Thursday, 1 September 2011

Buckle Up for a Belt Review

I remember many years ago the old plastic stable belts we were issued in cadets, useless for anything more than holding your trousers up at the best of times.  The alternative for exercise was the canvas webbing belt with its metal buckle and the holes through it for attaching the metal hooks of the pouches.  Fiddly as it was it was actually quite effective for what you needed it for.

These days tactical belts have improved a lot, from your special forces operator belts, MOLLE belt platforms and even ballistic protection blast belts to the Police Belts used by foot patrol officers of both police and security officers.

Personally I use a 5.11 Trainer belt for most of my day to day wear.  It's a 1 and 3/4 inch belt which is slightly thinner than the normal 2 inches that most tactical belts are, but it can be worn comfortably with a pair of jeans without looking too "tacleberry" in any situation.  Some people might prefer something like the 5.11 TDU Belt but I like the more substantial feel of the trainer belt with its solid metal buckle and re enforced construction it can support hundreds of kilograms of tension, more than I need to keep my trousers up but makes a suitable rigger belt if you need it for rope access work.  Not overly comfortable but will work in a pinch.  I recommend you check out the full range of 5.11 belts before you look too much further.

Another quick note on belts while we are about it is it the tri lock buckle if you work in policing or security you really need one of these to fasten your belt.  The beauty is it requires two hands (and some practice) to release the buckle and open the belt.  The problem with quick release belt buckles is that your, erm, opponent? Can simply reach out and with a quick squeeze release the mechanism and you find your whole belt kit round your ankles, not only making you look stupid, but putting your CS, Cuffs, Baton etc etc out of your reach at a crucial moment.

Other than those we have Leather Belts from the likes of Peter Jones which are not only a great duty belt but also make good parade or dress uniform two with the neat finish and shiny buckle.

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