Initially debuted at SHOT 2020, the MOLLEminus Belt product line by Blue Force Gear was introduced as first the CHLK Belt (designed with retention for air assault missions), and later as the GRID Belt (designed for traditional ground forces) belt. Both offer the continuing legacy of BFG’s minimalist and extremely lightweight tactical gear, although this review focuses on the newest version of the GRID.
Made from laser-cut, composite laminate nylon the GRID 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. The GRID Belt draws its namesake after the belt’s visual similarities to map gridlines, and while not load-rated like the CHLK belt, does offer many of the same features.
One of these features is the GRID Belt utilizes a 3D printed buckle to secure the outer load-bearing belt. This buckle can be upgraded (separately) to a Hybrid AustriAplin COBRA Buckle that is otherwise included with the CHLK Belt. Moreover, the GRID does not include the reinforced “clip-in” retention points (one in front and one at the rear) with rubberized coating found on the CHLK Belt.
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 G-Hook buckle. 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 GRID 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.
The MOLLEminus belts (both the GRID and CHLK) is available 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 and other pouches were added to evaluate how the belt performed under conditions as close as intended. They are however, not considered part of the belt’s scoring.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Fair (2/5): With its MSRP of $249.99, the GRID Belt brings together tested hardware with Blue Force Gear’s proprietary laminate nylon for immense strength and abrasion resistance. The GRID lacks the retention loops the CHLK Belt ($349.99) has, however the rest of the belt (including the optional Cobra Buckle) is the same. This is in comparison to other market belts with similar design and materials, such as the Task Force Belt ($192) by Ronin, the SMU Operator Belt ($147) by AWS Gear, 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 GRID belt in the upper tier of the market of options, reflecting its newer design and materials. Thus, the GRID Belt, at its current price point, is fair considering what is included.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): The sizing to the GRID Belt was like the CHLK and very specific, allotting for 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. One observed aspect of concern was that when upgraded, the Hybrid COBRA buckle was a somewhat difficult to manipulate due to its smaller profile in the larger hands of the user. While it did consistently function, it was not as easy to grab in contrast to 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 GRID Belt an optional upgrade to have the full-sized buckle included.
- Durability – Excellent (5/5): From a durability aspect the GRID Belt did an excellent 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 several times to try different configurations, or brands of other pouches. With most of the GRID 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 was rated, per the manufacturer, for a variety of safety standards and loads tested to 11,000 pounds..
- Functionality – Good (4/5): The key aspect to the GRID Belt’s function is its multi- angular cut, so that as the belt wrapped around the waist it contoured to the body vice being a linear belt and bowing (thus mitigating potential Meralgia Paresthetica issues). This made the GRID Belt far more comfortable then its contemporaries simply on that feature alone. Other aspects, such as the clip point for gloves and buckle consistently functioned when appropriate. With the absence of the rubberized retention points on the GRID, there was more available space for pouches or attaching other accessories. 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 unrelated to the belt itself, was when passing the Helium Whisper tabs of other BFG pouches through the laser cut MOLLE field on the GRID Belt, the belts inner liner hook-and-loop (male) material often snagged/pulled on the tab’s hook-and-loop (female) material – often causing the tab to fold or roll. Not a negative against the belt, but more of the pouches – particularly the mounting tabs that worsened the more times a pouch was mounted/removed and the material frayed. Use of other brand pouches that utilize standard MOLLE mounting tabs, MALICE clips or fold-over hook-and-loop bands did not suffer from this effect.
- Weight – Excellent (5/5): With regards to overall weight, the GRID Belt (size 40) measured in at approximately 14 ounces (or 3.4 ounces for the inner belt and 10.6 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) by Ronin, the SMU (1.12 pounds) by AWS, the SET Warbelt (1.7 pounds) by Snake Eater, 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/grid-battle-belt
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media LLC, 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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