Battle belts have been a quickly growing and evolving trend amongst militaries around the world, and thus have spread to the civilian users as well. Whether in the use of soldiers, private contractors, civilian shooters or airsoft players, the concept of battle belt is seemingly here to stay and is constantly evolving to meet the needs of different user groups.
Especially in this era of compact plate carriers and minimalist MOLLE- real estate on your upper body, battle belts have moved some of the weight off the operator’s back down to the hips, increasing comfort in the long run.
Of course there are always a few pieces and manufacturers that stand out, and to me, one of them is the High Speed Gear Inc. ‘aka’ HSGI with their renowned Sure-Grip® padded belt. I have had mine for roughly a year now, and here’s what I think about it.
Based in Swansboro, North Carolina(USA), the High Speed Gear Inc. or more commonly known as HSGI, is one of the most well known brands for sure in the tactical gear business. HSGI are most known for their legendary Denali chestrigs and Wastach and Weestach plate carriers, the Sure-grip® battle belts, and lately, the innovative TACO- line of modular pouches that can be seen absolutely everywhere nowadays!
HSGI is also proud of their products and workmanship and their lifetime guarantee for material defects and workmanship is something to admire and great to have.
The Sure-grip® battle belt is a very comfortable, low profile battle belt and as the name suggests, it has lots of grip. The padded belt section is 1,9 cm / 0,75 inches thick and 11,5 cm / 4,5 inches tall, and at such dimensions I classify it as a full size battle belt.
HSGI Sure-Grip® padded belt features:
- Neoprene Padded Interior. Extremely grippy and comfortable.
- Removable HDPE stiffener sheet providing added rigidity and stability to the belts structure.
- 3 continuous rows of MOLLE.
- Four (4) attachment points for the option of using suspenders with the belt when carrying heavier loads.
- Three (3) access ports for attaching sub-loads to your inner belt of choice.
- Inner belt is not included, but the padded belt accepts any duty-, riggers- or other belts that have loop-velcro on the inside.
- Weight: ~450 grams / 16 ounces
Sure-Grip® belts are available in a wide range of sizes and colours, accommodating users of all sizes and colour/camo preferences (Black, Coyote Brown, Olive Drab, MultiCam® w/ MultiCam Webbing, ATACS AU, Wolf Grey.).
- Small – Padded section length 77,5 cm / 30,5 inches end to end.
- Medium – Padded section length 90 cm / 35,5 inches end to end.
- Large – Padded section length 105 cm / 41,5 inches end to end.
- Extra Large – Padded section length 117 cm / 46 inches end to end.
- The original Sure-Grip® Padded Belt retails on the manufacturer’s web store for $85, without any inner belt, which are sold separately.
- Prices worldwide may vary depending on the retailer and country of sale.
PERSONAL THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCES
I first became acquainted with the HSGI’s Sure-Grip® material when I got a pair of their shoulder pads with my Paraclete SOHPC. The shoulder pads underside consists of the same suregrip material as the padded belts inside, and thus are extremely comfortable and grippy. And when I began my research for the battle belt to suit my needs and preferences, the HSGI’s Sure-Grip® quickly caught my attention for being praised and recommended by so many people around the internet.
Although I had lots of other potential brands in my mind, I still went with the Sure-Grip when one became available on a local forum. And of course, in the ever sexy MultiCam camo. I have since used it mainly for airsoft, but also for a short day hike on a weekend adventure a couple moons ago.
The Sure-Grip belt in use on one of our weekend adventures.
All the time I’ve had this belt, I have admired the structure and construction, it really seems indestructible and feels like there’s multiple layers of material. Stitching and materials (especially the Sure-Grip) are on point, and the option of removing the HDPE stiffener sheet is a great one.
I really can’t emphasize enough the grip this belt has thanks to the Sure-Grip® material.
It just sticks like tar to your hips. In a good way!
The padded section features an admirable amount of MOLLE- real estate for pouches, but to me the 3 continuous rows look kinda funny, and the middle row is entirely useless when attaching pouches to it. Also removing the middle row would shave some weight off the belt, not that it would be that heavy, but still.
The access ports on the sides are about 5 MOLLE-rows wide and big enough for using pistol holsters on a duty loop to hang them lower on your hip. Even though I still wonder what necessity created the mid-belt/backside access slot to the inner belt, other than that it helps you slide the inner belt of your choice through, but that’s it to me.
But when using a MOLLE- attached holster, like I use my BHI SERPA for the P226, I have noticed that the access port area isn’t the perfect MOLLE-base, especially rigidity-wise. The outer fabric under the holster mount has minor movement space due to the construction. Nothing major, but something that might annoy people, and the issue could be even worse if you’re not running the HDPE-stiffener inside.
The inner belt I use is a HSGI Duty belt, plain and simple. 2” wide nylon belt, a rigid plastic buckle and loop-velcro inside. It has never failed me nor does it show any signs of wear and tear. And on the topic of inner belts, the installation of the inner belt is slightly tricky due to the rather closed construction of the padded belt and the bare hook-velcro in the channel. Try and stick a loop-velcro’ed belt through there on its own.
HSGI had made tutorial on how to do it and I was just about to link it down to here – but it’s seemingly not available anymore. Bollocks.
Overall the Sure-Grip belt is an amazing piece. Even though I use some Crye Precision suspenders on it just in case, the Sure-Grip padding can really hold heavy loads in it’s own might without any signs of belt movement. In my use, my fully loaded belt kit weighs around 4 to 5 kilos, so the suspenders are there for extra upwards retention.
I very much like my Sure-Grip® padded belt, but I cant say it’s perfect. Nonetheless it still is a staple piece of gear, like I stated in the beginning. HSGI has continued to develop their designs and there’s a lot slimmer and lower profile options available from them nowadays. But for those who want a full size battle belt that can carry lots of gear with comfort, you really should consider this.
– Sure-Grip® material – Very grippy and comfortable. Holds the belt in its place like tar.
– Suspender attachment points – Great add-on for heavier loads and suspenders.
– Inner belt options – There’s so many options out there, so everyone should find their favorite.
– Access ports – Great for sub-load and holster attachment.
– The grip – This just needs to be said again.
– 3 MOLLE rows – The middle row only adds weight and isn’t really necessary.
– Inner belt installation – This shit is tricky, but can be done if you’ve seen the video on how to.
– Access ports – Looser outer fabric causes wobble to MOLLE-mounted holsters.
Overall Total: 21/25
Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased the HSGI Sure-Grip belt with my own funds for my own use. I was not required to write a positive review by any party. The opinions I have expressed are my own entirely and based on my personal experiences with the product.
This review was first published in the Noble & Blue. Noble & Blue is a small Finnish outdoor and tactical gear reviewing blog, that also shares stories of learning and adventure. Click here to know more about Noble & Blue