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Best Tactical Chest Rigs: From Minimalist to Professional

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Today we are going to discuss chest rigs, of which there are several types and models.

While the idea of carrying weapons and ammunition on one’s chest has been a staple throughout history, it really came into focus during the Vietnam War. The Chinese had rigs that were ideal for carrying AK-47 magazines, and these rig ideas were adopted by US special operations forces.

Best Chest Rigs

#ImageProductScoreBrowse
1BFG MOLLEminus Chest RigBFG MOLLEminus Chest Rig9.6check price
2CONDOR RECON CHEST RIGCondor Recon Chest Rig9.1check price
3Viktos Taculus Chest RigViktos Taculus Chest Rig9check price
4VISM AK Chest RigVISM AK Chest Rig8.9check price
5Helikon-Tex Range Line, Training Mini RigHelikon-Tex Range Line, Training Mini Rig8.6check price

What to Look For when Buying a Chest Rig?

So, if it’s too hot outside for a plate carrier, or you need more storage than what is available on a battle belt, how do you carry your gear? You get a chest rig. But, what does one actually need in a chest rig? This is the ideal solution for shooting in the warm, summer months, because a chest rig is lightweight and offers enough airflow to keep you nice and cool.

Choosing the right chest rig doesn’t have to turn into a huge hassle. When you come right down to it, there are really only three major considerations to keep in mind.

Modularity

Here you have a couple of options to consider. You can have one that has plenty of pouches, so there is a place for everything and everything can be put in its place.

On the other hand, there are chest rigs that are covered in MOLLE webbing, with no separate modules. The MOLLE webbing will give you the most versatility. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from using a chest rig that is pre-built.

Straps and Harnesses

You will find chest rigs with many different types of straps and harnesses, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your needs. The most comfortable harness is the H-harness, but it isn’t always the best option for smaller shooters. Then there is the X-harness, which has two straps that form an X across your back. Finally, there is the Y-harness, which is found on older vests. These aren’t as good at distributing weight as the H or X-harness.

Carrying Capacity

Your chest rig should be able to accommodate all of your essential items. It is a good idea to think about the items you plan to carry around, and then pare the list down to the absolute essentials. This will help you to get the most out of your vest.

1. BFG MOLLEminus Chest Rig

BEST OVERALL

BFG MOLLEminus Chest Rig
BFG MOLLEminus Chest Rig

When it comes to a chest rig that is ultralight and flexible, as well as MOLLE compatible, our top overall pick is the BFG MOLLEminus Chest Rig.

This chest rig uses a combination of MOLLEminus technology, making it lightweight, waterproof, and flame-resistant, with durability. It offers laser-cut slots that create a MOLLE grid, as well as ULTRAcomp, which is a high-performance laminate that gives you the lightest chest rig possible.

This chest rig is about half the weight of a loaded M4 magazine, and it’s about half as thick as a dime. But, even though it is so lightweight and thin, it is more than four times as durable as a chest rig made from air-textured nylon. Basically, there is not another chest rig on the market today that is as lightweight, thin, strong, and simple as the BFG MOLLEminus.

The MOLLEminus is made from hydrophobic ULTRAcomp material, so even if it gets wet, you aren’t going to be weighed down. It actually dries in a matter of a few seconds! An added bonus is that it is resistant to fungal and bacterial growth. This means there won’t be as much chafing, and you won’t stink while wearing it. The mesh-lined shoulder straps are breathable, as well as MOLLE compatible, and offer routing for antennas, hydration tubes, and wires for communication devices.

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite features of the MOLLEminus chest rig:

Features

  • Made with ULTRAcomp material, which is incredibly durable
  • Fully compatible with all PALS/MOLLE pouches
  • Shoulder straps are fully adjustable and mesh-lined for breathability and comfort
  • Incredibly lightweight

This chest rig has two, one-inch buckles that allow compatibility with a variety of armor carriers, including Velocity and Mayflower. It uses National Moldings MOLLE Tee Mounts, which are not included.

Pros

  • This is a one-size fits most chest rig, and it is fully adjustable for comfort
  • Can be mounted to most MOLLE armor carriers using two female repair buckles and two tee mounts
  • Durability meets or exceeds 1000d CORDURA fabric
  • Made in the USA
  • One-size fits most doesn’t necessarily mean that this chest rig will fit everyone
  • The lifetime warranty is limited, and doesn’t cover all problems you may encounter
  • Offers less protection than what you would have with a plate carrier

OUR RATING

We review our products on a 1 to 10 scale. The higher the score the better the product quality in the performance category.

Performance CategoryRating Score
Comfort9.7
Adjustability10
Weight distribution9.2
Durability9.5
Material quality10
Capacity9.2
Overall Score9.6
Product Rating Table

2. Condor Recon Chest Rig

BEST BUDGET CHEST RIG

CONDOR RECON CHEST RIG
CONDOR RECON CHEST RIG

If you are looking for a quality chest rig that isn’t going to break the bank, look no further than the Condor Recon chest rig. This is a rig that has everything you need, at a price you can afford.

It is quite well made, considering the price point, and it gives you the ability to carry around hundreds of rounds of ammo for two weapons. It can take a bit of work to get it adjusted exactly as you like it, but once you have it all set up, this could be one of the best chest rigs you’ve ever used.

This particular chest rig can hold up to six AR15/AK mags, as well as six pistol mags. So, you will have over 180 rounds for your primary weapon. It will also hold double stack 45 ACP mags for a Glock 21. While everything is snug and stays in place, it is not a problem to grab some ammo and reload quickly while wearing this chest rig.

The Condor Recon chest rig has Velcro flaps to secure sidearm magazines, and there are bungees and tabs for rifle magazines. They are easy to use, and you can access your ammo quickly and easily. There are double-stitched, load-bearing seams. You can even set up this rig with one or two plate carriers. The mesh pouch located behind the rig is ideal for storing maps, snacks, and other small items. It has solid buckles, two release points on the suspenders, a quick release buckle, and a push clip near the suspenders.

Here are some more features you may be interested in:

  • Three stacker-kangaroo mag pouch
  • Front pocket pouch has a hook and loop panel on the inside
  • Two open-top utility pockets, held shut with elastic cord
  • Adjustable cross-body strap design with hook and loop tab

With four rows of webbing on either side, not to mention metal D-rings and fast clips, you can be sure that all of your ammo is going to be right where you need it, and easy to access when you need it.

Pros

  • Padded mesh straps and a mesh lining for breathability
  • One size fits most
  • Adjustable pistol magazine pouch flaps are removable and allow for customization
  • Bungee retention pouches on both sides
  • Some users have reported that this rig doesn’t fit properly or sit high enough
  • Some complaints that it is not flat enough
  • Occasions when mags got caught up and weren’t easy to access

OUR RATING

We review our products on a 1 to 10 scale. The higher the score the better the product quality in the performance category.

Performance CategoryRating Score
Comfort9.5
Adjustability8.9
Weight distribution9
Durability9.2
Material quality9.4
Capacity9
Overall Score9.1
Product Rating Table

3. Viktos Taculus Chest Rig

BEST MICRO CHEST RIG

Viktos Taculus Chest Rig
Viktos Taculus Chest Rig

The Viktos Taculus chest rig is great for shooters of all levels, and can be used as a training platform. It is also a great design for an SHTF/emergency reaction platform, or as a platform for law enforcement officers for active shooter response.

It has a relatively simple design, with the idea that less is more. There are three rifle magazine pockets, each with a dangler or drop-down pouch sewn inside. The pouches have rows of PALS webbing to hold MOLLE accessories, and it can be expanded, even though the configuration is not modular.

This chest rig has a slim, four-point harness design, and the shoulder straps attach with G-hooks at the top of the platform. There are waist straps with magnetic buckles that open easily. You simply have to give them a quick pull. There are four straps that take you to the padded back yoke, which is smooth rather than Velcro or MOLLE. Finally, the construction contains two “tails” made from nylon. These tails are sewn into the top, where G-hooks can be attached. There are several loops on each tail for adjusting to the correct height.

This chest rig is designed for civilians who need to carry some light ammo for a weekend of shooting. The best thing about it is the fact that it is so inexpensive. In fact, it may be the least expensive of all of the quality chest rigs that are available on the market today.

The harness is easy to use, and the back of the platform has a piece of rubberized material that stays in place through the use of Velcro. When you peel it off, you will find two rows of hook-side Velcro. This will let you attach the Viktos Taculus right to plate mounts.

Here are some of our favorite features of the Viktos Taculus:

Features

  • Made with water-resistant 500D nylon, with quick-access admin pockets
  • YKK zippers with quiet pulls, so it’s ideal for hunters
  • Weather-resistant nylon ripstop with carbon fiber reinforcement chassis
  • Includes an adjustable and removable pistol holder
  • Designed and developed by US veterans

This chest rig has plenty of room for many items. It has four internal elastic pistol magazine straps, as well as three internal elastic rifle magazine straps.

Pros

  • Comes with a 1-year workmanship and materials warranty
  • Removable four-point padded chest harness
  • Removable shoulder strap for casual carry
  • Magnetic quick release buckles
  • This is not a deployment ready chest rig, although it can work in some urban scenarios, such as responding to an active shooter
  • Only available in black
  • Not as much MOLLE as you will find on other chest rigs

OUR RATING

We review our products on a 1 to 10 scale. The higher the score the better the product quality in the performance category.

Performance CategoryRating Score
Comfort9.2
Adjustability8.6
Weight distribution9.2
Durability9.3
Material quality8.7
Capacity9
Overall Score9
Product Rating Table

4. VISM AK Chest Rig

BEST CHEST RIG FOR AK

VISM AK Chest Rig
VISM AK Chest Rig

If you are in the market for a new chest rig to be used as a light weight magazine carrier for AK, the VISM AK chest rig may be exactly what you need. It comes with three double AK magazine pouches, each with a hook and loop fastener and bungee cord retention straps. You can carry as many as six 30-round magazines with this chest rig. It also offers two big utility pouches on each side. These pouches have quick connect buckle flaps, and can be used for storing extra ammo and other gear.

We think you’ll love the central chest compartment with button snaps, because it offers even more storage options. The shoulder straps are completely adjustable for length, and they can be adjusted to your personal needs, whether you want it to be high or low on your chest. There is also an adjustable waist strap, and this has quick connect buckles. You can easily get in and out of this chest rig in a hurry when necessary.

There are all kinds of opportunities for gear storage with the VISM AK chest rig. You will like the shoulder MOLLE, which can hold a knife or other important gear. The padded shoulder straps have MOLLE webbing, which will allow you to attach even more MOLLE compatible pouches. The material is high durability nylon fabric, and this chest rig will fit most shooters.

Check out these cool features we think you will love:

Features

  • Hook and loop fasteners and bungee cord retention straps
  • Large utility pouches on the sides, as well as a chest compartment
  • Versatile, allows users to customize for their own personal needs
  • Ideal for taking to the shooting range, storing plenty of ammo for a day of shooting
  • You can easily customize this to meet all of your chest rig needs

VISM is a company that is dedicated to manufacturing quality goods at prices everyone can afford. We think they have done a great job with this chest rig.

Pros

  • Very budget-friendly
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Can be used for M4 mags
  • Can only be shipped within the US
  • Cannot be used for M14 and AR10 mags
  • Some customer complaints about weak stitching and pouches breaking

OUR RATING

We review our products on a 1 to 10 scale. The higher the score the better the product quality in the performance category.

Performance CategoryRating Score
Comfort9
Adjustability8.4
Weight distribution9
Durability9.4
Material quality8.9
Capacity8.4
Overall Score8.9
Product Rating Table

5. Helikon-Tex Range Line, Training Mini Rig

BEST CHEST RIG FOR HUNTING

Helikon-Tex Range Line, Training Mini Rig
Helikon-Tex Range Line, Training Mini Rig

Whether you are into competition shooting on a professional level, a shooting instructor, or if you simply love to go out plinking, it is important that you have the right gear with you. It is just as important that you have the means to carry it all with you. Obviously, a chest rig is idea. For this, and one of our favorites, particularly for hunters, is the Helikon-Tex Range Line, Training mini rig. This chest rig allows you to carry all of the important gear you will need, whether you are going to be standing still for most of the day or on the move.

The Mini Rig is designed with hunters in mind, and has all kinds of pockets to store carbine and pistol magazines. There is even a utility pouch you can use for markers or tackers. The exchangeable inserts make it easy to customize this chest rig to your exact specifications. You will even find a small, hanging pouch that is large enough to hold a first-aid kit, something that is essential when you are out in the woods on a hunting trip.

The main pouch has an internal organizer, along with a zippered mesh pocket. There are also four fixed pouches that can be used for holding handgun magazines, a flashlight, a multi-tool, or other small items. It offers two fixed AK/AR rifle magazine pouches, and a double rifle magazine insert for two AR/AK magazines.

Here are some more features we think you will love:

Features

  • Two cord loops to hold carabiners, gloves, and other items
  • Universal H-strap harness that is removable and adjustable
  • MOLLE/PALS mounted pouch for medical insert (the insert is not included)
  • Two Velcro ID panels in the front, and one in the back
  • MOLLE/PALS on the shoulder straps and on the bottom of the main front pouch

This chest rig weighs less than one and a half pounds. It is made from superior quality materials, including YKK zippers, making it easy to remove in a hurry.

Pros

  • Great quality at a great price
  • Pockets are easy to access
  • Buckles on the straps allow for quick detachment and reattachment
  • Ideal replacement for a plate carrier
  • Chest strap is not large enough for all users
  • No padding
  • Adjustment system is only horizontal, no accounting for vertical adjustment

OUR RATING

We review our products on a 1 to 10 scale. The higher the score the better the product quality in the performance category.

Performance CategoryRating Score
Comfort9.2
Adjustability8.2
Weight distribution9.1
Durability9.2
Material quality8.5
Capacity8.2
Overall Score8.6
Product Rating Table

Key Takeaways

If you are seriously into shooting, you need some professional gear. That is where a good chest rig can come in pretty handy.

The ones we talked about today are among the best available, and we think you will likely be happy with any one of these chest rigs.

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