Take a load off! Literally.

Tactical vests are the most comfortable way to haul your paintball and airsoft gear.

Who wants to lug around pounds of paintballs, a heavy tank, and all your other gear. All that gear certainly won’t fit in your paintball pants pockets.

Belts, hip packs and holsters can shift and get uncomfortable, that’s why I choose the vest.

I scoured the web for my vest and carefully chose 15 of the best tactical vests for 2023, and I want to share my research with you.

I also put together a buying guide to help you choose your next vest.

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TOP 15 Best Tactical Vests 2023

GXG Deluxe Tactical Paintball Vest

The Deluxe GXG Tactical is a padded vest, so unlike lightweight vests, it offers some protection if you get hit.

It holds all your necessary gear, such as 4 pods and your tank on back, with zippered pockets on the front and back, and two front pouches.

Since everything is built into the vest, it is not removable like molle pouches. This is a pro or con, depending on how you feel about molle, because this vest has no molle.


  • Lots of pockets, pouches and tank and pod storage.
  • Adjustable at the sides and shoulders for a tailored fit.
  • Padded, for chest, abs and back protection.


  • No real molle.


A great paintball vest that holds everything you need, from a well-known paintball brand maker.

MGFlashForce Tactical CS Field Vest

What I love about this vest is that it is adjustable at the shoulders and sides so it will fit just about any size player, even smaller teens.

It has molle all around, so you can attach packs everywhere, plenty of pod storage and it’s made from 600D nylon material so it will last a long time.

Unlike some others, the seams are well sewn and will not rip after the first few games. I appreciate that level of quality.

It does offer a small amount of protection on the front and backside too, although the sides are open so it won’t weigh you down.


  • Top quality, well sewn seams and 600D material.
  • Storage for three pods, tanks, batteries, and even some water.
  • Includes molle removable pocket pack.
  • Quality Molle system, molle is straight and properly spaced.


  • No pockets for pods, better for mag fed paintball or airsoft.


Easily the best tactical vest for the money. You will not find this quality, utility and comfort at a lower price.

Maddog Tactical Paintball Attack Vest

This tactical vest is very lightweight and well ventilated. It is basically a great way to store pods and tanks when if you hate wearing a belt pack. It has 6 pod holders, room for a 64 ci tank, and pockets for other essentials.

This vest seems to fit big guys better, thanks to the adjustable side cinch clips, which not only allow it to expand, but make it cool and breezy to wear.


  • 6 Pod holders, 4 up front, two on the back.
  • Adjustable buckle sides for a perfect fit.
  • Fits up to 64 ci HPA tank.


  • Loose fit for smaller folks and smaller teens.


Super lightweight vest for storing your pods and tanks more secularly than a belt, without adding bulk.

Planet Eclipse Paintball Tactical Load Vest

This Planet Eclipse tactical paintball vest is thick, so it protects your chest and back. It has good storage, with space for two back pods and tank, and 4 pods up front. Bonus: this vest holds larger pods!

Plus, there is elastic between each pouch that can expand so the vests holds up to 16 pods. Crazy right? But if you are a machine gun speedball blaster, or have a long game, this will really come in handy.


  • Adjusts at the side and shoulders.
  • A few molle straps, not too much.
  • Holds up to 16 pods with elastic expanders.
  • Straps at the bottom of the vest can hold a pod belt or holster.
  • Two inner zip pockets for valuables.


  • Material is stiff, which is not too comfortable at first.


Best tactical vests for paintball scenario games and ballers that blast through pods like nobody’s business.

GZ Xinxing Tactical Airsoft Paintball Vest

This GZ Xinxing tactical vest is great for airsoft, because the pockets are too small for paintball, but just right for airsoft mags and mag fed paintball.

The pockets hold all the airsoft gear you need on the field, and the price of the vest is reasonable. That’s a win, win in my book.


  • Great price.
  • Perfect size storage for airsoft gear.
  • Great for repelling airsoft bullets.


  • Not great for paintball pods but perfect for airsoft and mag fed paintball.


Best airsoft vest for the money, its cheap, while still maintaining high quality and usefulness.

Action Village Warrior Tactical Paintball Vest

This ultra-lightweight Warrior tactical paintball vest is perfect if your goal is to comfortably carry pods and tank without adding bulk, while staying cool.

It is made from extremely breathable mesh material with pod storage on the front and back, with a place for your tank and other pockets for gear.


  • Very affordable.
  • Extremely lightweight and breathable – will not weight you down.
  • Holds pods more comfortably and securely than a belt or harness.


  • Vest is not adjustable.


Super light tactical paintball vest and much more comfortable than wearing a belt or harness.

Maddog Tactical Paintball Sport Vest

This Maddog Sport vest holds a larger tank than the Maddog Attack vest, meaning it holds a 90 ci tank, while the Attack vest holds up to 64 ci tank. But this vest holds less pods.

This Sport vest, unlike the attack vest, offers a layer of protection from getting hit, thanks to the meaty material and a bit of padding.

Overall, a great tactical vest for the money!


  • Holds 4 pods and place for 90ci.
  • Has Co2 bands and storage pockets.
  • Padded for chest and back protection.
  • Good for larger players.
  • Great price!


  • Adjusts at the sides, but not at the shoulders.


Good paintball vest for the money, holds larger tanks for longer scenario games and adds some protection.

Tippmann Pro Tactical Vest

I trust Tippmann to know what’s up when it comes to anything tactical, and this vest lives up to my expectations.

The vest has a nice mesh upper so it breathes and stays comfortable, an internal belt harness to support a belt if you need more gear for a longer game.

This vest has horizontal tank storage on the back that allows you to lace the line on either your left or right side, which I think is a really nice touch.


  • Adjustable sides and shoulders for a secure, custom fit.
  • Internal belt harness to support extra storage if you need it.
  • Holds 6 pods on the back, including lock lids.
  • Horizontal tank storage, line can run from left or right.
  • Radio and map storage pockets up front.


  • May be a bit too big for small or slender teens if they are smaller than an adult size small.


Great tactical vest for woodsball and scenario paintball games. Plenty of storage!

Maddog Tactical Paintball Battle Vest

This Maddog battle vest may be more expensive than other Maddog tactical vests, but it is worth the money.

It uses high-quality material, like real YKK zippers, and the stitching is straight and tight. This vest also adds some chest and back protection unlike cheaper or lighter vests.

It is mesh-lined, so you stay comfy, and it has storage inside and out, with enough pockets to store paintball gear and valuables for a long game.


  • Adjustable length, shoulder and sides.
  • Uses real YKK zippers – a quality vest.
  • Holds 6 pods and a 90 ci tank.


  • Good for larger players, but a bit big for users smaller than an adult large.


The best paintball vest for scenario play, with excellent quality and good protection.

Redemption Tactical Airsoft Paintball Vest

This redemption tactical vest is designed for airsoft, with molle all around and included molle mag storage and a larger molle pouch on the back.

This vest is comfortable and adjusts at the sides and shoulders so you get a close fit, and the material is heavy with good protection from airsoft bullets.


  • Includes 4 molle mag packs and a large molle back pouch.
  • 1000D nylon is indestructible.
  • Molle on the front and back to attach all your molle packs.
  • Protects upper torso from airsoft bullets.


  • No Velcro attachment.


A high quality, well-made airsoft vest for a good price. Works great for mag fed paintball, too!

Valken Tactical Airsoft Tactical Vest

This Valken tactical vest has what you need to play airsoft including 2 pistol pockets and mag pockets.

It is adjustable too! It fits most adults and larger teens. It also includes a radio pocket and a place for your own hydration pouch.


  • Adjustable side straps, will fit most players.
  • Includes 2 pistol pockets and 4 4M mag pockets.
  • Space for radio and hydration pouch.
  • Great price.


  • No place to store paintball pods.


Among the best tactical vests for airsoft and mag fed paintball, good protection and lots of storage.

Barbarians Tactical Molle Vest

The Barbarians tactical molle vest is excellent for airsoft or mag fed paintball. That’s awesome because mechanical and mag fed paintball are becoming a fast-growing style among players.

It has a place for batteries, pistol, radio, mags and more.

The 600 D nylon material is water-resistant and paint will wash right off. I like that!


  • 600D nylon material is durable and paint resistant, and will protect from airsoft bullets too.
  • Side and shoulder adjustments allow the vest to fit virtually any player.
  • Great price.
  • Enough pockets to hold all your mags, pistols and necessities.
  • Lightweight, mesh-lined and breathable.


  • Cannot hold paintball pods, but it does hold mags, so it’s great for mag fed paintball.


This lightweight tactical vest will meet all your mag fed paintball or airsoft storage needs in the field, without weighing you down.

vAv Yakeda Tactical Vest

This vAv Yakeda tactical vest is another great tactical vest for mag fed guns and airsoft.

What I love about this vest is it has ample, well places and spaced molle all across the back so I can configure the vest the way I want, with my own molle pouches on back.

It also includes a pouch, 3 mag pouch, command pouch and 2 radio pouches, and plenty of storage so I always have what I need while I am in the game.


  • Ample molle with several molle and Velcro pouches included.
  • Side and shoulder adjutants to get the perfect fit.
  • Chest and back protection from airsoft bullets and paintballs.


  • Not for pods, great for mags.


Have it your way with this Yakeda vest that allows you to rearrange the storage thanks to ample molle straps and included pouches.

BT Paintball Vest Chest Rig

Let this rig do the heavy lifting. This BT tactical vest holds your pods and tank and has a tank feed hole, which is convenient.

It’s loaded with Molle to attach all your packs and pouches, and it has a belt support loop to carry a paintball belt, harness or support a thigh rig.

It has an open design that keeps you cool, and it fits players of just about all sizes. Nice!


  • Loops for belt, harness or thigh rig.
  • Plenty of molle straps.
  • Lightweight and breathable.
  • Holds 6 pods.


  • Pod holders are not removable.


A quality tactical paintball vest from a popular paintball brand.

Gen X Global GXG Paintball Vest

I love Gen X gear, and this gen X tactical vest is a beast in the heat. If it’s HOT where you play, this mesh tactical vest will help you carry 4 pods, a 68ci tank and all your other essentials without adding weight or making you hot.


  • Mesh design keeps you cool and the vest light.
  • Holds 4 pods and a 68 ci tank.
  • Has C02 holders.
  • Velcro close pockets stay shut during games.


  • Mesh material does not add much protection.


Perfect tactical vest for playing paintball in hot weather, with enough pockets to hold all your gear.

Here’s what a Baller should Look for in a Tactical Vest

team of paintball players with marker guns and equipment

What Game do You Play? Airsoft or Paintball?

Airsoft and paintball are two distinct games and the vest you choose should suit the game you play.

What’s the Difference Between an Airsoft Vest and a Paintball Vest?

The main difference is how paintballs, pods, mags and bullets are stored in the vest.

If you use pods, you need a vest that fits them, and usually, only specialized paintball tactical vests hold pods correctly.

The good news?

There are several vests on this list designed to hold pods well. I even found a vest that can hold 16 pods, the Planet Eclipse Paintball Tactical Load Vest. Tactical Load is the right name for this vest for sure!

Paintball team in action rainy forest

What Kind of Gun or Marker do You Use?

OK, here is the deal.

Like I mentioned earlier, only certain vests are good for holding pods. We covered that.


Certain vests excel at holding mags. Magazines for mag fed paintball guns and airsoft guns also need a special type of pocket that holds mags well.

The vAv YAKEDA Tactical Vest is a great example of a vest that holds mags really good. This vest works for both mag fed paintball and airsoft.

Speaking of guns…

If you are in the market for a gun, check out this list I put together of the best paintball guns and see what you think.

Do You Need to Carry a Tank, if so, What Size?

Do you use a tank when you play? Most paintball guns use tanks, and the best tactical vests have a tank holder on the back to support the weight of that tank.

Each vest has its own capacity, so be sure to check the vest and make sure the tank pouch fits your tank.

Check out this video of a literal paintball tank, I found. This tank won’t fit in your vest, but I bet you wish you had one anyways.

What’s the Weather Like for Your Game?

There are vests that are better for hot weather, then there are hybrid vests that aim to protect and allow air flow, then there are what I call, protective vests that deflect airsoft bullets and paintballs like a champ.

A good example of lightweight, hot weather, mesh vest is the Gen X Global GXG Paintball Vest which is basically mesh material with a zipper and pockets sewn on.

The Tippmann Pro Tactical Vest has a breathable mesh upper, but a protective lower, so I would consider that a hybrid between lightweight breathability and protection.

The GXG Deluxe Tactical Paintball Vests is a heavier padded vest that offers plenty of protection, but it may get warm if the weather is hot. It’s a great protective tactical vest for paintball and airsoft.

paintball player in goggle mask aiming with marker gun

Tactical Vest FAQs

What is the best tactical vest?

In my opinion, the best vest for airsoft and mag fed paintball is the MGFlashForce Tactical CS Field Vest. I love the quality of the vest. How there are no loose threads, the material is heavy, and the stiches are sewn straight. The vest has awesome organization and plenty of room for your gear.

If you use pods, the Planet Eclipse Paintball Tactical Load Vest is a great vest. I cannot get over the fact that it holds 16 pods. Amazing. The quality of this vest is high, and it shows.

Do I need a tactical vest?

In my opinion, they are quite handy.

Sure. You can find other ways to hold your tank and pods, like a harness or thigh rig, but it’s my experience that the vest feels more secure and comfortable.


A vest hold more gear than a belt or thigh pack.

What is a tactical vest used for?

For paintball and airsoft, the purpose of a tactical vest is twofold.

First, a tactical vest holds, carry’s and organizes your paint, bullets, tank, batteries, pods and personal effects.

Second, a vest can protect you from the painful shot of the airsoft bullet or paintball. The vest keeps your chest, abdominal area and back covered, so your skin does not get welted and bruised, or at least less welted and bruised, than without a vest.

What are tactical vests made of?

Most tactical vests in this list are made from nylon, polyester 600D or 1000D Denier Cordura material. A few of these vests incorporate cotton, too.


Nylon and polyester are durable and repel water. Paint washes right off these materials, making them ideal for paintball and airsoft, especially in bad weather.

Article Summary

So, there you have it, those are the 15 best tactical vests of 2023. I hope you find the best one for you.

While you are here, have you considered what other gear you should wear for paintball?

I have it all laid out right here in this list of what to wear for paintball, so take a look.

Oh… and don’t forget your paintball mask!