I have been asked frequently recently, from various sources, about the composition of the ‘MVT Lite Battle Belt (BB).’ First, off, this is not an MVT gear product, this is something you would need to make up yourself. I am going to provide insight into how my belt is set up, but stress that this is really about personal preference. My belt is shown in the photo above.
I recently wrote a post titled ‘Ballistic Plates: Yes or No?‘ In that post I discuss ‘posture’ appropriate to the situation / threat level. I also discuss the new MVT VERSA rig and how that ties in with my general gear concept. I view it as a layering system. Day to day I carry concealed, as should you. You should have access to a plate carrier / chest rig and rifle to throw on over the top in a high threat situation, whether in your truck or at home. The advantages of a slick plate carrier are that it can be used on its own for ‘home defense’ with 3 mags in collapsible mag holders across the front. You can then put your VERSA rig either on over the top, or attach it to the plate carrier using our PC Attachment kit (available shortly), for longer term operations. This gives you full flexibility.
Above: MVT VERSA Chest Rig
I use the BB Lite when I am gearing up for tactical training / operations, and while instructing. The philosophy is that this BB is light enough to not be an encumbrance, even while carrying out normal chores. Yet it allows you to carry enough gear to be useful in a fight. This is not a full BB as I have posted about in the past, which is more specialized towards infantry dismounted operations. Between a BB lite, a VERSA chest rig, and some form of patrol / assault daypack, you can carry all you need.
You can wear the BB Lite all the time, with the rifle either on you or accessible at short notice. You can simply wear it on its own for short duration range time / training, where it allows you a basic ammunition load. As the situation changes, or perhaps you go out on patrol, you can add the VERSA chest rig ( and perhaps a plate carrier) as you feel the need.
The BB Lite will not interfere with riding in vehicles or simply sitting down on watch / QRF. Worn with the chest rig it is also vehicle / chair compatible. For me, it is the ideal gear layer system.
I am wearing it in the photo below:
The photo above shows the BB with numbers. The basic belt is actually a BDS Tactical belt that is thinner than most Battle Belts on the market i.e. it is only ‘3 MOLLE’ high and has no suspender attachment points. This is deliberate. It could be a better quality belt, and maybe we will make a better version shortly. My rig has the following:
1: TQ pouch.
2: HSGI Taco with 30 round mag & handgun mag. These Tacos will take any caliber rifle mags, such as .308, which works with the VERSA rig insert system.
3: HSGI Taco with 30 round mag & handgun mag.
4: Radio pouch.
5: Rolled dump pouch.
6: Light IFAK pouch.
7: ESSE Knife.
8: Handgun Holster.
9: HSGI Taco mag pouch used for a multi-tool.
Note: sometimes depending how your chest rig or plate carrier (PC) rides, the 30 round rifle mags can impede the bottom of it. A solution is to use 20 round rifle mags when running the belt in conjunction with a PC. If you wanted more ammo capacity on the belt when doing this, you could put 20 rounders (in TACO pouches) around the back of the belt, as many as you wanted, to replace, for example, the radio pouch. There is no reason why you couldn’t have 20 round mags all the way round the back of the belt, in a modern imitation of a cartridge belt. This would not impede sitting down / vehicles.
A comment on plate carriers: There is a certain amount of resistance to the idea of plate carriers. Some of this is justified – depending on the situation / mission it might not always be appropriate to wear one. However, when I see some comments, it reads to me like self justification due perhaps to the fact that people don’t want to spend on ballistic plates, or perhaps they know their fitness is not up to it, or whatever for a multitude of reasons. Let me just say this: if you knew you were going to be involved in a shoot out, you would likely want to be wearing a PC. Am I right? If you have operational experience in environments where enemy fire has been cracking and zipping, death or injury is seconds and inches away, and death stands at your shoulders, you will appreciate the benefits of ballistic plates. True, they don’t make you bullet proof or invincible, but much of what I see out there in the form of intellectual arguments is mere excuses. I tell you what, if the SHTF happens and combat arrives, I will be wearing plates if I can! I tried to make the Ballistic Plates POST fairly non-committal, but that is straight up my opinion.