The standard duty police vest forms a zip up "waistcoat" with a variety of pockets and pouches on the front, most commonly:
- Cross draw baton pouch
- Spray Holder (with or without lanyard)
- Cuff Holder
- 2 x Radio Docs
- 2 x Large internal pockets
- .....a variety of smaller miscellaneous pouches or loops
The obvious advantage of this police vest is also it's disadvantage, it comes as a quick and complete set up unit, but is limited in how you can modify it. Take a look at the Op. Zulu Advanced Tactical Duty vest for the best police vest on the market. Clever features like the rear stash pocket and the elasticated belt attachment points make it a stand out above the rest and has clearly been designed by those who know the job.
Mini Vests, carriage systems or harnesses are hacked down versions of the full police vests, normally comprised of straps or a small amount of mesh across the back they offer much more limited carriage capacity and are often only designed to hold specific pieces of equipment, often for use under a coat or jacket in undercover situations.
Molle vests are a relatively new entrant to the market but allow for a much more customised end product. Once you have the police vest you can add as many pouches as the vest can hold for any number of different pieces of kit. As Molle is an international standard you can get pouches from a huge number of manufacturers including Blackhawk, 5.11, Arktis, etc etc. which are all compatible with a standard MOLLE vest.
The three major vest manufacturers in the UK market are Arktis, Op. Zulu and MLA.