We often ensure that our treks and hikes are designed with one or a few people in mind. The routes, the equipment and plans revolve around human needs. But what if you want to take your beloved canine out as well? There’s no reason not to, after all, dogs adore being free and at your side and combine that with an outdoor activity and the two of you (or more if you have multiple dogs) can have an amazing adventure together. This therefore opens a whole new set of doors that can enhance your outdoor experiences tenfold and if you’re reading this and feeling more and more excited at this prospect that’s great!
However, it should be noted that in order for you and your dog to enjoy your expeditions, it’s wise and sometimes necessary to equip your best friend with a tactical dog vest.
Never heard of one or not sure what to get?
Fear not, for this article will explore the ins and outs that you need to know to satisfy your curiosity and then you will be presented with some great purchasing options, all will be scrutinized by yours truly before we offer our Top Choice.
If you have a canine companion, you know how important it is that they stay secure and healthy, both indoors and out Tactical Dog Harness Vests are a great solution for giving your dog an extra layer of protection along with the means for them to hold their own gear for tactical, work and recreational purposes. In addition, the vests can double up as practical lifting equipment for carrying your dog during situations that are difficult, or terrain that is compromised during the field.
A tactical dog vest or harness is perfect for:
Service dogs – Medical supplies such as emergency items and water can be affixed to the dog with relative ease and comfort.
Police and working dogs – A dog vest also adds another layer of protection, perfect for police dogs. Again, additional equipment can also be stored.
Hunting dogs – In this instance, a small tactical dog vest would provide a visual indicator whilst hunting, which would be a great asset. Supplies and bait can also be carried thanks to the pouches and patches that are affixed to the vest.
Outdoor companion dogs – For a dog that simply enjoys being active outside, a vest offers an new challenge for the canine as it will help with their exercise, due to the slight increase in weight (think about going for a walk yourself with a backpack vs. without, not too taxing but enough to get a bit of a workout).
So how do we define a tactical dog vest?
It can be defined as something your dog will wear to cater to many different purposes, be it exercise, training or simply for play.
A tactical dog vest is a vest or harness that your dog wears for a variety of purposes related to work, training, recreation, and exercise.
Furthermore, MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) will usually be present as well. Briefly, you may be wondering what Molle is, well taken from the definition online; ” MOLLE (pronounced MOLLY) is an acronym for MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. Molleuses rows of heavy-duty nylon stitched onto the vest/pack to allow for attachment of various MOLLE-compatible pouches and accessories. These are called PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System).” Simply put, Molle allows for additional items and accessories to be added to your dog’s tactical vest.
What actually makes the vest “tactical”?
As opposed to a normal harness, the design is centered around functionality and security.
Optimized so that these points stand out the most, the vest can therefore be worn out in the field and take all kinds of punishment from general wear and tear to adverse weather conditions. The Molle present is also a difference, as explained above it allows great customization.
Aesthetically, most tactical dog harnesses come in black or shades of green (for military working dogs), there are also a few that have bright colors to stand out for hunting or as companion dogs.
In addition, a tactical dog vest allows for further control of your dog. Crucial, if your dog has a tendency to be violent in public, the tactical harness allows you to hold and lift your dog far easier than with a leash and also safer too; a leash means you pull from the neck which could harm your dog.
Protection is another tactical aspect, as a sturdy, durable tactical dog vest is a great way to keep your canine companion well protected. This extends to weather conditions and nature (such as brambles or thorns found whilst traversing trails.)
Training is another key point to asses, as a tactical dog vest and harnesses are great teaching tools, especially for younger dogs. When a dog is young, it’s important to be able to control your puppy’s energy, and a harness or dog jacket is a great way of doing that without risking injury.
What to look for when selecting the best tactical dog vests
Now we have an understanding of the item, it’s time to assess the criteria that make up the best items.
The best and toughest vests are made up of high quality nylon. 1000D is the most popular choice and anything less will generally be cheaper and poor quality and should thus be avoided.
Size & Fit
Most tactical dog harnesses will come with a selection of sizes to choose from. As there are a lot of breeds out there, this variation is designed so that as many dogs as possible can be wearing the vest. The most common size is large and will suit such breeds as huskies, Labradors and the like. It’s crucial to measure your dog first before making your purchase. To get the best size, measure from the back of the shoulders to the start of their tail, the girth around their neck and finally the size of their chest and neck. Many suppliers have guides to refer to when buying, so don’t fret if you forget what you’re supposed to measure.
Clearly you don’t want something that will drag your poor dog down. Therefore, the best tactical dog vests should be lightweight enough for your dog to carry comfortably, while not being flimsy or easily ripped. Take into consideration your dog’s age, size and health as the additional weight of the vest (plus additional equipment) could take a toll on the canine.
High quality is a must here. You need something sturdy so that you can pick your dog up without stressing the straps to breaking point. We’ll be referring to customer reviews throughout the article as this is usually the best indicator for how well the handle holds up to everyday use.
As you traverse the various trails that you wander, your dog is bound to get itself entangled with either other wildlife, or nature itself. Therefore, the best vests will offer protection from these hazards, as well as staying strong throughout. Customer reviews again will be the point of reference, check if the vest will hold up in the field or if it is more suited for lazy walks around the park.
Additional features like extra pockets, molle and other variables will be present on the best tactical dog vests. This is great for carrying extra supplies like water, snacks and treats. Keep in mind however that the more features and additions you have, the heavier this will weigh on your dog. Customization and detachable pouches are king here, as you can then tailor this how you like.
Ranging from as little as $10 all the way to $100 (or more), there are a lot of solutions for various price ranges. The cost/benefit should always be considered, as it’s not always the case that the most expensive is the best for your needs. A more expensive vest will have lots of additional features that may not be necessary for your needs. The average price range is anywhere from $30 – $50 and you can expect good quality and durability for this price in the main.
Where It’s Made
The point of origin should always be a consideration, not only for shipping purposes but for quality of materials used. When it comes down to it, this is your dog and companion and you want to ensure you’re giving them the best you possibly can.
With that said and done, it’s time to begin our rundown. These products have been selected as some of the best on the market and range in price and function. At the end, Mike’s Top Choice will be revealed in order to help you make an informed and mindful decision. All prices quoted are accurate as of writing and are representative of the prices found on Amazon.com
Our opening tactical dog vest is from OneTigris.
This product comes loaded with accessories, such as detachable pouches, molle on both sides for additional attachments and adjustable webbing to aid in wearing stability. Durable material and tight stitching are the components for this product.
Helping with this robust and tactical look is the inclusion of firm straps and heavy duty V-rings which are accompanied with two handles on each end.
The main purpose behind this tactical dog harness is to allow your dog to carry its own equipment, including any food and water, thus leaving room in your own backpack for other paraphernalia that you need on your trip. Lets dig deeper and inspect the core specifications of this product before assessing our positives and negatives.
- Three detachable pouches
- Molle on both side for attaching other accessories
- Adjustable webbing for wearing stability
- Hook and loop panel for unique patch furniture
- Mesh design inside for better comfort and ventilation.
- Three size to choose, fit dog’s back length about 41cm to 54cm
- Main Material: 1000D nylonWebbing: Nylon
- Buckles: POM
As you can see, there are a whole raft of specifications that make this a solid product from the opening inspection. To delve deeper still, let us now look at the pros and cons behind this.
The overwhelming notion garnered from inspecting this tactical dog vest is that we have a superb product that only has a few nitpicking negatives to asses.
As you can imagine, many of the reviews are praising the flexibility this harness offers. The quality of мolle Dog Gear is another aspect that has been magnified in a positive light, with further reviews. As we assessed earlier, the negatives revolving around this product are difficult to find however users have complained about the odd number of pouches which can offset the weight on the dog.
We can surmise therefore that this is an excellent start to our list, any dog will find this a suitable and high performing piece of equipment that offers high quality material that is both comfortable and practical.
We could go on forever about the positive views expressed online, which is always a great sign. By contrast, it was difficult to find any real downsides to this Tactical Dog Harness Vest apart from subjective issues which are difficult to quantify. Perhaps then we have an early contender for Mike’s Top Choice, but before we can come to that judgment, it’s time to look at our next item.
From the manufacturer Whippy comes this offering.
Either stylized as a camo pattern or black, this lightweight tactical dog vest comes equipped with 3 detachable pouches, carry handles and molle on both sides. Your canine companion will think favorably of this too, as the item comes with a breathable mesh constructed from nylon affixed to the inside.
Certainly looking the part as a Tactical Service Dog Vest, we will now see if it can hold up to that title by first looking at the specifics.
- Dog vest comes with 3 detachable pouches,
- Two carry handles are attached to both the front and back of the harness, providing two attachment points for a leash.
- Molle on both side for attaching other accessories such as magazine pouches, water bottles, food snacks, etc.
- Lightweight and easy adjustable straps.
- 2 Size available
With the details established let’s break down the good and bad that can be found here;
We can determine therefore that Tactical Dog Vest offers a superb solution for your four legged hiking partner to embark on great journeys together.
Indeed, the aesthetic appeal alone can generate a positive reaction and your dog will certainly be pleased with the fitment and comfort.
The drawback however, is that the material can sometimes be broken and not the best quality. However, the redeeming factor is that this company offers great customer service and appears to genuinely care and listen when regarding problems, which is a great consideration. Sadly, the drawbacks found will stop this being Mike’s Top Choice, but it is certainly a worthy competitor .
Next in line is something that appeals further down the market.
The Ultrafun Tactical Dog Molle Vest is aiming to give great bang for your buck.
Their mantra is to provide a tactical dog harness that allows your canine buddy to be at their very best and consequently, let you also be at your peak performance levels.
Constructed with a sturdy yet comfortable material, it will serve you will for hikes, walks or camping. As we’ve seen with our previous entries, there is molle webbing on both sides of the vest, allowing for additional pouches to be attached. Adjustable straps are also present, to allow customization for stability and comfort. A promising start, let’s see what else this vest has to offer, by inspecting the specifics.
- Compatible Molle system for adding extra pouches
- Two carry handles are attached front and rear; with two attachment points for a leash
- Thorax and abdomen straps can be adjusted for wearing stability and comfort
- Made of high quality Nylon, durable, clean and sturdy stitching, without loose threads or sloppy seams
- 3 size available
- Hook and loop tape on the vest for attach ID panels, showing your dog’s style
Let’s continue our deep dive and find out what’s good or not so good about our tactical dog vest from Ultrafun.
After inspecting the detailed breakdowns presented via reviews and key facts, we can determine that this product is a viable solution if you are on a budget. However, be wary of the fact that with the price, comes quality issues. The old adage of “you get what you pay for” springs to mind, but to completely disregard this would be unfair. Thus we can neatly compartmentalize this tactical dog vest as one to get if you’re in a tight spot, but it won’t be making our top choice. Perhaps the next solution will, and we present this now.
OneTigris Tactical Service Dog Vest – Water-resistant Comfortable Military Patrol K9 Dog Harness with Handle
Back to OneTigris, will this product live up to the high standards that our first tactical dog harness vest set?
A harness that sets its stall out to be versatile and truly a jack of all trades, the mission brief is to provide a quality product that is able to cater to all needs.
Strong and lightweight nylon that is also water resistant courses through the vest and the material is enhanced further with a padded lining, designed to be comfortable for your four legged friend.
Chest and neck straps are both wide and adjustable to give a secure and once again, comfortable, fit. Four quick release buckles exist which allow for easy removal and application to your dog. As ever, molle is present in the form of a strap on each side, plus a hoop and loop strip so you add more items if you choose. Finally, the item comes in three different colors, our favorite is the black vest which looks great as a tactical dog vest.
Let’s get a clearer picture of what this product can offer by looking at the breakdown of specifications.
- Durable Material & Soft Padded: Made with high quality 1000D nylon and well padded in all pressure areas for a comfortable fit
- Easy Adjustable Dog Harness: 4 quick release buckles
- One top handle for your dog’s lead & control and one V-ring on the front for dog leash attachment
- MOLLE System: Each side features two MOLLE straps as well as hoop & loop strips panel to easily attach molle pouches or ID panels
- Available in 3 colors & 2 size
- Strong, lightweight, soft padded & water-resistant
- Plastic quick release buckles for quick on and off
As expected, a specification list as long as your arm is presented before us, but how does it all stack up with our pros and cons?
As with most OneTigris products, this is a quality piece of kit that can cater to many needs. Sadly, there are instances that let this down, larger and more powerful dogs are seemingly too much for the vest to handle at times, resulting in damaged and broken parts.
However, it can be said if you dog is not a particularly powerful mutt, or they are smaller in stature, this could be a great solution for you. Priced well and with a high specification, there are many good aspects that propel this towards to forefront of our favorites.
Once again, an offering from OneTigris finds itself positioned on our list.
The additional aesthetic appeal is right away eye catching and something different, which is a great jumping off point. Safety and comfort are the leading priorities for this tactical dog vest in order to allow you to go exploring with your best friend in the most flawless way possible.
Made with durable 1000D nylon material that is a familiar feel to other OneTigris products, the interior also has the recognizable breathable mesh padding.
Long hikes, camping or even gentle walks are catered for with this vest that looks to provide optimal support for your dog. As expected, Molle webbing is supplied in order for additional items that are for your dog to be loaded on. Loops and handles exist as well, to offer somewhere to affix a lead for better control of your canine. Let’s check out the details with our spec list.
- Made of exterior rugged 1000D nylon with quick release plastic buckle
- Interior breathable mesh padding
- Soft padded neck strap cover
- 2 MOLLE webbing on both side of the harness which are compatible with any MOLLE or MALICE-type pouches, easy to attach magazine pouches, water bottles, food snacks, etc
- Two Handles Design: 2 carry handles are attached to both the front and the back of the harness\
- Hook & Loop Panel: Top hook and loop panel runs entire length of the vest for you to attach your moral patches or dog patches
- Various Sizes & Colors Available
Once again, a highly detailed itinerary. Let’s see what the positives and negatives are for this tactical dog harness vest.
High praise and happy clients sum up the majority of experiences with this tactical dog harness and indeed there is much to celebrate. In the main, this is another high quality product that will offer a great solution to your tactical dog vest needs, especially if you’re looking for something on a tighter budget. Pitfalls exist however, with stitching and sewing not always being up to standard and thus causing some disappointment in this area. Once again, we have a great contender for Mike’s Top Choice but will it beat out the rest of the competition? Our last entry, also from OneTigris will give us the full puzzle before we can make an informed choice. Let’s move on now to the final item.
Last but certainly not least, comes the final offering from OneTigris.
Slightly unusual in design, this is a small dog tactical vest that is meant to be used more for daily walks and short hikes. Constructed from 1000D nylon that we’ve become accustomed to by now, there plenty of great features here. Capacious side pockets are present, offering storage solutions for your dog’s treats, snacks and other items. Of course, this can also be used to carry the smaller items you have like keys or your mobile phone. Loop panels are on either side for attaching panels or patches. One idea could be to affix reflective patches to keep them visible whilst hunting. Adjustable belly straps have quick release buckles and the list of equipment is rounded out with metal v-ring attachments on the front, for possible placement of a leash. Here are the details;
- Water-resistant 1000D nylon
- Padded underside offer a durable and comfortable solution
- Two main zipper side compartments with hook-and-loop closured pockets
- Top zipper pocket with 3.5 x 4″ clear ID card window
- V-ring for dog leash attachments
- Net weight: 370g/13oz
- 3 adjustable straps fits for medium & large dog
The list complete, how does the product fare in our good and bad breakdown?
We can deduce then that this is a great product, one of many from OneTigris.
Offering a different solution to others on the list, it’s varied aesthetic and styling can give pause for thought when selecting a tactical dog vest. As we have come to see within our list, there are issues to contend with when it comes to quality. Zippers and the ring on the front are prone to damage and even breaking, which isn’t ideal as you’ll be spending more money fixing or buying a new vest.
While the positives are clear, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest this would be the headliner for Mike’s Top Choice.
Which leads us to our finale and big reveal. Which product was our favorite?
Read on to find out!
When you put all the products together and analyze them side by side, in the end there’s only one real choice.
The OneTigris Tactical Dog Molle Vest Harness Training Dog Vest with Detachable Pouches takes the crown as Mike’s Top Choice.
Contributing to this reasoning is the huge spec list of the item, that really stood above the rest. Equipped with three detachable pouches right out of the box was a great start, but this was complimented with the addition of molle allowing for even more pouches and patches to be affixed. This therefore gives your dog the ability to carry much of its own gear and allow you the freedom to pack other necessities in your own backpack.
The ample storage presented was picked up on by multiple users who were thrilled with their purchase. It might be reasonable to expect such quality and dexterity with a product that is priced in this bracket, but it’s not always the case and indeed other tactical dog vests fell short of these expectations. With many items having complaints of stitching tearing, or handles ripping, this wasn’t the case at all here. There really were no glaring deficiencies found here that can be associated to the item itself, but rather end users making errors such as incorrect measurements resulting in the wrong size being ordered.
To wrap up, if you’re looking for a tactical service dog vest that answers the criteria of comfort, customization, durability and quality, then you should look no further. Mike’s Top Choice is without a doubt, the OneTigris Tactical Dog Molle Vest Harness Training Dog Vest with Detachable Pouches.