Ask any competitive shooter: it’s very easy to tell when a product was designed by someone who shoots on a regular basis and when it wasn’t. About 80% of the time, that isn’t a compliment. This piece of gear, on the other hand, has more than earned its place in the minority. Not many things have caused as much weeping and knashing of teeth in IDPA as the concealment garment. There seems to be a huge sigh of relief from most shooters when they reach a stage that doesn’t require one, and the rest of the time it’s just something that gets in the way of faster times. Enter Becky Sells and Armadillo Concealment. Becky and a handful of IDPA shooters decided to engineer a concealment vest from the ground up. Instead of designing a vest to close or zip in the middle, they contoured the front of the vest to allow a shooter to sweep it out of the way and draw his or her gun in as unimpeded a fashion as possible.
We don’t typically review clothing here because most clothes are just a matter of personal preference. But between meeting other shooters who have one of these vests and letting people try mine out, I’ve never heard anything but positive feedback. Put another way: it’s true that clothes are personal preference, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who didn’t personally prefer this vest to the one they were using. And after using this vest in a couple of sanctioned matches, I can confidently recommend it to anyone out there who wants a quality shooting vest for IDPA competition. The fabric is thick enough to remain ridgid and stay out of your way during the draw or when you go after a magazine for a reload, so there’s not a noticeable difference between wearing the vest and not wearing a concealment garment.
In larger, more competitive matches, people routinely miss first place by a couple of seconds or less: it’s no exxaggeration to say that this vest can make a much larger difference than that in your time. And the results should be noticeable for anyone because every single vest is cut to each shooter’s precise measurements and handcrafted in Texas. The work is top-quality, and the cotton canvas fabric has been very durable in the time I’ve been using mine. Because these vests are made for each individual shooter, they’re also very comfortable (assuming you send the correct measurements) and they fit like a bespoke jacket. The front of the vest also has a large velcro pocket on each side, as well as a smaller pocket without a flap.
Best of all, you can get your name and just about anything else embroidered on the vest until it’s customized to your liking. AC has options on their website, or you can send them your own logo and have it digitized and embroidered. Plus, the vests themselves are available in 12 different colors. The end result is a high-quality vest that is distinctly your own. If you rarely shoot competitions, this probably wouldn’t be something that you would get a lot of value out of, but for those of you who regularly shoot IDPA, I would highly recommend you consider Armadillo Concealment for your next shooting vest. Everyone talks about upgrading their guns, holsters, mag pouches, etc., but this is a product that could make a bigger difference in your match than you may realize.
–Colt Driver; Armadillo Concealment ShootingVest, MSRP $95