A chest rig is designed mainly to carry additional ammunition. Made with a number of pouches that are able to hold magazines, these combat essentials are worn with plate carriers. The plate carriers are there not just to arm you but also to protect you from enemy bullets.
The best chest rigs are those that are built with padded adjustable straps. This would give you total control of the kit. When you have chest rigs of high quality, those are usually lightweight, tough, and flexible. Also, these give you the chance to direct your focus on your mission and not the gear.
The Best Chest Rigs Reviews
Find comfort and convenience to let you focus on your mission. Here are 10 amazing chest rigs in the market to look out for.
1. Condor Recon Chest Rig
First on our list is an option ideal for those who are on the lookout for something very lightweight. While lightweight, you can trust on this chest rig to hold both your heavy as well as your light artilleries.
And while most chest rigs bring with them the concern of taking up too much storage space, this brand tells a different tale altogether. It has a one of a kind design that they call the stacker pouches. Through this stacker pouches design, there is a way for you to adjust the height of all your magazines when storing.
What this means is that you no longer have the need to fumble over the other ones in your belt when you are trying to grab a new magazine.
Aside from the stacker pouches, we must also commend the comfort which this chest rig brings. It makes use of a strap system that holds onto your back. Thanks to its X-shaped strap, you can rest assured that your rig is able to hold onto your back no matter the amount of activity you do.
Plus, it is built with an adjustable waist strap. The adjustable waist strap makes this rig usable for anyone sized 30″ to 60″.
If there is something you need to know about this, however, it is that this costs a bit more than the other brands in the market. But with the high-quality and the comfort level it brings, this is already a great deal that you should look out for.
- Stacker pouches design
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Adjustable waist strap that can be used by anyone sized 30″ – 60″
- Great value for your money
2. Condor Outdoor Modular Chest Set
One of the things we love about this chest rig is its functionality and versatility. It can work without any need for body armor.
This chest rig is built with 7 magazine pouches and 3 internal mesh pockets. There is also webbing for modular attachments plus an internal pocket. One of the advantages of such a design is that it frees up so much space so you can attach a lot more additional pouches.
Also, one of the things that we love most about this chest rig is its hydration bladder conveniently placed at the back. This just saves you from carrying an extra container for water.
However, we have to say, it could have been better if there is a hook on the inside where you can hang the bladder. But no, there is none. And the bladder will sag. It’s not something you can’t fix. Just about 5 minutes or so spent on sewing a loop of paracord in there, and you’re all good to go.
The chest platform is also adjustable and can be removed. Thanks to its padded shoulder straps, the chest rig is as comfortable as ever. It also has Velcro fasteners that would keep all of your straps tucked nice and neat. Its size can also be adjusted from Large to X-Large.
We mentioned earlier that there is a hydration carrier. It does not, however, include a bladder. You have to go get your own. But it’s really a minor issue.
Overall, this is one of the best there is. It is durable and built well. And its hydration carrier is its game-changer. You have to get this!
- Hydration carrier
- Adjustable size from L to XL
- Adjustable chest platform
3. Condor MCR-498 Tactical and Duty Equipment
Built with six open-top magazine pouches, this incredible chest rig is one of the most affordable in the market today. While affordable, it still comes with features that enable you to customize your setup with almost any gear you have with you.
The rig is engineered to position itself below the chest and around the stomach area. This gives you much mobility in all of your activities, no matter how strenuous. It also results in the rig being more manageable.
Also, the chest rig is uniquely designed. It is built with stronger buckles, which secures the main storing area. This is also equipped with padded straps to make sure the rig is secured in place.
Most consumers would prefer a chest rig that will not get in the way of their activities. These consumers would also choose something that would be able to carry loads of gear at one time. This is that kind of chest rig. And we should tell you that it is hard to find rigs that offer comfort and space at the same time.
Its interior is built flat. This would keep the tools from striking your belly. It has flexible materials, which would also make sure that you feel comfortable all throughout.
Overall, this is perfect for those who need a comfortable rig while maximizing the space for additional gears. Plus, we mentioned this is affordable, which is another advantage.
This is a great product you should also consider.
- Available in three colors
- Additional pockets can be used for multiple access points to the gear
- Comes with strong buckles to secure the main storing area
- Built with six open-top magazine pouches
4. GZ Xinxing Chest Rig Tactical Vest
Next in line is a more robust entry as compared to the others on this list.
This chest rig is built with adjustable shoulder straps. It has Velcro closures plus tension straps on its sides. Thanks to these straps along the sides, you can easily pull them in for the chest rig to fit you nice and tight.
Also, because of the rig’s adjustability features, this would be able to fit anyone of average height who goes by shirt sizes of Small to XXL.
The chest rig is durable. This could last you for many years of regular use. With its foundation built on tough nylon mesh, this is not only durable at its finest, but it also provides you with flexibility and great ventilation.
Moreover, it has document pockets – one at the left and one at the right, which can hold your IDs and other important documents.
But what we like the most about this chest rig is the series of loops at the bottom. Through these loops, you would be able to thread a gun belt to comfortably hold your pistols. There are also enough flip top pouches sewn in across the chest area.
These pouches are enough to make any SWAT or airsoft enthusiast jump with joy. The chest rig is versatile. This is perfect for mountain rescuers, private security professionals, hunters, and the likes.
Overall, this is another great option. It would be rare for you to find a chest rig that is durable, comfortable, and has features that even involve a pistol holster.
- Built with two zip-up document pockets
- Has enough flip top pouches across the chest area
- Adjustable to fit most men of average height
- Pistol holster
5. VISM by NcStar AK Chest Rig
Another entry that is a good value for your money is this chest rig. This unit is built to be durable and is designed to let you maximize your full potential when out in the field.
A badly-designed chest rig will not be able to provide you with that much-needed space to carry your gear. It would also be hard to access your gears as well. This is NOT that kind of rig.
If you are looking for the best chest rigs that are budget-friendly and yet provide you with the comfort and high-quality of other brands, this is an option you can get.
The chest rig is built with pouches all over the device. What we like about this is that they do not interfere with your movements. Most of these pockets are also situated at the front, keeping your sides free. Plus, the pockets are large, which is an added advantage.
This rig is also equipped with retention straps. These straps can be adjusted to make sure it fits nice and tight. You have to say goodbye to an awkward or unstable fit when wearing this rig.
In terms of its quality, the stitching is great. It gives you an assurance that no matter the amount of gear you have, the rig will hold everything well together.
In summary, this is a great choice. And without a shadow of a doubt, this is a rig with an equal mix of comfort and performance. It is a great buy and gives you the best value for your money.
- Available in three colors
- Great stitching and holds everything well
- Extra pouches for your documents and gears
- Can carry six AK magazines
6. Condor Ops Chest Rig
This choice right here is a basic chest rig that is ideal for everyone.
The chest rig has proven itself to be able to hold up well in any type of activity.
For a chest rig, this is quite affordable, which is ideal for those who are just starting out. It is built with a padded cross-back shoulder strap, complete with webbing and D-rings.
What we like about this chest rig is its magazine layout. The magazine pouches are evenly spread out and stitched well. Considering the affordable price, this is a rather great choice.
The Molle webbing on its sides and in the front is very useful should you need to attach extra gears you might need. It is also adjustable, which adds more comfort to its users. You can easily adjust the size, so it fits you well. This rig is also built with a button release buckle, which is pretty much convenient.
However, the buckle can get in the way at first, but you’ll get used to it. Stitched just a bit inside the chest rig is a map pocket with a hook and a loop panel. This would come in useful not just for maps, but for any other document you may want to keep safe.
But there is one thing you need to know. Some parts are made of plastic. Over time, these may break. These, however, should not worry about you. Once broken, they can easily be replaced.
And one more thing, the rig may be rigid and tight the first time you wear it but just give it a day or two of breaking in. You’ll get used to it.
We can’t think of a better option for somebody who is just starting out. This is ideal for those that are looking for chest rigs but are within a specific budget.
- Map pocket with hook and loop panel
- Button release buckle
- Cross-back shoulder strap
- Webbing and D-rings
7. abcGoodefg Radio Chest Harness
It was originally made with Ski Patrols and Mountain Rescue teams in mind. Over the years, its use has traversed to other activities, including hiking, biking, school, work, fishing, camping, and a lot more.
This chest harness is commonly being used by production workshops, in construction sites, or even by police officers during missions. At any time that you would need to carry walkie-talkie equipment for work or leisure, this is one gear that can help you the most.
First of all, this is great for any gender. It is built with adjustable shoulder straps, making it comfortable for you to wear on any occasion. You can go hiking or manage an event, and this chest harness can easily hold your radio equipment without a fuss.
It is nicely-made and has a well-thought-out design. Not only are the shoulder straps adjustable, but even the pockets for the radios are. These pockets can be adjusted for them to be able to carry radio equipment of any size.
The radio equipment just fits snugly into these pockets. They don’t jiggle when you’re on the move. Thanks to that strap that goes behind your back, your radio equipment is all secure. This strap looks a bit flimsy though, but looks can be deceiving. It is durable.
The center pocket is convenient. These pockets for the radio equipment is very well made in that it avoids your radio equipment from falling and eventually breaking. It is also built with a couple of pencil (or pen) holders.
Durable, comfortable, and convenient – these, we believe, are enough reasons for you to get this chest harness right now!
- Adjustable straps
- Made for men and women
- Built with a pen or pencil holder
- Well-made pockets for radio
8. Yakeda Tactical Vest Military Chest Rig
For those who are used to traditional, backpack-looking chest rigs, you might find this entry to your liking. The layout and the rig’s performance are just so top-notch. It would be hard for anyone to ignore this brand.
First of all, the chest rig is made of high-quality materials. It is built to endure many years of use with minimal wear and tear.
This army-looking chest rig is engineered with multiple pouches. These pouches are built to provide you with a lot of space for a variety of tools. Whether you are using this for leisure, for construction work, or for any other activity, the comfort this chest rig brings is just something we really commend.
Thanks to its sufficient padding on the straps, the chest rig brings you the comfort you can rarely find in other brands. Plus, the inside part of the rig has padded straps to ensure a good fit.
Not only does this chest rig fit well, but it also has removable pouches. This would let you adjust your rig, depending on your expectations.
While this does not give you enough space for MOLLE, this chest rig still offers you enough pouches and pockets to accommodate your ammunition and other tools.
We must tell you, though, this is a bit pricier than the other rigs in the market. But if you come to think of it, this gives you comfort and durability in one. You can never go wrong with this.
- Removable pouches
- Sufficient padding on the straps for added comfort
- Built with four M4 magazine pouches and one double-capacity pistol magazine
- Comes with a dump pouch that can hold seven AK magazines
9. Helikon-Tex Patrol Line, Guardian Chest Rig
When you are out shopping for a high-quality chest rig for beginners, this is one of the great options that you can choose from.
Thanks to its 100% Cordura 500D material, this chest rig speaks of durability beyond compare. It is strong, versatile, and easy to clean. And it’s easy to dry as well.
Because of its Cordura 500D material, you can rest easy your chest rig is free from abrasion, fading, rot, and mildew. It is well built and can carry more magazines and other gears than most chest rigs in the market.
Moreover, it is built with a removable X or H-harness – giving you a stable hold of your gears while you are on the go. Such harness is also adjustable for a better fit.
What we like the most about this chest rig are the two spacious cargo pockets. Not only are they large enough to hold any of your things, but they are also USGI-canteen compatible.
The chest rig is equipped with a bottom Molle panel where you can attach more pouches and additional accessories.
Stitching is never an issue with this chest rig. It speaks volumes of comfort even when you are taking long patrols or hikes. Also, you can have this chest rig handy during camping or when you are just out in the woods.
Another great attraction this chest rig offers is its ATACS camouflage. You simply cannot find this design in most chest rigs. And with that, we are big fans!
- Exchangeable inserts like double pistol magazine, handgun, etc.
- Made of Cordura 500D material for durability
- Adjustable and removable X or H-harness
- Spacious cargo pockets
10. Condor Rapid Assault Chest Rig
And last but finally not the least is another entry from Condor.
The manufacturer is widely known for its high-quality chest rigs. This last entry is no exception.
Despite its capacity to carry up to six magazines, this is a chest rig that’s comfortable to wear. It is built with a padded cross-back shoulder strap, which is able to secure the chest rig to the wearer’s body. The rig is also built with webbing and a D-ring.
Moreover, the crossed shoulder straps give you so much comfort, no matter the circumstance you are in. It is also adjustable and can fit any chest size.
When out in the field, there is no other better option to keep your magazines ready and easily accessible than through this chest rig.
The chest rig is designed to carry the magazines flat across your chest. This allows easy, and fast reloading should the need arise.
What we like best about this is that behind the open-top pouch, there is an internal pouch that’s sewn in. This internal pouch is ideal for holding your maps, documents, or other paraphernalia that you need to bring with you.
The chest rig is also MOLLE-compatible, and its webbing makes it possible for you to attach as many other pouch options as you want.
Overall, this is a high-quality chest rig. Its design is top-notch. And not only that, but this is also affordable as well.
- Built with four elastic loops (two on each side)
- Has padded cross-back shoulder strap plus webbing and D-rings
- Equipped with a front pocket pouch with hook and loop panel
- Boasts six open-top mag pouches
Chest Rig Setup Steps
First things first, when setting up your chest rig, one of the first things you have to check is if it fits you nice and tight. If it does, well and good but if it does not, make sure to make certain adjustments to make it fit.
Another thing you have to check is the things you would need. Some chest rigs are equipped with pouches for hydration, while some brands have more pouches for magazines than the others; others can hold documents, pens, and the likes. Check on what you need first, and see whether your chest rig can hold all of these.
Now, prior to donning the chest rig, make sure that you are able to assemble and adjust (if needed) the rear well. Once everything is settled, follow the instructions below:
- Start by routing one side of the band. It should be routed through the webbins slots located at the rear stretch of the panel.
- Make sure to insert the vertical snap tabs. These tabs should pass through the horizontal webbing slot of your choice. Snap these tabs closed.
- Tuck the tab ends. You can tuck them under the webbing slot located at the center. Do the same process on the other side of the chest rig.
- Find the elastic cord. Once you found it, route that through the end slots located at the cummerbund. Also, make sure that you are able to secure everything by doing an overhand knot.
- Check whether there is a need for adjustments or not. Adjust when necessary.
Most chest rigs also come with a harness that you need to assemble and make adjustments to.
To assemble the harness, follow the instructions below:
- Find the harness webbing.
- Route it and have it pass through the cummerbund, up and until it goes through the horizontal slots.
- Secure the end of the webbing. To do this, route the end of the strap to pass through the tri-glide. Once it passes through the tri-glide, route it back down on itself.
- Repeat the previous steps and apply them on the other side.
- Also note that the front can be assembled and adjusted the same way that you did the rear.
One thing we need to remind you guys is that when wearing your chest rigs, it should be level to your chest. They are not called chest rigs because they level to your stomach or somewhere below that. Make sure to also keep it nice and tight.
Another reminder when donning your chest rig is to ensure your comfort. Don’t be scared of making adjustments. When you need to cut the straps, do it after confirming your measurements. We think it’s your reluctance, which would, later on, result in an ill-fitting chest rig.
What Are the Benefits of Using It?
Chest rigs have been in existence for many years. From generations past, old versions of the chest rig were already in use. Innovations over the years gave us the chest rigs that we see today.
These are amazing pieces of equipment for the reason that it allows you to easily carry much-needed tools to any mission. You can bring with you first aid kits, rifle magazines, digital cameras, and anything and everything you deem to be essential.
Whether you are out for a rescue mission or just simply out hiking, chest rigs are very beneficial gears you need to have. Here are some of the reasons why:
Chest rigs are made to easily merge with other gears. They can route with rucksacks, backpacks, and even body armors without a fuss. Chest rigs are gears that can make your missions and hikes convenient and hassle-free.
Body armors and plate carriers are mostly uncomfortable. Unlike body armors, chest rigs are cool, breathable, and light. They work well in humid climates as well.
Consider yourself wearing body armors and backpacks while riding a jeep. With these donned, you can never expect to wear a seatbelt. You can never even maneuver and access items at the back of the jeep while these are worn.
With chest rigs, it is a different story altogether. You would be able to easily and conveniently access your things at the back, wear your seatbelt, etc. Most important of all, the chest rig will not compromise with the airbags and the steering wheel.
Chest rigs are being used for a wide array of functions. It is popularly used in the military, in rescue missions, medical, and even photography. Thanks to its lightweight features, its design, and its ability to hold a wide array of tools and ammunitions, this is one of the most revered gears today.
Things to Consider Before Buying Chest Rigs
So, you are out shopping for your first chest rig. One concern you would always have in getting your first (or maybe not) chest rig is on getting the most reliable gear.
What you are looking for is a chest rig that could endure rough conditions while at the same time, giving you maximum comfort. This is a challenge, we know.
We dare say, all of the manufacturers are saying that they got the best in the market. The functions would all be similar to each other, but what sets one gear apart from the other is its construction, weight, and durability.
Now, we are here to save you from getting the wrong chest rig. That’s a lot of money and time wasted if in case the wrong one falls on your lap (or chest). Here, we are going to discuss the things you need to take into consideration when shopping for a comfortable, durable, and reliable gear.
Check the Pouches
Chest rigs come with numerous pouches that can hold your ammunition as well as other essentials. Some chest rigs come with more pouches than the others. What you are going to look for is a chest rig with enough pouches to hold all the things that you need for your mission.
Another thing you need to know is that chest rigs should also come with other pockets that can hold documents, keys, pens, and a lot more that you need. Some chest rigs are built with webbed spaces. These webbed spaces would be able to allow you to attach extra pouches when needed.
When choosing the best chest rigs, make sure to go for that which has at least four open-top pouches. These four would be enough for you to easily access your most important items.
We already mentioned that chest rigs are more lightweight than body armors, but some chest rigs are heavier than the others.
Putting too much weight on a heavier chest rig can result in discomfort, poor performance, and even backaches. You have to know that backaches are caused by too much weight on your chest rig.
If you are in the military, for example, your chest rig would contain rifle magazines, spare pistols, knives, and a lot more like grenades, hydration, and other essentials.
Too much weight creates an unbalanced load, which would eventually strain your lower back; hence, the backache. As such, you have to put a few things in mind.
One of these would be to look for a more lightweight chest rig. The other is that you need to choose a chest rig that has enough pockets and webbings to carry just the right amount of equipment.
When you have a chest rig that has more pockets than you need, you may fill them with items you do not even need. That could add to the weight that you will be carrying.
If you have a chest rig with just enough pockets for your needs, you would be forced to only include the things you need and eliminate those that you don’t.
Safety and Durability
Some chest rigs would last you more years than others. Check the fabric. They’re always the game-changers. Mind the zippers; they should be of high-quality.
A durable chest rig saves you a lot of money. When shopping for chest rigs, always choose the one that is tough and the one that would give you maximum safety and durability. No matter how strenuous your activities are, the chest rig should be able to keep you and your ammunitions intact.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Now that you already know what to look for in a chest rig, we are here to answer some of your questions. We know you still have a few in mind.
1. How do you know if the chest rig is sized just right?
When looking for a chest rig that would fit you best, always remember that the sizing options refer to your chest size.
Wrap a tape measure across the widest part of your chest. That should do.
2. Where do you use a tactical chest rig?
They’re more of a requirement for military service and security individuals. However, these chest rigs are also popular with paintball and airsoft players. Some rescuers and hunters also use chest rigs.
3. How do you wash your chest rig?
By any means, DO NOT machine wash the chest rig. Use a wet cloth to remove dirt and stains.
4. Will a chest rig keep me warm?
No, it will not. You can wear a jacket first and don the chest rig on top of the jacket.
5. What is MOLLE?
It is a popular style where its unique webbing design can be used to attach pouches or just about anything that you need.
We should know by now that a chest rig has many uses and benefits. There are a lot of brands out there available for you, but the best chest rigs are the ones that could give you functionality, durability, and comfort.
Have you already made up your mind?
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