Best chest rigs

Have you ever felt the frustration of needing a vital piece of equipment, only to realize it’s not where you thought it would be?

Now imagine dealing with that during a real high-pressure situation. Instead, envision having all your essential gear neatly organized and easily accessible on one of the best chest rigs out there.

A good chest rig can make all the difference. Whether you’re just a common “range larper” or an outdoor enthusiast, knowing exactly where everything is can be game-changing.

This guide will delve into the best chest rigs out there and we’ll look at why a minimalist design has become so popular in the tactical world these days.

We’ll dive into what sets each one apart, and explore their strengths and weaknesses to help you get a better idea of what would work for you. Let’s get to it!

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Best Chest Rigs Quick List

🔻Read on to see them all 🔻

Understanding The Best Chest Rigs and Their Benefits

Chest rigs are a vital part of tactical gear, especially for those involved in law enforcement or military operations. Chest rigs offer quick access to indispensable items such as magazines, utility pockets, medical gear, and other tactical components.


Importance of Chest Rigs

The best chest rig can make the difference between success and failure during intense situations. These versatile tools allow you to carry plenty of ammo along with any extra gear that might be needed on the go. For instance, Mayflower’s training mini rig offers a modular design allowing customization based on specific needs.

And the best chest rigs do this without the added weight of a plate carrier with body armor.

Rifle mag? Check. Pistol mags? Sorted. All these essentials are at your fingertips without compromising movement or comfort – it’s no wonder why professionals and dudes on the range opt for these.

Minimalist Design in Modern Chest Rigs

The shift towards minimalist chest rigs is a testament to their practicality and efficiency. A lighter weight means less strain on the body, which is crucial in certain scenarios. 

When wearing body armor with plate carriers things can get heavy really quickly when you start to pile on the gear. Unlike a plate carrier, a tactical chest rig seeks to be as light and minimal as possible while still being able to carry all the essentials.

However, you don’t get the ballistic protection that the top plate carriers with armor plates offers you.

But you might want to check out my personal pick coming up, the Taculus MX. It keeps things streamlined while offering the ability to add ballistic protection.

Now let’s look at the best chest rigs and why these ones were chosen to be top of the list.

Mayflower UW Chest Rig Gen IV

mayflower uw chest rig iv

The Mayflower UW Chest Rig Gen IV is a game-changer in the world of tactical chest rigs. With its innovative design, it’s more than just an accessory—it’s a vital tool for anyone serious about their gear.

Key Features and Benefits

This tactical chest rig stands out with features designed to enhance your experience on the range and in the field. It offers utility pouches that are easy to reach and use during intense operations, allowing you quick access to essential tools and equipment.

  • It can carry four 5.56mm mags, 2 pistol mags, up to 2 small radios
  • There are two general-purpose pockets for gear storage
  • This modular chest rig has loops to route antennas, wires, and hydration bladder tubing
  • Four one-inch side release buckles for quick and easy mounting
  • Able to mount to the front of a  Low-Profile Armor Carrier
  • Comes with a standard H-Harness but is now being offered with additional harness options
  • Built-in map pocket with a hook and loop closure
  • 100% Made in the USA

All these make the Mayflower UW Chest Rig Gen IV not just good—but one of the best choices available today for any tactical enthusiast or professional looking for the best chest rig out there.


Pros and Cons

The Mayflower UW Chest Rig Gen IV is a top-tier piece of tactical gear designed for maximum utility and comfort. This chest rig is built to accommodate a variety of load-outs, making it an ideal choice for preppers, survivalists, or anyone engaged in tactical training.

  • Durability: The Mayflower UW Chest Rig Gen IV is made with high-quality materials that can withstand harsh environments and heavy use.
  • Versatility: It features four magazine pouches that can fit either M4 magazines or similar-sized items. Additionally, it has two general-purpose pouches on the sides for added storage capacity.
  • Ergonomics: Its H-harness design distributes weight evenly across your shoulders, reducing strain during prolonged wear. Plus, its low-profile design makes it easy to wear under jackets or other outerwear without restricting movement.
  • Modular: It was built to be able to mount to the Velocity Systems (Mayflower) Low Profile Armor Plate Carrier
  • It comes at a higher price point compared to other models like the Viking Tactics VTAC Assault Chest Rig.
  • It’s not entirely minimalist being a full tactical chest rig.

Its pros certainly outweigh its cons, making the Mayflower UW Chest Rig Gen IV a valuable addition to any preparedness kit or tactical training loadout.

most popular pick
mayflower uw chest rig iv

Mayflower UW Chest Rig Gen IV

Extremely durable, has ample space to stow gear and is proven to work.

*Price accurate at time of writing

Viking Tactics VTAC Assault Chest Rig

The Viking Tactics VTAC Assault Chest Rig is a beast in the world of tactical gear. Built for rugged use, it’s no surprise that many law enforcement and military personnel trust this chest rig. But what makes the Viking Tactics VTAC stand out? 

It’s all about balance. 

This chest rig lets you carry plenty of ammo without sacrificing mobility or comfort.


Features and Benefits

  • It’s got 4 integrated M4 mag pouches, 2 radio pouches, 2 pistol mag pouches, and 2 all-purpose pouches
  • Low-profile design that doesn’t limit your mobility
  • Can be concealed under jackets or other loose garments.
  • This rig doesn’t just offer storage space – it offers adaptable storage.
  • It is extremely comfortable during long operations.
  • Made with durable and lightweight materials

No matter if you’re on a recon mission or hitting up the range, the versatility and practicality offered by this assault chest rig make sure that every piece of kit has its place. And let me tell ya, nothing beats knowing exactly where your gear is when seconds count.


The Viking Tactics VTAC Assault Chest Rig is about a couple hundred bucks. Like the Mayflower, it isn’t exactly a budget option but it’s one of the best chest rigs out there. Here’s a more affordable option for a molle chest rig by Viking Tactics.


Pros and Cons

Here’s an overview of the pros and cons to consider when deciding if this chest rig is right for you.


  • Durability: The VTAC Assault Chest Rig is made from tough materials designed to withstand harsh conditions and heavy use.
  • Versatility: With multiple pouches for magazines, tools, or other essential items, this chest rig can be customized to fit your specific needs.
  • Ease of Use: Adjustable straps make it easy to put on/take off quickly while ensuring a comfortable fit during extended wear.
  • Sleek Design: This chest rig features a low-profile design which allows for better maneuverability compared with bulkier alternatives.
  • USA Built: This rig is proudly made in the U.S.


  • Pricing: The quality comes at a cost; the Viking Tactics VTAC Assault Chest Rig falls on the pricier side compared with some other models available in the market.
  • Limited Colors: It’s only available in three color options.

The Viking Tactics VTAC Assault Chest Rig is a high-quality, versatile piece of tactical gear that offers many advantages for those interested in preparedness and survival training. However, like any product, it also has some drawbacks.

viking tactics vtac chest rig multicam e1698202473657

Viking Tactics VTAC Assault Chest Rig

Versatile, high quality and USA made

*Price accurate at time of writing

Condor MCR6 Rapid Assault Chest Rig

If you’re after a budget tactical chest rig that gives more bang for your buck, the Condor MCR6 Rapid Assault Chest Rig is worth considering. It’s not just an affordable option; it also provides high functionality and quality for the price you pay.


Features and Benefits

  • The main draw of this chest rig is its value-for-money proposition. But don’t let its price point fool you into thinking it skimps on performance. 
  • Six open-top mag pouches which can hold both pistol mags and rifle mags, offering plenty of storage space for essential tactical gear.
  • Heavy-duty MOLLE webbing for modular accessory attachment
  • Special collection of swivel quick-release buckles that allow you to instantly remove the rig in case of emergencies.
  • Padded cross-back shoulder strap with webbing and D-rings
  • Four elastic loops (two on each side)
  • Front pocket main pouch with hook and loop panel inside
  • Additional mesh pocket on interior

Basically, the Condor MCR6 does exactly what the best chest rigs should do – help carry plenty while keeping everything accessible but does it at a fraction of the cost. While it’s not officially one of the best chest rigs out there, it makes this list purely on its ability to perform for the budget-minded people out there.


This is where this Condor recon chest rig shines and that is why it’s even on this list. It hovers right around 50-60 bucks and can be had for even less on a good sale or with my discount “STRENGTH code here.


Pros and Cons

The Condor MCR6 Rapid Assault Chest Rig is a popular choice among survivalists, preppers, and tactical training enthusiasts. It’s well-known for its practical design, durable construction, and affordable price point. However, like any product, it has both pros and cons that should be considered before purchasing.


  • Durable Construction: The chest rig is made from high-quality materials that can withstand tough conditions. This makes it ideal for rigorous outdoor activities such as hiking or shooting practice.
  • Affordable Price Point: Compared to other chest rigs on the market, the Condor MCR6 offers great value for money without compromising on functionality.
  • Versatile Design: With six open-top mag pouches and additional pockets for storage, this chest rig allows you to carry all your essential gear conveniently.
  • User-Friendly: The adjustable straps make it easy to fit most body sizes while ensuring comfort during use.


  • Limited Capacity: If you’re planning an extended trip or need to carry large amounts of equipment then this model may not offer enough space compared with some other options available in the market.
  • Not Quite Up To Par: By nature this is a budget tactical chest rig. That being said, the build quality and durability of it cannot compare to the other options on the market.
  • Foreign Made: It’s affordable and it’s not made in the U.S.

Considering its price point and the benefits offered by the Condor MCR6 Rapid Assault Chest Rig (discount code “STRENGTH”), it makes it a worthy contender in the world of tactical gear.

Whether you’re new to prepping or an experienced survivalist, this chest rig offers functionality at a cost-effective price point.

Budget friendly
condor rapid assault chest rig mcr6 e1698203743356

Condor MCR6 Rapid Assault Chest Rig

Very affordable and gets the job done with lots of space

*Price accurate at time of writing

Viktos Taculus MX Chest Rig

The Viktos Taculus MX Chest Rig is designed for men who are serious about their tactical training, prepping, or survival activities. This mini rig offers superior comfort, adaptability, and storage capacity to meet your needs in any situation making it one of the best chest rigs you can own.

Key Features and Benefits

I personally went with this one because it is one of the best chest rigs you can buy and it’s a great balance of features, durability, minimalistic, and cost. Some of the features are:

  • The Taculus MX Chest Rig is made with water-resistant nylon that can withstand harsh conditions. 
  • three integrated rifle magazine pockets can fit AR15, AK, or AR10 sized magazines
  • An additional included insert allows the mag pouches to hold two pistol or SMG stick mags
  • Laser-cut MOLLE with elastic straps to help you customize your load-out
  • Adjustable and removable 4-point padded chest harness with magnetic quick-release buckles
  • Numerous color options to suit your desires
  • Compatible with Premier Body Armor’s Level IIIA armor plate insert*

This recon chest rig can also double as a plate carrier if you end up getting the Premier Body Armor Insert. This makes it somewhat unique among the chest rigs out there.


The Viktos Taculus MX Chest Rig falls within the mid-range price bracket compared to other rigs available in the market. Given its top-notch quality and feature set though, it provides excellent value for money. It’s around a hundred bucks and can be had for less with my discount code “STRENGTH” on Optics Planet.


Pros & Cons

The Viktos Taculus MX Chest Rig is highly favored for its practical design, sturdy build, and reasonable cost making it a new popular choice. Nevertheless, it’s important to weigh its advantages and disadvantages before making a purchase decision.


  • Durable and Water Resistant: High durability ensures longevity and resistance to the elements
  • Comfortable fit:  The buckle system and lightweight design make it great for extended usage
  • Versatility: Its many different pouches and mounting points cater to diverse mission types
  • MOLLE compatible: It facilitates customization with MOLLE and various pouches to be able to hold pistol mags, knives, medical gear, and other essentials.
  • Feature Rich Affordability: This is one of the best chest rigs because it offers so much for such a decent price point.
  • Armor Compatible:  It is compatible with a Level IIIA armor insert from Premier Armor. The bundle set is available here.


  • Might be slightly more expensive than the budget options
  • Since it is more of a minimalist design, it carries a little less gear than some of the previous options.

Lastly, the Viktos Taculus MX Chest Rig was designed by a collaboration of U.S. veterans and the Viktos team of Special Forces and SWAT operators. It comes with a 1-year workmanship and materials warranty as well making it a prime contender for the best chest rigs list.

My pick
Taculus MX Chest Rig Ranger AR Square ArmorshiftMULTICAM 2 5000x scaled

Viktos Taculus MX Chest Rig w/ Level III Armor Bundle

Minimal, innovative and has all you need in a waterproof package. Body Armor Compatible.

Haley Strategic Partners D3CR X Chest Rig

The Haley Strategic Partners D3CR X Chest Rig is a high-performance gear designed for those who demand versatility and efficiency in their tactical equipment. This chest rig is highly adaptable, offering flexibility to cater to different mission requirements or personal preferences.

haley strategic d3cr x chest rig

Key Benefits

  • Flexible and Versatile: The design allows for the integration of various pouches and accessories, ensuring you can customize it according to your needs.
  • Durable Construction: Made from 500D Cordura material, this chest rig guarantees durability even under harsh conditions.
  • Ergonomic Design: It features an H-harness with padded straps for comfort during extended use.
  • Multipurpose Use: Whether you’re into tactical shooting, hunting, airsoft, or prepping for survival situations – this chest rig fits the bill perfectly.


The Haley Strategic Partners D3CR X Chest Rig falls on the higher end of the price spectrum compared to other options available in the market. However, considering its superior quality construction and versatile functionality – it offers excellent value for money. You should expect prices ranging between $180-$200 depending on where you purchase it from.


Pros & Cons:

The benefits far outweigh the downsides, although it’s always good to get the full picture when you’re in the market for the best chest rigs around.


  • Versatility that allows customization based on individual needs
  • 2 general purpose pouches allow the rig to be more streamlined and carry mission essentials where they count
  • The rig is equipped with a complete hook and loop area, enabling the attachment of the latest D3CR accessories and ensuring a secure connection with plate carriers through full contact.
  • Is specifically designed and optimized for use in urban, vehicular, rural, and other restricted environments.
  • Holds both pistol and rifle magazines
  • Durable construction ensures longevity.
  • Ergonomically designed harness provides comfort during prolonged usage.
  • Can be concealed under a jacket and set up 


  • Pricier than many other models in its category.
  • May require additional purchases for full customization.

The Haley Strategic Partners D3CR X Chest Rig* is a top-of-the-line chest rig that is made to handle the job. It is priced with this in mind but it is a great option for professionals and range-goers alike.
*Use code “STRENGTH” for a discount

High end
haley strategic d3cr x chest rig

Haley Strategic Partners D3CR X Chest Rig

Extremely high end and tailored for duty.

Haley Strategic Partners D3CR X Chest Rig <(Discount w/ “STRENGTH”)
*Price accurate at time of writing

Additional Options For The Best Chest Rigs

In the world of tactical gear, chest rigs are essential for carrying necessary equipment and ensuring quick access in high-pressure situations. To be perfectly frank with you, there are numerous options that work extremely well. Here are some additional options to consider when choosing the best chest rig.

Condor Outdoor Recon Chest Rig

The Condor Outdoor Recon Chest Rig is a versatile and durable option. It features:

  • Built-in stacker/kangaroo-style mag pouches to accommodate 6 M4 mags and 6 pistol mags.
  • Padded cross-back shoulder straps with webbing for comfort.
  • A swivel lockster – swivel push-button release buckle for security.

Haley Strategic Partners DC3R Micro Chest Rig

We already talked about Haley’s other rigs and this compact Haley Strategic Partners DC3R Micro Chest Rig is no exception to the quality they offer:

  • An ultra-lightweight platform set up as an independent rack or can be attached via Velcro onto plate carriers.

Haley Strategic Partners DC3R Heavy Chest Rig

The larger version of Haley’s micro rig, this heavy-duty model has:

  • An increased capacity for more ammunition storage without sacrificing mobility or comfort.

Voodoo Tactical Tactical Chest Rig

This robust Voodoo Tactical Chest Rig, known for its durability includes:

  • MOLLE webbing throughout allowing customization with pouches.
  • Three large utility pouches.

Tactical Assault Gear Intrepid Chest Rig ICR1

Designed for rapid response, the Tactical Assault Gear chest rig offers:

  • Four open-top M4 mag pouches.
  • Additional storage compartments.

Blue Force Gear Ten-Speed M4 Chest Rig.

This lightweight and minimalistic Blue Force Gear chest rig offers:

  • Ultra-lightweight construction.
  • Ten-Speed® military-grade elastic to hold any needed gear.

5.11 Tactical Tac Tec Chest Rig.

The 5.11 Tactical Tac Tec Chest Rig, known for its robust build includes:

  • An adjustable yoke shoulder strap system and waist straps.
  • MOLLE webbing throughout allowing customization with pouches.

Helikon-Tex Guardian Chest Rig.

This durable Helikon-Tex Guardian chest rig offers:

  • Four integral AR/AK magazine pouches with adjustable bungee cords.
  • Two multi-purpose pockets suitable for medical supplies or additional ammunition.

Each of these rigs offers unique features that cater to different needs, making them worthy considerations in your search for the best tactical equipment.

FAQs For The Best Chest Rigs

What makes a good chest rig?

A top-notch chest rig balances comfort, accessibility, and storage. It should fit snugly but allow movement, offer quick access to gear, and have ample space for essentials. Ensure that radio pouches, front pouches, and admin pouches are strategically positioned for swift access. Likewise, make sure gear such as AR magazines and hydration bladders can be reached easily without any fumbling around.

What is the most common chest rig?

The most prevalent chest rigs in the US feature a combination of modular pouches and PALS attachment loops already included. The Mayflower UW Chest Rig Gen IV is popular due to its compact design that doesn’t skimp on utility pouches or shoulder strap quality.

Does the military use chest rigs?

Yes, militaries worldwide use chest rigs. They provide easy access to vital gear during operations where speed and efficiency are key.

Are chest rigs worth it?

A chest rig is a crucial component of a bugout kit, allowing you to have essential gear readily accessible for quick evacuation. On the other hand, plate carriers have the potential to protect your life in dangerous situations. In times of crisis, one or both of these items may be vital for survival and should not be overlooked.


Wrapping Up The Best Chest Rigs

Choosing the right chest rig can be a game-changer. Remember, it’s not just about convenience but also efficiency in when needed most. In conjunction with a perfect battle belt setup, you can carry all your required gear.

The Mayflower UW Chest Rig Gen IV and Viking Tactics VTAC Assault Chest Rig stood out for their unique features and robust designs. However, if you’re on a budget, don’t overlook the Condor MCR6 Rapid Assault – value doesn’t always mean compromise.

Minimalist design is increasingly popular in modern chest rigs because of its comfort and lightweight properties. And let’s not forget our mention of Viktos Taculus MX which shines with its unique selling points. I chose this one as my rig of choice, even though I am a plate carrier kind of guy.

If our list of the best chest rigs doesn’t have the rig you were considering, don’t even worry about it. Our additional mentions list could go on and on to be honest. There are countless great options out there that can do the job. 

In conclusion, it’s essential to consider your individual requirements when selecting the ideal chest rig; no single option is perfect for everyone and we didn’t even get into the best plate carriers yet!😉

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