View Full Version : Do you wear a safari/photographer vest?

January 30, 1999, 03:59 PM
How many of you wear this type of vest. With all of the stuff I keep adding to my daily carry list, I'm gonna have to start totin' a bookbag around with me. The number of pocket in one of these vests would allow me to take my whole knife collection (OK - maybe not the WHOLE collection ;)), OC, Sure-Fire, etc... as well as helping me to conceal my carry piece.

My wife has threatened bodily harm to me if I get a vest (she thinks they're VERY tacky) and I've always thought that vests make you stick out in a crowd. "Look Marge, that man's got a gun! Has to if he's wearing a vest like that!"

Let me know if you wear one, and other alternatives that you've found that may be less conspicuous. Thanks.


Deo Vindice

January 30, 1999, 04:39 PM
Your wife is right. Sweater/sweatshirt/baggy t-shirt/untucked golf shirt/warmup jacket all get the job done. I assume, generally correctly, that anyone wearing one of those goofy vests is carrying.

Rich Lucibella
January 30, 1999, 07:18 PM
I wear one when I'm on a road trip. I agree that they telegraph to the tactically minded that you're carrying, depending on your demeanor. Otherwise, they telegraph "yuppie".

Last fall, I purchased a similar vest from Gunsite, only without all the extra pockets and rings. It's become daily wear for me with jeans.

January 30, 1999, 09:46 PM
Hate to disagree with the ' experts ' again, but I have worn a vest with lots of pockets, for the last 14 years or so. Do so daily, even when I am not carrying ( out of US ) and I have never been challenged.

I think the informed might suspect but not know.

I also carry a camera, film, and several other items. Pockets are full.

I shave daily, keep my hair fairly short, and don't wear clothing that challenges.

In addition, as a professional gunman, I suspect everyone is carrying. Last, my wife and I have an agreement, I don't pick her cloths, and she does not pick mine. Worked for 48+ years so far. GLV

January 31, 1999, 12:06 AM
I very often wear a vest, but not that kind.

Mine is a sports vest for cool weather sports. I have thought about a photo persons vest though :)


Mouse Assassins inc.

Jim V
January 31, 1999, 02:17 PM
I like photographer's vests and wear one quite often, I've got a Al MAR Tac Vest that I like too. But the vests I get the most use out of are made of leather that I bought because they have a little more "body" to hide my pistol and extra mags. I picked up the last one at K-Mart for $20.00. The came in different colors and don't look "gunny."

Joe 543
February 3, 1999, 05:55 PM
Senator, get the vest. I've got an old Banana Rupublic photographer's vest. It's great. I've worn it for years now. The weather in Texas gets pretty warm, so if you want to carry a full size weapon comfortably, it's the only way. My wife makes fun of mine every time I wear it. But, when she sees the suspicious looking guy in the mall parking lot, she says "I'm glad you've got your gun".
As far as telegraphing "gun". I'm pretty good at making the print on loose or baggy shirts. 10+ years in Law Enforcement. And if I can't, I assume anyway. I think anyone can tell a fanny pack holster when they see one. I would be willing to bet that I could be out on target faster than anyone who carries the latter two ways. So, go with vest. The pockets are great. You can carry all sorts of things for "survival".


Rob Pincus
February 3, 1999, 06:42 PM
While I have never bothered to get one, I have always thought they were a good way to lug around a whole bunch of crap. I have one compatriot who wears one constantly. He is even wearing one around SHOT show.
I have frequently worn other types of vests to conceal I actually get the Gun-Geek version. ;)

July 11, 2000, 09:30 PM
My friend and I, two middle-aged women who don't carry guns, wear army green fishing vests instead of carrying tote bags or large purses. Due to various health issues and one broken arm, this became a much easier way to haul around sunglasses, tissues, cellular phone, checkbook, notepad, medicines, hand lotion, currency and coins.

I have been asked at least four times if I have just come from the "shooting range." Since it has been more than thirty years since I shot a pistol, it makes me laugh. I have also gotten looks of apprehension from strangers. Having just found your website today, I am understanding better the remarks and the apprehension.

What do you think we can do to make the vests look less threatening, as we wish to wear them on a trip to Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic? Will people over there assume we are "Americans who carry?" :eek:

July 12, 2000, 10:21 AM
I have several vests of differing colors and styles. Though I don't wear them in the summer (our high temp yesterday was 100) I do wear them regularly when it cools off.

I'm like GLV, I assume everyone is carrying. :)

ohen cepel
July 12, 2000, 02:16 PM
Have one of the Banana Republic vests and love it.
Good quality and well designed.

I think few people on the street live in the same world as us and those that do I don't worry about.

He who dares wins.
NRA Life Memeber

too tall
July 12, 2000, 08:10 PM
Yes I wear a "photo" vest now and then. I mostly wear a larger than normal square tail short sleeve "Dickie" or mechanic type shirt.Sometimes buttoned , sometimes not.Too Tall

Steve Smith
July 12, 2000, 09:41 PM
Gabby, welcome to TFL!!! We love getting new members! Maybe a few patches from different places stiched onto the vests will show that it's a "trophy vest" of places you've been? That would definately help out. Just don't sew them on in lines or designs,as this would say "military." Make it look like a craft-minded lady did it, and no one will even notice...or even better, it might just be a conversation piece with those in froeign countries! "Oh, you've been to Genoa? I was born there!" (Notice how the person is more interested in the patch than the vest.

July 17, 2000, 05:14 PM
well, EWIW...I AM a photographer and wear a photo vest all the time and no one gives it a second glance. Hwever, mine does have "photographer" on the front over the left pocket and my 'photo studio's" name on the back...

I'd throw on some 'fishin' patches or something if I was worried...but I'm not. :)

Satanta, the Whitebear
Sat's Realm: <A HREF="http://SatantasRealm.tripod.com/Entrypage/entrypage.html

My" TARGET=_blank>http://SatantasRealm.tripod.com/Entrypage/entrypage.html

My</A> Disability petition: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/DisbHelp/petition.html

July 17, 2000, 06:17 PM
I've never worn a vest, but have tried them in an IDPA match. They seem pretty hot and we have hot and humid summers around here. For casual dress, an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt over a tank top seems to make sense. These days you see many vests and Hawaiian shirts around. It might have people thinking that many of these folks are carrying. This might be a good thing, no?

July 17, 2000, 06:32 PM
I have a Banana Republic vest that I bought many, many years ago for fishing, mostly when rock-hopping the falls of the James for smallmouth. Never caught much while wearing it and now I know why. The fish knew I was carrying. John

Byron Quick
August 10, 2000, 11:43 PM
Well, I wear the infamous Banana Republic photographer's vest and don't really care if people think I'm carrying. I would quite happily carry openly if such was still allowed here in Georgia (without permission).

I've only been made once and that was while I was waiting for the electronic door to unlock at Bernie's Sports Center in Tucker. I get stopped fairly often by LEO's due to a heavy foot. I haven't had one ask me if I was armed or even if I had weapons in the car. (But then I make it a point to get my license out and put my hands on my window sill as the officer approaches my car for I don't want him nervous) "Gee, officer, not many...I've got a Kimber Gold Match and a NAA .32 on me. A Ruger Security Six in the console. An 18 inch Bowie beside the console, an H&K 91 and an AR 15 in the trunk. Oh, and a 400 year old Japanese katana-I almost forgot that one :) Oh, and I'm bearded, grizzled, and have been told I look mean.

Byron Quick

August 11, 2000, 06:16 AM
For the utmost on comfort (well made), coolness (vented back), fashion (actually look good) and function (lots of IDPA folks use them in competition) - I love the Cabelas Safari vest. It comes in tan and olive - I have both.


David Scott
August 11, 2000, 07:34 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mikey:
For the utmost on comfort (well made), coolness (vented back), fashion (actually look good) and function (lots of IDPA folks use them in competition) - I love the Cabelas Safari vest. It comes in tan and olive - I have both.


I like the Cabelas vest too, and around here if you wear a Bassmasters gimme cap everybody thinks you're a fisherman, not a handgunner. You could even hang a lure or two from the pockets to reinforce the psychological camouflage.

Gopher .45
August 11, 2000, 11:51 AM
I wore a vest on and off for years before I started carrying. Only after I did my CHL course did I learn that people wear the vests to conceal guns. So apparently people have thought I was carrying for many years now? The trick to wearing a vest is to actually use all the pockets for things. I carry a scorpoin flashlight, tissues, pocket knife, a couple of pens, maybe a checkbook, and so on, with things in different places. I have all sorts of legal bulges. Now I also carry a couple of spare magazines as well. With a child in the family, I usually have a pacifier and spare diaper stowed also. The point is that people tend to not think so much about the gun issue when you wear a vest where you actually use the pockets and people see you using them. The pocketed vest becomes a functioning tool as opposed to a cover garment.

I have several vests. I have come to hate the khaki or green vests. Two of my favorites are khaki and don't come in other covers. Although not photo vests, I have a couple of blue, maroon, and red vests that look a little more fashionable, have a few pockets, and work very well. People are now used to seeing me in a vest on a regular basis. Few know about the guns.