The LCS (Laser Cut System) gun belt is one of Condor’s latest additions to the company’s load bearing belt family. Having owned and used one for over a year now, I thought it’d be a good time to do a review and hopefully provide a valuable overview. So what made me choose the Condor LCS Cobra gun belt?
Condor’s LCS gun belt is slim and reasonably low profile, constructed using heavy-duty webbing and further reinforced with an additional layer of scuba webbing to handle heavy loads. The Cobra version comes with AustriAlpin’s quick release Cobra ProStyle buckle, with a minimum breaking load of 18kN; the weight of a Ford Ranger. The most attractive feature is the price; typically selling for around $70 (for the Cobra version).
While Condor was previously known for manufacturing cheap, low-quality airsoft-grade gear, they have certainly upped their game in recent years. They are now considered to be an affordable yet high-quality manufacturer of modular tactical gear. While some may disagree, the durability and attention to detail that is evident on some of their latest products says otherwise. The Condor LCS Gun Belt for example is of exceptional quality, and is certainly suitable for professional use.
What is a Load Bearing [Gun] Belt?
The load bearing belt, otherwise known as a gun belt, a duty belt, or a MOLLE belt, is a heavy duty tactical belt often designed to be modular and carry mission critical gear. The Condor LCS Gun Belt is a prime example, whereby its thickness and rigidity is enough to support essential gear that would otherwise cause discomfort or sagging during prolonged use.
My Condor LCS Cobra belt carries the following essential gear:
- Thumbdrive Holster
- 2x Spare Magazines
- Folding Knife
- Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK)
- Medical Shears (with Seatbelt Cutter)
- Combat Tourniquet
- UHF Radio OR Spare Rifle Magazine
- Vehicle Keys
For obvious reasons, it is NOT a suitable concealed carry belt system. And if the load was to increase further (closer to 20lbs), I would suggest considering an alternate option that supports a webbing yoke.
My Condor LCS Belt & Its Use to Date
My decision to purchase the Condor LCS Gun Belt transpired last year (June 2019), when I came across the belt in search of other gear. I was initially attracted by the price and slim design, and ordered the belt with the intention of storing it as a spare.
My current occupational role as a security contractor (CPO) in Kabul, Afghanistan requires me to carry all essential or mission critical gear on my person at all times. Immediately after receiving my LCS Cobra belt, I was so impressed by the design, comfort and load bearing capability, that I decided to use it as my primary belt system.
With this being said, my Condor LCS belt has been used repeatedly for over 12-months, and general use includes:
- Forming an essential part of my uniform, worn 7-days a week
- Worn in armoured vehicles 2 to 3 times per day
- Used 2 to 3 times per week during trail runs
- 1 to 3 hours of team training per day, conducted in dusty outdoor conditions (5 days per week)
- And occasionally worn during fully-equipped CrossFit sessions to ensure that nothing moves around or comes loose when placed under stress
So Being a Reasonably Affordable Belt System, How Has It Held Up So Far?
Surprisingly well! The most noticeable signs of wear are as follows:
- Some slight discolouration and dirt stains along the laser-cut scuba webbing (MOLLE panels)
- Some paint scuffs along the Cobra buckle
- A little wear & tear showing on the anti-slip pad
Putting aside the expected signs of wear & tear following the belt’s heavy use, it still remains in very good condition. Particularly the triple-stitched laser-cut MOLLE webbing, which is still in 100% working condition despite rigorous pulling and stretching of the MOLLE loops (with a Leatherman multitool) on regular occasions, often to a point where I was expecting a tear or two.
The LCS vs. LCS Cobra Gun Belt
The simple difference between the LCS and LCS Cobra is the buckle system.
Condor LCS – the standard LCS Gun Belt sells for around $30 and comes with a plastic QD buckle. The buckle isn’t bad, but it’s nothing to write home about, and I would consider it to be the weak link in the belt system. If the buckle was to get caught up between a vehicle door, or placed under abnormal pressure for some adverse reason, it would likely break rendering the belt useless.
Condor LCS Cobra – as we have already mentioned, the LCS Cobra is equipped with AustriAlpin’s quick release Cobra ProStyle buckle, which costs more than the belt itself. The Condor LCS Cobra version typically sells for around $70, or the buckle can be purchased separately for around $35. The standard buckle vs. the Cobra buckle are like chalk and cheese, and I’d highly recommend splashing out a little extra for the Cobra version if you can afford to. The minimum guaranteed load capacity on this buckle is 18kN (or 1800kg), meaning that the belt system will not come undone unless done so intentionally.
Note: if you decide to upgrade to the Cobra buckle later on, you’ll be wanting the 2″ / 50mm AustriAlpin Cobra ProStyle Dual Adjustable buckle which can be seen by clicking here.
Sizing & Colour Selection
When it comes to belts, plate carriers and most other size-specific gear, there is often confusion between consumers and manufacturers, and unfortunately getting the size wrong can really hinder comfort and usability.
Condor’s sizing chart for the LCS Gun Belt is as follows:
- Small/Medium: waist size of 30”-32”
- Medium/Large: waist size of 34”-36”
- Large/X-Large: waist size of 38”-40”
With my waist size sitting directly between 32 and 34 inches, I opted for the Medium/Large belt option just to be on the safe side. The belt fits just right, but has no room for manoeuvre; it is maxed out on its smallest setting. If I were to purchase another Condor belt, I would select the Small/Medium option instead, just in case I were to loose some weight around the hips.
The MOLLE webbing measures 2″ (or 5cm) in width, making it compatible with the majority of holsters available on the market today. The belt can also be used in conjunction with an inner (velcro) belt, but I’d recommend sticking with the included (removable) anti-slip pad, which measures 4″ (or 10cm).
As for colour options, the belt is available in Black, Olive Drab (OD) Green, and Coyote Brown.
And Now For The Rating Review
The following rating is based on the Condor LCS COBRA Gun Belt.
|Cost||When compared to high-end belts such as High Speed Gear and Ronin Tactics (around $200), the Condor LCS Cobra Gun Belt is a significantly more affordable option at $70||★★★★|
|Comfort||Having worn many “combat” style belts over the years, I am surprised at the comfort that the Condor LCS Gun Belt provides. It is fairly low-profile for an overt belt system, and stays in place thanks to the removable anti-slip pad||★★★★★|
|Durability & Quality||The belt’s build quality is exceptional for the price. There is nothing cheap about this belt, and thanks to the durability of materials and the triple-stitching, it should provide years of satisfactory performance||★★★★|
|Modularity||The 2″ wide MOLLE webbing provides plenty of mounting space for various gear and accessories. Holsters and other gear can also be looped through the belt itself, and you have the option of bypassing the MOLLE loops by placing accessory straps between the anti-slip pad and belt||★★★★★|
|Rigidity||The Condor LCS Gun Belt is sort of mid-range in terms of belt rigidity. This doesn’t present any issues, and with mine bearing around 11lbs worth of accessories, the belt performs flawlessly||★★★|
Most gear that I purchase requires some slight alterations or minor customisation, or lacks a feature or two that would otherwise make it flawless. In the case of the Condor LCS Cobra Gun Belt, I really enjoy everything about it.
The belt has held up particularly well so far, and when it’s time for a replacement, I will buy a new Cobra LCS Gun Belt (plastic buckle version) for $30, and fit my current AustriAlpin Cobra buckle.
Well done to Condor for an outstanding and affordable product.
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