EDC Belt, Vary Belt, and Struggle Belt Setups

Humans have been making clothes with built-in pockets since at the very least 1200 AD, when our ancestors began slicing slits of their tunics to entry coin purses or keys stashed of their undergarments. Nevertheless, the idea of storing instruments on a belt is way older than that of carrying them in our garments. The frozen physique of Ötzi the iceman, who’s believed to have died between 3400 and 3100 BC, was discovered clad in a leather-based belt. Pouches sewn onto his belt contained a scraper, drill, axe, and fire-starting equipment with flint and tinder fungus. Ever since these historic instances, utility belts have seen steady use, carrying all the things from primitive survival provides and farming implements to swords and six-shooters. They provide faster entry and extra load-carrying functionality than garment pockets, and could be configured in numerous methods to satisfy the duty at hand. With this in thoughts, let’s check out three frequent classes of belts associated to emergency preparedness and self-defense. We have divided them into three classes: EDC Belt, Vary Belt, and Battle Belt/Struggle Belt, every for their very own objective. However for those who’re in a rush, try this video on one man’s customized vary belt setup:

Belt Classes

First, on a regular basis carry belts are designed to be slim and cozy sufficient for every day put on. Most are meant to offer further help for hid carry of a gun, medical gear, and different gadgets. EDC belts additionally provide increased load-bearing capability for pants which are weighed down with something past the traditional telephone, keys, and pockets.

Above: A superb belt makes it simple to hold gear with out continuously stopping to hike up your pants. The pictured Agis appendix holster from Tier 1 Hid distributes weight properly thanks to 2 clips and a versatile midsection.

Second is the class we confer with as vary belts — the sort you’d put on at a capturing class or competitors. These are usually extra overt and durable; gadgets that have been saved contained in the waistband (IWB) at the moment are saved outdoors the waistband (OWB), and extra journal and accent pockets are added. Vary belts generally characteristic a skinny interior belt and removable outer belt linked by hook and loop materials, making it simple to tear off your complete loadout in seconds with out dropping trou. Buckles and webbing are usually bigger and stronger, since concealment is now not a precedence.

Lastly, battle belts or warfare belts are probably the most high-profile and full-featured class. Even for those who’re not actually going into fight, these setups are made to deal with that degree of bodily exercise and abuse. That is the place you’ll usually see extra mission-driven gear loadouts, padded layers for consolation throughout prolonged put on, and in some circumstances, energetic retention holsters that prohibit unauthorized entry to a handgun. You would possibly suppose each inch of those belts will likely be filled with gear, however that’s not essentially true. A warfare belt or battle belt is commonly worn as one half of a bigger load-bearing system, so among the tools might migrate off the waistline and onto a chest rig, vest, or plate provider. Consult with our article “Entrance Towards Enemy” in Challenge 36 for a radical take a look at every of these programs.

Now that you just perceive the divisions between these three sorts of belts, buckle up and browse on as we present among the choices and issues for every. The entire following belts and equipment from Carbon Techniques, G-Code, and Snake Eater Tactical are made within the USA.

On a regular basis Carry Belt

Whether or not you’re sporting a go well with and tie or denims and a T-shirt, there are EDC belt choices that complement virtually any sort of apparel. I are likely to fall into the latter class more often than not, so my belt stays hid beneath the hem of my T-shirt. Fortunately, this implies I’m not restricted to kinds that seem like they belong on the shelf at Males’s Wearhouse.

edc belt

Above: A powerful magnet embedded within the BadgerStrap causes the cut up buckle to snap along with a satisfying click on.

The Basis: I picked up two belts from Carbon Techniques, an organization that designs and manufactures its merchandise in my house state of Arizona. The primary is known as the BadgerStrap, and consists of a intelligent cut up buckle that’s held in place utilizing a robust magnet and CNC-machined, interlocking latch. Though the BadgerStrap was not too long ago discontinued, Carbon Techniques affords the Quicky with an identical magnetic mechanism, in addition to the brand new Cipher, which augments the magnetic latch with a tensioner dial. The entire firm’s belts can be found with single-layer (extra versatile) or double-layer (extra inflexible) nylon webbing in your selection of black, grey, or coyote brown. A hybrid Biothane possibility can also be provided, integrating an outer layer of polyester webbing coated in robust thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). I selected this selection because it prevents fraying or staining, and makes the belt barely stiffer than a single-layer fashion.

The BadgerStrap’s magnetic buckle is rock strong — allegedly robust sufficient to raise a bike — and I like the truth that its styling is comparatively inconspicuous. The nylon and Biothane hybrid building is supportive with out being excessively stiff. I observed the BadgerStrap tends to loosen barely all through the day, particularly when it’s loaded with a holster or different heavy gadgets. The brass slider on the male aspect of the buckle doesn’t grip the webbing as securely as I’d like. That stated, this belt is a superb selection for many who want minimalist loadouts with out an excessive amount of weight on the waistband.

Carbon Techniques additionally supplied a second belt, the Epoch, which demonstrates a heavier-duty EDC possibility. This belt’s CNC-machined buckle incorporates a trigger-shaped launch mechanism on the feminine aspect of the buckle. This seems cool, and permits for simple one-handed opening. Apparently, the filmmakers behind the 007 sequence additionally favored the design, since this belt is featured within the current film No Time to Die. One other good thing about the Epoch is its capability to suit by way of belt loops; not like the split-buckle BadgerStrap and Quicky fashions, you received’t want to slip the Epoch’s buckle off the webbing to swap it between pairs of pants. As for the webbing, this belt options double-layer Coyote Brown nylon.

Carbon Techniques Epoch Coyote Double-Layer 

edc belt war belt

Above: The Carbon Techniques Epoch incorporates a distinctive set off launch mechanism, however our favourite half about this design was the truth that it’s slim sufficient to slip by way of belt loops with out eradicating the buckle.

I discovered the Epoch buckle design to be extra comfy and handy than the BadgerStrap; it’s slimmer and has built-in flexibility between the female and male halves of the buckle, permitting it to contour to my waist. I additionally didn’t have any points with this belt loosening throughout the day, even with a holster, spare magazine, and trauma equipment inside my waistband. Some customers might discover the double-layer nylon to be too stiff — it holds a semi-rigid oval form always. It may be ordered with single-layer or hybrid webbing, relying on the person’s desire and load-bearing wants.

EDC Loadout: Holster Choices

I attempted out two totally different holsters with these belts — one made particularly for appendix carry with a spare magazine, and a extra conventional stand-alone possibility with a separate magazine provider.

edc belt holsters

Notes: The Agis is designed for appendix carry, and features a removable journal provider. Many colours and configurations can be found; proven is Storm Grey Kydex arrange for a Glock 19 and Streamlight TLR-7A weapon gentle. With its canted spare journal, adjustable clips, concealment claw, and versatile midsection, I discovered this holster to be extraordinarily comfy and straightforward to hide beneath a T-shirt.

Tier 1 Hid Agis Holster

Notes: Modular appendix holsters aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, so I additionally tried out a stand-alone holster and magazine provider from VEIL Options. This holster is about up for my G19/TLR-7A, and it really works properly for both appendix or strong-side carry. The MOD Wing helps scale back printing, and the non-obligatory Discreet Carry Ideas clips ensure that it doesn’t transfer round on my belt. The C2 magazine provider is identical sturdy Kydex design featured on the warfare belt/battle belt setup later on this article, however reversed for IWB put on.

veil solutions edc belt holster

Above: VEIL Options’ Mantis light-bearing holster gives a minimalist technique to carry my Glock 19 and Streamlight TLR-7A. Its steel DCC clips guarantee it received’t budge or slide on my belt.

VEIL Options Mantis Holster and VEIL Options C2 Glock Magazine Service

EDC Loadout: Particular person First Support Package (IFAK)

I imagine each ready particular person ought to have fundamental medical gear and Cease the Bleed or equal coaching. I all the time carry an even bigger equipment in my backpack, however an IWB IFAK ensures I’m by no means with out probably the most important life-saving gear.

Fast Casualty Care Min-E-Med IWB Flat

Notes: Once I first noticed this elastic med equipment, I wasn’t positive if it’d find yourself being too cumbersome to put on day by day. I quickly discovered it’s surprisingly slim and cozy, even whereas sitting in a automotive for prolonged intervals. It curves to suit my waist and holds a C-A-T tourniquet, H&H mini compression dressing, Celox hemostatic gauze, and gloves. Two steel clips maintain the equipment securely in place. My solely gripe is that the TQ’s hook materials generally snags on the interior hem of my T-shirt, inflicting it to fray; switching the C-A-T for a SOFTT-W will alleviate this.

Different Gear

Though the remainder of my EDC gear isn’t immediately hooked up to the belt, it’s not directly supported by it. The extra you fill your pockets, the extra help you’ll want.

  • POM Industries pepper spray (hid contained in the waistband)
  • SureFire E2D LED Defender Extremely flashlight
  • Microtech Ultratech single-edge pocket knife
  • Zippo lighter with butane torch insert
  • Fossil leather-based pockets with hid Serepick Bogota Titan lockpicks
  • Tuff Author carabiner
  • iPhone in Otterbox Commuter case with Nite Ize magnetic mount

Vary Belt

There are a lot of cases the place the quantity of substances you possibly can carry, and your ease of entry to it, is extra essential than how discreet it seems. You may be mountain climbing, tenting, or searching within the backcountry, otherwise you may be in a setting the place overt carry is anticipated, reminiscent of a gun vary. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll confer with this class as vary belts. They usually embody two or extra journal pouches for main and secondary weapons, a bigger med equipment, and an OWB pistol holster, plus some other pouches or instruments it’s possible you’ll want. Competitors-oriented belts, reminiscent of these utilized in USPSA or 3-Gun matches, would technically fall into this class, however they’re far more specialised than the multipurpose setup seen right here.

range belt edc belt war belt

Above: When you’re in search of your first vary belt, G-Code affords the Scorpion Low Viz belt as an entire equipment with virtually all the things you’ll want. They’ll even ship it to you absolutely assembled — simply clip on the RTI holster of your selection, and also you’re good to go.

The Basis: Though it’s actually potential to piece collectively a spread belt setup from off-the-shelf parts, there are additionally a number of corporations that supply vary belt starter kits. I chosen this G-Code Scorpion Low Viz Belt system, which relies round a two-piece Contact Collection Operator’s Belt. Its 1.5-inch-wide interior belt matches by way of regular belt loops, and is Velcro-lined to connect to the outer belt. A G-hook secures the belt as soon as it’s tightened. The outer belt is constituted of dual-layer 1.75-inch nylon, with the outside layer wrapped in wear-resistant Cordura. A sturdy Cobra buckle is normal. Belts can be found in black, OD inexperienced, coyote tan, wolf grey, MultiCam, or MultiCam Black.

Every Low Viz Belt equipment comes with three G-Code Scorpion rifle mags, three Scorpion pistol mags, an Optimum Drop RTI pistol holster platform with elastic leg strap, and an RTI Rotating Belt Mount for an adjunct of your selection. The latter two gadgets are appropriate with removable holsters, pouches, and equipment that characteristic G-Code’s RTI mounting system. I discovered the belt equipment to be very versatile, and have used it at Metal Problem and 2-Gun matches, in addition to for among the pistol and carbine lessons featured in my Closing Weapon column.

Vary Loadout: Holster

G-Code’s RTI mounting system options three posts that lock into holes on the belt-mounted RTI plate. This permits the wearer to simply swap between holsters for various weapons with out a want for particular instruments or elimination of the belt. Many producers provide RTI-compatible holsters, however I made a decision to get a holster straight from G-Code together with my belt.

range belt edc belt war belt

Above: The included Optimum Drop RTI mount positions the pistol grip even with the belt line, making it simpler to attract rapidly. It’s not practically as cumbersome as an old-school drop-leg holster.

Notes: The OSLr incorporates a pre-installed RTI hanger and durable Kydex building in your selection of black, OD inexperienced, coyote tan, grey, or MultiCam. A comfortable “fuzz” end is non-obligatory for those who want that over naked Kydex. This holster feels well-made, with a constructive click on as my G19 slides into place. G-Code doesn’t provide a model that’s appropriate with my present Streamlight TLR-7A carry gentle, so I went with the SureFire X300-U. I additionally chosen the RMR minimize possibility ($5 additional) and black anodized {hardware} (one other $5). Paired with the Optimum Drop platform that got here with the belt, the OSLr sits comfortably close to the pure resting level of my hand, making it simpler to attract rapidly. The elastic strap prevents the holster from shifting as I run, kneel, or go susceptible.

Vary Loadout: Journal Carriers

A complete of six comfortable journal pouches have been included with the Scorpion Low Viz belt equipment.

G-Code Scorpion Low Vis Belt Package

  • MSRP: $361 (As Configured) / $136 (Simply the Belt)

G-Code OSL RTI Kydex Holster

  • MSRP: $83 (As Configured)

G-Code 6-Pack Scorpion Softshell Package

Notes: These magazine carriers are constituted of rubberized polymer woven along with elastic shock twine, which could be loosened or tightened to regulate retention. The rifle carriers can accommodate AR-15, AR-10, and AK magazines; the pistol carriers match single- or double-stack mags and can be found in Tall or Quick (we selected Quick for Glock 19 mags). This can be a notable benefit over arduous Kydex magazine carriers for those who plan to make use of your belt with a wide range of weapon varieties. The elastic design does job holding mags in place, and permits them to be eliminated by pulling straight up or levering outward to interrupt retention. R2 and P2 Operator mounts could be hooked up on to the belt, or they are often stacked atop one another to preserve belt area.

range belt buckling

Above: Elimination of the G-Code belt is easy: Disconnect the Cobra buckles on the belt and leg strap, then pull the hook-and-loop materials aside. The interior belt will maintain your pants the place they belong.

Vary Loadout: Particular person First Support Package (IFAK)

To utilize the RTI Rotating Belt Mount, I picked up an RTI-compatible med pouch from G-Code. Alternatively, a normal med pouch may very well be hooked up on to the belt utilizing clips or MOLLE-compatible comfortable loops.

Notes: Measuring 6 by 5 by 2 inches, this zippered clamshell pouch is lined with an array of elastic loops for medical provides. I stuffed it with provides for main trauma and range-day cuts/scrapes: C-A-T tourniquet, Rescue Necessities strain dressing, QuikClot hemostatic gauze, NAR S-rolled gauze, HyFin Vent chest seals, shears, medical tape, assorted Band-Aids, antiseptic wipes, gloves, and a mini Sharpie marker. The pouch itself is nice, however I’m not bought on the RTI mounting system for this software — it causes the med equipment to stay out additional off the belt, making it really feel slightly cumbersome. A direct-mount equipment would work higher, until you must swap pouches ceaselessly.

G-Code Contact Med Pouch

Different Gear

I completed off the vary belt setup with the next gadgets:

  • Blue Drive Gear Ten-Pace Dump Pouch for shotgun shells or different free gadgets
  • ITW Grimloc carabiner to retain Mechanix gloves

Battle Belt / Struggle Belt

A warfare belt or battle belt takes the idea of a spread belt to the subsequent degree, providing a platform that may be worn in an expert context together with different load-bearing gear. You would possibly put on a spread belt just a few weekends every month, however responsibility belts for regulation enforcement and army personnel want to resist steady every day put on. That features high-intensity actions like working, climbing, and hand-to-hand combating, in addition to lengthy intervals of strolling, standing, or sitting. Sturdiness and luxury are paramount, as is retention of all tools — I shouldn’t have to elucidate why dropping management of your weapon or different gear in an actual battle could be disastrous.

war belt

Above: We mixed the Snake Eater Tactical three-piece Struggle Belt with a Stage 2 retention holster and Kydex magazine carriers from VEIL Options. This setup is maneuverable and cozy sufficient to put on whereas working, leaping, climbing, or crawling.

Huge, padded belts are normal on this class, since they supply probably the most consolation and help for heavier loadouts. Essentially the most conventional strategy is to slip a belt by way of a padded sleeve that’s lined in MOLLE webbing. These sleeved programs could be worn over untucked shirts or jackets since they aren’t hooked up to the person’s pants. Nevertheless, they’re cumbersome and will shift or rotate throughout bodily exercise — that’s not preferrred for those who look forward to finding your gear in the identical place each time.

Suspenders (as seen on outdated U.S. army ALICE programs) and belt keeper loops (as seen on many LE responsibility belts) have been used to stop motion, however Velcro hook-and-loop layers are a extra trendy resolution. The belt I chosen comes from Snake Eater Tactical, and options three layers linked on this method.

Snake Eater Tactical Struggle Belt System

The Basis: The SET Struggle Belt Three-Half System begins with a skinny and lightweight piece of 1.5-inch Hypalon material, with a easy pass-through loop on one finish for tensioning. This is absolutely the minimal wanted to carry up a pair of pants, however it’s efficient. Subsequent, a 4mm-thick layer of closed-cell foam is wrapped in breathable nylon mesh, with hook materials sewn to 1 aspect and loop materials sewn to the opposite. This creates a skinny but breathable padded layer between the interior and outer belts. It’s wider than the opposite belt layers in an effort to present cushioning for holster mounts and different arduous equipment. Lastly, the 1.75-inch outer belt is constructed from a double layer of Kind 13 nylon parachute webbing, with an interior layer of hook materials and a black Cobra buckle. Closely bolstered stitching all through this belt reveals that it was constructed with longevity in thoughts. The SET Struggle Belt is made to order; at time of publication, with a lead time of 4 to eight weeks.

This three-part system can be utilized as a two-part system. For instance, the center and outer layers could be worn over a jacket or untucked shirt, very similar to a standard padded belt (with the aforementioned drawbacks). The center layer could be eliminated for a barely slimmer waist profile, however after sporting the complete system, I can’t think about sporting it with out the padding — it makes an enormous distinction. The SET Struggle Belt is head and shoulders above an everyday vary belt for long-term every day put on.

Struggle Loadout: Holster

Given the character of this belt setup, an energetic retention holster is a logical selection. Passive retention, as seen on the opposite holsters on this article, depends on friction induced by the form of the holster to maintain the weapon in place. Pull arduous sufficient, and it’ll come out. Lively retention provides at the very least one machine that should be launched earlier than drawing the gun. It ensures the gun received’t get knocked free when you’re working round, or extra importantly, received’t be simply accessible to any dangerous man who tries to take it.

war belt holster

Above: Urgent the thumb break lever causes the retention hood to snap ahead, permitting the gun to be drawn usually. This takes some getting used to, however it beats dropping your gun.

Notes: The Fett incorporates a thumb break — primarily a small lever on the within fringe of the holster — that should be pressed firmly to launch a spring-loaded hood. When the hood flips ahead, the gun could be drawn usually from passive retention. Every holster is drilled for numerous mounting patterns together with Safariland, G-Code RTI, and Tek-Lok; I picked the ever present Safariland Mid-Experience hanger ($20 additional). It’d be simple so as to add a thigh strap to this setup if desired, however I felt it was secure sufficient with out one. Regardless that I’m not working at an LE company or different job that requires a retention holster, I respect the peace of thoughts it gives. You by no means know whenever you would possibly wish to do some tactical cartwheels. When the hood isn’t activated, the Fett works nice for vary follow or competitors.

VEIL Options Fett Responsibility Holster 

Struggle Loadout: Journal Carriers

Whereas my vary belt got here with three rifle mags and three pistol mags, I picked up two and two for the warfare belt. It’s because I’d usually put on it with different load-bearing gear that comprises extra magazines, reminiscent of a chest rig or plate provider.

war belt magazine carriers

Notes: Common magazine pouches have execs and cons, however application-specific, molded Kydex carriers present probably the most safe match and retention. They’re additionally sturdy and straightforward to scrub. VEIL Options’ C2 sequence, which stands for Competitors & Carry, is accessible with a reversible polymer belt clip or an non-obligatory Tek-Lok clip ($8 additional per provider). The pistol carriers can be found for Glock, SIG, HK, CZ, 2011, and B&T functions; the rifle carriers can be found for AR-15, AR-10, and AK mags. Quite a few finishes and colours are provided, from plain black to Rhodesian Brushstroke. I’m a fan of the slim profile and robust retention supplied by these C2 carriers.

VEIL Options V2 Pistol Magazine Carriers/Rifle Magazine Carriers

Struggle Loadout: Particular person First Support Package (IFAK)

Very like the magazines, this medical gear is supplemented by gear in my chest rig or plate provider. This belt IFAK serves as my first-line trauma gear. Second-line trauma gear and “boo-boo” equipment gadgets are saved elsewhere.

Notes: The Micro TKN consists of an elastic sleeve and a tear-away insert that may be pulled out utilizing the tabs on both finish. It may be bought absolutely loaded or empty; I packed mine with an H&H mini compression bandage, QuikClot hemostatic gauze, HyFin Vent Compact chest seals, medical tape, and gloves.

North American Rescue C-A-T Holder

Since my micro trauma equipment doesn’t have room for the standard TQ, I picked up this provider from NAR. It attaches securely to the belt with snap straps, and has an elastic cowl that protects the Velcro on the C-A-T tourniquet from dust or abrasions. The straps on the again provide a handy place to retailer a set of shears.

Different Gear

Simply since you can load down your warfare belt with six AR mags, 4 pistol mags, throwing knives, and shark-repellent spray doesn’t imply you ought to. The one merchandise I’d think about including is a dump pouch if the scenario known as for it. It may be used for biking by way of numerous partial mags throughout reload drills, choosing up brass on the finish of a spread session, or carrying free ammo for particular weapons (e.g. shotguns).

war belt plate carrier setup

Above: A warfare belt will usually function one piece of a bigger load-bearing gear system, reminiscent of this Tyr Tactical PICO-DS plate provider. See our article Right here for an in depth take a look at all of its parts.


  • Q: What’s a spread belt?
    A: A secure platform that holds gear, however can also be versatile for consolation, and durable sufficient to help a holster and different heavy gadgets.
  • Q: What’s a MOLLE Belt?
    A: A purposeful load bearing utility belt designed to carry holsters, magazine carriers, pouches, and different important gear.
  • Q: What’s the finest shooters belt?
    A: That’s extremely depending on what the belt goes for use for. However belt will likely be sturdy, able to carrying all the things that’s required, and can stand as much as abuse.

Closing Ideas

Very like the emergency preparedness “line gear” Tom Marshall wrote about in Challenge 38, it’s not unreasonable to have just a few belt setups for various functions. A lot of you studying this text received’t have to spend a giant chunk of change on a full-blown warfare belt. Just about everybody wants on a regular basis belt, until you put on a bikini or silkies 24/7, through which case we hope you’re good at hand-to-hand fight and MacGyvering your manner out of hazard. As a substitute of constructing a jam-packed belt that might make Batman jealous, think about the conditions you face most frequently, and deal with discovering probably the most environment friendly technique to carry what you actually want.

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