If you need to customize your loadout and make room for all your gear, a chest rig might be just what you need to stay fully loaded.

I did a ton of research, and sifted through the good and the bad, to bring you this list of the 11 best tactical chest rigs of 2022 so you can pick one up and start carrying your ammo the most convenient way.

Plus, I include a chest rig buying guide and Chest rig FAQs, so let’s get started!

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TOP 11 Best Tactical Chest Rigs of 2022

ANA Tactical Vest Chest Rig Alpha

The ANA chest rig is an excellent chest rig. It is made from quality material like 1000D and 500D Cordura has 4 mag pouches that hold AK mags, plus 2 side utility pouches and a chest pocket.

It is made to spec for the Russian military, and it works well for military purposes and crosses over neatly to airsoft and paintball use as well.

It fits comfortably and can be used with plate carriers as well. All straps are adjustable and this rig has plenty of Molle to make it your own.

Pros

  • Holds two standard size mags per pouch.
  • Has 4 AK pouches and two lateral utility pouches.
  • Fits RPK mags, one per pouch.
  • Made from high quality 1000 D Cordura nylon.
  • Wide padded straps with X back ability.

Cons

  • The stitching could be straighter.

Takeaway

A versatile, well-made chest rig. One of the best AK chest rigs out there.

Blue Force Ge Ten-Speed Chest Rig

The blue Force GE 10 speed chest rig is a simple low profile rig that holds a couple of mags. It is not heavy nor bulky, it sits close to the body and has a slim fit.

Pros

  • Micro rig style; slim, trimmed down fit, not bulky.
  • Fits AR15/M16 magazines snugly.
  • 4 mag pouches.
  • 18”x6” Map compartment behind mag pouches.

Cons

  • No place for plates.

Takeaway

Perfect slim-fitting, minimalist micro rig for those who do not want the bulk and do not need tons of space.

Helikon-Tex Range Line

The Helikon-Tex Range line chest rig is a well-made chest rig with solid stitching, well padded straps, and is constructed from a robust material.

The included front bottom pouch is removable and sports a MOLLE field, so you can attach it elsewhere if you do not like it hanging from the bottom of the rig.

This Helikon-Tex chest rig demonstrates top notch quality, is made from virtually indestructible Cordura nylon holds Glock mags and 5.56 mags, or AK and AR mags with plenty of room for other gear.

Pros

  • Comfortable, adjustable H strap.
  • Double Rifle Magazine Inserts included.
  • Holds AK and AR mags with ease.
  • Made with resilient and durable 500D Cordura material.

Cons

  • No place for a plate carrier, but you could attach one with your own clips.

Takeaway

Best tactical chest rig of 2022, it will not disappoint.

SSO Original Special Forces Assault Vest

This Russian made chest rig was designed by and for Russian soldiers. It can be worn with a bulletproof plate carrier and is designed for the rigors of military training.

It is extremely durable so if you are tracking in a prone position you do not need to worry about the chest rig being damaged.

This chest rig is completely modular, which means you can set up your loadout in a way that is comfortable, convenient, and disperses the weight well.

Pros

  • Designed to Russian military spec.
  • Can be worn with a bulletproof plate carrier.
  • Completely modular, customize your loadout.
  • Holds both AR and AK mags beautifully.
  • Made from rugged ballistic grade nylon.

Cons

  • Challenging to assemble since the entire thing comes apart.

Takeaway

Best modular chest rig money can buy.

Loaded Gear Chest Rig

This Loaded Gear chest rig has all you need, at a fair price.

It has quick release buckles that allow you to remove the harness quickly without pulling it over your head.

It’s designed to fit 6 standard mags, but also accommodates AK and M4 mags, one in each pouch.

You will appreciate the adjustable harness and belt that allow you to get the perfect fit and it has ample Molle attachment to customize the rig to suit your needs.

Pros

  • 3 Mag pouches that can hold 2 standard mags each.
  • Affordable price.
  • Quick release buckles allow you to remove the harness quickly.
  • Made from durable 600D Ballistic Polyester.

Cons

  • Shoulders are not well padded.

Takeaway

Best chest rig set up in the budget price range.

Huenco Tactical Assault Chest Rig

The Huenco Tactical chest rig is a simple, inexpensive mini style chest rig. It has a little admin pouch up front and two bungee mag holders in front with three more mag holders behind the admin pouch held in by velcro. This is removable.

Quality is decent for the price but not as high as more expensive chest rigs.

This chest rig is a great choice for those who plan to use it occasionally or want it for a prepper or SHTF kit, but don’t want to spend a ton of money.

It’s also a good setup for airsoft, as it is small and lightweight and costs a fraction of the mil-spec chest rigs out there.

Pros

  • Includes a place for Velcro plate carriers behind the mag holders.
  • 3 + 2 Mag holders. Holds standard size mags.
  • Small, compact, lightweight, mini style.
  • Can accommodate AK 47 mags.
  • Good for airsoft or preppers.

Cons

  • Stitching could be better.

Takeaway

Great airsoft chest rig for the money, lightweight and compact.

Blackhawk Commando Chest Harness

The first thing I noticed about the Blackhawk Commando chest harness was the straps. I know it might not seem like straps should be the star of the show, but they are really great.

The straps have quick release buckles, are nicely padded, they sport two sewn in D rings each, and of course, they are adjustable. They also cross in the back, so they carry and distribute weight well, something, not all the other guys do.

It has a handy admin pouch that sits against your body, with 4 velcro close mag holders and two side pouches, so the storage is decent.

The mag holders actually hold three AR or AK mags each, so up to 12 mags. Nice!

Pros

  • Made from rugged 1000D nylon.
  • Best straps of any chest rig I have seen.
  • Mag holders hold up to 3 mags each, for a total of 12 mags.
  • Mag cover straps are long and Velcro so they adjust to fit tall mags easily.

Cons

  • They ain’t cheap!

Takeaway

The Blackhawk is one of the best chest rigs in a minimalist style, if you want a good fit and comfort, get this rig.

Condor Recon Chest Rig

The Condor Recon chest rig is very popular in airsoft circles, probably because it has a good price to value ratio.

But…

This chest rig can also be used for real steel. It’s sturdy enough and the organization works well with the real thing, and with airsoft gear.

It holds up under abuse, including crawling through the underbrush.

The outer MOLLE and elastic straps give you plenty of options to tack on your gear, and it has plenty of storage built-in as well.

Pros

  • Padded cross-back straps with quick-release buckles and sewn in D rings.
  • Affordable price point.
  • Three kangaroo style double AR mag pouches.
  • Document admin pouch.

Cons

  • Condor VT pistol holster is not included.

Takeaway

The most popular and best chest rig for airsoft.

Elite Tribe MK3 Modular Chest Rig

The best feature of this mid-range priced Elite Tribe chest rig is that it is modular. The compartments detach and can be arranged to suit your needs and balance the load evenly.

The straps are in an X formation, which I like, I just wish they had more padding or substance to them.

This rig will accept AK47 mags if you swap out the inserts that come with it.

The material is water resistant and the rig is reasonably durable for the price.

Pros

  • Holds 6 rifle and 2 pistol mags.
  • Made from 500D abrasion-resistant Cordura nylon.
  • Modular, the pouches and storage can be re-arranged.

Cons

  • Straps are thin and not well padded.

Takeaway

A respectable mid-range price modular chest rig.

VISM by NcStar AK Chest Rig

The VISM chest rig is the best budget-priced rig for airsoft and paintball. It’s really lightweight, has the storage you need, and best of all it’s priced right.

It holds 6 AK mags nicely with extra storage for your other gear. It has a place for a water bottle, a radio, your pistol mags, and everything.

This is the best chest rig for airsoft at this price and IMO, it is the best chest rig for AK for the price, too.

Pros

  • Low price.
  • Great for AK mags.
  • Perfect for airsoft and paintball.

Cons

  • Kinda flimsy for real steel or real guns and mags.

Takeaway

Best budget-priced chest rig for airsoft and paintball.

Viking Tactics Assault Chest Rig

This Viking tactical chest rig was designed by Special Ops Soldiers for military training.

This Viking tactical chest rig was made with the highest quality standards and the best material. They are constructed from ballistics grade nylon which is wear, abrasion, and water resistant.

The straps are well constructed, the stitching is on point and they have sewn in loops to attach gear.

The belt has a low profile and sits close to the body, making it comfortable and allowing freedom of movement.

This chest rig features 4 M4 mag pouches, 2 radio pouches, 2 pistol mag slots, and two auxiliary pouches.

Pros

  • Made in the USA.
  • Holds significant weight- designed for real steel.
  • Made from ballistic grade nylon.

Cons

  • None!

Takeaway

The Viking tactical chest rig offers the Operator a lightweight, low profile, high quality, military-minded chest rig option.

Buying Guide to the Best Tactical Chest Rigs

Here are 4 factors to keep in mind and features to look out for before buying a tactical chest rig before you choose the best tactical chest rig, ask these questions.

soldier in black armor tactical chest rig vest standing with belt

Plate Carrier Chest Rig or Rack Style Chest Rig?

A chest rig can be worn OVER a plate carrier, and a few chest rigs have the plate holder built-in.

But…

The vast majority of the chest rigs on this list are rack style chest rigs that have no plate holder. These rack chest rigs sit at the chest and bear the weight of your ammo and other gear.

Rack style chest rigs are ideal for those that do not need a plate carrier, such as the case with airsoft and paintball. Rack style chest rigs are also a good choice for those who want to wear a separate plate carrier underneath their rig.

On the Other hand, the SSO Original Russian Army Special Forces Assault Vest.

Is a great chest rig to wear with a plate carrier.

What Kind of Mags are You Running?

Think about what mags you plan to carry with your chest rig because the pouch size and mag holder room vary quite a bit between brands and models.

For example:

If you need more room for mags, why not consider a tactical best? You can load them up with gear and they stay put, close to your body, and they are easy to remove. Check out the best tactical vests here.

two guys in military equipment with rifle in airsoft shop

Military Training & Law Enforcement or Airsoft & Paintball?

Most of the chest rigs on this list are designed for real steel, real ammo, that is much heavier than airsoft and paintball ammo.

However…

A few chest rigs on this list are a perfect fit for airsoft. The VISM by NcStar AK Chest Rig.

And Condor Recon Chest Rig are both commonly used as airsoft chest rigs.

If you are using the chest rig for real ammo and mags, you will do better with a strong sturdy chest rig like the BLACKHAWK Commando Chest Harness Or the SSO Original Russian Army Assault Vest.

Modular or Not?

Modular chest rigs are very popular, and for good reason, you can arrange the pouches and packs to your liking.

But…

Modular packs are also pricy. However, the two modular chest rigs on our list are from reputable makers and are well made.

The SSO Original Russian Army Special Forces Assault Vest.

Is a Russian made chest rig that was made for Russian soldiers. It is high quality, mil-spec and of course, it’s modular.

On this list of the best chest rigs, we also feature the Elite Tribe MK3 Modular Chest Rig which is less expensive than the SSO original above, but it’s not made to mil-spec either. Overall, the SSO has well-padded straps, more space for gear, and is made from stronger material.

man showing his military uniform and tactical equipment

FAQs

What is the best chest rig?

Best chest rig for military training

The best chest rig for you really depends on what you plan to use it for.

A chest rig for real ammunition needs to be sturdy to support the weight of the mags and gear you need to carry.

If you are using the chest rig for military training, it needs to withstand a lot of tactical situations, including crawling in a prone position on the ground, without rearing.

An excellent chest rig for military training is the ANA Tactical Vest Chest Rig Alpha.

Best chest rig for airsoft

If you are using the chest rig for airsoft or paintball, you can use a cheaper chest rig, like the Condor Recon Chest Rig which is reasonably durable for the price and very popular among airsoft players.

If you play airsoft, take a look at this list I put together. These are the best airsoft rifles of 2022.

What color chest rig should I get?

If you are trying to blend into your environment, probably the least favorite color is black.

OD Green and Coyote brown are really popular choices, especially if you are wearing woodland camo fatigues.

If you are training or playing in a green environment, like Washington State, using green like OD green or Ranger Green makes more sense.

If you need to fit into a desert environment, a dull yellow-brown color like coyote brown is the way to go.

What is a chest rig for?

In a nutshell: A chest rig is used to carry ammo at crest level.

Carrying ammo on a chest rig is convenient. A tactical vest can be overkill or uncomfortable loaded with ammo. A belt can get in the way, especially if you wear it seated, like while driving.

A chest rig is a great option if you train in hot weather, too.

A chest rig allows you to store your ammo at chest level, which is very confinement, and allows you to MOVE FREELY! Mobility is the main benefit of a chest rig.

Carrying ammo at chest level will not throw off your center of balance since men especially have bodies designed to carry weight at or on chest level.

Having your ammo loaded up at chest level also offers an added layer of protection, although it goes without saying it does not replace a chest plate.

What do you keep in a chest rig?

Mostly ammo and a little gear.

A sample loadout might be:

  • 6 AR mags
  • 2 Pistol mags
  • Small first aid kit or tourniquet
  • A radio
  • A small flashlight

Your other gear will go in a backpack or vest. Check out this list of the best tactical backpacks to store ALL your gear right here.

Where do you wear a chest rig?

You wear a chest rig over your torso. Carrying the weight of heavy steel ammo across your chest is ideal, especially if you are male. A man’s body is designed to carry weight here.

It is very easy to access ammo stored at the chest level right in front of you.

Having your ammo in front at chest level leaves your arms free and because it’s upfront, and not to the side, it’s out of the way.

It’s a really comfortable, convenient, and underrated piece of tactical gear.

How many mags are on a chest rig?

Most chest rigs carry 6 to 8 mags, depending on the size of your mags. A standard chest rig has 3 or 4 pouches, each of which carries 2 standard size mags, or one larger mag. So the majority of chest rigs have designed room for 6 to 8 mags.

But…

You could carry more mags in other pouches or pockets on the rig, some folks do that if their loadout includes more mags.

Who makes the best chest rigs?

My favorite Chest Rig makers are Ana Tactical, Helikon-Tex, SSO, Blackhawk, Condor Recon, Viking tactics, Elite Tribe, Tasmanian Tiger, Spiritus systems, Haley Strategic, Esstac Kywi, SPOSN/SSO, RDR Gear, Ferro Concepts, Gadsen Dynamics and Blue Force Gear, Crye, Zulu, J Tech, Esstac, and Tac Taylor.

Article Summary

That sums up this list of the best chest rigs of 2022.

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Until then,

I will see YOU out in the field!