Like one of Pavlov’s dogs, the moment I enter an airport and hear those tinny sounding PA announcements, I robotically begin shedding items…  my watch, keys and Blackberry go into a zippered compartment on my bag, and as I stroll toward the TSA checkpoint I take my belt off and stow it.  It’s become second nature.

Spec-Ops Better BDU Belt - 1-3/4" widthOne way to leave your belt in place (and your pants up!) in airports is to find one that’s completely non-metallic.  Here’s an option from Spec-Ops, a firm founded in 2000 by two former CamelBak employees:  the “Better BDU Belt.”  (BDU is an acronym for “Battle Dress Uniform”; Spec-Ops specializes in heavy duty gear targeted at servicemen, hunters and adventure enthusiasts.)  Imagine a belt made by Red Oxx, and you’d be close.

The belt is made of heavy gauge nylon webbing, and features a nearly indestructible polymer buckle that’s a cinch (ha! pun intended) to tighten and release.

Better BDU Belt colorsOnce tightened, it absolutely will NOT slip.  Although the Better BDU Belt favors the heavy duty, adventure gear side, I’ve worn it to work on casual Fridays and it looked great.

The belt is available in two widths – 1½” wide and 1¾” wide (shown above) and two lengths which will accommodate any waist size.  The length can be (permanently) adjusted in a matter of seconds, as well, by trimming its length.

The Better BDU belt comes in six colors (right), sells for $19.95, and is available directly from Spec-Ops.  And oh yeah…  keep your pants on!

The Fine Print:  I have no connection with Spec-Ops

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4 Comments on Stop undressing in airports with the Spec-Ops TSA-compliant “Better BDU” belt

  1. Michael W. says:

    I use an Eagle Creek nylon webbing money belt with plastic “clamp” style buckle for airport transit. The webbing materials look very similar to the Spec Ops you review here.

    Besides being a money belt – always helpful – the Eagle Creek belt has a clamp style buckle that is easy to adjust on the fly.

    I don’t think the Eagle Creek plastic clamp buckle is as secure as the threaded buckle type shown on the Spec Ops belt, it doesn’t seem to lock firmly, but I haven’t had any real problems just, just a feeling that a problem will develop one day with a loose clamp.

    The one issue I have with the Eagle Creek, was cutting the webbing down to size to fit my waist. Eagle Creek sells a single size you cut down to fit. From the Spec Ops website, they have two sizing options, but I can’t tell whether they intend you to wrap the excess material partly around your waist, or trim it to size; generally I like enough excess material to fit through the next belt loop, since a “home trimmed” web end doesn’t look that well finished. (I cut it to size with a pair of kitchen shears, then “melted” the web end to seal the loose threads.)

    So what’s the set up on the Spec Ops version – is the web end “melted” or is it finished?

    [Reply]

    Kevin Reply:

    Michael – the end is fused or melted – if you look closely at the photo you can see about a 1/4″ section that looks a bit glossier. They apparently clamp the end in some sort of heated device. If you want to shorten it, just use a really sharp razor knife (with care!) and use a butane torch or match to carefully melt the loose threads.

    I have the Eagle Creek belt as well, and like it. The buckle has held up well, although it hasn’t seen a tremendous amount of use. The Spec-Ops belt is much heavier duty, of course. Thanks for the comment.

    [Reply]

  2. Steffen says:

    Absolutely great review, thanks for sharing! I also have the Eagle Creek but am looking towards the Better BDU belt because of the higher width and sturdyness it provides. I just have to find a dealer here in Germany who sells it. I think I might miss the money belt option, though.

    [Reply]

  3. Hieu says:

    I’m using Better BDU Belts waist sizes: Regular, 24-36 easily adjusted using a very nice high quality value Made in the USA Thanks You and Gob Bless You

    [Reply]

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