I’ve previously covered TacBelts replacement headbands (See Here), and whilst you’d have thought there wasn’t much else I could have written about them, you’d be wrong.
One of the things I like about TacBelt’s main man Andy (And certainly one of the key reasons his business grows and grows) is his meticulous attention to detail. This consistent attention to detail is matched only by a drive to improve and innovate, it is this which sets apart businesses that succeed and those that get left behind.
“Adapt or die” as they say, and annoyingly they are often right.
One of the only things I couldn’t do easily with my older pattern headband was to secure the comms cabling without first undoing the band and securing it all underneath, not an ideal option and one I was hoping to remedy by asking Andy to design me something new.
As luck would have it Andy had just made a prototype for himself, using a newer design that incorporated a shock cord cable retention system and a laser cut Cordura panel forming the framework for the cord to wave around.
Full disclosure, Andy is a close friend who I regularly play with and talk to on a near daily basis. The first of his gen 2 headbands was made for himself (as many of his products initially are) and because he wasn’t 100% happy with how it fitted length wise on his MSA Sordin ear-pro, he agreed to let me have it to test with my Peltors.
His only stipulation was that I could have the one he’d already made in Multicam for free or I’d have to wait in line and pay for one in my choice of colour, as I wasn’t really fussed on the colour anyway and I love a bargain… I agreed to take it off his hands.
So with that in mind, be aware of the relationship I have with the manufacturer but also that I’m under no obligation to promote or praise his products and it wouldn’t serve either of us for me to do so.
The headband at its core is fundamentally no different from its predecessor, both are virtually identical in most respects. Whilst he won’t hesitate to look for improvements where they can be made, sometimes there just isn’t any need to change something.
The original headband cover designs offered by TacBelts UK were either a MOLLE loop design (which would also work with comms cabling) or the alternate design I opted for with a Velcro loop field and a D-ring for hooking your ear pro to a carabiner.
I’d chosen the latter because I wanted a low profile option but with an ever increasing need for standalone ear protection for loud CQB games where I wasn’t using comms, along with a growing interest in full bore firearm shooting, the need to tuck away that long comms cable became evermore important to me.
The cover itself attaches onto the basic Peltor metal headband using a strip of hook and loop Velcro to secure itself around the band. I’d recommend that if you’ve already cut off the standard leather headband, using a bit of tape to keep the cables from moving around too much and taking up the slack can be a worthwhile little tweak.
The only difference aside the top panel and cord is the addition of a small paracord loop, sewn into place halfway along the rear side of the headband cover, this serves to provide a hanging point instead of the large D-ring on my original headband.
The panel that forms the basis for this latest generation is formed from a section of laser cut 330d Multicam Cordura, light yet strong and not adding unnecessary bulk to the design. This is stitched to the outside of the headband cover and as such, not essential to the integrity of the core headband itself.
Beneath this is the wraparound section of the band, exactly the same as both other iterations of TacBelts UK’s headband design. Made from a bi-folding section of Cordura, a low profile padded section encapsulated with a breathable mesh that helps keep the whole thing comfortable to wear.
Back onto the outer part of the band, the laser cut panel stretches almost all the way across the length of the headband itself. The corners have been finished with a radius which not only looks good but also provides a more uniform edge to stitch around. There is also a section of loop Velcro stitched atop the laser cut section of the band, this has a number of benefits…
Firstly it adds thickness and rigidity to the section that needs it most, the laser cut slots holding the shock cord. One aspect of using shock cord as the cable retention is that it can cause the material holding it to bunch up, naturally if it’s under tension it’ll be trying to pull against whatever’s holding it.
Secondly, the loop field forms a slight friction with anything held against it. In the case of the cable, it helps keep the cable from moving around and damaging itself.
Finally, being as it’s Velcro loop… Anything you can think to have stuck to it, can be stuck to it. I don’t use it for this but it’s conceivable that you might want a small glint patch or similar for the top or potentially even a name tape if you wanted to ID your individual headset.
The shock cord itself is weaved diagonally across the band which provides 4 points of retention for the cable held within it, plenty of contact points and I’ve not seen my cable shift so much as a couple of millimetres.
There is a cord lock at one end which allows a degree of additional retention, but this is pretty surplus to most peoples requirements and can be replaced by simply knotting the shock cord at the appropriate length if you should wish.
I can see why this was added to the headband, people expect something more refined but in all honesty the cord will work just as well without as with the cord lock in place. It doesn’t get in the way though… So you could do what I’ll probably do and just leave it there.
I’ve used this headband cover a couple of times so far, once for in game and also at the shooting range where a dangling cable would have only gotten in the way. It’s comfort to wear and to the wearer feels identical to that of the earlier generation headband cover I got from TacBelts UK all those months ago.
If you’re looking for something to cover your bare headband, I can honestly not think of anything better. It’s not the cheapest option at £32 but as with anything Andy makes, it’s a customisable product with a consistently high manufacturing quality. You can choose the colour from whatever TacBelts have in stock and ask for it tailored to the size required for your individual headset.
I honestly don’t think there are any other businesses out there that are able to bring a product from inception to reality so quickly, TacBelts has always been renowned for its quick turn around times and attention to detail.
Again I’ll remind you that I know Andy very well, so don’t just take my word for it… There’s a great deal of his customers out there that can verify what I’m saying and you’ll be surprised at how prolific his products are, I can’t remember the last time I went to a game and didn’t spot one of his products being used.
I mentioned earlier about this attention to detail, I’ll draw you to a specific example… Two actually. The paracord used on the headband is patterned Multicam, not strictly so but that’s what it’s marketed as. Whilst plain tan or even black would have sufficed, Andy has made sure that anything that can be matched is made from the same colour.
The sections point is the inner side of the headband cover. Both covers were made months apart yet both look and feel like they’ve been made on a machine. The diagonal stitching is almost identical and the lines are straight as a die.
If you’re interested in this or one of his many other products (from Belts to Patches, face pro to pouches) hit him up directly either on his Facebook or Instagram below:
Facebook: TacBelts UK