I have been eying the Tyr/VTAC Brokos Belt lately. Features that interested me include: padded battle belt with plastic insert for comfort and rigidity, slotted sections of MOLLE/PALS webbing at 2-channel intervals. However, cost was something that I just could not afford at this point in time.
Recently, 5.11 released their version of the VTAC-designed Brokos Belt. At a much more affordable price point, I decided I would get my hands on one from DS Tactical when they arrived. I ended up getting a 2-3XLarge belt in Sandstone. This size has 22 rows of MOLLE with 2 columns along the entire length of the belt. I’m used to battle belts having a smaller gap in the front (in this case about 3-4″), so the L/XL size wasn’t doing it for me.
More detailed and up-close pictures and some thoughts about the features and design are after the break.
With the 500D nylon and mesh construction, the belt itself is very light for a MOLLE belt. Note that the 5.11 VTAC Brokos Belt does not feature padding – though I am accustomed to battle belts with padding, I found the lack of padding (and insert-support only) surprisingly comfortable. The sweeping contour of the belt also allows for a great deal of comfort as it conforms to your lower back and hips. The stitching looks good enough for my usage, though it isn’t perfect.
As I began mounting pouches on the MOLLE webbing, I noticed that some of the MOLLE was slightly out of spec – namely the distance between the rows seemed to be greater than what my HSGI Taco’s with short Malice clips. This resulted in me being unable to properly weave the Malice clip through the belt’s webbing itself.
Speaking of off-spec MOLLE, I ended up having to use my Pantac 9mm FB-style pistol mag pouches instead of the Eagle 9mm FB pouches I was intending to use. This is a result of the rows being spaced a little too close to each other on the 2-channel intervals of webbing – the Eagle Industries FB pouches are slightly too wide to be mounted together between the weaving slots.
The belt-weaving slots, combined with the 2 channels of MOLLE allow for a great deal of versatility for personalized set-ups. This is a key feature that attracted me – it allows me to use my belt-mounted holsters with MOLLE-mounted magazine pouches. Note that the Blade-Tech Tek-Lok in use here does not fill up the entire section of exposed inner belt; belt keepers may be useful for some user configurations. I just pulled on the inner belt until my adjustment tab locked my holster into place – problem solved, no more movement of the holster (not that there was much slop to begin with, as the tension of the inner belt against the battle belt held my holster in place quite well).
The insert allows the belt to be very stiff – this prevents the belt from folding over on itself or from flopping around under the weight of heavy loads on the belt platform.
The insert is skeletonized, which in allows for greater air circulation through the tall belt platform. The height of the belt allows for greater comfort as your duty belt will no longer pinch or create odd pressure points. That being said, this belt is so tall that it does look a little odd to me, though I do have to admit that the added height makes for a very comfortable fit with basically no belt sag (thanks in part to the height of the insert).
At the ends of the belt, there are inner-belt keepers. These keep the inner belt (up to 2-1/4″ or so) in place, even if the first MOLLE section is not in use. On top of this is an elastic strap that appears to do the same thing, though I am still unsure of the intended function of the elastic is.
As you can see in the label on the inside of the belt, it is produced in Vietnam. As compared with some made-in-USA gear, I suppose this could be the reason for some of the inconsistencies. However, for the price tag, I am definitely happy with my purchase as the belt itself is still extremely functional.
All in all, this is definitely something you should check out if you’re interested in a low cost battle belt set-up. Though you will need to supply your own duty belt (in this case I’ve used a HSGI Cobra Riggers Belt, also from DS Tactical), the simplicity, features and value that you get out of the 5.11 version of the VTAC Brokos Belt makes it well worth it for me.
Pretty cool looking, isn’t it?