For household breeds like the Labrador Retriever or Bluetick Coonhound, hunting season is often the most exciting time of the year. Alongside their human companions, these breeds (and many more) excel at tracking and retrieving wild game. In most cases, these traits come from centuries of purposeful breeding.
While your canine counterpart might have a natural inclination for hunting, this doesn’t mean they’re perfectly equipped for the task at hand. Investing in high-quality safety equipment, such as a reflective hunting vest, is a must before taking your dog out in the field.
Like all dog accessories, there is seemingly no end to the products currently available for purchase. With so many options, finding the ideal vest for your hunting partner isn’t easy. So, we’ve put together reviews of the best dog hunting vests to make your search a little easier.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||OneTigris Tactical Vest Nylon Front Clip Dog Harness||
|Best Value||SafetyPUP XD Reflective Dog Vest||
|Premium Choice||Browning Full Coverage Dog Safety Vest||
|Frisco Reflective Dog Safety Vest||
|Water & Woods Reflective Dog Safety Vest||
The 10 Best Dog Hunting Vests
1. OneTigris Tactical Vest Nylon Front Clip Dog Harness – Best Overall
When it comes to a dog hunting vest, there are a few things you need to look for. The OneTigris Tactical Vest Nylon Front Clip Dog Harness happens to have all of these things. Firstly, it has a heavy-duty nylon shell to ensure it can withstand regular use out in the woods.
The inside of the vest is pretty comfortable, though. It’s water-resistant, which is necessary in the winter months. The convenient MOLLE webbing can be helpful in many situations, especially if you have a bigger dog that can actually carry gear. This vest is exceptionally adjustable. The neck and chest straps both adjust independently, allowing you to find the perfect fit.
The only major downside is that this vest is not a bright color. However, most hunting breeds have coat colors that make them stand out, so having an orange vest isn’t always necessary (though added safety can always be helpful).
2. SafetyPUP XD Reflective Dog Vest – Best Value
If you’re just looking for an orange safety vest, we highly recommend the SafetyPUP XD Reflective Dog Vest. This vest is very inexpensive and simple, with few features. However, it comes in several bright colors that can help keep your dog safe while you’re hunting.
It’s made with 300D Oxford woven fabric and reinforced stitching, which helps prevent rips and tears. (When you’re running around the woods, this is vital.) The water-resistant design helps repel water, too, so you don’t have to worry about it becoming soaked in the early morning dew.
The ergonomic design is nice. It helps prevent chafing and irritation, making the vest much more comfortable to wear for extended journeys. Even when staying in the field all day, this vest shouldn’t be troublesome for your pooch.
This vest doesn’t come with a handle, which is an issue for some. However, that isn’t what it’s made for.
3. Browning Full Coverage Dog Safety Vest – Premium Choice
While it is more expensive than most, the Browning Full Coverage Dog Safety Vest is designed explicitly for hunting dogs. It provides full coverage, which is essential and sadly pretty hard to find. Why do you need full coverage? Well, when hunting, you’re usually looking at your dog’s backend. If your dog’s vest doesn’t cover their whole body, you may not see the orange at all.
The underbelly is anti-abrasion and protects against obstacles. The vest also includes some silver reflective materials to keep your pet safe in lowlight conditions and a side release for easy removal.
However, this vest is more expensive than most, largely because it has more materials involved.
4. Frisco Reflective Dog Safety Vest
The Frisco Reflective Dog Safety Vest is another very basic reflective vest. It is durable and water-proof, helping keep the vest clean and dry. It’s also pretty adjustable, and it includes a leash hole, so you can use it alongside a leash with ease. The main benefit is the color, though. It makes your dog very visible, which can be important when hunting.
However, it is cheaper than other options on this list, and it doesn’t have a handle or other added features. It’s a very basic vest, but it works great if that’s what you’re looking for.
5. Water & Woods Reflective Dog Safety Vest
Like many of the cheaper vests on this list, the Water & Woods Reflective Dog Safety Vest is made solely for the purpose of making your dog visible. They’re comfortable and durable, preventing them from restricting movement while your dog is hunting. The vest is also very lightweight and water-resistant. Reflective strips are added for extra visibility, especially at night.
This vest is available in many different sizes, so you should be able to find a fitting option for your pooch. There are many colors available, but orange is probably the most popular.
6. Illumiseen LED Dog Vest
For many hunters, going out before sunrise is a regular occurrence. The Illumiseen LED Dog Vest is the perfect investment for ensuring that your dog is visible even when reflective detailing won’t cut it. This vest comes in five sizes, fitting dogs with chest measurements from 18.5 to 41.3 inches.
The standout feature of this hunting vest is the built-in LED strip on each side. These lights connect to a rechargeable battery that charges in as little as 30 minutes. Of course, there’s also reflective detailing for extra visibility. This vest goes on and off with adjustable straps and quick-release buckles on the stomach and chest.
While the LED lights on this vest are the most important feature, they aren’t guaranteed to work. Some owners reported that the lights quit working or became quite dim after a while. The adjustable straps are elastic, which makes this vest easy to escape from if your dog is so inclined.
7. See Spot Trot Reflective Dog Safety Vest
Another basic (but effective) hunting vest is the See Spot Trot Reflective Dog Safety Vest. This vest is contoured to fit your dog without chafing or getting caught on obstacles. It comes in five different sizes, fitting dogs from about 5 to 75 pounds, and two colors.
The zippered design of this vest is simple and secure, so you don’t need to worry about buckles coming undone or straps snagging on low-hanging branches when out in the field. Each side of this vest features a large reflective strip, keeping your dog highly visible even at dawn or dusk. Because this vest is fitted to your dog’s body, you can also use an additional harness on top.
Unfortunately, this vest does not come in blaze orange. While the yellow and pink versions are still highly visible in most scenarios, they won’t cut it in all hunting environments. The sizing seems to be inconsistent and doesn’t fit many larger hunting breeds. Overall, several owners reported that the construction quality was lacking.
8. InnoPet Dog Vest
If your dog tends to get cold on longer hunts, the InnoPet Dog Vest is definitely worth checking out. The windbreaker-inspired design helps protect your dog from the elements while maximizing visibility in the woods, underbrush, and beyond. It comes in four sizes, fitting dogs from about 19 to 90 pounds, and two colorways. Both color options feature bright orange, which is perfect for hunting.
This hunting vest features a built-in harness with reflective detailing and adjustable straps. The vest’s outer material is both waterproof and windproof, while the inner layer is constructed of soft, warm fleece. The collar can be adjusted to fit snugly around your dog’s neck, blocking out rain, snow, and wind.
Although the attached harness is convenient, it won’t stand up to heavy pulling. The sizing tends to run a little large. Because there are no straps around the chest or stomach, some owners reported that the fit wasn’t that secure even when sized properly. The vest can also be challenging to put on and take off.
9. RUFFWEAR Reflective Safety Vest
For dog owners looking for a hunting vest without any bells and whistles, the RUFFWEAR Reflective Safety Vest might just be the ideal fit. This simple vest comes in three sizes, fitting dogs with chest measurements from about 13 to 42 inches.
Each side of this vest features a large, full-length reflective stripe for extra visibility around vehicles and flashlights. The waterproof material means this hunting vest can double as a basic rain jacket. This vest relies on adjustable straps and buckles to achieve a good fit.
While the stomach and chest straps are adjustable, the neck opening of this vest is not. As a result, some owners reported that the neck opening was just too small to get over their dog’s head. The overall durability of this vest is also lacking, meaning it may not stand up to more than a few hunting excursions.
10. rabbitgoo Cold Weather Dog Vest
The rabbitgoo Cold Weather Dog Vest is another great option if you’re looking for a hunting vest that doubles as a winter jacket. With this vest, your dog’s back and chest will be entirely covered, protecting them from the underbrush and ensuring that they stay warm in all weather conditions. This vest comes in two sizes, fitting chest measurements from about 26.1 to 32.6 inches.
This hunting vest is lined with plush fleece, while the outer material is waterproof. The adjustable strap system ensures a secure fit without restricting your dog’s movement, while the drawstring neck opening prevents rain and wind from getting inside the vest. There’s also a built-in hole for attaching a leash to your dog’s harness underneath.
Despite the fleece lining and full-coverage design, some owners reported that this vest was just too thin to keep their dog warm when it mattered most. The size chart also seems to be slightly inaccurate.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Hunting Vest For Your Dog
Hunting is much easier when you have the right equipment, whether you’re hunting with a dog or not. Not all hunting dogs wear vests, but it is highly recommended for a few different reasons. Firstly, a bright-colored vest makes it easier to see your dog, preventing mistaken identity. Secondly, hunting dogs are typically unresponsive to commands when on a trail, so having a handle is useful.
Of course, you need to select the right vest for your dog to get any of these benefits.
Consider Your Dog’s Breed
Your dog’s breed matters a lot. While hunting is hunting, dogs play very different roles based on what their breed is. A hound and a Labrador Retriever do very different things when it comes to hunting.
Sporting dogs, such as retrievers and pointers, are typically active dogs that need a vest that is lightweight and allows for a lot of movement. Look for a vest made of a durable material that can withstand the elements. You probably don’t need a handle for these dogs, as they’ll spend much of their time next to you and won’t likely run off.
Hounds are very different, though. These scent-driven dogs often hunt through dense brush, so a vest made from a thicker material that can withstand the briars and branches is necessary. Of course, you also don’t want the vest to weigh down your pooch too much, especially smaller hounds.
Once on a trail, hounds may be less likely to listen to commands. Therefore, it’s important to consider a handle on your dog’s vest.
A hunting vest should fit very well. In fact, it should fit almost perfectly. Otherwise, you may have a hard time with chafing and the vest getting stuck on branches. The vest probably needs to be tighter than you think. You want the vest as tight as possible without causing discomfort or restricting movement. A loose vest will slide around, leading to chafing.
Always measure your dog and compare the results to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Different companies use different sizes, so don’t assume your dog is a medium across the board.
You want your dog’s vest to be made with a durable enough material that it won’t rip the first time your dog decides to go through a bush. However, you also don’t want it so heavy that it slows your dog down. Milliseconds matter when your dog is hunting.
A good rule of thumb is to choose a vest that weighs no more than 10% of your dog’s body weight. For example, if your dog weighs 50 pounds, the vest should weigh no more than 5 pounds.
Choosing a hunting vest can seem a bit challenging. However, with the right know-how, you can easily choose the right vest for your pooch.
For the average hunting dog, we recommend the OneTigris Tactical Vest Nylon Front Clip Dog Harness. This vest is durable and comes with many added features, like a handle. If you’re looking to save a bit more money, you may want to consider the SafetyPUP XD Reflective Dog Vest, which is a more basic orange vest.