Crye’s Modular Rigger’s Belt (MRB) represented something truly inventive when it was released.
However, it’s no secret that for as many people in the community who really rate the Crye MRB, there are those who’ve tried it and found it lacking…often whispering their dissent in hushed tones. Because who wants to be heard challenging the mighty Crye?
For me, where Crye went wrong with the MRB was in making the inner belt stiff and the outer belt more pliant. That’s not comfortable for me and I don’t think it carries weight as well as its converse, which is how my C2R belt is configured: pliant inner belt and stiff outer. The pliant inner, of course, is the awesome Flimmuur Tactical product I had specially made:
And therein lies a clue. As a community, I think we sometimes forget that Crye’s products are mass produced; not bespoke, artisanal solutions like Flimmuur and C2R’s, where dialogue between artisan – or their agent – and the end user is possible.
The other situation I found myself in with the MRB was that I needed a differently sized inner to the outer, to make it work as I required. Large inner, medium outer, as I recall. That’s a problem when the item is off the shelf.
Again, the more agile UK nylon companies really come into their own under these circumstances.
2. Who is the C2R belt for?
I would say C2R’s belt is good choice for those disillusioned with the MRB. Basically it is a direct competitor to a product which is three years old and well overdue for a 2.0.
Equally, the C2R is a solid competitor to something more bleeding edge, like Ronin Tactics’ Sensei micro MOLLE belt. Although the Ronin product is more modern and innovative in concept, its appeal may not be as broad as the C2R; which I would characterise as a known quantity and a safe choice.
Like the MRB, the C2R is part of a two piece structure of loop velcro inner belt (Flimmuur, in my case) and hook velcro outer (the C2R). Unlike the MRB, the C2R doesn’t come with an inner belt. So that will come as an additional cost to an outer belt, which alone is comparable to the price of an MRB – which is a complete package.
Aside from velcro, the C2R also offers inner belt loops for added security. You can thread the inner belt through these loops, as well as using the velcro, for heavier loads. Check where the outer belt loops are positioned, though. The C2R’s loops need to be in dissimilar locations to your trouser loops, so they dovetail with each other and don’t overlap.
The C2R offers four of these loops. Two at the back and two at the front, near the ends. I don’t use the rear loops, because like the MRB’s loops they make donning and doffing a PITA. I do use the front loops, however.
The PALS on the outside of the C2R is stupidly tight. The tightest I’ve ever come across and they could really do with looking into it. No one died during the MOLLE threading process, but they nearly did 😉
Much as I hate MALICE clips, they actually work really well under these circumstances; as does the backing of Crye’s Smart Pouch Suite. Blue Force Gear’s (BFG) backing, on the other hand, is challenging to thread. I’ve got three BFG pouches on the belt and now they are on, they are not moving again…
Unlike the MRB which has a polymer Fastex style buckle, the C2R comes with a proper Austrialpin one. TBH, it’s over specified for me, as is the tubular webbing, which is officially rated for loads. I’m sure C2R or AM Tactical – where I sourced the belt – can tell you what its load rated capabilities are. The belt features a carabiner loop, which can be seen in the pic above. I think that says a lot.
As much as it’s not necessary for me, the tubular webbing is another nice to have and like the entire belt it looks quality. Side by side with the ‘just enough’ quality of Crye products, you can see the difference.
Length adjustment is shown in the pic above. I’ve popped an ITW Web Dominator on here, because I am secretly addicted to them. The Web Dominator tidies things away nicely.
The C2R is slim, but stiff along its vertical plane.
4. What I’m carrying
I’ve been using the C2R in addition to a PC or chest rig. I don’t carry a pistol on the belt, but I know people who do.
Top to bottom: BFG double M4 mag pouch, Crye Smart Pouch Suite 5.56/7.62/BITR Pouch, Emdom dumper, Crye Smart Pouch Suite 152 / Bottle Pouch, BFG Medium Vertical Utility Pouch, BFG Boo Boo Pouch.
Incidentally, the Emdom dumper is the best I’ve ever used – and I’ve been through a lot of them.
The Boo Boo pouch is quite an interesting one, for small items; only taking up two PALS columns:
Fit is a major component with gear, be it ergonomic or anatomic.
My C2R belt is based on a 36″ trouser waist size, but takes the inner belt into consideration. It features 19 PALS columns and, crucially, the belt pad doesn’t go far past my hip bones – which is perfect. This means it doesn’t get in the way when I take a knee.
As mentioned earlier, AM Tactical sourced my C2R belt and provided excellent customer service, as usual, throughout the entire process.
You can find them on Facebook, or go to their website. Thanks very much for bearing with me, guys! (They know I’m a picky twat) 🙂
The C2R Lite MOLLE Belt is a solid alternative to the Crye MRB, providing you’re happy to pay that bit extra. For me it is a superior alternative, for the reasons I’ve laid out during this review. Secondly, I thoroughly recommend mating the C2R with Filmmuur’s inner belt.
As with any custom item, make sure you stipulate your acceptance criteria in a specific way. C2R constantly evaluates and upgrades its products using feedback from the sharp end. However, it’s best to double check current specifications, so you are fully aware of what you’ll receive.
On that note, thanks very much to AM Tactical and their stewardship in getting me a great belt which is perfect for my requirements 🙂