If you’re a dog-lover, chances are you’re already aware of the problems that can arise from a traditional dog collar and dog leash set-up. It makes energetic dogs hard to handle, risks chafing and choking, and leaves you nowhere to display important information or store useful items. That’s where tactical dog vests come in: these handy devices make handling your dog far easier, let you display patches, and often act as a sort of canine backpack so your dog can carry their own things.
Whether you’re looking for a service dog vest or a military dog harness, we’re confident there’s something on our list to meet every need. We’ve also taken the time to answer some common questions about tactical dog vests, so you can rest assured your canine companion is safe and happy during use.
The Best Tactical Dog Vest
- Versatile MOLLE style dog vest
- Available in three sizes and five colors
- Made from durable but lightweight 1000 Denier nylon
- Cleverly-placed padding for maximum comfort
- Handles at front and back for easy handling
- Quick and easy to put on and take off
- Adjustable straps offer a secure fit
- Suitable for medium to large sized dogs
Kicking off our list is OneTigris, with their breathable tactical dog gear. This versatile vest, available in five different colors and three different sizes, features MOLLE straps, which allow you to attach all manner of storage pouches to meet you and your dog’s needs.
It’s constructed from 1000 Denier nylon, which is strong, durable, and super light weight. The carefully designed MOLLE dog vest is designed to keep dogs comfortable too, thanks to strategically positioned padding and a soft-cloth covered neck strap. Meanwhile, a wide hook and loop area on the vest offers plenty of space for name tapes or patches.
Two handles equipped with metal clips at the front and back make gripping the harness easy, allowing it to function well as a vest for service dogs.
- MOLLE style harness
- Available in four colors and three sizes
- Constructed from lightweight and durable nylon
- Easy to put on and remove thanks to three adjustable straps
- Easy to clean
- Padded chest strap offers excellent comfort
The next MOLLE dog harness to earn itself a spot on our list is Ultrafun’s – it’s available in four different colors and three different sizes, so you’re sure to find the perfect fit for pooches great and small.
The vest is compatible with all MOLLE pouches, so it’s the perfect option if you have some kicking about from your own gear, and equally useful as a starting point for getting a collection of pouches on the go. Like most tactical dog harness vests, it’s made from strong and lightweight nylon, using quality stitching. Not only is nylon durable and light, it’s also one of the easiest fabrics around to clean, so you won’t need to worry about adventurous canines ruining the vest by splashing around in the mud.
It’s easy to put onto your dog too, thanks to three adjustable straps that sit a thorax, abdomen, and chest. This adjustability, along with padding on the chest strap, means you can rest assured your pooch is comfortable while they wear the vest.
- Compact, lightweight harness
- Made from high quality 1000 Denier nylon
- Adjustable thorax and abdomen straps allow a snug, comfortable fit
- Velcro on both sides of the vest is perfect for attaching patches displaying vital information
- Great for service dogs, police dogs, and other working pooches
If you’re looking for something a little more compact, we’d recommend Lifeunion’s unique tactical dog harness. Made from high quality 1000 Denier nylon, the vest is tough enough to stand up to whatever your dog’s adventures can throw at it.
Adjustable thorax and abdomen straps make for a snug and comfortable fit, while a sturdy handle makes for easy handling. The vest is fitted with velcro on both sides, where patches can be attached. These patches are the perfect way to display vital information, such as indicating that your dog is working. Although you can’t attach pouches to the vest, unlike some of the other options on our list, it works perfectly as a service or police dog harness that won’t weigh down the canine on the job
- MOLLE compatible vest for dogs
- Available in three sizes and colors
- Made from durable 1,050 Denier nylon
- Soft padding for optimum comfort
- Alloy metal buckle can withstand 1,000 pounds of force
- Velcro area on the front of the harness is ideal for patches
- Adjustable for a great fit – no rubbing or riding
IceFang are known for working closely with dog trainers and handlers when designing their products, and this k9 dog harness is no exception. This durable vest is made from the strongest nylon on our list so far: it’s 1,050 Denier, water resistant, and breathable. The vest also features soft padding to ensure your pooch is comfortable wearing it even for extended periods of time.
The vest is incredibly secure, too – its alloy metal buckle has been tested to withstand loads of up to 1,000 pounds. This impressive strength makes the harness ideal for working dogs on the go. The harness also features MOLLE webbing, so you can mix and match the pouches you attach depending upon your needs. On the front of the harness, which sits over your dog’s chest, is a dedicated area of fabric for attaching patches – great for a name tag, or displaying important information.
- Convenient and roomy backpack
- Strong and durable
- Effective handle
- Available In different sizes from small to extra-large
- Reflective patch for animal safety
- Aesthetically designed
- Strong ring for leash
- Well ventilated to let in air
- Easy to wear
The Industrial Puppy Service Dog Harness is a long-lasting, high-quality industrial vest, made of heavy duty double stitched nylon with reflective and detachable patches for the comfort and safety of your dog. This product will not only ensure your animal is easily identifiable but also serves as an on-the-go, one-stop service pack, that encapsulates and carries all your load, while at work or traveling. You are saved the inconvenience of disorganization with the good number of compartments available.
A pet owner delight, this reflective animal vest will make working or traveling with a dog a wonderful and delightful experience. Coming in different sizes from small to extra-large, this product has been carefully tailored for a good variety of dog breeds, no matter their size and shape. The vest also comes with a detachable and replaceable strap along with a firm handle for better control of your furry friend Also added to this package, is a comfortable stomach belt for secure strapping which further confirms this dog vest as a carefully crafted, convenient safety tool and carrier.
If you are looking for a dog harness that combines comfort, durability, and safety with pure elegance, you need not look any further. This is just the right product that combines security with a touch of class, as seen from its reflective and fine strap. Whether you need to work or travel at night or during the day, with an attached roomy backpack, this industrial Service dog harness ensures all your dog personal effects are in one bunch. It’s pure bliss while in motion.
- Made from 1000D waterproof nylon
- Breathable mesh lining to prevent slipping
- MOLLE system compatible
- Hook and loops to fit patches or ID
- Rubber top handle plus leash V-ring
- Bellyband and adjustable straps
- Available in three sizes
Sturdy and durable, with a cool desert military styling, this Tactical Service dog vest from Hanshengday is a great everyday harness vest for your larger dog. Made from 1000D nylon with ample padding in all the key pressure areas, it fits well, and the added mesh ensures your dog’s skin can breathe and prevent the best from sliding. All the buckles are quick release and the harness can be easily adjusted to fit your pet. The MOLLE system works really well, giving you plenty of scope for extra capacity, pockets and attachments, thanks to the super-durable hook and eye design, so you can spec the harness up or down depending on how you plan to use it for your dog that day. Plus, you get plenty of space and fixtures for your dog’s ID or patches if he needs to go on duty. For the safety of your dog and ensuring you are in total control, there’s also a rubber padded top handle as well as a V-ring to attach a leash. With a little prep and measurement to ensure you get the right size, this is a good value tactical vest for all-round use.
- Compact and lightweight design available in three sizes and four colors
- 1,000 Denier nylon is soft, breathable, and durable
- Fully adjustable straps, including a padded chest strap, keeps god comfortable
- Quick-release mechanism for easy removal
- Handle at the top of the harness, along with a V-ring, for easy handling
- MOLLE compatible – features one top panel and 3.5” strips on each side
Earning themselves a second spot on our list is OneTigris, with their compact and lightweight tactical k9 harness. Available in three different sizes and four color options, the vest is a great fit for all medium and large pooches.
The 1,000 Denier nylon of this vest is durable, lightweight, and soft. It’s strategically padded to make it comfortable for dogs to wear even for extended periods of time. Two fully adjustable straps keep the harness from rubbing or riding while in use, while its in-built quick release mechanism make taking the vest off effortless. A handle at the top of the vest makes for easy handling, and beneath this sits a V-ring that’s the perfect place to attach a leash.
As well as better handling and a snug comfortable fit, the vest is MOLLE compatible, allowing you to attach pouches or ID panels to meet your individual needs.
- MOLLE compatible dog vest
- 900D waterproof nylon
- Reinforced stitching
- Easy control handle plus two leash loops
- Four fully adjustable straps
- Mesh lining and strategic padding
- Dog bowl and water bottle hooks
If your dog has a habit to pull in his harness, then this comfort fit, durable vest is a good option to get him walking in line. With plenty of comfort padding in all the right places plus two heavy duty leash rings that can bear a greater pulling force, this is a good harness vest to use in training or to manage a stronger dog. It is also very easy to fit and remove, thanks to two quick release buckles and has four fully adjustable straps to cover the chest and shoulders. The nylon comes in at 900D and is reinforced by the stitching to make the whole vest waterproof and durable enough to use out in the field, when hunting or working. It is also MOLLE system compatible, with two MOLLE strips down each side, to make it versatile and adaptable, however you choose to use it, from personal service, law enforcement or recreation. There are also attachment hooks for a dog bowl, water bottle and even their toys! And it can be used when the sun goes down, as there’s reflective strips for visibility after dark.
- Compact tactical vest available in four sizes and five colors
- Suitable even for small dogs
- Durable nylon, with a padded interior for great comfort
- Strong handle, along with an attachment point, makes for easy handling control
- Velcro patches on either side allow you to display patches
Perhaps the most compact option on our list is Excellent Elite’s tactical military-style vest. Available in four sizes, ranging from extra small to extra large, this is one of the better options for owners of smaller pooches.
The vest’s durable nylon is accompanied by a soft padding that prevents it from chafing against your dog’s hair and skin, and offers a snug fit thanks to two adjustable straps. A strong handle and attachment point atop the harness makes handling the dog easy and comfortable, while velcro patches on either side allow you to display patches with vital information. Although this vest doesn’t allow your dog to carry supplies, it does provide a much more secure and comfortable handling point than a conventional collar and leash, as well as providing a surface to display important patches.
- Tactical dog vest, available in two sizes (small and large)
- Fully adjustable straps make for a great fit
- Made from 1,000 denier nylon
- Lightweight and breathable
- Padded interior for comfort
- Strong handle for safe and convenient handling
- Aluminum alloy ring for leash attachment
- Velcro surfaces on both sides for patch display
Much like the previous entry on our list, Yisibo’s tactical dog vest doesn’t include space for MOLLE attachments, but it does provide a means of handling your dog that’s far more safe and secure than a typical collar and leash.
The 1,000 Denier nylon harness is sturdy and lightweight, featuring soft interior padding and a water resistant coating for maximum comfort and durability. A strong handle that sits on top of the harness is great for convenient handling that won’t risk hurting the dog, while an aluminum alloy ring in the same place is the ideal spot for attaching a leash.
On both sides of the harness, you’ll find velcro surfaces, which are the perfect place to attach patches. These patches could proffer identification, or let the public know that your dog is working and shouldn’t be distracted.
Tactical Dog Vest Buying Guide & FAQs
And there you have it – the best tactical dog vests on the market right now. To help you decide which one might be right for you and your canine, and to help you get the most out of your purchase, we’ve answered some common questions about these handy devices below.
Things to Consider When Buying a Tactical Dog Vest
Choosing a tactical dog vest is a surprisingly personal decision; which features you require will depend a lot on what you and your dog need it for – below are some key factors to bear in mind:
The first thing to consider when buying a tactical vest for your dog boils down to a simple question: will it fit? Most vests and harnesses are adjustable, allowing them to fit dogs of all shapes and sizes, but it’s a good idea to measure your pooch and check the manufacturer’s size guide carefully before making a final purchase.
If you need your dog to carry supplies, this should be another key concern. Look out for MOLLE compatible vests for the most versatile storage options, but bear in mind that you’ll need to buy the pouches separately. For built-in storage, consider option 10 on our list – the saddlebag style harness.
Space for Patches
For working dogs, letting the general public know you’re on the job and shouldn’t be distracted is vital. If you need to display patches, look out for harnesses that allow this – they’ll usually have velcro surfaces on their top or side, depending on the shape.
Finally, handling is an important consideration when choosing a tactical vest. Most good quality vests feature a sturdy handle or two, and space to attach a leash, giving you great control without hurting the dog. If you suspect you’ll need to lift a larger dog at any point, consider opting for a two handle design for better weight distribution.
What Makes it “Tactical”?
The name ‘tactical’ stems from this type of vest’s military origins, and refers mainly to MOLLE compatible versions. MOLLE vests, whether they’re designed to fit humans or dogs, have the advantage of a modular design, meaning various pouches and other means of storing equipment can be switched out to best fit the circumstances at hand. This versatility means they can be used tactically, unlike other storage solutions.
Why You Should Use Tactical Dog Harness
Tactical dog harnesses come with a whole host of benefits; below we outline some key advantages of using them:
- Tactical dog vests make handling more comfortable for dogs than a leash and collar
- These vests are comfortable for dogs to wear, thanks to breathable, lightweight fabric and strategically placed padding
- Wearing a vest offers dogs an extra layer of protection against cuts and scrapes
- Tactical vests allow patches to be displayed – ideal for making the public aware that working dogs are on the job
- Many tactical vests offer storage space, freeing up room for more useful items
- A lot of tactical vests are MOLLE compatible, so you can switch out pouches depending upon your needs that day
Difference Between MOLLE and PALS Webbing
There’s often some confusion in survival and military circles about the difference between MOLLE and PALS, and they’re sometimes used interchangeably – they are certainly connected, but they’re not one and the same.
- MOLLE – Pronounced like the name ‘Molly’, this acronym stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It’s a category of gear – mainly consisting of backpacks, pouches, vests, and belts – developed by Natick Labs, and used by NATO forces including the US Military. MOLLE equipment can be combined in various ways. If something is said to be MOLLE compatible, this means that other MOLLE items can be connected to it. The system allows for a lot of versatility, as pouches can be rearranged easily.
- PALS – On the other hand, PALS stands for Pouch Attachment Ladder System. It refers to the webbing system consisting of regularly spaced fabric loops found on MOLLE gear, which allows the modular components to be attached.
In other words, MOLLE equipment is attached via PALS webbing.
Our Top Pick
When it comes to tactical dog vests, we give pride of place to OneTigris, for their padded training harness. Its MOLLE compatible design makes carrying exactly what you need a breeze, allowing it to act as a tactical dog backpack. The two strong handles and leash attachment points make the vest a great way to safely and effectively handle dogs, while a velcro surface on its top is perfect for displaying patches.
As well as being useful for the owner, the vest is comfortable for the dog. It comes in three different sizes, each of which features a breathable design, strategic padding, and adjustable straps for a truly comfortable fit even during long periods of wear. Made from nylon that’s built to last, the durable but comfortable vest will serve you and your pooch well for many years to come.
1.Carol McCarthy, Surprising Dog Harness Dangers to Avoid, PetMD
Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing the right size can be a tricky affair, but luckily most manufacturers want to help you out. You’ll likely need to measure your dog’s chest and bust, before checking these sizes against the size ranges offered by the vest maker. Makers usually offer instructions on how to do this.
Assuming it’s the correct size and the straps are properly adjusted; no. If your dog is trying to escape the harness, though, you should consider introducing them to it more gradually, and double checking that the fit is good.
Regularly checking for this proper fit is vital for keeping your dog safe, as well as preventing them from sneaking off. Dr. Susan Nelson, a veterinary professor at Kansas State University, advises that when dogs pull on the leash wearing a poorly fitting harness, there’s a potential for chest injury.
You should also remember that harnesses can be too tight as well as too loose. You can tell a vest is too tight if it chafes, causes rolls of skin to gather about the dog’s neck, or leaves indentations when it’s removed.
Because most vests are made from durable nylon, they’re very easy to clean; simply wipe down, or pop them in the washing machine.
It’s important to make sure the vest is fully dry before putting it onto your dog again. This is because wearing a wet harness for long periods of time can cause chafing, or in severe cases, a skin infection. To prevent this, consider removing your dog’s harness if it has been wet for more than a couple of hours, and check hidden areas, such as your dog’s armpits and chest once a twice a week to make sure the vest hasn’t started to rub.