While recently touring the High Speed Gear factory just outside Camp Lejeune North Carolina I got to assemble my own Laser Slim-Grip® Padded Battle Belt. After that, I headed to Texas to assist in the War on Hogs, aka, Wild Hog Combat, aka, Operation Save the Wheat. The battle belt proved a real asset functionally. It’s quality and comfort were not surprising given what I witnessed at the factory.
How I Used The High Speed Gear Battle Belt
My hog hunting kit changes regularly. Different guns, ammo, optics, but some things stay the same. I want my pistol, a knife or multitool, gloves, mags, a tourniquet and a flashlight, and maybe more. And I want all that easily accessible. For years I’ve theorized that something like the High Speed Gear Battle Belt would meet the need. It didn’t disappoint.
The belt itself, before adding any taco pouches, holsters, etc., is amazing. I opted for the Laser Slim-Grip® Padded Belt – Slotted. It consists of two parts, a Rigger belt (either 1.75” or 1.5” widths). I chose multicam, but given my typical after dark hog hunting ops, I might have done better with a multicam black version.
The belt is comfortable, really comfortable. It carried the weight of my kit all night, three nights in a row. It’s tacky backing and the snug fit made sure nothing moved around. Much like a traditional weight lifting belt, it supported and stabilized my back and abdomen. I’d messed up my lower back just before the hunt and as a result I was much more comfortable wearing it than not.
Here’s how I built my belt up: At three o’clock I have a CompTac International holster (High Speed Gear recently bought Comp-Tac) for my HK VP9. Originally I had a HSG holster for the Sig P320 that we used with Sig Academy after the factory tour, but as much as I liked the P320 I don’t own one. My pistol was easy to draw, yet quite secure. I had thought these might be competing interests, but it seems they were symbiotic.
At four o’clock, tucked into the padded belt, I have a R.A.T.S – Rapid Application Tourniquet. If in the unfortunate circumstance it’s needed, a simple one handed pull will retrieve it. Tucking it into the belt eliminated the need for an additional taco pouch, keeping the system low profile.
On the factory tour I added a dump pouch at six o’clock, but I removed it for the hunt. We’re in and out of vehicles constantly and it would be in the way.
I placed an iTACO® Phone/Tech Pouch V2 to hold my phone. On the tour, the other invited media types and I got to “tie” or lace these up. You’d think that would be a simple thing for this crowd, but you’d be wrong. Our collective appreciation for the High Speed Gear employees who tie all the tacos escalated immediately as we worked on our own tacos.
From nine o’clock to eleven I placed a Double Decker® Taco® Lt – Molle and a Double Pistol Taco® – Molle. The Double Decker large taco held a spare rifle mag, which on this hunt varied from Alexander Arms’ seventeen round 6.5 Grendel mags, to their 50 Beowulf mags, to a Hexmag loaded with .458 SOCOM, to a Magpul for 5.56 loads. It was a fun hunt! The outer taco is primarily designed to hold a pistol mag, but I put a Leatherman multitool in it instead. In the Double Pistol mag taco I put a spare VP9 mag and a flashlight. All this brings to light the versatility of the High Speed Gear taco system. The tacos are ingeniously designed to easily receive and retain whatever you can cram into them. A flashlight pushes in just like a magazine. The polymer guides on the bungee allow the taco to flex and grip nicely while still letting you retrieve your gear as needed.
In my case, I had my flashlight constantly in and out the taco. I swapped pistol mags once, and rifle mags every so often. I used the Leatherman several times. Everything was where I wanted it when I wanted it. This High Speed Gear kit just worked!
At eleven o’clock, under the Double Pistol Taco, I attached a carabineer to the padded belt and hooked a pair of Rapid Lt Gloves – Black. For me, gloves come on and off depending on conditions and what I’m doing.
My years of theorizing that a kit like this would be a real asset in hog combat were not misplaced. One benefit that really stood out was the ability to drop the belt when we headed back to the farmhouse for food, etc. No extra gear hanging on while I slipped into the recliner, but with a quick click of the belt I was back online, ready to go back out on Operation Save The Wheat. Did I mention how comfortable the belt proved?
Inside High Speed Gear
High Speed Gear is a tactical “Lego” company. From belts to chest rigs, pouches (tacos) to holsters, they make gear you can build into the custom kit of your own imagination.
Like other top tier shooting, hunting and outdoors companies, High Speed Gear combines the leverage of precision automation with human passion to create products focused military and law enforcement needs. Products cannot break down in salt water, heat etc. HSG love us regular civilians, too, and that pedigree means we get to use gear that stands up to the toughest requirements and that has been designed and tested beyond some cheap Amazon kit.
Some of the automation processes include laser cutting of materials. End users benefit from the consistency this gives the product line. A lesser process could easily result in belts labeled the same size but that vary in reality. Or tacos that retain your mags inconsistently. High Speed Gear’s investment in automation to keep things consistent pays off for them and for us.
Automation also creates super strong materials, and who doesn’t want that? They have a high tech gluing process where four pieces of material go into a machine and come out as a single piece. Here again, this process delivers a consistent product to us, the end users.
The automation makes the jobs of High Speed Gear employees better. At the time I was there, HSG had 87 people in manufacturing jobs and that number was growing. They employ full time people who get full benefits, a really big deal in the small town of Swansboro, North Carolina. Many of these jobs appear to be filled with the moms, sisters and wives of soldiers at one of the nearby bases. These people care about the end users in a very personal way. You can imagine how that motivates them when it comes to the quality of their work. They turn out 35,000 units a month, all of which go through four quality checks before the product heads out the door to both national and international customers in more than 130 countries.
Not counting the holster, my belt rings up at $240. At one time, that might have seemed a bit high to me. I didn’t understand all that went into it. I couldn’t see the complexity or how the quality difference would impact me, the end users. I mean, really, I’m not planning on taking on ISIS in the desert. But now, having seen the processes, materials and people, and having used my High Speed Gear Battle Belt in Operation Save the Wheat, I’m convinced that $240 is a better than fair deal. Honestly, all I have to do is remember the group of esteemed gun media gathered trying to tie a simple iTACO and I could justify another $100 on the price!