Review: HSGI’s Micro Grip Belt Panel
High Speed Gear is already well known for putting out quality and innovative products for people who need hard use gear. I’ve been hip to HSGIs taco pouches for about as long as they have been out there and despite looking elsewhere at each new design to come along, I have stuck with them because they do as designed very well. The HSGI Taco is one of the few quality pouches out there for the AK style magazines (at least if you want an open top style pouch) and I can’t think of another pouch system that is as adjustable or versatile when it comes to stacking your ammunition right where you need it.
All that said, HSGI doesn’t specialize in the more low profile gear, at least they didn’t until recently. The already-venerable Taco pouches for rifle and handgun can now be had with a direct-to-belt mounting option, and HSGI offers a direct belt handcuff pouch as well. With the hybrid fabric/plastic design of the Taco, these pouches are very concealable.
This makes them perfect for soft clothes LE work, EDC and any other low visibility carry where you want to keep your posture as soft as possible. I had planned on picking up a few of the direct belt mount pouches before I found out about an upcoming product from HSGI that really got my interest; a smaller, lighter Suregrip belt that promised to remove the need for a Velcro inner belt: the Micro Grip Belt Panel.
Having worn a handful of different duty belts in my life, I have learned the pros and cons of different style systems. Strict belts require some sort of inner/outer system, usually accomplished with belt keepers to join the two. This system works and has worked for generations but not without its drawbacks, mainly its slow to put on, slow to take off and a pain to keep stable over the period of a work shift or heavy movement day on the range.
When the Velcro system hit the market, you could wear an inner belt that attached directly to your outer belt and removed the need for belt keepers (for the most part). It was much faster than the traditional style but tended to require a tighter fit to keep things in place, which is not as comfortable and comfortable is important.
The Micro Grip mounts directly to the Velcro backing of HSGIs 1.75” Cobra Riggers belt and can be thrown on right over whatever belt you happen to be wearing. The SureGrip fabric and design provide a very positive grip against your waist that keeps the belt in place even under heavy movement, but will it stay in place?
I worked with the Micro Grip during a few range sessions and found that even with sprinting and navigating obstacles (both over and around), it definitely did its job. Explosive movement (muzzle up and down both, just to poke that bear) did not affect the belt in any noticeable way. Running one or two full AR mags, 2-3 pistol mags, handcuffs and a light at the waist was not enough weight to cause the SlimGrip pad to give up and leave my gear around my ankles.
Suffice it to say, I am very impressed. However, is there a real need for such a product? I mean, if you already have a dedicated duty belt system or work for an agency that frowns on anything not basketweave leather or clarino (because: tradition) what will the Micro Grip do for you? Well, it allows someone to change their gear from light or duty to everything I could possibly need in a few seconds. You could have a full complement of mags, cuffs and other gear at the ready and have it on and ready to go out of the trunk while other guys are still doing the Tactical Plié to fasten up their leg rig.
In LE I normally run light because I don’t push a patrol car anymore, though the need arises occasionally to put on more than just the day to day basics. A Micro Grip equipped belt makes that very quick and easy. HSGIs durability is already well known and the Micro Grip Belt Panel certainly helps bridge the gap between those who carry everything, all the time and those who need to carry everything, some of the time.
Fresh to the market, you can find the Micro Gripand all HSGIs belt ready pouches at highspeedgear.com. If it’s something you could see filling that hole in your life, grab one, you won’t be sorry.
by Aaron Breach Bang Cowan