Living in the heat of Florida, I’ve grown to adore battle belts. Chest rigs and plate carriers get real hot, real fast, and I can only take so much. Minimalist chest rigs are great, but battle belts keep you much cooler. Like chest rigs, battle belts have also gotten a fair bit more minimalist in design. The Sentry Gunnar belt represents one of the more minimalist designs on the market. Sentry makes a variety of products, including mag pouches. I’d adored my gunner belt with a set of SMG mag pouches from Sentry as well.
The Sentry Gunnar Minimalist Battle Belt
The Sentry Gunnar belt is just a bit wider than most normal belts. It’s only 1.75 inches wide, although it’s much thicker than a standard belt. Thick enough to deal with the weight of holsters, medkits, radios, rifle mags, and more. Gunnar also uses a Cobra belt buckle that ensures that the belt stays on once it’s clicked on. The click is literal and extremely audible, so you know the belt’s secured.
Minimalist battle belt means minimalist attachment points. Each MOLLE ladder is only two slots, but it’s enough to secure most gear. You have twenty vertical slots and four horizontal slots. The horizontal slots are located to the left and right of the belt buckle and allow you to mount gear without it hitting your legs as you change positions, climb, sit in vehicles, etc. It’s great for shotgun bandoliers, knives, and even horizontal pistol mag pouches.
The Gunnar comes in a wide variety of sizes ranging from 29 to 50-inch sizes. The same goes for colors. You can go black, FDE, or my personal favorite multi-cam. Overall it’s robust enough to carry most gear, but I wouldn’t pack belt-fed ammo on it. It’s also smaller enough to conceal under a baggy overshirt or windbreaker, depending on your loadout, obviously.
Battle belts get awfully heavy when loaded down with a ton of extra gear, and they can often sag, shift, and move as you move. To prevent this, a variety of systems have been implemented. Harnesses are the most popular option. However, an H harness doesn’t exactly add to the minimalism of a belt. Instead, Sentry came up with a two-piece belt system.
There is an inner belt that wraps around your waist and through your normal pants belt loops. Using hook and loop, this inner belt clings to the outer belt. When worn correctly, the Gunnar belt doesn’t move at all. You can sprint, jump, and change position without issue.
The two-piece system works very well and ensures your belt remains secure. One critical component in ensuring your belt is secure is proper adjustment. It can take time but ensure the belt is sized nice and tight for your body. It should be tight. Tight means your stuff is secure, and security is always good to have.
A tight Gunnar belt also ensures you can easily draw your magazines or, potentially, a handgun. A loosey-goosey belt makes it tough to draw items from form-fitting mag pouches or holsters. If the Gunnar belt moves upward as you draw, then you need to tighten down your belt.
The MOLLE ladders are fully sewn onto the belt, and the stitching is absolutely gorgeous. Sentry took their time to produce an extremely well-made belt with MOLLE panels well secure. You can barely pry the MOLLE away to toss your gear onto it. That’s a good thing, if not a slight hassle, when attaching your gear.
Knowing that the MOLLE ladders are tight gives you that promise that they won’t tear easily. The Gunnar belts aren’t cheap, and you want them to last as long as possible. I’ve had the Gunnar belt for over six months, and nothing has frayed or failed on me.
Once you fight through the MOLLE to attach your gear, you’ll likely have to remove it and reset it. Getting your gear perfect on a belt can be difficult. This is the same for any belt, and if you are as picky as me, you want yours placed in a very specific place for easy access. The multitude of MOLLE slots allows for good adjustment of gear along the belt.
Working and Twerking
I put the belt to the test with a variety of movement and shooting drills. I ran some of Pat Mac’s drills that implemented sprinting from cover to cover and taking shots. Besides winding myself, I found the belt stable, and my gear stayed where I put it. After taking all that time to perfect placement, it better not move.
I also do a ton of box jumps with the Gunnar belt secured to the inner belt and fired from a wide variety of positions. This includes standing, kneeling, prone, squatting, and those weird little stances necessary to shoot around cover. The belt never slid down my waist, jumped up to my stomach, or spun out of place. It stayed secure and ensured I could always reach my gear when I needed it.
Securing the belt to the inner belt takes careful alignment. I’d often miss the back portion, but even then, the belt was plenty secure. However, once you find a method to secure the Gunner to the inner belt, you won’t have any issues. Instead of starting the Gunnar below the inner belt, I began attaching it from above and guiding it onto the inner belt.
The Gunnar belt provides an excellent platform for mounting all your tactical goodies. It’s small and discrete enough to ensure you can conceal it if necessary. The Gunnar is a perfect duty belt and provides a modern tactical option that will allow you to retain all your necessary gear without needing a chest rig or plate carrier. Sentry made the belt comfortable, durable, and truly minimalist without requiring any kind of harness to keep the belt from shifting.
Is a minimalist battle belt for you? If so, what do you think of the Sentry belt? Let us know below.