Last fall Arcade contacted us to ask about reviewing their belts. I agreed because of the fancy designs, but inwardly I was reluctant because I am weirdly attached to the military-style black web belt that I used to wear under my duty belt when I was a part time cop and that I now wear on every single ski day to hold my baggies up. What can I say? It’s thin, it’s light, it’s easy to adjust, and it never slips or breaks. During my decluttering phase I got rid of a bunch of belts I never wore, including a fancy $120 leather number with an amazing beaten steel buckle*, but I never considered ditching my old cop belt. My point is that of all the Geargals, I was the last Arcade belt adopter. I was all but forced into it when encountering a massive bout of laziness at the prospect of removing my web belt from one pair of pants and putting it on another pair of pants. “Look,” I said to myself, “there’s another perfectly good belt right there. Just use that, and you can do one step (put belt on pants) instead of two (take belt off pants, put belt on pants).” And indeed, there it was, the last Arcade belt in the box. It went onto my backcountry ski pants and lo! it stayed there.
As it turns out, Arcade Adventure Belts are really pretty awesome. I never noticed the belt was there, even under my backpack straps. It wasn’t too tight, it wasn’t too loose, it was just perfect. It was all the things my old beloved cop belt is, except that it is also stretchy and made without a metal clasp. The latter is a very useful feature particularly when flying commercial and doing the TSA shuffle; you won’t have to remove your Arcade Adventure belt and give the cowed masses in the line behind you a glimpse of your butt cleavage. And yes, if it’s there, they’ll see it, because their eyes are downcast in an attempt to avoid eye contact with the TSO screaming at them about their imagined slights to national security. The plastic clasp is also useful if you are a snowboarder and you ever fall smack onto your stomach when you crash (I know you do; I’ve done it too and that’s why I no longer snowboard). A metal clasp can cause some damage. A plastic clasp like the one on the Arcade belts is safer. The Arcade clasps are also very simple to use, low profile, and light weight.
The stretchiness is really where the awards are won. Having a stretchy belt is not something that was an option for those cop days. Now that I’m thinking about it, stretchy belts would be insanely useful for cops, particularly later in one’s cop career as one’s waistline grows in proportion with how many hours one has spent behind the wheel of a cruiser. But, I’d guess that stretchy duty belts are “a bridge too far” at this point in time, similar to the monumental obstacle our military has discovered between it and armor that fits female soldiers. I’d point them towards the Israeli military, which outfits its female soldiers just fine, and now that I’m thinking about it, if there is in fact a stretchy duty belt out there, the Israeli army is probably using it.
You, too, can experience the comfort, the simplicity, the “set it and forget it” ease of an Israeli military duty belt, if you just get ahold of an Arcade Adventure belt. You can wear it under your backpack or your climbing harness with no discomfort and with all the peace of mind that comes with knowing your pants will most assuredly stay up.
*Complete lie. Of course I did not get rid of that work of art. I just hang it carefully where I can’t see it, which counts as “got rid of.”