If you are in law enforcement, emergency services, or a civilian who moves around with handy equipment that you need, a tactical belt is indeed a lifesaver. It helps you solve the problem of carrying tools around and helps to hold up your pants firmly. Depending on your purpose for using a tactical belt, you must opt for the one that is a combination of function, comfort, and style. You need to ensure you are getting the best tactical belt available in the market to get your job done with ease.
Let’s delve into this article to have a deep insight into what a tactical belt is, the function, and the different types available at our disposal.
What is a tactical belt, and why would you need one?
Having a proper understanding of what a tactical belt is used for will help you make the right choice depending on your profession of purpose for wanting one.
Well, a tactical belt is a multi-tool attachment that has become a part of the uniform of military men, cops, firefighters, and other mission-specific personnel who need it as part of their everyday operations to support all the essential gear required to get the job done successfully. The best tactical belt must be flexible, durable, and MOLLE-compatible to hold an assortment of equipment required as a first responder or member of the armed forces.
In choosing a tactical belt, you should consider the fit, length, stiffness, and adjustability so that the load on it does not end up weighing or slowing you down. Tactical belts are an essential part of a soldier or law enforcement officer’s uniform, considering that they use them when executing sensitive and concealed missions to pack the necessary equipment to get the job done successfully.
You’ll discover that it is mostly used as a holster attachment for concealed-carry arms and backup ammunition that can be relied on during operation. As first responder personnel, a tactical belt helps you have your gear within reach and firmly secured to your waist while giving all necessary first aid.
A challenging and rugged tactical belt makes carrying all your essential equipment effortless than a regular belt because they do not restrict your movement, flip or sag even with the load on them. Tactical belts are versatile and useful in different environments where they can serve other life-saving purposes. It is a multipurpose built gear for getting through a task or mission without delay and success.
Different types of tactical belts:
Below, you’ll learn about the different tactical belts you can choose from depending on your purpose.
Gun belts: A tactical gun belt is rigid, stiff, and thick, unlike a regular belt such that it can hold up your firearms and pants firmly, making it ideal for military or police use. Internal stiffeners help prevent sagging, stretching, and twisting wildly when a weapon is holstered on it.
Tactical gun belts usually have many convenient pouches on them, thus leaving your hands free to perform other tasks as you deem fit. While the stiffness may be uncomfortable, you need to get used to it, given that it is part of your everyday accessory and will last you for years.
Duty belts: Tactical duty belts are similar to gun belts but perform many more functions. They are designed to be rigid to support heavy gear such as duty weapons, batons, flashlights, OC spray, handcuffs, keys, alongside other daily accessories and holsters.
Duty belts are not meant to be worn off-duty because of the rigidity and stiffness, causing soreness or fatigue to the wearer if worn for long. It also needs some break-in time to get comfortable wearing it due to the complete construction and internal fastener to achieve stiffness.
An instructor belt differs from others with a clipping mechanism, heavy-duty seams, and buckles that can support a minimum of 227kg and over. The triple-reinforced stitching on it serves as added strength, reinforcement, and balancing when training people on mountain tops for rescue operations or emergency rappelling.
The instructor belt can easily be clipped into a secure system and have enough tensile strength to withstand a fall. It is a perfect option if you are not carrying a gun or attaching any gear to your tactical belts.
Web belts can be easily identified by the lack of holes in the card, which you can adjust to the exact size you need, unlike pins found in a typical belt. They make use of webbing and also a buckle that makes use of friction for tensioning. Online belts are made for everyday use instead of anchoring, rappelling, or for holding gear. However, you can use it to conceal and carry if the buckle is tensioned, and the webbing is rigid. Online belts also referred to as military belts, vary in quality depending on the webbing and type of buckle used.
Tactical battle belts mainly hold extra gear, storage pouches, and other essential gears because it has enough spaces for several pockets and bags. Since they are more versatile, comfortable, reliable, and thicker than a regular belt, they are perfect for shooting competitions, sports, etc. but mainly used by the military or marine.
Battle belts are a convenient and easy way to carry essential gear needed during a firefight, given that it is more accessible than a backpack. You can wear your battle belt with a plate carrier vest or suspenders for even weight distribution, thus reducing weight on your hips.
Benefits of tactical belts:
A primary benefit of using tactical belts as uniformed personnel is holding your pant in place to focus on your job rather than constantly adjusting your clothing.
It helps maintain a professional look, enhances the team’s uniformity, serves as a means of identification, and makes it easy to carry a flag during a parade. Tactical belts are an essential part of law enforcement, military, or rescue teams because they give them instant access to gear that they need to diffuse a volatile situation or save lives.
Depending on your profession, tactical belts carry essential tools needed for survival, especially when in battle as a soldier and run out of ammunition or First Aid kits that can be administered on an injured person before the medical team’s arrival.
Tactical belts are durable, flexible, rugged, long-lasting. They have the right amount of support to hold necessary equipment, unlike regular straps, making it a favorite for those who use it as everyday wear in their line of duty.
Key Features to look for in a tactical belt
Before shopping for the ideal tactical belts, there are some basic features you need to pay attention to ensure you get value.
- Price: You need not worry about tactical belts’ prices because they are available in different price ranges depending on your budget and purpose. For less than $20, you can get a belt that will serve you well for a short time. But if you need a tactical belt made with high-quality materials and has reinforced stitching for durability, added strength, and resistance, you will have to spend more. Today, many brands are producing quality tactical belts at affordable prices to satisfy their customers’ budgets.
- Quality/Material: A significant feature to get value out of the best tactical belt is the quality and type of material used in producing it. The materials should be firm, thick, and have reinforced stitching with heavy-duty tensile strength. It would help if you opted for those made with high-quality nylon, cotton canvas, and fine-grain leather with robust construction and solid build, making it strong and durable. If you want a tactical belt with added stability and strength, check those with multiple rows of reinforced stitching. If the material is a significant consideration, nylon is the best option due to its breathability, tear-resistant, and quick-drying when it comes in contact with water or sweat.
- Width, Thickness: When choosing the best tactical belts, the width is essential since it helps with even weight distribution to hold your gear effectively. Using a wider belt reduces issues of sagging and twisting. Your options should be between 1.25 – 2 inches thick. The width, thickness, and rigidity are vital in making a tactical belt firm enough to hold the gear properly without getting floppy, loose, twisted, or pinched, making it easy to draw any tool without hindrance. Let the volume of equipment you will be carrying on your belt serve as a guide when considering the rigidity, thickness, and width.
- Comfort: Since you’ll be wearing your tactical belt for most of your working hours, it should be comfortable to prevent tiring out quickly. Even though tactical belts made with leather are very comfortable, they require a break-in period. With Nylon material, all you need do is get the right size to stay comfortable all day. To enjoy wearing your tactical belt, ensure the buckles are top-notch to avoid adjustability issues, which will keep you uncomfortable. Although there may be times you will need to sacrifice comfort because of the type of gear you want your belt to hold, safety must always be a priority.
- Appearance/Aesthetics: We know you want to look good and a project that also with your choice of the tactical belt. There is a belt that will fit and suit the image you want to project, depending on your profession and personality. You can choose the battle belt for a military-style appearance but note that you’ll attract attention to yourself if you are a military officer: You can always create your style. Tactical belts are available in different colors, sizes, quality, and materials to suit your needs and match your outfits.
- Top Brands: Here, you’ll get a sneak peek into the two major brands that set the pace in tactical belts production.
5.11 Belt Review:
The 5.11 tactical belt was launched in the late ’60s by a mountain climber based in Irvine, California. It is a multi-functional patrol belt made with rip-resistant nylon webbing that can endure constant tactical activities. With its non-metallic buckle, it is perfect for airport, courthouse, and security checkpoints without setting off alarms.
As part of its functionality and versatility, you can also convert this ergonomic belt into a carry strap or secure tie-down. If you want a tactical belt with quadruple-stitched reinforcements that can safely support lots of gear without fear of ripping, your best bet will be the 5.11 tactical belt.
From Irwindale, California, Condor has been producing tactical belts for first-responders, law enforcement, military, and hunters for over 25 years. Made with high-quality nylon, it is fastened with a quick-release buckle. It has two removable magazine pouches for extra storage, alongside rivets to hold holsters, an Alice clip, a flashlight with other handy tools.
You’ll also find the additional retainer loops useful in holding a water bottle or med-pack that is very valuable on a mission. Condor tactical belt is ergonomic, adjustable, lightweight, and comfortable to wear all day despite its sturdiness.
Even though tactical belts are more or less designed for a functional purpose for many professionals in survival, rescue, and enforcement, it has become a much-desired piece that can be blended with everyday wear for everyone depending on the need. Beyond holding up your pants, tactical belts are built to comfortably hold essential gear as you move around without restricting your movement or slowing you down.
To get the best from your tactical best, ensure you know what mission you want to accomplish and the volume of load you are putting on it before placing an order.