Duty vest setup

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Barska® VX-Series Tactical Vests

The VX Series of Tactical Vests from Loaded Gear features a number of vest models that have been designed to meet the needs of law enforcement and shooting sports enthusiasts. From fully loaded vests featuring mag and dump pouches to plate carrying models that are fully customizable, the VX Series by Loaded Gear will have a vest model that will fit the needs of any user. Most of the vests in the VX Series feature the standard MOLLE webbing system, which allows for the attachment of additional items such as ammo/magazine pouches, holsters, and tool pouches. All of the VX Tactical Vests are fully adjustable to fit most adult body sizes while providing maximum comfort. Each of these vests have been designed to perform under very demanding conditions, and have been constructed using the most durable materials available. Experience a VX Series Vest for yourself, and see what makes them a top choice for tactical apparel.

VX-200 Tactical Vest

The Loaded Gear VX-200 Tactical Vest from Barska keeps ammo and tactical essentials organized and close at hand. The VX-200 is fully adjustable to fit most adults, with adjustable shoulder panels and side straps, and ladder buckles on each side of the vest allow for quicker adjustment and a customized fit. This tactical vest features four rifle mag pouches that can accommodate the standard M4/AR15 30 round magazines, and are adjustable to fit either one or two magazines per pouch. Mesh webbing designed for ventilation and durability, and the heavy duty MOLLE webbing system allows the user to carry additional gear.

VX-300 and VX-500 Plate Carrying Vests

The VX-300 and VX-500 tactical vest models feature an internal section for carrying standard body armor plates. Both the front and back sections of these plate carrying vests can be opened to insert body armor plates and then secured into place with Velcro fasteners. The VX-300 Plate Carrying Vest features a quick-release pull cord that allows the user to quickly remove the entire vest within seconds in the event of an emergency.

Sours: https://www.barska.com/loaded-gear-tactical-vests

how to set up a tactical vest

The tactical vest is one of the most important pieces of tactical equipment. It is the foundation of a solid tactical loadout, to which you can attach all of the tools and accessories that you need.

First responders, private security personnel, firearms and self-defense instructors, and regular citizens can benefit from the extra utility and protection that a tactical vest can provide.

If you’ve bought yourself a new tactical vest but don’t know where to start, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will be showing you how to set up a tactical vest so you are always prepared for your next job.

Table of Contents

How to Set Up a Tactical Vest


Now, if you came to this guide looking for the best police tactical vest setup, you won’t be able to find that here. The reason for this is that the configuration of your tactical vest is a matter of personal preference. The same way that gun users are very particular about the configuration of their firearms, tactical vest wearers can be very specific about the way they set up their tactical vests.

So instead of hard-set rules, I will be giving you a few useful guidelines and tips to help you find the tactical vest setup that works best for you.

Tip #1: Get a good fit.

If you want to have the best experience using your tactical vest, you must first make sure that the tactical vest you’re buying fits you properly. A tactical vest that is too small will not be able to give you enough coverage for proper bullet protection; likewise, a tactical vest that is too large for you will severely hamper your freedom of movement, which is important to have in high-stress situations.

As such, it is critical to pick the sizing that fits you best. If at all possible, try them on in the store before buying your tactical vest, and take the time to perfect the fit for your body with its many adjustment straps.

Tip #2: Equip only for the job you need

With so many options for pouches, holsters, and clips, it can be very easy to get lost in the catalogs and buy whatever attachments and accessories that pique your interest. This, of course, is very inefficient and can get quite expensive if you end up buying more pouches than you will actually use.

To fix that, a good tip is to lay out all of the things that you need to bring along with you to do your job most effectively. For example, a police officer will likely need handcuffs, a baton, extra magazines for their gun, and a taser. Search and rescue personnel might need a flashlight, a radio, a whistle, and a first aid kit.

Whatever equipment that may be, make a list of all of it. Then, as you shop around for pouches and attachments for your tactical vest, look for the smallest pouches that carry the minimum amount of the equipment you will be storing in it.

So if you only need to bring two handgun magazines, for instance, you should buy a magazine holder that only has two slots. This makes sure that you are bringing exactly what you need, while also saving valuable space on your tactical vest that could be put to use for other equipment.

Tip #3: Master your setup.

Earlier in this article, I talked a bit about how tactical vest users can be very particular with how they set up their tactical vests. This is actually not a matter of snobbery or knowing what “the best military tactical vest setup” is, but rather a matter of mastery.

In high-pressure situations, split-second decisions are often what makes the difference between a life saved and a life lost. And in these situations, you would not want to be caught fumbling around looking for that critical first aid kit or magazine reload because you mounted it on your tactical vest without really thinking through when and how you will need to use it.

As such, people who use tactical vests will set up their pouches and holsters in whatever way is easiest for them to memorize. Many will even go further and actively practice quickly bringing out their equipment to train their muscle memory.

Once you have your vest and all of your equipment together, familiarizing yourself with your tactical vest is something you can do as well. It’s a simple and rather tedious tip compared to the others, but in my opinion, it is by far the most valuable tip that I’ve discussed in this article.

How a Tactical Vest Works


At first glance, the typical tactical vest doesn’t look like it has much to offer. Sure, a standard police tac vest setup looks a bit thick and bulky, but that’s mostly because of its many layers of fabric that provide some protection against small bullets.

The true usefulness of the tactical vest, though, lies in its modularity. Most of the tactical vests that are made and sold in the United States and Europe use something called the PALS or the Pouch Attachment Ladder System. This is the standardized design used by the United States military for a modular system of accessory attachments for use on load-bearing military apparel.

As the name suggests, PALS is seen as a set of nylon webbing strips arranged in a ladder pattern. These strips are attached to the broad, flat parts of a tactical vest or backpack and are stitched shut at regular intervals.

This leaves loose parts of the webbing open for attaching pouches, holsters, carabiners, and more. The modularity and standardization of this system makes it very easy for the wearer to come up with their own tactical vest configurations to fit their specific work needs.


As the trusted carrier of all of your essential equipment, the tactical vest is not something to be undervalued. With proper mastery over your setup, your tactical vest will help make your movements more efficient and make you more effective on the field.

Hopefully the tips I’ve shared in this article have shown you how to set up a tactical vest properly. If you have any additional thoughts or concerns with the information in this article, let us know in the comments section. Thank you for reading!

Categories FAQsSours: https://www.thesoldiersproject.org/how-to-set-up-a-tactical-vest/
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How to Use Your Plate Carrier: Gym vs. Law Enforcement

Plate carriers, used in the gym to reach peak fitness and on the streets to keep LEOs safe, are a hybrid of body armor and load-bearing equipment, or LBE. Designed for use with ballistic panels or weights, plate carriers offer plenty of benefits for hard-core workouts and for law enforcement professionals – but they’re two very different purposes that require different methods for use.

Using a Plate Carrier at the Gym

If you know how to use a plate carrier in the gym, you can get more from any workout. They’re a great alternative to weight vests, provided that they fit you properly and distribute the load you’re carrying correctly. Because they’re more versatile than traditional weight vests, you can comfortably wear a plate carrier doing planks, sit-ups and pushups, Iron Mikes, lunges and a range of other body weight exercises.

Weight Vests vs. Plate Carriers

Weights vests are different from plate carriers. Both add extra resistance to body-weight exercises, like pull-ups, running and jumping rope, but they’re fundamentally different in shape, load-bearing capability and weight distribution. Weight vests let you add weight in small increments, up to a certain point, and they’re usually only designed to carry weights specifically made for the vest. Plate carriers start at a certain weight – the weight of your plates – and are often designed with a MOLLE system to let you add and distribute weight wherever necessary.

Using a Plate Carrier in Law Enforcement

Your organization, department or unit has its own regulations on which types of plate carriers you’re permitted to wear and how to use them. Always refer to your SOP before you choose a plate carrier and before you make any changes to the way you use it.

What to Look for in a Law Enforcement Plate Carrier

Weight and protection are the two most important concerns in a law enforcement plate carrier, but comfort runs a close third – if you’re struggling all day to stay comfortable, you’re going to be less effective on the job.

Find the Best LEO Plate Carrier for You

When you choose a law enforcement plate carrier, you need a low profile, high-mobility model that doesn’t hold you back from getting things done. Here are a few options for body armor and plate carriers that can help keep LEOs safe.

All Mission Plate Carrier

Men's HEXGRID Uniform Outer Carrier

Women's HEXGRID Uniform Outer Carrier

The All Mission Plate Carrier fits any ESAPI plate and features the patented HEXGRID® multi-angle load-bearing platform.

The men’s HEXGRID Uniform Outer Carrier fits third-party soft body armor panels and features the HEXGRID load-bearing platform to allow you to customize what you carry.

The women’s HEXGRID Uniform Outer Carrier has all the same features as its men’s counterpart but is designed specifically for women’s plates.


Choosing the right plate carrier for working out or for work in law enforcement really depends on what you need to accomplish. While you can wear your LEO plate carrier during a workout, most people choose to use separate models for each to minimize wear-and-tear and keep the LEO model in operational condition.

Sours: https://www.511tactical.com/how-to-use-your-plate-carrier-gym-vs-law-enforcement
Police External Carrier Setup

Thousands of men and women across the nation don a bulletproof tactical vest, gun, and badge to either protect our country or a small piece of it. Outer vests are becoming more prevalent, and not just because they look badass. They reduce the stress a heavy gun belt puts on your back. By moving the critical weapons and accessories to the outer vest, they are easier to reach when needed. If you’re new to tactical vests and how to set them up, you’re in the right place.

Tactical Vest Sizing

The tactical vest fit and size is probably the most important part of setting up your vest. If your vest doesn’t fit right, it won’t be comfortable, and it could decrease its effectiveness. The rigging may sag or be too tight. Getting measured by a professional who has experience in fitting tactical vests is critical. Most vests come with plate carriers, so there’s no need to worry about choosing the wrong one unless you’re buying a vest for personal reasons versus professional.

Have someone else measure you if you’re doing it on your own. You should still get help from the store you plan on buying your vest from, though. They should be able to help you choose the right vest for your needs.

Tactical vests are adjustable, so you can adjust yours for comfort and maximum protection. Once you tailor it to fit you, it’s set, and all you need to do is throw it on and secure it with the Velcro or whatever closure it has.

If you’re wearing a vest for work, and your department issues you an outer carrier, it usually comes with a traditional vest carrier as well. Having both carrier systems allows you to switch your plates back and forth between both systems, depending on the uniform you’re wearing.

One of the best things about an outer carrier is you can adjust it throughout your shift. You can also take it off occasionally if it’s extremely hot outside. Of course, you need to be careful when and where you take off your vest.

Body armor, plates, body kit and balaclava

Consider What You’ll Be Carrying When You Attach Things to Your Tactical Vest

The first thing to remember is the plate carrier doesn’t just hold the load carriage; it also includes the armor system. The armor plays a key role in how the vest fits, as it keeps the vest from sagging once you start adding pouches and items.

Outer attachments allow you to carry extra necessary gear that may not fit on your waist. There are several things that you can carry on your vest, such as:

  • An extra set of handcuffs
  • Pepper spray
  • An extra magazine
  • Taser
  • Baton
  • Notebook
  • Keys
  • Flashlight

When you add things to your vest carrier, remember to place them in logical areas that allow you to quickly access the things you need the most. It’s not necessary to fill every attachment space.

The armor plates themselves are quite heavy and, when you start adding plate carrier accessories, the load is going to get even heavier. Be careful when you add items and pouches to the front of your vest carrier, as they will increase the risk that you’ll snag it on something.

Don’t place bulky items and pouches over your magazines, or you may not be able to access them. When mounting pouches, it’s also important not to place them in spots that interfere with getting to your holster or other things on your belt.

A bulletproof vest made from high-tech fabric

Additional Thoughts on Where to Place Gear on Your Vest

When adding things to your vest carrier, you want to keep your shoulders clear. Keeping this area clear lets you block shots and transition from your weak side. Make sure that you don’t mount things in places that interfere with your ability to shoulder weapons. Route communications gear and hydrating tubes in a way that prevents them from being a snagging hazard or getting in the way.

It’s also important to balance out the load on your vest. Normally, you would want to carry more items on your weak side so you could access things with your dominant hand. However, you also want to put some things in the center to distribute the weight you’re carrying.

Setting up your tactical vest correctly is vital to how you do your job and how you respond to threats. It’s also important if you’re wearing a vest for outdoor activities. Outer vests allow you to carry more critical gear and take some pressure off your gun belt. Follow these tips for setting up your vest, and you should be comfortable and be able to access your gear when you need it.

Shop Our Tactical Vests

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Sours: https://lapolicegear.com/blog/tactical-vest-setup-what-to-put-on-your-tactical-vest/

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