A practical alternative to the conventional duty belt!

Copyright - John Deighton


Duty belts, and therefore the weight and shape of the equipment carried on
them, not only cause discomfort and fatigue to the officers wearing them, but over
the years of the officer’s career are believed to cause chronic physical problems for some officers, including, it's believed, serious back, leg, hip and nerve ailments.

The paramount purpose of the duty belt is, of course, to permit the officer to
carry there most vital pieces of gear in manner which will make them both
secure, and readily accessible when needed. Especially critical items that the officer must be able to draw quickly during a confrontation, like the handgun or the baton, which needs to be positioned where they're easily reachable – ideally, by either hand. Putting the holstered handgun, expandable baton, or
similar objects too far back on the belt, however, can make them press
uncomfortably into the rear of the seat when the officer is seated during a patrol
car. Also conflicting with the necessity for equipment accessibility, such as a holstered handgun or a vertical magazine pouch, which may press intolerably
into the officer’s stomach or ribs at the belt’s top edge, and into the officer’s upper
thighs, when the officer is seated during a vehicular patrol.

Ideally, any duty gear should be evenly distributed on the officer’s right and left sides, instead of having all of the heaviest objects on one side only. The recommendations are to place no hard or rigid items of gear rearward of their hips, where the item could cause kidney or spine injuries if the
officer were to fall on his or her back, or even just by sitting during a patrol, grinding the duty gear into the back for hours on end during a shift.

Typically female officers, compared to male officers, have an additional problem in not having the maximum amount of “real estate” – on there duty belt on which to position their equipment – as do officers with larger waistlines.

The problem arises where Officers with the 26-inch waist need to hold the same items of duty gear, and within the same relative locations on the belt, no less, as the officer with the 40-inch waist. As with footwear, it's just not the case that “one size fits all.” Indeed, the slimmer officer, whether male or female, may simply not be ready to carry every item of gear that a bigger officer carries –  For such officers, even finding space for a further belt keeper to stabilise the duty holster may even present a challenge.

In recent years in particular the U.S Police departments are now issuing Load Bear Vest in response to hundreds of workplace claims due to injuries that are consistent with wearing a duty belt with multiple items, which cause back, waist, hip and leg ailments, as well as nerve damage. What was once a common piece of duty gear, the Duty belt will be replaced with the Load Bearing Vest, as more and more Police and Security organisations change in order to reduce not only the increase in an officers chance of an injury associated with overloaded duty belts, but to also reduce the amount of claims being made against the departments. 

Check out our Load Bearing Vest here


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