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minimalist battle belt setup

Minimalist Battle Belt Setup: The Way of the Modern Warrior

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The minimalist battle belt setup has been gaining popularity in recent years, as more and more people are realizing that you don’t need to carry every single piece of tactical gear you own on your belt when out in the field.

This setup is perfect for those who want a simple, yet practical set of equipment for tactical situations. In this post, we’ll discuss what a minimalist battle belt setup is and how it can benefit you.

What are battle belts and what are they used for?

Battle belts are typically used by military personnel who need to carry a variety of tactical equipment in addition to their weapon and ammunition. They provide an ideal platform to carry mission-critical gear on your waistline and help distribute your equipment weight across your body.

Battle belts allow you to quickly access all your most important gear. This is an especially important component for people who are operating in difficult and dangerous environments.

What is a minimalist battle belt setup?

The minimalist battle belt setup is a simple yet very functional and efficient means of carrying all the essentials for tactical situations. The main idea behind it is to carry only the most essential gear without any unnecessary weight and bulk.

The minimalist battle belt setup is a good choice for people who are looking to carry as little gear as possible without compromising on their safety or combat effectiveness.

Minimalist setups usually include one holster, two magazine pouches (typically designed for reloads), an IFAK or first aid pouch, and sometimes a utility pouch with the essential equipment needed during combat.

Check out our review of the best battle belts on the market today!

Video about minimalist battle belt setup

What are the benefits of a minimalist battle belt setup?

There are a number of benefits to having a minimalist battle belt setup from weight distribution across your body to faster access time to mission-critical gear.

A lot of people find that they experience lower back pain from carrying such heavy loads on their bodies, which can be avoided with this lighter-weight approach. It is also easier to move through tight spaces in combat or urban environments when you don’t have so much gear weighing you down.

Minimalist setups make it possible for military personnel and law enforcement officers alike to carry the equipment necessary for their jobs without being weighed down by unnecessary extras.

Minimalist battle belt setup

How to set up a minimalist battle belt?

The four main essential pieces of gear you should have on your minimalist battle belt are your holster, pistol magazines, first aid gear and if you use a rifle then one to two rifle magazines. This will give you everything you need at a moment’s notice without having to carry around more gear than necessary. It also ensures that if something does go wrong then no matter how bad things get there are prepped up enough to handle anything life throws at them. Let’s take a closer look at the essentials:


Your holster is the most important piece of gear on your battle belt. It’s what keeps you prepared for combat, it holds your pistol in place to make sure it’s readily available and easily accessible if needed. 

Your holster should be placed so your sidearm would be easily and quickly accessible if you had to draw your weapon in a hurry. The best place for this is on the right side of your abdomen, just above the hip bone and below the armpit. This position also makes it easy to quickly access if needed with either hand.

Of course, the actual placement of the holster is quite individual and depends heavily on your personal needs and preferences. For example, if you are wearing bulkier body armor, it would be very hard to access a holster that is mounted higher on your belt.

The holster should be placed at an angle so that gravity will help keep tension on both sides of the belt when holstering and unholstering your pistol – this will save time during deployment or reacting to threats respectively.

There are three types of holsters: one which attaches directly to a battle belt (no mounting hardware), another type that requires attachment via screws/bolts; and then there are drop leg holsters, which come down from your belt and are attached to your thigh.


Pistol magazines

Another very important part of your minimalist battle belt setup are your pistol magazines. You should keep at least two pistol magazines on your battle belt at all times. The final magazine count should depend on your mission or task but keep in mind not to overdo it. 

Adding too many magazines pouches and magazines to your budget battle belt will start to weigh it down and it will take up a lot of space.

The pistol magazines should be placed on the opposite side of your holster. If you keep your holster on your right side of the body then the pistol mags should be kept on the left side. This would allow you to easily and quickly reload your pistol as you are in the middle of a firefight.

We recommend using open-top magazine pouches for your pistol magazines. They are the fastest reload option out there. They are easy to reload the mags with and they don’t take up too much space on your battle belt setup as closed-top pouches would. A good example of this would be the HSGI taco mag pouch.

Check out our review on the 5 best mag pouches for battle belts!

For rifle magazines, we recommend open-top magazine pouches as well because it is easier and faster to load them. And as we all know every second counts on the battlefield.

You should also attach one or two spare rifle magazines to your battle belt for backup purposes. However, you don’t want to have too many extra rifle mags because that will take up more space and weigh down your battle belt unnecessarily. Your best bet is to have enough rounds on your person so that you can


Rifle magazines

The next step is to attach your rifle magazine pouches to your minimalist battle belt setup (if you use a rife). These should also be on opposite sides allowing for easy access when getting into a gunfight.

Now if you carry a rifle as your main weapon you should always keep one to two spare magazines on your waistline because if you are in a firefight and run out of ammo then it will be really inconvenient to reload your rifle on the battlefield.

We would recommend not placing more than two magazine pouches on your battle belt setup. You should consider the fact that you will be running so much in a combat situation and if your belt is too loaded down it could hinder your movement.


IFAK pouch

The next step is to attach the IFAK pouch, these are used in case you or a fellow soldier sustain injuries and need assistance.

You should always have medical supplies on your belt so that if someone was injured they can be patched up quickly enough. This will help with survival rates because of easier access to supplies.

For the minimalist battle belt setup, it’s best to use a smaller and more compact first aid kit that only has the bare necessities. This will allow more space on your belt and make things easier when moving around or running.

There are many different options when choosing an IFAK pouch for your battle belt but we suggest using a rip-away style pouch. These are used when you need to remove it quickly and have a little bit more time.

A great example of this would be the condor rip-away EMT lite pouch. It’s a great and quite spacious IFAK pouch. It also has a quick-release buckle on it so that you can quickly remove the pouch from your belt in an emergency situation.

We also recommend keeping your tourniquet separate from your IFAK. This will allow you to access it faster when needed.


Other tactical gear to consider for the setup

  • Tactical knife – a good tactical battle belt knife can be a lifesaver in the field and will allow you to cut through many different types of materials and bindings.
  • Multi-tool – this is a great tool to have on hand for any type of emergency.
  • Handcuff case – this is another item often overlooked but it’s a must for anyone who wants to be prepared for any situation.
  • Dump pouch – Dump pouches are great for storing empty magazines. They will really speed up your reloads without the risk of losing a magazine.
  • Headlamp or flashlight – being able to see what you’re doing at night can spell the difference between life and death, so it should never be overlooked.
  • Radio pouch – A radio is an invaluable tool on the battlefield and should always be stored close at hand so it can easily be accessed when needed.
  • Night vision goggles or monoculars – while night vision has its limitations, we recommend including some form of low light ability on your battle belt setup.
  • Canteen – This is another item that should never be overlooked, as you will need access to water at all times.
  • Utility pouch – This pouch will be used to store all your tools, such as a wire cutter, knife, and spare batteries.
  • Other operations or task-specific tactical gear – These are all the gear that you will need for a specific mission or a task. For example a map pouch, extra magazine pouches, GPS pouch, binoculars, baton, etc.
Minimalist battle belt setup infographic
Minimalist battle belt setup infographic

In conclusion

If you’re looking for a way to optimize your gear and streamline your setup, the minimalist battle belt setup is an excellent choice. It cuts down on weight (which in turn will make it easier to move around), simplifies what you have at hand during an emergency situation, saves space by condensing items together, and makes all of your essential and critical gear more accessible.

A minimalist battle belt setup is good because it helps the user avoid many of the problems that come with carrying too much gear. However, one should be aware that there are various tradeoffs when choosing a minimalistic rig and this decision may not work for all situations or users. For example, while a minimalist approach will help reduce weight on your body, you might also need to carry more rounds in magazines or other extra mission-critical gear.

It’s worth taking some time to consider these tradeoffs before making any final decisions about what kind of equipment setup is best suited for your needs.

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