War Belt Meets Dress Belt

18-Dec-13 – 04:16 by ToddG

TDB-pouchesA friend of mine, long time member of the US Secret Service’s Presidential Protection Detail, developed the Tactical Dress Belt being sold by FirstSpear, LLC. It’s a simple and ingenious solution for people who want the comfort & convenience of a traditional “war belt” but need something a bit dressier for concealed carry.

A competition-like under belt attaches to the padded gear carrier via hook & loop fasteners while a dress outer belt provides a discreet appearance. The carrier is compatible with both traditional concealed carry holsters/pouches and MOLLE equipment. It is designed to carry and conceal a substantial amount of gear comfortably enough for all day carry.

beltjacketIn this photo (L), the TDB is being used to carry a SIG P229 in retention holster, two spare 14rd magazines, radio, handcuffs, full size knife, and a Blackberry.

The system doesn’t rely on belt loops for locating your equipment on the belt so even if different slacks and suits have varying belt loop locations, your gear is always in the same exact place. By keeping your gear on the outer belt, it’s easy to don everything quickly without the need for threading a belt.

For those who are constantly facing a challenge of concealing more and more equipment on their belts, the FirstSpear Tactical Dress Belt is the perfect solution.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 39 Responses to “War Belt Meets Dress Belt”

  2. Check out High Threat Concealment for a similar rig made out of Kydex.
    https://highthreatconcealment.com/default.asp

    By John C on Dec 18, 2013

  3. How does one’s pants stay up if the dress belt isn’t looped through the pants?

    By Dropkick on Dec 18, 2013

  4. Nice.

    But would be nicer with a Glock.

    Which for safety reasons really needs a “Gadget” even for non-AIWB wear.

    Which raises another question.

    By SteveJ on Dec 18, 2013

  5. Dropkick – Sounds like the inner belt goes through the belt loops, so it would be the belt holding your pants up. It is basically a 2 belt system like a lot of LE duty rigs.

    By 167 on Dec 18, 2013

  6. Looks like it would be just about perfect for Court Security detail. Any other links to more pictures?

    By mongooseman on Dec 18, 2013

  7. My agency issues the HTC rig. What a POS. It’s like wearing a plastic girdle on a flimsy belt. A kydex pouch for your radio? Seriously?

    By RL on Dec 18, 2013

  8. The HTC is that bad? Does this look like a better option?

    By John C on Dec 18, 2013

  9. I haven’t tried this and to me, the two items serve different roles. When we wear something like the HTC rig, or better variants of it that our guys have been assembling on their own for years, we are carrying a lot more than a blackberry, spare pistol mags, etc. and it’s generally when we are operating overseas and not wearing sport coats/suits. For domestic protection, I have no issues carrying all my gear on a solid 1.5″ leather gun belt.

    By RL on Dec 18, 2013

  10. I’d say he needs an impact weapon, but he already has a Blackberry.

    *says that last civilian blackberry owner on earth.

    By Caleb on Dec 19, 2013

  11. I assume RL and I work at the same place, and I wanted to echo his thoughts on the HTC setup. It is complete and utter shit. I worked with the owner in Iraq, and while he was a great guy, that low-pro system he developed is just plain awful.

    A decent holster and a few HSGI tacos fill the same role, with greater versatility. The cheap Safariland accordion mag pouches are actually pretty useful as well.

    I’m still in search of the perfect low-pro IFAK.

    By 2501 on Dec 19, 2013

  12. If only BFG would make belt mounted 10 speed rifle and pistol mag pouches. Not sure why people are so enamored with MOLLE duty belts.

    By RL on Dec 19, 2013

  13. This looks like a good idea and while you can wear everything on a 1.5″ leather belt, this would save you a lot of back pain especially when working long days on your feet. I like the BFG 10 speed pouches and looks like could easily mount them on this belt.

    By TM on Dec 20, 2013

  14. Re: Tacos – I just use the malice clips like belt loops and use them on a regular belt

    By 2501 on Dec 20, 2013

  15. I don’t see it: a double belt system with a padded PALS sleeve under a suit? Add the thickness of all those layers together plus the PALS pouches plus the items held within and you will end up pretty broad across the beam. It would be even worse once you add concealable armor and the USSS issue DeSantis holster. Give me a nice solid belt and Perry Suspenders any day!

    By Dr. J on Dec 20, 2013

  16. Needs a quick release… But it’s is perfect other than that

    By Mik3 on Dec 21, 2013

  17. Different question:
    This rig looks like it is set up for right-handed holster use. Can it be swapped around for LH use?

    Regarding the amount of material used for this rig, I’d guess that it’s marketed for executive protection. I also bet that wearing this under a blazer demands the services of an experienced tailor to make the jacket drape naturally.

    By Davey on Dec 23, 2013

  18. Davey: From the pictures, I don’t see why you couldn’t wear it as a Lefty.
    If you use “low vis” pouches such as 10 speed or similar, should not print anymore than standard belt and pouches.

    By TM on Dec 24, 2013

  19. I don’t know why you need a $140 piece of nylon and Velcro.

    If you want to be able to drop your ‘war belt’ or not have to worry about threading gear on a belt or where belt loops fall, you could take a Double Alpha inner belt and put Velcro on a 1.5 dress belt of your choice. I’m not sure if there is enough Velcro to provide enough ‘stick’ for me to trust it, but seems like that would be the same amount that this rig applies. No matter how tall that TActical Dress Belt rig is, you are only going to get as much Velcro as is on the inner belt.

    I work where 2501 works. No one is happy with HTC gear. But our agency will have a different person in charge of procuring gear next year, just as we do every year.The good idea fairy will visit him and will get some other rig. (Every year we seem to have a new plate carrier given to us.) Probably won’t be perfect either.

    By Bobby on Dec 25, 2013

  20. For all you guys that work together with 2501, I would ask First Spear for a T and E sample and see if it works for you.

    By TM on Dec 26, 2013

  21. I use the HTC system, in using kydex or other types. I use a rigid belt, never use a cheap poorly made one. Yes, I use it on a business suit with comfort.

    By Charlie on Dec 30, 2013

  22. I use the HTC setup and I love it. The owner is constantly developing new and improved systems and responds very well to feedback.

    By Bodhi on Jan 3, 2014

  23. If it wasn’t for the fact that RL and 2501 were pos’s and gave feedback to the owner they would know that he tries to tailor the equipment for low profile wear. I have one of the very first low profile HTC kits ever made and I haven’t had an issue at all. As for the comment about the Kydex radio pouch, guys I work with love the fact that when they sit down in a vehicle and move around they don’t have to worry about the keypad getting pushed like when you wear a soft pouch. And as for you 2501, you say you worked with the owner in Iraq, how could you even come on here and talk trash about a brother instead of giving him feed back to help make a better product. You truly are no ones brother and I hate the fact that you even know him you prick!!!

    By RESCUEDUDE01 on Jan 3, 2014

  24. I have a few comments on the gear and on the gentlemen who claim “no one” is happy with the HTC gear. Honestly, I know the owner of HTC personally and saw the gear in the infancy stages. Was the initial gear perfect? Absolutely not! Is it perfect now? Absolutely not! There is no such thing as a perfect rig, be it low vis or full on high threat protection. The beauty of HTC is they realize that gear is ever improving and strive to make it better from a development standpoint every single day. I’m not getting paid to say that, doing a favor, or going to get a free rig for supporting HTC. I’m telling you the facts, and they are simple; the gear is solid, comfortable, and well thought out. I base that opinion on 23 years of military and government special operations and have led some of the largest protection details on the planet. I have also built 5 full blown security programs and PSD operations for 5 multi-billionaire individuals. I don’t have a clueless procurement officer telling me what I’m going to wear and issue because I am the one making the decision. I have T&E’d 30 plus setups and none of them work as well as the HTC setup. I’d love to see the resume’s of some of you guys who get on websites and bash gear as if you are the Messiah of protective operations. If you don’t like something, don’t use it. If you were true professionals, which you dudes are obviously not, you’d offer constructive feedback and realize bashing anything only makes you look like an ass.

    By Marshall on Jan 3, 2014

  25. It is not the fault of any of these guys building gear that you are too fat for a belt. It is not possible to conceal gear when your waist is wider than your chest before any gear is applied.

    Go to the gym, stop eating KBR ice cream bar and then try on the belt. You might get more than one year out of your 42/32 5.11’s while your at it.

    Be Out!

    By FACE on Jan 3, 2014

  26. Gents — Let’s please dial back the personal attacks.

    Some folks like certain gear and some folks don’t like it. If you cannot understand this and cannot accept that not everyone likes what you like, that’s on you.

    I’ve got no problem with folks explaining why they like a piece of gear; but telling people who don’t like it that they’re wrong, inexperienced, or out of shape — especially when you haven’t the foggiest idea who you’re talking about or talking to — isn’t acceptable.

    Future comments along those lines will be deleted.

    By ToddG on Jan 3, 2014

  27. HTC makes solid dependable gear. Different strokes for different folks. For me it’s HTC gear.

    By Moe on Jan 3, 2014

  28. Todd G–

    Looks like a rig that might meet the needs of those that don’t like Kydex. To each, their own. I appreciate your keeping this forum in check. Personally, I wear the HTC rig for both domestic and OCONUS protective operations and LOVE it, but realize that it may not be the right fit for everybody.

    For you “bros”, getting on a public forum and talking shit ABOUT the guy you should be talking TO, is down right F’ed up. What the hell happened to “quiet professional”?

    I wasn’t afraid to put my name up there if anyone wants to bash me, too.

    By Micah Hoevelman on Jan 3, 2014

  29. My personal email is uspswatcop@gmail.com, I’m on lightfighter.net as uspswatcop, I’m a cop and I actually worked w/and was on the same team as the owner of HTC when we were in Iraq working for Blackwater back in 2005 and 2006. He is a very good man that has been in the shit for our country. If you have a problem with his gear or the way it works quit complaining about it and call him, email, text or whatever…… He’s not Bill Gates, he’s a worker and wants to know why it’s a piece of shit and what can be done to make it work better for the knuckle dragger that has to strap it on and shoot booger eaters in the face….. Pull your heads out, quit dragging around your bags of sour grapes and let the guy know what you need to make his equipment better to help you guys at the tip of your spear to make your gear work.

    By Mike Strauss on Jan 3, 2014

  30. As for me. The first gen. Was a good idea and has come a long way. The HTC rig was designed with a lot of inputs. If you dont like it then buy your own. But personal attacks on a Fello brother is trash

    By frank on Jan 3, 2014

  31. (deleted — I said no more personal attacks and I meant it — ToddG)

    By Lambin on Jan 3, 2014

  32. I re-read what 2501, Bobby and I posted and not once did any of us attack the owner. In fact, 2501 stated that he was a good dude. I don’t even know the owner of HTC, much less who 2501 or Bobby are. As Todd said, 2501, Bobby and I merely gave our opinion on the HTC belt based on empirical experience, which has been echoed by many agents in our agency. Perhaps some agents do like the setup…but I have yet to meet one.

    But as Bobby said, a new boss will be in charge next year and he/she will buy the agency new kit. Maybe that person will be me (again) or maybe it will be 2501 or Bobby.

    Sigh…must get in line early now to get my KBR ice cream. That girdle really accentuates my muffin top.

    By RL on Jan 4, 2014

  33. HTC is awesome gear, better and than anything I have ever been issued to date for what it made for “High Threat Concealment”. The owner is a friend of mine and I know how hard he works to enhance the rigs as guys give feedback.Contacting him directly with ideas or special request works really well. I asked for an extra glock mag pouch and other small variations and he did them no problemO. Thank you my brotha HTC rocks!!
    Mag

    By Richter RW 1ea on Jan 4, 2014

  34. Here is what I see going on. I was in the military for 12 years with SF and worked in Iraq from 05-11. I also know the owner of HTC and know that he is a good dude and if anyone has a problem with the gear and had an idea to improve it then just e-mail him with your recommendation instead of bashing him here. But I also know this. It doesn’t matter if you had 10 Teams of former SF, Seal, PR, Force dudes telling State that they love the gear and it works great. The agents will take those recommendations from those dudes and then have there own meeting and order what gear that “THEY” think works best. I’ve seen it 100 times. I’ve been on mission with these guys “On there 1st tour” a dozen times and told them my thoughts on what needs to be done. And like I said before they do what they want to do. So I guess what I am trying to say is whoever is in charge of ordering the gear for the majority of the guys then to take the recommendations from the guys that know what they are talking about instead from your “Buddy’s” that are on there first tour.

    By Jbravo on Jan 4, 2014

  35. Every time one of your guys posts something denigrating the experience or knowledge of someone who didn’t like this HTC thing (which I’ve never used or even seen because its purpose is far, far, far, out my *my* lane) you’re just making yourself and, sadly, by extension HTC look bad.

    One of the guys who said he didn’t like the HTC stuff is a personal long time friend of mine with years of time in Iraq, Afghanistan, and similar high threat places. He’s one of the first people I’d turn to if I *did* need gear like this. Assuming he’s a dolt just because he doesn’t like one item built by a guy who’s a personal friend of *yours* does a disservice to all of you.

    And for what it’s worth I get the “all you had to do was call him and tell him what you thought” routine. But unlike many of you who seem to know the guy personally, a lot of the folks for whom the gear didn’t work out probably weren’t interested in tracking him down and finding out whether he was conversational. Instead they probably moved on to the next option they were presented. If I get a bad steak at a restaurant I don’t go into the kitchen and try to teach the chef how to cook… I just don’t go back to that restaurant.

    It’s awesome that your friend is open to suggestions and wants to improve his product whenever possible. That’s laudable and incredibly rare these days. But perhaps because it’s so rare, most folks — especially folks looking for agency-wide solutions — are more likely to find a COTS solution rather than going through a development cycle with a manufacturer.

    By ToddG on Jan 4, 2014

  36. Well, this has been an interesting read. In actuality, the original piece of gear at the top of this segment looks like it might be an option for some, its an interesting take on an old problem, and I admire the ingenuity.

    I’ve been in both theaters, as a medic/contractor and I’ve done a bit of time in L.E., SWAT, and the Corps blah blah.. all told, I’ve had a gun and gear around my waist for 22 years, just as a point of reference. I get both sides of this equation, that some may not like a piece of gear, and that some may love it. Calling it an utter piece of shit however, doesn’t really expand on the issue beyond the comment. What I can tell you is that I have been there piecing together the shit sandwiche of gear that was issued to us–by the individual agents in charge of ordering, and it was some of the most frustrating and at times asinine collections I have seen hanging off of guys. It was cheap, there was no continuity, and the functionality and practical application for the theatre we were operating in was minimal. We all wondered at one time or another who was ordering the stuff. Seems this thread has answered that mystery somewhat. There is a definitive reason guys over there have been buying their own equipment when allowed to for years, and wearing it on the down-low when they weren’t allowed. Most of the guys I know would take an ass chewing for wearing a functional piece of gear that worked-but was the wrong color or brand, rather than have their lives depend on something clearly substandard. I’ve also been there when charged to be a medic on a team with nothing but an empty canvas bag and a shit eating grin on my face as I hit every clinic, and aid station in a five mile radius beg, borrowing and stealing. Again the point is, in my experience there has always been a huge disconnect between those that write up the mission parameters, and those tasked to fulfill the mission requirements.
    My point is this…what HTC HAS done is come up with a modular, adjustable, highly adaptable system, that is made with quality and continuity for those guys on the ground. And that simply hasn’t been done up to this point. You may not like Kydex, you may not like the owner, but the gear he is making is better than anything that has been issued previously. The “agents” on the ground didn’t have the same gear we did..not ever. From every piece of battery operated gear hanging off their M-4, to the latest and greatest Gucci, flavor of the month gear, it wasn’t the same as the contracting PSD wore. I am not the know all be all, and there are many that have chimed in already that can set me straight if I am wrong—probably would love too?, but what I am seeing now is an excellent, well thought out piece of standardized kit, by someone who has a solid knowledgebase on the subject, that does the job and does it well

    By Pruitt on Jan 5, 2014

  37. ToddG, it’s not a matter of being someones friend, as it is being a complete PROFESSIONAL. Regardless of weather or not you like a piece of gear give it a PROFESSIONAL comment. Every one of us put it on the line everyday that we are out doing what needs to be done, but to come on a public site of so called PROFESSIONALS and flat out call someones hard work a piece of s***, what do you expect. Yes, some of us may have gone a bit over the edge, but remember some of these guys were in the S*** at the height of the era with the owner and feel truly close to him. So yeah they voiced their displeasure for that. Brothers looking out for a brother. Not all gear suits the needs of everyone, and we see it everyday with the latest and greatest coming out. Like someone mentioned earlier in this thread, if you don’t like it buy your own and piece it together, everyone can’t be pleased with everything. I’m sure when someone else is ask to order gear someone is not going to like it either, but give it a PROFESSIONAL, none emotional evaluation, and as for your comment about making myself or HTC look bad, i’d rather look bad standing next to and defending my brother, than to let someone walk over him and his hard work.

    By RESCUEDUDE01 on Jan 6, 2014

  38. I own the HTC setup. I think it works fine with either a low-profile plate carrier or slick. One of the problems with a low profile rig is keeping everything together on its own belt with enough space and support to carry mission essential items without being too cumbersome and bulky. It was mentioned earlier about using soft pouches on a regular belt…. That simply isnt practical if you wear this stuff very much. Taking it on and off after a mission or having to go to the bathroom is a real pain in the ass when you are wearing 10 lbs of crap. its easier to just take it off and on… and the velcro setup is better than the belt keepers for the speed aspect… For those of us who have done extnsive lower profile work in real life realize that things like comfort and having your gear be secure is paramount to everything. I like my setup and I have tried everything and been doing this forever.

    By Dave Roberts on Jan 6, 2014

  39. Gents,

    This blog was brought to my attention by some of the brothers I worked with overseas. I felt it necessary to post on here, which is usually not something I do. There are simply too many opinions and getting in to the weeds is never a good idea.

    In my 15 years of operational experience, I of all people can appreciate the fact that this system that I’ve developed doesn’t work for everyone. As some of the guys above have mentioned, it’s not a one system fits all. Different people have different preferences. What I’ve tried to do is take the experience that I had and make a system that is as modular and customizable as possible. I know my opinion is biased, mainly because this is something I’ve poured everything into as my “action days” are now over, but I’d say this system is one of the most customizable systems available. I know not everyone likes the rigidity of the full system which is why there are those that wear it as a two piece configuration and I’ve even seen a three piece configuration. This system gives you the flexibility to tailor it to different mission sets. Even then guys will inevitably not be completely satisfied with it. It’s the nature of the beast.

    All I ask gents, and ladies if there are any here, is that if you have any feedback whatsoever, whether it is positive or negative, that can improve this system, let me know. My email is joverton@highthreatconcealment.com. I have thick skin. If you just want to email me to tell me I’m an a$$hole, then go for it. I will laugh and drive on. The one thing I pride myself on is being able to incorporate the feedback of those still down range doing the work. You will be hard pressed to find a company that is willing to entertain that. My goal is to get you guys the best gear I can. It keeps me connected to the side of the house that I miss and love.

    Now… back to the grind… I have holsters to make. Stay safe.

    James Overton
    President/ Founder
    High Threat Concealment

    By James on Jan 6, 2014

  40. James — Thanks very much for that. Train hard & stay safe!

    By ToddG on Jan 6, 2014

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