It seems like I have reviewed a ton of belts in the past few months, and honestly they have all been good products, though I have found that each belt has it’s place, and the “thing” it is best at. I don’t think there is “one belt to hold them all”, and that you should go with a belt that is better for the purpose you need at the time.
TacShield sent me their tactical gun belt for review, and it is a decent contender in it’s niche, which is, well, a “tactical” gun belt.
Construction and Operation
The unisex belt is one and a half inches wide and constructed of double-wall seven thousand pound Mil-Spec webbing. It has a stiffener sewn inside at the locations you would normally wear a holster/magazine/whatever while leaving the spine area a bit more relaxed. That design (for having stiff and non-stiff sections is patent pending). So basically the belt is NOT stiff throughout the length. The end of the belt has hook and loop fastener for fine tuning and locking the end down.
The two thousand pound rated AustriAlpin Cobra Buckle comes to a single point on one side and inserts into a socket on the opposite side. When it engages there is a nice audible “click”. You unbuckle is by squeezing simultaneously against two tabs on either side of the socket portion of the buckle. One nice safety feature is that you have to depress both sides together or the buckle will not release. All of the angles are smooth and rounded so there is nothing to snag on.
- Small: 30″-34″ (SM)
- Medium: 34″-38″ (MD)
- Large: 38″-42″ (LG)
- Color Option: Black only
- Width: 1.5 Inch
- Buckle: QR double lever (a.k.a. AustriAlpin Cobra Buckle)
- Material: double-wall 7,000 lb. Mil-Spec webbing
- MSRP $59.99
Overall the belt is solidly constructed with strong materials–I think your body will come apart long before the belt does. One nice thing is that it is very simple. Literally a length of webbing and the two piece buckle. No additional loops. No roller and pin. No need to weave the end of the belt, or double it back. Just set the size, click the buckle and go.
If you have not yet used a Cobra Buckle (also used on the ITS Discreet Messenger Bag), they are pretty cool. The biggest benefit is that you can set the belt to your preferred size and then just disconnect it as needed (rather than having to unthread it from the buckle). The only problem with it is that it is generally a little wider than the belt loops.
The belt also functions well as an “over belt”, that you can preset gear on it and clip together over your pants (without threading it). The only issue is that there is nothing to anchor it to your under belt, so it could potentially ride up (though if that is something you are going to be doing you could get some simple little hook and loop lengths to anchor at a few points). With enough gear on it I don’t think it would be a problem during active use, but if you have it on while in a vehicle or something…
As far as the rest of the belt, well, it is webbing. Crazy strong double-wall 7,000 lb. Mil-Spec webbing, though. It is not overly stiff which is nice, but other than that there is nothing overly special about it. It is definitely a “tactical” styled belt, being wider than regular pants’ belt loops can accommodate (though if you normally wear 5.11s, or something, you should be fine).
A little annoyance with the setup is that even on “tactical” pants with wider belt loops the buckle will not easily fit through them. I found I needed to fully remove the male portion of the buckle for removing the belt. This was much faster than trying to force the buckle through the loops amidst copious cursing. Or just use it as an over belt, which honestly is where it really shined the most for me.
The webbing through the male buckle itself never loosened on me, it stayed tightly locked in. I’ve had other belts that tended to slip a bit over time (or with heavier usage). Another point to note is that the limit of your adjustment is to the double walled portion of the material (with the stiffeners)–you can only adjust within the length of the “tail”.
I really did like the belt not being “stiff” throughout the entire length. Having that little bit of flex was nice and it didn’t dig into my back over a long day.
Overall the belt is well constructed and comes in at a decent price, especially considering that the Cobra Buckle alone is nearly a third of the cost (street price, that is). MSRP: $59.99.
I do like the idea of a secure buckle that I don’t have to thread and cinch–being able to set it once is much more useful in my opinion. I think the overall best usage for this belt is for a quick clip over and go belt (rather than a daily “keep your pants up” belt). It would be ideal for firearms classes where you may need to drop gear in a hurry (otherwise you’d potentially have to unthread a belt and gear).
The belt is American made which I also definitely appreciate.
You can find more information at their website: http://tacshield.com/product/105