Best Shooting Vest For The Money – Reviews Of 2018
Whether you are new to shooting or are a practiced hand, it’s good to own a shooting vest. Knights never went to battle without armor.
In the same way, you need to armor yourself with a shooting vest when you are skeet shooting, trap shooting, or clay pigeon shooting.
The shooting vest will protect you from recoil, and its pockets will provide a convenient storage location for your cartridges, empty bullet shells, shooting glasses, and so forth.
I wanted to share what I know about shooting vests with you. So I compiled a short list of the best shooting vests on the market for the money.
What’s a Shooting Vest?
A shooting vest, as the name readily suggests, is a garment worn when one is shooting. They are commonly worn by people who engage in skeet shooting, trap shooting, or shooting clays. The vest is designed to give practical benefits to a shooter.
For instance, shooting vests have large, wide pockets on the front and one on the back which enable the easy storage and retrieval of cartridges, empty casings, ear muffs, shooting glasses, and other shooting gear.
Shooting vests have pockets on the shoulders into which you can insert recoil pads. The recoil pads are designed to protect your shoulder from the force of your firearm’s recoil. If you are a novice shooter, you must ensure your shooting vest has recoil pads; otherwise, you might hurt yourself.
Now, let us look at the best shooting vests for the money.
Best Shooting Vest Review:
1. Browning Trapper Creek Vest:
If you are looking for the best shooting vests on the market, Browning is an excellent choice. The brand is well-known and respected in shooting circles. Its products are prized for their durability, style, and overall usefulness.
This is the first of the Browning shooting vests I will review in this article. Over 80% of customers on Amazon report that the vest fits them as they expected. They use words like “great fit” and “perfect fit” to describe the vest.
It is ideal for use in both warm and cold weather. In warm weather, you wear it as normal. But in the cold weather, you can adjust it to enable you to wear it over heavier cold-weather clothes.
And don’t worry about the vest weighing you down. One of the main reasons I like it is that it’s lightweight. I hate to be weighed down by a piece of clothing when I am shooting – it’s hard to concentrate, and you want to be as light as possible, both physically and mentally. This is an excellent lightweight summer vest.
The lightweight part is especially advantageous for anyone suffering from back problems. If it were too heavy, it would further aggravate the agony.
Where do you store your empty shells and shooting gear like shooting glasses when you are shooting? Well, you will like this vest. It comes with four built-in shell pockets. The pockets are large and spacious, and you can store your empty shells in them.
The vest is made with 100% poly mesh, which is great for ventilation. For that reason, it’s ideal for wearing in hot weather. It will keep you from sweating heavily when you are shooting in summer weather.
The vest is ideal for trap shooting, skeet shooting, and sporting clays. And it has a reasonable price.
My only gripe with the vest is the zipper – although some might like it that way. The two sides of the vest do not separate – the zipper binds them. The vest can’t be completely open like a jacket. You have to put it on like a t-shirt. The zipper will open up to the top or bottom, but the two sides of the vest won’t hang lose completely but will remain attached to the zipper.
- Mesh shooting vest
- Made with 100% poly mesh for ventilation
- Features four built-in large shell pockets and side tab adjustments
- Good for skeet shooting, sporting clays, and trap shooting
2. Beretta Men’s Two Tone Clay Shooting Vest:
When the weather is hot or humid, shooting in the outdoors can get to be torture. You seem to be sweating from every pore in your body. You are hot and stuffy. You pant and wheeze. You drink water, pour it over your head, but it doesn’t seem to help. Your shooting vest isn’t helping either.
But not this Beretta shooting vest. One thing it has going for it is the fabric: 100% cotton. Cotton is one of the best fabrics in the world. Due to cotton’s breathability, it is the perfect fabric for summer. And if you are a super sweaty human being regardless of weather, this cotton shooting vest is the best possible choice for you.
Thanks to cotton's ability to absorb sweat from your body, it gives your skin room to breathe. As a result, you feel cool, comfortable, and relaxed, even as the sun and the humidity come down hard on everyone around you.
Being relaxed is a crucial trait of the successful shooter, and this shooting vest will guarantee relaxation even in scorching weather. You will be cool and comfortable during your intense shoot-offs.
If you want to conserve time while shooting, it’s crucial that you have somewhere to keep your cartridges and other necessary gear for easy retrieval. That is where this vest comes in handy. Big and wide are its pockets.
And adjustable: expanding shell pockets. You can keep many cartridges in each pocket, and since the pockets are wide and adjustable, you hardly feel the heaviness since the contents of the pocket are spread out. There is even a pocket for your shooting glasses.
It comes with a removable Gel-Tek recoil pad. The recoil pad will protect your shoulder by providing the highly necessary padding between the hard buttstock surface of your firearm and your shoulder when you are firing. If the recoil of your firearm does make contact with your shoulder, the Gel-Tek recoil pad will cushion the force.
- 100% cotton
- Shooting glasses pocket
- Skid-free gun rest patch
- Comes with removable Gel-Tek recoil pad
- Shoulder slits for up and down movement
- Expanding shell pockets with leather trim
- Genuine leather accents with functional cooling mesh on back and sides
- Adjustable waist tab
- A pocket for your shooting glasses
3. Beretta Men’s Silver Pigeon Shooting Vest:
This one is also a Beretta shooting vest. It is different from the one you have just read about in a variety of ways. For instance, this one is not made of pure cotton. Instead, it comprises a polyester/cotton blend, with 65% of the material being polyester and cotton being 35%.
For that reason, it is a double-threat fabric. It gives you the advantages of both cotton and polyester. The advantages of polyester: it’s strong, lightweight, and resistant to shrinking, stretching, mildew and creasing. It is also sun resistant. Cotton, on the other hand, is hypoallergenic, durable, soft, and breathable.
Breathability comes from the cotton fabric and the side and central mesh panel. For that reason, the vest is excellent summer wear. Also, if you are a heavy sweater. It will keep you cool and comfortable even in hot and humid weather like the turkey vests.
The vest comes with a Gel-Tek recoil pad that will protect your shoulder from the force of recoil as you use your firearm. And if you want to take off the recoil pad, you can do so and keep it somewhere else for safe keeping.
It also has double cotton-padded recoil patches. Wearing this vest will be like wearing armor. Shooting is a fun activity, but it can also be dangerous, especially when you are a novice.
If for whatever reason you are unable to hold the firearm correctly, the force of recoil could cause you bodily damage. But on wearing this shooting vest, you are prepared for any eventuality and can exercise total confidence.
Another negative aspect of the shooting lifestyle is the loudness of your shots. Over time, this can begin to have a toll on your hearing. For that reason, you need earplugs and earmuffs to protect your ears.
And that’s why you will love this shooting vest. It has an ear protection loop where you can keep your earplugs, earmuffs, and any other ear protection gear.
- 65% polyester, 35% cotton
- Comes with removable Gel-Tek recoil pad
- Ear protection loop
- Large lower shell pockets expandable by snap
- Double cotton padded recoil patches
- Side and central mesh panel for breathability
4. Browning Men’s Summit Vest:
Browning Shooting vests are considered to be among the very best on the market. The Browning brand is well established in the shooting clothing (also guns and gun cases) market. Every Browning shooting vest guarantees you comfort, durability, and practicability. That’s why I have reviewed three Browning vests in this article.
Since this particular vest is lightweight, you can spend hours shooting without unnecessarily tiring. It is designed to enhance your comfort and freedom of movement.
This gives you flexibility. As a shooter, you want to be fluid in movement rather than rigid and constrained. This vest will ensure you remain calm and relaxed, able to shoot quickly, with control over your movements.
And this being an article of clothing, you might think it amiss if I neglect to mention how it looks. While practical usefulness is king as far as shooting vests are concerned, it wouldn’t hurt to look good while you shoot – especially if you do your shooting in a public area such as a gun range. It combines stylishness with comfort, durability, and usefulness.
Durable polyester shooting patches can be found on both shoulders. Sewn into these patches are REACTAR G2 pad pockets. These are thin, lightweight gel recoil pads which are designed to fit most Browning shooting vests.
The vest, however, does not come with the recoil pads – you will have to purchase those separately. For best results, purchase Browning’s REACTAR G2 pads. These pads can absorb recoil on the inside of your Browning vest without any alteration of appearance or increase in length or pull.
The shooting patches and recoil pads will protect your shoulders from the sudden, powerful jerk of your firearm’s recoil.
The body of the vest is 100% polyester mesh. As a result, it has adequate ventilation. When the weather gets unbearably warm or humid, you will need all the air and circulation you can get inside your clothing, and this shooting vest provides exactly that.
- Designed to enhance wearer’s freedom of movement, comfort, and style
- Durable polyester shooting patches on right and left shoulders with sewn-in REACTAR G2 pad pockets (pad sold separately)
- 100% polyester mesh body for ventilation
- Two-way front zipper
- Bellows shell pockets
- Side tab adjustments
- Large back pocket for empties or other gear
- Ideal for skeet shooting, trap shooting, and sporting clays
- Main fabric structure: woven
5. Browning Ace Shooting Vest:
If you want to look stylish and a force to be reckoned with when you are shooting, this Browning shooting vest is an excellent choice. And if you have a team, you can put the name of your team on the vest’s front or back – there is enough room for that. You could also put your name on it.
The vest’s material comprises a blend of polyester and spandex. You get the benefits of polyester as well as spandex. Since it contains spandex, the vest offers a custom fit. Comfort and stylishness are the resultant advantages.
The side tab adjustments also offer a custom fit. Most people hate when their clothing is extra baggy and can lose their concentration over this matter. Since the custom fit makes the vest feel natural and comfortable when you are wearing it, you can give your full concentration to your shooting.
The large pocket at the back comes in handy when you have to find somewhere to keep your empties when you are out shooting. A smaller pocket at the center is ideal for storing your water bottle – you can also store other types of gear in it.
It does not come with REACTAR G2 recoil pads. But you need them. You will have to purchase these separately. What the vest does have is sewn-in pad pockets for the REACTAR G2 recoil pad. These will keep your shoulder protected from the sudden force of recoil when you fire your weapon.
- Right-handed-Smooth nylon full-length shooting patch
- Polyester/spandex construction
- Bellows shell pockets
- Choke tube and valuables pockets
- Side tab adjustments offer custom fit
- Large back pocket for empties
- Smaller pocket in center for water bottle or other gear
- Sewn in REACTAR G2 pad pocket (pad sold separately)
What to Look for Before Getting the Shooting Vest?
1. Left-handed or Right-handed
A lot of people don’t realize that shooting vests come in two types: left-handed or right-handed. The differences between the two types are self-explanatory. Right-handed vests give optimum performance for right-handed people, and vice versa.
It would, therefore, be a blunder for a right-handed person to purchase a left-handed shooting vest. That is not to say that the right-handed individual who purchases a left-handed shooting vest won’t be able to use it – no, just that comfort and ease of use will suffer.
2. Recoil Pad Pockets
Some shooting vests come with recoil pads, while some do not. Those that don’t have the recoil pads but have pockets expect you to purchase the pads separately. You must make sure your prospective shooting vest has recoil pad pockets.
If your vest contains recoil pads, you can use your firearm without fear of the recoil slamming against your shoulder and causing some damage or pain.
Novice shooters especially should keep this point in mind. Without recoil pads, shooting can escalate from something fun to do to something you have to endure. The recoil pads will protect you from injury when your gun goes off.
Most shooting vests have mesh material for the sake of breathability or ventilation. When the weather is hot and humid, you will begin to sweat profusely, and before long you will be too tired to shoot.
Mesh material ensures that there is circulation of air within your clothing. As a result, you remain cool and dry in spite of the high temperatures.
Cotton and polyester are also popular materials. Both have their pros and cons. For instance, cotton is breathable, and polyester is strong. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each and choose the one which suits you best.
While cotton and polyester are thicker and offer more support and padding than mesh, the latter is lightweight and airy.
And if you will use your shooting vest in extreme weather, you should consider vests that are water-resistant, windproof, or that have a fleece interior to keep you warm while shooting on chilly days.
The main benefit of having a shooting vest is the convenience of the pockets. It’s like having a toolbox; only your tools are cartridges and empty casings. The protection from recoil is also important.
And let’s not forget style. When you put on a shooting vest, you look the part. And that puts you in the right state of mind to concentrate on your shooting.
Whether novice or experienced shooter, I urge you to purchase a shooting vest. Consider any one of the five I have reviewed here, for these are the best available shooting vests for the money.