8 Best Shooting Vests ( For Sporting Clay Shooting & Upland, Deer Hunting )

Browning Bird’n Lite is also available at:

Sportsman’s Guide

 

How to Choose A Shooting Vest?

couple skeet shooting

Shooting vests need to do one thing:

Hold your shooting equipment. Especially ammo.

Any of the vests above will do this for you, though some will work better or worse depending on what you want to carry.

Where do you want to use the shooting vest?

Will it be a trap, skeet, or other sporting clays vest? Do you want to wear the vest while hunting? In what weather will you wear the shooting vest?

All of these can influence your choice. Here’s the most important one, though:

 

Handedness

man wearing shooting vest

Not all shooting vests are ambidextrous.

If you’re a left-handed shooter, then you should buy a right-handed or ambidextrous vest.

That’s because shooting vests have a patch for your rifle or shotgun stock to be held into. This is a tougher part of the vest, thicker for recoil absorption, and often made from a more grippy material.

The vest might be a bit too slippery for good wrong-side shouldering.

 

Pockets and Storage

man wearing a bird hunting vest

While all shooting vests can hold ammo, ones intended for clay pigeon shooting have pockets designed to carry 25 shotgun shells at a time.

This will carry you through one round.

You can often use the other shell carrier pocket or a rear pocket to carry the empties.

However, your storage requirements may be different while hunting.

Hunters rarely go through 25 shots in the woods but you need to carry more gear with you. You’ll also need to carry taken game out of the woods.

A blood-proof game bag can help you carry a bird, rabbit, or other small animal at the small of your back.

If you need to carry more than a small amount of hunting equipment, then consider using a hunting backpack.

 

Coloration

man shooting with a shotgun

Clay pigeons don’t care what you look like. But if you walk into the shotgun club with as much blaze orange as possible, you may get some funny looks.

So, it may be wise to match your vest’s color to where you’ll use it. Other than that, coloration is personal preference.

 

Temperature

rabbit hunter

How cool or warm will it be when and where you wear the vest?

An all-mesh vest is lightweight and allows lots of air to pass through. This is good for warmer weather use but it won’t help keep you warm.

Meanwhile, if you will be wearing the vest during a fall hunt, the extra fabric might help keep you warm. Fabric is more resilient than mesh too, so I wouldn’t wear a mesh vest in the uplands.

 

Top Shooting Vest Brands

Browning Arms Company

 

Browning Arms Company

The Browning Arms Company, frequently called Browning, is one of the most well-known firearm and outdoor gear manufacturers.

Browning was founded because of John Moses Browning. While many of his guns were designed for the military, he produced many for civilian sporting use.

Some of those are still being sold today. In fact, if you visit a shotgun club, chances are you’ll see a Browning Citori used for shooting clay pigeons.

Personally, I started my trap journey with a Browning Auto-5.

Halfway through that season, I added a Browning shell carrier to my belt. Then a Browning vest.

Those did not add to my scores but made my overall shooting experience better. And I was not alone.

The Ace Technical Shooting and the Trapper Creek vests are two of my favorite trap vests, but they are not the only shooting vests put out by Browning.

You won’t find Browning apparel in the bottom bin, but I have always found them worth the price. Browning gear wears well and lasts a long time.

In fact, my longest-lasting socks were made by Browning. And I still use their vest every time I shoot clay pigeons.

 

Gamehide

Gamehide

Specialization often helps companies put out the highest-quality products possible. Gamehide specializes in hunting apparel and has done so for over 30 years.

Gamehide more than makes clothes for hunters, they make clothes for themselves as well. Gamehide employees test all of their hunting wear in the field before putting it for sale.

This ensures the quality of their apparel and that it will stand up to the harsh weather and nasty thorns that plagues hunters and tears apart weaker clothes.

While Gamehide focuses on durability, they also take plenty of time to innovate. For example, Gamehide has developed ElimiTick tick-proof hunting clothing.

ElimiTick clothes are impregnated with a repellent that turns away ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, and biting midges. Unlike aftermarket repellents, it won’t wash out of the fabric.

The Gamehide Switchgrass vest doesn’t have ElimiTick, but you can wear it over clothes that do!

Gamehide’s quality extends past the design and into the nitty gritty details of their clothes. They only use the best buttons and zippers.

Even Gamehide’s stitching is better than their competitors. Most hunting clothes have 7 to 9 stitches per inch. Gamehide’s have 9 to 11.

So, if you want a hunting vest you know will work, buy from a company who uses their own products. Gamehide is that company.

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