5.11 Tactical’s Covert Vest was designed for conceal carry users as well as Federal Air Marshals. I needed a good IDPA competition vest, so I wanted to try out one of 5.11’s offerings.
I shoot a Glock 34 and as you can see, on my body frame (5’9″ & 155lbs) and the OWB holster I’m using there is obvious printing.
Functionally for IDPA competitions, this isn’t a big deal, but if I was to be carrying in the real world, I would opt to use a different holster or more realistically, choose a smaller framed gun. I did like how long the vest was and I couldn’t see the muzzle of the 5.31″ barreled Glock 34 with the vest zipped.
Obviously, there are many different holster/gun/clothing combinations one must try, and it’s clear that 5.11’s Covert Vest would work well – I just didn’t have enough pistols & holsters to test with.
When I switched to a more realistic (for me) carry pistol, a Kimber Ultra Raptor II 1911 with an IWB leather holster, the printing problem was less prominent.
Also convenient on the 5.11 Covert Vest are hidden pass through pockets if you prefer to access a holstered weapon in that manner.
The chest pockets also allow for documents or other gear. I found I could fit a Ruger LCR handgun in one of these pockets without any obvious printing.
The 5.11 Tactical Covert Vest works great for me in IDPA competitions — I’m basically looking for a vest that will not get in the way during my draws and one that’s light enough so I’m not sweating during a match. 5.11 met my needs in those regards. I’d be interested to hear others’ experiences with it in either competition, work, or daily conceal carry.
Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career. He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. www.TopShotChris.com.