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What are the differences between some of the more popular tactical and EDC belts? This article is meant to highlight the different traits and features of a sampling of these belts. Most of us have our subjective favorites, but let’s focus on the objective facts.Tactical belts tested:
EDC Belts Tested:
And before you judge me too harshly, I tend to order belts on the large side so that I can wear them over bulkier gear in the winter or allow for IWB carry. My insecurities about being judged aside, let’s move on to the objective measurements of the belts.
Each belt was weighed dry and then wet. Consistent with other testing by Qore Performance, each belt spent an hour submerged in water, allowed to drip dry for sixty seconds, and then weighed on a food scale.
In case you’re wondering why weight matters, check out a couple of other articles comparing Qore Performance’s EXO to the Crye Precision JPC 2.0 and Velocity Systems’ SCARAB LT. Here’s the short version – every extra ounce of weight equates to 132 pounds over the course of a mile while walking, and every extra pound equates to 2,112 pounds over that same mile. This is why ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain.
In an effort to provide an overview of the different features in one place, the chart covers more than just weight. It covers widths, available colors, MSRP, number of attachment points, load ratings, etc. Much of the information comes directly from the manufacturers’ websites (e.g., MSRP, load rating and available colors), and other information is based on direct testing and observation (e.g., number of usable attachment slots and weight).
|Blue Force Gear CHLK Belt||G-Code Contact Series Operator’s Belt||AWS SMU Operator Composite MOLLE Belt||Ronin Shuto Belt||Ares Gear Aegis Belt, Limited||Applied Gear Hybrid EDC Belt|
|Weight (Dry) - with inner belt||12.625 oz.||1 lb. 1.375 oz.||1 lb. 3.375 oz.||N/A (not available at time of testing)||N/A||N/A|
|Weight (Wet) - with inner belt||1 lb. 0.375 oz.||1 lb. 6.625 oz.||1 lb. 7.75 oz.||N/A (not available at time of testing)||N/A||N/A|
|Weight (Dry) - without inner belt||9.625 oz.||12.25 oz.||13.5 oz.||10.5 oz.||9.375 oz.||8.875 oz.|
|Weight (Wet) - without inner belt||11.75 oz.||15.25 oz.||1 lb. 0.125 oz.||13.375 oz.||10.625 oz.||10.625 oz.|
|D Ring / Personal Retention Compatible||Yes - standard||Not as tested (available for + $22)||Yes - standard||No - not available||N/A||N/A|
|MOLLE / Attachment Slots||3x26 (only 21 usable because of tether points)||24||26||21||N/A||N/A|
|Available Colors||Black, Ranger Green, Coyote, Multicam||Black, Ranger Green, Coyote, Multicam, Multicam Black, Wolf Grey||Black, Ranger Green, Coyote, Multicam, Multicam Black, Woodland||Black, Ranger Green, Coyote, Multicam||Black, Ranger Green, Coyote, Multicam (Arid, Classic, Tropic, Black), Wolf Grey, Kryptic (Highlander, Nomad, Typhon, Yeti)||Black, OD Green, Tan, Coyote, Wolf Grey|
|Available Sizes||30” - 44” (2” increments)||S - 4XL (28” - 56”)||XS - XL (24” - 43”)||XS - 3XL (27" - 65”)||2XS - 4XL (30” - 44”)||S - 4XL (28” - 47”)|
|Load Rating / Tensile Strength||3.5K lbs.||No information available||5K lbs.||5K lbs. Multicam / 7K lbs. solid colors||N/A||N/A|
|Liner Attachment Method||Hook & loop interface||Hook and loop interface - options for inner loop belt with G-hook or padded||Hook & loop interface||Hook & loop interface||N/A||N/A|
|Other||Unique Shape||Easy to adjust buckle for sitting or standing|
|MSRP (as of 30 Oct. 2022)||$299.95||$155.94 (+$22 with D ring)||$127.70||$141.00||$144.99||$60.25|
And to keep this article for being too long, feel free to check below to see photographic evidence of the charted weights, above.
Blue Force Gear CHLK Belt
G-Code Contact Series Operator Belt
AWS SMU Operator MOLLE Belt
Ronin Tactics Shuto Belt
Ares Gear Aegis Belt, Limited
Applied Gear Hybrid EDC Belt
Everyone has their subjective favorite, but the information in the above chart should help inject some objectivity into your belt setup decisions - whether you are buying a new EDC belt or new tactical kit.
Gunnar Anderson is a former EMT, rescue diver, and prosecutor who now trains and advises both law enforcement and emergency management.
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