Those of you in the military and law enforcement communities already know about tactical assault vests.  These vests come in many different camouflage colors and styles.  Some already have pre-attached pouches on them.  Others are completely blank, allowing the user to place the accessory pouches and equipment as they see fit.  These tactical vests are very useful, and combine the mobility of a backpack with the availability of the gear being right in front of you.

Tactical assault vests come in many different styles and configurations.  Cross Draw vests are a very popular type, and because they are always one configuration, it is easy to train on one and become completely proficient in their use and capabilities.  They also come with all the pouches already attached to the vest.  The drawback to this system is that it is not customizable. Customization can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the user. Because cross draw vests are not customizable, it is easy to train large amounts of people on the same setup.

Plate carrier vests and chest rigs are another type of tactical assault vest.  These types come as a ‘blank canvas’ vest. This means that the vest comes with no attached pouches.  The vest will just have the shell and whatever attachment device on the outside (usually molle webbing).  This will allow for full customization of the vest surface.  Pouches and equipment can be placed exactly where the user is trained for them to be.  This is vital when fine motor skills and muscle memory has been honed to a specific setup.  Split seconds can often be the determining factor between life and death by those who employ tactical assault vests on a regular basis, so the ability to configure the vest to best suit the training and skill set of the operator is vital.

I prefer to use chest rigs because they are lightweight, and aren’t as cumbersome as the plate carriers.  These chest rigs also are a ‘blank canvas,’ and can be customized exactly how I want it.  I can place the needed gear and equipment like flashlights and tactical knives where I can have the best access to them, while saving the most important real estate for mission critical gear.

Tactical assault vests are an important platform for deploying equipment in many different scenarios.  They are so versatile that they can even be used by those who compete in paintball and airsoft competitions.

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