If you’re a gunfighter, the battle belt, war belt, or tactical belt (whatever you prefer to call this piece of equipment) can be effectively worn with your favorite plate carrier, adding to the versatility and overall effectiveness of your combat kit.
As seen in some of our other articles, combo setups just like the battle belt and plate carrier combo have unique advantages to the operating community.
What Are The Benefits Of Running a Plate Carrier And Battle Belt Setup?
If you’re designing a whole new platform or just tweaking your kit, adding a battle belt to the already versatile carrier platform has many advantages to take into consideration. Here are a few of our selected advantages to take into consideration while setting up your kit.
The 3to2 punch ideology for every combo setup is the idea that you have three options with only two pieces of gear. You can wear both, just the belt, or just the carrier thus providing 3 platforms for different scenarios.
Maintaining readiness is another key advantage in this combo. Maintaining a battle belt with the essentials, allows you to drop the heavy carrier while maintaining immediately accessible gear on your person. Let’s say you have to run to the head, fill sandbags, or just going to chow in the FOB, carrying just the battle belt is a low profile-lightweight way to maintain readiness.
This combo can provide an advantage for gear retention during escape and evasion. A scenario we never want to be in, during EEs drastic actions may have to be taken in order to stay alive. Depending on the bug out situation, equipment and gear may have to be destroyed or left behind. Being able to drop your carrier to cover vast distances in a short time could save your life. This combo gives you the luxury of keeping some of the necessary items.
You’ll also gain a distinct advantage by being able to carry more gear on your MOLLE platform. Noting that not every mission objective requires you to be loaded down like a Call of Duty Juggernaut, it comes in handy to have a few extra magazines, medical gear, or other job-specific gear on your person.
Maintaining a decent load out on your battle belt can take the weight off your back and shoulders. As most infantrymen know, carrying a full combat load on your shoulders eventually leads to fatigue in your lower back and shoulders. Spread loading onto your hips can alleviate some of this.
What To Keep In Mind?
The two provide a larger platform for gear letting the operator have more free space if needed. There’s a potential of changing your mind on what to put on your plate carrier with the battle belt setup. Some militants like to run just a single row of magazines around the belly area, offering them the ability to get closer to the ground. Without the battle belt, you would probably have to run a double row to maintain proper load out.
Make sure to check in with your unit’s SOPs. Some line companies don’t allow for a lot of individual customization when it comes to your kit. There’s reasons behind this but I’ll just keep my opinions about that to myself.
As we all know, “gear ain’t cheap.” Before buying anything you’re going to want to read reviews and specs on the gear you’re considering. If you’re in a solid gun slinger community, you should be able to get your hands on different belts to get some trial runs in. Make sure you know what you like and don’t like with each specific piece.
Just because you have the option of moving gear to different locations, doesn’t reduce the weight. The overall weight doesn’t change unless you’re adding or subtracting gear. So you’re going to have to decide how much weight you want on your hips and how much on your shoulders.
If you’ve never worn a loaded-up battle belt with your carrier, it does affect your hip movement slightly. Keep this in mind as your muscles adjust to a different spread out.
How To Set Up a Battle Belt With a Plate Carrier?
During customization, one of the main things to consider is accessibility. Always maintain a few magazines for speed reloads in the most accessible place possible.
Before I started paper pushing, I always maintained two magazines positioned on my plate carrier directly left of my navel. These two magazines were strictly for speed reloading and were left untouched if I had adequate time to reach for a less accessible magazine. This helped me maintain immediate reloading capabilities if I had to dump a magazine through an M27 (a personal favorite).
Using your plate carrier as the primary platform for your kit, keep the general idea of the combat load. Obviously, your camel back is ideally attached to the back, your push to talk comm, and magazine load out will be on your plate carrier.
The majority of the rest is usually operator preference and can differentiate between individuals. Stay open-minded and adjust to your mission objectives and AO. Take for example 3/1 and 3/5 Marines (I believe) during the battle for Fallujah. Some Marines attached loaded grenade pouches to the top back of their kit. This allowed a Marine to remain focused on a doorway or other area while assuring the Marine behind him had access to a grenade.
Generally, the IFAK and dump pouch will be located on the war belt. I usually kept a pouch-sized survival kit as well. I had different items depending on the area I was in. This allows for the lifesaving gear to remain on my person, should the carrier be dropped.
The same reason for carrying lifesaving gear is applicable to carrying magazines on the battle belt. Knowing you’re supplied with ammunition at all times is ideal in any combat situation.
Check out our review on the best plate carriers.
Stay open-minded to the customization of individual rigs. Everybody’s a little different and may need different setups for their specific duties.
If you’re still considering what to put on your battle belt with a plate carrier setup, check out our guide to setting up a plate carrier!
Being an efficient operator means being versatile and educated with your equipment. There’s always something new coming out or something being improved. Stay up to speed on the subject, stick with TacticalBrute.com