The best turkey hunting vest for 2023 isn’t going to guarantee you bag a gobbler. Nor will it take out the trash. But, it will keep you organized and comfortable so you can shoot without overthinking it.
With all your calls, strikers, ammo, insect repellent, and more right at your fingertips, you’ll be able to bag that big Tom without second-guessing where you’ve stashed your most important gear.
But, making the right choice also comes down to picking the vest with the correct type of seating for your hunting style. For example, if you’re more of a run-and-gun style turkey hunter, you probably won’t need a ton of back support because you won’t sit for long.
On the other hand, if you’re the sit-and-wait type, having substantial seating support from your turkey hunting vest can make the difference between a comfortable day in the field and a painful one.
That’s why we’ve segmented this list into three categories: minimalist vests with no back support, fully-framed turkey vests with kickstands for comfort during extended sits, and a few options that land somewhere in the middle.
Whatever your preference, we’re here to help you find a vest with the best features and the most comfortable seating for your hunting style.
And because this is a best-of list, you’ll find camo vests for sale from Sitka, Mossy Oak, Nomad, Primos, ALPS OutdoorZ, and other trusted brands to help you bag that turkey of your dreams in 2023 and beyond.
Turkey hunting requires gobbler getters to carry a bunch of stuff.
And if you’ve ever been out in the field facing down a Tom but couldn’t reach what you needed in the heat of the moment, you probably realized you had too much gear on you.
Minimalist vests will help you declutter and organize your hunting gadgets. They’ll allow you to bring only what you need and nothing else, meaning you won’t get bogged down by the unnecessary.
Just keep in mind: These vests don’t have built-in back support like the others on this list, so you’ll likely need to find a tree to lean against if you plan on sitting for an extended period.
These babies are built for the hunter on the move, so if that’s your style, you’ve come to the right spot.
Our pick for the very best turkey hunting vest overall, no matter the category, comes from Sitka. This well-designed piece helps minimalist hunters cover ground quickly while keeping everything they need immediately at hand.
You’d expect no less from one of the premier hunting gear suppliers in the industry, and once you look at the additional features of the Sitka turkey vest, you’ll quickly see why we love it.
- Magnetic, quiet-close pockets
- Water-resistant spaces for everything you need, including calls, strikers, and more
- Adjustable fit keeps the vest snug yet comfortable
- Comfortable seat that’s easy to deploy and pull back up
- DWR finish keeps your stuff dry
- Compression straps to secure a dead Tom
- Internal mesh pockets for small stuff
- Zippered back pocket fits a water bladder
- Blaze orange flags for safety
- Two of Sitka’s excellent camo patterns to choose from
If you’re searching for an issue with the Equinox, it might come down to its high price tag. Further, some hunters wish it had shotgun shell holders. But, with all the storage space available on this Sitka turkey vest, we think you’ll find a convenient place to stash your ammo.
- Pros: Water resistant, well-made, space for everything you need without extra weight
- Cons: No shotgun shell holders, pricey
- Best for: Minimalist hunters who love chasing turkeys and staying organized
Old School Cool
Drake Ol’ Tom Gunslinger
Those who’ve been around long enough to own a Bob Dixon turkey hunting vest will immediately recognize the Ol’ Tom Gunslinger from acclaimed waterfowl outfitter Drake.
Because of how well this piece is designed, you’ll always know where all your most important gear is. That’s because the design harkens back to what makes the Bob Dixon such a sought-after piece when Mossy Oak released 1,986 of them in 2007.
With that limited run, you’ll be hard pressed to find one of your own due to their rarity and cost unless, of course, you opt for the Ol’ Tom turkey vest.
Let’s look at why this design still endures 15 years after the original was released.
- Durable polyester ripstop fabric
- Rubber Gunslinger straps won’t slip
- Nine external front call pockets keep Tom on his toes
- Two detachable locator call cords
- Three fast-access striker sleeves and two pot call pouches
- Magnetic seat attachment
- Zippered hand warmer
- Two-inch foam cushion for comfort
Just because you can’t get your hands on one of the originals doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of the old design.
All in all, if you’re looking for a well-designed run-and-gun vest, check out the Drake Ol’ Tom Gunslinger.
- Pros: Excellent time-tested design, durable construction
- Cons: A touch on the expensive side
- Best for: Those who want a specific pocket for each tool
Full-Featured and Affordable
Mossy Oak Longbeard Elite
We’re fans of having the right tools in the right location at the right time. Doing so makes hunting more enjoyable and successful, which is why we like the Longbeard Elite vest.
With quick and easy access to all your gear, you won’t have to think twice while locked in a standoff with that gobbler. Instead, you’ll know exactly where to reach for your favorite pot call or to stash your striker so you can make a move — or stay put and wait for him to get closer.
With the following features, you’ll quickly see why this Longbeard Elite is so well-reviewed by us and other hunters on the web.
- It weighs only three pounds
- Fully adjustable
- Comfortable two-inch foam cushion
- 16 total pockets for gear and five shotgun shell loops
- Quick-securing seat buckle helps you move with ease
- Blood-proof game back and side zippers
- Four camo patterns and two sizes to choose from
Since you’re looking at a Mossy Oak product, you can choose from their famous Bottomland, Greenleaf, Obsession, and Original Treestand designs to blend in with the terrain you’ll be hunting in.
So, whether you’re a run-and-gun or hang-back-and-wait style hunter, this vest is one of the best you can buy for the money.
- Pros: Well made, adjustable as heck, lightweight
- Cons: Not much
- Best for: Turkey hunters who value comfort, storage space, and value
Most Lightweight Choice
Knight & Hale Run-n-Gun
If you’re into minimalist hunting, the weight of your gear probably matters to you. If that’s the case, look no further than Knight & Hale’s Run-n-Gun turkey hunting vest.
Weighing in at a scant 1.5 pounds, you can carry all your favorite calls, strikers, and even a Thermacell without burdening yourself.
But weight alone isn’t going to place a piece of gear on our list. The following features also make this vest shine.
- 10-point adjustment for the perfect fit
- Dedicated call pockets (pot, box, and diaphragm), striker slots, and MOLLE attachment
- Four zippered pockets and storage for six shells
- Water bladder capability
- Decoy sling
- Detachable six-layered seat cushion
- Mossy Oak Obsession or Realtree Edge camo patterns are available
So while you can bring more than you probably need, you’ll have a place for it all with the Run-N-Gun.
If hunters can find a drawback with this item, it’s that it does run a bit small. But then again, if you’re a smaller hunter, it may fit perfectly.
- Pros: Extremely lightweight, remarkably comfortable seat, well made
- Cons: Can fit tight for some
- Best for: Run N’ Gun gear heads who value lightweight gear
Cheapest on the List
RedHead Classic II
If you’re anything like us, spending a weekend afternoon at Bass Pro Shops is much better than getting after that “Honey Do” list.
In your wanderings at the store, we’re sure you’ve come across all kinds of products from RedHead. As you know, they’re pretty well made and easy on the pocketbook.
Case in point: the RedHead turkey vest. Let’s take a look at some of its features to see why it made the cut.
- Two large accessory pockets for your strikers and pot calls
- Dedicated box call pocket
- Game bag for tasty birds
- Detachable seating pad
- Blaze orange flaps
- Padded shoulder and sternum straps
- Made of 100% Polyester and available in two camo patterns
For those run-and-gun style hunters, it could be all you need to find success — especially in warmer weather where you don’t need to carry much.
If you think you could do with the somewhat limited carrying capacity, this inexpensive option for sale at Bass Pro Shops makes for an intriguing possibility.
- Pros: Inexpensive, fits well, nice cushion, durable
- Cons: Doesn’t hold the most — but maybe it doesn’t need to
- Best for: Beginners to turkey hunting, those who can find success with the bare essentials
When you move to a stadium-style seat, you can expect a little heavier vest than the run-and-gun minimalist turkey hunting vests we just covered.
But, with that added weight comes the benefit of added comfort.
That’s important if you’re the type to sit and wait for a gobbler to come close enough to blast. Plus, you’ll be able to post up just about anywhere without relying on a tree for added back support.
Gear Addict’s Delight
Nomad Killin’ Time
Turkey hunters carry a lot of stuff. Between the calls, strikers, bug repellent, shotgun shells, water, and cell phone, you’ve got a lot of things to haul in and out of the field.
That’s precisely where this Nomad turkey vest comes in. It provides an excellent companion for your sit-and-wait hunts and is also light enough for any running and gunning you might want to do. Let’s take a look at what else it features.
- 14 points of adjustment for a snug fit
- 28 total pockets — some general and others specialized
- Neoprene construction to protect against water
- Magnetic closures
- Stadium-style seating so you’re comfortable and supported
- High-density foam seat for extra padding
- Rear game pouch
- Morel mushroom stow sack
- Excellent dark green camo pattern
You can see Nomad made this vest for a variety of hunting styles. If you want to set decoys and let the turkey come to you, it’s a breeze. Or, if you want to chase turkeys around, you’ll also have that option.
If you’re looking for one of the most comfortable and well-organized stadium-style vests on the market with a seat, you’ve found it.
- Pros: Tons of storage space, looks great, fits both sit and wait and run-n-gun styles
- Cons: Shoulder straps on some units can fray
- Best for: Carrying just about everything you can imagine — and then some
A Rocking Chair for Turkey Time
Sitting down is part of the job description when you’re hunting turkeys. Staying still, well concealed, and comfortable while waiting for your bird to get into shooting range will give you the best opportunity to find success.
Thankfully, the Primos Rocker turkey vest enables hunters to do all those things. With a stadium-style seat, you can lean back just about anywhere to help keep yourself hidden and comfortable. But that’s not all; the Rocker also comes with:
- Molded pot and box call pockets
- Waterproof pocket for your cell phone
- Decoy stake pocket
- Hydration bladder compatibility
- Well-thought-out design
- Mossy Oak Obsession or Real Tree Extra Green camo
Like all things Primos, you can expect solid construction and dependability. Make sure you order the correct size because this vest can run a bit big.
- Pros: Very comfortable, well designed, carries a lot
- Cons: Little padding on the seat
- Best for: Lounging and waiting for that bird to come into view
Affordable Yet Well-Built Choice
ALPS OutdoorZ Impact
For the most functional stadium-style convertible seat on this list, look no further than the ALPS OutdoorZ Impact. This turkey hunting vest might be the best option for hunters who like to switch up their hunting styles.
The removable front pocket that’s attached to the shoulder straps will allow you to move quickly in run-and-gun situations. Its completely detachable seat will also provide turkey hunters with ultimate comfort and convenience. You’ll also find:
- Noise-reduction fabric
- Many adjustment points, so it fits well
- Pockets for all your calls, strikers, and shells
- Lightweight design at under four pounds
- Game pouch complete with a spot for decoy stakes
- Mossy Oak Bottomland or Obsession camo patterns
If you’re a hunter who doesn’t want to make the move to a fully-framed pack but still wants some rigidity, this vest will make a great addition to your kit.
- Pros: Excellent support for those long sits, brushed material is very quiet,
- Cons: Some hunters don’t like the strap connectors
- Best for: Hunters who want the stability of a framed vest without the frame
Here you’ll find the most feature-rich turkey vests with seats on the market. They come fully framed with a kickstand to help support your weight for extended sitting sessions.
We wanted to ensure that you can still run and gun if you wish to, so the following vests feature removable frames and offer the best of both worlds. No matter your style, you’ll find something you like here.
Most Comfortable for a Long Sit
ALPS OutdoorZ Grand Slam
The ALPS OutdoorZ Impact turkey vest we mentioned above is for hunters who like the stability of a frame but don’t want to lug one around.
If you don’t mind the extra bulk of a frame but appreciate the stability tradeoff, Look no further than the ALPS OutdoorZ Grand Slam. It’s perhaps our favorite framed vest on the list thanks to its excellent features, including:
- Fully removable frame to save weight
- Fast-locking legs and swivel feet for a fast and stable seating experience
- Pockets for all your calls, strikers, and accessories
- Large game bag
- Two spots to store water bottles and it’s hydration bladder compatible
- Two internal zippered mesh pockets
- Removable fold-up foam seat
Ultimately, comfort on a turkey stakeout is essential. And if you want the stability of a frame with the ability to ditch it later down the line, you’d best take a good look at the Grand Slam.
The only downside we can come up with is the Grand Slam’s weight. Coming in at 7 pounds 2 ounces with the frame, you’re bound to feel the extra weight. But, with the frame removed, it weighs a reasonable 4 pounds and 10 ounces.
If you’re in the market for the best-framed turkey vest with a seat of 2023, the Grand Slam offers top-notch comfort and features, making the extra couple of pounds pretty easy to stomach.
- Pros: Do-everything vest fills a lot of needs for a lot of people
- Cons: Might be heavy for some
- Best for: Long sits and those who like the ability to modify their gear for specific hunting situations
The TIDEWE brand has started making serious inroads in the hunting community. From waders to rain jackets to turkey hunting vests, they make a bit of everything — and they do it pretty well.
We’re impressed with this specific vest’s overall quality and craftsmanship. Not only does this budget piece regularly go on sale, but its frame is easily removable for those who want to do some runnin’ and gunnin’.
What else does this budget pick come with?
- Tons of pockets for calls, strikers, and just about everything else
- Super comfy and magnetic seat made with over three inches of foam
- Quality stitching
- Two great Realtree camo designs
- Hydration system compatible
- Silent fabric
- Clip-on shoulder straps keep your shotgun from sliding
- A highly adjustable strap system
For the price, you can’t find a much more comfortable or feature-packed vest. If you’re looking for a comfortable and cheap way to sit and wait for that gobbler to get close enough for a shot, here it is.
- Pros: Inexpensive, well-made, lots of pockets
- Cons: Big for some
- Best for: Turkey hunters who want a comfortable seat at a great price
Finding a solid turkey vest comes down to analyzing a few key factors to ensure you get exactly what you need.
That means determining which kind of seat you plan on using, which depends directly on your preferred style of turkey hunting.
Then, of course, comes the number of pockets you want and how specialized they are.
Several factors determine which vest is best for you, so let’s check those out now.
Of course, different turkey hunters like different kinds of seating arrangements. You’ll find three different styles on this list. We think the seat itself is the most crucial factor when choosing your next vest.
This is the more-traditional seat style typically found on turkey hunting vests. They’re attached by straps and clips so you can remove them when not in use.
They’re also easy to deploy, so you can get a comfortable seat when needed; then, they cinch back up quickly to continue working your way towards that bird. With this style, you won’t get any back support, but these seats are lightweight and work great for the run and gun style.
A great example of a seat with a great cushion is the RedHead Classic II.
Unlike deployable cushions, the stadium-style seats have back support built in. So, instead of finding a tree to lean on, you can set these up anywhere without putting strain on your back. Some come with deployable cushions, like the Nomad Killin’ Time vest, for enhanced comfort.
These vests are excellent for both run-and-gun style hunts and sit-and-wait adventures.
Seats with Kickstands
These are just like the stadium-style seats. But, unlike minimalist vests, they offer even more support for those who like to call in their prey and get a good shot.
The kickstand styles often use swiveling feet to help prevent you from slipping down a hill if you’re forced to place your butt on a slant.
If you’re after ultimate comfort, choose a kickstand vest like the ALPS OutdoorZ Grand Slam. It’s exceptionally comfortable and comes with a removable frame if you want to do a little more runnin’ and gunnin’.
Style of Hunting
Some of you spry guys and gals out there want to chase turkeys down and stay on the move. We get it.
For you, you need something lightweight and non-bulky yet can carry everything you need. Maybe the Sitka turkey vest like the Equinox above makes the most sense. With a lightweight design and well-placed pockets, you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips.
On the other hand, maybe you have more of a sit-and-wait style where you like to set up decoys and call them in. For you, a comfortable seat is paramount. So, consider the budget-friendly TIDEWE.
With an excellent seat and kickstand, you’ll remain comfortable no matter the situation you find yourself in.
Pockets & Storage
Pockets represent an essential piece of the turkey hunting puzzle. You have a lot of stuff to carry, so readily accessing it in the heat of the moment is paramount.
It comes down to what exactly you want to bring with you. If you’re the type to carry a load of gear, then consider something like the ALPS OutdoorZ Impact option.
For a well-thought-out vest with easy-to-reach pockets right at hand, the Ol’ Tom Gunslinger rocks specialized pockets that’ll enable you to find exactly what you need when you need it most.
Again, this aspect comes down to the style of hunting you prefer. A lightweight vest is the best option if you’re always on the move.
Instead of feeling the weight of your pack, choose something like the Knight and Hale Run-N-Gun turkey vest that’ll keep you organized without bogging your engine down.
On the other side, if you don’t plan on trekking through the field all that much. Then, weight might not be the most significant consideration. If this is the case, you can opt for a heavier vest with a more comfortable seat.
The almighty dollar dictates what kind of car we drive, where we want to eat after a long day, and what kind of turkey vest is best for us. So, we included both expensive, budget, and middle-of-the-road options in this list.
The higher-priced items generally sit at the top and the budget options at the bottom of a given section.
Thanks so much for stopping in and checking out our guide to the best turkey hunting vests of 2023. We hope you found a vest to perfectly complement your hunting style, whether you run and gun, sit and wait, or do a little bit of both.
No matter your preferred hunting style, we hope that you’re comfortable on your next adventure. So, choosing the right turkey vest with a comfortable seat is critical for your next hunt.
No matter your choice, whether it’s an ALPS OutdoorZ, Nomad, Ol Tom, TIDEWE, or Sitka turkey vest, there’s a little bit of something for everybody on this list. With excellent camo patterns to choose from, that turkey will never see you (at least your vest, that is).
We appreciate you stopping by, and we hope you found exactly what you were looking for: one of 2023’s best turkey hunting vests.
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Last Updated on August 15, 2023