What is a load bearing vest

load bearing vest

A load-bearing vest (LBV) is a type of vest designed to help carry heavy loads more comfortably and efficiently.
Primarily used by military and law enforcement personnel, their main purpose is to distribute the weight of carried items (such as ammunition, radios, first aid kits, water bottles, and other field gear) evenly across the body to reduce fatigue and increase mobility.


Load-bearing vests often come with various pockets and attachments of varying sizes, which allow you to store and organize your equipment. The design focuses on spreading the weight across your torso strategically placed for optimal weight distribution.
They are not inherently bulletproof or ballistic-resistant.

LBVs usually use high-strength, durable fabrics like nylon or Cordura to withstand wear and tear. Additionally, many LBVs incorporate padding and reinforcement in key areas to provide extra protection and comfort.

Other features of load-bearing vests include a MOLLE system, adjustable straps and belts, and dedicated spaces for water bladders or bottles.

Various uses

The versatility of LBVs extends beyond the military and law enforcement. Outdoor enthusiasts, photographers, hunters, and even first responders find these vests incredibly useful. The ability to customize and organize gear makes them ideal for various activities and professions.

Chest rigs vs. Load bearing vests

When it comes to carrying supplies and tools, you might think of another item, a chest rig.
While they share some similarities, there are slight differences in their design and use.

A chest rig is a type of gear-carrying equipment designed to be worn on the chest. Chest rigs usually consist of pouches and compartments and their primary purpose is to provide easy access to essential items rather than carrying heavy loads.

In contrast, LBVs often cover more of the torso than chest rigs and may include additional features for attaching larger or heavier items, such as backpacks or hydration systems.

In summary, while both chest rigs and LBVs are used for carrying equipment, the primary difference lies in their capacity and how they distribute weight. Chest rigs are more specialized for carrying specific items in a lightweight and accessible manner, whereas LBVs are more comprehensive and designed for broader and heavier load carriage


To sum up, a load-bearing vest is an invaluable tool for anyone who needs to carry multiple items comfortably and efficiently. Whether you’re in law enforcement, the military, or just love outdoor adventures, an LBV can make your life easier. We hope this guide has shed light on what load-bearing vests are and how they can benefit you.

Ready to add one to your gear collection? LQARMY offers a range of high-quality, durable vests that are perfect for tactical, outdoor, or everyday use. Explore our selection to find the best vest that meets your specific needs and enhances your operational efficiency.