Scot’s Product Review: Regulation Tactical Belt, Glide Panel, Magazine Pouches, and Load Bearing Brackets

Regulation Tactical is a California-based company that sells U.S.-made tactical gear. It was founded by a Marine who, “after three combat tours, got tired of the problems his issue gear created and wanted to create solutions for them.” I have not used Marine issued gear nor done combat tours, but I think Regulation has definitely created some interesting and useful solutions to some of the difficulties caused by carrying handguns and magazines and wearing hard body armor.

Glide Instructor Belt

The first item in the review is the $29.99 Glide Instructor Belt, which solves the problem of removing and then replacing an outside the waist band (OWB) holster, which is a pain with a normal belt. It is a clever multiple layered device with lots of Velcro, and it reminds me of the inner/outer systems used with many competition and police duty belts. The idea is that you have an inner belt with Velcro that goes through your pants’ belt loops and thenan outer belt with more Velcro on which you have all of your gear. When you are ready for business, you just apply the outer belt to the inner one and off you go to shoot targets or deal with bad guys. Back in my days of shooting action pistol matches that didn’t require concealment, I used this sort of rig and found it surprisingly secure.

The Glide Instructor belt dispenses with having to wear two belts and has what I believe is a unique system of three layers that overlap where the two ends of the belt connect. There is an inner layer on the shooter’s dominant side that connects to the tongue from the dominant side with Velcro. The outer layer on the shooter’s dominant side then attaches to the inner layers with Velcro and goes over the belt loops. Having the outer layer go over the belt loops is the key to the neat trick this belt performs for folks who use outside the waistband holsters. You can quickly, easily, and safely put on and remove your handgun in one quick operation by peeling up the outer layer and slipping it through the holster’s belt loops. You do get the ripping Velcro sound, of course, but you don’t have to undo your belt and unthread it to get the holster and gun off and then rethread it to hold your pants up.

Additionally, remember that there are three layers of Glide Belt. Two of them are still holding your pants up while you are putting on or taking off your weapon. We often have other gear secured to our belts– spare magazines, multi-tools, and the like; all of that weight will pull your pants down. You need three hands during this operation if using a regular belt; you’d need two to thread things and a third to hold it all up.

For anyone who has to come and go from non-permissive locations, this is a real blessing. I often find myself going through this ordeal of restricted freedom and one of the worst parts of the problem (besides being disarmed) is the additional handling of the weapon, often in places where is it awkward, such as a car. In many cases, one will unholster the weapon in the process, which is less safe than leaving it holstered. A holstered handgun, assuming it’s in a well-designed holster and weapon, is very safe. It is far less safe to have to be moving the pistol around in your hand, particularly in the close confines of a vehicle. With the Glide Belt, you simply pull up the outer layer, slide the holster with handgun off, secure it safely, and reattach the outer belt layer.

There is also the benefit of having removed the holster rather than leaving it on your belt as I have often done to avoid the struggle with removing the holster. Should you have to go through a security point, you won’t have to explain why you have a holster and where your weapon is. Trust me, even empty holsters can raise hackles on an anti-freedom security person.

I usually wear an inside the waist band (IWB) holster and choose models with snap on belt loops so I can remove the whole rig in one operation. The issue of getting the thing off is one of the reasons. While I think the IWB conceals better, it is less comfortable. However, since I have been wearing this belt, I have been finding myself using some of the fine OWB holsters I own a lot more often and enjoying the extra comfort they provide.

My one glitch is that I am on the absolute maximum edge of one of the sizes, and if I were to gain more weight (my wife cooks too well and I’m spending too much time writing instead of exercising) I will have problems. If you are at the very top boundary of a size, it might be smarter to grudgingly take the larger one.

The belts can be had in black, ranger green, coyote brown, or MultiCam. I chose Ranger Green for the one I purchased to match my Scout uniform and the olive drab cargo pants and shorts I frequent.

The workmanship is very nice with excellent stitching, and the materials appear durable and of high quality. The Velcro is the military grade hook and loop, and it works well; the layers adhere strongly to one another. They make so much noise when you peel them off that I learned not to remove it in the bedroom after my suffering wife has gone to sleep. You can reduce the noise level by going slow, but that takes patience.

I will admit to finding the instructional video on using the belt to be helpful. I’m left-handed, and I initially got a bit perplexed on how to use it, but after a little head scratching, it became quite clear. I normally thread belts into the left side of my pants, but with this one, the video showed it going in the other way. It suddenly dawned on me that the video was for the majority of people who are right-handers, and when I use it I could keep on threading it the same way as my regular belts. Duh.

I wondered about how securely it would hold up the pistol, but I had zero problems with a steel Colt Commander, which at 43 ounces loaded with a seven round magazine is significantly heavier than a Glock 17 at 32 ounces, which is a pistol probably more commonly carried these days than my Colt.

I found this to be a very ingenious design and quite useful for those who must disrobe from their sidearm. It works well, and the price, when compared to similar sorts of belts, is extremely reasonable. It is now my go-to belt for OWB holsters. In black, it might be inconspicuous enough to wear with dressier clothes, if the belt loops are wide enough.

Glide Panel

The $4 Glide Panel is used with the Glide Belt when one has gear with 1.75-inch loops. The Glide Belt is 1.5 inches wide so that it will work with most jeans and trousers. We often wind up with holsters made with 1.75 inch belt loops and this leads to slop that can delay the draw stroke or cause discomfort, as the weapon has more room to slip about. The Glide Panel is simply a somewhat rigid 9-inch long strip that is still flexible enough to wrap around the body and widens the belt to 1.75 inches. It has Velcro on both sides. You stick it to the outer layer, the holster goes on, and then it is all pressed down on the inner layer. It works well and helps make for a more solid carry, as the handgun is always where it should be and not flopping around. I am usually careful to size my belts and holsters to match, but this crafty bit of gear allows you to get by with one less belt if you have holsters in both 1.5- and 1.75-inch sizes, as I do.

Ammo Pouch AR-15 Reflex Mag Pouch MkII

Regulation Tactical loaned me two of their $35 ammo pouches. These are clever and highly versatile items that, like the Glide Belt, make use of a lot of Velcro.

The pouch can be configured in several ways; I hope I don’t miss any. First, you have a choice to use a shock cord retainer, if you want extra security in retaining your magazines or put it aside if you want faster access to a reload. You can configure the pouch to hold one or two magazines. Finally, you can remove or leave the spring, which retains the magazines.

The spring was the interesting part to me. Its purpose is to provide secure magazine retention, even if you configure the pouch to hold two magazine and you have withdrawn one. This is no easy trick. Conventional pouches simply can’t retain a magazine after the first one is used, and on those you need to have a flap or strap secured with a hook, loop, or snap. If you don’t secure the pouch, the magazine can be lost, whch is not good. On the other hand, a flap or strap slows down access to a reload, which is also not good.

The spring includedby Regulation Tactical’s pouch pushes the magazines forward and has enough tension to hold in a single magazine after the first is removed. It also creates some space behind the magazines to make it easier to extract one than you can from a pouch that pulls them tight against the body.

Another extremely well thought out function is that the spring pushes the outer magazine against the sloped bottom of the pouch, which means it rides about ¾ of an inch higher than the inner magazine allowing you to grasp it more easily.

The only drawbacks of this system are that it makes the pouch about ½-inch thicker than a standard two-magazine pouch and it can take more effort to extract or insert a magazine. The spring will compress if you lie on it when prone, but it will always be a bit thicker than a conventional pouch as the spring can only collapse so far and there is a need for more layers of material to accommodate all of the adjustments available with the design. There is no way around the effort if you wish to retain magazines without a cover.

You can remove the spring and create a lower profile magazine carrier for one or two magazines as well as reducing the effort to draw a magazine, but bear in mind you will have to use the shock cord strap to retain the second magazine once the first is removed, which means it is in the way. If you set it up for just one magazine, however, you can make it tight enough to hold the single magazine without the shock cord retainer.

I thought it worked brilliantly using the spring with GI- or H&K-style AR metal magazines with indented ribs. Some polymer magazines have protruding ribs and baseplates, and they took a bit of futzing to get the tension right, but it could be done. The only ones I decided were a bad bet were Thermolds, which were very difficult to get working as they have very prominent ribs that catch as you pull out the first magazine and can pull the second one out with it. TangoDown magazines were a snap and just as easy as the metal ones. Lancers were a bit more trouble than the TangoDowns, while Magpuls were a little harder to fit than the Lancers. The Gen 3 Magpuls were easier than Gen 2’s as the baseplates on the Gen 3 aren’t as wide.

One thing that made it harder, especially with the polymer magazines, was if the Magpul rubber loops that many of us like to use had been installed on the magazines. These make the magazine quite a bit wider at the base as well as creating some additional friction when you extract a magazine. You can get it to work, but it will take more effort to set the pouch up. The problem is that proper function depends on getting the width of the pouch right, and when the magazine is wider at one end, it forces you to make it a bit looser than optimum for retention. If you get it tight enough to surely retain the last magazine with the pulls installed, you wind up with needing more effort than I like to remove or insert the second magazine. I had the least trouble using the pulls on metal and TangoDown magazines and the most with the Magpul Gen 2 magazines. I would advise replacing pull loops with the Magpul Ranger Plates for use with this pouch.

It is important to seat the magazines properly, which isn’t hard to do. You want to be sure that the front magazine rides higher so that it is easy to grasp and extract. All you have to do is be sure to fully seat the rear magazine.

The pouch has the ubiquitous MOLLE/PALS straps to attach it to some sort of carrier, and they also link to some belt adapters on their site if you want to use it on a conventional belt.

This is one of the best efforts I’ve seen to create a two-magazine pouch that doesn’t require a flap or strap to retain the second magazine after the first is withdrawn. It also offers some additional options for lower profile carry so it is quite versatile and worth a good look if you need pouches. I’m thinking about replacing some of my pouches with them. The pricing is quite good too. As with the belt, they are available in black, coyote brown, MultiCam, and ranger green.

Load Bearing Brackets

These gizmos are intended to help the user better distribute the weight of a plate carrier with armor, and they appear to do the trick. I only spent a couple of hours using them, but I felt they performed as intended.

The basic idea is to shift some of the weight from the user’s shoulders and back to their waist by connecting the plate carrier to a belt. One might note that this strategy is widely used with backpacks, and it is very effective at reducing fatigue and stress on the neck, shoulders, and back. As one who spent many years carrying heavy camera equipment, I welcome any chance to move the weight from my shoulders to someplace else.

The LBBs provide brackets that attach to the plate carrier and to a belt. The belt, in my case, was a second one that rode higher than my normal belt. This worked with my anatomy and was welcome as it allowed me to add a belt at the lower level for a holster and other gear. Your anatomy might be different, and you might wind up attaching it to your normal belt. In that case, you would lose a bit of flexibility as the LBBs occupy some space. If you can make it work with a separate belt, you have more options on how to use your gear. In my case, it means I can use my belt with or without the plate carrier without having to remove it from the carrier. In any case, the belt needs to be stiff and supportive, like a police duty belt. A flexible web belt isn’t going to work well.

The attachments to the carrier are via MOLLE/PALS straps, while the attachment to the belt is a wraparound strap that secures with Velcro. I watched the video to be sure I got it right, though the instructions printed on a nice bandana were reasonably clear. I could have done it without the video but might have done it twice rather than once.

A side benefit is that since the LBBs hold the plate carrier up, they seem to allow more air to get under the carrier, which has a welcome cooling effect.

The heavier the load you carry, the greater the benefit with the LBBs. Steel plates are very popular these days, and they are quite heavy; so, the LBBs merit a look if you have a set.

The LBBs might seem pricey at $125 for a set of four or $65 for a set of two, but if one is going to be wearing armor for any length of time, they might turn out to be well worth it. They require a good deal of labor to create and show high quality, so the price isn’t unreasonable. As with the other gear, you get a choice of black, coyote brown, MultiCam, and ranger green.

– SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor, Scot Frank Eire