Best Tactical Jackets of 2020 – Ultimate Review

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Finding the best tactical jacket can be tricky. Especially when you need one that will fit you perfectly and will have the right kind of pockets for you to carry as much as you need when you are out and about or escaping any kind of danger or disaster. If you must escape on foot, then a tactical jacket will have its uses (along with other tactical gear like your belts and bags).

In order to prepare yourself for any application in which things can go south quickly, it might take the right kind of clothes to keep you a step ahead.

We’ll be taking a look at the best tactical jackets here shortly. But for now, we’ll talk about what purpose a tactical jacket serves and what you need to look for when you are in search of one. 

Comparison of the Best Tactical Jackets

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Available in various sizes
  • Includes mag pockets for extra magazines
  • Larger pockets for compact pistols
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  • Ranges from extra small to 5XL
  • Made with a mix of flexible nylon and spandex
  • Features two angled waist pockets
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  • Best for the money
  • Made with a combo of polyester and cotton
  • Comes with numerous pockets
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  • Made from a waterproof polyester
  • Comes with a total of eight pockets
  • Designed for various outdoor activities
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  • Features pockets that can fit pistols, magazines, flashlights, etc.
  • Includes exterior and interior pockets
  • Abrasion-resistant and rip-proof
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  • Multiple pockets included
  • Made from high-quality, breathable polyester
  • Available in different sizes
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  • Sizes between small and 6XL
  • Designed for all-season use
  • Fleece liner included
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  • Waterproof and water-resistant
  • Mic loops included
  • Three-piece hood
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  • Has seven pockets for storage use
  • Made from a combo of polyester and spandex
  • Designed for multi-purpose use
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What Purpose Does a Tactical Jacket Serve?

The sole purpose ​of a tactical jacket is the ability to carry your weapons and tactical tools. You can rely on the pockets included in the jacket to store any additional tools or pistol magazines. Depending on the material that is included, a tactical jacket can also keep you warm in weather conditions where it might not be favorable for wearing just regular clothes. 

Tru-Spec 24-7 Softshell Jacket​​​​

What Should I Look For When Buying a Tactical Jacket?

If you are in the market for a tactical jacket, then you’ll need to make a decision based on a few features and characteristics that might allow a jacket to stand out among the pack. You’ll need to find one that will not only be the right size for you but will also benefit you in the following ways:

Affordable For Your Budget

Yes, there will be those who are looking for a tactical jacket that will fit their budget. Even if money seems to be a bit tight. Also, you’ll want to find a jacket that is the best quality that you can afford. This way, you won’t have to regulate yourself to buying a cheap jacket that won’t keep you warm or be strong and reliable when you use it most. 

Made From High-Quality Materials

Any jacket that is built for the tactical applications will be made with high-quality materials. It’s important for you to find one that has the ability to keep you dry during bad weather and will also be impossible to tear. Not to mention, the material will also allow you to move freely if you are on foot and need to be quick and agile. 

Get the Right Number of Pockets

Whenever you need to go somewhere be it for the purpose of escape or if you are spending time outdoors while hunting, hiking, or camping then you might need a jacket that will have plenty of pockets. You’ll never know what tools you need, even in situations where things can take a turn for the worse quickly. It’s up to you to determine the number of pockets you need and what you’re planning on carrying with you. 

Quick Take - The Best Tactical Jackets

Review of the Best Tactical Jackets

The following is a list of the best tactical jackets that are currently on the market. While going through each one on the list, be sure to keep an eye out for any additional features and characteristics. Make a note of them and use it as a possible process of elimination tool to help you find the best jacket possible for yourself.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the “best overall” choice on our list:

Pros

  • Spacious storage space 
  • Really durable material
  • Designed for colder weather
  • Keeps you nice and dry in wet weather
  • Zippers are great in quality, they don’t snag

Cons

  • Can be somewhat abrasive
  • Some say it’s not as secure as shoulder holsters
  • Some minimal printing may occur depending on the pistol you are carrying

What Recent Buyers Report

This jacket was a great fit for most users. They said this came in handy on days when it was cold outside or when it would rain all day long. Either way, it stood out as one of the best jackets for concealed carry practitioners who wanted more for magazines and compact pistols. So far, the jacket was light enough for agile and quick movements and it didn’t feel any heavier when worn. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This jacket is well-made and will certainly keep you out of the cold, wet weather when you are out and about or if you are lost in the woods and need something to keep you warm while ​ensuring your survival tools are intact. It has plenty of storage space for tools, magazines, and even small-sized pistols that are proven to be concealable no matter how you holster them.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are looking for the closest you can get to an all-weather jacket, then you’ll want to consider putting this one to the test. No matter what you use for a pistol and how many magazines you have, you will put this to good use if you need storage space. It’s tough, lightweight, and will certainly give you the best comfort possible even when you are locked and loaded. 

Bottom Line

The Rothco 3 Season Concealed Carry Jacket is well-deserving of the best overall spot and for good reason. This is the perfect jacket that you can use no matter where you go and if you want to keep dry and comfortable during the bad weather days. Not to mention, it’s a great alternative for those who regularly conceal carry but won’t be able to use a standard hip holster. 

Pros

  • Fitting for various sizes
  • Zipper quality is outstanding
  • Keeps you nice and warm on colder days
  • Allows for concealed carry for most compact pistols
  • Great for the outdoor excursions and range sessions

Cons

  • May be too tight around the armpit area
  • Might be a little shorter than some users expect

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the new buyers were very happy with knowing that the jacket was able to fit most sizes. Aside from the perfect fit that they got from their respected sizes, they were also able to use the storage pockets to their advantage. They were able to fit not just your usual magazines and pistols, but some have even added cleaning kits to their pockets for on the fly cleaning just in case it was needed.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a jacket that will be perfect for year-round use. When nature takes a chilly turn or if it’s raining cats and dogs, you have something to wear that will keep you comfortable and dry every single time. Let’s not forget that you’ll also be able to use this whenever you are outdoors and prepared for whatever may come your way. You may be hiking and end up losing your sense of direction and get lost, or you might be in the vicinity of a dangerous situation and need to lock and load just in case. Either way, this is a jacket that has the potential to save your life. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are looking for a jacket that will be perfect for year-round use and just want the right size to fit you best, then look no further than this one. It’s made from lightweight, but super sturdy materials and will certainly stand the test of nature and time no matter how often you wear it. Whether you conceal carry or find yourself outdoors ​quite a bit, this jacket could be exactly what you need for all of your outdoor activities (while keeping yourself ahead of danger and disaster). 

Bottom Line

The Tru-Spec 24-7 Tactical Soft Shell jacket is perhaps one of the best jackets you can find for just about any outdoor activity you can think of. You can wear this while hunting, fishing, hiking, or just be out and about on a cool, crisp day. And with so much storage space at your disposal, you can leave the holster at home and carry your favorite pistol with you, for quick and easy drawing when needed. 

Pros

  • Fits most sizes
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Construction was nice and sturdy
  • Keeps you warm during cooler months
  • Plenty of pockets for storing pistols or accessories
  • Prevents any wear and tear even for the long-term

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new buyers were looking for an option that was affordable and at the same time gave them excellent quality and comfort in one fashionable looking jacket. They were not disappointed with this in the slightest. They were able to put this to good use during wet and cold weather conditions and even wore it as a regular jacket for the winter months. Also, the pockets were mostly spacious and provide excellent storing space for various EDC tools and accessories. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This jacket is arguably one of the most versatile tactical jackets that you’ll find on the market. It’s just another thing that will take you by surprise for something that is classified as a “budget” jacket. It will be worn by those who are prepared for what the outdoors can bring, or just used as a nice winter jacket that will keep them warm even when the temperatures go below freezing. Whether you conceal carry or not, this is a great jacket that won’t tear ​or leave you soggy and wet on rainy days. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are looking for a tactical jacket that will probably be one of the most comfortable jackets you’ve worn in your life, odds are this might fit the bill. It’s got the right kind of material to handle long-term use and won’t easily rip or get damaged when you find yourself outdoors trudging through branches, brush, and whatever else that can scratch, puncture, or rip average outdoor jackets. 

Bottom Line

The VooDoo Tactical Tac 1 Field Jacket will be one of those jackets where you get a lot more than what you’ve paid for. This will keep you dry and keep you prepared for any survival situations that may arise when you have the right kind of tools packed and on hand. You won’t find a great quality jacket at an affordable price like this anywhere else on the market.

Best Tactical Softshell Jacket:
Rothco Special Ops Soft Shell Jacket

Pros

  • Fitting for most sizes
  • Really tough durability
  • Excellent medium weight jacket for users
  • Perfect for hiking and every day carrying (EDC)
  • Keeps you nice and dry regardless of how bad it can rain or snow

Cons

  • Collar may be stiff at times
  • May be uncomfortable in some places
  • Some say the expected size may be a little bigger than assumed

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the new users were mostly wearing this jacket during the spring and fall seasons. They said during the days when it was cool (mostly with temps in the mid to high 30s to upper 40s), it seemed like the perfect time to wear this jacket. It kept them warm and it allowed them to carry their pistols and extra mags without a single instance of discomfort or bulging. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This jacket is made from high-quality polyester that is proven to keep water out and keep you dry for as long as you are outdoors. Even on a rainy day, you can be soaking wet in an instant. But this jacket will make sure it doesn’t happen. And by the way, it will keep anything stored in your pockets dry as well. If you want to ditch that old, unreliable jacket for something with a bit higher quality, and easy storage space to go along with it, then this might be the best jacket you can find.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be excellent as a secondary tactical jacket. Especially when you’re probably relying on another tactical jacket that could be used solely for the winter months. So, you won’t be short in supply when it comes to finding the right jacket that will handle all of your concealed carry and outdoor survival needs. Plus, you’ll be missing out on all the comfort and dryness that will be provided to you just by using this jacket on the days when you need it most. 

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a great tactical jacket for the spring and fall months, look no further than the Rothco Special Ops Softshell Jacket. This jacket is no match for what nature can dish out on those bad days. And it can stand out as the go-to option for when you need something that’s light in weight and will get you through some survival situations when you use it with all the tools you’ll need. 

Best Tactical Fleece Jacket:
5.11 Tactical Fleece

Pros

  • Fits various sizes
  • Super tough construction
  • Keeps you warm on cool-weather days
  • Great for law enforcement officers and civilians
  • Pockets are spacious and can fit a good number of items

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

This was a jacket that was mostly worn by members of law enforcement​. They said that it was a great jacket that kept them warm and provided them with plenty of storage space for their flashlights, tools, portable radios, and more. The fit was very comfortable and it didn’t interfere with the service belts they were wearing and the tools tacked on to them.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Fleece is often one of the best materials that you can depend on if you want to keep warm and dry when the weather calls for cold and wet. Even if you are stuck out in those conditions for a long period of time, you need a jacket that will prevent you from getting hypothermia​. This jacket is made from high-quality fleece and also comes with a number of pockets that will be quite useful for tools, magazines, and even pistols. Alternatively, it can work as a jacket that you can wear outdoors regularly. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are in law enforcement or a civilian and looking for that tactical jacket that won’t leave you out in the cold while ​ensuring you are prepared for the potentially unexpected, then this jacket might just be what the doctor ordered. Who can say no to a jacket made from a material that is not only durable but proven to keep you warm and dry in the most adverse weather conditions?

Bottom Line

If you want superior dryness and protection, then you should consider purchasing a tactical jacket that will never steer you wrong whenever you are facing nature’s worst. The 5.11 Tactical Fleece is a must-have jacket for anyone who wants to carry what they need for tools on the go or when police officers and security guards need extra space for their tools and equipment. Either way, this jacket is comfortable, reliable, and all-around awesome to have.

Best Tactical Winter Jacket:
ReFire Gear Men's Army

ReFire Gear Men's Army Special Ops Military Tactical Jacket Softshell Fleece Hooded Outdoor Coat

Pros

  • Sturdy quality and construction
  • Ample space for all your extras
  • Waterproof on rainy and snowy days
  • Excellent for various outdoor activities
  • Keeps you warm for three out of the four seasons

Cons

  • Some have complained about quality control issues
  • A few have complained that the size may not be as fitting as expected

What Recent Buyers Report

New users were looking for the perfect winter coat for tactical and every day wearing purposes. They found this to be one of the best jackets in its class thanks to the material making it really comfortable to wear, but also kept them warm to the point where they didn’t feel too overheated. It was easy for them to move around while wearing this and the pockets were a great fit for many tools and concealed carry pistols.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you are looking for the perfect cold-weather jacket that has plenty of pockets and storage compartments for whatever EDC tool you need then this jacket might be what you need. With strategically placed pockets all throughout, you’ll always have a place to put something. And since it’s made from breathable polyester, it’s guaranteed to help you feel more comfortable without making it feel like you are wearing something that ​is a little too tight.

Who Will Use This Most

This is another jacket that you can include in your closet for when you want to wear it in the winter months. If you want to cover your bases and get a jacket for each season, you can couple this with a lighter tactical jacket that can be used in both spring and fall months. If you want a jacket that will stand up to the harsh winter cold while keeping you ahead of the curve when you are engaging in outdoor activities in the dead of winter, this might be right up your alley. 

Bottom Line

The ReFire Gear Men’s Army jacket is the closest you can get to a winter tactical jacket. It’s definitely got the sturdy quality and the ability to keep you warm and prepared at the same time. If you still prefer taking hikes in the woods when the weather is much colder than ever and need a jacket that allows you to fit all your emergency gear inside just in case, you’d be insane not to wear something like this in the wintertime (even when you are frequently venturing outdoors).

Best Tactical Rain Jacket:
5.11 4-in-1 Patrol Jacket

Pros

  • Excellent quality
  • Very warm to wear
  • Fitting for most sizes
  • Keeps you dry guaranteed
  • Has pockets for storing small items and accessories

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new buyers were looking for a great all-season jacket for rainy days. They were quite happy with this jacket once they tried it on. As expected, it kept them nice and dry on days ranging from light rain to those days where it rained cats and dogs. Not to mention, the contents inside the pockets included in this jacket also stayed dry as well. They said it was perfect for keeping magazines and their compact pistols inside while they were out and about and using their pistols for EDC carrying use. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The material of this jacket is made from high-quality material made from DuPont. And like all other products made from the company known for developing Kevlar, it was as tough as nails and played a huge role in keeping users dry at all times regardless of how much rain was dumping on them. What makes this even better is the inclusion of the fleece liner. The liner itself can also be worn as a standalone jacket. If you want to stay dry or keep warm no matter how you wear it, this is the jacket you want to choose. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is the perfect jacket for those rainy days or days when it’s lightly snowing. Indeed, it’s an all-season jacket that will be comfortable to wear and will protect you from freezing or getting soaked all over. Make no mistake, this jacket is tough, lightweight, and a really awesome thing to have in your closet just in case you need it. 

Bottom Line

If there is one brand that can make a great jacket like this, it’s definitely the 5.11 brand. And they come through with a great tactical jacket that will be superb in wet weather conditions. For all of your EDC needs, while beating nature at its own game, this jacket will be perfect for all of your outdoor ventures no matter how bad it gets. 

Best 5.11 Tactical Jacket:
5.11 Tactical Valiant Duty Jacket

Pros

  • Spacious pockets
  • Fits specific sizes as advertised
  • Excellent for civilian concealed carry users
  • Does a great job keeping you dry on wet and rainy days
  • So warm during the winter months that the bitter wind won’t affect you

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the new buyers were concealed carry users that were looking for a jacket that would either handle their pistols and extra magazines, or provide them with extra concealability when wearing a shoulder holster. Either way, they got excellent comfort and the concealability they wanted. Overall, the sizes were accurate and fit perfectly. It kept them nice and warm during periods of adverse weather. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Once again, we take a look at another jacket from the 5.11 brand. This time, we take a look at a jacket that can handle nasty weather and provides you with plenty of room for all of your pistols, magazines, and other EDC tools like flashlights. Granted, this is no ordinary jacket. It’s the kind of jacket that civilians, police officers, and security guards depend on when the weather gets rough. If you have all of your tools handy, you will be prepared. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you want a jacket from a name that most survival enthusiasts and concealed carry users can depend on, this might be your cup of coffee. It’s made from some really good materials that will keep you on the move without feeling weighed down. Plus, it can protect you from the weather and keep you ahead of the curve should any dangerous situations lurk ahead. Either way, you are a concealed carry user with a pistol that is ready for battle if and when your life is threatened. 

Bottom Line

If you want a jacket that won’t keep you soaked, cold, and ill-prepared then the Valiant Duty jacket by 5.11 is exactly what you might need. It’s no slouch when it comes to quality and does exactly what it’s advertised, leaving a user such as yourself impressed. Once you try this on, you won’t choose any other jacket to wear for braving the elements. 

Best Tactical Jacket with Hood:
Hooded Military Tactical Jacket

FREE SOLDIER Men's Outdoor Waterproof Soft Shell Hooded Military Tactical Jacket

Pros

  • Keeps you warm all over
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Really solid and durable construction
  • Allows for excellent storage for EDC tools
  • Perfect for outdoor excursions and concealed-carry use

Cons

  • Pockets may not be as deep as expected
  • Some say it may not be as waterproof as some expect

What Recent Buyers Report

This jacket was perfect for protecting users from cold weather even while carrying a wide array of survival tools and pistols with extra ammo. The hood kept them nice and dry during wet weather conditions and provided them plenty of coverage. One user said he was able to use this to his advantage for most outdoor activities and even uses the pockets to carry his 380 pistol plus two extra mags. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you want a jacket that will be perfect for the outdoors and will keep you dry when nature takes a turn for the worst, then ​this will be a great product for you. Not only do you have enough pockets for storage but you have a jacket that will be useful for when you are out motorbiking, hiking, hunting, or ​other outdoor activities. When the weather is nice and cool, or not cooperating because of some light rain or snow, this is the jacket that will be perfect for you. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is the perfect jacket for those who are using it for regular use or for when you are about to embark on an outdoor adventure and want to keep all of your items in a few easy to access pockets. You’d be surprised what a jacket like this can do in order to get you through the day when you are outdoors most of the time. Whether it’s fully loaded with EDC items or if you are just out and about, you’ll enjoy wearing this lightweight and super durable jacket for as long as possible. 

Bottom Line

The FREE SOLDIER Hooded Military Tactical Jacket can be the go-to jacket of choice if you need something for when you will be venturing outdoors and it’s the time of year to wear a jacket. Whether it’s cooler temperatures or a day with some light to steady rain, you won’t be disappointed in the slightest once you wear this a few times and get a good feel of it. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tactical Jackets

While tactical jackets are nice to have, they do come with its share of advantages and disadvantages. First, we’ll take a look at the advantages so you know what to expect:

Advantages

Tactical jackets have some great advantages over normal jackets:

Have Numerous Pockets For Storage

If there is one thing that a tactical jacket will always have, it’s pockets. Especially a couple of large pockets that will be perfect for storing larger items like your pistol and magazines. If you are a concealed carry user, then you’ll need to keep an eye out for these pockets when looking for a jacket. The same goes if you venture outdoors and need to store some emergency items in case you get lost.

Will Be Useful in Other Outdoor Activities

If you are riding your motorcycle, hunting, or fishing among several outdoor activities that you often do, then this jacket will come in handy. While you might not always be carrying any survival tools or whatever else in your pockets, this can double as a regular jacket that will keep you warm and dry depending on the weather. 

Guaranteed Durability

If there is another thing you really want from a tactical jacket, it’s durability. In fact, you’ll be wearing a jacket that will keep itself clean and rip-free for as long as you’re going to use it. This means you can navigate through branches, trees, or any other rough outdoor vegetation that can otherwise damage a regular jacket.

Disadvantages

Obviously, there are disadvantages that go along with the advantages. Here are some that are quite common with tactical jackets:

Not All of Them Will Be Waterproof

While some will be waterproof and resistant to some of the worst downpours, you may not be so lucky depending on the tactical jacket you wear. So, it’s important to choose one that will have the proven ability to keep you dry in weather conditions like torrential downpours. 

Some May Not Provide Enough Concealability

If you are using a tactical jacket and conceal carry a pistol, then you may set yourself at a disadvantage. You may be carrying a pistol and it may cause some kind of bulging which will give off the look of you obviously carrying something. Depending on the size of your pistol, you can possibly opt for a pocket holster if you believe the pockets alone won’t make it concealable enough. Alternatively, you can use a shoulder holster. 

Conclusion

The best tactical jacket is always something that will keep you ahead of the curve in survival situations. And it will certainly give you the advantage over nature when you want to keep dry and warm at the same time. Find a jacket that will fulfill your needs and preferences and you will be set for as long as possible with one that will fit all of your EDC tools, pistols, or anything else you might need. 

About Josh Lewis

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!

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