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Best shooting vests: here are our top picks

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

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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. (Read these tips on cartridge safety.)

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 £249.95 – £329.95

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.

top of the best shooting vests

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.

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

1. Seeland Mens Key-Point Waistcoat £88.95

Best for early season shooting

  • Material:  65% Polyester, 35% Cotton
  • Colours: Pine green
  • Sizes: 36-48
  • Washable: No

+ Lightweight, low-noise

+ Large cartridge pockets

+ Handwarmer pockets

+ Reinforced shoulder panels

There’s nothing worse than feeling hot and bothered when you’re trying to shoot your best. This waxed shooting vest is light, waterproof and perfect for cool autumn days when you need an extra layer but don’t want to wear a bulky coat. It has a zip-up pocket for your valuables and a game pocket too.


2. Seeland Men’s Skeet Vest £66.09

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. (Find more clayshooting vests here.)


3. Seeland Mens Woodcock II Waistcoat £49.95


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.


4. Alan Paine Mens Rutland Waistcoat £164.95

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

Best for shooting in all weathers

Material: 100% polyester
Colours: Green (as shown)
Sizes: M-XXL

+ Water repellent

+ Reinforced shoulders

+ Washable

Durable and practical, this waistcoat will see you right with plenty of pockets. It’s good for all weathers and has a mesh lining to keep keep the air moving around your body.


6. Alan Paine Mens Axford Waistcoat £199.95

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.


7. Laksen Mens Boulton Quilted Vest £225

Best for fans of quilting

Material: 100% polyester
Colours: Olive, navy
Sizes: M to XXL

+ Mock suede shoulder patches

+ Warm Primaloft® lining

Although this vest is designed for shooting, it doesn’t shout shooting so you’d be perfectly comfortable wearing it around town in the cooler weather, maybe as an extra layer under a coat. It’s lightweight but warm and has plenty of pockets for storing bits and pieces.


8. Schöffel Womens Tweed Shooting Vest £299.95

Schoffel tweed womens shooting vest

Best for women Guns

  • 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.

9. 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).



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. ”


This piece was originally published in 2018 and is regularly updated.