A hunting vest is a type of jacket or sweater worn by hunters. While hunting, just like any other sport or activity, certain pieces of equipment are necessary for safety, comfort, and support. The hunting vest provides this for hunters. It can act as a strategic camouflage against animals, a bright warning for fellow hunters, or a convenient and warm garment designed to battle the elements and support the hunter.
Hunting vests can be made in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs, and fabrics. Many are made of cloth or polyester, though suede and mesh are also popular. The most common design of hunting vest is sleeveless with a zip-down or snap-down front. The sleeveless design allows for freer movement of the arms, essential to shooting quickness and accuracy. The colors, though they vary, are most commonly very bright or very drab.
Like equipment in any sport, a main feature of the hunting vest is its practicality. A quality hunting vest is often fixed with many pockets and straps. These pockets and straps are useful for storing ammunition, accessories, and other necessities for the hunter. They can hold drinks and food, and can be situated around the hunting vest, on the sides by the hands, on the breast, on the back, or on the inside. The sleeveless design of the hunting vest allows the hunter to remain warm at the core, while allowing the arms free movement for quick actions and reactions.
The hunter, who uses the hunting vest to stay warm for hours in cold weather during hunting season, also benefits from the other practicalities of the hunting vest. Many of the most popular types of hunting vests are made with a bright orange, green, or yellow color. Though the entire vest may not be bright, often the sides, back, or shoulders will be. This bright color stands out among the greens and browns of most hunting settings. It serves as an aide for hunters in identifying other hunters, and a safety precaution to avoid accidental shootings.
The camouflage nature of the hunting vest is also important. Mixed into the normal design of the garment, camouflaged colors usually feature the browns, greens, and deep oranges common of military camouflage. They serve much like the military colors as well. The camouflaged hunting vest allows a hunter to remain hidden within the earth, trees, and brush where many animals makes their habitat. This ability to hide, allows the hunter to approach closely without being seen by an animal.