When it comes to choosing a vest you need to consider when you will be wearing it, what you will be shooting and the weather you will be experiencing. A tweed vest would likely look out of place at a major clay shooting competition and equally you wouldn’t want to turn up to a Game day in a skeet vest. Whether you are an amateur or a professional finding the right vest is important to make you feel confident, comfortable and to help improve your scores.
So what types of vest are there and when are they suitable?
Viewed by many as the ‘tactical’ vest for competitive clay shooters. A skeet vest is usually light weight and well-fitting to ensure you are able to mount your gun cleanly without any snagging or riding up and is comfortable and close fitting so as not to cause irritation. They usually have a suede or padded shoulder to make mounting your gun clean and easy every time and to ensure your gun doesn’t slip out of your shoulder. There are summer lightweight vests that are predominantly mesh and some that are for colder weather with long sleeves; they all come with large pockets to carry a sufficient number of cartridges for a round/stand and some even have loops to carry towels or headphones so there is less for you to carry around a shooting course. Below are a few examples of the types of skeet vest available.
There are a vast array of tweed vests for both men and women that offer a tailored look with pockets large enough to carry some cartridges (however I do find the pockets are not quite as accommodating as skeet vest ones). Tweed is perfect for a day out in the field or on a moor, I would always recommending having a complete set (vest, coat and breeches or skirt) for any such occasion. Tweed is generally warm, waterproof and quite heavy so you want something that fits well and is comfortable, this is due to the fact they are designed with Game shooting in mind so are perfect for the colder months. Some vests even come with a pocket sewn inside the shoulder so a recoil pad can be inserted for extra comfort. Below are a few of the many beautiful tweed vests available. I love wearing my tweed so often wear it when going for a quick practise round at the clay ground but I wouldn’t wear one for a major shooting competition as they just aren’t suitable.
Now these are not a specific shooting vest however I have seen many out in the field and they are just fantastic. Not only are they warm they have a high collar to keep out wind and large pockets that can fit a decent amount of cartridges in. They have a wide range of colours both bright for clay grounds and more subtle for in the field. Below are just a few of my favourite colours. They are perfect for all types of shooting and really are a must for an country ladies wardrobe.
A schoffel looks good just teamed with a shirt and jeans for a casual country lunch too!
I am a bit of a shopping addict and have a large selection of shooting vests as I enjoy all types of shooting throughout the entire year and I think feeling comfortable is essential for confident shooting. Make sure to get the right vest for you and consider what you will be shooting and when. If like me you will be shooting all year,and both clay and game, then that means a lot of shopping. YIPPEE!!!
A few of my favourite brands
Emma Brown Tweed
Beretta – mainly because I own a Beretta and like to keep it in the family! Plus I shoot the Beretta Worlds and it is kind of sacrilege to turn up in another branded vest ha!!
Purdey & Sons