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Posted: 10/30/2013 7:46:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2013 7:55:49 AM EDT by 1Wolf]
Just to put my gear needs in context:  I'm not a soldier or anything, just a guy that has recently gotten into doing practical rifle stuff, 2-Gun, etc.  I'm also "new" to collecting any sort of gear so I'm not as familiar as you are with what is available, what works, or even how to properly wear some of it but I'm learning.  I'm having a bit of a hard time finding a good gear setup to work for me because I am a pretty small guy.

For my current setup I thought maybe a waist setup, something light and simple, would be the best for me but I'm only about 5'6", 130 Lbs, and have only about a 28" waist.  I don't have alot of waistline real-estate.  I picked up an Ares Belt, a Raven Concealment holster for my Glock 17, a Raven double-pistol-mag pouch, and a Raven Ar15 Mag pouch.  I originally wanted 2 AR15 pouches but I just didn't have the waist real-estate to fit.  This setup didn't end up being very comfortable and had alot of weaknesses...

First, I never thought to consider how the way I sling my rifle would work with the gear.  I use a Viking Tactics 2-Point sling that works great for me.  Unfortunately, the rifle hangs right against the Ares belt buckle.  Scratched the heck out of my rifle and the rifle was banging into it all day.  My hips were really sore and bruised because without more "waistline" to spread the gear out it wasn't balanced very well.  The pistol mags at 10 o'clock on the belt felt fine, but the AR15 mag at 8-9 o'clock on the belt was causing the belt to bruise the hell out of my hip.  Also, the Ares Belt wasn't just holding gear...it was also serving as my trouser belt through the belt loops on my pants.  I kept having to pull my damn pants up because just the wait of the full AR mag and 2 pistol mags was enough to keep tugging my pants down.  If I tightened the belt more to prevent that then it just made the bruising on my hips worse.  Eventually I completely ditched the AR pouch and went with my pants pocket.

Alot of the guys out there at the events are wearing the same gear as soldiers...I saw some wearing plate carriers, vests, belts, you name it.

So I thought maybe I'd post here and see if I can get some recommendations of some products to look into that might work well for someone of my build, or maybe even someone with at least a similar build who has found something that works for them.  I really like my Raven Concealment Holster so I'd like to keep that for sure.  It would be even better if its something that could do double-duty to be used for a home defense situation where I can stash a cell phone, mags, flashlight, etc and just grab and go.  Maybe some sort of war belt (I'm new to the concept of a war belt and not sure what is good and what is available), or maybe some sort of vest or chest harness?

I don't need to be able to carry 10 magazines and several days worth of "stuff", I just need to be able to carry some AR mags, pistol mags, my Glock, and maybe some assorted stuff like a flashlight, knife, or multitool.  I'd just like it to be more comfortable so I can stand around in it all day, move, and run with a reasonable level of comfort and mobility and not scratch my rifle up any worse.

Thanks guys :)
Link Posted: 10/30/2013 9:17:02 AM EDT
Well as you said being a little guy limits the space for gear as well as the overall weight you can carry.

I would first recommend getting a battle belt. Its a belt completely separate from your pants, HSGI is a good brand and is what i use. Battle belts have plenty of room for adding gear plus they are covered in molle webbing. This will prevent your pants from falling down plus the battle belt is worn high on the waist and you can hold alot of gear weight without noticing it, they are also padded to prevent bruising. If that still isnt enough you can add suspenders to the battle belt as well to help distribute the load.

If that still isnt enough room you can always add a chest rig, i dont know any good brands as i personally always have felt that if youre going to use a chest rig you might as well just get a armor/plate carrier.

Plate carriers are popular right now, they are basically a hybrid between a light weight, low profile chest rig and the classic full coverage armor carriers used by the military. They typically only carry plates and have no soft armor but are light weight and comfortable, great for gun competitions where speed is important as well as being used for home defend where you want to be able to toss it on in seconds. The downfall is that you have less protection, basically no side and shoulder coverage like the armor carriers have, however, most plate carriers these days have add on for side plates.

Be warned the world of tactical gear can be very addicting!  it starts with a belt and a few mag pouches the next thing you know youre dropping hundreds if not thousands of dollars on level 4 rifle plates capable of stop armor piercing rounds and constantly feeling the need to buy the latest gear and technology used by the special forces. I personally started with a pair of rifle plates given to me by a friend who owed me some money, 4 years later my gear setup is better than most front line soldiers.
Link Posted: 10/30/2013 9:53:11 AM EDT
I second the HSGI Suregrip suggestion. Great belt, and a great place to start. I'd also recommend getting the HSGI Cobra belt for the inside belt, it will give you the most support because they were designed to be used together. Start with two pistol mag pouches and a rifle pouch plus your holster and see how much room you have left. As far as pouches go, I'd recommend HSGI TACOs. You can get them in a variety of types, from single pistol to pistol/rifle to double rifle, minimizing the amount of space needed for the pouches. I personally don't care for the double pouches, but then again I have a 34" waist so I have some more room to spread stuff out.

SKD carries a lot of HSGI, and they are a site sponsor.

HSGI Cobra Belt
HSGI Suregrip
HSGI TACOs
Link Posted: 10/30/2013 10:44:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 1Wolf:

For my current setup I thought maybe a waist setup, something light and simple, would be the best for me but I'm only about 5'6", 130 Lbs, and have only about a 28" waist.  I don't have alot of waistline real-estate.  I picked up an Ares Belt, a Raven Concealment holster for my Glock 17, a Raven double-pistol-mag pouch, and a Raven Ar15 Mag pouch.  I originally wanted 2 AR15 pouches but I just didn't have the waist real-estate to fit.  This setup didn't end up being very comfortable and had alot of weaknesses... Seems like quality gear, not sure how they didn't mesh for you.

First, I never thought to consider how the way I sling my rifle would work with the gear.  I use a Viking Tactics 2-Point sling that works great for me.  Unfortunately, the rifle hangs right against the Ares belt buckle.  Scratched the heck out of my rifle and the rifle was banging into it all day. No real solution to the scratching. Most guys deal with it I guess. No advice here My hips were really sore and bruised because without more "waistline" to spread the gear out it wasn't balanced very well.  The pistol mags at 10 o'clock on the belt felt fine, but the AR15 mag at 8-9 o'clock on the belt was causing the belt to bruise the hell out of my hip.  Also, the Ares Belt wasn't just holding gear...it was also serving as my trouser belt through the belt loops on my pants.  I kept having to pull my damn pants up because just the wait of the full AR mag and 2 pistol mags was enough to keep tugging my pants down.  If I tightened the belt more to prevent that then it just made the bruising on my hips worse.  Eventually I completely ditched the AR pouch and went with my pants pocket.

Alot of the guys out there at the events are wearing the same gear as soldiers...I saw some wearing plate carriers, vests, belts, you name it. For some it's purely games, some: train as you fight

So I thought maybe I'd post here and see if I can get some recommendations of some products to look into that might work well for someone of my build, or maybe even someone with at least a similar build who has found something that works for them.  I really like my Raven Concealment Holster so I'd like to keep that for sure. That will suck up a LOT of real estate.  It would be even better if its something that could do double-duty to be used for a home defense situation where I can stash a cell phone, mags, flashlight, etc and just grab and go.  Maybe some sort of war belt (I'm new to the concept of a war belt and not sure what is good and what is available), or maybe some sort of vest or chest harness? I love my HSGI suregrip with cobra buckle. I won't own a warbelt with out a stiff inner belt and cobra/raptor buckle. If it's too big and bulky, look for the Velocity OUB and The esstac belt - both can be had at SKDtac.com There was a recent thread about the PantacUSA Adaptive combat belt. Go to their site and see if you can get a prior T&E for cheap.

I don't need to be able to carry 10 magazines and several days worth of "stuff", I just need to be able to carry some AR mags, pistol mags, my Glock, and maybe some assorted stuff like a flashlight, knife, or multitool.  I'd just like it to be more comfortable so I can stand around in it all day, move, and run with a reasonable level of comfort and mobility and not scratch my rifle up any worse. If I'm not in a plate carrier, I have a chest rig and warbelt combo. 5 rifle and 2 pistol mags total.

Thanks guys :)
View Quote

What about something like an HSGI Small AO chest rig for IFAK and rifle mags and run the raven and a double pistol mag pouch on the Ares? If you need more, look at the Haley D3


Originally Posted By Spartikis:

Plate carriers [.....] are light weight and comfortable
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Very Relatively speaking
Link Posted: 10/30/2013 1:10:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/31/2013 4:46:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/31/2013 4:46:54 AM EDT by Spartikis]
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Very Relatively speaking
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Originally Posted By Spartikis:

Plate carriers [.....] are light weight and comfortable

Very Relatively speaking


I went the armor carrier route so plate carriers seem weightless to me haha. My RBAV-AF weighs in around 45lbs fully load, few hours at the range and my shoulders and back are sore and im ready to pull out the side ESAPIs, drain the hydro bladder and use my 3 mag pouch instead of my 6 mag pouch. I must say i get jealous when i hear of guys running 15lb plate carries
Link Posted: 10/31/2013 6:29:27 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Spartikis:


I went the armor carrier route so plate carriers seem weightless to me haha. My RBAV-AF weighs in around 45lbs fully load, few hours at the range and my shoulders and back are sore and im ready to pull out the side ESAPIs, drain the hydro bladder and use my 3 mag pouch instead of my 6 mag pouch. I must say i get jealous when i hear of guys running 15lb plate carries
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Spartikis:

Originally Posted By Spartikis:

Plate carriers [.....] are light weight and comfortable

Very Relatively speaking


I went the armor carrier route so plate carriers seem weightless to me haha. My RBAV-AF weighs in around 45lbs fully load, few hours at the range and my shoulders and back are sore and im ready to pull out the side ESAPIs, drain the hydro bladder and use my 3 mag pouch instead of my 6 mag pouch. I must say i get jealous when i hear of guys running 15lb plate carries

I'd really like a JPC, ESAPIs and a triple single for lightweight use
Link Posted: 10/31/2013 9:41:09 AM EDT
X2 with HSGI. I had their battle belt and it's extremely comfortable and you barely notice the added weight on it. I've also run through a few different setups between chest rigs and plate carriers and found that the Rogue Gunfighter LVR fit my needs best. It can be run as is with a few mags or configured however you want with the detachable chest panel.

Link Posted: 12/11/2013 5:35:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/12/2013 5:01:59 PM EDT by 1Wolf]
Just wanted to apologize to everyone as this thread got away from me and I didn't jump back in and say thank you.  I got distracted (Got married) the past month and my desire to set up some new gear for myself ended up having to take a back seat.  Now that I'm finally able to take a look at fixing that gear issue I reported in the original post I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the responses and advice.

Thanks for the Battle Belt idea as that sounds like it really might be the ticket for someone with my build, and might solve my issue.  Its definitely worth a shot.

I've put the smallest HSGI Battle Belt (30.5" end-to-end) and the accompanying Cobra Rigger belt on the ole xmas list, along with a couple single mag HSGI Tacos, three pistol mag tacos, and a few other HSGI pouches to give them a shot.  We'll see what Santa brings.
Link Posted: 12/11/2013 6:58:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/11/2013 6:59:19 PM EDT by Silverbulletz06]
You can get a Battle Belt and go with hybrid type stuff like HSGI Tacos and ESSTAC mag pouches, but 2-gun is gun games. Gun games call for more specialized equipment like a Safariland ELS belt that will let you customize your loadout for each stage and will be capable of being used if you delve into 3-gun.
Link Posted: 12/11/2013 10:49:01 PM EDT
Had the same build and real estate problems years ago.

You want to use a double police type belt setup. Buy a nylon velcro inner belt that threads through your loops on your pants to snug up and hold them up.
Then buy a wide duty type belt that is stiff to hold your gear and somewhat floats over your hips. The duty belt has a smooth plastic buckle that will not scratch your rifle.
Then buy some belt keepers to really tie the two belts together (you will also have velcro on a two belt system, but it won't hold with a lot of movement).

The over belt will fold over in the front, but you can slid a double mag pouch over the double layer of belt. You'll see what I mean when you check them out.
I carried about 15 pounds of gear on my belt and could have some irritation on the front of my hips after walking a few miles in a 12 hour shift. You probably won't use it that much though.
Bianchi now has a padded over belt. You might want to check one out. Filled out a little over the years so the belts not such a problem anymore

Link Posted: 12/12/2013 5:04:30 PM EDT
Thanks!

Between the Battle Belt and the Double Police Duty Belt, that gives me two more waist options to try out.  If those don't work, or I can't hold enough gear, I can always take a look at harnesses and plate carriers.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 9:34:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 1Wolf:
Just to put my gear needs in context:  I'm not a soldier or anything, just a guy that has recently gotten into doing practical rifle stuff, 2-Gun, etc.  I'm also "new" to collecting any sort of gear so I'm not as familiar as you are with what is available, what works, or even how to properly wear some of it but I'm learning.  I'm having a bit of a hard time finding a good gear setup to work for me because I am a pretty small guy.

For my current setup I thought maybe a waist setup, something light and simple, would be the best for me but I'm only about 5'6", 130 Lbs, and have only about a 28" waist.  I don't have alot of waistline real-estate.  I picked up an Ares Belt, a Raven Concealment holster for my Glock 17, a Raven double-pistol-mag pouch, and a Raven Ar15 Mag pouch.  I originally wanted 2 AR15 pouches but I just didn't have the waist real-estate to fit.  This setup didn't end up being very comfortable and had alot of weaknesses...

First, I never thought to consider how the way I sling my rifle would work with the gear.  I use a Viking Tactics 2-Point sling that works great for me.  Unfortunately, the rifle hangs right against the Ares belt buckle.  Scratched the heck out of my rifle and the rifle was banging into it all day.  My hips were really sore and bruised because without more "waistline" to spread the gear out it wasn't balanced very well.  The pistol mags at 10 o'clock on the belt felt fine, but the AR15 mag at 8-9 o'clock on the belt was causing the belt to bruise the hell out of my hip.  Also, the Ares Belt wasn't just holding gear...it was also serving as my trouser belt through the belt loops on my pants.  I kept having to pull my damn pants up because just the wait of the full AR mag and 2 pistol mags was enough to keep tugging my pants down.  If I tightened the belt more to prevent that then it just made the bruising on my hips worse.  Eventually I completely ditched the AR pouch and went with my pants pocket.

Alot of the guys out there at the events are wearing the same gear as soldiers...I saw some wearing plate carriers, vests, belts, you name it.

So I thought maybe I'd post here and see if I can get some recommendations of some products to look into that might work well for someone of my build, or maybe even someone with at least a similar build who has found something that works for them.  I really like my Raven Concealment Holster so I'd like to keep that for sure.  It would be even better if its something that could do double-duty to be used for a home defense situation where I can stash a cell phone, mags, flashlight, etc and just grab and go.  Maybe some sort of war belt (I'm new to the concept of a war belt and not sure what is good and what is available), or maybe some sort of vest or chest harness?

I don't need to be able to carry 10 magazines and several days worth of "stuff", I just need to be able to carry some AR mags, pistol mags, my Glock, and maybe some assorted stuff like a flashlight, knife, or multitool.  I'd just like it to be more comfortable so I can stand around in it all day, move, and run with a reasonable level of comfort and mobility and not scratch my rifle up any worse.

Thanks guys :)
View Quote


First of all your gear choice is dependant on what you're doing. With the 2 gun stuff, the belt you have works fine IMO. As far as your rifle being slung and hitting stuff, there's no getting around it. Your rifle is going to get screwed up if you are using it. You can also throw, I use that term loosely, your rifle to the side instead of just dropping it in the middle. I personally like 2 points and if you were thinking about a single point, don't. It will just be worse. You mentioned being bruised or sore. It's going to happen unless you are wearing your gear all the time. It doesn't matter what gear you're wearing. When you start hanging ammo on it, its going to get heavy and you're going to get sore. It just depends on where you want to be sore at. Something to consider though would be to get some type of H harness instead of just a belt. I know what you're talking about when you mention getting sore from a belt. It happens to me if I don't wear my gun belt, with cuffs, ammo, gun, ect for a period of time. No I'm not law enforcement but some jobs including instructing law enforcement during firearms training have me wearing it sometimes. A H harness will get the weight off your hips and at least get it on straps which usually are padded and tend to wear more comfortably than just a belt.HSGI, Tactical Tailor and a lot of other companies give you quite a few options. I would talk about vests but if you're looking for something to use for your competitions and HD I personally think a H Harness would be a good fit. It would then come down to either getting a harness with the pouches built into it or one that is all MOLLE and then you could custimize it as you see fit. I think you'd like harness the best.
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