If you are a military or law enforcement professional, you know the importance of carrying the right gear with you at all times.But what should you put on your battle belt? What tactical gear and pouches to include in your battle belt setup?
The list below provides 17 ideas that will help ensure you have the tools needed for any situation.
1. A Decent Holster
A holster is the first thing most people think about when it comes to a decent tactical belt setup. Your holster is probably the most important part of your gear, so look for one that meets all your needs and can hold up against heavy use.
A good holster will keep your gun secure and at the ready so that you can access it quickly in an emergency situation. Your holster will also affect the draw speed of your gun weapon which can mean the difference between life and death in a combat situation.
There are primarily two types of holsters out there that can be used with a battle belt: drop leg holsters which are strapped to your leg and belt-mounted holsters.
A drop leg holster provides quick access to the gun weapon, but it can be cumbersome in certain situations and it can affect your mobility a lot. While a belt-mounted holster provides a more stable position for the gun weapon but it can be more of a hassle to access with body armor.
2. Magazine Pouches
Now the second most important piece of gear you should put on your battle belt is your magazine pouches. Your ammo is what will allow you to take out the enemy.
When choosing mag pouches the first thing you should think about is what kind of weapons are you carrying. If you are using just a pistol then you will only need pistol mag pouches, if your main weapon is a rifle and you still carry a sidearm then you will need both rifle and pistol mag pouches.
The best mag pouches for battle belts fit your specific weapon magazines, are made of durable material, are easily accessible, allow quick draw speed, and offer decent retention.
The actual amount of magazine pouches you should put on your battle belt will depend on your specific needs. For just a pistol setup I would recommend a minimum of 2 extra mags on the belt. For a combination of a rifle and a sidearm, it should be either two pistol mags and a rifle mag, or two and two (of course this depends on your needs and on other load-bearing gear you might be wearing).
3. First Aid Kit
Now the third crucial thing, you should put on your battle belt is a first aid kit (IFAK, med pouch). An IFAK is a small first aid kit that can be carried on the body in order to provide initial medical care for simple injuries.
You should always have an IFAK with you if you’re going into potentially hostile territory or any type of environment where people could get hurt and require immediate medical attention, such as gun ranges or war zones.
Your IFAK kits should have all the basics, such as scissors, bandages for large wounds or even broken bones, sterile gauze pads of various sizes, elastic wrap (to hold the wound closed), antiseptic wipes, or swabs with alcohol for minor infections like scrapes and cuts that can’t be covered by dressings/gloves (these are always handy!), antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen tablets to relieve pain from injuries and headaches resulting from concussions or other trauma-related issues and sterile gloves.
4. A Tourniquet
A tourniquet is another piece of must-have medical equipment you should definitely place on your battle belt. A tourniquet is used to stop blood flow from a wound when bleeding heavily and prevents clotting.
Tourniquets are ideal for tactical operations where wounds might not be treated until considerable time has passed following injury because of movement in combat zones or during the evacuation of casualties from areas subject to enemy fire while under attack.
It is always better to have this important piece of gear than need it!
5. A Dump Pouch
A dump pouch also known as a drop pouch is another important piece of tactical gear to consider placing on your battle belt. A dump pouch is a pouch that is used to store empty magazines.
These pouches are designed so you can either fold or roll them up when you don’t need them and when you do you can easily open them up so they form basically a bag that you can throw all your empty magazines into.
Dump pouches are great for increasing your reload speed without dropping your magazines on the ground (which in real combat situations is a big no-no because if you drop it, you lose it). So instead of dropping the mag on the ground, or trying to place it back into its magazine pouch (which can be quite tricky with some mag pouches), you can just throw it into your dump pouch.
6. A Good Tactical Knife
A good tactical knife is a must-have for any serious military or law enforcement professional. A well-designed high-quality tactical knife will help you with many tasks – from chopping branches to self-defense and there are so many designs out on the market that it’s hard to know which one would be best suited for your needs.
The decision of what design is right for you largely depends on how much money you want to spend (some knives can cost over $200) but also whether your primary uses will include cutting through vines or ropes as part of an emergency escape plan, using it as a means of self-defense, etc. You’ll need to assess just how important these different features are first before choosing the best knife for your battle belt.
7. A Carabiner
A carabiner is a device with two metal loops that can be used for many purposes. Today, carabiners are most commonly associated with rock climbing or mountaineering but they have other uses and benefits as well.
Placing a carabiner on your belt is a great idea because carabiners are great for carrying all sorts of gear and equipment like your tactical gloves, water bottles, rope, and whatever else you might need to attach to your belt at the moment.
Also, a good carabiner will come in handy when you’re scaling mountains or crossing dangerous terrain because it’s strong enough to allow climbers to clip themselves on the rope so that if one of them falls off, their partner is able to catch him/her before he/she goes all the way down – saving precious seconds during which safety could mean everything.
Carabiners also don’t take much room or space on your belt so they are a great additional feature to add to it.
8. A Good Quality Multitool
A quality multitool is a good addition to your battle belt. This tool will come in handy when you need it the most and can be used for anything from cutting rope or fishing wire, unscrewing bolts, tightening screws, fixing handcuffs – basically any task that requires basic tools like pliers, screwdrivers (also known as hex keys), knives, etc.
Multi-tools come in many different forms with a lot of different options and features, so it is best to first identify what you will use it for the most and then find one that suits your needs.
But be advised that you should definitely look for a more quality brand (like Leatherman for example) when choosing one. Because cheaper multitools are usually quite low quality and aren’t really worth it.
9. A Water-Carrying System
Water is what you need to stay hydrated and healthy, which means that a water-carrying system should be one of the first things on your battle belt. This could come in form of a water bladder, canteens with straps (that can also hold other gear), a bottle, etc.
You will want to take into account how much surface area the container takes up. You don’t want to be using too much space for it.
10. A Flashlight
A flashlight is a crucial piece of equipment for any tactical situation. It can be used as a signaling device, or for light when you’re out in the dark at night. You never know when you’ll need it and as such, having one on your battle belt can come in handy.
You’ll want to get one that is durable and bright enough so it doesn’t run out of battery life too quickly. And make sure that it comes with an on/off button right by the handgrip area.
Overall you should look for a high-quality model that has plenty of lumens because low-quality models may be more “pocketable” but will also have far less power output which makes them inadequate in many situations.
11. A Radio / Radio Pouch
A radio is an essential means of communication in any combat situation. Do all battle belts need a radio pouch on them? No, they don’t! But if you are in a situation or an environment where you need to constantly communicate with a radio, it might be a good idea to attach it to your battle belt setup.
12. Grenade and/or Flashbang pouches
If you are in a combat environment, you might need to carry different “bang devices” like flashbangs or grenades with you (it is always good to have your grenades and/or flashbangs on hand in combat).
In real combat situations, you might need to carry quite a few of them actually. So a battle belt is a great place to place a few of them because it would allow you to access them at a moment’s notice when needed.
There are many specific pouches out there for flashbangs, grenades, signal rockets and etc. When choosing ones you should definitely take a closer look at the actual measurements of the pouch, because these arent often universal and you will want something that will fit yours perfectly!
13. Handcuffs or zip ties
This one is another item that you should consider placing on your battle belt for quick and easy access. In combat situations, you might need to apprehend an enemy combatant when the time arises. For this occasion, handcuffs are what you would use usually, but if you don’t have them with you then zip ties will do just as well!
In addition to these two options, there are also many other types of restraints available such as plastic flex cuffs which can be very useful in more non-combat scenarios where people may start using physical violence against each other.
You could use these to fasten objects like tying down tarps and things like that too! Also, they don’t take up too much space on the belt.
14. Binoculars, Monoculars, Night Vision Goggles
Binoculars, monoculars, or night-vision goggles are all useful pieces of equipment to include on your battle belt. These devices can be used to see an enemy from a much farther distance than with just your naked eye. They also provide you added sight in low light conditions where it might be too dark without them!
15. A Map Pouch
A map pouch is helpful to include on your battle belt. It keeps the map dry and easy to access in a non-combat situation, but can also be useful for navigation when you’re out in the field or trying to find an important location! This might not seem like it would make sense at first glance, but think about how many times you’ve been somewhere unfamiliar and found yourself needing directions.
16. An Admin pouch
An admin pouch is another item you might want to include on your battle belt. This will allow you quick and easy access to the tools necessary for a wide range of things, such as first aid supplies, extra ammo, your survival gear, or maybe even some snacks!
There are many options for admin pouches, so you’ll need to figure out which one works best for your personal needs. Some might be too large, while others might not have enough pockets or space. It’s important that the admin pouch is both durable and easy to carry!
17. Other tools (hatchet, shovel, machete, etc)
Some other tools that might come in handy on your battle belt could be a hatchet, shovel, or even a machete. These are all outdoor types of tools and they can help you make use of the natural resources around you if need be. The more options for weapons to defend yourself with, the better!
If you’re going out into nature often then these may be good items to have on hand at any given time!
The uses for these items will obviously vary from person to person but it’s always best to think ahead when heading out into unfamiliar territory. You never know what obstacles might get thrown your way so expecting them can prepare you mentally as well as physically!
In conclusion, wearing a battle belt doesn’t have to be complicated. When choosing what to put on a battle belt, start off with some basic mission/ task critical and essential tactical gear and gradually add more items depending on your needs and the environment you’re going into!
Written by John-Caspar
John-Caspar Jaanus is an Estonian military, tactical gear, and survival expert and author. He has an extensive military background and has been involved with the Estonian defense structure for over 10 years. Read bio!