After showing some of the platecarrier setups which I currently use I wanted to take some time to talk about my current belt setup.
Talking about belts in various tactical roles and functions we first have to look at the various philophies behind setups. There is the belt kit, which for hundreds of years proved to be a reliable way to carry more and more equipment around and still is a viable option for combat patrol, recce or light infantry tasks. Equipment is moved away from your chest and placed around your hips, allowing you to carry more equipment at the cost of your gear bouncing around a little more. With more and more opting to place their assault gear for quick acess on the chest the beltkit kinda died out and took more of a niche role. It was in the early 2000s when more and more people started to approach a hybrid way, which is commonly known as the battle- or warbelt. A padded warbelt commonly holds your holster, additional reloads, IFAK, GP pouches, frags and basically everything that doesnt fit your chestrig or platecarrier.
After some time, the gunfighter- or assaulters belt evolved out of this, which is basically a pistol- or duty belt on roids. I also got more and more away from the always shifting and wobbling warbelt, forward to an more trimmed down assaulters belt configuration.
Prior the last year my baseline was the Velocity Systems operators utility belt with several pouches attached. Despite its relatively snug fit it was a little bit of an overkill for me, so I switched to the excellent Terra-B Duty Belt, using its padding and mounting basically reloads for my pistol and carbine, a small trauma kit and a holster to it.
Over time i experienced that the padding really didnt do anything good for me and it tended to get soft and bouncy during long term use, resulting in an undesirable shift. So I ditched the padding and got with the plain Terra-B AGB. The AGB, despite its relatively poor laminate stood the test of time, but I removed more and more pouches to achieve more mobility and preventing pouches from stabbing my belly.
As a liner belt I opted for Terra-B’s liner belt which works great as its loop velcro interfaces with the hook material. But I also experienced that using a rigger belt which features a cobra buckle can make a great, or even superior liner. Sure, you dont get the grip of the velcro, but “locking” the AGB under the rigger belts cobra buckle results in an even better felt retention.
Pouchwise I decided to throw over the whole setup. On my outer weakside I go with only one pistol and one rifle magazine pouch. The pistol magazine being a custom Black Trident 9mm pistol mag holder, mounted with TekLok. The TekLok doesn’t interfere with anything and is easy to install, the only thing that bothered me was a little shifting from left to right, which I compensated with a little piece of fabric I sandwiched between the TekLok and the belt.
The rifle magpouch is a Direct Action Gear Speed Reload pouch, which has a great retention, is damn fast but is really arkward to reindex. Given the fact that it holds almost every 30rnd mag on the market and the fact that I usually don’t reindex my “hotmag” under stress the positive properties of this pouch outmatched the negative factors. I first tried to mount the Direct Action pouch with their optional, paracord based, belt mount, bu this failed due the Terra-B AGB still being to thick. I instead mounted the pouch to the PALS column of the belt, resulting in no shifting, but a monthly need to tighten everything up, as the AGBs laminate is a little bit stretchy. Luckily Terra-B already announced to switch to another fabric in the future.
On my six o clock position I carry Velocity Systems excellent LowVis Blowout Kit, which is acessible from the left and the right side. As I wrote several times, Iam not completely sold on the idea of an dedicated IFAK pouch, so when Iam working with a team that has common SOPs I prefer to keep my IFAK in my thigh pocket. But sometimes its better to show everyone where the IFAK is actually located. To even enhance this, I marked the IFAK, using a white Edding. Mounting is done with the attached belt sleeve and two helium ehisper straps, just to keep the IFAK from shifting. As a bonus, it has enough room to accept a complete IFAK and is not only a “Bleeders Kit”.
Now to the Holster, Iam using a Safariland UBL with a legstrap sandwiched between the UBL and the Safariland QLS adapter for added stability. The QLS allows me to change between multiple holsters, without the PITA of constantly reconfiguring half of the belt when changing holsters. I also use the leg strap as a glove-, tool- or a makeshift frag/bang- pouch holder. I currently use Black Tridents Thor holster, which we will also review pretty soon.
On my one o’clock position I carry Black Tridents STB02 tourniquet sleeve. Which allows me for quick-, ambidextrous- and one handed acess to my CAT Tourniquet.
All in all, the evolution of my belt kit also reflects the overall progress of loadouts getting more and more minimalistic. I still got plenty of real estate left, just in case i need more mags or other equipment. Adding a flapped double AR magpouch could be a universal extension to my loadout. I know that the decision to mount only one pistol mag pouch might be a bit controversial, but I generally mount all additional pouches to my chest.
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