Arbor Arms Ambush Belt System: Handmade Quality with an Inexpensive Price

Developed by Arbor Arms USA, the Ambush Belt System is a lightweight, scalable base battle belt. The belt can be fully customized by the user, while still allowing for integration of various accessories and aftermarket products.

Designed as a two-part inner/outer belt system, the Ambush Belt System (ABS) is made with a combination of Type 13 nylon webbing for strength, and laminate nylon for lightweight purposes that give the ABS an overall width of 0.200” thick. Combined with an inner liner belt (optional at time of purchase or sold separately), the ABS can be rapidly donned/removed whenever the situation calls for it.

The ABS includes a 2” outer belt with a core of Type 13 webbing. Around the core material is a laminate nylon wrap that is stitched into MOLLE-compatible segments, and laser cut on three sides for attaching pouches and/or accessories.

As such, the ABS is also customizable at the time of purchase to include your choice of buckle; such as a thermoplastic slide-release buckle (featured), or with a genuine AustriAlpin Cobra Buckle.

The interior of the ABS outer belt features a 1.5” continuous band of hook-and-loop (male) material that is intended to bond to the associated hook-and-loop (female) found on Arbor Arms’ liner belts.

Included in this review is the associated 1.75” nylon liner belt that is intended to be worn through the loops of the trousers and keep them secure. The outer 1” band of hook-and-loop (female) matches to the associated band of material on the interior of the ABS for a solid bond to the overall system. The liner belt is also customizable to include any one of three buckle styles.

 The Ambush Belt System is available in Multicam (featured), Wolf Grey, Coyote, Black, and Ranger Green.

Editor’s Note: With regards to sizing, users would take care to order their belts based on their duty pant size to accommodate for slight variances in seasonal clothing and dynamic movements. Other pouches were utilized to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the ABS, but did not play a role in the evaluation of the belt itself.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • Cost – Excellent (5/5): As a range and duty belt, the Ambush Belt System starts at $89.99 and the price is adjusted up to $99 according to the options selected (color, hardware, accompanying inner belt, etc.). As such the ABS brings a blend of traditional nylon/webbing with the more recent laminate nylon to bring a lighter, flexible, and durable to the consumer. In contrast, other market alternatives to this type of two-part belt system include the CHALK Belt ($199) by Blue Force Gear, the Tactical Duty Belt ($164) by Lead Devil USA, or the UGF Battle Belt ($164) by Grey Ghost Gear. While the ABS is customizable, even with all the upgrades it is still well below the comparable price of other similar belts making it an excellent and affordable option.
  • Comfort – Average (3/5): As a belt platform, the ABS offered an appropriate (or average) level of comfort, and while the belt was a size 40” waist, it did run a little on the large side that resulted in a little amount of play when drawing from the holster. The adjustable slide release buckle provided on the belt was able to cinch up most of the slack, but did have only so much travel before bottoming out against the belt. Otherwise the combination of lightweight laminate nylon and webbing gave the user a lightweight platform on which to add various pouches and/or accessories. The outer/inner belt gave a very good level of retention and secure bond between the two, while the inner belt itself gave an appropriate level of comfort with a slotted sizing that the buckle hooked into. A recommendation to Arbor Arms would be to design a cinch-style strap into the inner belt so that the user could more easily cinch the inner buckle to any given slot, and tighten as necessary to comfort. In its current configuration, its cinch to the specific slot that is appropriate but in doing so may not be as tight as preferred.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): From a durability aspect, there was extensive bartack and double-line reinforcement stitching throughout the ABS, giving it excellent strength and longevity. Each MOLLE section along the length of the ABS is formed via bartack which ensured any pouches added remained secure and there was no risk of the laminate nylon material being compromised. The laser cut laminate nylon also mitigated any fraying of the material along cut edges or where pouches were attached. While the version of the ABS submitted for review included the optional thermoplastic slide-release buckle, it is highly recommended to consumers to opt for the COBRA buckle for the added strength and function. The thermoplastic slide-release buckle is nice and simple, but the longevity of such hardware seldom holds up to hard use or prolonged exposure to UV light.
  • Functionality – Average (3/5): The ABS is a simple and functional platform on which to build into it a tailored range or duty belt. The MOLLE segments are appropriately spaced for a variety of aftermarket mounting designs to include; clips, MALICE clips, or traditional MOLLE straps. The inner/outer belt design allows the user to wear the inner belt throughout the day as a regular belt for trousers, but made donning the outer belt very easy and quick. As noted above, there was a little excess in the sizing that a little more adjustability in the outer/inner belt could have mitigated had there been more adjustability, but this didn’t inhibit drawing of magazines or the pistol during dynamic movements. Likewise, observations of choosing the optional COBRA buckle over the thermoplastic slide-release have already been noted.
  • Weight – Excellent (5/5): While the volume of the ABS’s materials (light weight laminate nylon) and its design (slide release buckle or COBRA) directly influenced the weight per belt; the 40” belt submitted for review weighed in at approximately 6.4 ounces (w/o pouches and not including the 4.6 ounces for the inner belt). This was relatively light considering it was tested against pulling of pouches and dynamic movements and did not wear or tire on the body or hips. In comparison the CHALK Belt (13 ounces), the Tactical Duty Belt (22.08 ounces), or the UGF Battle Belt (35.36 ounces) all reflect how variations in materials can influence overall weight and bulk. This places the Ambush Belt System as one of the lighter belts available on the market.

Overall Rating – Good (21/25)

Product Link:

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.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.