Tactical Tailor

UK Pathfinders – Still Rocking the Belt Kit

Here two Pathfinders from the British Army’s 16th Air Assault Brigade practice rifle to pistol transitions at Ft Bragg as a member of the 3rd SFG(A) looks on.


The Pathfinders have long used a rather substantial belt kit for load carriage that rides below the rucksack. It’s cool to see them still using what has always worked in this day and age of so many commercially available options.


37 Responses to “UK Pathfinders – Still Rocking the Belt Kit”

  1. Timmay says:

    More importantly, what kind of pants are they sporting?

  2. Jim says:

    From what I can see they look Like our standard issue, then again I can’t see very much

  3. John says:

    Standard issue MTP Mk II

  4. Chris says:

    Everyone I see (apart from the people who one does not see) seems to have 90%+ reverted back to ECBA (the comedy tiny plates) and PLCE for training in the UK and abroad.

    Probably threw all the expensive Osprey Mk4s in a pit and burned them or something clever like that…

    • Zac says:

      I hear on the grapevine that there is a new body armour coming into service.

  5. Collin says:

    Those faded pants.

  6. Falcon 271 says:

    The left shooter wears salomon, and the shooter on right side wears Haix boots.

    Glück Ab

  7. Craig says:

    I still use issue suspenders and pistol belt with a BFG overbelt,on which are Paraclete M4x3 (carries 6)mag pouches,2 one qt canteen pouches/canteens, med kit,SSE/used mag pouch,Safariland holster and Paraclete double stack pistol mag pouch x 3.

    It worked in it’s original form for me in the 1980’s and 90’s,and the modified/upgraded version works for me now. I learned this after much trial and error and experimenting with chest rigs ect.

    New doesn’t always mean better.

    PS-I also still rock a canvas M5 med pack as well, when I am not having to use the M9.

  8. Thomas 67 says:

    Dude in the center looks like a tactical ballerina. Or at least, shares a similar profile shape. Joking aside, it’s pretty cool to see this as this kit doesn’t interfere with a rucksack.

  9. Dan says:

    Hmm drop leg strapped pistol holsters.. lol

    No way in the world would that configuration suit long range patrolling…

    • Rick says:


      A drop leg holster and the kind of patrolling these rigs are best for are incompatible.

      Also that draw has to be a bit exaggerated.

      That said I have used the TYR tactical belt rig (COMA?) for some patrolling and it worked rather well, especially when under a ruck.


    • Mac says:

      It doesn’t work well for 92% of people, and they most likely wouldn’t even bother carrying a pistol on patrol, you can carry 2 full magazines of 5.56 for the weight.

      Just maybe they were doing a range day as part of a cross training exercise and chucked some pistol holsters on for the purpose of a range shoot and then took them off afterwards. Maybe they weren’t even their pistol’s and holsters and were put on the range by some guys from 3rd SFG expressly for the purposes of these blokes using them for this stand.

      I’m not saying that’s exactly what happened but past experiences tell me that’s most likely what did happen.

  10. adil says:

    How ever you slice it, these guys likely have their kit squared away and most likely could get their job done effectively and efficiently. So looks dun matter, getting the job done does!

  11. Jim says:

    If its the British issue Glock the holster is part of the weapon system. Bloke centre, has his webbing slung low so that body armour/bergen, can be worn over the yoke, but the pouches are still useable (if not accesible).

    • Timmay says:

      Holsters look awfully serpa-like, buddy’s bound to shoot his foot off!

      Serpas are as safe as any other rig if you train to use it correctly.

  12. YeahRight says:

    The UK has been wearing chest rigs/vests as well as belt kit way back before 9/11.Australian soldiers still wear belt kit to.

  13. Dev says:

    Nothing wrong with fat man webbing / belt rigs. I wear a set despite only having a 28″ waist. Downside is it sits really really low on my hips which means I have to unbuckle the front just to unzip and take a piss. Really low profile H harness or 6-point one like the one the dude is wearing on the far left so the plate carrier can sit on top when needed.

    5 ADF standard issue minimi pouches, double width hippo pad (to prevent chaffing), Tactical Tailor dump pouch Malice Clipped in between 2 minimi pouches on non-master side, good to go.

  14. Toby says:

    I find it funny that we are more interested boots and pants( boots n pants, n boots n pants, n boots n pants) than we are in the very point of the article. The old style LCEs whether ours or theirs came about from those of us that had to patrol, A LOT with a ruck sack for days and days at a time. We have fallen away as we got more vehicle mobile and have these shorter incursions. This is very functional but it doesn’t look as sexy as kit. I remember when the thought of attaching pouches directly to my SPEARS armor carrier was bad because it was too hard to release the plates or the carrier in a hurry. This is all coming around again because sometimes having separate kit makes more sense. I used to hang my SOE Frog Rig on my SPEARS vest with zip tied fastex before all of this clip in chest rigs stuff happened. I had that vertical mounting pals webbing back when this was all new. Shit that was 2002 up at First Group. Worked like a charm at the flat range and house work. Funny how all this is coming back around. The old ways were designed for a reason.

    • Bill says:

      I was simply think what happens when you hitch a ride to the line of departure in a truck or helo with all the around your waist.

  15. Jim says:

    IF, it is the British Issue Glock the holster will be a RADAR. SSD covered this on its adoption, click on the UK link at the top of the article for details.
    The British never gave up on traditional webbing set ups but as several posters above have indicated recent operations have had a large element of battle taxi’ing which webbing isnt best suited for. In NI I was mostly wheel bound and a NI chest rig and an M16 alice clip ammo pouch and Browning (cross draw) on a ’58 Pattern belt was all I needed. Body armour didnt have MOLLE in those days so went under your smock with belt and rig on top. If any of that makes sense to you Cousins!

  16. MATT says:

    Looks ally as usual but seems to be stuck in the “good ol days”.

    There has been a lot of work done (project Payne etc) on reducing the loads soldiers are carrying.

    Things have got a tad out of had to the extent of guys carrying Jetboil cookers in their belt kits… WTF! What was wrong with 4 nails and some hexi… It’s for emergency / 24 hour survival after all, not to mention you can eat rations cold and drink water so is there a need to “Cook” at all (in warm / temperate climates) ?

    With their role so far forward of conventional forces and support I can understand the need to carry a little more but there are still “normal” units carrying to much – inc the kitchen sink.
    Just my 10 pence worth

    • Jim says:

      Agreed. If you stick to the old rules of smock for surviving, webbing for fighting and Bergan for comforts/ancils, then jetboils should never get near your webbing. (Or anywhere for that matter)

    • Common Sense says:

      Hexi stinks, and leaves a mess on your cup, and is toxic and terrible in the wind (yes I know you can use the cooker etc).

      A jetboil, in SOME circumstances, is a simple add on. If that’s all you need, then under a poncho it is faster to use and can generate more on demand heat than hexi can.

      i still like the hexi, but you are arguing that to bring a jetboil- you need your whole ruck. If you take that jetboil, and it’s the only extra you need- why bother with the ruck?

      Don’t worry- I fight against the “snivel creep” that I have seen over the last ten years as well.

      • MATT says:

        It’s rare that I’ve seen gas for a jetboil on a re supply run. Plus, who gives a rats ass what marks are on the outside of you mug… You in the field or on a parade ground dude? ????

        Terrible in the wind… Take it your not “digging down” a few inches when placing stuff out then? Smell… Who cares. If you’re in a position to be compromised by hexi smell then you shouldn’t be cooking ANYTHING.

        Another thing I’ve found is lads eating barely cooked meals as the jetboil boils the water so fast that the boil in the bag hasn’t cooked through fully which results in being on for longer and therefore using more gas. I can get a bag cooked through with 3 blocks of hexi and a brew done on one to two.

        I think that kind of kit should be carried in the daysack for when needs must but I still think it’s a large, difficult to re supply luxury.

        • Common Sense says:

          Of course availability of fuel is an issue, but if it IS available, or you are going out for only a few days- or plan to heat sparingly, then it’s worth the weight.

          As far a smell, it DOES matter. You eat in a patrol base don’t you? If there was NO chance of being compromised than we wouldn’t need security out. There is never NO chance, but sometimes when you are soaked or near hypothermia- a hot drink/meal is worth it.

          As far as a dirty cup, it’s not about show, it’s about that toxic sludge getting everywhere and eventually into the cup and my drink. This a minor point but I still don’t like it.

          Yes I dig down in the wind, but if I’m in a swamp I can’t dig down or it will be in the water- and if I’m on solid rock I can’t dig down either.

  17. Chris says:

    What is the round thing on the back of the American’s plate carrier? Morale patch of some sort?

  18. balais says:

    belt kit is ol school infantry. Whats old will become new again.

  19. Jim says:

    Hear what you are saying Common Sense, but I have to agree with Matt on this one.

  20. chris says:

    A picture paints a thousand words. Some lads just have no clue, regardless of which unit their in.
    That belt kit is ridiculous. There is absolutely no need for anything this large, i’m surprised someone in pathfinders sports one with so many pouches, regardless of how long range you need to go.

    The British Infantry just doesn’t emphasise enough on forward thinking and innovation enough. We’re currently forced now to adopt pre GWOT doctrine on training and equipment carriage because the association of conventional warfare with pre-GWOT.

    There is hope however with the adoption of the Revision Battleskin helmet, the new plate carrier and supressor trials. That drop leg holster is ridiculous however, emphasising the need for a plate carrier to mount the Glock on.

    • Flippy says:

      PF, how does their G4 chain re supply them in the field? Surely they work far from the normal log trail and therefore need to carry more on them to be able to operate for longer.

      Project Payne which you allude to is only really a pipe dream as our G4 never really has the manpower to be able to carry it out effectively, along with the fact that since the drawdown from Afghanistan units have gone back to the Cold War mind set of packing lists and kit checks, it, Project Payne has all but gone out of the window no matter what Brecon preaces, or is trying to preach.