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Features of Rapid Release Vests

In volatile situations, it is important to have a tactical vest with rapid release capabilities. They are easy to get in and out of depending on the type of fastening mechanism, while still staying on securely during regular use in operations.

Rapid release tactical vests can be disengaged through a variety of features, depending on the manufacturer. The release mechanism should be quick and simple to provide immediate safety, escape or movement for the wearer.


While vests provide protection, they can also cause dangerous situations. This may include immersion in water, where a vest will weigh down the wearer. To quickly rise to the surface, the vest must be removed rapidly. Some models come with an ejection system that when released helps raise the vest to the top. It may also be used as a flotation device until help arrives for extraction.

While most vests fit well and do not protrude, they can snag or catch on protruding objects. When caught in a hold, it may be necessary to become detached quickly. If the wearer cannot be freed from danger, removing the vest is the next best option. By removing the vest through rapid release, the individual can then release the vest from whatever is holding it or simply get away.


The regular method of removing a vest is by zippers and/or buckles. In an emergency, taking the time to unzip the garment may mean the difference between life and death. When the vest needs to come off in a hurry, zippers are ineffective. The pull must be located and, depending on the length of the vest, may simply take too long.

Instead, quick release fasteners reduce risks to health and proximity to danger. One method has a release pull on one or both shoulders. Sometimes this release is covered by a false pocket or nylon flap. Another kind involves side buckles that are quickly unlatched when needed.

Slip It On

It is almost as important to put on a vest quickly and easily as it is to take it off. Different tactical situations may arise that put the would-be wearer at risk. This may include a seemingly low-risk operation deteriorating rapidly and escalating in danger with a moment's notice. When this happens, there is no time for zippers or laces. The vest should slip on and fasten easily and comfortably, allowing the user to continue moving freely.