A little company called Sentry has begun producing a new battle belt they are calling the Gunnar Low Profile Operator Belt. The Gunnar Belt has a minimalistic design that offers you above-average performance. I’ve recently gotten my hands on a Gunnar belt as well as a few pouches from Sentry to adorn it. Battle belts have come a very long way in the last few years.
In 2009 I deployed to Afghanistan, and this started the great transition from big ole MTVs armored carriers to more minimalist plate carriers. Small armored carriers presented less room to mount gear.
Guys in my squad began repurposing the belts from their load-bearing vests (LBV) to battle belts. At this time, dedicated MOLLE compatible belts were not common. Since then, the industry has exploded, and belts are available, from high-end options like the Sentry belt to cheaply made-in-China crap.
Why a Batman Belt?
Before we dive into the Sentry Gunnar belt, let’s talk about belts in general. Our guys used them because they didn’t have room on their carriers for six mags, grenades, belt-fed ammo, knives, tools, and more they carried on patrol. Minimalist plate carriers simply don’t offer lots of room for mission-essential gear.
Moving some gear to the belt allows you to have plenty of room for your goods. Beyond that, you’re probably going to be rocking a belt to carry a sidearm anyway, so now you have an option for your handgun and some extra gear.
I’ve fallen in love with belts due to their ergonomics. Reloading a rifle, pistol, or subgun from a belt-mounted pouch feels more natural and ergonomic than reloading from the front of my armor. Retrieving other goodies, like tools, knives, and medical kits also feels more ergonomic and intuitive.
The Gunnar IFAK Solution
IFAKs, in general, work extremely well on battle belts like the Gunnar. You can remove your belt entirely with either hand and apply first aid to yourself or another. With the IFAK in front of you, you have full access to all your necessary goods. You don’t have to keep reaching rearwards to access your necessary medical gear.
Time matters when treating traumatic wounds. An IFAK in your face is easier to work with than one mounted to the side or rear of your armor. Belts, in general, are easier to don and remove, and in a rapidly moving situation, that can be extremely valuable.
When we had to cross rivers, we kept our gear dry by removing the belt and tossing it around our necks. Being able to quickly remove and don your gear can be quite valuable for a variety of scenarios.
Also, you don’t need to wear a plate carrier to have ammo, tools, and an IFAK on you. That’s a nice feeling in an environment that’s mostly safe but has the capability to pop off at any time.
But why the Sentry Gunnar belt?
Belts are cool. They give us Batman vibes and deliver us an accessible platform for your gear. Lots of people make tons of great belts, so you might ask, why should I choose the Sentry Gunnar belt?
First, the belt is high quality. Duh. That’s the first obvious reason. The Gunnar belt is made from high-strength nylon that’s 1.75 inches wide. It’s dummy thicc too, almost a quarter inch total.
At 1.75 inches thick, the belt provides you a minimalist platform for mounting gear. Lots of gear belts are massive in size, and that’s fine when you want to go off with a pad, awesome suspenders, and all that jazz. If you believe smaller and lighter is better, then the Gunnar gives you that. In a pinch, a minimalist battle belt can be concealed under a jacket or flannel shirt.
Even as a minimalist belt, the Gunnar features a built-in support system.
The Gunnar belt itself is covered in the hook side of hook and loop material. An internal inner belt goes through your belt loops, and you stick the Gunnar outer belt to the Gunnar inner belt. It remains supported and cannot be twisted, bent, or dropped out of place.
When attached to the inner belt, the Gunnar belt remains incredibly stable. When I draw magazines, take up an awkward position, or transition to my handgun, the Gunnar belt doesn’t move. It provides me with a very stable platform that never compromises when I need it most.
I’m able to retrieve what I need and carry on without fighting with my belt. The inner belt support also makes it easy to wear with armor. Easier and more comfortable than using suspenders to support the belt. Plus, it’s easier to remove than a suspender support belt.
The laser-cut MOLLE webbing gives you a vertical platform for accessory mounting.
A small portion up front features a horizontal mounting platform for accessories you want sideways. These fully stitched MOLLE slots provide you with webbing that’s plenty strong to handle all your gear. Including all your heavy, fully loaded magazines.
Upfront, we also get the best belt buckle on the market for tactical gear belts, which is the quick-release Cobra belt buckle. This tough buckle provides you with a quick detach yet extremely secure buckle for all your gear carrying needs.
I’ve been rocking and rolling the Sentry Gunnar belt with most of the PCCs I enjoy shooting. The pouches hold everything from Scorpion to Glock mags. I’ve run numerous ranges reviewing numerous guns. I’ve worked my reloads, used it behind cover, and sent plenty of rounds downrange using the Gunnar belt to carry my gear.
It’s inherently durable.
After tugging magazine after magazine out of the pouch, you’d think the MOLLE would give at the seams or begin to loosen, yet it remains strong. It is very well stitched, and I’ve found zero weakness in it.
Tossing it on and peeling it off takes no real effort. In fact, the only thing I’d say is difficult about the whole thing is aligning the rear of the Gunnar belt with the rear of the inner belt. Sometimes it jumps the material and takes some readjustment to perfect the fit. When time is on the line, perfect alignment doesn’t really matter.
Speaking of, the belt comes in numerous sizes but is still adjustable for a refined fit. I’ve been dropping a few pounds, and I’ve made some slight adjustments to the belt to ensure the fit remains tight. You get quite a bit of room to adjust and fit the belt to your waist. Keeping it tight means keeping your stuff easy to access.
To give a real durability test, it strung it around a tree and made it support my entire body weight. It didn’t give up and drop me from the tree, which is great because I prefer my ass unbruised.
If you keep your gear light and minimalist, the belt can be concealable—concealable being a relative term. It looks bulky and won’t pass an upfront sniff test, but it will pass at a distance. The belt is small enough to get away with it, and if you choose a more discrete color than Multicam, you’ll be able to hide it a bit easier.
You can get your Batman on with all the gear, accessories, and goodies you could ever need for a combative situation. Heck, the minimalist size transcends just tactical use. It could be an excellent tool on a wildland fire where a fire shelter, knife, multitool, radio, water source, and more must-haves.
The Gunnar belt provides users with a low profile, durable, and easy-to-use option for carrying their tactical gear. It makes things nice and accessible and provides a durable mounting platform for all your goodies.
The Gunnar from Sentry provides shooters, soldiers, and cops with an awesome, premium-grade belt for all their gear carrying needs. Check it out here, and let me know what you think about Batman belts below.
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner, a lifelong firearms enthusiast, and now a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is the world’s Okayest firearm’s instructor.