Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: N-Strike Tactical Vest: Gear Up for Action, Like a Boss! :P

(Link) One product from the depths of Nerf was on my to-buy list for a LONG time. I’m glad to say I finally got it. Of course, it is the N-Strike Tactical Vest, one of Nerf’s attempts to provide more storage solutions when facing hoards of Zombies. :P And I am glad to say, I wasn’t disappointed. :D Now you know the drill by now, time for some backstory. :P

It was about the time the Stampede was released that the Tactical Vest was announced, way back in 2010. (Ahh, I fondly remember those days.) Back then, they were scarcely available in Tasmania, only down in the Hobart area. (It is the only Big W here in Tassie, m’fraid.) BUT, thanks to my recent trip to Melbourne, I was FINALLY able to pick one up for the arsenal. :D After some anxious waiting to get back to my unit for the night, I was FINALLY able to try it on :D And here are my thoughts.

For an official piece of kit made by Nerf, it isn’t that bad, to be honest. It is packaged nicely so that you can see what you get (when I saw these on the shelves, my stomach gave a great leap of joy :P) You’ve got your usual looking bloke on the front decked out in the gear, and some very nice imaging on the back highlighting the vest’s features.

Blurb. I like reading these :)

In the kit, you get the cool vest, twelve Streamline darts and two Clear Series six-dart clips. Not a bad piece of gear for $24 Aussie dollars. Big W have all the good stuff these 
days :P

 First off, I’ll point out that the vest is designed for little kids. For slim blokes like me, it isn’t a problem. But for some of our larger members, they might find it a bit tight. I measure about six foot five in height, so I also found it a little underwhelming in the ‘big lengthways’ aspects. It only comes down to my hip bone. :P Before you go running off into war donning the vest, I suggest you wear it in a bit, just to get the feel of it. :) BUT, while the vest is too small for my liking, it holds a fairly great amount of stuff. :D

Me, donning the vest. It does look pretty sweet  :D
I’ll highlight some of the key features of the vest. The vest is made into two
‘panels’ (front and back) joined at the top shoulder areas. Under the shoulder areas, there is heaps of space that allows you to move your arms freely around. It is made out of polyester and breathable mesh, so it never feels like it is choking you. Plus, the N-Strike logo has never looked cooler :D

The Vest itself can hold four six-dart clips, 12 spare darts (any kind will fit comfortably), a mid-sized side-arm in the main holster (Maverick, Spectre, Sharp Shot, etc.) and a single shot blaster in the storage zipped pocket (Jolt, Secret Shot, etc.) with spare darts. When you load it all up with gear, and look at yourself in the mirror, you can’t help but feel awesome. :D Did I mention there is a sword sheath on the back? I plan to put that to good use one day.

The Vest, fully kitted out. :P
You can also fit one of those small foam pirate swords in this. It'll do until I can get a Maruader. :P
 The vest is done up by zipper (as with the storage pocket) and is adjustable by Velcro straps, which are located on the middle and bottom side areas. Simply pull them off, adjust the strap to your liking, and then re-attach. Pretty simple, really :)

The dart holders are made from stretchy strap, and can be pulled on to fit any type of dart. Except for one (might be a defect), all of the holders work fine, and didn’t drop out while moving. :D Same for the clip holders, these work well and don’t prevent dropped. I’ll say that it is a tad fiddly to insert the clips. I tried inserting them from the bottom, and it worked better due to the smaller top of the clip. One thing I found disappointing about these were the placement, they block the area designed for shoulder stocks on blasters, which I like to use.

The side-arm holster works like, a pocket of sorts. Sown onto the vest from the top, it is left open at both ends, allowing small side-arms to be carried with you into battle, such as the traditional Maverick. (Mental note: Get Whiteout Mav one day. :P) It can be adjusted to tightly hold onto the blaster (via more straps) to accommodate of all sizes. Just remember to loosen the strap before whipping out your side-arm, or it might be a little embarrassing. :P

The storage pocket can actually hold A LOT of stuff. Multi-tasking pocket, it is :P It can hold small blasters and spare darts, it is entirely up to you want to hold in it. Snacks, the car keys, and even the iPod. :P

It would be pretty stupid NOT to carry one of these beasts. :P

The two clear 6-dart clips are a nice touch. They do add some variety to the clip line, and they look great. Seeing how much ammo you have left is a nice touch, and I like transparent things. It is a pity though that they aren’t a bigger size (i.e. Stampede) because when inserted into the blaster, the unit basically covers up the viewing area. Still, it is a nice touch and if you were lucky enough to pick up a Clear Recon, these will make your day. Accessorize. :P

All in all, the Tactical Vest is a great piece of kit. Cool looking, can hold a lot of gear, but a bit on the small side. They are currently going around Big W Australia for $24 dollars. If you can get one, I would recommend it. Also as a note, with the Elite line incoming, the Tactical Vest will be re-released under the Elite name and branding, with altered features and new Elite darts and clips.

Deja Vu all over again... :P
Thanks to Urban Taggers for the pics. :D
When the Elite version of the Tact. Vest comes out, I'll do a product comparison, and pit them in BATTLE!!! to see which one is best. :D

S.O.F.T.’s Official Verdict: 8.5 darts/10 darts


  1. I suggest not putting the holster strap around the handle of the sidearm, but rather through the trigger hole.
    I put it around the handle and the Spectre I had in the holster got stuck when I needed it and our team lost. This was likely because of the Spectre's length, but the round nub at the front of the Mav will probably result in the same thing, getting it jammed inside the holster.

    I also personally find that the clips are easier to use to reload when they are upside down, like the kid on the box.

    I personally prefer the N-Strike Vest over the Elite Vest on the basis that the Elite Vest has some hook thingy instead of a fully fledged holster. Sure, it's more versatile because it can hold blasters of any size, but the N-Strike Vest holds in blasters securely.

  2. We are creating unique products and sharing new ideas. JP has always been a dreamer and has always looked at items thinking about how they could be made better, More useful or different altogether. As a company we want to do just that.
    We realized not long ago that it is never too late to start something if you believe in it. Therefore, the idea of JP-TAC was born. We want to encourage the group of people that we feel a part of. We want to encourage being prepared. We love the type of products we create. We will always be improving something or delivering something entirely new. Starting a business is never easy so as of this writing we are on the ground floor. We have an amazing design, engineering, Tactical Pen, Tactical Gear, Survival Gear, Survivalism, Tactical and manufacturing team that collectively have many years of experience.