Debuted at SHOT 2020, the MOLLEminus Belt by Blue Force Gear made waves for its new design and blend of new, lightweight materials. Today BFG offers the MOLLEminus belt in two different configurations; the CHLK (designed with retention for air assault missions), and the GRID (designed for traditional ground forces) belt. Both offer the continuing legacy of BFG’s minimalist and extremely lightweight tactical gear, although as of this review only the CHLK has been released.
Made from laser-cut, composite laminate nylon, the Combat Helo Load-Rated Kit (CHLK) belt is a two-part system that utilizes the inner/outer belt approach to give the wearer a comfortable EDC or daily-wear belt, but when the situation demands it a tactical battle belt that is quickly and easily donned. As such the CHLK (and soon to be released GRID) belt is rated to a tensile strength of 3,500 pounds under static load.
What differentiates the two configurations is the CHLK belt offers a Hybrid AustriAplin COBRA Buckle, and two reinforced “clip-in” retention points (one in front and one at the rear) with rubberized coating. Anchoring both the buckle and retention points is a continual, uncut band of Type 13 webbing inside the CHLK outer belt that gives added strength and support.
The inner 2” belt is made from a blend of smooth, inner-facing laminate nylon with an exterior-facing band of hook-and-loop (female). The inner belt is multi-angle, intended to contour to the wearer’s hip and worn threaded through the trousers’ belt loops—then secured by a pass-through, cinch strap. There is some overlap in the inner belt at the front for added protection, with any excess in the cinch strap secured against the outward-facing hook-and-loop.
As noted above, the CHLK outer belt is a multi-angular, low-profile platform that is intended to prevent potential snagging and contour to the wearer’s hips for maximum comfort and prevent “ride up”. The outer belt secures to the inner with the associated inward-facing hook-and-loop (male) band.
The outer belts are made from a combination of composite and ULTRAcomp nylon laminate with three rows of laser-cut MOLLEminus sections for mounting any Helium Whisper Attachment System, or associated MOLLE-mounting pouches and/or accessories. Holding it all together BFG uses TEX 70 bonded nylon thread to draw multiple lines, bartack, and other reinforcement stitches to maximize tensile strength.
When available to the public, the MOLLEminus belt will be in a variety of colors to include; Multicam (featured), Black, OD/Ranger Green, and Coyote Brown and be in sizes 30” – 44” physical waist size.
For the purposes of this evaluation, other BFG pouches were added to evaluate how the belt performed under conditions as close as intended. They are however, not part of the belt’s scoring.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Fair (2/5): With an MSRP of $199.99, the CHLK Belt brings together tested hardware with proprietary Blue Force Gear laminate nylon for immense strength and abrasion resistance. This is in comparison to other market belts with similar design and materials, such as the Task Force Belt ($192) by Ronin, the SET Warbelt ($183) by Snake Eater Tactical, the Contact Series Belt w/Inner Belt ($135) by G-Code Holsters, or the Trident Operator’s Belt ($159) by T3 Gear. This all puts the CHLK belt in the upper tier of the market of options, reflecting its newer design and materials. Thus, the CHLK Belt, at its current price point, is fair considering what is included.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): The sizing to the CHLK Belt was very specific, and was based on the physical circumference of the user’s waist, and not trouser size. With the proper sizing, the belt was very lightweight, and its multi-angular cut hugged the waistline giving the belt a proper and ergonomic feel. As items/pouches were added, the weight was distributed throughout the belt preventing it from pulling or rolling on any specific side of the body. When seated in a vehicle or chair, the rear retention point did collapse and allowed for comfortable positioning. One observed aspect of concern was that it was a little difficult to manipulate the Hybrid COBRA buckle due to its smaller profile in the larger hands of the user. While it did consistently function, it was not as easy to grab as perhaps a full-sized COBRA buckle. While this is merely a weight-saving option on the part of Blue Force Gear and the overall belt’s design, it is something the consumer should be aware of. It may be of interest to Blue Force Gear to make the buckle of the CHLK Belt an optional upgrade to have the full-sized buckle included.
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): From a durability aspect the CHLK Belt did an amazing job of not only retaining its profile, but showing very little wear to key stress points or fraying. This included swapping out pouches and accessories a number of times to try different configurations, and brands of pouches. With a majority of the CHLK Belt made from ULTRAcomp and composite laminate nylon, its various layers held up remarkably well despite and flexing or dynamic movements. Extensive bartack and reinforced TEX 70 bonded stitching was noted throughout the belt, particularly at the tie-in points and for securing the buckle to the belt’s reinforcement. The Hybrid COBRA Buckle itself was composed of 7075 aluminum alloy and provided great strength in retention and locking. The buckle itself was rated, per the manufacturer, for a variety of safety standards and load tested to 11,000 pounds while BFG rated the overall belt at 3,500—all of which are well above what the average user would need in load capacity for airborne operations on an individual’s belt.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): The key aspect to the CHLK Belt’s function is its multi- angular cut, so that as the belt wrapped around the waist it actually contoured to the body vice being a linear belt and bowing. This made the CHLK Belt far more comfortable then its contemporaries simply on that feature alone. Other aspects, such as the tie-in points and buckle consistently functioned when appropriate—with the tie-in points appropriately collapsing flat as needed (such as sitting in a chair or vehicle, or to mount a pouch over it). These elements all added to the overall function and strength for those who necessitate airborne operations, hunting, or for other uses. One area of recommended improvement for Blue Force Gear would be to develop a small hook-and-loop field to bond/secure the excess adjustment strap for the buckle. There are several loops to aid in this, but the material tended to creep and flop around if there was an excess. A side note as well, when passing the Helium Whisper tabs through the laser cut MOLLE field on the CHLK Belt, the inner liner hook-and-loop (male) material often snagged/pulled on the hook-and-loop (female) on the tabs – often causing strain on the associated threading and folding the material. Not a negative against the belt, but the pouches – particularly the mounting tabs were a little problematic that worsened the more times a pouch was mounted/removed.
- Weight – Excellent (5/5): As always, the weight of an item also correlates to its overall size. In this evaluation, a size 40 belt was used and weighed in at approximately 13 ounces (or 3.4 ounces for the inner belt and 9.6 ounces for the outer). This reflects the weight-saving use of the ULTRAcomp and composite laminate nylon throughout the design while it sacrificed none of the function or strength. Over time while worn, this lightweight belt was very noticeable in the hips not only in improved comfort, but fatigue in the hip joints and legs where heavier belts often pull on. In contrast, the Task Force Belt (1.2 pounds), the SET Warbelt (1.7 pounds), the Contact Series Belt w/Inner Belt (1.5 pounds) by G-Code Holsters, or the Trident Operator’s Belt (1.27 pounds) all illustrate that while material does split the hair in terms of mere ounces, the lightweight materials of Blue Force Gear’s ULTRAcomp makes it an amazingly lighter and minimalist option for those considering such an excellent option.
Overall Rating – Good (20/25)
Product Link: https://www.blueforcegear.com/molleminus-belt
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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