Words and Pics: Rich Norman
I’m always sabotaging myself so I’ll say it anyway, but look – look at what I mean:
These products are surely as edgy and drainpipe trouser-tastic as the man behind T.REX ARMS himself, Lucas Botkin.
That’s a good thing.
I was lucky enough to borrow these belts from Tactical Kit.
In fact, as soon as I heard the Orion belts had landed, I made a nuisance of myself until all they could do was send me some swag to shut me up.
Nevertheless, as is good and proper this gear goes back after I’ve had a look at it, so I can’t comment on long term use and abuse; but honestly – you can see from the construction that not only is this stuff competently made, it’s bomb proof.
The Orion belts are your classic two part belt combo – inner and outer. The inner is a sturdy, double layer, 1 3/4″ tall webbing belt which secures with a Cobra buckle.
Here it is in Coyote:
Size is adjusted via a chunky metal triglide.
It’s a refreshingly simple design which is cut overly long, so that the user can decide on the appropriate length; then chop it and seal the end with a lighter or similar. Having said that, do see my note on sizing later in this article.
Simple is good, because you must take apart the inner belt at one end to thread it through the outer belt (and make sure that this is the end you thread your UBL onto, or you’ll have problems).
The outer belt is a grippy, cushioned, 3 1/8″ tall sleeve with laser cut laminate in place of PALS channels. If you’re familiar with the gel-feel lining of HSGI’s benchmark Sure Grip Padded Belt, you’ll also be familiar with the Orion’s.
The laser cut laminate accepts inner belts up to 1 3/4″ tall, but there is a recommended lower limit of 1 1/2″.
Aside from providing PALS channels, the laminate features apertures with which the inner belt can be threaded externally – for holster use, for example:
Here’s some detailed pics of the outer in Multicam, with the inner in situ. It’s super light, partly because it dispenses with PALS webbing.
In the pics, readers may have noticed the snap hooks at the front of the outer belt.
Personally I would remove these if I owned the belt. I found them a tiny bit irritating if I’m honest, but maybe that’s because I didn’t have a use for them.
I didn’t notice any branding on the hooks, so I’m unsure of their provenance.
Similarly vexing, flapping around as they do while donning and doffing the belt, are the trouser belt loop tabs.
I can see the point of these – to make opening the belt loops easier, when they are attached to your trouser belt (another way of wearing this system).
Again – like the snap hooks – these flapping tabs aren’t a huge issue. Readers shouldn’t let my irritability cloud their judgement on what is a really nice to have in the loops themselves.
The loops can be used to anchor the outer belt to a trouser belt, and it’s really straightforward due to the Velcro construction – a great feature.
The loops do the same job as Crye’s MRB system: locking the weight bearing outer belt to your trousers, via your trouser belt; except instead of a full length velcro strip, T.REX ARMS uses loops – which are a lot more versatile, attaching to pretty much any trouser belt that will fit though the loops.
The inner belt size corresponds to the outer. I went with large.
Now, the size of the inner belt has to take into consideration the circumference of the outer belt, but T.REX ARMS’ idea of large is pretty generous for both belts.
As a 36″ jeans size, large worked for me, but in hindsight I’d have gone with medium. Sure, this belt is supposed to be worn low, but the large outer belt wrapped around my hips further than I normally prefer.
T.REX ARMS provides this information on its website:
- MEDIUM – 9 PANELS – 36″ LONG – ROUGHLY SIZE 30-34 WAIST
- LARGE – 10 PANELS – 39.5″ LONG – ROUGHLY SIZE 34-38 WAIST
Its all very well to deliver a sterile description of these products, but the real magic is in their use. I want to use the word synergy here because the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
This belt feels great. Of its kind, I think it’s my favourite so far. It’s just so comfortable and wearable.