A while back I decided that it was time for a new belt setup, especially for missions in which I would opt for plate carriers over chest rigs, as I am forced to run a slightly heavier belt setup with a rig due to the limited MOLLE real estate on your typical low-pro rig. Let me just start there: I don’t particularly like to have a lot of stuff on my belt. My ideal belt setup is to have just the bare necessities on there and run the rest on a carrier – I’m talking about your holster, dump pouch and maybe an IFAK.
After some research I stumbled across Intelligent Armour, a small British company with quite a wide range of belts. I picked the 1” Lightweight Combat Belt for several reasons I will explain below. I hope that I have made the right decision. The reason I’m not sure yet is because I haven’t thoroughly tested it yet. That will happen in a few weeks time.
This belt is truly a thing of beauty in terms of its simplicity. Held together by just three rows of heavy stitching, of which only two are strictly functional as the other one holds the brand label into place, there’s barely anything liable to break. The material itself is, in essence, nothing more than webbing in Crye Multicam. The most complicated, and most important, piece is the belt buckle. Intelligent Armour has opted to use Austrialpin cobra buckles in all its belts. Austrialpin uses CNC’ed aluminum for these strong and simple buckles. Every buckle lists its strength and max carrying weight in kN, so the risk of straining it is minimal with proper knowledge. All in all, it feels like the construction will be up to abuse, as you can expect from such a company.
Aside from the Cobra buckle, the belt itself is relatively featureless, as you might expect from a lightweight combat belt. For me, the most important feature is that it is just 1” wide. This means that it has the same dimensions as milspec MOLLE webbing. Due to those dimensions it is fairly simple to mount a few pouches to it – nothing but the essentials.
Excess length can be stowed away using the plastic fastener, but other than that it is plain.
I’ll be using the belt for two things: to keep my trousers up and to run a dump pouch, IFAK and an IMI Defense lowride holster. One other thing I don’t really like are thigh-mounted holsters as, in my limited experience using one during my short stint in the Dutch Armed Forces, they are extremely good at dragging your trousers down. That’s why I prefer a design directly mounted to my belt – the higher the better. However, due to plate carrier design and mounted pouches, I am forced to use a lowride system. It’s not extremely pretty but it works.
So far, I have only worn it one day in everyday conditions, but I’m surprised how comfortable the belt is. Usually, my trousers are a little too big in the waist but I didn’t notice the belt at all, probably due to its thinness. I’m looking forward to trying them in slightly more strenuous circumstances.
Extremely simple design
Nicely made and strong Austrialpin Cobra buckle
Just wide enough to mount pouches to it
Unusable as a base belt for thigh- or drop leg holsters due to their weight and design
As far as I can judge without putting it up to actual heavy use, this belt is extremely well made and thought out. I like the simplicity of the design and I hope it performs well for my intended use. I’ll post additional information as soon as I have it!