Interested in buying a new turkey hunting vest in 2020? Here are a few things to look for that will help you choose the right one.
My turkey vest carries everything, from my box and slate calls, to my decoys, to my extra shells; it’s all packed in there ready to go. If you’re like me, you need a turkey vest that will hold all your gear and not get in the way when you’re busting through the brush or low crawling to get close to a strutting tom.
Below are the top 3 best turkey hunting vests that I’ve had good success with across a wide range of different hunting scenarios.
These are the Top 3 Turkey Hunting Vests for 2020:
Let’s face it, finding a good turkey hunting vest isn’t always easy. I’ve gone through countless vests trying to find the best ones that could not only carry all my gear, but do so comfortably and not get in the way.
After years of turkey hunting, these are the top 3 turkey hunting vests that ended up being great investments and have the best design to tackle the challenges that turkey hunting often presents.
These are the three turkey hunting vests you should consider in 2020:
Why I Picked the Cabela’s Tactical Tat’r 2 Turkey Vest
When you sit down and compare the Cabelas Tat’r 2 to the ALPS NWTF Grand Slam and Knight & Hale Run N’ Gun, the differences are noticeable.
- The Cabela’s Tactical Tat’r 2 Turkey Vest has the most pockets of any vest I’ve seen. There’s a pocket or compartment for your box call, slate call, strikers, diaphragm-call, GPS, extra batteries, shotgun shells, decoys, water bottle, and much more.
- The Tat’r 2 Turkey Vest is equipped with speed seat technology that allows you to sit down anywhere without undoing clips for the seat cushion.
- The pockets on the Tactical Tat’r 2 flip down for easy access and storage.
- The Cabela’s Tactical Tat’r 2 Turkey Vest has a 3-inch memory foam seat that is comfortable to sit on for hours at a time.
- Cabelas Tat’r 2 turkey vest is made out of a cotton/polyester material that is quiet when walking through the woods or crawling to get close to a strutting tom.
- Even on hot days, the Tat’r 2 Turkey Vest seems to breathe really well and reduce sweat and moisture buildup.
- The Cabelas Tat’r 2 turkey vest has padded back support that makes leaning against a tree or fence post comfortable.
- The game bag of the Tat’r 2 Turkey Vest is one of the largest I’ve seen. It will hold a 14-18lb gobbler with ease.
Here is a great clip of what you can expect to achieve with a good turkey hunting vest.
Features to look for in a quality turkey hunting vest:
- Extra Storage. Being able to carry everything you need and have it readily available is very important for turkey hunting. The last thing you want is to get a response from a Tom and then realize you left something in the truck.
- Lightweight. A lightweight turkey hunting vest may not be a top priority depending on the style of your hunting, but I always find myself covering a lot of ground and it plays a big role in staying mobile and not overheating.
- Breathable. Spring turkey hunting is that time of year where it starts to get hot again and that means having a vest that is breathable and will keep you cool is essential. This is especially important while hunting in the evening or on long hikes.
- Comfortable. Turkey vests with thick seat cushions, back cushions, and open shoulder designs are comfortable to wear for long periods of time and will reduce the chance you need to shift around or move at the worst possible moment.
- Constructed of Quiet Material. Turkey vests constructed of polyester and cotton tend to be the quietest vests from my experience. For spot and stalk type hunting, being able to quietly move through the brush is critical.
- Durable. Turkey hunting vests must be durable enough to withstand brambles, thorns, and even barbed wire to an extent.
- Affordable. Turkey hunting vests like the Tat’r 2 are less than $100 and have everything a turkey hunter could ever ask for.
About Turkey Hunting Vests
The ideal turkey hunting vest should make chasing turkeys easier and increase the odds of a successful hunt. Let’s face it, if you’re serious about turkey hunting, a quality turkey vest is a must have item. With so many options to choose from, here are a few key factors to consider before you buy.
Types of Turkey Hunting Vests
- Full Vest vs. Open Vest – The general trend with turkey vests is a gradual shift towards more open designs that offer greater mobility, are lighter, and breathable.
- Seat Cushion Design – Seat cushion designs vary, but a 3-inch foam cushion is standard and offers plenty of support for long calling sessions.
- Call Compatibility – The three main types of turkey calls are the slate call, box call, and diaphragm call. A good turkey vest will have an easily accessible pocket or storage compartment specifically designed for each type of call.
I’ve hunted with many types of turkey hunting vests and I have to say that the options available right now are some of the most well thought out designs I’ve ever seen. Everything on these vests has a specific purpose and it’s made my turkey hunting much more efficient.
The open vest design is my favorite as it allows me to pivot in any direction easily should a gobbler approach from an odd angle. Since open vest designs cover only a small portion of your back and lower chest, it adds breathability for those hot days.
Turkey hunting seats built into the vest come in many different designs but the thing I would stress the most is pick one that is at least 3-inches of foam. I can sit for hours on seats like these even on the rockiest and roughest terrain.
No matter which turkey call is your favorite to use, pick a turkey hunting vest that has pockets and storage specifically designed for it. The Tat’r 2 vest from Cabelas has pockets that can accommodate diaphragm calls, box calls, and slate calls.
Why it’s important to have a good turkey hunting vest
Recently I went on a late season turkey hunt to fill my last tag of the year and it made me realize just how important a good turkey hunting vest can be and how it can lead to being more successful in the field.
Late season birds were getting tough to locate, let alone decoy so I knew it wasn’t going to be a slam dunk hunt. This meant I had to cover lots of ground to find the birds and then develop a plan to get them in close.
The vest I was using for this hunt was the Cabelas Tat’r 2 and I had it packed full of everything I could possibly need. After the third area I tried, I finally got a response to my locator call and set up on one side of a large wheat field.
I took my jake and hen decoy from my vest and placed it 20 yards away in the direction the tom would likely come from. After 5 minutes of slate calling, I could get the bird to respond but he wouldn’t come closer or even out into the open.
I reached back in my vest and pulled out my trusty box call and that did the trick. The bird responded really well and worked his way into the field and ultimately to my decoys for the shot.
Having a good turkey hunting vest allowed me to get into the area quietly, switch between three different calls to find what worked the best, and deploy my turkey decoys in an instant. If you’re serious about hunting turkeys, getting a quality turkey hunting vest should be a top priority.
Need a new choke tube for turkey hunting? Check out my top picks here.