- Ultra lightweight – by far the lightest belt we’ve reviewed
- Reasonably priced
- Very basic design
- Hook and loop closure can be fiddly – especially with cold fingers
The Montane Loop Belt is an absolute feather weight. Coming in at just 30g, it’s substantially lighter than any of the other hiking belts we’ve assessed. If you’re planning the kind of self-supported expedition where saving every last gram of equipment carried is important or if you’re involved in outdoor sports like trail running, the exceptionally light weight of this product will certainly be attractive. However, the light weight comes with some compromises and the less weight-conscious hiker might well be better served by another option.
Colour: Three options: Black (with red buckle); Kelp Green (dark green) and Shadow (Grey)
Buckle: Plastic with metal reinforcement
Compare similar products we’ve reviewed:
The design of the Montane Loop Belt is very basic – it’s clearly been kept this way to minimise weight. At 2.5cm width, the thin webbing is noticeable less substantial than the thick 3.8cm wide webbing featured in most of the other belts we’ve looked at. The closure is also very basic: the webbing is sewn into a loop at one end and a plastic hook engages with this to secure the belt. The hook is reinforced with thin metal and this is one area where adding a little extra weight to the design was probably a good idea. The hook also forms part of a simple friction buckle to control the size of the belt. And that’s it! Very simple! There is a small Montane logo tag near the loop end of the webbing (which you’ll probably want to cut off if you’re being really strict with weight) and the belt is offered in three colour ways. Our favourite is the black webbing with contrasting red buckle, but it’s also available in much more muted Kelp Green and Shadow (Grey).
Level: Very Comfortable
This belt is generally comfortable. The low profile buckle is shaped in such a way that it’s unobtrusive and doesn’t ‘dig in’ during use – this will surely be welcomed by trail runners, who we suspect are one of the key target markets for this product. The thinner than usual webbing is more prone to twisting than the thicker, wider webbing more often seen on hiking belts and this can occasionally cause minor discomfort and also be a bit of an inconvenience if you feel the need to straighten the twists out when spotted. The hook and loop closure is very simple in principle, but in practice it can be a bit fiddly to open and close – and that’s especially the case if you have cold fingers or are wearing gloves. All of these negative points are trade-offs though – and they were surely necessary to achieve the product’s exceptionally low weight. If the 30g weight of this belt is important for what you do, then these compromises are all surely acceptable.
The Montane Loop Belt is also at the lower end of prices in the products we’ve looked at. This is perhaps surprising given that Montane products usually carry a premium price tag. However, as with many lightweight products, there’s a feeling that you’re not getting very much for your money – that’s an emotive response that we’re sure many purchasers wouldn’t share, though!
Stats: Polyester webbing with metal reinforced plastic buckle
The Montane Loop Belt is made from the same sort of materials as pretty much all the other hiking belts we’ve evaluated. This isn’t really surprising, as these materials work very well for this sort of product and offer outstanding durability. It’s noteworthy that Montane have been able to achieve the belt’s very low weight without having to use exotic (and expensive!) materials, thus keeping a realistic price point and it really shows how thoughtful design can seriously impact a product’s weight.
Level: Extremely Durable
The materials used in this belt are absolutely very durable and the sheer simplicity of the design means there isn’t really much to go wrong with the belt. Montane have reinforced the belt’s hook with a thin sliver of metal – this is one area where an extra gram (or fraction of a gram) was probably a smart design decision. The thin webbing is a possible area of concern – it is much less substantial than the webbing used in other belts we’ve reviewed. However, this type of synthetic webbing is inherently a very tough material and unless the webbing gets snagged on a sharp edge, it’s very unlikely to rip or wear out in normal use. With all this in mind, we think the belt will last for many years – probably even a lifetime.
The Montane Loop Belt is a niche product. If you’re preparing for the kind of self-supported expedition that sees you cutting zip pulls off your garments to save weight or if marginal gains are important to you or your sport, then it is a very attractive option and it is a great product. But its low weight comes with compromises in other areas – such as a potentially fiddly closure and a thin webbing that’s prone to twisting. Whilst the Montane Loop Belt is very far from ‘bad’ we think that most hikers who are less concerned with weight might find another option more suitable and comfortable.
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