Many fine combat folks have failed to choose between either belt kits or chest rigs. This years-long debate has left many amateurs in great confusion. The truth is there is no simple answer to the question of Battle belt vs. plate carrier. However, in this article, I will try to guide you about the benefits of each of these contestants and let the selection up to you.
When deciding between a battle belt and a plate carrier, it ultimately comes down to your intended use and personal preferences. Here are some factors to consider:
|Features||Battle Belt||Plate Carrier|
|Armor plate||No||Yes (x2)|
|Max load||15-20lbs||40-60 pounds|
|Weight distribution||Hip and legs||Body|
Let’s start with a simple question, how much weight should an average soldier carry? According to former US marines, your payload weight should never exceed 30% of your total body mass. For example, if you weigh 176 pounds, it would be best to carry no more than 40-50 pounds on you.
This answer helps you narrow down your preferences. If you are carrying 15 pounds or less weight, a battle belt is best for you. Equipment weighing 30-40 pounds requires a plate carrier. Last but not least, if you are going full commando, you need a combination of both belt and chest rig on your body.
Human anatomy suggests that the hip and legs are the strongest muscles and bones in the body. This is the reason why most effective tracking kits shift all the weight on the hip region, and military equipment is no exception. Up until the ’90s, battle belts were among the most commonly used military equipment. However, as most military action takes place through vehicles, the trend is shifting toward chest rigs and plate carriers.
In general, if you want better mobility while on foot, you should get a battle belt. Vehicle-based missions allow you to carry larger weights without straining your muscles. So, in that case, the plate carrier seems to be more of a more suitable option. Finally, if your mission consists of a mixture of vehicular action and ground combat, you should get a combination of both a belt and a rig.
Advantages of a battle belt:
Disadvantages of battle belt:
Advantages of plate carrier:
Disadvantages of plate carrier:
In the war of battle belts vs. plate carriers, everyone is the winner. The usefulness of any of them depends on the circumstances and the number of equipment that you want to carry.
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