Guide to buying the best chest rig in 2022

best chest rig for big guys
Image courtesy of Gordon Tarpley via flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0

The best chest rig will house your combat necessities, including magazines, ammo, medical supplies, radio, and other gear.

You want something versatile and lightweight — not too heavy or bulky. And a strap system that doesn’t drive you bonkers.

Read customer reviews of good tactical chest rigs in 2022 on Amazon.

Choosing between a chest rig, plate carrier, and tactical vest

Chest rigs, plate carriers, and tactical vests have different purposes.

A plate carrier’s job is to carry armor, which means it needs to be much heavier to support ceramic or steel plates for protection.

A chest rig is designed to carry ammo and supplies, such as radios, water bottles, and medicine kits.

Despite differences, it’s possible (and common) for soldiers to wear a plate carrier with armor and a chest rig over it.

As you would expect, heat could be a problem quick if you are using both. In that case, you’ll want to find a lightweight chest rig, with a streamlined surface area on the body.

Compared to plate carriers and chest rigs, tactical vests offer more torso coverage.

They have many pouches, along with a quick-release system that closes and releases in the event a member becomes traumatized.

Under a full load, tactical vests are heavy.

Guide to getting the best tactical chest rig for the money

Learning about chest rigs takes time. We’ve put together a small resource here for buying a good chest rig. It starts by narrowing down the rig into its components, including straps and body.


Shoulder straps are a critical part. On the off chance that they are too enormous, then it won’t work well when low visibility is needed. If they are too thin, then they won’t hold a large load. Get the right size for you.

Also, there are about the same number of various sorts of straps as there are mid-section rig sorts. Examples are below.

X straps

Tactical Tailor Mini MAV Chest Rig Vest, Olive Drab
  • Chest Rig Vest
  • Modular Webbing
  • Low Profile

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X straps are fundamental straps that simply cross in the back. They are there to hold up the rig.

These are useful for a light, low visibility unit, where you don’t want cumbersome stuff in the way.

If used with armor protection, they may to ride up in the back and bug the neck.

X strap modifications

A modified X strap just has an element — usually plastic — on the X to keep the straps in place.

These work incredible to hold them in place and not squeezing your neck when wearing armor. The drawback: Plastic may break, then the straps may rub.

H harness

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The H harness appears to be popular and is a variation of the LBE H Bridle.

Although they may rub arms and pits with armor, they don’t ride the neck.

Mixed H and X harness

Not all midsection rigs are either X or H. Examples of a combo X and H harness are the Hawk Commercial enterprises Rhodesian Rig.

Cushioned H harness

Cushioned H harness is padded and distributes weight. Sounds great? There is a downside: Added bulk.

Cushioned X harness

A cushioned X harness prevents arm rubbing, along with the straps riding your neck, by placing the straps at a lower angle.

Condor Recon Chest Rig (Tan)
  • -Three BUILT IN stackerKangaroo type mag pouch, will hold six M4 mag and six pistol mag
  • -Swivel Push-Button release buckle
  • -Padded cross-back shoulder strap

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Body of a chest rig

Up until now, we’ve looked at the straps, but what about the body? Let’s take a look.

It’s important to note that your rig is dependent on its use and what you want to carry.


That said, attachment systems for bodies include the Pouch Attachment System (PALS) and Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE).

PALS allows easy gear changes until you find the sweet spot for everything. It’s versatile. With the flexibility comes a little more weight and bulk due to extra fabric.

They’re both good systems.

Who’s dedicated?

For those who don’t plan on tweaking items, you may want to consider a dedicated chest rig.

A dedicated unit contains pouches set up in a fixed manner. They are straightforward, light, and not as bulky as others.

Also, because everything is dedicated to a specific spot, nothing in the rig changes. That’s a benefit. As long as you know your unit, you can autonomously reach for ammo or the radio and know where it is.

Best of both worlds

Hybrid’s are a amalgam of pouch attachment systems and dedicated sections.

If your are discontent with hybrids, another option is to get a custom-made rig.

General tips for buying a chest rig

You’ll want to make sure the rig has enough space for your mag pouches. If not, you’ll want to make sure the PALS or MOLLE webbing allows for extra attachments for your magazines.

Nylon magazine pouches tend to be lightweight, durable, and should have a non-slip coating or bungee design to keep the magazines in their place.

You may want 4 to 6 open top pouches in a good chest rig, with a dedicated medical kit pouch.

Top tactical chest rigs are utilitarian, but they should feature a quick release buckle in case you need to remove the rig in a hurry.

Don’t ignore comfort. Padded straps may help reduce pressure when you are carrying supplies. There’s nothing worse than fatigue or back pain.

Speaking of comfort, you may want an internal mesh pocket, with a built-in hydration carrier.

Find the best chest rig in 2022 on the market on Amazon.

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