A selection of shooting vests for men and women, in different price ranges, for both clayshooting and gameshooting.

If it’s too warm for a shooting jacket  our selection of the best shooting vests will add that extra layer to keep you comfortable. (You’ll find our list of the best fleece gilets for shooting here.)

What Guns are looking for in the best shooting vests

Shooting vests  (or waistcoats) should be made from fabrics that allow you to swing through the gun without restriction. They should also be breathable. Shoulder padding helps with gun mount and recoil and roomy pockets mean you have enough cartridges for the drive.

Fabrics can be tweed, moleskin, canvas or nubuck leather.

Some Guns like to start off wearing a shooting vest underneath their shooting jacket, layering their kit to allow for changes in weather. Breathability is necessary and whilst fabrics don’t have to be waterproof, they should be windproof and resist the rain. (Find our list of the best shooting jackets here.)

Keen Gun Liam Stokes, CEO of the British Game Assurance organisation (previously British Game Alliance) says: “You will often see me wearing a shooting vest – I wear a heavy tweed one when the weather is chilly. I like its vast pockets. If you don’t want to wear a bulky shooting jacket then a shooting vest is just the thing, you’re warm and you still feel fairly smart, particularly if it’s tweed.”

New in the field this season? Read our advice on what to wear shooting.

Our top choice Schöffel Mens Ptarmigan Tweed Waistcoat II £199.95

This is our top pick of shooting waistcoat (vest) because it’s well-made, well-designed, looks good and stays looking good. You can even wash it. Choose this shooting vest and we predict it will be a trusted companion in the field for many seasons to come.

schoffel mens ptarmgan tweed waistcoat

Best all-round for price

  • Material: 95% Wool, 3% LYCRA®, 2% Polyamide; lining 52% Polyester, 48% Viscose
  • Colours: Buckingham tweed, Arran tweed, Windsor tweed
  • Sizes: 36,38,40, 42,44,46
  • Machine washable

+ Suede leather shoulder pads

+ Moisture and stain repellent Teflon® finish

-You might see other Guns in the field wearing it too

This is the second edition of the classic Ptarmigan tweed waistcoat and has even more features. It will fit beautifully thanks to two back vents at the hem and an adjustable strap at the back waist.  Internal zip security pockets keeps valuables safe and large scoop pockets at the front make cartridges easily accessible.

BUY NOW 

The best of the rest – our pick of the best shooting vests

1. Seeland Mens Weston Club Waistcoat Pine Green £57.91

Seeland Mens Weston Club Waistcoat Pine Green

Best for value

  • Material: 65% polyester/35% cotton canvas
  • Colours: Pine green
  • Sizes: 36
  • Fastening: Zip

+ Leather reinforcements on shoulders
+ Large front open pockets, open game pocket on back

-No space for recoil pad.

Very functional and versatile, this waistcoat is made from cotton and canvas and trimmed with micro suede. The chest is reinforced and there is an open game pocket.

BUY NOW

2. Walker & Hawkes – Mens Derby Tweed Shooting Waistcoat Country Gilet – Dark Sage £57.95

Best for budget tweed

  • Material: 60% wool, 25% polyester, 11% acrylic, 4% other fibres 
  • Colours: Dark sage
  • Sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL,  4XL
  • Dry clean only

+ Two-way heavy duty zip

+ Moleskin trim around collar and pockets

– No shoulder patches

-No space for recoil pad

We think this tweed shooting waistcoat represents excellent value. It has a padded quilted lining, it’s windproof and waterproof and the Teflon® coated fabric means it will stay looking good. Also there are two front bellow pockets and two hand warmer pockets.

BUY NOW

3. Seeland Men’s Skeet Vest £51 – £59.99

Seeland mens skeet vest

Best for recoil

  • Material: Polyester
  • Colours: Duffel green, black
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL

+ Flexible shoulders

+ Spacious cartridge pockets

The mesh material used on this vest means it stays light and airy even on the hottest days. There are pockets for gel pads on the inside of the shoulders. Thoughtful details on this shooting vest, like the chest strap for shooting glasses and a strap for hearing protection mean that this is a good choice for clay pigeon shooting competitions or practising at the range.

BUY NOW 

4. Seeland Mens Woodcock II Waistcoat £89.95

seeland woodcock waistcoat

Best for year-round shooting

  • Material: 100% polyester, small taplon, polyurethane-coating
  • Colours: Shaded olive
  • Sizes: 38,40, 44,46, 48
  • Machine washable
  • Suede shoulder panels for stable gun mount

+ Quick drying fabric

+ Seeland Seetex wind waterproof and breathable membrane

This lightweight waistcoat will certainly give you your money’s worth as you can wear it all year around. Use it as a layer in winter underneath a coat or on its own in warmer spring and summer weather. Two large open pockets give easy access to cartridges and a rear lined game pocket will carry your quarry home. There is also a handy inner pocket for your valuables.

BUY NOW

5. Musto Clayshooting Vest £135

Musto clayshooting vest

Best for clayshooters

  • Material: 65% polyester, 35% cotton. Trim Clarino polysuede 60% polyamide, 40% polyurethane/PU
  • Colours: True navy
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Internal pocket for recoil pad
  • Machine washable

+ Robust

+ Allows for recoil

Reinforced panels help your gun mount and large cartridge pockets give easy access. Rubber rivets protect from gunstock damage and a pocket for a recoil pad helps protect you from impact.

BUY NOW

6. Laksen Broadlands Moleskin Vest £179

Laksen Broadlands moleskin vest

Best for moleskin fans

  • Material: 100% soft touch cotton moleskin
  • Colours: Loden
  • Sizes: XXL
  • Shoulder panels for stable gun mount

+ Teflon® coated for moisture and stain resistance

+ Large front pockets

-Price

Moleskin has many fans who appreciate its softness. This men’s shooting waistcoat  will wear well and the shoulder pads and pocket trim are reinforced with Amaretta ™ (a tear-resistant and durable fabric).

BUY NOW

7. Alan Paine Mens Rutland Waistcoat £154.95

Alan Paine mens rutland waistcoat

Best for wearing without a tie

  • Material: 60% wool,  25% scrylic , 10% polyester
  • Colours: Dark moss, lichen, linden
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XXL

+ Nehru neckline

+ Soft contrast moleskin collar

You don’t want to wear a coat because the weather is relatively mild but you still want to look smart. But you’re not keen on wearing a tie. Well, this waistcoat has all the features you need. Handwarmer pockets, cartridge pockets with drainage holes, an internal security pocket and two way zip. Durable and stylish

8. Alan Paine Mens Axford Waistcoat £184.95

Alan Paine Axford Shooting Waistcoat

Best for early season shooting

  • Material: 73% cotton, 15% polyester, 12% polyurathane
  • Colours: Basil
  • Sizes: Medium

+ Water repellent

+ Mock suede shoulder patches

+ Lightweight tweed effect cotton

This is the vest to wear at the start of the shooting season. Wear it on its own over a shirt and know that if there’s a shower of rain then this shooting vest will just shrug it off. Spacious gusseted pockets hold your ammunition and the secure internal pocket keeps keys, mobiles and cards safe.

  • Material:  100% pure lambswool
  • Colours: Loden Green Herringbone Tweed
  • Sizes:  10, 12, 14, 16

+ Machine washable

+ 100% British-milled tweed

Cut for the female form, this shooting vest will look elegant out in the field whilst giving perfect fit and movement. Store valuables in the internal chest pocket and cartridges in the reinforced bellows pockets. It is made from moisture and stain resistant Teflon® finished fabric so it’s hardwearing, but if you fancy giving it a wash, just pop it in the machine.

10. Schöffel Mens Holcot Tweed Waistcoat £249.95

Schoffel mens holcot tweed waistcoat

  • Material:  100% pure lambswool
  • Colours: Loden Green Herringbone Tweed
  • Sizes:  40,44

+ Machine washable

+ 100% British-milled tweed

The bellows cartridge pockets are practical but with a contrast finish which gives a smart look to this tweed waistcoat. Don’t worry about damp weather or dogs cosying up in the gunbus because its water resistant and finished with a stain repellent Teflon® finish (although it’s machine washable too).

BUY NOW

Musto Stretch Tech Tweed Waistcoat £325

musto stretch tech tweed waistcoat

Best for moving freely

  • Material: 95% wool, 3% Lycra®, 2% polyamide; lining 52% polyester, 48% viscose
  • Colours: Dunmhor
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL
  • Internal pocket for recoil pad
  • Shoulder panels for stable gun mount

+ Double side vents and back waist adjuster

+ Internal zipped security pocket

-Price

This waistcoat looks like a traditional tweed but thanks to the addition of Lycra it has a lot of ‘give’ to it, so you’ll be able to swing through the gun freely. It is a perfect balance of comfort and performance, with the fibre blend offering durability and water repellence.

BUY NOW

Musto Lightweight Machine Washable Tweed Waistcoat £350

Musto lightweight machine washable tweed waistcoat

Best for lightweight warmth

  • Material: 96% wool, 4% polyamide; (lining 52% polyester, 48% viscose)
  • Colours: Balmoral
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Internal pocket for recoil pad
  • Shoulder panels for stable gun mount

+ Washable

+ Buttoned back waist adjuster

-Price

This waistcoat had to be on our list of the best shooting vests because it is very cleverly made from washable tweed. However its special Teflon coating means it is stain resistant so you’re unlikely to have to wash it often. As well as the large bellows pockets  there is a zipped chest pocket to keep small items secure.

BUY NOW

How an instructor chooses his best shooting vests

Mark Heath in shooting vest

Mark Heath of the West London Shooting School is a fan of shooting vests

We asked Mark Heath of the West London Shooting School and Shooting Times contributor what he looks for in a shooting vest. He said: “In summer I like a cotton vest, in colder weather tweeds. I look for something well cut, in not too loud a tweed. It has to be comfortable with easily accessible pockets for cartridges when I’m teaching shooting and gameshooting.

“Remember if you’re wearing a shooting vest with decent bellows pockets you don’t need to bother with a cartridge belt. ”