I was going through boxes in the basement the other week and found the suspenders for my old issued Eagle Operator Gun Belt Padded/longest name ever. It actually got me a bit nostalgic for the MLCE and ALICE LBE our granddads used. It also got me thinking that it's funny when people call those set ups, load carrying belts with suspenders "old" or impractical. I see the combo as a modern version of them.
On long patrols, especially outside of large populated areas, out in the country or mountains you don't really need or want a plate carrier (the extra weight to wear you down or restrict mobility), you want something lighter. While I love my chest rigs, the MPCR on right and my RRV (not pictured). I also loved my belt and suspenders for training days due to the weight distribution at both the waist and shoulders. Since it's molle, it can be set up however you want (however many rifle and pistol mag pouches etc). You don't always need to mount the holster on the belt either - some dudes kept an IFAK, ammo and a dump pouch on theirs, and used a drop-leg holster for their pistol. Really great for ruck days, or shooting days where we were JUST shooting - rifle, pistol, and transition drills.
I think the fact that belt and suspenders are still issued and still a thing validates the concept. I also see dudes with kit that is waaaaaay overloaded. When piecing your kit together. I highly recommend running a mile or two in it (see what holds snug or needs tightening), go prone or kneel in it, try to low and high crawl in it. You'll see just how cumbersome some shit can be and have you reevaluate how you set your kit up. IF you still need some form of protection, you can also still wear concealable body armor (with or without plates) under a chest rig or with the belt and suspenders.
What do y'all think, old and outdated, or cool and still practical? With the last pic, look at it, imagine having to patrol that area for a few days or few weeks. Ask yourself, which would you rather have? I'm not saying that you don't need a plate carrier, just that they're not always practical.
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