A battle belt, also known as war belt or combat belt is load bearing equipment intended to keep important equipment within easy reach.
Shown here is the 5.11 Tactical VTAC Brokos Battle Belt (Buy on Amazon). This is the Viking Tactics Battle Belt as sold by 5.11.
A battle belt consists of a padded sleeve with rows of MOLLE PALS webbing for attaching pouches and accessories. A battle belt typically requires an inner belt (riggers belt, web belt or tactical belt) to secure it around your waist.
Here’s the battle belts we will review today.
Why a Battle Belt?
A battle belt let’s you have all your essential gear within easy reach – and the weight is supported by your hips.
It’s also very quick and easy to put on a belt.
If you need to carry a lot of heavy gear (spare magazines, radios, holsters, IFAK, knife, gerber multi-tool, etc.) a regular belt won’t cut it – there is not enough space for one, and it won’t be comfortable.
Battle belts are tough, and usually have lots of MOLLE webbing – so you can customize and attach utility pouches and accessories of your choosing.
These belts help you keep all your critical gear within easy reach.
The padding and ventilated mesh fabric used will ensure the maximum comfort with a heavy load.
A battle belt is a great option for convenience on the shooting range – whether you are practicing or participating in a 3-gun competition.
Why? Just think of all the gear you need – mags, ears, gloves, multi-tool, ifak, and more.
Whether on a mission, the job, hunting, larping, MilSim, on the shooting range or airsoft, a battle belt can be a great option for you.
For more real world information on the use of a battle belt be sure to read War Belts: Rigging Up for Battle.
Features of the Best Battle Belts
What should you look for in the best battle belt?
It is not uncommon for these to be made from 500 Denier (500D) Cordura or even ultra tough 1000D Cordura.
MOLLE/PALS webbing for customization and compatibility with utility pouches and MOLLE accessories.
PALS (for Pouch Attachment Ladder System) is rows of webbing – heavy-duty nylon stitched onto the belt to allow for attachments. This allows endless versatility for securing items and adding attachments.
Some battle belts have 2 rows of MOLLE and some have 3 rows. More rows of MOLLE usually means a wider belt. It’s a trade-off between size/bulk, comfort, and being able to securely attach all your gear.
Some are compatible with standard belt accessories as well.
Look for light-weight, but understand that these belts are tough and durable – and some have extra high-density plastic inserts to ensure a heavy load can be carried in comfort. These will be heavier than your average belt.
Some have mesh fabric for breath-ability or foam filled pads for comfort.
These belts are usually very wide or broad – and this helps spread out the load being carried evenly on the hip.
Some belts have attachment points for harnesses or combat suspenders. This will help keep everything secure and helps with carrying an extra heavy load.
Many will feature a quick release buckle.
Some will support a drop leg holster (or two) – but this requires “bottom” access to the inner belt.
Please note that for many of these an inner rigger belt, web belt, or tactical belt is required for use with the outer battle belt.
Slotted Belts vs Non-Slotted Belts
Here’s another feature to look for.
Some belts are slotted.
This simply means you can weave the inner belt inside or outside the war belt at different areas.
Why would you do this?
It makes the belt easier to use with holsters and other accessories that won’t mount to MOLLE (especially drop leg holsters.)
HSGI makes some good slotted belt options.
5.11 Tactical Men’s VTAC Brokos Belt
- QUALITY MATERIAL - Constructed using premium and weather-resistant 500D nylon and aerospace mesh interior, this tactical combat belt is comfortable, sturdy, and flexible for maximum performance.
- SUPERIOR LOAD DISTRIBUTION - Integrated with high density polymer inserts, this tactical belt has a ergonomic shape that keeps the weight of your gear distributed evenly across your hips so you can be assured of comfort and reduced fatigue.
- WITH WEB AND LOOP PLATFORMS - Featuring a fully customizable web and loop platforms on the exterior, this combat belt is easily compatible with extra storage packs and pouches that will fit your gear best such as MOLLE and SlickStick.
- SPACIOUS CAPACITY - Hook your gear and head outdoors with this combat belt, targeted to carry tons of supplies and essentials. It features a customizable capacity for more storage and enhanced organization.
- TRUSTED BRAND - Developed with quality in mind, 5.11 Tactical offers a wide range of products that includes shirts, pants, bags, accessories, and more. Defining their brand through challenge and fortitude, 5.11 promises readiness beyond limits.
Our premium battle belt pick is the 5.11 Tactical Men's VTAC Brokos Belt (Buy on Amazon).
This is the Viking Tactics Brokos Battle Belt, sold under the 5.11 Tactical name.
It’s only 8 ounces – but made from tough 500D Cordura.
On the back there is hook and loop ( velcro) instead of MOLLE – You can’t reach anything mounted on the back – so this is a good use of space.
6 inch high-density plastic inserts are used to reinforce the belt – this helps further with heavy loads.
It is padded with 3D spacer mesh for breathability and comfort.
You will need to combine this with a tactical belt or web belt.
Another reason this battle belt is our premium pick – it’s highly compatible with Kydex holsters and sheaths.
Notice the pass through sections in the battle belt allow you to weave the inner web belt outside of the battle belt – where you want to.
This allows you to run a Kydex holster (drop leg or otherwise) without having to figure out another way to attach it to the MOLLE webbing.
Regarding that required tactical or web belt – we’d recommend the VTAC Cobra Riggers Belt (Buy on Amazon), also by Viking Tactics.
By the way, a riggers belt always has some type of V or D ring for a carabiner to clip into. This is because these belts were originally designed for rappelling.
If you don’t need that D ring attachment you can go with a belt like the Blue Alpha Gear Hybrid Cobra EDC Belt (Buy on Amazon).
Another plus for that belt – that streamlined Cobra buckle should fit through most normal belt loops – unlike other belts with Cobra buckles.
Find out more about the VTAC Brokos Battle Belt here, this gives a better idea of how this can be used easily with holsters.
This video is from 5.11 tactical:
Pair it with the 5.11 Tactical Brokos VTAC Harness (Buy on Amazon) when carrying extra heavy loads.
HSGI Laser Slotted Sure Grip Belt
Our next pick is the HSGI Laser Slotted Sure Grip Belt (Buy on Amazon).
As we mentioned earlier this is a slotted belt.
The slotted design allows inner belts to be woven under and over the MOLLE panels, making it compatible with both MOLLE and belt-mounted pouches and holsters.
As compared to a non-slotted belt like the VTAC, this is going to be more expensive.
But, if it works better with the holsters you have, it probably makes sense.
Shown where in MultCam:
HSGI also makes a slim version for less weight.
These belts are padded, too.
Crye Precision Low Profile Battle Belt
The Crye Precision Low Profile Belt (Buy on Amazon) is another top-quality item.
This is made by Crye Precision, which is a top tier manufacturer for tactical gear.
It is expensive, and it’s a non-slotted design.
Buy once, cry(e) once.
There is also a soft armor insert available for this belt (not included).
It is made in the USA, of US materials.
Shown here in Multicam.
It will work with the Crye Precision suspenders (Buy on Amazon).
OneTigris Padded Patrol Belt 1000D Nylon Dual-use MOLLE Belt
OneTigris is paintball quality gear – but if that’s what you need – it’s great.
- Heavy Duty: Constructed by 1000D nylon, which makes this tactical use belt durable and comfortable
- Breathable & Comfortable: Soft padding strap for extra comfort; can be worn with or without
- MOLLE Compatible Belt: 3 rows of webbing straps for MOLLE system pouches and add-on gears
- Quick Release Buckle for Easy Access: Highly useful for airsoft, paintball, military, shooting, hunting and other outdoor activities
- 2 Size Available with Adjustable Length: M: Fits 31"-38.5" waist; L: Fits 36"-44" waist; NOTE: Please remove the buckled strap from the MOLLE panel to adjust the waist size
Condor Gen II Battle Belt MultiCam size M
Here’s another bargain option.
- Contoured shape to aid mobility while kneeling, bending, etc. 2 rows of webbing across belt
This belt has 2 rows of MOLLE webbing, rather than 3 rows. This makes the belt a bit thinner. You want enough MOLLE to securely attach items, but you don’t want so much that the belt is too wide – and a hindrance to movement or comfort.
This particular battle belt is popular for the gun range, airsoft, and paintball – because it’s quite affordable.
For this model, you must supply the web belt or tactical belt – the belt is not included.
The BLACKHAWK Enhanced Military 2.25-Inch Web Belt (Modernized) - Black, Large will work with this war belt.
and lastly, Condor also has a very affordable harness – the Condor 215 H-Harness. It connects to the four ring attachments, and provides additional support and MOLLE webbing.
Condor Gen II Battle Belt Black
- New contoured shape to aid mobility while kneeling, bending, etc
- 50% thinner than regular Battle belt for less bulk
- Side panels with hook & loop closure for easy inner belt threading and drop leg holster attachment
- Two rows of webbing across belt
- Four D-rings for harness
For our budget pick – the Condor Gen II Battle Belt in black is your budget friendly option
A battle belt is a core piece of tactical gear.
The right model will support a heavy load-out, and be customizable to the individual’s needs through the use of MOLLE webbing.
Last update on 2020-08-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API