front clip.
Secondly, there’s a strong handle sewn at the top so that you can lift the dog with ease. The vest comes with straps to adjust the size, though we wish the straps were more durable.
To conclude, ICEFANG Tactical Dog MOLLE Vest suits small and large dogs alike and is exactly what it claims to be. The mesh lining makes the vest breathable for your dogs and keeps them cool. You can customize the vest and sew in more mesh patches. Choose a color from the six options provided based on the local laws. Just make sure to pick the right hunting vest after measuring your dog’s size.
12. Flygo Mens Summer Outdoor Work Safari Fishing Vest
Best Fishing Vest
- Available in 23 colors
- Lightweight, breathable, and durable
- Versatile vest with multiple pockets
- Comes with a zipper closure and Velcro pockets
- Some vests came with manufacturing defects
- The inside pockets are not waterproof
Flygo Mens Safari Vest is the best Fishing Vest for the summer seasons. The vest is a lightweight model and comes with a breathable lining.
Firstly, the hunting jacket dries quickly and keeps you cool and comfortable all day long. It comes with 16 Velcro and zipper pockets in varying sizes.
Secondly, the zipper closure keeps the vest in place and is suitable for safaris, bird watching, fishing, photography, climbing, and more. Do remember that the interior pockets are not waterproof.
In conclusion, Flygo Safari Fishing Vest comes in 23 colors, allowing you to choose the one suited for your needs. The durable fabric offers light protection and has minimum waterproof abilities. The manufacturer has made changes to the sizes based on customer feedback. You can directly buy the size you wear instead of opting for two sizes bigger. The vest comes at an affordable price.
13. Gamehide Upland and Dove Lightweight Hunting Vest
Best Hunting Vest for Dove Hunting
- Blood proof game bag for all birds
- Lightweight vest
- Comfortable design and construction
- Durable fabrics and good pockets
- No license tag holder
Gamehide Lightweight Vest is the best jacket for dove and upland hunting. It comes for a budget-friendly price and is available in two colors – dark brown and brown with orange patches.
Firstly, the vest is easy to wear and take off. The fabric and the construction quality are worth mentioning. The game bag can be loaded from the front and back and holds different birds and smaller animals.
Secondly, the external shell holders are designed for 12 and 20 gauge shells. The pockets are convenient to use, though the front zipper could have been stronger.
To conclude, Gamehide Upland And Dove Hunting Vest is a wonderful fit for a day-long hunting trip. Though there’s no holder for the license tag, you can put it in one of the pockets. The sizes run a bit large. You can order your actual size, and it’ll fit very well. The hunting vest is durable and comfortable, even if it looks a little thin. Best for upland hunting.
14. SITKA Men’s Hunting Water-Repellent Camo Gear Dakota Vest
Best Hunting Vest for Camouflage
- Durable and versatile
- Water repellent finish
- Handwarmer pockets
- Suitable for different weather conditions
- Sizing issues for some users
- A bit costly
SITKA Camo Gear Dakota Vest is the best hunting jacket for camouflage. It comes in two colors – marsh and timber.
Firstly, the vest is highly durable and can be used in moderate temperatures, as well as in chilly climates. The camouflage works the best by hiding you from your target.
Secondly, it is water-repellent, windproof, and has handwarmer pockets and zipper storage pockets suitable for hunting. You can pair it with bibs, pants, or waders.
In conclusion, SITKA Camo Gear Dakota Vest is a form-fitting hunting vest designed exclusively for Dakota hunters. The vest is a bit expensive but is worth the price. The size can be an issue if you fall in between but shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The vest will still fit well if you measure and follow the chart provided by the manufacturer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hunting Vests
1. What are the types of hunting vests on the market?
Ans. There are various types of hunting vests to choose from-
a. High Vis Vests or Safety Vests for durability and better weather resistance.
b. Bowhunting Vests for bowhunters and can be used in all seasons.
c. Turkey Hunting Vests for carrying your hunting gear into the woods.
d. Upland Hunting Vests for hunting upland birds like pheasants, quails, etc. Most upland hunting vests are in orange, except for Montana.
Hunting vests are also classified as traditional vests, strap vests, and game belts.
2. Why do hunters wear orange?
Ans. Orange vests are easy to see and identify in the woods. They make the hunter more visible and prevent other hunters from accidentally shooting them. The rules for every state differ, but it is recommended to use an orange vest for hunting.
We hope you have a clear knowledge of hunting vests and what would be the best choice for you. We recommend Gamehide Switchgrass for upland field bird hunting vest, Sitka Gear Men’s Stratus Windstopper for a lightweight hunting vest, and Prois Pradlann Upland Vest for women hunters.
However, we urge you to take your time to thoroughly check and compare the vests before making the final decision. Consider all factors and invest in the best hunting vest to suit your requirements.
Take proper precautions and have a happy hunting trip!