I bought this vest as a way to carry the various items I like to keep handy on a daily basis. The various pockets surprised me and I have more pockets than I have things to stow in them. Some pockets are uncomfortable if you're sitting in the car or a chair with your back fully against the seat.
After about 2 years of regular use, the vest has a sizable hole in the carry pocket I was stowing my Pocket Bible. The hole measures approximately 1" x 1" with some additional wear at other points in the pocket. I wouldn't want to have this hole if I was carrying in that pocket. I do know some pistols will weigh more than a small bible.
I'll likely patch the hole since it's on the inside of the vest and I don't have a spare $80 plus shipping and tax for a new vest. If I do buy a new one, I'll try the 100% cotton one to see if it's more durable. The additional weight may be worth it if the vest won't rip.
Additionally, the weight distribution isn't great if you wear it open. A good deal of the weight will end up on your lower neck. I suppose you could try to counterbalance the weight at the front by stowing some heavier gear in the back, but that's uncomfortable for sitting as I said above.
I purchased this vest from Amazon.com and since November 2015 have it used it a great deal for a EDC carry system and I must say I absolutely love it. The construction is exceptional and there is no doubt this TacLite Vest is the very best Vest I've ever used or owned ever. I love the fact I can organizer my gear in it's many pockets and the fact it has water bottle pockets is exceptional. The hidden pockets are more then enough to conceal a full size M&P or Glock in using a hook and loop holster. Unfortunately I have a Maxpedition brand holster for this purpose and am ordering the 5.11 holster to up the concealment. I am positive there is not another vest made of such high quality and excellent build then the 5.11 is. The vest rides very comfortable and stays put as for weight I carry 10-15 pounds of EDC in my MOAB 10 and my backup edc bag is same. I can house all the gear into the vest without problem and have everything at my finger tips. as for Belt carry this vest sports enough length to conceal any pistol I carry in my testing and or personal Rotations. Since buying this vest for testing and review I've purchased the Double Duty belt, 2 pairs of tac-lite pro pants and a t-shirt and am very pleased with 5.11 as a brand. I know and depend on gear for safety and daily life and other brands I have had concerns with but the 5.11 brand not a one. I simple love 5.11 and highly recommend them
Fading happens to almost everything black, so here's what I do to all my 5.11's (I'm single, so I can away with it). Wash them first in a load of all-black with that detergent for dark wash, in cold/cold setting, then leave them in the washer when done. Then, add a slurry of water and black cloth dye (get it at FabricLand or some such) and add that to the detergent bin in your washer. THEN, and this is important, add a solution of salt and water to the softener bin. Set the cycle to wash, rinse, softener as usual, and turn on the machine. You will only need to do this every dozen or so washes to keep everything a crisp black, but never ever use regular detergent or hot water on your black clothes! I have 5.11's that are years old and still look like store-bought except for the wear on the butt and knees. Also, i run an empty load afterwards with bleach alone, unless you want those wife-beaters lookin' a tad tralerpark'ish.
I am an Expat Electrician working as a contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2010 doing electrical inspections on DOD facilities. I wear this vest everywhere. It provides me ample room for my hand tools, and anything else I need to carry. There is even room to carry a couple of bottles of water in it. The design allows for storing a small to medium IPad or similar product where the balistic panels would normally go. This is simply a great product for the money.
Daily use to carry keys, wallet, cell phone, etc. Secondary if I can figure out how it works is backup system as fallback concealed carry of small handgun & mags. No instruction or anything else to indicate the purpose of velcrow, how to use it, and what accessories can be used with it and how. Nothing I found useful on the web site.
The vest is well designed and thought out. It looks good for casual use as well as concealed carry/duty use. A very practical product for an adventurer, operator, off duty or outdoors.
Come wintertime, I can wear this over My heavest coat/jacket and still be comfortable. I may only be a "C.C.W. Bearer", but even I carry my fairshare of "toys".
I´ve had it for some time now and compared to my OLD 5.11 vest, this one started going "brown" after the first couple of hours out in sunlight...
It don´t look so good now as the colors have faded even more after washing it ( at a cold temperature )...
Picked up a 5.11 vest back in GA while going to FLETC. I've used it for better then 3 1/2 years now. Besides it's obvious uses, I've used it primarily for camera equipment.
Only issues I've had to date with it was a tear underneath the arm from putting it on while it was fully loaded with equipment. I reinforced the sewing and it still continues to work wonderfully.
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