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Blue Force Gear BELTminus, MICRO Rackminus, Rackminus, & Plateminus Carrier

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  • #46665
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    As mentioned in the Thread Hot Weather Minimalist Load Bearing Gear Options.

    I felt the BELTminus at only $67.50 was worth taking a look at, with the clearance price reduced down to $45.00 made it even more so.

    Before I get into my first impressions let’s look at the BFG has to say about the BELTminus.

    Blue Force Gear BELTminus

    Closeout on all the BELTminus.

    BELTminus is an extremely lightweight MOLLE belt kit. It is a thoroughly modernized version of the classic M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment. The pouch belt kit concept moves your gear onto your waist for improved cooling and more efficient weight bearing. BELTminus™’ MOLLEminus™ technology is fully MOLLE compatible and removes unnecessary weight and complexity while improving durability.

    The concept behind BELTminus, the third product released in the MOLLEminus line, can be traced back to the venerable M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment. BELTminus is a lightweight and simple load carrying solution that is designed to carry essential 2nd line gear around the waist. A side arm should still be worn on the pants belt. Carrying gear in this position allows the wearer to more effectively shed excess body heat in hot and humid climates and transfers the weight of the gear from the back and shoulders to the hips where it can be carried more efficiently.

    BELTminus is available with 2 different MOLLE compatible shoulder strap options. The Enhanced Padded version is mesh lined and padded to handle heavier loads and all day comfort. The Low Profile version can be worn under other gear or outer garments.

    MOLLEminus Technology starts with Blue Force Gear’s proprietary ULTRAcomp™ laminate material which is half the thickness of a dime and 4 times as abrasion resistant as 1000d CORDURA® fabric. The ULTRAcomp laminate is laser cut to create a fully MOLLE compatible matrix of slots and voids that greatly reduces weight, complexity, and potential failure points compared to traditionally constructed MOLLE platforms.

    Sizing:

    BELTminus comes in several sizes for the most exact fit as possible allowing for the best gear loadout and the maximum weight savings. For best sizing, choose the closest size below to your actual waist size. Note: this may be different than your pants size.

    XS: 31” – 41” waist
    S: 34” – 44” waist
    M: 37” – 47” waist
    L: 40” – 50” waist
    XL: 43” – 53” waist

    Weighs 9.9 ounces

    Price: $45.00

    The primary material used in it’s construction is ULTRAcomp.

    ULTRAcomp is a trademark of Blue Force Gear, Inc.

    From the ULTRAcomp website:
    High-Performance Laminate
    Developed for Warriors

    ULTRAcomp® is a High-Performance laminate that far exceeds the military standard air textured nylon in tear and abrasion resistance. Its hydrophobic features allows products to stay dry and light, whereas air textured nylon retains water and gets even heavier when wet.

    ULTRAcomp® combines the durability of a polymer based laminate with the benefits of a Cordura® face fabric. This is a case where the sum is greater than the parts in creating a unique material resistant to tear, abrasion and water all while reducing IR signature in a number of colors and camouflage patterns. The combined strengths of the two materials becoming one pushes the limits on design while exceeding established standards of strength and durability.

    Testing Data

    ULTRAcomp® is a high-performance laminate engineered specifically for the most extreme military applications requiring strength and durability. ULTRAcomp® was originally developed for use in armor carriers and load carriage platforms using the MOLLEminus technology – gear designed and used by the world’s most elite units in the most hostile environments.
    Tensile

    Superior Tensile Strength

    Testing per Fed Std 191A, Method 5100 Grab Tensile. ULTRAcomp® minimum 500lbs warp and fill.

    Tear

    Exceeding Tear Values

    Testing per Fed Std 191A, Method 5134 Tongue Tear. ULTRAcomp® minimum 55lbs warp and fill.

    Abrasion

    High Abrasion Resistance

    Testing per Taber Abrasion, H-18, 500 grams, cycles to wear through.

    Dynamic Absorption

    Low Dynamic Absorption

    Testing per AATCC 70 pre-laundering percentage (%) absorption increase.

    Better Finished Products

    Manufacturing with ULTRAcomp® further increases value with better products for the end user. Products built with ULTRAcomp® are more durable, stronger, and lighter relative to products made with traditional materials and construction.

    Lighter Weight Products
    Stays Dry and Light
    Antimicrobial to Resist Odor or Staining
    Superior Strength
    Fewer Layers of Material
    Advanced Designs and Capabilities

    Brands That Use ULTRAcomp High-Performance Laminate

    Featured ULTRAcomp Products

    Helium Whisper MOLLE Attachment System

    PLATATAC HW Drop Down GPS
    Blue Force Gear SAW Pouch
    Mayflower R & C Helium Whisper RECCE Radio/5590 Pouch
    Velocity Systems Helium Whisper Micro Diddie Pouch
    Eleven 10 Mini Blowout Kit Pouch
    PROTECH Tactical LT7 – Magazine Pouch, Dual/Double

    Outdoor Packs

    PLATATAC BULLOCK ECHO MK II NSN’D
    Velocity Systems Pusher Back Panel Kit
    Blue Force Gear Jedburgh Pack

    Tactical Vests

    The Safariland Group V1 Overt Carrier
    The Mayflower Pusher Chest Rig

    Well now that all the technical details are covered, let’s get into my opinions. ;-)

    When I picked up the package it was really lightweight.

    Packaged was the BELTminus ordered plus a couple of BFG stickers, BFG pen, a tube of BFG SPF 15 lip balm, and a basic BFG Neoprene Collapsible Can Koozie. The bonus items were a nice touch even if nothing fancy.

    I think the bonus items weighed as much as the BELTminus.

    Ordered was one BELTminus in OD size Small with low profile shoulder straps.

    I debated with myself regarding the size choice.

    The Small is for a 34” – 44” waist, the Medium is for a 37” – 47” waist.

    My concern was the Medium would not adjust down small enough particularly when dressed for hot weather. Additionally it would seem likely that I may loose weight “Post-Event.”

    I am currently fit, but no washboard abs at the present time. ;-)

    The Small fits close to perfect with the MOLLE extending just forward past my hipbone.

    Those living in areas prone to more extreme cold may want to consider making an extender or sizing appropriately.

    The stitching is done well, hardware seems to be quality, and material strong despite it’s thin construction.

    The ULTRAcomp is very thin, the description of half the thickness of a Dime is accurate.

    The inside has a slight “rubber feel” being somewhat tacky to the touch, but certainly not sticky. This seems to prevent shifting without being particularly tight in adjustment. The outside is a smooth Cordura feel.

    So overall my initial impression is good, we’ll see how my evaluation goes and will update shortly.

    One thing I want to make clear about my interest in the BELTminus is that this in no way means I am disregarding Max’s advice on MVT gear philosophy.

    I believe the Micro RACKminus, light weight rifle plates & Crye Precision AirLite Plate Carrier EK03, and a Lite Battle Belt will work well for me in a variety of situations.

    Even as much as I discuss how swamps fit into my plans, obviously Florida is more than swampland. ;-)

    Now when I do operate in the many swamps in my AO a more minimalist version of the of the old H-harness maybe appropriate.

    Understand I am not talking about “the full Battle Belt concept (i.e. a full belt with large admin pouches all the way round and yoke/suspenders),” but only slightly heavier than a Lite Battle Belt with say 4 vice 2 rifle magazines, machete, and maybe a canteen.

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    #46666
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    So why would I consider this over a Lite Battle Belt?

    Especially if I don’t intend to equip it heavy enough for the suspenders to be necessary for load bearing?

    In Florida the weather is hot and humid much of the year. I spend a significant amount of time soaking wet from sweating.

    This leads to increased chaffing from wet material rubbing skin. Having suspenders allows the belt to be looser without having belt move or fall down. At times I can also even disconnect buckle or really loosen belt for increased ventilation.

    The BELTminus with low profile shoulder straps have much greater ventilation than traditional shoulder straps.

    So I believe this will work well for the conditions unique to my AO. Time will tell and this is the perfect time of year to test this theory out.

    #46692
    Profile photo of Max VelocityMax
    Keymaster

    I’m just amused at the value you give to price as a factor. After all, if it is the right good gear, that is my only factor. In fact I expect to pay more for quality.

    #46694
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    In fact I expect to pay more for quality.

    Agreed, but when I can get both it’s a really good day.

    I have heard some good reports regarding this MOLLEminus gear, but not from the few people I truly trust in their judgment.

    So despite what looks good on paper, I feel a certain degree risk is involved in me purchasing this product. I dislike risking my finite resources on something that may end up in the barter bin.

    So the clearance price helps me justify the risk involved.

    I am not the kind of guy that covets the latest and greatest trends. I prefer to stick to a proven product.

    A perfect example is Colt and AR-15’s, no other manufacture has as long a proven track record of quality. So even though I have considered briefly other AR’s, the only AR’s I have ever actually purchased are made by Colt.

    #46699
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Inactive

    Since I got one too, there are two of us testing it. I have mine ready for training this weekend. I’ve put on an HSGI double taco AR pouch, Dump pouch rolled up, blowout kit, pistol and holster, pistol mag pouch and TQ. It is pretty lightweight and balances well.

    The material seems to handle the weight of the mags and pistol well, with no noticeable sagging or stretching.

    I wanted to try this because it’s hot as the bowels of Hell lately here, humid enough to feel like you’re out for a swim. That and as I’m getting older, I’m keen on shedding ounces.

    #46700
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Since I got one too, there are two of us testing it.

    It seems to handle any weight I would want to use, even tried a heavier than I would want to carry just to see how it would handle it.

    That and as I’m getting older, I’m keen on shedding ounces.

    Haven’t got to the point of actually weighing anything yet, but I figure a it will add up to a couple of pounds difference when done all things are considered.

    Unchecked those pounds can add up!

    #46783
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Inactive

    The harness passed the first test yesterday. We did precision shooting from barricades in the afternoon, it was hot as blue blazes, high humidity. I was sweating like a horse, no breeze to evaporate it either. It was definitely cooler (relatively speaking) than my regular BB. The pouches and holster were good and snug, and the weight was noticeably less.

    So far, so good. I may look into getting one of the similar chest rigs.

    My teammates were impressed with the lightness and the material.

    #46995
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    I may look into getting one of the similar chest rigs.

    I am going to order the MICRO RACKminus.

    I like the idea of a real minimalist option with or without a PC. Though any of their BFG MOLLEminus chest rigs would probably work real well.

    I am impressed so far with this BELTminus and really the only question is longterm durability. Giving the test results above it should be as good (if not better) as any 1000D/500D cordura gear out there.

    #62759
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    I am impressed so far with this BELTminus and really the only question is longterm durability.

    This is no longer a concern I am completely convinced this is a quality piece of gear that will last as long as any piece of quality gear made.
    ___________________________________________________
    Just realized I never reviewed the MICRO RACKminus.

    Mini review of MICRO RACKminus.

    The Micro Rackminus arrived, it was exactly what I was looking for.

    It is a ridiculously lightweight minimalist chest rig, whether looking for a way to add a some gear to increase main load or in a covert carry situation, I expect it to be a great addition.

    I will spend some time using it then conduct a review.

    This thing weighs less than your t-shirt, doesn’t absorb water and is as durable as the BELTminus!

    Blue Force Gear really made an outstanding series of products, it’s a shame that with our military focus on deserts and mountains this never got the attention it deserves for jungle use!

    Outstanding gear.

    #66397
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    Blue Force Gear has a Sale this weekend on their OD green gear at up to 70% off.

    They have the RACKminus in OD for $33.00 in both Regular and Large sizes, at that price point most could justify buying a few just as back up or cache gear.

    Regular
    Length: 21.5″ / 527mm
    Width: 7.5″ / 184mm
    Thickness: 0.6mm in body, 1.25mm webbing, 13mm buckles
    MOLLE: 12 columns x 3 rows, 1 x 4 on each shoulder strap

    Large
    Length: 25.25″ / 641mm
    Width: 7.5″ / 184mm
    Thickness: 0.6mm in body, 1.25mm webbing, 13mm buckles
    MOLLE: 16 columns x 3 rows, 1 x 4 on each shoulder strap

    I expect it to be as good as my other purchases and will do a review when I return.

    They also have the PLATEminus Plate Carrier in OD for $100.00

    Weighs around .75 lbs depending on size, but always way under pound! ;-)

    #66432
    Profile photo of TCTC
    Participant

    I picked up the PlateMinus during their last sale. Great option if you’re not wearing side plates and want silent donning-doffing thanks to the polymer side buckle straps, which are easy to adjust and have an elastic section. Comfortable for a non-padded PC and is made of extremely tough material with tight stitching and stretchy Tweave for the body-facing surface. You can mount molle pouches sideways if needed. Makes a nice spare or low profile rig. It’s a steal at $100 compared to the $175+ it normally goes for.

    SE Florida ☆ CQBC 2017 ☆ CTT/DA 2017 ☆ CLC 2018

    #66434
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    TC I agree with your assessment, these “minus” type gear are ridiculously light weight as in scary light so until you use it and discover just how strong and durable it really is.

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