Stiffer is Better – Ares Gear Belts Perform (and are Available in New Colors)
I have enjoyed the “Stiffer is Better” mantra of Ares Gear Ranger Belts for a few years, but always in black. Sure, you have been able to select an Enhanced Ranger Belt with an accented, rigid spine that better supports the weight of your EDC load for a while now. However, though that belt might have had a different surface color, that foundation has always been available only in black. The addition of that 1.5″ nylon webbing to provide surface color added stiffness and cost.
The aesthetic need for that extra layer ended today.
The full EDC that I and many others prefer requires a specific support system. Unless you’re willing to just slip a handgun in your pocket or an IWB holster and a single reload in your support side pocket, proper load carriage and placement requires forethought and preparation. The type of fighting EDC I’m speaking of (particularly for those who are equipped this way for professional reasons) demands a belt that has the ability to spreadload weight, distribute items to specific location and provide the resistance necessary to handle stoppages. In truly critical incidents such as an injury it must act as a tool to accommodate one hand malfunction clearance techniques.
Though it may sound counter intuitive, very few garments and far fewer belts are built with these needs and the ability to fight and carry a fighting load comfortably in mind.
This is not the case with the Ranger Belts. The Ranger Belt is the proper tool to meet these needs; its rigidity and construction set it apart from any other belt I have ever used. It allows you to noticeably spreadload the weight of your EDC or duty gear on a very supportive frame. I have carried a gun on my person in virtually every conceivable domestic situation, professional and “off duty,” for over 20 years, and I have run a lot of belts. My Ares Gear belt has consistently set itself apart from the others. I have come to appreciate and rely on it exclusively to support my EDC.
It also keeps my pants up.
The Ranger belt has been available since the inception of the company six years ago, but the base of the construction was always black. Thanks to the availability of these new colors of scuba webbing however, Ares Gear is now (as of this writing) offering the Ranger belts in coyote brown and urban grey.
This now affords you almost 100 different color options. Beginning with the three different ‘Foundation‘ colors of Black, Coyote Brown and Urban Grey, then choosing from the eleven colors of 1” webbing and finally making a selection from three cobra buckle colors, you can get creative.
This is good news whether you require some different options for your job or just want some variety. There will be no markup from Ares Gear for the new colors of scuba webbing.
The ‘Enhanced Ranger’ has also been available since 2007, but it’s foundation too was always black double scuba webbing, completed then with 1.5″ colored webbing sewn on and ultimately topped off with 1″ colored webbing to break up the black belt. The addition of the 1.5” colored webbing was first just for aesthetics, but it made the Enhanced Ranger stiffer, an unintentional result. With the new colors becoming available, you can get the look of the Enhanced Ranger without the additional cost.
Some of the 1” colors include MultiCam, desert digital, digital woodland and even an Aztec and Native design to assist in blending in a little when looking for different options.
I spoke with Ares Gear owner Jake Sebens about the new colors.
“In the past we’ve been unwilling to compromise quality in order to offer colored scuba webbing,” Jake told me. “It simply did not exist in the stiffness that we require of our materials. Now Ares Gear has contracted with a webbing manufacturer to make our standard 1.5″ Black scuba webbing available in Coyote and Urban Grey; this allows us to offer more options to the customer without having to sacrifice the quality that has been a cornerstone of our business since the first Ranger belt was built in 2007. There will be no accompanying price increase for the different scuba colors; we consider this a new standard, not an add-on.”
I strongly recommend an Ares Gear belt if you carry a gun on a daily basis, particularly if you train for the worst case scenario and appreciate the ability to run disabled handgun drills off of a comfortable belt.